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Latest Intel NUC i7 as music computer


serum121
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I have just installed the Intel NUC 6670HQ with a 1 TB SSD and eight GB of RAM.I'm using this on my system which consists of a pair of Bowers and Wilkins Nautilus loudspeakers being driven by 4 Jeff Rowland 625 S2 amplifiers, fed by the MSB select 2 DAC.

I am using the Melco A1 as a NAS. Earlier I was using a Qsonix music server using a coaxial digital cable into the DAC..

Using the new combination I find whilst I have increased detail and resolution, the overall presentation of the music sounds thin and not involving. I was wondering if anybody has had any experience using the new Intel NUC as a music server with a USB out into the DAC. Is it possible that the USB out,, or the circuit on the Intel is not suitable for high-end music reproduction?

Any suggestions or information in this direction would be greatly appreciated.

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Let me get this straight: you have a quarter-million dollar hifi system and you're wondering why it doesn't sound as good with a $600 PC as source?

 

Anyway, have you contacted MSB? That would be the first thing I'd do rather than post here.

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What's your input to the MSB from the NUC?

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I have just installed the Intel NUC 6670HQ with a 1 TB SSD and eight GB of RAM.I'm using this on my system which consists of a pair of Bowers and Wilkins Nautilus loudspeakers being driven by 4 Jeff Rowland 625 S2 amplifiers, fed by the MSB select 2 DAC.

I am using the Melco A1 as a NAS. Earlier I was using a Qsonix music server using a coaxial digital cable into the DAC..

Using the new combination I find whilst I have increased detail and resolution, the overall presentation of the music sounds thin and not involving. I was wondering if anybody has had any experience using the new Intel NUC as a music server with a USB out into the DAC. Is it possible that the USB out,, or the circuit on the Intel is not suitable for high-end music reproduction?

Any suggestions or information in this direction would be greatly appreciated.

 

Yes, it is possible the USB, software, or circuits are not suitable for music reproduction. Before returining it I would recommend posting a question in the Audiophile Optimizer thread to see if that software can help. I think some of the users use a NUC with good results.

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There are so many components in that NUC i7 that could be streaming dirty audio, where to even begin? Power source, USB output, Software optimization, USB chord. Everything matters.

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

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Can you get a loaner of a Berkeley Audio USB to SPDIF device, or alternatively, some of the USB "clean up" devices?

 

That might tell you if the SQ you don't like is either PC or USB related (or both).

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I am trying to get a Ethernet cable and use the renderer input on the select 2, that should take the pc out of the direct loop of the music. If I go Melco out through a switch to the DAC and use J river to select the tracks? This may give me an idea if it is the USB causing the problem.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

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Hi,

 

If the PC sounds thin through those beautiful amps I would say a great deal of optimisation is going to be needed on the server and it's connection to the DAC.

 

I would suggest: optimising USB chain as per my sig, or moving to AOIP, or using a good USB to SPDIF/AES-EBU converter - even doing this however the computer probably needs significant configuration and maybe even some modification to be optimal for SQ.

 

TBH, I wouldn't use a 'normal computer' in such a setup as yours, personally I think your system deserves an Aurender. If you don't want to get involved in USB optimisation (which is usually necessary) then go for the N10 and use AES-EBU or SPDIF.

 

Just my 2p, but using a PC in your setup is potentially a huge missed opportunity - I'm sure it will be possible to make that PC sing, but it will probably require lots of tweaking and faffing if it's currently making those Rowland amps sound thin.

 

 

 

I have just installed the Intel NUC 6670HQ with a 1 TB SSD and eight GB of RAM.I'm using this on my system which consists of a pair of Bowers and Wilkins Nautilus loudspeakers being driven by 4 Jeff Rowland 625 S2 amplifiers, fed by the MSB select 2 DAC.

I am using the Melco A1 as a NAS. Earlier I was using a Qsonix music server using a coaxial digital cable into the DAC..

Using the new combination I find whilst I have increased detail and resolution, the overall presentation of the music sounds thin and not involving. I was wondering if anybody has had any experience using the new Intel NUC as a music server with a USB out into the DAC. Is it possible that the USB out,, or the circuit on the Intel is not suitable for high-end music reproduction?

Any suggestions or information in this direction would be greatly appreciated.

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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The MSB Network Renderer supports UPnP: http://www.msbtech.com/support/RendererManual.pdf

 

Temporarily install MinimServer on your PC to allow your music library to be served to the renderer. Use one of the control points recommended by them: Browsing your library

 

This may not be your target solution but it should tell you how much the USB of the PC is a factor.

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