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Mac Pro Music Server on Windows WiFi?


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I'm new to PC audio and have been voraciously consuming the information on this site for the last several days. Chris, kudos on a great and helpful website!!

 

My question revolves around fitting a music server into my existing network. I'm not a computer expert so please keep that in mind. We have Verizon Fios TV and internet which comes with a wireless network router. We only use the WiFi for web surfing via Dell laptop for convenience (e.g. while watching tv in the bedroom, etc). The desktop computer is also a Dell and is hooked up directly to the router via Ethernet cable. From this site, I've inferred that a Mac Pro with Lynx AES16e card using itunes would be the easiest setup for top quality sound?

 

Can I integrate a Mac into my Windows / Fios Wifi so that I can get high resolution downloads and album art, etc? If so, how? Would I be better off building a Windows server? I was shocked how expensive a basic Mac Pro is!! Wow! Can I still get top quality sound if I use iTunes with windows?

 

As you can see...I've got a great many questions before I feel comfortable moving forward. If the Mac w/Lynx would work easily, I'd get moving immediately, but equally important is that I know I can get the highest sound quality from the setup.

 

Thanks,

 

Jordan

 

P.S. My current system:

Zu Definitions

Atma-Sphere M60 MkIII amps

Rowland Capri Linestage

PS Audio DIII (w/Cullen mods).

Wadia iTransport

 

Considering the Berkeley Alpha DAC once I'm convinced I have a top quality server to feed it.

 

 

 

Synology NAS -> Quadcore i7, 3.8GHz -> RoonServer -> HQPlayer (all up sampled to DSD128) -> Sonore urendu (Uptone JS2 PS) -> Lampizator Golden Gate DAC -> Valvet A4 Monoblocks -> Zu Audio Definitions Mk4

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Hi Germanboxers - Thanks for the kind words about Computer Audiophile.

 

You can use any computer to connect to your WiFi as long as it uses 802.11 wireless. The FiOS wireless should be the same as any other wireless. The only difference with FiOS is the connection from the Internet Service Provider to your house which is fiber. Wireless is wireless and Mac, PC, Linux etc... will work perfect.

 

The Mac Pro Lynx route is a stellar way to go. But, you can get a fabulous sounding music server for a fraction of the price. Have you read my Music Server For A Song article? Here is a link -> http://www.computeraudiophile.com/Audiophile-Reference-Music-Server-For-A-Song

 

The Alpha DAC is my current reference. It's absolutely fabulous.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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No, I hadn't read that article yet. Thanks! Some of the discussion following the article even answered another question I had, but had not articulated: how to remote control the server in windows. Seems Itouch will work with MediaMonkey? Is it also possible to control the server entirely with a laptop doing it wirelessly?

 

Thanks again!

 

Jordan

 

Synology NAS -> Quadcore i7, 3.8GHz -> RoonServer -> HQPlayer (all up sampled to DSD128) -> Sonore urendu (Uptone JS2 PS) -> Lampizator Golden Gate DAC -> Valvet A4 Monoblocks -> Zu Audio Definitions Mk4

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Chris,

 

Thanks very much...you've been VERY helpful! Last question: Do you think running the inexpense XP server with Lynx AES16 PCI card into my PS Audio DACIII will sound better than using my Ipod with Wadia iTransport into my PS Audio DACIII?

 

The convenience of a music server is nice, but the Ipod/Wadia is not bad (more convenient than using a CD player). If the sound quality is similar, I will likely focus on a better DAC, maybe an Esoteric D05, Berkeley alpha, or Weiss Minerva. If, on the other hand, the server sounds better, I will first setup a music server, use the PS Audio DacIII for the moment, and focus on a DAC down the road a little.

 

Thanks again for all your help!

 

Jordan

 

 

 

Synology NAS -> Quadcore i7, 3.8GHz -> RoonServer -> HQPlayer (all up sampled to DSD128) -> Sonore urendu (Uptone JS2 PS) -> Lampizator Golden Gate DAC -> Valvet A4 Monoblocks -> Zu Audio Definitions Mk4

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Hi Jordan - This is an easy one. The iTransport is not a high-end component rather a neat convenient way to get the digital signal from an iPod. It's a very cool product for what it does, but can't compete with a Lynx PCI card and an XP server. The server and Lynx card are a must if you want to step up to the next level. You can get some extremely inexpensive PCs these days to throw the Lynx card into. Don't order the standard Lynx cable. Have Redco.com make one for you. This way you can get a cable without seven extra connection on it. If you spend wisely on this step in your music server journey the DAC upgrade may come sooner than you think :~)

 

You're well on your way to sonic bliss.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Chris, thanks again, but I guess I better just admit up front that I'm likely to have more questions along the way...so just forget the "last question" in my previous post. ;-) I just realized the PS Audio DACIII does not have an AES/EBU input, only RCA and optical. Is this what you meant when you said, "If you spend wisely on this step in your music server journey the DAC upgrade may come sooner than you think"? ;-)

 

Is it possible to have redco make a breakout cable for the Lynx AES16 card with a single RCA connector? I saw a post on this site suggesting such, but it doesn't seem like something most have done/considered? The thought is to buy some time buy using the PS Audio DACIII until I can pony up the cash for a proper DAC.

 

Thanks again!!

 

Jordan

 

Synology NAS -> Quadcore i7, 3.8GHz -> RoonServer -> HQPlayer (all up sampled to DSD128) -> Sonore urendu (Uptone JS2 PS) -> Lampizator Golden Gate DAC -> Valvet A4 Monoblocks -> Zu Audio Definitions Mk4

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Hi Jordan - No worries about more questions. There are tons of other people reading this thread with the exact same questions. I recommend getting an inexpensive XP machine with the Lynx and using an AES to RCA converter to connect to the DLIII in the mean time. Here is a link to converters http://www.tri-tones.net/c-236-adapters.aspx

 

I don't think you can use a breakout cable with an RCA because there is an impedance issue. AES 110 ohm and RCA/SPDIF 75 ohm. This the need for a little converter until you can get another DAC.

 

My thinking is the less you spend now the sooner you'll be able to step up into an awesome DAC.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Hey Chris, thanks again!

 

I'm about ready to order the Dell and I was wondering if there are any problems using one of the new Dell "mini laptops" or "netbooks" to control the music server rather than a full blown laptop? It looks like an awesome solution in that it's small, light and you can surf the net as well.

 

Thanks,

 

Jordan

 

Synology NAS -> Quadcore i7, 3.8GHz -> RoonServer -> HQPlayer (all up sampled to DSD128) -> Sonore urendu (Uptone JS2 PS) -> Lampizator Golden Gate DAC -> Valvet A4 Monoblocks -> Zu Audio Definitions Mk4

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Hi Jordan - Your very welcome, I enjoy helping people who enjoy this wonderful hobby. A netbook should be totally fine for remote control. If it runs Windows it will work perfect. If it runs Linux you'll just have to find the right VNC application for controlling the music server.

 

Let me know what else you need.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Chris, that is awesome! The netbook route makes for a great remote in that it is small enough not to be a nuisance and large/powerful enough that you can work directly with the player software interface!! Three more quick questions:

 

1.) Does it matter what windows software is used for the netbook (I assume Vista home, XP home are all able to be used via Remote Desktop)?

 

2a.) Dell offers the 530 with XP professional for an additional $150, BUT it appears that it still comes with Vista installed? Am I better off buying the Vista machine, reformatting the HD, reloading the drivers, and loading a fresh copy of XP Pro? I have a license for XP Pro from a no longer used computer.

 

2b.) If I wiped the HD, which drivers are absolutely needed? It's been a real long time since I "reformatted" a hard drive, so I'm sure there is some learning required.

 

Thanks,

 

Jordan

 

Synology NAS -> Quadcore i7, 3.8GHz -> RoonServer -> HQPlayer (all up sampled to DSD128) -> Sonore urendu (Uptone JS2 PS) -> Lampizator Golden Gate DAC -> Valvet A4 Monoblocks -> Zu Audio Definitions Mk4

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