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Why not a direct connection?


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Please pardon my ignorance, but I gotta ask...as I've yet to see a definitive answer on this pervasive thought of mine... If you have a "server" with a CPU, RAM, and loads of disc space, Why can't a USB cable be run directly from the server to a DAC?

 

It sure would eliminate some expense and so forth.

 

Thanks much

 

Do the blindfolded squirrels juggling knives in my head bother you? If so, talk to the Elves, it was their idea to arrange some distraction so my more formidable psychosis could remain hidden.

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Hey blindjim - I think we have a little terminology issue here. I think I know where you are going with this one and it can be done, but when you say "server" what exactly to you mean? Music server? these already connect straight to DACs via USB. Do you mean a NAS box connecting straight to a DAC without the need for a computer? This can also be done with UPnP ready devices. Let me know exactly what you mean and we'll get this discussion going.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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I'm by no means an expert on this, but my guess would be noise. Most servers are very noisy and the least noisy servers are still too noisy.

 

McIntosh C500T&P, MC501s, Sonus Faber Cremona M, Ayre QB-9, Oppo BDP-83 Mac Mini

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For what its worth, I have considered getting an Apple XServe, putting it in an enclosed rack like this one.....

http://www.xrackpro.com/XRackPro2-4U-Noise-Reduction-Enclosure-Cabinet-BLK-p/xr-nre2-4u-us-blk.htm

... and then using a touchscreen and /or a Macbook to run itunes. It would be simple, secure, and have a huge file capacity. It would also be very expensive and probably not worth the cost. I have around 1200 CDs and am currently using around 600GB of my 1TB WD HD. If I do a SSD upgrade to the Macbook it will be virtually silent, I can add a few more TB of storage for backup or for more capacity and still spend far less than a server.

 

 

 

McIntosh C500T&P, MC501s, Sonus Faber Cremona M, Ayre QB-9, Oppo BDP-83 Mac Mini

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Hi Gonzo - That's a rack I haven't seen before. Very cool for us audiophiles! If you're set on getting an XServe that's cool, but it sounds like you looking at other options as well that will give you more for less. I think a fabulous setup consists of a MacBook with SSD and a NAS storage solution that resides outside of the listening room. I use a NAS that is far from my listening room. My MacBook Pro mounts the NAS drive via wireless and all is well. I need to decide which SSD to put in my MacBook Pro and I'll be very happy :-)

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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yes Chris... the latter of those two thoughts... A NAS storage device or server (whichever is needed), directly connected to a DAC and then into my 2 ch stereo system.

 

I would use a PC laptop to select files and so forth... sorry, I'm not a MAC man. Mac's don't work for me.

 

I've a few choices in how I can configure my two ch rig, though I prefer it in an all tube array. Tube preamp, Tube monos, and fed by a Bel Canto DAC 3.

 

I've two PC desktops, and now a Toshiba L350 running Vista.

 

The software I prefer to run for Music playback is J River and I use some USB driver I bought online which does a superlative job translating data to the Bel Canto D3 from my office PC's WD My book 500 G USB HDD.

 

I've hesitated to take the next step in getting more storage as I wasn't sure which way to proceed that would do as I desire.

 

BTW... all the electronics, are in an adjacent room to me and only the speakers and I occupy the listening room... so noise isn't a big concern I don't think. hence also the need for wireless control.

 

Which way do I go to achieve my goal?

 

Thanks much and I'm quite glad to see space on the web devoted to this aspect of musical appreciation... albeit, so far I'm thinking this is a Mac based web site... what with all the talk about iTunes & Macs I'm seeing so prevalent in my initial nosing about these pages here :).

 

Do the blindfolded squirrels juggling knives in my head bother you? If so, talk to the Elves, it was their idea to arrange some distraction so my more formidable psychosis could remain hidden.

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Hi blindjim - I am a little confused as to what you mean by "..directly connected to a DAC and then into my 2 ch stereo system." It sounds like you are already connecting your PC directly to your DAC3. I am certainly going to help figure out a configuration that works for you but I may be a little dense on this one :-)

 

This is certainly not a Mac only or Mac based website although it may seem like it. I try to concentrate on what provides the best sound, functionality and ease of operation. So far the majority of people agree that Macs are it for audiophile music servers. I only know of one high end manufacturer that uses a Windows based system. It really comes down to a choice and both systems are fully capable of outputting bit perfect audio. Mac does it straight out of the box whereas PCs have to be configured to do this and it can get very messy.

 

So, if you can clear up my question above I will be excited to help get you where you want to be!

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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My own personal needs require a Windows OS. Software I must use is not supported by Mac OS. I'm sure I am in the minority as the result. So be it. I’m good.

 

One thing first here... I've questions about 'bit perfect' so if a link to greater understanding could be provided that would be a real plus.

 

What my goal is here with personal confuser audio is to gain both ease of use, and the novelty of variety. Recent escapades into the world of digits has shown me there is little to be lost in the presented audio quality being extracted from one’s and zeros off a HDD.

 

Given my listening room and my electronics room are two different stations, and I’d not wish to litter up the listening room with even one more lengthy USB cable from my laptop, I felt going wireless is the ticket indeed.

 

To wit, if all the files/tracks I wish to access are on a NAS device of sorts, which is in close proximity to the balance of the system, how could I best achieve my goal?

 

Yes, presently my office PC is connected directly to my BC DAC3. I’ve only one USB HDD, a WD ‘My Book’ 500Gig unit.

 

I want to enlarge total storage space to at least 1TB… perhaps more but at least that amount.

 

As I’ve tried several methods to gain both access and remote control of these files I wish to play, (Home LAN, NETWORKING, remote desktoping in), the only way I’ve found thus far, which allows me the use of my adaptive software in it’s entirety, is via a “subscription” based client/host setup offered by Logmein.com. This facility allows me complete control of the host unit, inclusive of screen reading audio and screen magnification functionality so navigation on the host can be accomplished remotely. Thereby I can search, create, play, skip, repeat, etc, whatever files/tracks I wish.

 

There simply must be an easier, more secure, and likely a less protracted way to accomplish this… though I’m not fully certain as to either the how or why of it, otherwise.

 

My major obstacle is my prerequisite need for adaptive software I’m sure. I must be able to at the very least visualize an enlarged visual of the media players software’s GUI so I may access it.

 

I’ve accomplished networking my home PCs and hence enabled transference of files to suit me now and then… so I felt all I need to do is add some more networked digital real estate, place J River onto it as a ‘music’ server, transfer the files I have now to it, connect it to the DAC, light up the Vista laptop, log into the ??? NAS thingy, and I’m done!?

 

Something tells me there is more to it than that though, so I’ve hesitated to buy storage space wondering if I truly do need a Server instead of just networked storage.

 

Did that clear things up any?

 

 

Do the blindfolded squirrels juggling knives in my head bother you? If so, talk to the Elves, it was their idea to arrange some distraction so my more formidable psychosis could remain hidden.

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OK Jim, now I'm on the same page as everyone else probably was a few posts ago.

 

The term Bit Perfect simply means the computer is passing the digital audio stream to the DAC untouched or altered in any way. In Windows XP this means bypassing the KMixer.

 

The easiest way to access the music server desktop remotely is probably through an application called Real VNC. Here is a link to the free download http://www.realvnc.com/products/free/4.1/download.html

We may have to suggest a few options for you and have you test them out to see what works best. LogMeIn is certainly less than ideal in this situation.

 

Based on everything you've said I think the best system for you is this:

 

Use a separate PC as your music server. Connect this PC directly to your DAC3 which is connected to the rest of your audio system. J River will be loaded on this music server and all your disk storage will be connected to this music server. Then to control the music server use a VNC type of application like Real VNC to remote control the music server as if you were sitting directly in front of it.

 

Let me know if I am only restating the obvious here or if this solution sounds like it is what you're looking for.

 

P.S. Another remote control option that you probably tried before is Window's built in Remote Desktop. There are many ways to use remote desktop and one of them may work for you.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Thanks much Chris. Really.

 

Much if not all of the issues I face is the abandoned functionality of the adaptive software I use with some of the solutions you have posed here. Remote desktop simply doesn’t allow me to enlarge the host pc’s applications. Not even if I make the needed alterations on the host personally, during or in advance of the connection.

 

I seem to recall a caveat with the free VNC protocol too… I believe it was not suited as yet to Vista OS… yep. I think that’s what they told me, so I never bothered to investigate further there.

 

Bit perfect.. got it. I’ve seen this mentioned before but not with those terms. It is my understanding that Vista has defeated that mixer gizmo. The reasoning behind the J River + USB driver I bought was to circumvent the mixer. Clearly, there is a world of difference between the USB driver I use and the inherent Windows Direct sound, and/or other audio outputs it offers. The diffs aren’t subtle either. With no pun intended, a blind testing reveals the best one to be the USB output drivereach time hands down.

 

Another issue is achieving screen enhancements via networking configurations. So far, I’ve no luck. The people at AI Squared, makers of my software, use a similarly oriented web based client to remote into their customer base’ PC now and then to configure properly their own software or trouble shoot when the customer can’t play along… or won’t…. as it’s a time saver. This too is a subscriptiojn oriented application and priceier than the Logmein Pro by a good bit.

 

I’ll readdress the VNC gizmo yet again.and install it… either it will make it do what it do… or it won’t.

 

I’ll get back to you after I give the VNC a go, or a no..

 

With an third desktop about, that might just come in pretty handy, oncer it is stripped down some. It might prove a good one too as it’s above the cut in CPU – RAM – AND HAS ABOUT 400 Gigs of space onboard too, but it’s all ATA, not SATA like the others.

 

Thanks

 

 

Do the blindfolded squirrels juggling knives in my head bother you? If so, talk to the Elves, it was their idea to arrange some distraction so my more formidable psychosis could remain hidden.

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