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If You Were Building A New C.A.P.S. today...


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I'm thinking of replacing, my "bastardized" Topanga build (based on this http://www.habeyusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/BIS-6761.pdf)...with a "Carbon" build; at least starting with a Wesena e4 case.

 

First, of what be many such questions: but, if you were in my shoes...is the DN2800MT board, still the way to go?

 

Wesena says the case will accept a micro ATX or mini ITX MoBo; anything "better" these days...considering CC spec-ed these builds, coming up on a 16 months ago now?

(CD)Lehner "This whole world, is wild at heart...and weird on top" - Lula Pace Fortune

 

MAIN System- Auralic Aries Mini> Mytek Brooklyn> ARC LS-26> B.A.T. 250SE> PMC Twenty-Five 23s

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The DN2800MT board has still many advantages IMO:

 

- wide range DC input, which allows easy PSU upgrades

- low power consumption (4A / 12V PSU is enough)

- low TDP

- up to 8GB RAM support (when used with Win 8/64 or Win 2012)

- PCIe output

- HDMI output

 

The only real downside is limited computing power, meaning it is good, as long you don't plan using any resampling features (or similar computing power intensive processes).

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

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The DN2800MT board has still many advantages IMO:

 

- wide range DC input, which allows easy PSU upgrades

- low power consumption (4A / 12V PSU is enough)

- low TDP

- up to 8GB RAM support (when used with Win 8/64 or Win 2012)

- PCIe output

- HDMI output

 

The only real downside is limited computing power, meaning it is good, as long you don't plan using any resampling features (or similar computing power intensive processes).

 

Nice info; thanks. No...my approach, is always to keep the "player" from doing too much.

(CD)Lehner "This whole world, is wild at heart...and weird on top" - Lula Pace Fortune

 

MAIN System- Auralic Aries Mini> Mytek Brooklyn> ARC LS-26> B.A.T. 250SE> PMC Twenty-Five 23s

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The Zuma style but with a dh87rl board and a I7 4770T and a good linear or 2 or 4 or 2 and 2 batteries depending on budget. The wide input picoPSU can be used if you want to use different >12v PSUs. I would also use WS2012 instead of W8/8.1 and the optimiser and the PPA solid state drive with a PPA red sata cable and PPA usb card. I'd do a few other things as well and maybe consider 2 Ultrastream servers depending on how much I wanted to spend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well...I wanted a Wesena E4 v3 (in Black); but it looks like they might be gone, until PHT decides to re-badge them.

 

So I picked one of these up, instead LIAN LI Black Aluminum PC-Q05B Mini ITX Media Center / HTPC Case - Newegg.com

 

Yeah, yeah...I know; no expansion slot, for a USB card. IDK; for $45 shipped, I'm going to see if I can make it work (and if I find, I absolutely need a card...I think it looks like it can be modded easily enough).

 

And I grabbed a DN2800MT; so I'm half-way there...to my 3rd C.A.P.S. build.

(CD)Lehner "This whole world, is wild at heart...and weird on top" - Lula Pace Fortune

 

MAIN System- Auralic Aries Mini> Mytek Brooklyn> ARC LS-26> B.A.T. 250SE> PMC Twenty-Five 23s

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Is DN2800MT still the top-tier motherboard to get now or there is a better motherboard out there?

It's a good choice for the use Chris intended i.e. low power systems. I'm not sure there are any "top tier" motherboards but I tend to use Intel and do like the dh87rl with the 4770t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IME power supply on the motherboard matters ie power supply for the CPU and RAM. Now whether the board I am using is better than any other is a matter I can't comment on, but for my board I find that running a higher number of power phases results in a more detailed and articulate sound, less phases is more laid back. I'm not sure whether this is a noise thing or a transient response thing, I am more inclined to think it has to do with transient response. I am also using Ivy bridge, while the current Haswell CPU's have voltage regulation on the die itself to further improve transient response, so I can't say whether motherboard power has as much of an influence. Apparently switching power can have better transient response than digital voltage regulation, so maybe the expensive boards eg from Asus are not necessary, I simply don't know. Perhaps someone with more money to blow on this part of the hobby could answer this better.

 

Regarding motherboard features, I turn off as many controllers as possible from bios as I find it lowers the noise floor and distortion. In this regard I could probably live without the numerous USB and SATA controllers found on some boards.

 

I have also experimented with underclocking CPU and disabling cores, my underclock was unsuccessful and resulted in a grainy sound. Disabling cores was more interesting, disabling one core resulted in a more laid back sound which some might mistake for having a blacker background, but was just skimping on the high frequencies. 2 cores was grainy and lacking detail and nuance. I would be inclined to go with the more powerful CPU that can be cooled by the case or heatsink.

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Added to all this hand-wringing...is the question of, just how much does the "transport" in this case, "matter".

 

Of course it does, to some extent; no getting around the 'ole GIGO principle. But aren't well-designed DACs, supposed to clean up...at least some of the inevitable sonic hash, of computer streaming?

 

Don't get me wrong; I'm a CA, just like all of you :) I guess everyone's, just got a different line that they draw.

(CD)Lehner "This whole world, is wild at heart...and weird on top" - Lula Pace Fortune

 

MAIN System- Auralic Aries Mini> Mytek Brooklyn> ARC LS-26> B.A.T. 250SE> PMC Twenty-Five 23s

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drez: Can you clarify what you mean by phases?

I find that running a higher number of power phases results in a more detailed and articulate sound, less phases is more laid back. I'm not sure whether this is a noise thing or a transient response thing, I am more inclined to think it has to do with transient response.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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Another way to look at this is that once you get into good DACs, this still makes a difference- maybe THE difference. Every DAC I have heard has varied or been limited by the source.

Added to all this hand-wringing...is the question of, just how much does the "transport" in this case, "matter".

 

Of course it does, to some extent; no getting around the 'ole GIGO principle. But aren't well-designed DACs, supposed to clean up...at least some of the inevitable sonic hash, of computer streaming?

 

Don't get me wrong; I'm a CA, just like all of you :) I guess everyone's, just got a different line that they draw.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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I'm not sure there are any "top tier" motherboards but I tend to use Intel and do like the dh87rl with the 4770t.

The problem with that statement is (as far as I know) Intel are ending production of all motherboards.

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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It may be too late for my comments, but...

 

IMO, Windows Server 2012 running in core mode with Audiophile Optimizer and JPLAY is an absolute MUST. The Intel Atom based boards are too weak to handle JPLAY. There is also a significant difference when using ECC RAM with a capable motherboard. A good USB output card is the item the whole PC should be built around. I would not build a new music PC without these programs and features.

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The problem with that statement is (as far as I know) Intel are ending production of all motherboards.

 

Some of the OEMs who make some of the boards for Intel have produced replacements e.g. the dn2800mt replacement Mitac pd11ti. I agree though it could be a problem in the future, I do use other boards in my A-Tech cases that use m-ITX (e.g. MSI Z87I) but really like the dh87rl/4770t combination in the Zuma-style builds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It may be too late for my comments, but...

 

IMO, Windows Server 2012 running in core mode with Audiophile Optimizer and JPLAY is an absolute MUST. The Intel Atom based boards are too weak to handle JPLAY. There is also a significant difference when using ECC RAM with a capable motherboard. A good USB output card is the item the whole PC should be built around. I would not build a new music PC without these programs and features.

 

I agree and have recently built a server with all the features you mention. I'm "only" using WS2012, Optimizer, and JRiver, though. Not JPlay. Are you running with JPlay on a singlePC? I'm intrigued with JPlay in a singlePC...worth it?

 

BTW, I'm getting fantastic sound as it is now.

Roon Server: general purpose Gigabyte GA-Z170X UD5, i5 6600, Crucial MX200 SSD, HyperX 1x16GB RAM, Win 10 Pro, convolving in Roon digital xo + DRC + upsampling. Output through ethernet.

Roon Client AudioPC: Uptone etherRegen (with LPS 1.2) into Intel S1200KPR, Xeon E3 1265lv2, Crucial V4 SSD for OS, 8GB ECC RAM, Streacom FC8 Evo case, lab linear PSU, Windows Server 2019, AudioPhil's Optimizer, Acourate (digital xo, room correction)

Rest of Chain: Lynx Hilo as 8-channel DAC, McIntosh MC275 MkIV for mids & treble, Hypex UcD400HG for midbass into DIY dipoles 18" midbass/2x8" mids/AMT tweeter, 2 DIY 12" Rythmik subs, Equi=Core 1800 balanced power, dedicated power lines, room treatments

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I run the Lian case and a Intel Thin Mini ITX DQ77KB mb. The case is designed for a Thin Mini ITX Intel Mother Boards, and Intel's heat sink, but I am not sure it is the same form factor as a mini ITX. I may be wrong, but I know of only 2 Intel mother boards that are thin mini ITX. Since your board you have has it own heat sink it may fit fine.

I've seen people use a flexible riser to stuff in a card. I've posted these recently, but here are some pictures of the Lian with heat sink and thin mini board.

 

DSC_1654_zps348bb941.jpg

 

DSC_1647_zps3f9db753.jpg

 

I didn't want to mod and try and get a card in there, so I went with external SOtM USB to SPDIF convertor (battery as power supply). I also thought on the DQ77KB that the USB 3 had different power specs. You can see one bank is blue and the other yellow. Both work fine, but don't know if that is a concern. Not a ton of room to add a card. I love the case, the only issue I have is the torque from a spinning hard drive will move it around a bit.

Dahlquist DQ-10 Speakers DQ-LP1 crossover 2 DW-1 Subs

Dynaco Mk III Mains - Rotel 991 Subs

Wyred W4S Pre Gustard X10 DAC

SOtM dx-USB-HD reclocked SOtMmBPS-d2s

Intel Thin-mini ITX

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Hey; thanks for the post Harpy! Hmm...now you've got me wondering, if the DN2800MY will work in this case.

(CD)Lehner "This whole world, is wild at heart...and weird on top" - Lula Pace Fortune

 

MAIN System- Auralic Aries Mini> Mytek Brooklyn> ARC LS-26> B.A.T. 250SE> PMC Twenty-Five 23s

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I agree and have recently built a server with all the features you mention. I'm "only" using WS2012, Optimizer, and JRiver, though. Not JPlay. Are you running with JPlay on a singlePC? I'm intrigued with JPlay in a singlePC...worth it?

 

BTW, I'm getting fantastic sound as it is now.

 

JPLAY 5.2 gives me a significant increase in clarity and imaging. I do run a single PC. Try the trial version.

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Hey; thanks for the post Harpy! Hmm...now you've got me wondering, if the DN2800MY will work in this case.

 

It is pretty tight. Even with the right board you still have to use angled SATA connectors or you hit the top of the case. The cables are included with the thin mini boards, thankfully. I do love the case. MB not ideal, but there weren't a ton of Q77 chipsets in Mini ITX with DC in when I was looking at least. The Yellow USB 3 are "high power charging" I don't know if that is bad mojo for audio. I use the blue and am afraid of the yellow. Its been speedy and reliable with a low watt I3.

Dahlquist DQ-10 Speakers DQ-LP1 crossover 2 DW-1 Subs

Dynaco Mk III Mains - Rotel 991 Subs

Wyred W4S Pre Gustard X10 DAC

SOtM dx-USB-HD reclocked SOtMmBPS-d2s

Intel Thin-mini ITX

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If going for a new build I would highly recommend buying a board from Paul Pang with his improved clock.

SHOPPING AREA: Clock Upgrade Module for Main Board

I was very sceptical about what an improvement could be had thinking a normal Mobo clock should be pretty good but it makes a big difference, ranks up there with all the clean power improvements to be had when building for audio playback alone.

I soldered in the clock upgrade in to my MSI board at the weekend and was staggered at the improvement.

Only downside is that you will end up adding another clean PS to the clock if you want the best out of it.

I am up to 7 power supplies to my audio PC at the moment but it is all worth it.

Audio PC - Gigabyte H97M-D3H, i7 at 800Mhz, RAM at 800Mhz & PPA OCXO Mobo, Teradak ATX Linear for 20 pin ATX on Mobo, Paul Hynes SR7EHD 12v, 5v & 5v supply on Mobo, Stammheim 12x LT3045's for 1.3v to RAM direct supply, JCat V2 USB Card, WTFPlay Linux Audiophile Player control by MELE F10, Startech LEX to REX on 12v Paul Hynes with 2x SLC cards and out by POE to ISO/Regen, PPA Red USB Cable, Lampizator Big7, Nige design Lifepo4 powered amp, Raidho C1s.

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That much wiring to/from the clock is a very bad idea

 

(And it doesn't look like much of a clock)

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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That much wiring to/from the clock is a very bad idea

 

(And it doesn't look like much of a clock)

I could not argue against any of your comments and believe me when I say I too was sceptical but there is n doubting the improvement, most times with upgrades I struggle to hear what others claim to hear but this one is easy to hear.

Audio PC - Gigabyte H97M-D3H, i7 at 800Mhz, RAM at 800Mhz & PPA OCXO Mobo, Teradak ATX Linear for 20 pin ATX on Mobo, Paul Hynes SR7EHD 12v, 5v & 5v supply on Mobo, Stammheim 12x LT3045's for 1.3v to RAM direct supply, JCat V2 USB Card, WTFPlay Linux Audiophile Player control by MELE F10, Startech LEX to REX on 12v Paul Hynes with 2x SLC cards and out by POE to ISO/Regen, PPA Red USB Cable, Lampizator Big7, Nige design Lifepo4 powered amp, Raidho C1s.

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JPLAY 5.2 gives me a significant increase in clarity and imaging. I do run a single PC. Try the trial version.

 

Thank you. Will give it a try.

Roon Server: general purpose Gigabyte GA-Z170X UD5, i5 6600, Crucial MX200 SSD, HyperX 1x16GB RAM, Win 10 Pro, convolving in Roon digital xo + DRC + upsampling. Output through ethernet.

Roon Client AudioPC: Uptone etherRegen (with LPS 1.2) into Intel S1200KPR, Xeon E3 1265lv2, Crucial V4 SSD for OS, 8GB ECC RAM, Streacom FC8 Evo case, lab linear PSU, Windows Server 2019, AudioPhil's Optimizer, Acourate (digital xo, room correction)

Rest of Chain: Lynx Hilo as 8-channel DAC, McIntosh MC275 MkIV for mids & treble, Hypex UcD400HG for midbass into DIY dipoles 18" midbass/2x8" mids/AMT tweeter, 2 DIY 12" Rythmik subs, Equi=Core 1800 balanced power, dedicated power lines, room treatments

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I soldered in the clock upgrade in to my MSI board at the weekend and was staggered at the improvement.

 

With the clock inputs could you add an atomic clock to the mb or doesn't it work that way?

 

Supper Low Jitter Clock 11 2896MHz Rubidium Frequency Super Stable for Your CD | eBay

Dahlquist DQ-10 Speakers DQ-LP1 crossover 2 DW-1 Subs

Dynaco Mk III Mains - Rotel 991 Subs

Wyred W4S Pre Gustard X10 DAC

SOtM dx-USB-HD reclocked SOtMmBPS-d2s

Intel Thin-mini ITX

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