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Lessons learned re: Computer Audiophile Pocket Server - C.A.P.S. -


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For those of who us trying to learn from others experiences re: the CAPS server (ie my final prepurchase checklist)

 

General questions: (USB audio only)

1) What other (ie less $) cases worked? Bigger is not necessarily an issue as I have space

2) Was 60 watt power supply adequate?

3) Were there any operational issues, hiccups, problems to be aware of- glitches, funny sounds,lockups, etc

4) Did anyone try other SSD drives successfully - if so which ones?

 

Video questions (I got lost in the discussion and am not sophisticated enough to understand what was going on)

1) Would this device do high end 1080 video without problems?

2) Where other cards were required? If so, would they fit in what case

3) How much power required if video to be done.

 

Thanks

 

 

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I doubt the CAPS as presented by Chris would play back 1080p video (smoothly) in it's current state. Adding the Broadcom Mini-PCI accelerator card (which Chris mentioned) should allow playback of 1080p IF the playback software supports it.

 

If you used a NVidia ION based motherboard instead of the Intel one this would play back 1080p without issue (again IF the playback software supported the NVidia's hardware acceleration).

 

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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I used this case to build a similar server:

http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/p_contents.php?pno=ml02&area=

 

The case comes with a power supply that will support any motherboard in the Mobile on Desktop category of mobo, but if you went with the Atom board Chris suggested you don't need much in the way of power. 60 watts is more than enough power for that board. With a wifi card and 100% CPU it only drew 18 watts, I imagine with the broadcom decoder it would be in the same ballpark.

 

A good review discussing power requirements for that board is here:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/Intel_D945GSEJT_with_Morex_T1610

 

Any SSD drive should be fine. I use Compact flash in my system, but that's because I'm using Linux with a read-only drive setup. With Windows you pretty much need SSD.

 

On my own system I'm currently using an underclocked Asus board, but I'd purchased that before the really low power Atom cpu/chipset combos had been launched. I've recently picked up the Atom board and am planning to switch.

 

Edit:

Here's a review of the Broadcom decoder.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/LogicSupply_BCM970012_HD_video_decoder

19-20 watts maxed on the Atom board.

 

 

You may also seriously want to consider Linux if you're thinking about video - XBMC would be pretty killer and supports this decoder. Read some more here:

http://www.anandtech.com/gadgets/showdoc.aspx?i=3701

 

You can use xbmc for music directly, and I've heard good things about that, but Linux also opens the door for using mpd. Not sure if the Windows version of xbmc also supports the decoder card...

 

 

mpdPup maintainer

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As I understand (and remember) it, XBMC does not currently support the Broadcom decoder card, though they are working on it and it may be available in the alpha versions which (I think) you can download.

 

The Linux version of the XBMC does support hardware acceleration for video in the NVidia chipset, but the Windows version does not.

 

The PAP audio player used in XBCM can be configured (easily) to be bit-perfect (no resampling) in Linux but not sure how the overall sound quality compares with MPD and Windows solution.

 

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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For us non technical folks:

 

My goal, when listening, is to replicate the old days of holding the album cover (CD or vinyl), reading lyrics, looking at the package insert, etc.

 

With MediaMonkey (and others I presume), one can do this but it takes a fair amount of screen real estate.

 

I use VNC on a laptop to control the music player remotely.

 

Does the CAPS server video card go to higher resolutions (which might prevent lots of scrolling)? If so what is the maximum? I don't see technical info re: this issue in the web sites.

 

I will not actually have a monitor on the CAPS device (after setup) if that is important

 

In the alternative, do you all think the iPad's ability to "blow up" stuff (ie enlarge) might prove an easy workable alternative, realizing the music server is going to be a PC? ie, easy to scroll see stuff, etc

 

Thanks

 

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Hi doc - I use the C.A.P.S. server at 1400 x 1050 when I connect via Remote Desktop. It's the largest resolution the Remote Desktop Client supports other than full screen (which also works). I don't use a connected monitor and have no issues. I'll get my iPad April 3rd. Until then I won't make any guesses as to what will or will not work. I have a hunch but don't want to mislead anyone.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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lets be careful here! The Silverstone MLO2 comes with a 19V power adapter "external brick" and the Intel D945GSEJT Johnstown Mini-ITX Mainboard uses a 12V input. So you can't use it anyway. BTW I looked at the specs on the internal power supply for the ML02 and it's has a pretty hight ripple/noise rating for a hi end computer server. Just some thoughts to avoid confusion and trouble during the build.

 

Jesus R

www.sonore.us

 

 

 

 

 

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You wouldn't use the SilverStone's built in power supply/DC-DC converter if you went with the D945GSEJT. You'd just use the normal PS recommended for the Atom board. The grill plate that comes with the D945GSEJT has a separate cut-out for it's own PSU, so no issue there.

 

Still looking for advice on anyone trying out a higher end power supply with the D945GSEJT. Some of the aftermarket Squeezebox supplies seem like they might be compatible, but I know next to nothing about electrical engineering, so not really sure.

 

 

mpdPup maintainer

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I use a linear PS with my C.A.P.S., bought from Item Audio here in the UK for £70 + shipping. Although this is a standard 13.8V bench PS, Item have reduced the output to 12.8V and have changed the output terminals to provide 2x 2.1mm DC sockets (I use one of these with a 2.1mm to 2.5mm adaptor for the C.A.P.S.).

 

I haven't done any real comparisons with the stock brick SMPS that came with the Origen case, but I really like the sound I'm getting. In the past, I've always found the MF X24 DAC to be way too bright. But with the C.A.P.S. it sounds very listenable...

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horns + 2x Rotel RB-1590 amps -> 4 subs

Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers

Vinyl: Technics SP10 / London (Decca) Reference -> Trafomatic Luna -> RME ADI-2 Pro

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Hi, New Guy here. I have been looking at this Acer Aspire as a music server: http://www.amazon.com/Acer-AspireRevo-AR3610-U9022-Desktop-Dark/dp/B0030L3ASU There are a lot of folks using this one and its smaller brother the AR1600 as a home theater server. Any thoughts?

 

Hp Laptop W/Vista SP2 -> J-River MC 16 -> M2Tech HiFace, V-Link -> Audio-GD FUN/MF V-DAC/Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0 -> Halfler 915 -> Marantz MM9000 -> Very Modified Dahlquist DQ-10\'s [br]or MacBook W/Lion -> iTunes -> V-Link -> V-DAC -> Schitt LYR -> Sennheiser HD600, HD650, Denon AH-D5000

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The big limit with something like the Acer Aspire Revo you mentioned is that it is limited to USB for connection to a DAC, and you are limited with how much you can alter it's powersupply, etc to optimise performance. Other than that it should work just as well as Chris' C.A.P.S. though a lot of the percieved good performace from that is by using the Lynx card to Chris' DAC of choice.

 

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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It dose have a Toslink in the headphone jack like Mac's do. I also have been reading up on using the M2Tech HiFace USB to SPDIF to run to my "Vintage" Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0 for now. This will also let me upgrade to the PS Audio Digital Link III when funds become available. I just thought the Aspire Revo fit the criterea of small, quiet, and lots of input/output options and reasonable costs.

 

Hp Laptop W/Vista SP2 -> J-River MC 16 -> M2Tech HiFace, V-Link -> Audio-GD FUN/MF V-DAC/Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0 -> Halfler 915 -> Marantz MM9000 -> Very Modified Dahlquist DQ-10\'s [br]or MacBook W/Lion -> iTunes -> V-Link -> V-DAC -> Schitt LYR -> Sennheiser HD600, HD650, Denon AH-D5000

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  • 9 months later...

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