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    Yottamaster HC1-C3 | Excellent Storage Option For Music Libraries

     

     

    I've been researching more options for storing my music library over the last several weeks. Not that I need something different, but it's just what I do. I want to know every option that's available, how the options work, what components they work with, etc... I love this stuff and I love writing about it. 

     

    Last week while searching for a USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2 SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps external drive, I discovered a fantastic product from a company called Yottamaster. This product isn't a USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2 drive, but after doing way too much homework on that specification, I concluded it doesn't matter at all. Let's dig in.

     


    Yottamaster HC1-C3 | What is it and why does anyone need it?

     

    The Yottamaster HC1-C3 is the product you didn't know you needed, until today. Technically it's called an M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD Duplicator, but it's so much more than this for music lovers. It's an external enclosure for NVMe SSD drives that connects to Windows, macOS, or Linux computers or audio components via USB 3.1 Gen 2 (a 10Gbps interface). It has a DC power input, which is great for audio components that may have trouble sending much power out a USB port or for those who like to power everything with linear supplies (switching supply included). 

     

    The all metal enclosure ships without drives and has slots for two M.2 NVMe SSD drives (older M.2 SATA drives not supported). I currently have a couple Samsung 970 EVO NVME drive in for testing. The drives can be configured any way the user likes vie Windows, macOS or Linux. There is no onboard RAID controller or configuration to be done. 

     

    I configured one of the two NVMe drives in the HC1-C3 as a single FAT partition from my MacBook Pro. I left the other drive untouched. I then connected it to an Auralic ARIES G2.1 and copied many GB of data to it over the network. Granted I could have copied this music while it was connected to my MacBook Pro, but ideally this drive is left connected to an audio component and I wanted to make sure this was possible. Once my music was on the drive I scanned it using Auralic's Lightning DS and used the drive like any other hard drive. 

     

    IMG_4492.jpegNow for the good part. Once I was satisfied I had all the music I wanted on the drive, I used the one touch clone feature to make an exact 1 for 1 duplicate of the drive, on the identical NVMe drive I also put into the enclosure. Seriously, one touch and I had a perfect backup of my music library. There's nothing to configure, no backup schedule, no RAID1/RAID5 etc... It's a hard drive that can be cloned with the single push of a button. 

     

    What's so cool about this is that it works with Windows, macOS, and Linux music servers. As long as the user knows how to work the included screwdriver, s/he will have no problem using the enclosure. I can see many people using this enclosure connected to Auralic ARIES, Bryston, and all the other components that accept USB drives for music library storage. 

     

    There is no longer a need to disconnect one's hard drive from the audio component in order to make a backup of the music. Just press the single button on the Yottamaster HC1-C3 and it's done. The HC1-C3 even has cloning status indicators to show the status of the cloning process. Even better is the fact that this enclosure has no proprietary format or RAID controller making the data locked into a Yottamaster HC1-C3 format. If, for example, the unit dies or one wants to move music to another enclosure or move the NVMe drive inside one's computer, one just has to remove the drive and use it elsewhere. It's seriously that simple. 

     

    I'm so in love with this enclosure that I have a feeling my writing about it is a little scattered. I just want to get the word out to the Audiophile Style community about how cool the HC1-C3 is, that I thought I'd write something up quickly. 

     

    There is one potential downside to this drive that doesn't really concern me, but may be concerning to some. Because the HC1-C3 does a 1 for 1 clone of the drive every time, there will be more wear and tear on the drive versus an incremental backup that only copies the changed / added music. However, the 2 terabyte Samsung 970 EVO NVMe drives are warranted for 1.2 Petabytes written (officially 1,200 TBW) with a 5-year limited warranty. Technically, this is 600 (if my math is correct) full clone operations of the 2TB drive over 5 years. Depending on how often one adds music and wants to run the cloning operation, this may be a factor. My guess is that this won't come into play for 99.9999% of people. 

     

    The enclosure supports up to 8TB according to Yottamaster. This means the largest single disk it can support is 4T. Based on most people's library size, this isn't an issue. 


    Anyway, I hope you guys see the value in this and how cool it actually is. It's full backup that works like a toaster, just push a button!

     

     

    Where to Buy*

    Yottamaster HC1-C3 $139 - https://amzn.to/364K1ZH
    Samsung 970 EVO NVMe $69 and up - https://amzn.to/351nM7w


    * Using our links gives us a tiny kickback and doesn't cost you anything. We're experimenting with this, so please no phone calls, letters, or facsimiles just yet. 

     

     

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    Nice price on this unit but I don't really understand the clone advantage over raid 1.  I have an enclosure with two drives in raid 1 connected to the system via ethernet. I never worry or have to remember to do any thing after an addition to the music library, it's always mirrored.  The one thing about drives, if it ever does fail there can be no warning.  

     

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    12 minutes ago, steve21 said:

    Nice price on this unit but I don't really understand the clone advantage over raid 1.  I have an enclosure with two drives in raid 1 connected to the system via ethernet. I never worry or have to remember to do any thing after an addition to the music library, it's always mirrored.  The one thing about drives, if it ever does fail there can be no warning.  

     

    Hi Steve, there are pros and cons to every solution. The cool things about this one are the ability to put these drives in anything via USB and read/write to them (no proprietary or RAID config), it’s tiny, cheap, fast, the clone is manual so if you delete something it isn’t gone, and more. 
     

    RAID isn’t back. This is backup. 


    Great to read your solution is working for you though. 
     

    It isn’t for everyone but almost :~)

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     Any idea what your actual drive throughput was during backup? I can get about 70mBps with network file transfers &  NAS, would like to see something as fast or faster for direct attached backup of the NAS.

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    31 minutes ago, davide256 said:

     Any idea what your actual drive throughput was during backup? I can get about 70mBps with network file transfers &  NAS, would like to see something as fast or faster for direct attached backup of the NAS.

    Not sure as I hit Start and walked away. Yottamaster says “With copy speeds of up to 20GB/min.” That’s GB not Gb. 

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    41 minutes ago, davide256 said:

    I can get about 70mBps with network file transfers &  NAS, would like to see something as fast or faster for direct attached backup of the NAS.

    They note
    "With copy speeds of up to 20GB/min, this NVMe SSD Duplicator is a fast and cost-effective duplication system that perfect for users looking to upgrade their PCs with the high-Performance NVMe technology"
    If GB stands for GBit , it is fast, if GB stands for GByte it is even faster,  by factor 8 (appr. up to  2.636 Gbit (American way of numbering))

     

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    IMHO, the easy way to backup for a NAS is another NAS, if we talk about greater than 8TB numbers. Could be a single Disk, JBOD, Software Raid, if it is for backup only. Usually you should have several levels of backup to make sure one a least will work.
     

    IMHO, a 4 TB solution  for the files I listen to frequently won't be quickly outlived by my personal needs. Not everything I am listening to needs to get stored on HD (streaming services) and not everything that is stored on HD in my NAS will be frequented for listening even once a year.

    I know DSD files and multichannel have much higher capacity demands, however I see them as a more exotique problem, which doesn't need this solution but another ...

    The interesting question would that solution work with an USB 2 Ethernet adapter to allow using it as a network share ?

     

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    @The Computer Audiophile thanks for introducing us to this. Always helpful to know about these helpful products.

     

    I am noodling on if this is for me or not.

     

    I keep 3 full backup copies of my music files plus a partial backup copy (backup 4) in my bank's lock box to guard against theft or fire ... given the way 2020 is going who the hell knows what can happen.

     

    I don't use Raid, as you mention, it is not backup. If I have a failure, I can resort to one of my backup drives. It might take a while to restore, but time isn't a huge concern. I am not a business requiring 24/7 access to a file.

     

    For some time, I have used my Win laptop to rip CD's or download files (e.g. HDTracks) which are stored on an external WD My Book drive (backup 1). I then copy the files to my Synology NAS (backup 2) over my network. Connected to the Synology NAS is a WP My Passport drive external drive (backup 3) that is a weekly backup of the NAS.

     

    My Linux music server is connected to the NAS via Roon. Everything works well for the most part even with WiFi in the path. So at this point, it is good to know this exists in case I decide to make changes in my file storage but not sure how it would benefit my specific setup.

     

     

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    3 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    Hi Steve, there are pros and cons to every solution. The cool things about this one are the ability to put these drives in anything via USB and read/write to them (no proprietary or RAID config), it’s tiny, cheap, fast, the clone is manual so if you delete something it isn’t gone, and more. 
     

    RAID isn’t back. This is backup. 


    Great to read your solution is working for you though. 
     

    It isn’t for everyone but almost :~)

    Ok thanks, I do like the versatility of the USB read write, especially for purposes outside audio. While Raid 1 is not back up, it makes sure I'll likely never loose my library. Back up from the NAS is achieved with a nightly cloud solution, giving me a full 3-2-1 back up solution. AND in 5 years it will all be for not as I likely to be streaming everything.

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    6 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    Certainly. 

    Chris,

     

    Could the combined disc option be read by an Auralic device or only via a Windows or Apple computer?

     

    Regardless, a very cool find.

     

    Thanks for sharing it.

     

    Joel

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    31 minutes ago, joelha said:

    Chris,

     

    Could the combined disc option be read by an Auralic device or only via a Windows or Apple computer?

     

    Regardless, a very cool find.

     

    Thanks for sharing it.

     

    Joel

    I wouldn't imagine that would be an issue at all assuming the OS of the computer and the computer itself was fairly modern. Some folks are buying Win10 laptops or desktops with multi terabyte drives installed in them.

     

    Not sure about the Auralic though. In any case the disks would look like a single disk to whatever you connect it to....unless you configured it to be something other than that on purpose.

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    1 hour ago, joelha said:

    Chris,

     

    Could the combined disc option be read by an Auralic device or only via a Windows or Apple computer?

     

    Regardless, a very cool find.

     

    Thanks for sharing it.

     

    Joel

    Hi Joel, great question. Because this unit has no configuration both disks can’t be seen as a single drive by an Auralic device. Windows and macOS can do it. I’ll check to see if Auralic can see both drives as separate units. 
     

    However, if one wants a two drive NVMe enclosure there are many that would work better for that. But, none have the cool features of this one. 

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    Thanks for the reply, Chris.

     

    I'm particularly interested in finding a device in which the Auralic component would see either two drives as one or two separate drives.

     

    I have a feeling it can't be done.

     

    All the best.

     

    Joel

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    10 minutes ago, joelha said:

    Thanks for the reply, Chris.

     

    I'm particularly interested in finding a device in which the Auralic component would see either two drives as one or two separate drives.

     

    I have a feeling it can't be done.

     

    All the best.

     

    Joel


    You want it to be NVMe drives?

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    Nice find Chris! Nicely priced for an m.2 drive external raid device. Elegant solution for systems with a dedicated music device that is not a general purpose PC.

     

    I am hoping to build a new silent PC this holiday season with a dual m.2 motherboard, but if I don't, this would be great for upgrading my current ROCK NUC with usb music disk storage.

     

    Hard to beat one button back up (unless you never push the button)

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    20 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    Not sure as I hit Start and walked away. Yottamaster says “With copy speeds of up to 20GB/min.” That’s GB not Gb. 

    A good test of this would be use with a Windows PC as attached USB3 storage. If the NVME option does 20gBps ( small g for speed/not storage, big b= bytes/not bits)

    you should see something between 1500 to 1800 mBps but it wouldn't surprise me if that didn't happen because of hardware/software caveats.

    Getting even 400~500 mBps would make it a no-brainer, it takes several hours right now for me to fully back up a small 2TB raid over Ethernet or USB3 

    and I know its common to have much larger storage solutions

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    Just now, davide256 said:

    A good test of this would be use with a Windows PC as attached USB3 storage. If the NVME option does 20gBps ( small g for speed/not storage, big b= bytes/not bits)

    you should see something between 1500 to 1800 mBps but it wouldn't surprise me if that didn't happen because of hardware/software caveats.

    Getting even 400~500 mBps would make it a no-brainer, it takes several hours right now for me to fully back up a small 2TB raid over Ethernet or USB3 

    and I know its common to have much larger storage solutions

    The duplication speed is all internal, NVMe to NVMe.

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