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Just starting out, advice please


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This is my first post. I have been reading for some time and appreciate all of the good information on this site.

I acknowledge upfront that I have a lot to learn about the technical and even basic parts of computer audio equipment and especially the programming/setup. I may ask some pretty basic/stupid questions along the way.

I apologize in advance if my three initial questions below have been addressed already- I first tried to do a search.

I have a nice digital and analog system and I want to start building the computer audio part of my system. Unless otherwise advised, I plan on starting with the sound card, cable from soundcard and NAS to start creating a music library. I have a Windows 7, 64 bit computer and I want to use it and not buy or build another computer with Windows 7, 32 bit or XP unless absolutely necessary.

Any advice for these three questions is appreciated:

1. Will the Lynx card work with 64 bit Windows 7?

2. If the Lynx card will work, do I go from the card directly into the NAS when I start ripping CD's? (I told you there may be some stupid questions) and

3.It seems that the Thecus 5200 is being phased out and may not be compatible with 64 bit. They recommended the N5500. Please see their response to me below. Does the N5500 sound OK and will I have problems based upon their info about re: the Setup Wizard?

 

" We suggest N5500 instead of N5200Pro, as it is coming to it's end of life. 2. Windows 7 64bit can map network drive to N5500 NAS with no problem, the issue is going to be the Setup Wizard software that is not 64 bit compatible. 3. Setup Wizard is only to configure N5500 with an IP address, otherwise it does not do anything else for N5500. 4. Typically there are 2 methods to setup Thecus NAS including N5500. Keep in mind that the default IP address of N5500 WAN port is 192.168.1.100. a ) Use Thecus Setup Wizard "Scan" for N5500, and change it's IP address to one that is more appropriate for your network. Then use Web Browser to login to NAS Web Admin Console to start RAID Config. In the event, Setup Wizard is not compatible or does not find Thecus NAS due to firewall blocking, or just does not find Thecus NAS, then... b) Change IP address of your Computer temporarily to 192.168.1.50, then use Web Browser to login to NAS Web Admin Console at http:\192.168.1.100, once you are able to login to Web Admin console, then change WAN Port IP to one that is more appropriate for your network, then continue to use Web Admin Console to start RAID Config"

 

Thanks again.

 

 

Bill[br]

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You say you have a nice digital and analogue system - might be worth giving some details as it maybe some parts can easily be used within a computer audio system but many cannot.

 

In reply to your specific questions ...

1) Both the Lynx AES16 and AES16e list compatibility with Windows 7 64bit

 

3) The Thecus N5500 sounds fine if a little fiddly if your network isn't a 192.168.1.x range. How many CDs are you planning to add to the system? Is the Thecus exclusively for music playback or do you have need of it for other things too? Some people report improved SQ with directly attached discs, and these are certainly easier to setup if you have only basic computer skills.

 

2) You asked about Lynx Card to the NAS when ripping CDs which doesn't make sense how you worded it (at least to me) so please forgive me if this answer sounds like I'm treating you like an idiot...

 

The Lynx card (assuming you are talking about the AES16 or AES16e which is the usual card referenced) is a PCI card designed to allow you to connect your computer to a DAC (or in professional circles other devices) which use the AES/EBU protocol for their connections - this is a version of SPDIF designed for professional interconnections.

 

The NAS is (basically) a computer which is dedicated to the task of supplying files to another computer. It cannot be connected directly to your HiFi even with a Lynx card.

 

Ripping your files is done by a computer and the resultant files are stored on the NAS. When you want to play a file back, a computer (usually the same one) reads the file back from the NAS and has to convert it into a signal suitable for amplification. This is done by a DAC (digital to analogue converter). This is usually in a separate box but you can get PCI sound cards which can provide an analogue signal. If your DAC is external, the computer needs to connect to it in some way - this can be via USB or FireWire, or via an SPDIF or AES connection which is where cards like the Lynx AES16 come in.

 

I hope my comments have helped you a little and I suggest that you may get some good advice if you come back and list your equipment (it may be that your CD player can be used as a DAC) and an indication of a budget you have in mind and people will give you some suggestions how to put together an appropriate system.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Thanks Eloise for you assistance. It helps. I am a beginner.

I wanted to make sure that not having a good soundcard as I start ripping would in some way affect the quality of the ripped music. I knew that ultimately the card would feed in to the DAC but wasn't sure if it was needed during the ripping process. Your answer solved that one for me.

Re: the Thecus. I would use it for music storage and want to use the ripping strategy suggested by Chris in making a dual rip with WAV and Flac in a Raid 5 arrangement. I am looking for the "best" NAS solution within reason and if the N5500 is not the best solution then I am open to recommendations.

You asked that I list my system:

BAT REX preamp, Audiopax Mono 88's, Mark II, Ayre C5xeMP player, Tron Seven phono pre with Telefunkens, TW Acustic Raven Two TT with Ortofon 309S arm and Audio Tekne carbon headshell with Ortofon Rondo Bronze cart and Graham Phantom II arm with Air Tight PC-1 cart, AudioDesk Vinyl Cleaning machine on order, Audience Adept Response RP12 Conditioner, WSS Cables and Cardas Golden Ref cables, Elrod PC's, (2) Grand Prix Monaco stands , Avantgarde Duo Omega speakers on Grand Prix Apex feet and (3) Avantgarde Solo speakers.

Re: budget for the computer audio, I would like it to match the level of my system. I guess I would lean toward something like the Berkeley Alpha or at that level. I figure that if I start ripping CD's now that there might be an Alpha Version 5 by the time I finish.

Thanks again.

 

Bill[br]

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You are correct that you don't need to get the sound card before you rip your music. The two processes don't interact with each other.

 

RE Thecus: From my reading the Thecus and QNAP devices are the ones that generally tend to be recommended and reviewed as being the best in their class.

 

As for a DAC when you get round to buying ... given that you have an Ayre CD player, have you considered the Ayre QB9 DAC? This connects via Asyncronous USB which eliminates the need for the Lynx card and all the complications that adds.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Hi Bill - According to the Thecus N5500 manual you can set the IP Address via the front LCD and front buttons. This is how I actually set the IP on my N5200B Pro. Page 20 of this manual has the LCD setup instructions. Link to the Manual.

 

I sense that your skills in this area could use a little touch-up. Do you know what IP address scheme your network uses and what IP address you will assign the Thecus NAS so it will work on your network? The instructions Thecus sent you wouldn't really work if your network had a 10.0.1.x IP address scheme.

 

 

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