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External Storage: Wireless vs. FireWire?

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I bit the bullet and bought a Wavelength Cosecant over the weekend from Matt Rotunda at Pitch Perfect Audio in San Francisco. I compared it to the Brick, and while the Brick was awesome, I could just plain hear more with the Cosecant. Matt was knowledgeable and very nice. I recommend him.


Now, I need to buy and set up the rest of my system*: I'm thinking an iMac (so the kids will leave my wife's eMac alone) and a Drobo. Is there any advantage to hooking the Drobo up via FireWire as opposed to hooking it up to an AirPort Extreme in another room? Will there be any degradation or latency of the zeros and ones if I go wireless? Any other issues?






*As far as the 'traditional' part of the system, I have an Arcam 78 DVD/CD player going into an Arcam 300 receiver and then out to a set of Era Design 5 speakers. I used to have a set of MagnaPlanar speakers. I loved them, but my wife hated how much space they took up.



Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.

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Hi bmerikal - Your thoughts about the Wavelength Cosecant are exactly what other people have been telling me. The Brick is very good indeed, but the Cosecant is really something special according to everyone I know who has spent serious time with both.


If you don't mind extra noise in your listening room then FireWire will be the route to go. Much faster and automounting etc... I don't care for any extra noise in my listening room so I have my storage in another room. Via wireless the files will be access slower and ripped to the unit slower, but I haven't found it to be a big problem. Certainly no sound degradation or dropouts because of wireless access. Even with the huge 24/176.4 files.


Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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Hi there Bill


Nice choice on the Wavelength, I'm envious!


I have Drobo, iMac and Macbook, all fairly new.


I'd go Macbook over iMac mainly because the iMac can get pretty hot. Especially when using the drive a lot.


As far as Drobo, you will probably have fewer headaches using the direct connect USB or firewire. If you go wireless you might want to get the Drobo network device (so I hear). We just got a new DSL line so I'll go back to wireless this weekend for another round. The issue before was Drobo would sleep on the AE sometimes and it was a pain to wake it. Tech support said it needed their Droboshare.


As I understand it Drobo is really intended for direct connect. Droboshare allows the auto drive mapping over a network. The Drobo dashboard would not really work over AE. Not that you really need it.


Last bit of advice. I'd try to load 4 1 TB drives from the start since I am a little unclear what will happen when I try to go beyond my 2 750k's. It's a formatting issue where I think you have a choice to do 2 2 TB max "partitions" I will call them or 1 4TB part. Don't wanna get caught reformatting.


I see online the price of the USB Drobo is now $349. Mine is the USB so the new one probably is a little less quirky. USB is fine for music, unless you just want firewire or the newer unit.


All that said, direct connected, Drobo is stupid simple, reliable so far and works great. It is not silent, but if I stuffed it in a drawer I'd never hear it. I use WD Caviar drives. Chris has some other suggestions too. All you really hear is the drives a bit. It's not really noticeable when music is playing to me.


If I was starting over, I'd buy the Drobo, the Droboshare and 4 1TB drives from the start. If you read around here, there are other ways to skin the cat, and probably shave off a few bucks, but I don't think any are as easy as Drobo.


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