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Building a PC to improve SMS-200 Ultra


Advieira
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Hi everyone,

I'm trying to upgrade my transport/source system.

Actually, it is MAC-MINI(no mod) > SMS200 Ultra (SPS500) >  Auralic Vega.

I want to change the mac mini for a mini PC optmized to best transport and roon server.

 

Look at my choices:

 

Chassis: Streacom F1C Evo Mini ITX

Motherboard: Jetway NF591-3160

Memory: Crucial 16gb 1333

Boot storage: Corsair Force MP500 120gb M.2

Cache storage: SSD Crucial 240gb Sata 2.5

 

Audiophile Upgrade
Jcat Femto Net Card
Sotm Sata filter
Roon OS (ROCK)

So, this is my question: how can I find a good power supply to its system? I don't want to pay more than I need, because it's a simple computer for audio (12v jack) and net card (5v jack).

What do you think?
Using this system, could I have a BIG upgrade in SQ sending data to SMS-200 Ultra?


Thanks
Andre

 

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Since you mention Roon, you might as well go ROCK.  That means, and i5 or i7 NUC, depending on whether you want encoding for 1 zone (i5) to multiple zones (i7).

 

Since you have sMS-200ultra, you might as well get the modded network switch from SOtM and make use of the unused clock in the ultra.

 

For power supply, an excellent option is the PH SR5MR with 2 rails.  This makes the biggest impact in my system or go SR7MR to cover more of your other systems.  This set-up cost a little more but it is one of the few things that you will not want to skimp with.  These units are well worth the price.

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Yes, i agree with improve network switch will sure improve your current and future setup.

In addition LPS is a must. However, However if you want to goto PH stuff be advise of a super long wait. Mine 6 moths and is last year. i end up changed the setup when i got mind.

 

Also check out a new company do custom Audio grade LPS and Router and switch. They have 30 days. and I just ordered mine to compare. 

 

 

 

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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2 hours ago, Advieira said:

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to upgrade my transport/source system.

Actually, it is MAC-MINI(no mod) > SMS200 Ultra (SPS500) >  Auralic Vega.

I want to change the mac mini for a mini PC optmized to best transport and roon server.

 

Look at my choices:

 

Chassis: Streacom F1C Evo Mini ITX

Motherboard: Jetway NF591-3160

Memory: Crucial 16gb 1333

Boot storage: Corsair Force MP500 120gb M.2

Cache storage: SSD Crucial 240gb Sata 2.5

 

Audiophile Upgrade
Jcat Femto Net Card
Sotm Sata filter
Roon OS (ROCK)

So, this is my question: how can I find a good power supply to its system? I don't want to pay more than I need, because it's a simple computer for audio (12v jack) and net card (5v jack).

What do you think?
Using this system, could I have a BIG upgrade in SQ sending data to SMS-200 Ultra?


Thanks
Andre

 

Your going to build a new server and install an audiophile NIC instead of a sCLK-EX?  I would think Romaz's findings have demonstrated the best SQ path with a new server build.  Drop the femto card and get the sCLK-EX, use one of the points on the LAN, would better server you along with the other mobo clocks replaced, especially the system clock. 

If you didn't want to buy a new sCLK-EX, just use the extra two points available from your Ultra sCLK-EX for the mobo, system clock and lan clock, a SOtM mod.  The price would not be much more than buying the femto card which you wouldn't need.

 

Also with that chassis you chose, there is no PCIe slot available for that femto card.  If your into streaming from online only, then I would also get a different mobo, smaller, like one of the Jetway NUC's that has two lan ports.  That would be far cheaper.  You don't need 16 GB of memory.  4 at the most and maybe only 2.  You don't need M2 for a streaming audiophile mobo, but that isn't probably as much of a big deal if you replace the system clock and clean power.

(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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1 hour ago, ElviaCaprice said:

  If your into streaming from online only, then I would also get a different mobo, smaller, like one of the Jetway NUC's that has two lan ports. 

 

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX)
How you connected a SCLK-EX board to a mini-enclosed-nuc?

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31 minutes ago, Advieira said:

Elvia, how can I connect the clocks of SMS200Ultra to the Mobo Lan?

My DAc is Auralic Vega, it has not Master Clock Inputs.

Have SOtM do it.  It will cost you about $100 to $150 back and forth on shipping.  $50 bucks per sCLK-EX point installed, 2 in your case.  $50 per installation, 2 in your case.  If master clock input wanted add another $150?

 

Yes, I've had a sCLK-EX modified onto my Jetway NUC.  SOtM will add some extended inserts to create a open crack around the enclosure so as to allow point leads access to the mobo modified.   The sCLK EX will still reside in your Ultra, in your case, mine is encased externally.  Obviously your Ultra needs to sit near the NUC within reason.

 

Other option, sell the Ultra.  Go with a sCLK-EX  server only via USB to your Vega.  Then I would go back to the mobo you first suggested and use a tXUSBexp PCIe card with it for USB feed to the DAC.  You'll need a different enclosure with at least 1 low PCIe slot available.  There are several other options that would be an added benefit, up to you.  Read the thread we have already discussed all these possibilities in.

 

Roon or JRiver will work with either of these designs.

 

 

(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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10 minutes ago, ElviaCaprice said:

Have SOtM do it.  It will cost you about $100 to $150 back and forth on shipping.  $50 bucks per sCLK-EX point installed, 2 in your case.  $50 per installation, 2 in your case.  If master clock input wanted add another $150?

 

 

Let us suppose I will sell the Sms200 ultra.

What pieces/devices exactly you recommend me to buy for build a transport better than the Ultra?

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20 minutes ago, Advieira said:

 

Let us suppose I will sell the Sms200 ultra.

What pieces/devices exactly you recommend me to buy for build a transport better than the Ultra?

 

Your going to have to do the leg work.  I'm not going to lay out the exact design I would do, because I don't know what your exact needs are?  Plus it would be a lot of work.  I gave you a quick idea of what you could do.  Go here to this thread and do the research.  Pay close attention of I and Romaz's threads. 

Other than Romaz's findings, I personally have never compared the Ultra (trifecta) to the sCLK-EX server.  Roy found the server better, for different reasons that lead to better SQ.

 

 

(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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17 minutes ago, Advieira said:

 

Let us suppose I will sell the Sms200 ultra.

What pieces/devices exactly you recommend me to buy for build a transport better than the Ultra?

 

You have 3 choices:

 

1. Build everything into 1 box - Roon Server (Rock will no longer work), add tx-USBexp, add sCLK-EX which Caprice is suggesting.  You'll lose flexibility with Roon and add components that may not have filters similar to sMS-200Ultra.  It will be more costly too since you will be selling out your sMS-200Ultra.

 

2. Build 2 boxes - 1 for renderer like #1 above (act the same as sMS-200ultra) + 1 for Rock or Roon Server.  Costly and too complex.

 

3. Keep the sMS-200ultra and add a NUC for Rock - Pros is the ability to run Rock.  Rock is very efficient. Program is very small and it is optimized for playing music only and Roon.

 

I went with #3 for best of all worlds with Roon - cost, flexibility, and comparable SQ with #1.

 

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52 minutes ago, Advieira said:

 

Why should change my mac mini ssd for a nuc? Has it better sound?

 

You don't have to having an sMS-200ultra since your mac mini will only be acting as a file and/or a Roon server.   NUC's advantage (talking about Intel NUC here) is Rock and the ability to use passive case which are more readily available.  Intel NUC also uses Intel Ethernet which are said to run packets more efficiently than Realtek or Broadcom chips (No proof here and no SQ test I am aware of).  You'll also have an OS just built for audio and Roon.

 

 

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6 hours ago, TopQuark said:

 

You don't have to having an sMS-200ultra since your mac mini will only be acting as a file and/or a Roon server.

 

 

Sorry, I didn’t understood this part. In the topic “the novel to massive...” that guy romaz uses a mac mini with direct connection to sms200,  he don’t?

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Comes down to great clocking, sCLK-EX, and great power supplies, LPS-1, Paul Hynes SR7, etc. 

Your already familiar on the great sound of the sCLK-EX on the sMS-200Ultra, a big improvement over the non sCLK-EX sMS-200.  

Fact is, the server does still play a role on sound quality of a renderer.  Improving the clocks/PS on a server will improve the overall sound with or without the renderer.  Really a renderer is a computer server in it's own rights. 

The real question then becomes, does a modified server via sCLK-EX make a modified renderer sCLK-EX, repetitive or unnecessary?  Answer depends on your design and power supplies.  Roy and I would say, yes. 

So choose your battle, by pushing out the problem of a non modified server to a renderer, or taking on the battle direct at the server.  Or some quasi fix between the two?  Either way, it's the sCLK-EX that is the key to your improved SQ.

(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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6 hours ago, Advieira said:

 

Sorry, I didn’t understood this part. In the topic “the novel to massive...” that guy romaz uses a mac mini with direct connection to sms200,  he don’t?

 

He did use the mac mini and he tried a lot of other things but I don't recall him trying Rock because he wanted more customization.  The latest Rock version now has tons of customization - convolution, headroom management, parametric EQ, procedural EQ, sample rate conversion, and even has specific Audeze customization now.  More is being develop.  You can now also isolate packets going to the renderer by creating a subnet separate from the main LAN to assure only pure audio packets are being fed to the renderer.

 

Rarely do you hear an OS created just for audiophile audio and Rock is one of the few and something to take advantage of if you are already in the Roon ecosystem.

 

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5 hours ago, ElviaCaprice said:

The real question then becomes, does a modified server via sCLK-EX make a modified renderer sCLK-EX, repetitive or unnecessary?  Answer depends on your design and power supplies.  Roy and I would say, yes. 

Yes, i support that as well. However, your server has to be sCLK-EX or better clock board. if not your SQ will be degraded. Been there done that. Just try to saving you sometime.

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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20 minutes ago, ismewor said:

Yes, i support that as well. However, your server has to be sCLK-EX or better clock board. if not your SQ will be degraded. Been there done that. Just try to saving you sometime.

You lost me.  Isn't that what we are talking about, doing a mod on a mobo with the sCLK-EX?  So you have done this mod before?  I know Roy and I have, didn't know anyone else has?  It made a huge difference modifying the mobo with the sCLK-EX and clean power.  So big, that, I wouldn't add any fixers to the server stream, go straight to the DAC, bit perfect. 

(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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1 hour ago, TopQuark said:

You can now also isolate packets going to the renderer by creating a subnet separate from the main LAN to assure only pure audio packets are being fed to the renderer.

 

Can you elaborate on this part when you use ROCK?

Main system
TAD D1000mk2, TAD M2500mk2, TAD CE-1, Ansuz Mainz 8 C2, Ansuz Darkz D-TC, 
Qobuz Studio -> Roon ROCK on NUC -> Uptone etherREGEN -> dCS Network Bridge -> AES/EBU -> DAC
HD Plex 200W PSU (4 rail for ISP fiber, router, etherREGEN and NUC)
 
Second system
Qobuz Studio -> Devialet Silver Phantom, Devialet Tree
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1 hour ago, ismewor said:

Yes, i support that as well. However, your server has to be sCLK-EX or better clock board. if not your SQ will be degraded. Been there done that. Just try to saving you sometime.

 

+1 on this. The sMS-200ultra mobo was designed and optimized for audio - low power, unnecessary components are not included in the mobo, and only audio grade components used, etc. It already includes the sCLK-EX.  Then factor in the same CPU sharing the multiple tasks such as audio rendering, album library creation, DSP, and other parametric tweaks if this is part of you plan, then I find it just too much work for the CPU.  Some may say that there is no SQ difference in A/B tests but, to me, I want that variable taken out of the equation.  Pure audio rendering is the goal and this can only be achieved by a renderer whose task is just to deliver audio and no other data packets.

 

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1 hour ago, octaviars said:

 

Can you elaborate on this part when you use ROCK?

 

With NUC, use the first ethernet port to the renderer.  The second port will be used to connect to the LAN.  With Rock, different subnet can be created as in the following example:

 

image.thumb.png.6bfa69a725e83c8707558bd023a05993.png

 

image.thumb.png.f08a62e295729c87eebb827165eb2648.png

 

Ethernet = connected to renderer

Ethernet2 = connected to local LAN

 

Note the different subnet under IP Address.  Any packets from the LAN to the renderer will not pass through and are blocked with a different subnet.

 

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Ok that I have seen @TopQuark on the Roon forum. I suppose you will use a USB to ethernet adapter to be able to use a NUC to do this and a endpoint that has the possibility to set a static IP?

Main system
TAD D1000mk2, TAD M2500mk2, TAD CE-1, Ansuz Mainz 8 C2, Ansuz Darkz D-TC, 
Qobuz Studio -> Roon ROCK on NUC -> Uptone etherREGEN -> dCS Network Bridge -> AES/EBU -> DAC
HD Plex 200W PSU (4 rail for ISP fiber, router, etherREGEN and NUC)
 
Second system
Qobuz Studio -> Devialet Silver Phantom, Devialet Tree
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3 hours ago, TopQuark said:

Rarely do you hear an OS created just for audiophile audio and Rock is one of the few and something to take advantage of if you are already in the Roon ecosystem.

 

 

Do you know if its possible to install Rock in a fanless NUC Celeron?||
Many serious audiophile devices, like Aurender, uses simple and small motherboard fanless and not too powerful processor.

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19 minutes ago, Advieira said:

 

Do you know if its possible to install Rock in a fanless NUC Celeron?||
Many serious audiophile devices, like Aurender, uses simple and small motherboard fanless and not too powerful processor.

 

Yes you can install Rock on a fanless Celeron NUC.

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