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Music Server Using Mini HFX

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I’ve read lots of the posts on this site and clearly I am just a simple novice!!


I have a Cyrus Audio hifi which is based around the Cyrus DAC-XP, an excellent DAC-Preamp that will up-sample when necessary to 24/192.


I am considering making my own dedicated Music server similar to the HFX RIPNAS, the primary differences being:

* Music storage would be on 2 x 1 (or 2) Tb drives in an external HFX Mini case.

* The Main Unit will include a DVD, a 64Mb Samsung SSD for the OS and peripheral programmes

* importantly I want to use a top quality Audiophile sound card.


Now, my problems are that the Cyrus DAC-XP does not have a USB input, just 2 optical and 4 coax, all SPDIF.

I’m thinking of using the Intel Atom M’board and would like to know what to do with the sound card et al. I have no interest in Multi Channel, if I watch a DVD, which is rare, two channel is fine, this will be used principally and almost solely for 2-channel audio. I want to take advantage of the increasing availability of 24/192 music downloads.


Ultimately I’d like to shield some of the components such as the sound card and also why I’m separating the Hard Drives. One of the principal reasons for the HFX Mini cases is that they are very similar to the Cyrus Audio units (half size).

I’m running a Cyrus CD transport into the DAC-XP and on into 2 x Cyrus Mono blocks driving a pair of B&W’s. This set up is about $10kUS so am prepared to spend a bit on the Music Server side to keep it all in tune. I’ve read the “crazy idea for a headless server” thread and it sounds like this is what I’m aiming for.


What do I do about the Sound Card, do I even need one? Can I go straight from the USB or firewire, through a converter and straight to digital out?


Any help greatly appreciated





Opus # 4[br] Cyrus DAC-XP ==> Cyrus Mono X ==> B&W XT4[br]Cyrus FM 7.5

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Hi Mountain King - Not sure if you read my article on the Mini HFx based server from End PC Noise so here is the link http://www.computeraudiophile.com/mCubed-hFX-Silent-Fanless-Music-Server-Review


You may want to look at the RME 9632 audio card. I'm using one right now. It has Coaxial S/PDIF output up to 24/192 and all samples rates below.


You can also get a FireWire to S/PDIF converter such as the Weiss Vesta or the new Weiss INT202 (I believe that's the model number).


Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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Hi Chris,

Thanks for the reply. Sorry I made a mistake, I'm looking at using the Micro HFX case, hence a full size sound card won't fit. I liked the sound of what the user was trying to do with the Juli@ card just using the digital half, only problem being an adapter is required for the PCI slot.

The Cyrus equipment is half width, like bel Canto, and was hoping to try and keep everything aesthetically the same.

Everything seams to work, just trying to work around the sound card issue




Opus # 4[br] Cyrus DAC-XP ==> Cyrus Mono X ==> B&W XT4[br]Cyrus FM 7.5

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