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Cygnusx

Ayre QX-5 Twenty + USB SSD drives, replace an Aurender??

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I'm thinking about upgrading my current DAC to an Ayre QX-5 and I want to attached some SSD drives to the QX-5 via USB and remove the Aurender N100H out of my current chain.  Do you guys see any draw backs?   I mainly listen to Tidal, although I have about 1 Terabyte of music.    My current chain is Aurender -> DAC via USB -> Amp.  Not really interested in a NAS setup since I don't have any other reason for a NAS.  Thx  

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That's an interesting idea. I might try that when I get my Ayre QX-5 (in a week I hope, but I won't be able to try for a month). That said, I have a Synology NAS that I run Roon off of. I kind of doubt I'd go to this, but who knows. Roon on the QX-5 was amazing though. 


Software: Roon [depricated: Moode Audio (http://moodeaudio.org), Audirvana Plus+]

Digital: Ayre Codex [upgrading to Ayre QX-5 Twenty]; Oppo UDP-205; [depricated: Raspberry Pi 2 with Hifiberry Digi+];  Synology Diskstation 412+ NAS;  Tidal

Preamplification: Ayre KX-5 Twenty;  Amplification: Ayre VX-5 Twenty; Speakers: Vandersteen 5A 

Analog: Clearaudio Performance DC, Concept tonearm, Artist v2 ebony cartridge, Ayre P-5xe, Nakamichi 630 (Tuner… just for fun)

Cables: Audioquest Aspen for speakers, otherwise Anti-cables throughout (except Audioquest running from P-5xe to K-5xeMP) 

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On 2/22/2018 at 11:05 AM, Cygnusx said:

I'm thinking about upgrading my current DAC to an Ayre QX-5 and I want to attached some SSD drives to the QX-5 via USB and remove the Aurender N100H out of my current chain.  Do you guys see any draw backs?   I mainly listen to Tidal, although I have about 1 Terabyte of music.    My current chain is Aurender -> DAC via USB -> Amp.  Not really interested in a NAS setup since I don't have any other reason for a NAS.  Thx  

I believe that within this thread Charles Hanson said the QX-5 could not play from attached HDD's but only USB sticks. You should give Ayre a call before making an investment if this is a deal breaker.


Sonore ultraRendu (MPD), Sonore ultraDigital, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, B&W 802 Diamond (Series 2), RealTraps acoustic treatments

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No need to check, Ayre has unequivocally stated that the QX-5 is not designed to handle a USB device with a large number of files on it. It’s not an inherent problem with an SSD vs a memory stick, but one assumes the SSD would be used because of it’s larger capacity, and that is the problem.

 

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No more thing to note if people weren't aware of this: the USB inputs that will allow use of a USB stick are part of the Ethernet module. If you don't get the QX-5 with network capability, you don't get the USB ports.


Sonore ultraRendu (MPD), Sonore ultraDigital, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, B&W 802 Diamond (Series 2), RealTraps acoustic treatments

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As others mentioned, SSDs and other USB drives (not flash) are currently a problem for the QX-5.  When we adopted the module, this was one of the features being worked on that hasn't been completed yet.  I'll get back on this to see what we can do.


President

Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

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I agree with you between the two.  We didn't like it as much here at the shop, but there's a lot of network switches, etc. in the office that almost certainly have some cumulative effect on the sound.  When I took a unit home, however, I definitely favored the Ethernet over the USB...plus I like getting to use my phone or tablet as a remote control!  We've messed with different OSs, physical computers, cables, and playback software and they all seem to have an effect on how USB sounds.  Interestingly, our personal favorite was actually the DX-5 feeding S/PDIF over the AES digital connection on the back of the DX-5 into the QX-5.  Ariel and Charley spent some time implementing a new design to eliminate the S/PDIF interface jitter issues, which was the main barrier to adding S/PDIF inputs on our products before.  In doing so, they made it sound unexpectedly good.

 

Over one weekend we were breaking in the beta version of the QX-5 using a CD as all of our network DNLA applications wouldn't allow the unit to continue to play on its own once we went home with our phones for the night.  Charley came in on the following week and immediately said it was the best sounding he's ever heard that room.  Of course, that brought me in and I was equally impressed.  It took us a bit to figure out that it was the source that changed from the Ethernet connection to the S/PDIF input.  After listening to both the Ethernet and USB, we still preferred that setup.  I have to admit I haven't spent the time comparing the cleaner home Ethernet to the S/PDIF input, however, so your mileage may vary. 


President

Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

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Just an FYI, I am currently using an external hard drive connected to one of the USB ports on input 10 on the Ayre QX-5 Twenty and it works. It was a quick, simple, low cost option until I decide on a permanent solution, allowing good convenience accessing the music files via the MConnect control app. Sound quality wise, this was on average or not as good as Tidal via the Ethernet input comparing the same two tracks.

With the addition of a couple tweaks to this setup,
1) I replaced the power supply on the external USB HD with an ultra low noise power supply.
2) I added 2 - USB active noise cancelling, jitter reduction, re-clocking devices, one on each of the USB inputs on input 10 on the Ayre QX-5 Twenty.

Together these 2 tweaks improved the sound quality of this external HD setup on the USB input significantly! Bringing it very very close to the level I have when comparing to the same track via Tidal through the Ethernet input.

Notes:
- I currently have only 121GB or 6300 files on the external USB HD.

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Thanks for the info. How large is your external drive?  What’s the make and model?  I tried connecting a usb power 2TB western digital external hard drive and all I heard was clicking. It didn’t work.  Also, what disk format is the drive - windows / Mac? 

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On 2/22/2018 at 5:05 PM, Cygnusx said:

I'm thinking about upgrading my current DAC to an Ayre QX-5 and I want to attached some SSD drives to the QX-5 via USB and remove the Aurender N100H out of my current chain.

Why do you want to substitute the Aurender you already own with new direct connected SSDs? The N100H should work flawless with the QX-5 and I doubt you'll get a similar sound quality with the SSD solution.

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Really two reasons.  First, I listen to mostly Tidal (now Qobuz) so if I could add a hard drive to listen to some music, I was thinking about selling the Aurender.   Second, I’m just curious to know if it works.  Things have changed since my original post and will most likely upgrade the Aurender. 

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Hi Cygnusx,

 

Here are the specifics of the current external HD setup:

- Model of the external HD USB enclosure is and older Western Digital "MyBook", model WD P/N: WD10000H1CS-00.

-The external power supply has been upgraded with an IFI Audio Ipower model: LN-1230

- The internal drive inside the enclosure has been replaced with a WD10EZEX 1TB (non SSD).  I have tried swapping with a Crucial SSD but it was not recognized by the WD enclosure.  I am looking for a different external USB enclosure to use the Crucial SSD.

- The HD is formatted with NTFS file system via Windows.

- The tweaks or additions are the IFI Audio Isilencer 3.0's.  I am currently running tests with 5 of them in different configurations. 

 

I have also tested a Western Digital "My Passport" model P/N: WDBACY5000ABK-01 which is a 500GB (non SSD) USB powered external HD and it works.  This HD was also formatted with NTFS file system via Windows.  However this (non SSD) USB powered drive appears to draw almost all of the available power from the QX-5's USB port such that I cannot add anything else to the port.  If I do add any other devices, it will not function, I hear a clicking sound, possibly the drive cannot spin up?  I hope to get the Crucial SSD running.  I don't see why it won't work based on the 2 different drives I have already tested, but you never know.

 

The main reason I have not purchased a Melco or Aurender storage solution is lack of available shelf space.  I also haven't compared the sound quality of this simple external HD solution to any other server or media storage solution yet, but I am planning too, once I finish tweaking it.  Lol

 

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@Firewire....I was playing around with a Raspberry Pi and Allo USBridge last year and it wasn't good so I sold the Allo USBridge and wasn't doing anything with the Raspberry Pi.  I decided to dust off the Raspberry Pi and installed Moode Music server with the minidlna server running attaching the 2TB USB drive connected via Ethernet, seating in my office.  Using the mconnect app from my iPhone I'm able to connect the Moode music server to the AX5/20 and play music.  Although, not as good as the Aurender, the Raspberry Pi + Moode sounds better than what the Allo USBridge had to offer via USB.  Pretty cheap music server with decent sound quality, if you want to give that a try.  

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Thanks for the info on the Raspberry Pi - Ethernet/USB HD solution.  There are so many different options to connect media to the Ayre QX-5 Twenty.

 

I recently purchased a new SSD and external USB powered case to test out for any sonic differences.

 

The SSD was installed into the external USB case, formatted with NTFS and media copied to it via PC.  I plugged the USB cable into a 4 port hub that I have connected to one of the USB ports on input 10 on the Ayre QX-5 Twenty.  I am also using 5 of the ifi audio iSilencers 3.0 in combination with the 4 port USB hub.  I played a track to compare to the previous older non-SSD solution.  It was immediately apparent the sound quality was further improved. :)  

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1 hour ago, Firewire said:

Thanks for the info on the Raspberry Pi - Ethernet/USB HD solution.  There are so many different options to connect media to the Ayre QX-5 Twenty.

 

I recently purchased a new SSD and external USB powered case to test out for any sonic differences.

 

The SSD was installed into the external USB case, formatted with NTFS and media copied to it via PC.  I plugged the USB cable into a 4 port hub that I have connected to one of the USB ports on input 10 on the Ayre QX-5 Twenty.  I am also using 5 of the ifi audio iSilencers 3.0 in combination with the 4 port USB hub.  I played a track to compare to the previous older non-SSD solution.  It was immediately apparent the sound quality was further improved. :)  

Does this require that you use mconnect as the music player?


Sonore ultraRendu (MPD), Sonore ultraDigital, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, B&W 802 Diamond (Series 2), RealTraps acoustic treatments

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