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best sounding storage & access to local files - USB, RJ45, WiFi, SATA

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Hi all.  It's January 2019 and I'm trying to figure out what the general consensus is for storing and accessing WAV files to optimize playback sound quality via Foobar on an AO Win2016core server.
(a) via USB 3.0 - external hard disk (assume HD powered by LPS)
(b) via USB 3.0 - external SSD (assume SSD powered by LPS)
(c) via RJ45 - a different server on the LAN mapped SMB
(d) via WiFi - a different server on the LAN mapped SMB
(e) via SATA - internal SSD
(f) via SATA - internal hard disk
(g) _________
Thanks for any guidance
Edited by jaynyc

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There will be no difference in SQ.  Use the most reliable, easiest, & cheapest.


What you may want to do is to ensure the interface is galvanically isolated from the DAC (unless the DAC itself 'deals' with issues that can be caused by EMF noise transmitted along the interface).  Both WiFi & optical cable solve this problem.


There are existing and forthcoming products from several manfs. to solve this (and maybe other) issues when using wired Ethernet or USB.



"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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For a long time I used the internal storage of a single computer to play music. After I bought an audio grade SATA cable, what was good got even better. The computer alone has always worked very well and has always been by far better than all the other alternatives I've tested. An external server never looked so good. I tried to set the computer as an "end point" and also make it search for files on the network to play, tried to put a linear power supply on the router and use better network cables. Nothing was as good as the computer itself.


The computer continued to reign supreme until I did two things: (i) set up JPLAY in dual-PC mode and (ii) remove any kind of router/switch from the audio path. Only through direct connection between the computers (via fixed IP, not network bridge) and with JPLAY was that I got two computers to work better than one. But, the first computer in this combination always uses internal storage. I don't know how I could rate this, but this is the perception I have. I don't like to use the files on a separate computer or an external storage, and for me, the SATA connection is still far superior, with the SSD, compared to M.2 or another kind of connection, for music storage.

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