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Article: Computer Audiophile Pocket Server C.A.P.S. v3 Zuma


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Thank you Ehous,

 

I´ll check the SC isolation transformers and your BNC on the PCI slot setup.

 

I´ve already isolated the 5v pole from the MD header.

 

Have you evaluated the Coax output against the USB one?

 

BR

 

Rolf

 

On your spdif header, I experimented with several isolation transformers before finding Scientific Conversions. They offer the best digital isolaters of all I tried. The one he recommended I use had a shield that I shorted to the computer chassis and with a neutric isolated bnc on a pci slot plate, it worked great. Something to consider.

 

Also, if your spdif header on the mb has three poles, remove the third wire. It's a 5 volt feed for optical and adds noise.

R.Bremer

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Note, I used a neutrik bnc with isolation from the chassis. The edges had to be filed down flat to fit in the pic space. Ground the shield to the pic bracket. And your output will be shielded. I could send a picture if you think it will help.

 

As for comparison. I just did it this week end for who knows how many times, with the newer usb, USB is better. However, the generations prior to a few years ago ( dacs & pc's ) I liked the spdif better. All my opinion of course...

 

Thank you Ehous,

 

I´ll check the SC isolation transformers and your BNC on the PCI slot setup.

 

I´ve already isolated the 5v pole from the MD header.

 

Have you evaluated the Coax output against the USB one?

 

BR

 

Rolf

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Could you not screw some stand-offs onto the bottom of the SSD to raise it up, then screw through the bottom of the case as (it appears) is recommended for securing a drive normally?

 

Eloise

 

I guess one could try to find a threaded spacer, male on one end, female on the other, elevate the SSD and fit the SOtM filter upside down. Seems like a lot of work. If the mounting holes on the SSD drive went all the way through (the lid of the SSD) it would be a lot less hassle. It baffles me as to why SOtM decided to design their filter in this manner.

Speakers: Egglestonworks Andra III front left/right and centre; Egglestonworks Rosa as surround; Rel Stentor II subwoofer. Synergistic Research Element Copper speaker cable. Cardas Clear Light interconnect. Amps: Krel FPB-200 and 2 x Krell KAV 150a. Theta Casablanca IV with multichannel Dirac Live. Oppo 103. Isotek GII Titan power conditioning. Acoustic treatments: 2 x RPG Modex Plates; RPG 100mm BAD panels; RPG Skylines.

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I guess one could try to find a threaded spacer, male on one end, female on the other, elevate the SSD and fit the SOtM filter upside down. Seems like a lot of work. If the mounting holes on the SSD drive went all the way through (the lid of the SSD) it would be a lot less hassle. It baffles me as to why SOtM decided to design their filter in this manner.

I guess the design fits straight into the drive and most drives tend to be mounted in some form of support where the rear end hangs over so there's no problem...

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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guys,

i have a zum running windows 7 64 bit version.

i have a sotm pci express usb 3 .0 card and Ayre QB-9 DAC.

anyone knows the link to the drivers to be downloaded.?

the qb-9 dac by default does not detected. if i plug into the motherboards native ports it shows up fine.

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guys,

i have a zum running windows 7 64 bit version.

i have a sotm pci express usb 3 .0 card and Ayre QB-9 DAC.

anyone knows the link to the drivers to be downloaded.?

the qb-9 dac by default does not detected. if i plug into the motherboards native ports it shows up fine.

 

Perfect timing, in that I just took delivery of my new QB-9 a few days ago.

 

Folks may recall that the demo version I had borrowed from my local dealer would not work correctly with the SOtM USB 3.0 card. My ZUMA computer detected the Ayre correctly and the Ayre played (using JRiver), but whenever I tried to stop what was playing and play something else (or did similar very ordinary things, such as pausing play, etc.) the JRiver software would hang. Ending the JRiver from Task Manager would work, but JRiver would then not restart since Windows thought that it was already running. I had to restart the ZUMA to get going again. Long story short is that the Ayre did not work correctly when attached to the SOtM card.

 

Similarly, the demo QB-9 did not work with the "stock" USB 3.0 ports on the ZUMA either. This time, playback consisted of just chirpy snippets of music.

 

The QB-9 demo worked perfectly, however, with the stock USB 2.0 ports.

 

That's where the story stood until I took delivery of my own QB-9. But this time, the story is entirely different. So far, through three listening sessions, the QB-9 has worked perfectly through the SOtM USB 3.0 port. But there is a difference, and this is that I installed the Streamlength USB driver, version 1.26 software that is now available on the Ayre web site. Ayre in just the past couple of weeks has added a setup section for Windows 8 computers.(I think that the Streamlength driver on the Ayre site is simply a signed version of the Thesycon driver, but I'm not certain.) In any case, with the driver installed the QB-9 has worked perfectly. So, it can be done.

 

If this helps any I'm using a stock ZUMA purchased from Small Green Computer and JRiver version 18.0.106. The SOtM drivers I'm using are the ones that were preinstalled by Small Green Computer. So, I'd not doing anything special there. I don't know why the Ayre isn't detected through the SOtM USB 3.0 port. The only thing that jumps out at me is that I installed the Streamlength driver described in the previous paragraph. I did that before doing anything else, so don't know what would have happend w/o that driver installed.

 

Hope this helps.

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Chris said, regarding motherboard + Sotm USB: "The consumption reached 60 watts maximum but the steady state was about 22 watts.", so I understand that for 12V that would be 1.83Amp steady state and 5 amp max.

Cable Modem w/Mojo 5 power-> Innuos Zenith SE running Roon+Tidal-> Totaldac server-> Totaldac Twelve SE-> CH Precision L1+X1-> 2x Krell FPB 750mcx-> Modded Dunlavy SC-VI w/ Duelund crossovers  Cables: Kubala Realization (speaker), Echole Omnia 2x XLR and 3x AES, Totaldac Gigafilter USB,  Other: Echole Omnia power cables, SRA Scuttle mk.3 Rack, SRA VR 3.0 platforms, four dedicated 20A lines

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Perfect timing, in that I just took delivery of my new QB-9 a few days ago.

 

Folks may recall that the demo version I had borrowed from my local dealer would not work correctly with the SOtM USB 3.0 card. My ZUMA computer detected the Ayre correctly and the Ayre played (using JRiver), but whenever I tried to stop what was playing and play something else (or did similar very ordinary things, such as pausing play, etc.) the JRiver software would hang. Ending the JRiver from Task Manager would work, but JRiver would then not restart since Windows thought that it was already running. I had to restart the ZUMA to get going again. Long story short is that the Ayre did not work correctly when attached to the SOtM card.

 

Similarly, the demo QB-9 did not work with the "stock" USB 3.0 ports on the ZUMA either. This time, playback consisted of just chirpy snippets of music.

 

The QB-9 demo worked perfectly, however, with the stock USB 2.0 ports.

 

That's where the story stood until I took delivery of my own QB-9. But this time, the story is entirely different. So far, through three listening sessions, the QB-9 has worked perfectly through the SOtM USB 3.0 port. But there is a difference, and this is that I installed the Streamlength USB driver, version 1.26 software that is now available on the Ayre web site. Ayre in just the past couple of weeks has added a setup section for Windows 8 computers.(I think that the Streamlength driver on the Ayre site is simply a signed version of the Thesycon driver, but I'm not certain.) In any case, with the driver installed the QB-9 has worked perfectly. So, it can be done.

 

If this helps any I'm using a stock ZUMA purchased from Small Green Computer and JRiver version 18.0.106. The SOtM drivers I'm using are the ones that were preinstalled by Small Green Computer. So, I'd not doing anything special there. I don't know why the Ayre isn't detected through the SOtM USB 3.0 port. The only thing that jumps out at me is that I installed the Streamlength driver described in the previous paragraph. I did that before doing anything else, so don't know what would have happend w/o that driver installed.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

thank norman. actually my problem was silly and error was on my side.after i changed the power switch on the card to bus powered mode then the DAC got detected.

however i have another issue.when i install the driver from ayre site the 1.26 version it failes to detect the DAC.it keeps on prompting make sure the DAC is connected and powered on.i unplugged and plugged it back again but still does not help.

any pointers?

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Thanks, vpnogueira.

 

Yes, CraigL, the dual output Keces can't go above 3 amps in a dual output configuration, but Adrian, the importer says that configured as a single rail, it can support 6 amps, so it could power the Mobo. And another Keces with 2 rails could power the SOtM and if desired, an independently powered SSD boot disc, like the guys at the Jplay.eu forum say really makes a difference and what Item Audio from the UK (who has responded to threads on CA) agrees is important -- and why he advocates an ITX motherboard with independent boot drive power source.

 

I'm planning on trying putting my SSD boot drive on its own power in my Zuma when I get back in May. I'll post the results then.

MG555

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  • 2 weeks later...

Chris,

 

There is an alternative to using silicone thermal grease that may work for this application. That is with any good quality anti-oxidant compound such as Noalox. I've used Noalox over the years in place of thermal grease with the assembly of high power stud-type SCR's to heat sinks and solid state relays to heat sinks.

 

Noalox is much more user friendly, easier to apply and cleanup is simple. With electrical assembly, Noalox has the advantage of being both electrically and thermally conductive.

 

Stephen

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Hi,

thank you very much for these set-ups. They are exactly what I am looking for. I have a 3 year old HTPC which is pretty powerfull and good. But very loud and large. Therefore I want to sell it and get a new slim and silent HTPC.

 

I live in germany and find it difficult to follow the instructions myself since I have only little experiences in building pcs. I found a store in the UK but they are not building anymore your recommended pc. Buying from outside the EU is not an option due to the high customs charges and of course warranty.

 

They are offering this as an alternative:

[TABLE]

[TR]

[TH=class: left]tem[/TH]

[TH=class: right]Price each[/TH]

[TH]Qty[/TH]

[TH=class: right]Total[/TH]

[/TR]

[TR=class: item system]

[TD=class: cellphoto]sys-sidewindersm.png

[/TD]

[TD=class: celldetails]Quiet PC Sidewinder Fanless Media PC 2.5GHz16GB120GB + 1TB

[/TD]

[TD=class: cellprice]£1.401,56

[/TD]

[TD=class: cellquantity]

[/TD]

[TD=class: cellprice]£1.401,56

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR=class: item configuration]

[TD=colspan: 4]

    Configured as follows:
     
  • Streacom FC5OD EVO Black Fanless HTPC Aluminium Chassis
  • Streacom SC30 Internal USB3.0 Cable for Streacom Chassis
  • Gigabyte GA-Z77MX-D3H LGA1155 Micro ATX Motherboard
  • Intel Core i7 3770T 2.5GHz 45W Quad Core CPU
  • Corsair 16GB (2x8GB) XMS3 DDR3 Memory
  • picoPSU 160W picoPSU and AC/DC adapter block
  • KingSpec Challenger E3000-120 Enterprise Grade 120GB SATA 3.0 SSD
  • Samsung Spinpoint 1TB 2.5in HDD M8 HN-M101MBB
  • Streacom ST-OB2 Slot-Load Blu-ray Drive for Streacom Chassis
  • SOtM SATA SSD/HDD/ODD Electrical Noise Filter II
  • SOtM SATA SSD/HDD/ODD Electrical Noise Filter II
  • Streacom ST-IRPB IR Receiver PCB only, no Remote Handset
  • SOtM tX-USBexp Audiophile-quality PCI Express USB Card

 

[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

 

Is this a good alternative? It is a little expensive. Any recommendation to reduce the price? Should I use some other parts or try to build the original configuration myself?

 

Thanks,

Timur

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Looks a pretty good alternative - the only real difference is the motherboard and that should make very little difference. You probably don't want internal storage - just the SSD boot disk.

 

As for other parts to reduce the price - well you could go for the i3 option that should be powerful enough for running J.River; infact if you're not wanting to do upsampling or signal processing (such as room correction) then an Atom based PC is powerful enough...

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Hi Eloise, thank you very much. Can you please eloberate why internal storage is not a good idea? What else is your recommendation for storage? CPU Power is important for room correction and 1080p Video feedback. Would an I5 be enough already?

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Hi Eloise, thank you very much. Can you please eloberate why internal storage is not a good idea? What else is your recommendation for storage? CPU Power is important for room correction and 1080p Video feedback. Would an I5 be enough already?

For video the graphics section is more important IMO - the i7 3770T has the 4000HD GPU IIRC which is available in some i5 processors too...

 

Internal storage is usually avoided because of potential for noise (physical mostly). Use an external eSATA (or USB or FireWire) or NAS device.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Internal storage is usually avoided because of potential for noise (physical mostly). Use an external eSATA (or USB or FireWire) or NAS device.

I read this all the time on these forums and wonder what external drives you use that are actually quieter than an internal one might be? All the external drives I have (I have four) are extremely noisy, MUCH more than any internal drive I have ever used. A NAS in another room sure, but an external drive connected with eSATA (or any other interface)? I am not convinced.

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Robert H,

Personally I have my NAS located two floors above my HTPC. This wasn't really done by design, but I can tell you with only a SSD and no fan in my HTPC there is no way I can ANY drive noise ;-)

 

When people are stating to use an external drive, I imagine they have a setup like mine where the NAS is located in a different room.

 

voider78,

When I was researching my HTPC configuration I wanted to make sure it would work well for both listening to music and watching music. That is why I went with the CAPS v3 Zuma build (without the SOtM USB card or filter). It was recommended by both Chris and Assassin on his HTPC Blog. Assassin is very popular on AVS Forum and has branched out and started his own Blog wher he makes HTPC build recommendations,

 

I used the Ivy Bridge i3-3225 3.3 GHz Dual Core which came with the HD4000 onboard video. According to Assassin, the Ivy Bridge i3-3220T 2.8 GHz Dual Core with the HD 2500 graphics which will do 3D, 1080p and HD Audio. When he was recommending the Sandy Bridge i3 processor he wrote:

 

"Like the Ivy Bridge, the older Sandy Bridge does it all. It has plenty of power for all 1080p and 3D movies (it will use less than 10% of it power during playback). Advantages over the even older Clarkdale is the built-in on-board HD AND 3D integrated graphics (yes you read that right — you don’t need a separate video card to watch either 1080p HD OR 3D — the HD2000 integrated graphics is built right in to the cpu and motherboard), slightly increased power, and slightly decreased power consumption. These are phenomenal systems if you need the extra power or want to have the best of the best. There is no need to “upgrade” to an i5 or i7 – this CPU is PLENTY."

 

Hope this helps. Remember, everyone has different requirements so your mileage may vary...

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

How do you get the power cord from the Black Lightning to the Motherboard (Intel DH77EB MicroATX) in the Zuma?

Headamp Blue Hawaii Special Edition / Stax SR-009, SR-007 MKI, SR-007 MKII

Lumin A-1 Network Player

iPAD Pro / JRemote App

JRiver 21 / unRAID NAS

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  • 3 weeks later...

ZUMA - problem.

 

I have had a Zuma with JRiver and Playback Designs MPS-5 since 3/2013. No problems until a few days ago it started having short periods with no music during music playback. Song playing, short gap, same song continues to play. I happens in all sampling rates.

 

I checked the latency with Thesycon. Still 1004micro seconds, no change. Not able to decrease it either.

 

Checked the JRiver setup, no changes, ASIO driver for MPS-5. Still there. Tried increasing the buffer of Jriver, problem still there.

 

Then I uninstalled and re-installed JRiver. Problem still there.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thanks.

Cable Modem w/Mojo 5 power-> Innuos Zenith SE running Roon+Tidal-> Totaldac server-> Totaldac Twelve SE-> CH Precision L1+X1-> 2x Krell FPB 750mcx-> Modded Dunlavy SC-VI w/ Duelund crossovers  Cables: Kubala Realization (speaker), Echole Omnia 2x XLR and 3x AES, Totaldac Gigafilter USB,  Other: Echole Omnia power cables, SRA Scuttle mk.3 Rack, SRA VR 3.0 platforms, four dedicated 20A lines

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