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Deyorew

UGH Help me start over! I need an overhaul.

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I first came upon this site in 2008 and in early 2009 I started putting together my music server. 2009 Mac Mini with Wavelength Proton USB DAC. Music in my home was better than ever for years after that. The 2009 mac mini is still alive but lost all its zip. It crashes a lot and is sometimes hard to get booted up. Still have the Proton as well but never liked having to set the volume to 90%. It never felt like a true stereo rack dac and more of a mobile accessory. I bought an OPPO 205 earlier this year and have since unplugged the Mac mini/Proton setup. Bought a 2TB SSD external drive for the OPPO 205. I also have successfully ripped about 300 SACD's in the last year and play them through the Oppo. It sounds decent and works well, but it is not my long term solution...I miss easily and reliably searching through my music in the iTunes world without the TV on. I miss Shuffle play, playlists, etc.

 

So, current setup: Oppo 205 and external SSD,

Retired after 9 years: Mac Mini + Proton + external HDD.

 

I am ready to upgrade!

 

I want something great sounding, easy to setup, preferably hard wired (my wifi is not strong). First class user interface and not something that requires a lot of extra things to squeeze every ounce of audiophilia out of it. I am not a tweaker.

 

I have been intrigued by the Aurender 100H because it looks simple. It is about that most I would want to spend on the server side though. I also need a native DSD DAC. The Chord Qutest caught my attention because its small. I like small. I don't care about multiroom stuff. just have the one stereo setup. Roon and the Nucleus also sound interesting but have never played with the software.

 

Can I get help with what you would put together? Looking for recommendations on music server, software and DAC.

 

Also note: I have a large 2015 iMac that I can use to help set things up but its the family computer so not dedicated server stuff on it. I have the 2TB and 0.5TB SSD external Samsung drives fill with AIFF and DSF files. No NAS.

I am willing to spend up to about $2500 on the server/software and maybe another $1500-$3000 on a DAC but of course would rather spend half of that if its a stellar combo. What would you recommend? I don't need any other digital inputs.

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is the music all Redbook?

 

keep the files on the iMac and run them thru the Oppo 205's DAC; for better SQ  (as noted by @gmgraves) add a Yggy but - no DSD on the Yggy

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 i7 NUC with Audiolinux headless/LXQT OS for music  server  with stock power supply + Roon ~ $700 + cost of external disk array USB3 attached + $115 annual Roon cost

Pentium NUC with Audiolinux headless OS  + Uptone Audio LPS 1.2  DC power  ~$800

Lush^2 USB cable ~$240

 

Lot of folks switching from solutions up to triple the cost for this setup

 

spend any money saved on new DAC , go get the Modwright mod to the Oppo 205 or buy more music 😁

 

 

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My breakdown of music is:

Approximately 75-100 24/96 hi-res albums in ALAC format,

Approximately 300 DSD albums and growing (will have about 500 when I am done ripping) both iso format and dsf.

3,000 ripped cds in ALAC.

No streaming from services.

 

DSD is important to me so need a DSD dac.

Again the iMac is not on all the time and is used by all family members so it can't be a dedicated stereo component. I do use it for all the ripping though and organizing storage on SSD drives.

 

The oppo 205 clicks loud all the time when switching formats and the user interface as a server is poor. I am trying to get away from it as the main server/dac.

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36 minutes ago, Deyorew said:

My breakdown of music is:

Approximately 75-100 24/96 hi-res albums in ALAC format,

Approximately 300 DSD albums and growing (will have about 500 when I am done ripping) both iso format and dsf.

3,000 ripped cds in ALAC.

No streaming from services.

 

DSD is important to me so need a DSD dac.

Again the iMac is not on all the time and is used by all family members so it can't be a dedicated stereo component. I do use it for all the ripping though and organizing storage on SSD drives.

 

The oppo 205 clicks loud all the time when switching formats and the user interface as a server is poor. I am trying to get away from it as the main server/dac.

The network board on the 205 isn't much changed from the earlier 10x series... you are moving in the right direction to move any streaming functionality away from the 205. Which pretty much means you have to get another DAC unless you find a server that can input HDMI audio to the Oppo.

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" i7 NUC with Audiolinux headless/LXQT OS"

That sounds way above my level of computer knowledge.

 

 

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i7 - chip

NUC - little mac-mini sized box that Intel stuck its chip in ("computer")

with Audiolinux - version of Linux (an OS) that is claimed to be better for SQ (stripped of most functions)

headless - like that horseman dude

LXQT - LXQt but mis-spelled (or mis-capped) - it's an "environment" - Just be thankful they aren't calling it an "ecosystem"

OS - see above

 

 

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So I have been doing a little research on the Aurender products. Don't think I will like their app though. It does not seem to allow changing meta data, can't use iphone (only ipad), doesn't even seem to sort album by release year. So I think I am not going to go the Aurender route.

 

I started reading up on Roon. It sounds like my 2015 iMac (which is an i7) could easily run Roon in the background. The iMac is in an office. How do I get it to talk to the stereo room if Roon is setup on it. One of those Sonore USB/Ethernet devices? Does that receive native DSD (dsf files)? Does it require much setup?

 

I understand I am looking at a new DAC, but I want to understand the server part first.

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The server is the easy part. Those Sonore USB/Ethernet devices are just single-purpose computers, so you're better off using a quiet general purpose computer like a Mac mini or an Intel NUC running Windows or some flavor of Linux, and hanging your DAC off that via USB. You won't need a keyboard, mouse, or monitor, as you can manage everything through the network.

 

On the server you can run Roon or JRiver. I use JRiver, and while there is a learning curve, there's lots of support available on their forum and you can control playback from any other device on your network. I haven't tried Roon, so I can't say anything about it, but I'd be surprised if it didn't do everything you are looking for. My local files are on an external drive connected to a NUC via USB, but they could be anywhere on the network (eg a NAS if I had one).

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do you have Ethernet?

 

I use WiFi to go from an iMac in my home office to the listening room - but it's just straight iTunes/Apple AirPlay (no DSD transfers) as I don't use Roon etc.

 

 

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