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Running Minimserver on QNAP vs dedicated PC..difference in sound?


tboooe
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I have been running Minimserver on a dedicated control PC in a 2 pc Jplay setup for a while now and really like the sound I am getting. My only complaint is having to wait 5-10 min for Minimserver to complete its cache scan every time I power up my system. To eliminate this wait I decided to get a small QNAP TS-113 single disk NAS to run Minimserver. I also want to reduce as much CPU load a possible on this pc though I know streaming and transcoding music uses up very little processing power. I intend to power QNAP with a linear power supply and keep it on 24/7.

 

My concern is that moving Minimserver from my dedicated and optimized pc (Audiophile Optimizer, Jplay, Fidelizer, linear power supply, etc) to the QNAP will change the sound. I have already compared running Minimserver on another ATOM based generic PC I have and the sound was definitely different. Unlike my control pc this pc has not been optimized in any way. There was a small difference in how the music was presented. With Minimserver running in my control pc, the sound had grit, texture, and bit more weight. To me, it sounded more organic and like a live show. With Minimserver running on the ATOM based pc, the sound was more clear and smooth, perhaps too smooth. It sounded sterile after a while with no soul to the music. My best analogy that it sounded like CD versus vinyl.

 

So my question is, for those who moved from having Minimserver run on their to PC to a QNAP, did you experience any change in sound? I hope that running Minimserver on the QNAP will at the very least not change the sound at all and at best provide some little improvement.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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I have been running Minimserver on a dedicated control PC in a 2 pc Jplay setup for a while now and really like the sound I am getting. My only complaint is having to wait 5-10 min for Minimserver to complete its cache scan every time I power up my system. To eliminate this wait I decided to get a small QNAP TS-113 single disk NAS to run Minimserver. I also want to reduce as much CPU load a possible on this pc though I know streaming and transcoding music uses up very little processing power. I intend to power QNAP with a linear power supply and keep it on 24/7.

 

My concern is that moving Minimserver from my dedicated and optimized pc (Audiophile Optimizer, Jplay, Fidelizer, linear power supply, etc) to the QNAP will change the sound. I have already compared running Minimserver on another ATOM based generic PC I have and the sound was definitely different. Unlike my control pc this pc has not been optimized in any way. There was a small difference in how the music was presented. With Minimserver running in my control pc, the sound had grit, texture, and bit more weight. To me, it sounded more organic and like a live show. With Minimserver running on the ATOM based pc, the sound was more clear and smooth, perhaps too smooth. It sounded sterile after a while with no soul to the music. My best analogy that it sounded like CD versus vinyl.

 

So my question is, for those who moved from having Minimserver run on their to PC to a QNAP, did you experience any change in sound? I hope that running Minimserver on the QNAP will at the very least not change the sound at all and at best provide some little improvement.

 

I guess you mean a TS-131. :) Honestly it's tough to say exactly how it will sound compared to what you've been using. It is best to give it a listen and see for yourself. I think you'll be fine I actually use Synology NAS to run it on without a problem. I've also built some machines running server 2012 for Minimserver and have had good results. One thing I think that might be helpful is to check out running fiber for your music network. There are two really helpful threads and the isolation in my opinion will provide definite improvement.

 

Regards

Bob

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I guess you mean a TS-131. :) Honestly it's tough to say exactly how it will sound compared to what you've been using. It is best to give it a listen and see for yourself. I think you'll be fine I actually use Synology NAS to run it on without a problem. I've also built some machines running server 2012 for Minimserver and have had good results. One thing I think that might be helpful is to check out running fiber for your music network. There are two really helpful threads and the isolation in my opinion will provide definite improvement.

 

Regards

Bob

 

Thank you for the reply Bob and yes I meant TS-131!

 

I am definitely thinking about fiber especially now that I can put together a "local" music only network. What I envisioning is having my control pc and QNAP NAS running Minimserver attached to the same wireless bridge in my music room. Right now my household NAS is upstairs connected to my wireless router. I am hoping by putting the QNAP on the wireless bridge I can get better overall responsiveness and speed. This will also make it easier to start thinking about fiber too!

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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The sound depends on cabling and PSU used for NAS and PC. I've recently switched to media server running on NAS powered by a linear PSU and connected with an 'audiophile' LAN and thought that it sounded better than running media server directly on a PC. But then I upgraded SATA cables in my PC and as a result I got better sound with media server running directly on the PC :)

 

Cheers,

Marcin

JPLAY & JCAT Founder

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The sound depends on cabling and PSU used for NAS and PC. I've recently switched to media server running on NAS powered by a linear PSU and connected with an 'audiophile' LAN and thought that it sounded better than running media server directly on a PC. But then I upgraded SATA cables in my PC and as a result I got better sound with media server running directly on the PC :)

 

Cheers,

Marcin

 

Thank you Marcin though this was not the answer I was hoping for. :)

 

I will be getting my NAS soon so I can compare.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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The sound depends on cabling and PSU used for NAS and PC. I've recently switched to media server running on NAS powered by a linear PSU and connected with an 'audiophile' LAN and thought that it sounded better than running media server directly on a PC. But then I upgraded SATA cables in my PC and as a result I got better sound with media server running directly on the PC :)

 

Cheers,

Marcin

 

Not all NAS servers are created equal for audio use, no different than PC's for audio playback. What NAS hardware was used?

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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I intend to use a single bay Qnap TS-131 to experiment with and compare against my pc. I will.use an LPS and fiber via an FMC with the nas. If it sounds at least as good as my pc I will step.up to a larger, higher performance qnap like the TS-453pro for my whole home nas solution to replace an aging yet still functional Thecus N4100pro.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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Just thought I would post some initial thoughts on the difference in sound between running Minimserver on a dedicated and fully tweaked pc versus on a QNAP TS-131 NAS. My dedicated PC runs Audiophile Optimizer, Fidelizer, and Jplay. It is also powered by a linear power supply. The NAS is running completely stock. It should be noted that because the NAS uses an ARM Cortex A9 processor, I cannot use libosxr ffmpeg.

 

My initial thought is that the sound is close but ultimately I think my dedicated pc is better. There is something more organic about how vocals sounds. There is a weight and texture missing from the QNAP. These differences ultimately diminishes the emotional connection I feel when listening to music. I am sure there may be other differences but I tend to focus a lot more on how vocals sound and how I feel about the music versus being too analytical about decay, attack, etc. I will continue to listen more and add my thoughts here.

 

That being said, I think running Minimserver off a NAS is a great feature for most people. I got my TS-131 used for $100 and it gives sound comparable to my fully tweaked PC. However, it is the ability to tweak a PC that allows it to sound better to me though at much higher cost. But isnt what this whacky audio hobby is all about? Paying huge sums of money for tiny little improvements???? smile.gif

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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I would post some initial thoughts on the difference in sound between running Minimserver on a dedicated and fully tweaked pc versus on a QNAP TS-131 NAS

 

Are you converting to optical between NAS and control pc? That might help (although I've never tested it)

 

In theory, SQ should improve because the control pc is doing one less thing, although minimserver doesn't exactly use much in the way of resources. Using Minim on the NAS might be more effective on low powered control pc/ workstations than powerful ones.

 

I'm aiming to try it out oneday, in conjunction with an oem Diablo optical switch. :)

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Thank you for the reply. Yes, I intend to try the optical connections test next. My plan is to first test optical between control and audio PC. Then move on to getting an optical switch to connect my NAS, Wireless bridge, and control PC.

 

It should be noted that my control PC is currently an ATOM 525 CPU. Though it handles Minimserver and Jplay without any issues, I was trying to offload some of the computing to the NAS. When streaming the ATOM cpu maxes out at about 23% usage while the NAS reaches almost 50%. Not sure if this has any impact on the sound. Ultimately I want to build a new control PC and tweak it out.

 

Are you converting to optical between NAS and control pc? That might help (although I've never tested it) :)

 

In theory, SQ should improve because the control pc is doing one less thing, although minimserver doesn't exactly use much in the way of resources. Using Minim on the NAS might be more effective on low powered control pc/ workstations than powerful ones.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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Just thought I would post some initial thoughts on the difference in sound between running Minimserver on a dedicated and fully tweaked pc versus on a QNAP TS-131 NAS. My dedicated PC runs Audiophile Optimizer, Fidelizer, and Jplay. It is also powered by a linear power supply. The NAS is running completely stock.

 

Just to confirm - is it correct then that your DAC was connected to this same dedicated PC?

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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Just to confirm - is it correct then that your DAC was connected to this same dedicated PC?

 

Yes, everything downstream from the control PC stayed the same. All I did was move Minimserver from the control PC to the NAS. With Minimserver running on the control PC, music files were accessed via a wireless bridge since my household NAS is upstairs. With Minimserver running the QNAP NAS, music files were also accessed via the wireless bridge acting as a switch.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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