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Building a DIY Music Server

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On 2/14/2020 at 1:54 PM, vhs said:

 

 

Great Post, Nenon!

 

Sharing my build with you as shown in the pic below. 🙂

1138029732_RoonServerHDD.thumb.jpeg.319695593106bb08c99fe7114ffcf1a1.jpeg

Hi VHS,

On the MSI MB, is that the clock socket next to the 's' of the MSI branding? If not can you share a some more detail about clock wiring. Do you solder the signal to the MB soldering point and then ground elsewhere? As wiring both of them to the tiny point is very hard.

Thanks

 

 


Synology NAS (LPS)/MiniMc(Uptone JS-2/MMK JS-2, LPS-1)>Ultra Rendu(JS-2/LPS-1)/Uptone Audio IsoRegen (LPS-1)>LampizatOr GoldenGate(R2R)/Meridian 808.3>Wavac EC300B/PRT1/MD-805m, Lavardin IT>Tannoy Canterbury SE

 

Synology NAS/MiniMc (LPS)>MRendu(LPS-1)/(LPSU)>LampizatOr GoldenGate>/Woo WES/Ifi ICan (LPSU)>Stax SR-009, Audeze LCD2

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11 minutes ago, zerung said:

Hi VHS,

On the MSI MB, is that the clock socket next to the 's' of the MSI branding? If not can you share a some more detail about clock wiring. Do you solder the signal to the MB soldering point and then ground elsewhere? As wiring both of them to the tiny point is very hard.

Thanks

 

 

I had it replaced by a local shop in Hong Kong.

 

The original clock underneath the heat sink of chipset was replaced by using two silver wires connected to the new OXCO PCB board. See the pics.clock1.thumb.jpg.11b4167b7ef33dad52ee6a8206c543ed.jpg

 

clock2.thumb.jpg.390cd33c361ca4eb2999eefdff71d721.jpg

 

clock3.thumb.jpg.cdd675a7162cd972127320a31a685002.jpg


dCS Vivaldi Upsampler - La Sound Olympia PC, Tara Labs Zero Evo AES; dCS Vivaldi DAC - Siltech Double Crown PC - Tara Labs 30LE XLR; dCS Vivaldi Clock - Shunyata Sigma Digital PC - Canare 12g-SDI BNC; Mutec Ref10 SE-120 - Shunyata Sigma Digital PC - AR Cox Triple C BNC; Roon Server / Uptone EtherRegen / Uptone JS-2 / Pachanko Ethernet "Itération"; Spectral DMC-30SS MKii - Siltech Double Crown PC - Nordost Tyr2 XLR; Spectral DMC-360 MKii - Tiglon 2000A PC - AR RTP6 Abs. - Transparent Reference G5 spk cable; Rockport Atria MKi, Shunyata Triton V2 + Typhon - Sigma HC PC, Thixar SMD Ultimate Rack + CMS Platinum MKiii

https://www.hiendy.com/hififorum/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=124319&extra=page=1

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1 hour ago, vhs said:

reducing the voltage from 1.8V to 1.2V

 

Thanks for the info!  I had seen that the read/write was faster on +, but had read elsewhere that they were using 2 different layer structures - but not according to this chart.  Your red highlight is an important point I did not know!  Thanks again!

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3 hours ago, vhs said:

The original clock underneath the heat sink of chipset was replaced by using two silver wires connected to the new OXCO PCB board.

 

What are the two silver wires connected to for power?  What kind of connector is used?

 

EDIT:  Is the PCB purchased separately?  Do you happen to know the manufacturer and model number?


 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

What are the two silver wires connected to for power?  What kind of connector is used?

 

EDIT:  Is the PCB purchased separately?  Do you happen to know the manufacturer and model number?

Two silver wires are only for clock signal and there are no connectors.

 

I had the clock replaced by a local shop in Hong Kong and can ask whether he can sell the PCB separately.


dCS Vivaldi Upsampler - La Sound Olympia PC, Tara Labs Zero Evo AES; dCS Vivaldi DAC - Siltech Double Crown PC - Tara Labs 30LE XLR; dCS Vivaldi Clock - Shunyata Sigma Digital PC - Canare 12g-SDI BNC; Mutec Ref10 SE-120 - Shunyata Sigma Digital PC - AR Cox Triple C BNC; Roon Server / Uptone EtherRegen / Uptone JS-2 / Pachanko Ethernet "Itération"; Spectral DMC-30SS MKii - Siltech Double Crown PC - Nordost Tyr2 XLR; Spectral DMC-360 MKii - Tiglon 2000A PC - AR RTP6 Abs. - Transparent Reference G5 spk cable; Rockport Atria MKi, Shunyata Triton V2 + Typhon - Sigma HC PC, Thixar SMD Ultimate Rack + CMS Platinum MKiii

https://www.hiendy.com/hififorum/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=124319&extra=page=1

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Another little snippet regarding the NMSG DC cables. One of the best ways I have found to QC and kinda quantify my system’s network performance is Internet Radio and specifically Radio Swiss Classic. The low bit rate and lack of resolution obviously provide a challenge in terms of sounding perfect with all the necessary fidelity. The music has a very consistent quality, both in terms of performances (uniformly excellent to vituoso) and recordings, with most of the required audiophile qualities present.  But as soon as my system is slightly off colour it shows up immediately in the announcements, with voices exhibiting slight anomalies. When my system is perfect, so are the voices, but all it takes is a cable running in and the voices become either slightly bassy, or sibilant, depending on what’s currently going on. With the NMSG cables, which are clearly still running in after 5 days,  the announcements are already perfect, with no anomalies....in fact they sound better than they’ve ever sounded. More natural, more accurate and with more of the announcer’s individual voice character.  Once the cables are fully run in and the amplitude and dynamics have returned to where they should be, the announcer’s voices should sound spookily real....at least that’s what my confirmation bias is expecting, so let’s hope that’s what it hears. 

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5 hours ago, StreamFidelity said:

 

Why not 970 PRO NVMe M.2 SSD?

 

I’ve been using the PRO SSDs but the M.2 PRO is just a bigger $ jump than the SSDs were.  The M.2 EVO+ is listed to be faster, but I wonder about the longevity.   

 

The mobo I’m considering has a M.2 heatsink and I’m not going fanless.  How is everyone’s M.2 temperature doing?  Anybody need/have an add-on cooler?

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On 2/15/2020 at 3:16 AM, Solstice380 said:

I have an i9-9900KS arriving early next week.  I’ll be using the ROG RTX2080 that’s in my current build.

Nice high power build.  What power supply would you be using in this server?

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@elan120  Not ready to piece together LPS for everything so will stick with a Seasonic Titanium 850W or 1000W as it may get another PCI-e card eventually.  With the highest efficiency for those at ~50% load this should be good.   Will use a Noctua CPU cooler this time instead of liquid cooling.   The case I’m looking at (HTPC type) won’t fit the radiator.  It will have 3 - 120mm filtered fans for positive pressure and there is room for another if needed.   

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On 2/2/2020 at 9:02 AM, adamaley said:

Any feedback from the owner? Hope he/she is loving the musical fruits of your labor. Any idea what they had before and how it compares?

 

He just told me he is about to post some feedback. Keep an eye for it.  

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I've found a link (not the original one I had in mind) to a thread about silver/gold resistivity: here

 

It's on the audiotruth site, which is enough said for many if us. But it does claim that resistivity is not linear to the % gold added.

But apart from that, this Mundorf wire is likely to be top of my list for the next time I decide to make another DC cable 🙂

 

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To those like, scared of replacing clocks on their motherboards, it appears Pink Faun has a new service to do the mods for you:

 

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19 hours ago, gererick said:

The prior digital source going into my TotalDAC D1-Direct DAC was new on 10/13/19.  So the technology being replaced is almost brand new.  It is a two-box setup built for me by a CA contributor.  Power to the prior server was an HDPlex 200-watt LPS.  I will be putting this prior setup up for sale soon. It is no longer in use, though it was quite good.

 

The prior server and endpoint were designed to sound best with lower-power-use, with the philosophy that lower power consumption means less noise which means better sound.  The prior server had an 8 core AMD Ryzen 2 processor and a mini ITX mother board.  The prior endpoint had an Intel Core i7 8650U Quad-Core processor and motherboard.  The prior endpoint was powered by my Sean Jacobs supply at 19v.  It now powers Nenon’s server’s CPU, at 12v (voltage is easily adjustable on the SJ PS)

 

For a setup with high power consumption, power supplies are ostensibly in shorter supply with longer waiting times.  I don’t think the Sean Jacobs PS is in short supply and it is very, very good especially with the dual-regulation.

 

Roon software was moved to Nenon’s server.  I had the full Euphony software on the endpoint of the prior two boxes; it was also moved to Nenon’s server.  So Nenon’s server has both Roon and Euphony, and it is simple to switch back and forth.

 

My listening comparison is mainly with Roon playing on the prior server and Euphony on its endpoint, versus Euphony Stylus playing on Nenon’s server.  My friend Bob and I also listened to Nenon’s server with Roon Core and StylusEP for an apples-to-apples comparison (same software on different hardware), which I’ll summarize later.

 

The comparison was not a quick A/B, because the Nenon’s server and power supply needed break-in, as did all of the cables.  They probably have 300 hours+ of burn-in now.  The Pink Faun USB card with the ultra OCXO clock has considerably less break-in than this, as it had a soldering issue near the DC jack that Nenon easily fixed.

 

The comparison is not a straight two-box to one-box comparison.  For example, Nenon’s server has Mundorf silver/gold wire inside the server, in the DC cables, and in Nenon’s power supply, built from Sean-Jacobs-supplied components.  Nenon’s server has six DC inputs and wires, five coming from

Sean Jacobs / Nenon equipment, and they were all JSSG360’d, while the prior server was supplied by an HDPlex via stock DC cables, not JSSG360’d.  I don’t think the HDPlex PS is dual regulated (not sure), but the four outputs from Nenon’s / Sean Jacobs PS are dual regulated, as is the SJ PS that powered my endpoint which is now powering the Intel i9-9900K.  My network card is powered by an LPS 1.2.

 

My prior server had a 19v input, plus a 12v input for the CPU.  The 19v input went inside the prior server to the HDPlex DC-ATX, which then converted the 19v to 3.3, 5 and 12v, I believe.  This converter is a $62.50 part.  Soon after the prior server was installed, I contacted Nenon about his surplus power supply that he’d built from SJ components (he had advertised it for sale), because I thought it made more sense to have the conversion done outside of the server, which then led me even further than that to having Nenon replace everything I had just bought.  Crazy stuff, but it worked out extraordinarily well in the end, and I am extraordinarily pleased with the final result.

 

Between my two prior boxes, I had a long run of Cardas ethernet cable.  That is gone in a one-box setup.  Between the prior endpoint and my DAC, I had two Lush^2 cables, an Uptone adapter, an ISO Regen, and an upgraded SOTM Tx-USB Ultra (and two LPS 1.2’s).  The SOTM was being master clocked by a Mutec Ref 10.  Now the only thing between my server and DAC is a 0.3 meter Lush^2.

 

With Nenon’s server, the Pink Faun USB card with the ultra OCXO clock and the SJ PS makes the aforementioned unnecessary, and I will be selling all but one of the two Lush^2 cables.

 

I am somewhat hearing impaired, so I can’t hear high frequencies well.  I asked my friend Bob over, so the below is mainly his description that I agree with.  We heard the same things, but it seems appropriate to have a second pair of ears given my hearing.

 

When Bob listened a few weeks ago, he said the system now sounded like vinyl but maybe needed to burn in as it was lacking in the bass region (which I agreed with).  It turned out to indeed need to burn in.

 

Yesterday, Bob and I listened again.  We didn’t listen for long, and only listened to two parts of two tracks.  The first was the first couple of minutes of Hotel California on Hell Freezes Over (live) with much of the listening focus on the bass drums.  The second was Warren Zevon’s Please Stay, from his last album/CD, The Wind.

 

These were Bob’s words, to the extent I could keep up with my pen.

 

Sounds really nice.

Really sounds lovely.

Sounds more fleshed out. 

More micro detail.

More decay.

More texture of the drums.

More accurate.

More natural.

Very organic.

Very natural.

Non-digital.  You do not get that flatness.  It sounds like real, live music.

I mean, you got a winner.

The bass does not have as much weight or emphasis, but it sounds more accurate.

 

Then we played the same portion of the same track using Roon Core + StylusEP.  Again, Bob’s words, and again, which I again agree with.

 

More digital / harsher / more etched.

With Euphony Stylus, it sounds like somebody singing.

With Euphony Stylus, you were just listening, you weren’t coming up with stuff.

Roon is a little more forward with the bass drums.

The drums are louder, and heavier, but you are losing the micro detail.

Roon does have a little bit more of an impact.

But it doesn’t have the same depth, resonance or decay.

Roon is flatter, it doesn’t have the fullness.  It’s flatter sounding.

 

It is my understanding, in speaking with Nenon, that Euphony Stylus performs better in a high-power situation, i.e. a processor that uses a lot of power.  I have read some posts where listeners like the way Stylus sounds, but they stick with Roon because it is a better user interface.  On Nenon’s server, you can throw the ‘user interface’ preference wherever.  It just sounds far better on Euphony Stylus, far far better.  It is not close.  

 

Then we listened to Please Stay, as discussed above.  Again Bob’s words, which again I agree with.

 

Very natural. 

Everything sounds natural especially the voices.

 

I then discussed the parts of the song when Emmylou Harris comes in to join Warren for the chorus.  On the prior setup, it was still mostly Warren singing those parts; you could barely make out Emmylou’s voice even being present.  Now, her presence is not only distinct from his, it is just as loud as his – there is no difficulty hearing her whatsoever.  And it makes the song much more beautiful (not just that item, but that item really stood out versus the prior setup).  This was my observation, with Bob agreeing with me.  Bob replied that before, you could barely distinguish the background singer, now there is a distinct female background singer.  It sounds totally different, much more like it should sound.

 

I live in the NY area between the Bronx and Connecticut, and have hosted a couple of Westchester Audiophile Society gatherings.  Perhaps in connection with one of those, I can do another hosting which would include some folks from this site.  I am not sure how to do that safely (strangers and all), but feel free to PM me if you might be interested.  I am close to an I95 exit.

 

Below is a picture of my setup.  Nenon's builds are shoved toward the back of the rack because the DC cables are short.  The Sean Jacobs power supply for the CPU is next to Nenon's server on the second shelf with the blue light.  Both Sean Jacobs power supplies are plugged into a Topaz isolation transformer with .0005 pf interwinding capacitance, and that isolation transformer is plugged into a long Tripp Lite power strip that everything else is plugged into, and that power strip draws power from another .0005 pf Elgin transformer.  As I understand it from the mains isolation transformer thread, each of these has 146 dB of common mode noise reduction, so the SJ power supplies are getting clean power, and they cost only a few hundred (or less) on eBay.  The Tripp Lite also has a High Fidelity Cables MC-1 Pro Helix Plus plugged into it, and a Prana Wire Ruby grounding plane hard wired to it..   

system 1.jpg

system 2.jpg

Thank you for taking the time to write this review @gererick. I am glad you like the overall result. Give it another 3 months, and it would open up even more. Everything is still burning in and as you have already noticed it keeps improving. The big Mundorf caps, the big toroidal, the OCXO clock, and the silver/gold wires in teflon all take good couple of months to break in. This computer will shine at its best around around mid-April.

 

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On 2/17/2020 at 4:44 PM, gererick said:

The prior digital source going into my TotalDAC D1-Direct DAC was new on 10/13/19.  So the technology being replaced is almost brand new.  It is a two-box setup built for me by a CA contributor.  Power to the prior server was an HDPlex 200-watt LPS.  I will be putting this prior setup up for sale soon. It is no longer in use, though it was quite good.

 

The prior server and endpoint were designed to sound best with lower-power-use, with the philosophy that lower power consumption means less noise which means better sound.  The prior server had an 8 core AMD Ryzen 2 processor and a mini ITX mother board.  The prior endpoint had an Intel Core i7 8650U Quad-Core processor and motherboard.  The prior endpoint was powered by my Sean Jacobs supply at 19v.  It now powers Nenon’s server’s CPU, at 12v (voltage is easily adjustable on the SJ PS)

 

For a setup with high power consumption, power supplies are ostensibly in shorter supply with longer waiting times.  I don’t think the Sean Jacobs PS is in short supply and it is very, very good especially with the dual-regulation.

 

Roon software was moved to Nenon’s server.  I had the full Euphony software on the endpoint of the prior two boxes; it was also moved to Nenon’s server.  So Nenon’s server has both Roon and Euphony, and it is simple to switch back and forth.

 

My listening comparison is mainly with Roon playing on the prior server and Euphony on its endpoint, versus Euphony Stylus playing on Nenon’s server.  My friend Bob and I also listened to Nenon’s server with Roon Core and StylusEP for an apples-to-apples comparison (same software on different hardware), which I’ll summarize later.

 

The comparison was not a quick A/B, because the Nenon’s server and power supply needed break-in, as did all of the cables.  They probably have 300 hours+ of burn-in now.  The Pink Faun USB card with the ultra OCXO clock has considerably less break-in than this, as it had a soldering issue near the DC jack that Nenon easily fixed.

 

The comparison is not a straight two-box to one-box comparison.  For example, Nenon’s server has Mundorf silver/gold wire inside the server, in the DC cables, and in Nenon’s power supply, built from Sean-Jacobs-supplied components.  Nenon’s server has six DC inputs and wires, five coming from

Sean Jacobs / Nenon equipment, and they were all JSSG360’d, while the prior server was supplied by an HDPlex via stock DC cables, not JSSG360’d.  I don’t think the HDPlex PS is dual regulated (not sure), but the four outputs from Nenon’s / Sean Jacobs PS are dual regulated, as is the SJ PS that powered my endpoint which is now powering the Intel i9-9900K.  My network card is powered by an LPS 1.2.

 

My prior server had a 19v input, plus a 12v input for the CPU.  The 19v input went inside the prior server to the HDPlex DC-ATX, which then converted the 19v to 3.3, 5 and 12v, I believe.  This converter is a $62.50 part.  Soon after the prior server was installed, I contacted Nenon about his surplus power supply that he’d built from SJ components (he had advertised it for sale), because I thought it made more sense to have the conversion done outside of the server, which then led me even further than that to having Nenon replace everything I had just bought.  Crazy stuff, but it worked out extraordinarily well in the end, and I am extraordinarily pleased with the final result.

 

Between my two prior boxes, I had a long run of Cardas ethernet cable.  That is gone in a one-box setup.  Between the prior endpoint and my DAC, I had two Lush^2 cables, an Uptone adapter, an ISO Regen, and an upgraded SOTM Tx-USB Ultra (and two LPS 1.2’s).  The SOTM was being master clocked by a Mutec Ref 10.  Now the only thing between my server and DAC is a 0.3 meter Lush^2.

 

With Nenon’s server, the Pink Faun USB card with the ultra OCXO clock and the SJ PS makes the aforementioned unnecessary, and I will be selling all but one of the two Lush^2 cables.

 

I am somewhat hearing impaired, so I can’t hear high frequencies well.  I asked my friend Bob over, so the below is mainly his description that I agree with.  We heard the same things, but it seems appropriate to have a second pair of ears given my hearing.

 

When Bob listened a few weeks ago, he said the system now sounded like vinyl but maybe needed to burn in as it was lacking in the bass region (which I agreed with).  It turned out to indeed need to burn in.

 

Yesterday, Bob and I listened again.  We didn’t listen for long, and only listened to two parts of two tracks.  The first was the first couple of minutes of Hotel California on Hell Freezes Over (live) with much of the listening focus on the bass drums.  The second was Warren Zevon’s Please Stay, from his last album/CD, The Wind.

 

These were Bob’s words, to the extent I could keep up with my pen.

 

Sounds really nice.

Really sounds lovely.

Sounds more fleshed out. 

More micro detail.

More decay.

More texture of the drums.

More accurate.

More natural.

Very organic.

Very natural.

Non-digital.  You do not get that flatness.  It sounds like real, live music.

I mean, you got a winner.

The bass does not have as much weight or emphasis, but it sounds more accurate.

 

Then we played the same portion of the same track using Roon Core + StylusEP.  Again, Bob’s words, and again, which I again agree with.

 

More digital / harsher / more etched.

With Euphony Stylus, it sounds like somebody singing.

With Euphony Stylus, you were just listening, you weren’t coming up with stuff.

Roon is a little more forward with the bass drums.

The drums are louder, and heavier, but you are losing the micro detail.

Roon does have a little bit more of an impact.

But it doesn’t have the same depth, resonance or decay.

Roon is flatter, it doesn’t have the fullness.  It’s flatter sounding.

 

It is my understanding, in speaking with Nenon, that Euphony Stylus performs better in a high-power situation, i.e. a processor that uses a lot of power.  I have read some posts where listeners like the way Stylus sounds, but they stick with Roon because it is a better user interface.  On Nenon’s server, you can throw the ‘user interface’ preference wherever.  It just sounds far better on Euphony Stylus, far far better.  It is not close.  

 

Then we listened to Please Stay, as discussed above.  Again Bob’s words, which again I agree with.

 

Very natural. 

Everything sounds natural especially the voices.

 

I then discussed the parts of the song when Emmylou Harris comes in to join Warren for the chorus.  On the prior setup, it was still mostly Warren singing those parts; you could barely make out Emmylou’s voice even being present.  Now, her presence is not only distinct from his, it is just as loud as his – there is no difficulty hearing her whatsoever.  And it makes the song much more beautiful (not just that item, but that item really stood out versus the prior setup).  This was my observation, with Bob agreeing with me.  Bob replied that before, you could barely distinguish the background singer, now there is a distinct female background singer.  It sounds totally different, much more like it should sound.

 

I live in the NY area between the Bronx and Connecticut, and have hosted a couple of Westchester Audiophile Society gatherings.  Perhaps in connection with one of those, I can do another hosting which would include some folks from this site.  I am not sure how to do that safely (strangers and all), but feel free to PM me if you might be interested.  I am close to an I95 exit.

 

Below is a picture of my setup.  Nenon's builds are shoved toward the back of the rack because the DC cables are short.  The Sean Jacobs power supply for the CPU is next to Nenon's server on the second shelf with the blue light.  Both Sean Jacobs power supplies are plugged into a Topaz isolation transformer with .0005 pf interwinding capacitance, and that isolation transformer is plugged into a long Tripp Lite power strip that everything else is plugged into, and that power strip draws power from another .0005 pf Elgin transformer.  As I understand it from the mains isolation transformer thread, each of these has 146 dB of common mode noise reduction, so the SJ power supplies are getting clean power, and they cost only a few hundred (or less) on eBay.  The Tripp Lite also has a High Fidelity Cables MC-1 Pro Helix Plus plugged into it, and a Prana Wire Ruby grounding plane hard wired to it..   

system 1.jpg

system 2.jpg

 

I may have missed it, but did you expand on what the rest of your system is? Amplifiers, speakers?

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