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I have made two prior inquiries to this forum concerning servers which will sound great. Keeping in mind that I am using an Ayre QB-9, which is asynchronous,the following is what I have come up with:

 

CAPS Zuma with Windows 12 server, Optimizer and JRiver. Cost $2,200.00

CAPS Zuma as above with linear power supply Cost $3,200.00

Mac Mini I7, ssd, JRiver, Audirvana, Amarra Cost $1,250.00

Mac Mini as above with linear power supply, Keces Cost $1,750.00

(prices are approximate)

 

What is the best option weighing in the quality of sound versus cost?

Thanks

Mark

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I would do the Mac Mini I7, and add John Swenson's and Alex's Linear Power Supply. For the cost and given the QB9, Imthink it will definitely give you the most bang for the buck, as well as sound that rivals the two C.A.Ps servers.

 

Paul

 

 

I have made two prior inquiries to this forum concerning servers which will sound great. Keeping in mind that I am using an Ayre QB-9, which is asynchronous,the following is what I have come up with:

 

CAPS Zuma with Windows 12 server, Optimizer and JRiver. Cost $2,200.00

CAPS Zuma as above with linear power supply Cost $3,200.00

Mac Mini I7, ssd, JRiver, Audirvana, Amarra Cost $1,250.00

Mac Mini as above with linear power supply, Keces Cost $1,750.00

(prices are approximate)

 

What is the best option weighing in the quality of sound versus cost?

Thanks

Mark

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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I would do the Mac Mini I7, and add John Swenson's and Alex's Linear Power Supply. For the cost and given the QB9, Imthink it will definitely give you the most bang for the buck, as well as sound that rivals the two C.A.Ps servers.

 

Paul

 

The MAC is clearly not in the class Server 2012 with the Optimizer. You can go with the ZUMA and add the PPA Studio USB card which is major upgrade over the MB USB. A good lab grade linear supply is a cost effective PS upgrade.

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At the costs for the CAPS ... try to get a demo of the Aurender X100.

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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The MAC is clearly not in the class Server 2012 with the Optimizer. You can go with the ZUMA and add the PPA Studio USB card which is major upgrade over the MB USB. A good lab grade linear supply is a cost effective PS upgrade.

 

Well, that is your opinion, and you are welcome to it, but it is not a fact and many people disagree. Including me.

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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So you have listened to / owned, Server 2012 with AO and a PPA Studio USB card?

 

Well, if you mean a CAPS Zuma, I have listened to one. And yes, I own Windows Server, including 2012. I have used a SOTA card and a SotM USBexp PCIe card with battery power. Among others. And you might note from my signature I like the sound of Windows.

 

Declaring it absolutely better than a Mac? Nope, not willing to go there. But you can, as I said, you are welcome to your opinion. Different opinions are what makes the world go round. I don't have a religious type need to support one platform over the other though.

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Well, if you mean a CAPS Zuma, I have listened to one. And yes, I own Windows Server, including 2012. I have used a SOTA card and a SotM USBexp PCIe card with battery power. Among others. And you might note from my signature I like the sound of Windows.

 

Declaring it absolutely better than a Mac? Nope, not willing to go there. But you can, as I said, you are welcome to your opinion. Different opinions are what makes the world go round. I don't have a religious type need to support one platform over the other though.

 

-Paul

 

Ok,

 

But please if you are so inclined try Server with AO in core mode. It is clearer better IMO. I own a MAC and have compared it. I actually have plugged my Mini back in on different occasions for comparison , and there is a difference.

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What is the linear PSU for the Zuma that is $1,000 - not that I can help because I've not heard the Mac options? The Zuma sounds good as Chris designed it but a linear to the picoPSU can (not always - some of the cheaper variable ones have fans and transformer hum) sound "better" and then an extra linear to the cpu and 2 Bakoon BPS-02 to the sata and usb card would cost £800/$1200ish (2 x Maplins Xm21X and 2 x Bakoon BPS-02) in the UK. I'm not sure whether Chris ever got the Black Lightning sorted for the Zuma as that could be a consideration as he mentions the Carbon as his reference (presumably with the BL) in the Aurender w20 article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

One option, the one I'm using now, is to Bootcamp a Mac Mini, install WS2012 & Audiophile Optimizer, and I'm getting great sound (I prefer over my Mini's Maverick optimized partition running Audirvana). My Mini runs of a BatteryBuss, so it's battery powered.

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Well, that is your opinion, and you are welcome to it, but it is not a fact and many people disagree. Including me.

 

Hi Paul,

 

I am curious whether you compared Win2K with AO and the Mini. Did you tweak your Mini?

 

Cheers

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One option, the one I'm using now, is to Bootcamp a Mac Mini, install WS2012 & Audiophile Optimizer, and I'm getting great sound (I prefer over my Mini's Maverick optimized partition running Audirvana). My Mini runs of a BatteryBuss, so it's battery powered.

 

Hi Audioclyde,

 

Thanks for sharing. What did you do to clean up the USB in the Mini?

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Hi Audioclyde,

 

Thanks for sharing. What did you do to clean up the USB in the Mini?

Phil's Optimizer :)! No, I haven't done any other mods to the usb, although I mostly use the usb to feed an Audiobyte Hydra X, but that's a personal preference with respect to digital connection/signal path to my DAC.

 

I'm not claiming this setup beats a CAPS setup--I haven't heard one--but IMHO it bests my optimized Mavericks/Audirvana partition pretty easily, and I've had much better experience with Mac's over pc's over the past 20 years.

 

I'm seriously considering adding another computer, so I can try the dual 'PC' route, and can't make up my mind with regard to trying a PC build of some sorts. Besides the complexity (I'm not one to do my own build), by my comparisons going with a PC build is going to come in quite a bit more expensive.....

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No he have never actually used it. He is able to tell how something sounds without ever even hearing it! A great feat I might add...

 

Hi Bob, having another attack of assholeitis today? Or did you just get your head stuck up there again?

 

I have a CAPs v3 Carbon and a CAPs v1. I also have several Macs, several Windows PCs, and a few other less common machines around here.

 

What have *you* spent money and time obtaining and listening to, besides your own loud voice?

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Hi Paul,

 

Please don't view my post as an attack, as I am genuinely interested. As you might have read I currently use a Mini, albeit quite customized. However, the SoTM USB card and the AO/Win2K have me wondering whether to throw in the towel on the Mini and (sadly) spend more cash on an AO/Win2K/Jriver setup.

 

I would love to know from those that may have already gone down that path and learn from their experiences. Hence my earlier question to you.

 

Cheers

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Hi Paul,

 

Please don't view my post as an attack, as I am genuinely interested. As you might have read I currently use a Mini, albeit quite customized. However, the SoTM USB card and the AO/Win2K have me wondering whether to throw in the towel on the Mini and (sadly) spend more cash on an AO/Win2K/Jriver setup.

 

I would love to know from those that may have already gone down that path and learn from their experiences. Hence my earlier question to you.

 

Cheers

 

I am not- I think it is a subjective difference. If JRMC sounds better to you on Mac hardware running Windows, then it might be worth the time and effort to build a custom PC to get the best sound you prefer. I think the sound from Windows is generally very musical, and you loose some of that on the Mac platform, especially in PCM. The Mac can sound too accurate, and a little forward, which is less likely under Windows. Not impossible to achieve, but less likely.

 

It pretty much boils down to a choice. And, if you like to tinker, Windows PCs are a lot of fun!

 

I am kind if waiting to see what CAPS v4 looks like- I would bet it might be Linux based, which again, sounds different to me from Mac or Windows. Linux usually sounds very good, often better than off the shelf Windows or MacOS.

 

The best sound I think is from Peter St. And Miska's players. The reason I don't use them all the time here is usability. JRMC or iTunes, or LMS/Vortexbox is much more usable to me.

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Hi Bob, having another attack of assholeitis today? Or did you just get your head stuck up there again?

 

I have a CAPs v3 Carbon and a CAPs v1. I also have several Macs, several Windows PCs, and a few other less common machines around here.

 

What have *you* spent money and time obtaining and listening to, besides your own loud voice?

 

Try and learn some manners... The conversation was Server 2012 and Audiophile Optimizer and the PPA card. Your others WINDOWS PCs are not the same... I realize you like to bully people with your opinions, but some prefer facts.

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Hi Paul,

 

Please don't view my post as an attack, as I am genuinely interested. As you might have read I currently use a Mini, albeit quite customized. However, the SoTM USB card and the AO/Win2K have me wondering whether to throw in the towel on the Mini and (sadly) spend more cash on an AO/Win2K/Jriver setup.

 

I would love to know from those that may have already gone down that path and learn from their experiences. Hence my earlier question to you.

 

Cheers

 

I have both a Mini and a Caps. Win 2012 AO system is clearly superior. I would suggest the PPA card over the SoTM though. You will get many ideas from others who have not actually tried what you have. Good luck...

 

regards

Bob

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Try and learn some manners... The conversation was Server 2012 and Audiophile Optimizer and the PPA card. Your others WINDOWS PCs are not the same... I realize you like to bully people with your opinions, but some prefer facts.

 

Try and learn some yourself - your ideas are usually far from facts and you react in a very hostile manner to anyone who does not agree with you.

 

I tend to not back down in my ideas, unless someone clearly shows me either a better theory or an error. That is not the same as bullying, which is an emotional, hostile, offensive attitude manifested in childish power/control attempts. I dislike bullies in the extreme, and am quite willing for other people to go to hell - or heaven - in their own way at their own pace.

 

Go look in a mirror.

 

As for sonic differences between Windows Server 2012 vs. Windows 7, Winodws Server 2008, or Windows 8.1 - I would take Windows 8.1. Again, it is a matter of preference. I think both MacOS and Linux sound better than Windows. (shrug)

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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