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Building a DIY Music Server


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19 hours ago, Topk said:

Are you guys using Toroidy (in case you are willing to share)? Just curious.

On my 5 outputs PSU (by SJ) I’m using as follow:

600VA "Supreme" toroidal transformer from Toroidy, with five outputs for 20VDC 5A, 12VDC 10A and 3x5VDC 3A.

 

Power rating: 

   600VA core size

Primary: 

   0-230VAC @ 50Hz

Secondaries: 

   1x 0-20VAC @ 8A

   1x 0-16VAC @ 14A 

   3x 0-9VAC @ 8A

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1 hour ago, Nenon said:

Specs are complicated, but let's call it 320VA for simplicity. 

 

Just curious, since it is less than in the Extreme and the ATX is rated 500VA, did you try two of them?

Thanks

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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10 minutes ago, Nenon said:

There are several ways to fix that, and I tried some of them, but after all this, the particular transformer I chose sounded best to my ears.

This raises an interesting question. I am almost certain my speakers sound nothing like yours. I would describe my system as neutral with moderate efficiency and moderate to low overall power in terms of amplification. Rarely do I find myself listening above 80db from seating position (ok, the occasional 85db on a Friday night).

 

My speakers aren't the most efficient or fast, but they do keep up with most complex passages (more so now with the improved source). They provide extension down to about 30hz with authority from seating position. Overall, there is a reason i've had them in use for 15 years and have made incremental upgrades to them along the way.

 

I'm not the best with describing these traits but how would you describe the character of the system used for voicing the DIY Taiko server project? What characteristics about the Toroidy did you perceive to place it in 2nd place?

 

The reason I ask is I (and others) may find that those traits are more synergistic with my particular preferences, or, it may offset deficiencies in other areas of our system.

 

Just some food for thought.

 

Cheers

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Regarding the chassis: Sorry if this FAQ-stuff but I was just wondering if the Taiko chassis here would be "perfect" as is or could there be any relevant use adding some CLD damping mat, like Dynamat for automotive hifi? Has anyone tried such products with typical PC-casing?

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@Nenon It may help if you describe (or point at a location) your setup. The possible range between speakers and amps etc is very very wide.

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 9, Aorus X570 Elite, Corsair AX1200i, 8Gb Apacer Ram, Pink Faun I2S OCXO on LPS, home grown RJ45 I2S cable, Metrum Amethyst (modded to accept I2S), Klangfilm 204a, Klangfilm Trionor (3Tesla 835, JBL2402)

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I glanced over at the PLITRON website, as it has been a while - oh dear!

 

quote:

 

We are excited to communicate that our company name changed from Plitron Manufacturing Inc., effective April 2021 to Noratel Canada Inc.

 

 

I hope (pray) that is good news. Most of my past DIY power supply for audio amps used a Plitron transformer! They made some truly excellent ones.

 

b.

 

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2 minutes ago, bit01 said:

I glanced over at the PLITRON website, as it has been a while - oh dear!

 

quote:

 

We are excited to communicate that our company name changed from Plitron Manufacturing Inc., effective April 2021 to Noratel Canada Inc.

 

 

I hope (pray) that is good news. Most of my past DIY power supply for audio amps used a Plitron transformer! They made some truly excellent ones.

 

b.

 

 

Plitron, Noratel and Talema are some of the large manufacturers of audio transformers.

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don't forget ILP, they also made some great sounding ones (Canterburywinders is the preovious designer for ILP).

I'll trust my guy, but as with Canterbury he only does the odd tranny here and there, definitely no large runs. 

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 9, Aorus X570 Elite, Corsair AX1200i, 8Gb Apacer Ram, Pink Faun I2S OCXO on LPS, home grown RJ45 I2S cable, Metrum Amethyst (modded to accept I2S), Klangfilm 204a, Klangfilm Trionor (3Tesla 835, JBL2402)

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I was thinking of Holden & Fisher that also made some nice ones, many found in old NAIM amps - Nuvotel Talema took those over making them to the same spec (apparently) but many believe they sound different (not bad but not the same)

 

Corporate mergers and take-overs can cause changes that will affect the product even though its specification has not changed-sometimes for the better I must say but in many cases not so I am afraid-hence my comment above.

 

b.

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2 hours ago, MarcelNL said:

@Nenon It may help if you describe (or point at a location) your setup. The possible range between speakers and amps etc is very very wide.

And your taste in music, type of music (especially those selections you use for serious listening comparisons).

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This is an interesting topic about transformer power. I'm interested in  the  Taiko ATX power supply.  It seems like the minimum requirement for transformer power rating would "not" be what is required for peak dissipation but for steady state power during the playing of music. Capacitance can supply peak loads. But that steady state power can change drastically depending on what voltage outputs of the ATX you are availing yourself of. If you are using it to power all the internal cards it would be significantly different than if you are powering the cards from an independent LPS.

 

What I'm getting at is this: I won't be getting the Asus Sage MB dual cpu solution for financial and available space reasons. I'll be sticking with an Asus Ryzen Crosshair 8 for now with a AMD 3950x processor.  I also plan on powering the USB and NIC cards from an outboard LPS (Paul Hynes SR5). I'm wondering if there are some smart people out there who would estimate the average power dissipation that would be the minimum required for a transformer powering just the ATX connection and a seperate LPS for the EPS connection, ( there are separate connectors for the Crosshair MB). Am also wondering what the total dissipation would be using the 12V coming from the Taiko ATX power when it is powering the CPU also.

 

Of course the implicit assumption is that Nenon using the minimum steady state transformer power dissipation for required for good sound might be scalable to other platforms with different power consumption.  That might be a totally bad assumption but would be really good to know one way or another.

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I probably did not express myself well. I wasn't trying to incorporate all the intricacies of how an ATX power supply handled processes in the motherboard because I know very little about that. I mostly don't care either. I just noted Nenon's finding that an approximately 340 VA transformer sounded best powering the Taiko ATX on an Asus Sage dual processor. All I was looking to do was equate that size transformer to a different motherboard using a different processor. 

 

I don't even know if Nenon Taiko ATX is powering the processors and the MB or if it's just powering the MB alone. That would make a huge difference in the transformer power requirement feeding the Taiko ATX PS that is feeding the whole thing.  I'm trying to get an idea what is required.  To add to the problem I won't even be using that motherboard or processor. If you think that's a trivial problem to figure out the transformer power rating feeding the Taiko ATX then you're a better man than I am.

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The Taiko ATX will actually shine when powering the CPU due to its dynamic power demands and its designed around that. The motherboard has fairly a constant load most of the time. I don't think there is much to be had leaving the CPU un-powered through the Taiko ATX.

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18 minutes ago, Nenon said:

 

- If you you do passive cooling, I would stick to 300 to 400VA. Chances are the passive cooling will throttle before the power supply.

- If you do active cooling with crazy power hungry processors (120W TDP or more) that are constantly pegged, I am not sure what you need. Maybe 500-600VA. But as I explained 500-600VA did not sound better. Perhaps consult with Taiko first if that's your use case.

 

For most cases, I would stick to the 300-400VA range.

And I highly recommend the Noratel transformer Emile ordered for us. 

I am powering the motherboard and EPS from the Taiko ATX. It sounds better this way. 

That sounds good. I'm planning on using some advice earlier in this thread where it was said that if you limited the voltage to the CPU to 1.25V (even on peaks) that one could keep the temps down to around 50C.  I'm planning on that working and keeping my fingers crossed. The AMD Ryzen 9 3950 draws 105 watts at idle. I'm planning on just squeaking by with the Plex chassis heat sink.

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9 hours ago, exeric2 said:

That sounds good. I'm planning on using some advice earlier in this thread where it was said that if you limited the voltage to the CPU to 1.25V (even on peaks) that one could keep the temps down to around 50C.  I'm planning on that working and keeping my fingers crossed. The AMD Ryzen 9 3950 draws 105 watts at idle. I'm planning on just squeaking by with the Plex chassis heat sink.

I posted this. A few comments on what happened since:

- if you have a big budget and you can find inventory, the new AMD 5 series is likely even better than the 3 series 
- I’m now running my 3950x at a locked speed of 4ghz (technically, it is overclocked) and locked voltage at around 1.2V. 

- stock HDplex heatsink but Kryonaut thermal paste everywhere 

- 2.8A consumption on Keces P8 single rail

- CPU temperature is 48 degrees. Playing music right now (no upsampling)...

- I do recommend an acrylic lid with holes and/or the fans discussed above or other strategies to keep heat as low as possible

- I do recommend a LPS with strong amperage at the very least 8A and higher amperage is better (I can explain in more details why in PM if you want, happy to help)

901F1385-E982-4125-8499-387025D95FBE.jpeg

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18 minutes ago, prinz said:

Guys, sorry to jump in into your discussion.

quick question - is that Taiko ATX already available? If not, then when and where it can be purchased?

You should contact Nenon. It can be ordered for sure. Last time I looked, you had to populate an excel form.
 

Looking forward to reviews. What I’m really interested is not if it is more transparent, dynamic, blacker, detailed..etc. I’m interested in knowing if it is “musical” and gets audio PC closer to an analogue, fluid, full and natural sound. It’s just my personal taste.

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@Topk thanks for the info.

 

I just want to add that I begun my interest in PC audio 10y ago, playing that time with Audiophileo, Sonicweld Diverter, good USB cables etc. Finally, I was able to dig deep into music presentation and unleash all the details, but the sound was never "musical" or should I say - free of issues caused by poor clock/power/vibration performance.

User experience was even worse (one PC as source, second as server, playing music files using command line (WTF!?).

 

I moved to CD players and started to build a CD collection, I had flagship Ayon, Sony DAS-R1A with dedicated transport, CEC-TL2 and few others. Not SOTA, but I would say quite high end products.

 

Month ago a friend of mine visited me with his simple DIY server with Pink Faun USB OCXO card. Next day I sold my CD setup and week after I sold all CD collection.

While I was disappointed 10y ago with the performance of file music playback, now even TIDAL with Roon sounds better than the CD players I had contact with. Nice to be back and I am glad that this pc audio path developed in such a positive way.

 

All the best to you all.

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20 minutes ago, prinz said:

@Topk thanks for the info.

 

I just want to add that I begun my interest in PC audio 10y ago, playing that time with Audiophileo, Sonicweld Diverter, good USB cables etc. Finally, I was able to dig deep into music presentation and unleash all the details, but the sound was never "musical" or should I say - free of issues caused by poor clock/power/vibration performance.

User experience was even worse (one PC as source, second as server, playing music files using command line (WTF!?).

 

I moved to CD players and started to build a CD collection, I had flagship Ayon, Sony DAS-R1A with dedicated transport, CEC-TL2 and few others. Not SOTA, but I would say quite high end products.

 

Month ago a friend of mine visited me with his simple DIY server with Pink Faun USB OCXO card. Next day I sold my CD setup and week after I sold all CD collection.

While I was disappointed 10y ago with the performance of file music playback, now even TIDAL with Roon sounds better than the CD players I had contact with. Nice to be back and I am glad that this pc audio path developed in such a positive way.

 

All the best to you all.

Same experience here. There’s a constant battle for me against a cold and sterile sound. Any component that brings any of this, I do not include in my chain. And I didn’t want to say that publicly yet... but let’s say for now that I also use Pink Faun and I find it musical. But that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Again, personal taste, system synergy etc. I have Harbeth speakers so that says already quite a lot about my type of sound.

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