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THANKS Computer Audiophile Community!!

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A quick thanks to Chris and the rest of the CA community. I just got my first computer-based front end up and running and I am seriously impressed with what I'm hearing. The information I got from this forum steered my decisions heavily, and from what I’m hearing even just an hour into getting everything going, it was great advice.


Many thanks, all.




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How can you post that and not tell us what you put together? If you were looking to build up some suspense, consider it done. Spill!




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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sorry all, i would have posted more thoroughly, but i didn't want to presume that the community would be interested in the specifics of my system. since you asked, here goes...


i got intrigued at the idea of having a computer as a transport after reading everything i could on this forum. i then decided that it would be great for the entire family if i built the device such that it was able to play dvd's as well as stream content from hulu and netflix. since i had a spare PC, this first 'proof of concept' project would be really easy and straight-forward - if everything worked out and the family took to the new 'convergence' device, i'd build a smaller, silent box. truth be told, i'm so pleased with how this first effort came out, i think i'll live with it for a while.


my spare computer was built with a full-sized ATX mobo, so my choices in cases was somewhat limited. since the computer was going to sit in the living room, i didn't want anything to look too much like a PC. the case i finally settled on was the Zalman HD530. it has great cooling, plenty of room for all the hardware i wanted to include, and looks quite at home with the rest of my audio gear. speaking of cooling, i replaced the stock case fans with fans from Noctua, which are silent from all but a few inches away. I also replaced my old (loud, hot) drives with a single quiet and cool running Western Digital Green 1.5 TB drive - this drive isn't the highest performer available, but like the Noctua fans, it's completely silent from more than a few inches away. the computer, while not completely silent, is inaudible from the listening position - which was the goal.


where the soundcard was concerned, I was going back and forth between the the Lynx AES16 and Juli@, however, once i decided on a DAC, that decision became easy - since i went with the Weiss DAC2, i figured the soundcard wouldn't be as critical (i may be wrong here), as i was going to connect it via firewire. my requirements for the soundcard therefore were not much beyond something reasonably good that could pass an AC3/DTS signal for use with movies, so i went with the Juli@.


for the OS, I'm using Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit; for playblack I'm using iTunes. the rest of the system is comprised of the following... CounterPoint SA 5.1 Preamp; Atma-Sphere S-30 Mk 3.1 Power Amp; Wilson Audio Cub Speakers.


i've not yet begun to tweak things - the DAC2 is connected using coax while i'm waiting on the Firewire card, as well as the necessary bits to connect via the 4-pin to 6-pin scheme i read about on this forum. that said, right out of the gate, the system already sounds fantastic!! really, it's already exceeding my expectations, so thanks for all the advice - i've learned a lot from the community, and couldn't be more pleased with how this first effort turned out.




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