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PaulF

DSD512 Platform (DAC & Server)

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Hello,

 

I am currently running a Melco N1A server into a PS DirectStream.  This setup gives extremely good digital, but, like always, I got the mood to try something different.

 

I am reading enough reports that DSD256 and especially 512 are really something special compared even to DSD128.  The DS, of course, cannot go higher than 128 (and probably never will be able to).

 

So I am looking to put together a setup that can play 512.  The DAC I have my eye on now is the T&A DAC8 but I'm open to other suggestions. 

 

The server is the bigger question.  I know I will need a computer server as I don't think any purpose-built audio server will both output and convert/upsample to DSD512 (correct me if I'm wrong).

 

I probably need HQPlayer.  I used to run it on a Mac Mini; I went to the Melco cause the Mini + mRendu + two LPS was messy and complex (and the Melco sounds just as good on hi-res PCM and DSD!).  

 

I also know I can't use a Mac as it won't do 512 with HQP.

 

Can someone recommend a ready-to-go Linux or Windows server?  I am not into the DIY thing (no time).

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DAC8 DSD, or Holo Audio Spring 2 are for example good choices for the purpose.

 

A bit depending on settings you like, but there are now plenty of computers from big manufacturers that can do DSD512. 9th generation K-series Core i7 or i9 are good options. But you can get away with some i5 models too, but that puts some more restrictions on available settings.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Thanks for the reply.  Can you recommend something pre-built as an audiophile server?

 

From my experience you have to customize both the hardware and software (OS) to get best sound quality.

 

(For example, when I had a Phasure DAC, the difference the Phasure PC made compared to another PC was amazing.)

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6 minutes ago, PaulF said:

Can you recommend something pre-built as an audiophile server?

 

If you are in the US, then look at

 

Small Green Computer (connected to the Sonore guys)

 

I just order a fanless PC from SilentPC to run HQP and Roon.


Eric


Ubuntu Studio Linux box (i5, 4 cores, 16GB RAM, Roon, HQP) > fiber optic > MikroTik CRS305-1G-4S+ > fiber optic > opticalRendu (HQP NAA) > Holo Cyan (DSD version) > Goldpoint passive preamp > Nord One UP NC500MB mono blocks > Klipsch La Scala

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11 hours ago, PaulF said:

Hello,

 

I am currently running a Melco N1A server into a PS DirectStream.  This setup gives extremely good digital, but, like always, I got the mood to try something different.

 

I am reading enough reports that DSD256 and especially 512 are really something special compared even to DSD128.  The DS, of course, cannot go higher than 128 (and probably never will be able to).

 

So I am looking to put together a setup that can play 512.  The DAC I have my eye on now is the T&A DAC8 but I'm open to other suggestions. 

 

The server is the bigger question.  I know I will need a computer server as I don't think any purpose-built audio server will both output and convert/upsample to DSD512 (correct me if I'm wrong).

 

I probably need HQPlayer.  I used to run it on a Mac Mini; I went to the Melco cause the Mini + mRendu + two LPS was messy and complex (and the Melco sounds just as good on hi-res PCM and DSD!).  

 

I also know I can't use a Mac as it won't do 512 with HQP.

 

Can someone recommend a ready-to-go Linux or Windows server?  I am not into the DIY thing (no time).

 

I have gone this way. I had purchased the HQPlayer 3 Desktop license 2(?) years ago and finally wanted to "experience DSD512" and sold my PS Audio DS DAC 15 months ago, bought an iFi Pro iDSD instead and replaced my computer hardware by something more powerful (Intel i7 8700). I was also interested in the T+A DAC 8 DSD but the long-time problems of its Amanero USB-board firmware accepting native DSD512 under Linux kept me away. 

Meanwhile I have sold the iFi DAC (it was too versatile to me besides I am not a headphone guy and need a remote control not only to turn up/down the volume) and run a full Matrix Audio chain (Element H USB 3.0 PCIe -> X-SPDIF 2 with activated master clock -> X-Sabre Pro MQA in isochronous mode) now. I know Jussi is not a big fan of these Sabre DACs. 🙂

 

I have used a Windows Server 2019 system in core mode before untill I changed to Euphony (Linux) this spring and purchased the HQPlayer4 embedded license. To be honest I run DSD512 now and then only. Usually I keep the HQPlayer's output at "Auto". PCM gets upsampled to 705/768khz, DSD to DSD512 (though now with the new EC modulatores the maximum is DSD256). So using the HQPlayer with these EC modulatores you don't need a DSD512-ready DAC. These modulatores give more benefit soundwise than upsampling to DSD512 (imho).

 

So, would I go this way again, selling the DS DAC? I am not sure. I like tinkering now and then but sometimes I am missing the PS Audio DAC. I would recommend not to change the DAC but look for a powerful system to run HQPlayer with the EC modulatores upsampling to DSD128 at least. Btw, didn't Ted want to make the I2S inputs ready for DSD256 by a firmware upgrade? When I had my DS DAC I also bought a Matrix X-SPDIF 2 for these I2S inputs. "Of course" I also sold the X-SPDIF 2 when I sold the DS DAC just to buy again another X-SPDIF 2 for my X-Sabre Pro two-three weeks ago. 😁

 

 


Euphony (Roon/HQPlayer, Stylus) --> "magic" NUC7CJYH (Euphony-ramroot/NAA, StylusEP) / pi3B+/HifiBerry Digi + Pro (GentooPlayer-ramroot/RoonBridge) --> Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA) --> B & M Prime 6

bedroom: pi3/DigiOne (RoPieee) --> S.M.S.L M500 --> KRK Rokit 5 or AKG 712 Pro

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