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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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    Just now, The Computer Audiophile said:

    From the company, "256GB → 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD can be copied in about 10 minutes."

    thanks!   just reread and saw that the max rate above is 20GB/min, not ps, so thats a top speed of 333 mBps. The 256GB over 10 minutes is slightly  faster,

    426 mBps... for me thats at least 3 times faster than SSD over USB3 and 4 x faster than backup over network.

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    Copying the entire content on every backup is insane. Why not just sync or mirror?

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    1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    @joelha I keep looking for the multi-drive NVMe USB drive. It's a strange challenge. 

     

    This four bay NVMe enclosure is fantastic, but it's Thunderbolt 3. https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/express-4m2

     

    If there is a USB male to Thunderbolt female adapter, then you'd be golden.

    Chris,

     

    Regardless of the outcome, you're great for taking the time to check this out for me (and maybe for others).

     

    You believe the previous device you had identified would with an Auralic device?

     

    And the same would be true for the Thunderbolt device assuming I could find a Thunderbolt to USB adapter?

     

    Thanks a lot.

     

    Joel

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    5 minutes ago, joelha said:

    Chris,

     

    Regardless of the outcome, you're great for taking the time to check this out for me (and maybe for others).

     

    You believe the previous device you had identified would with an Auralic device?

     

    And the same would be true for the Thunderbolt device assuming I could find a Thunderbolt to USB adapter?

     

    Thanks a lot.

     

    Joel

    The previous M.2 SATA device would work for sure as it has dip switches to set it in RAID 0 that would make it one large drive. The drives required are like this Samsung EVO 860 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07822SVMS/

     

    You could get 4TB total. 

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    3 minutes ago, peter73 said:

    Copying the entire content on every backup is insane. Why not just sync or mirror?

    There is only one option to clone the drive. 

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    2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    @joelha I keep looking for the multi-drive NVMe USB drive. It's a strange challenge. 

     

    This four bay NVMe enclosure is fantastic, but it's Thunderbolt 3. https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/express-4m2

     

    If there is a USB male to Thunderbolt female adapter, then you'd be golden.

    I keep wishing that I could get local attached storage to sound better than  NAS... no luck so far with SSD, HD or SDXC storage. Any thoughts

    on local NVME vs NAS storage SQ? 7 series and later NUC's  per Intel support Thunderbolt 3

     

    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000021752/intel-nuc.html

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    2 minutes ago, davide256 said:

    I keep wishing that I could get local attached storage to sound better than  NAS... no luck so far with SSD, HD or SDXC storage. Any thoughts

    on local NVME vs NAS storage SQ? 7 series and later NUC's  per Intel support Thunderbolt 3

    That's a can o' worms being opened and jumped into constantly on the forum :~)

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    32 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    The previous M.2 SATA device would work for sure as it has dip switches to set it in RAID 0 that would make it one large drive. The drives required are like this Samsung EVO 860 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07822SVMS/

     

    You could get 4TB total. 

    Chris,

     

    I'm going to guess that the four NVMe device won't work based on the following information I saw from that device's instruction manual:

     

    PC Requirements • Hardware: PC with a Thunderbolt 3 port • OS: Windows 10 or later

     

    But the two NVMe device is on order.

     

    Thanks again for the great find.

     

    Joel

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    6 minutes ago, joelha said:

    Chris,

     

    I'm going to guess that the four NVMe device won't work based on the following information I saw from that device's instruction manual:

     

    PC Requirements • Hardware: PC with a Thunderbolt 3 port • OS: Windows 10 or later

     

    But the two NVMe device is on order.

     

    Thanks again for the great find.

     

    Joel

    Just looked at the manual myself and it also requires software RAID. That’s a no go for a Linux audio device. 

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    1 minute ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    Just looked at the manual myself and it also requires software RAID. That’s a no go for a Linux audio device. 

    Fair enough, Chris.

     

    If the dual device works, that will be a nice improvement.

     

    Thanks for doing the extra research.

     

    Joel

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    Very cool product, but a bit rich for my blood unless maybe I was starting my backup setup from scratch. What I would like to see is a device that you could use a mix of 2.5" SATA SSD and HDD and M.2 NVME (and non) with the one touch disc to disc function. It's one reason I went with my Drobo for my photography files, in that I had a huge mix of old 3.5" hard drives in various sizes and makes and the Drobo's just automatically RAID them (albeit proprietarily, so best to have solid backups made - I do to both another Drobo drive and to 3.5" bare drives using a drive dock) and once can swap out whenever as one gets or needs bigger total storage. I use Carbon Copy Cloner for my backups. Works a treat with both local storage and network devices such as the internal music storage on my Roon ROCK NUC. 

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    49 minutes ago, jbparrish said:

    Will this take Intel optane?

    It technically may work but I’ve seen terrible results from people doing similar things online. 

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    5 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    It technically may work but I’ve seen terrible results from people doing similar things online. 

    Chris,

     

    Would the dual card device you recommended work with Optane?

     

    And if it might be subject to the terrible results you had mentioned, what might those be?

     

    Thanks.

     

    Joel

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    On 11/6/2020 at 7:46 PM, The Computer Audiophile said:

    There is only one option to clone the drive. 

    Sure, but you only clone the drive once and then keep it synced. Copying the entire contents every time would be like you retyping your entire article every time you add a sentence :-)

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    4 minutes ago, peter73 said:

    Sure, but you only clone the drive once and then keep it synced. Copying the entire contents every time would be like you retyping your entire article every time you add a sentence :-)

    I hear you, but this is one button and it’s done. 

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    1 minute ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    I hear you, but this is one button and it’s done. 

    Absolutely - it just seems like a strange design. I have a NAS, an HDD attached to my router and a portable storage that I attach to my laptop. They all get automatically synced to each other in the background way too fast to even notice and I probably got a bit spoiled. I normally play media from the NAS and have the router HDD as a backup. The portable storage is to take with me when I travel.

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    I think many of us who use a NAS and are savvy enough to do what we want technically, forget how many audiophiles just hang a USB drive off their streamer and call it a day. It’s a very popular thing to do and it’s dead simple. 

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    There's certainly value in making backup as easy and foolproof as possible. It might be nice if the unit had a timer you could set that would automatically perform the backup on a schedule (nightly, weekly, etc.) without you having to remember to push the button.

     

    One drawback would be that the backup drive is in the same physical location as the main drive, subject to theft, natural disaster, etc. If you were willing to occasionally use the screwdriver to remove the backup drive and swap it for a third drive you could work around this by taking the other drive to another location and storing it there.

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    I have the feeling this device is aimed mostly at the video market (as much isn these days). When shooting video in the field one wants to make high quality backups as soon and as quickly as possible. I would be wary of rewriting the drive every time one adds say a single or handful of cd's as that could end up being just too many writes if one is doing it on a daily basis (weekly would be better). Setting it on a schedule would be unwise as well, as it will rewrite the entire disc no matter if changes have been made or not. 

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