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Sound Galleries Music server


miguelito
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I had the pleasure to audition the Sound Galleries Music server last weekend.

 

Edward (aka EuroDriver) was visiting NYC and was kind enough to bring it over and play it for me.

 

Some background: This is a highly fine tuned Windows-based computer/server running Roon+HQPlayer. I don't know the fine details but suffice it to say it is an impressive unit with convection-only cooling.

 

The sound into my EmmLabs XDS1v2 was fantastic. Ease that makes you get into the music. Without making claims or detailed comparisons (it would take me a few weeks to reach such conclusions) it was the best sound I have heard in my system on the EmmLabs.

 

The sound into a T+A DSD512 DAC was also impressive, but I thought it lacked some of the organic nature of the sound out of the EmmLabs unit (which to be clear is about 10 times the price).

 

I tend to evaluate the sound of equipment by how much it makes me not care about the equipment and make me have fun with the music. A little undefined, but that's it. I can't tell you the highs were blah-bih-dih-blah, or the lows were wowowowowo... I only care about ease and fun, and this was great in that respect.

 

Thanks EuroDriver for your time and a fun Saturday morning!

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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I had the pleasure to audition the Sound Galleries Music server last weekend.

 

Edward (aka EuroDriver) was visiting NYC and was kind enough to bring it over and play it for me.

 

Some background: This is a highly fine tuned Windows-based computer/server running Roon+HQPlayer. I don't know the fine details but suffice it to say it is an impressive unit with convection-only cooling.

 

The sound into my EmmLabs XDS1v2 was fantastic. Ease that makes you get into the music. Without making claims or detailed comparisons (it would take me a few weeks to reach such conclusions) it was the best sound I have heard in my system on the EmmLabs.

 

The sound into a T+A DSD512 DAC was also impressive, but I thought it lacked some of the organic nature of the sound out of the EmmLabs unit (which to be clear is about 10 times the price).

 

I tend to evaluate the sound of equipment by how much it makes me not care about the equipment and make me have fun with the music. A little undefined, but that's it. I can't tell you the highs were blah-bih-dih-blah, or the lows were wowowowowo... I only care about ease and fun, and this was great in that respect.

 

Thanks EuroDriver for your time and a fun Saturday morning!

 

So the 20K is are you going to buy one?

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So the 20K is are you going to buy one?

Forget the price for a minute... This server sounds great. As you all know well, unlike DAC's which all tend to have more or less the same functionality, server configurations have a wide variety of designs. There's the hands-on type configurations (eg the CAPS or a mini server), the fully hands off (eg some Aurender ones), and the in-betweens (which is where this one falls in my opinion).

 

My preferences are:

1- Appliance-like stability

2- Sound quality

3- Mac-based if possible

 

SGM does pretty well overall except for 3 (it's Windows 10 based).

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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Forget the price for a minute... This server sounds great. As you all know well, unlike DAC's which all tend to have more or less the same functionality, server configurations have a wide variety of designs. There's the hands-on type configurations (eg the CAPS or a mini server), the fully hands off (eg some Aurender ones), and the in-betweens (which is where this one falls in my opinion).

 

My preferences are:

1- Appliance-like stability

2- Sound quality

3- Mac-based if possible

 

SGM does pretty well overall except for 3 (it's Windows 10 based).

 

 

 

Hi Miguelito,

 

Thank you for your time and hospitality.

 

The care and attention Miguelito which has put into his system, and in particular the excellent speaker and equipment bases which are installed has certainly paid off big time. I was extremely impressed by the tonality and clarity of the system, absolutely beautiful.

 

To answer the very understandable preference for a Mac based music server

 

The SGM has a custom, built from scratch OS, which just has the minimum number of Windows 10 services to allow Roon and HQ Player to run.

 

So the Win 10 based OS on the SGM does not

- phone home to Microsoft

- update itself on Tuesdays

- log activity

This means that the OS, is completely stable and can only be updated by us (if we should ever wish to do that)

The new versions of the Mac OS have been coming fast and furious, with compatibility for audio gear declining. We hear a lot of equipment manufacturers having major issues.

As the SGM is a dedicated server for music play back, there is no need for security updates to plug security holes.

The vulnerable windows services which can execute malicious code are simply not there.

We are comfortable with continuing compatibility with Roon and HQ Player, as both of these programs will want to maintain compatibility with Windows 8, and as a consequence the SGM's stripped Win 10, will also work as well.

 

In terms of hardware, being non Apple based we have a huge selection of vendors and can cherry pick the very best. We have replaced the motherboard clock with a 5 ppb OCXO, for an addictive improvement to the sound. Such a modification would be totally unfeasible to do with Apple hardware. The same goes for fanless custom cooling.

 

Apple has a well deserved reputation for design quality, reliability and ease of use. The SGM project goals have been to exceed the Apple benchmarks in all respects and with the number of SGM's that we have in the field and zero failures, it's looking good

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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Thx EuroDriver. It certainly sounded fantastic, and the build quality was second to none. Also, I was not aware of the deep level of customization involved in the OS, very interesting.

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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  • 2 weeks later...

This seem to be an highend custom audio server with ocxo, LPS and custom os. Does it also use pico interface for the motherboard?

DigitalDac: Chord DAVE, Amp: MC275 Mono, Preamp: FirstSound, Source: Esoteric K01X, Cable: TaraLab GME interconnect,
CASSOtM Trifecta Mod 75ohm MCI, TheLinearSolution TCXO Router

Analog: SME 20/2, SME V, Skala, Esoteric C03 Phono

 
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This seem to be an highend custom audio server with ocxo, LPS and custom os. Does it also use pico interface for the motherboard?

 

We don't use the Pico ATX DC to DC, but one from another supplier which is quite a bit larger. We also use totally separate independent linear power supplies for the OCXO and for the SSD which have been custom built for us in Sweden

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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