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fastdart69

Barriers to Computer Audio

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I've considered NAS but seems like many consider these to be complicated to implement. I would likely need help to install and get it working properly.

 

Most NAS's are plug and play. Literally plug in, power up, and watch your network neighborhood in File Explorer.

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I've considered NAS but seems like many consider these to be complicated to implement. I would likely need help to install and get it working properly.

 

An ethernet connection usually means something like a NAS.

 

If I was in your position, I would get three 4TB Western Digital Red drives. Put one in the enclosure I mentioned above. Use the other two for backups using something like this:

 

Voyager by NewerTech - Hard Drive Dock for 3.5" and 2.5" SATA Devices

 

Keep one backup at home and the other offsite at the office or in a safety deposit box.


Everything matters... when brewing coffee.

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Most NAS's are plug and play. Literally plug in, power up, and watch your network neighborhood in File Explorer.

Do you have a recommendation for a NAS that works well for you?

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rn701, seems like I read somewhere that an ethernet connection would access files more reliably than USB. I want to keep this as simple as possible, so if USB 3 will be sufficient then that works for me. I hope to spend less than $1,500 on a DAC, would go as high as $2,000 if the additional bang for the buck is worth it. I would also consider gently used equipment. A lot of audiophiles move from component to component in search of the holy grail. I'm just looking for great sound reproduction!

 

Cool.

 

Since you have listed your equipment, sounds like you have a pretty nice setup. Your AVR has HDMI inputs. If you already have a Windows PC/notebook with HDMI output you can accomplish audiophile "bit perfect" sound with nothing more than JRiver WASAPI output to HDMI for $50. I will stop beating the dead horse now, but I recommend you try that and see what you think. You can always spend thousands or tens of thousands more later on in search of the holy grail if that's your thing.

 

Good luck, and mainly, enjoy the music.

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Do you have a recommendation for a NAS that works well for you?

 

Any product I've mentioned in thread has been linked.

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rn701, seems like I read somewhere that an ethernet connection would access files more reliably than USB. I want to keep this as simple as possible, so if USB 3 will be sufficient then that works for me. I hope to spend less than $1,500 on a DAC, would go as high as $2,000 if the additional bang for the buck is worth it. I would also consider gently used equipment. A lot of audiophiles move from component to component in search of the holy grail. I'm just looking for great sound reproduction!

 

Storage - The "action" and biggest "bang for the buck" seem to be happening right now with USB input DACs. There's been a fair amount of discussion on the forums saying you probably don't want to have both DAC and file storage on the computer's USB bus. I can tell you on my Mac computer I felt I got better sound when my file storage was not on USB. I'm using FireWire (one of the OWC enclosures George referred to), but that's a dying interface even on Mac. So my recommendation would be to avoid USB and use a NAS. Since I don't use one I don't have a particular one to recommend, but others already have, and perhaps there will be more. Synology seems to have a very good reputation.

 

DAC - I looked around at various DACs available in your price range. I haven't listened to many of these myself because I haven't been in the market for one in a couple of decades. :) (My own is a semi-DIY project put together from circuit boards and various other parts.) However, I try to read up and stay informed, and I would say it might be hard to beat the TEAC UD-503 at $999, no tax and free shipping. https://www.hideflifestyle.com/catalog/product/view/id/11095/s/ud-503-dual-monaural-usb-dac/?fee=5&fep=11095&gclid=CjwKEAiAs4qzBRD4l-2w7qOoqEMSJABauikXUHR90LAQxsAfOIWg-BWyMIQ0dUbkKE-JB6iEu-HuSRoCmzLw_wcB

 

TEAC UD-503 Dual-monaural USB DAC

 

There are a lot of very happy user reports about its predecessor the UD-501. It will accept virtually any sample rate music file you can buy or rip. It also offers a choice of a couple of filters of its own or allows you to turn its filters off and use external filtering of your choice, which I consider very important. What are these filters and what do they do? I'll explain when I talk about software.

 

Computer - There are a couple of schools of thought here. My thinking is you want something robust to run software really smoothly, that won't be working at the edge of its capabilities running the cooling fan on high while you're trying to listen to music. Don't screw around with i5, get something with an i7 in it; and put at least 16GB of RAM in there. After that, whatever you like.

 

Software - You know and like JRiver. That's cool and it may be all you ever want or need. Let me throw out another couple of ideas. If they make your eyes spin in your head, ignore them and be happy. If they intrigue you, try them and see what you think. All the stuff I'm going to talk about has free trials available.

 

- Filtering: You don't listen to 1s and 0s, you listen to music. What changes the former to the latter are a series of filters. Just about any DAC, including the one in your OPPO, uses a series of upsampling and conversion filters before getting to the final conversion from digital to analog (music). Right now I won't go into detail about what these filters do, though if you want to know, just ask. What's important is that these filters (along with hardware quality and design) are responsible for a large part of the sound of your DAC.

 

The chips in your DAC are somewhat resource-limited in terms of running filters. The CPU in a PC will as a general rule be capable of running better, more sophisticated filtering (i7, remember?). If you have a DAC like the UD-503 which allows you to turn off its internal filtering and do your own filtering in software, that makes it possible for you to listen to different filters and decide what you like without having to buy a new DAC. Or if you decide you like the TEAC's own filters, great - you can use those. You have the choice.

 

Software that does inline filtering runs while you listen to music, doing its upsampling and filtering "on the run." Two such programs for Windows I think very highly of are XXHighEnd and HQPlayer. I have to say, though, that XXHighEnd is for the geeks and tweakers among us, and may not be something you want to try when you're just starting out. HQPlayer has an interface that many people don't love either (more on that in a minute), but what it has in spades is the widest selection of excellent filters you will find. Signalyst But what if you don't like the interface? Well, apparently HQPlayer capability is about to get incorporated into the new hottest thing in interfaces, Roon. I haven't tried it myself yet (been waiting for the HQPlayer integration), but lots of folks rave about it. To get some idea of what it's about, here's the website: https://roonlabs.com.

 

Software that does offline filtering converts and filters your files offline, and outputs the upsampled, converted file that you then send to your DAC to play. JRiver will conveniently convert your regular FLAC files to what's called DSD, which is what you want if you do external filtering because it bypasses any need for further internal filtering or conversion in your DAC. Another program that does these conversions that I use and like is called Audiophile Inventory (the PROduce-RD version - AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HiEnd audio converter ISO DFF DSF WAV FLAC AIFF; don't be put off by the rather garish website design). A TEAC UD-501 owner who does a lot of "objective" testing of various audiophile things on the web praised the performance of this software: Archimago's Musings: ANALYSIS: DSD-to-PCM 2015 - foobar SACD Plug-In, AuI ConverteR, noise & impulse response....

 

I slightly prefer the sound of the files I convert offline, though inline conversion is more convenient - you just play your music and the inline conversion is done as you sit there and listen.

 

If you've got questions about any of this, let me know.


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Yes, but I agree on the avoid USB bit if you can. If you are starting from scratch why not skip the USB pain and expense many have gone through. USB was never meant for audio.

 

Sorry but I don't quite understand why USB is not meant for audio, I thought it was just an interface like toslink and so many others. Imho, the new usb type C is on its way to become the new standard on all usages being smaller, faster, reversible...

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I haven't found the need for a NAS at home. I have a few USB drives plugged into my Airport Extreme wireless router.

 

Have you ever gotten dropouts in the music using wireless?


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Sorry but I don't quite understand why USB is not meant for audio, I thought it was just an interface like toslink and so many others. Imho, the new usb type C is on its way to become the new standard on all usages being smaller, faster, reversible...

 

It wasn't designed for audio, it was designed for keyboards and mice, and possibly storage devices, printer interfaces and scanners. Because of the way it works, it is not really suited for continuous streaming applications because the computer can interrupt the stream for what it considers "higher priority" interrupts. So the downstream music processing devices such as DACs must be designed to take charge of the propriatizing of data in order not to interrupt the music stream. This is not ideal, and in some instances specific drivers must be written for each DAC used (MS Windows). It can work, and can be made to work quite well, but it's easier to use an interface more suited to audio such as optical or coaxial SPDIF or FireWire which has faster continuous throughput and was designed for audio and video.


George

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Have you ever gotten dropouts in the music using wireless?

 

 

And data corruption. Not the best idea . I would not recommend using wireless or USB drives.

 

A NAS is a better investment. Synology is a good choice. Would be a good also for the OP to get more storage than he thinks he needs. You never have enough storage. :) A two drive Synology as mentioned in an earlier post would work well.

 

As Jud mentioned a powerful CPU and a decent amount of memory is a good idea if you think you might want to use something like HQ Player and up-sample files to DSD. If not up-sampling a lower power system would work fine. Of course a DSD DAC might be something you purchase down the road. When the urge hits to buy a DAC take a good look at the Schiit multibit DACs. Not DSD, but from what everyone has been saying they are amazing.

 

A Win 10 laptop would be good choice. Software ad-ons like Audiophile Optimizer and Fidelizer are things that can be looked at down the road to improve the OS for better sonic performance.

 

Good luck

Bob

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Have you ever gotten dropouts in the music using wireless?

 

Yes, occasionally

 

And data corruption. Not the best idea . I would not recommend using wireless or USB drives.

 

 

Bob

 

It's killing me to know what everyone is doing that has wireless so unreliable. I don't remember a single drop out due to wireless in the last 5-6 years ever. One weekends I easily stream 20GB of audio over the wireless.

 

Wireless is brain dead simple to setup and be reliable and I'm doing it with vanilla hardware. The most expensive piece is a Dlink POE AP that cost me $80 and is N300.

 

Also what is this with data corruption? You rip your music to the NAS once. You read many times. It's just a read operation. DATA CANNOT be corrupted by a failed read operation.

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It's killing me to know what everyone is doing that has wireless so unreliable. I don't remember a single drop out due to wireless in the last 5-6 years ever. One weekends I easily stream 20GB of audio over the wireless.

 

Wireless is brain dead simple to setup and be reliable and I'm doing it with vanilla hardware. The most expensive piece is a Dlink POE AP that cost me $80 and is N300.

 

Also what is this with data corruption? You rip your music to the NAS once. You read many times. It's just a read operation. DATA CANNOT be corrupted by a failed read operation.

 

I prefer wired networks. Currently use fiber.

 

The person when mentioned the USB HDs and his router has been complaining about data corruption for the last couple of months. A less than ideal setup might have something to do with it.

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If you haven't bought the computer yet, I recommend a Mac mini with audirvana over jriver on a pic any ol' day of the week.

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The person when [sic] mentioned the USB HDs and his router has been complaining about data corruption for the last couple of months. A less than ideal setup might have something to do with it.

 

Except it was a failing external drive on my mac mini connected via Firewire 800, but please feel free to cary on with your delusional nonsense.

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Except it was a failing external drive on my mac mini connected via Firewire 800, but please feel free to cary on with your delusional nonsense.

 

 

Glad you found your problem. :) Now if you found a bit of civility you might become human.

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I don't really think you are in a terribly great position to be critical of other people's impatience, given your rather shocking rudeness, creepy stalking behavior, and inability to keep simple facts straight.

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Yes there are lots if options, but you shouldn't see these as barriers.

 

Your Oppo95 is an ideal tool to start exploring those options as it can be used as a USB DAC, or as a renderer, or to play files from network shares or attached USB storage.

 

So, rip your CDs to your PC using dbpoweramp (if you wish) , put your PC and the Oppo on the home network (wired or wireless), set your PC music folder as a network share and use the Oppo app (on iPad etc) to pull files from your PC to play on the Oppo, or do the same for files copied to thumbdrive etc plugged directly into Oppo. If you don't have an iPad etc, then use the TV screen and Oppo remote.

 

If you wish, install Jriver on the PC, import your music to its library then either connect PC directly to Oppo DAC via USB, or use JRiver as a DLNA server to push music to the Oppo as the DLNA renderer over network. In this case you can control things either from PC screen and keyboard or via the excellent JRemote app in either scenario to send music from PC to Oppo.

 

Once you've tried out the various option you can decide which suits you best and choose future kit at that point. But I'll whisper this last bit quietly on this site, in my experience these options differ more in terms of convenience than final SQ. Similarly, while the Oppo isn't the last word in SQ, don't necessarily expect radical improvements in SQ simply by using other more specialist or expensive kit.

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Here are my thoughts so far: I plan to use a PC (perhaps a laptop) with Windows 10 most likely. I will use J Rivers Media Center for playback and file management purposes. I plan to store the downloads and ripped CD's as FLAC files. For storage purposes I plan to buy a 4 to 6 terabyte hard drive and connect to the laptop using an ethernet connection. For ripping CD's I will likely use D.B. Poweramp. In my current system already which is a combination 2 channel stereo and home theater, I have an OPPO BDP-95 CD player and a Marantz 7055 AV Pre-Pro. For the pure stereo mode, I'm using a Parasound JC-2 pre-amp running through 2 McIntosh 501's into Legacy Focus SE speakers.

 

For now I would like to use the OPPO as my DAC until I conduct some additional research and buy a DAC for converting files to audio into the stereo system and for streaming from Pandora, internet radio, etc. Remaining questions include which type of connection should I use from the hard drive to the computer and from the computer to the OPPO or DAC to optimize the sound?

 

I think you have an excellent plan. The Oppo as a DAC is not very flexible, but see if you can make it usable for a while. Read this thread:

 

From: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/oppo-bdp-95-player-digital-analogue-converter-play-flac-files-13434/

 

Post #11:

 

>>>

"I own an Oppo BDP-95. I use it with a 2TB drive connected via a Wireworld USB cable to the rear USB port of the 95.

The drive has roughly 1.2TB of music data.The drive has mainly WAV files, and the subsequent FLAC files of my 2K+ of CDs, and, of course, some 24/96(192). The 95's DAC is far more listenable than the DAC found in my Marantz SR9300, so, analogue from the 95 always sounds better than using the digital output from the 95.

 

dBpoweramp ripped CDs to my drive always sound better than the same CD played on the Oppo 95. This is always the case.

 

Some FLAC files can trip up the Oppo, and, the GUI could be much better.

 

The Oppo BDP-95 made my system sound as good as when my Mac MC-20s were driving some Accustats.

My two cents, great site.

SSH"

<<<

 

I like JRiver, it's powerful and sounds good but consider Roon instead.

 

Cheers


Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

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