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About ehb_dave

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  1. Very relaxing. The performances of the themes from Cinema Paradiso are especially good on both albums.
  2. Great article Chris. Very clear as usual. One small correction, you inverted the conversion factor on Mbits/sec to Mbytes/sec in the third paragraph: 10Mbits/sec = 1.25Mbytes/sec.
  3. Is there a reason for switching DACs rather than finding a used older model AE? I understand that the first generation AE also has better jitter specs, which might be the problem with the new ones. I see these on craigslist and eBay fairly frequently.
  4. There's a very low budget DAC, the FiiO D7 (~$55 on Amazon), that accepts optical toslink input. I don't know whether the quality would be any better than the DAC in the Airport Express though; I haven't heard it. You definitely don't need the V-DAC II if you're going to use optical input. The original V-DAC is sufficient. You might have to work at it for a few weeks to find 4 of these though (Musical Fidelity V DAC | eBay). ListenUp in Colorado used to have some extra stock of these that they were selling at discount; you might call them.
  5. I really liked the original Musical Fidelity V-DAC, which I fed the same way with the optical from the Airport Express. It's been replaced by the V-DAC II, but you don't need the additional feature of the asynchronous USB. I think the rest of the insides are the same. You'd need to find it on the used market, and you should be able to get it for less than $199.
  6. I didn't see anyone mention Chris' article on CD ripping methodology yet, so I want to recommend that: Computer Audiophile - Computer Audiophile CD Ripping Strategy and Methodology I used this methodology for ripping my CD collection. It took awhile, but it was well worth it to do it correctly.
  7. HD-Plex (HDPLEX Fanless HTPC Computer Case) has several different models with passive heat dissipation. The cases are very well built, and shipping to Canada is $30 (refunded after you post a few pictures of your build on some forum).
  8. I was able to get my SOtM PCIe USB card to work, but not with every DAC. I am running JRiver on Windows 7 and using the driver included on the SOtM CD for the PCIe card. When I used a USB Class 1 DAC (both the AQ Dragonfly and the MF M1DAC-A, with a max of 24/96) the standard windows USB driver got installed. I could play 16/44.1 files without problems, but if I tried to play a 24/96 file then the whole system locked up and I had to hard shutdown to solve the problem. However, when I used the PS Audio NuWave DAC (a USB Class 2 DAC, max of 24/192), then everything worked perfectly. I installed the downloadable PS Audio driver and I can switch file sample rates without a hitch. The settings within JRiver don't seem to make a difference. I'm using WASAPI-Event Style with no changes to the digital output.
  9. I had exactly the same issue with my computer build (http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/another-new-caps-server-14157/) when I was using certain DACs. My system is Windows 7, running JRiver using WASAPI Event-style output, no changes to sample rate or bit depth. The SOtM PCIe USB 3.0 card is using the TI driver included on the SOtM disk. I've been comparing a few different DACs. The two that use USB Audio 1, the AQ Dragonfly and the Musical Fidelity M1-DAC A, are both asynchronous but only go up to 24/96. When I tested these two, the standard Windows 7 USB driver got installed. Setup was straightforward and play was great until I switched sample rates. Playing 16/44.1 was fine on both DACs, but when I switched to a 24/96 file, there was no sound and both JRiver and the entire computer froze; nothing worked and I had to hard shutdown the system (or unplug the DAC from the USB port). From your post, you had this same problem with the default Windows 8 driver, is that right? However, when I was testing the PS Audio NuWave DAC (asynchronous USB Audio 2, up to 24/192), everything worked perfect. I installed the downloaded PS Audio driver since the standard Windows 7 driver doesn't handle USB Audio 2. In this case, I can switch from 16/44.1 to 24/96 and back again without the system having any problems. It always works (and it sounds great). Hopefully this scenario will help in debugging the SOtM card and the various drivers.
  10. I used a Gigabyte Q77 motherboard which has both a legacy PCI and a PCIe slot so that if I ran into problems with the PCIe, I could switch to the SOtM PCI USB card. The exact model is the Gigabyte GA-Q77M-D2H. You can see the full server build here (http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/another-new-caps-server-14157/). The Ivy Bridge Q77 chipset is has full support for legacy PCI as well as PCIe. I haven't had any problems with the motherboard; it's been working great. [h=1][/h]
  11. If you are willing to use the HD-PLEX H5.S case instead of the Streacom FC5 case, Larry of HD-PLEX will send you whatever length of heatpipes fit your specific motherboard. The level of customer service that he provides is outstanding. Although I agree with Chris that the USB port on the front of the HD-PLEX case doesn't look as nice, the finish seems to be much better (no smeared fingerprint problems) and the heatpipe system has a solid copper baseplate (rather than aluminum) which seems higher quality to me.
  12. The Intel DN2800MT would easily fit in this case, but I wanted a faster CPU than the Atom processor. Since the H5.S case has a heatpipe system for heat dissipation, you can go with a higher wattage CPU and not have any temperature issues. There are several different motherboards that would have worked very well with the SOtM USB card and the i3-3220T CPU. The Gigabyte was the one that had the best combination of features/reliability that I was looking for.
  13. Glad you like it. So far, I don't have a thing that I'd change. Yes, an additional 2 x 512G SSDs would fit, although you might have to lose the SOtM SATA filter (for sure, there's not enough room for one on every drive; don't know if that would be a big deal). For me, the price of the SSDs is still too high; for now, I'll keep using a NAS for music storage. When 1TB of SSD hits the $200 mark, then I'll think about switching. My understanding is that SSDs use almost no power, so the PSU should be fine.
  14. This was my first computer build and the process was much easier than I expected. Installing the CPU and the heatpipe system (including the thermal paste), putting the case and components together physically, attaching all the connections, installing Windows, installing drivers for the motherboard and for the SOtM card all went without a single problem. I completely expected to have some difficulties along the way, and there wasn't a single thing that came up where I said, "Hmm, wonder why it isn't working?" With regard to it functioning well as a computer, it's also great. I find the speed of the system very fast, especially boot times from the SSD (about 20 sec). I performed a stress test (15 hours using Prime95) to see how the heatpipe system was working and the max CPU temperature was 61C (ambient room temp = 20C, although inside the cabinet was hotter). I haven't had any problems with the SOtM PCIe card and Windows 7, even though Chris reported a lot of difficulties with that combination (see his new CAPS server models). I haven't yet tested the USB connection with a DAC supporting up to 24/192 (USB Audio 2), so it's possible that I still may encounter problems. It works fine with the default Windows driver when it's connected to my V-DAC (USB Audio 1). I don't know, but I wonder if the fact that I'm using the latest Ivy Bridge CPU (i3-3220T) and chipset (Q77), which have built-in USB 3.0 support, allows this to work, where it doesn't so well on Chris' DN2800T board. Don't know, just guessing at this point. I also love how it looks. The flat black front simply disappears on the shelf, which is what I want. Since there are no controls or knobs or displays on the computer, I'd like it to be invisible without hiding it. With regard to how it sounds, the jury is still out. I think it sounds better feeding my V-DAC with USB from the new computer (running JRiver) than what I was using before, feeding my V-DAC with optical from an Airport Express fed by wired ethernet (running iTunes). I haven't done a lot of extensive listening yet, and I don't know that I have the best ears. What I'm really waiting for is a test with a fully Asynchronous USB DAC, which is why I built the server using the SOtM card. I have a couple of DACs on order, but I'm open to any suggestions (price limit about $1000).
  15. Chris stated in his comments on the Lagoon build: Since I'm in the midst of trying to get my server functioning using both the SOtM tX-USBexp and Windows 7, this comment really concerned me. Has everyone found the SOtM driver to be a problem? Are there better drivers or an update? I'm sure this could be DAC dependent, but I'd rather not be limited that way, since I'm still auditioning DACs. Any comments/solutions/reassurances would be welcome, especially if Jesus can weigh in. Thanks.
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