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Planning My New Digital Player/Streamer/NAS Strategy - Your Expertise Requested


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As a newcomer to the Computer Audiophile area and the technology in this space, I've spent a lot of time reading and attempting to improve my knowledge. I'm about to create a new, networked, digital system to connect to my audio setup and could use some clarification and help from those of you who so clearly understand all of this. I am constantly amazed at how well versed so many people are in the forum.

 

My plan is to avoid using any actual computer in the chain (realizing that streamers and network players are still computers, in a sense). I am planning to purchase a NAS for the first time (probably Synology). I know the Synology units come with Minimserver installed, and that seems to be well though of here, based again on my readings. I am also considering the purchase of an Auralic Aries IF I can come up with a desired DAC that will accept its USB output. I have read a number of comments here that the Aries performs perfectly well over SPDIF to, so I am not sure? I really like my friends EXASOUND DAC and would prefer to purchase one of those if the SPDIF truly does peform so well out of the Aries. I've been waiting for the final review of Chris, the founder, and TedB to weigh in on this. It appears the Aries is a great product, but given how long these reviews are taking to arrive, I'm guessing even if it is a homerun, there must be caveats to that.

 

So, if I have this right, I buy the NAS, get my cd's ripped to it, and place my few, initial high res files on it. I then attach that to my network. I then connect the Aries (or whatever I decide to buy) wirelessly to the NAS, as I really need wireless for this. And lastly I connect the DAC via either USB or SPDIF depending on model. Then, I understand I can use my iPad with an app to control my music library? If I go with the Aries, it's the Lightning app, or some other app like JRemote? Am I understanding this correctly?

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Almost all correct. A Synology NAS won't come with Minimserver installed on it, however it is easy enough to download the JAVA package and Minimserver package and install it on the NAS. Then you just set it to folder upon which all your music files are stored on the NAS.

 

If you end up with an Aries, then yes, you would use the Lightning DS application on your iPad to configure the Aries and to control playback of your music library. There are other applications you could also use to control music playback on the Aries if so desired, i.e. Kinky on a Mac, and the Lumin and Kinsky applications on an iPad.

 

Not sure if there are users of the Exasound DAC who have an Aries, but you could post a query on the Aries Hardware thread.

 

I use mine with a USB based DAC so I cannot speak to to usage via the SDPIF output. I do believe there are a few folks who are using SDPIF rather than USB.

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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King Crimson,

 

I'm in essentially the same place you are with this. My situation only varies by the fact that I was given the gift of an amazing DAC, and it too apparently would require me to use the SPDIF out from the Aries. Also, like you, I have been hoping to see both Chris and Ted's definitive reviews on the Aries, and especially about it's SPDIF performance. On the higher end, and a bit above my budget, I am also possibly considering the Sonore Signature Rendu, after reading the remarkably positive review that Chris recently gave it. Although, it may not be workable for me, as I too need wireless for my situation. That was one of the original elements of the Aries that caught my eye, not only will it work wirelessly, but it's creator says it performs better that way!

 

JC

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King Crimson,

 

I'm in essentially the same place you are with this. My situation only varies by the fact that I was given the gift of an amazing DAC, and it too apparently would require me to use the SPDIF out from the Aries. Also, like you, I have been hoping to see both Chris and Ted's definitive reviews on the Aries, and especially about it's SPDIF performance. On the higher end, and a bit above my budget, I am also possibly considering the Sonore Signature Rendu, after reading the remarkably positive review that Chris recently gave it. Although, it may not be workable for me, as I too need wireless for my situation. That was one of the original elements of the Aries that caught my eye, not only will it work wirelessly, but it's creator says it performs better that way!

 

JC

 

A word of warning: I started out using wireless to connect directly to my existing hifi but found that I could improve sound quality by using a wireless bridge (an airport extreme) and placing the receiver on the hifi end of the bridge a few metres away from the hifi, with ethernet cable for the final link to the hifi. (As you can see from my signature I use a Sonore Rendu to convert the ethernet signal to SPDIF.)

ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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Almost all correct. A Synology NAS won't come with Minimserver installed on it, however it is easy enough to download the JAVA package and Minimserver package and install it on the NAS. .

 

Maybe something has changed, but I know that I've read several comments here in the forums over the past 9 months, or so, that Synology NAS units were shipping with Minimserver pre-installed?

 

JC

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Maybe something has changed, but I know that I've read several comments here in the forums over the past 9 months, or so, that Synology NAS units were shipping with Minimserver pre-installed?

 

JC

 

Since a few years both MinimServer and Java Manager are in the Package center. Dead easy.

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Since a few years both MinimServer and Java Manager are in the Package center. Dead easy.

 

That's great news as they weren't when I bought my Synology 1812+ a year and a half ago and I had to download from the respective vendor's site. I stand corrected.

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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I was in a similar situation a few months ago. I pulled the trigger on a synology 214se as I wanted a newer unit for the newer software releases. I was worried about processing speed and the like but all has worked out well so far. Hook it up, visit their site and all is pretty smooth sailing from there if you are familiar with computers at all. I don't regret my decision in going with a lessor unit to this point as my main purpose is streaming audio.

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Hi,

it is also my project to create a network system.

there are some things that annoy me (maybe just me) and I want to remove.

 

1. USB

2. Computer

3. Hard disks (I mean, many hard disks).

 

The solution look easy on the paper: NAS + Renderer + Controller

 

Synology is not the only NAS in the maket tht support MinimServer. QNap looks to be another good brand and a couple of days ago I have discovered that there is a model HS-251 that is fanless and with a sylish design.

 

HS-251 :: QNAP

 

Moreover, if you go to the web site you can read this sentence:

 

"Stream music and high-resolution audio (DSD) content to your DLNA Hi-Fi system and indulge in a high-quality sound experience."

 

Last but not least, the HS-251 has 12V input. This means I can power it with my Bel Canto VBS power source.

 

So the idea is:

VBS Power to Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB and QNAP HS-251 => (Network) ==> Bel Canto Ref Stream (Optical ST Link) ==> Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB

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