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Do I need to move Itunes to external storage before a big audition?


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I recently started building the front part of my first music server. Ripping CD's to a Mac Mini on to the stock internal drive. I have not decided on the external storage solution yet. Mostly because I need to pick my DAC which might be USB or FW. Whatever it is, I'll go with the other for storage. I know FW can handle both a DAC and disk, but I want them to be different.

 

I have an in home audition coming up of two good DACs and I'm wondering if using internal disk is going to compromise the sound quality enough that I should be concerned about the audition. If it is, I may just have to get an external FW drive now.

 

Bryan

 

Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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Hi Bryan,

 

The USB architecture is shared by multiple USB devices. If your DAC is a USB one, then it may be subject to interference from bandwidth sharing. So, a good advice is to

 

However, the USB 2.0's bandwidth is almost totally consumed by the uncompressed 2-channel 24/192 audio stream. If you plan for the 24/192 on a USB DAC, then you may need to be aware of this issue. For 24/96, there is enough headroom for it.

 

A solution would be adding another USB interface card (one for a USB DAC alone) or, alternatively, using a Firewire or NAS storage instead.

 

Another friend of mine built a 25TB NAS storage for his fullrip BD movies !!

 

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in the 'do as I say, not as I do' category, comes this advice:

 

Don't change any other stuff in your system either right before or during your auditions.

 

I make this mistake all the time, with computer tweaks, and then don't have a way to tell what might have made the impact. And I'm too darn lazy to go back and undo things, especially when many are a PITA the un-do and then re-do.

 

clay

 

 

 

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I am guilty of that myself. I haven't even listened to the Mac Mini yet because none of the DACs are in house. So it's not like I'd be making a change to something I've even heard yet. I can get a disk in and move iTunes over before the first DAC arrives. If the storage location of iTunes does impact sound quality in such a way that I'll be misjudging a DACs performance, then I'd do my best to move to external disk now. If using the local disk for iTunes isn't a big deal, I'd prefer to wait and take my time on my storage solution. I know OWC has quad interface disks and it would be easy to switch from USB/FW once I figure out the DAC I want to keep, but I can't get one in time. Local stores don't seem to have multi interface external disk. Primarily just USB.

 

Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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AFAIC, listening via internal disk will not hamper or invalidate your tests.

 

I don't believe this 'tweak' is of the 'must have' / 'everyone will notice' / 'night & day' variety. I do it because it's a simple, inexpensive way to provide peace of mind. It's also a step in the direction of centralized files (for use by other playback systems). I did it the same time as other changes and can't verify any improvement, nor do I care.

 

clay

 

 

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You don't care? I thought you were a real computer audiophile :-)

 

One of the big things I picked up right away where I started to look at music server playback is that its not as simple as a one box player and there are a lot of things to tune to make this type of system sound optimal. And I think it is important to understand how much of an impact each part makes. If having rips on external is a small thing, great.

 

Bryan

 

Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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