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  1. The speed test may not show useful information. Streams will originate from a CDN somewhere in the world. At that location, or someplace in between, there could be congestion. Assuming of course that the content provider has deep enough packets to be able to contract out to a reliable CDN (almost certainly the case). If the problem is somewhat intermittent, I would think that. The stats I have seem are generally about three times normal traffic volume.
  2. Spent some time last night comparing three tracks on Tidal and Qobuz with music that I own in CD and HiRez formats. I was very surprised by how far the Tidal tracks differed from what is on our hard drive. The Qobuz tracks were essentially indistinguishable from the purchased tracks on the hard drive (in both CD and HiRez). Since the source streamer is an Aurender N10, I expected them all to sound the same. The Aurender caches the data on a SSD prior to playback. The Tidal tracks seemed to be juiced, they were louder and seemed to be boosted in the low end. Maybe even a little congested. Since the player software and hardware involved in both cases is the same I wouldn't expect settings to come into play (or at least be the same for all three). I ended up spending more time trying to hear any differences between Hard Disk and Qobuz. Without spending more time at it, I didn't hear much of any difference between those two (Qobuz vs Hard disk). The three tracks used were Coltrane's "My Favorite Things" (Atlantic 50 years version), Ella Fitzgerald - The Lady is a Tramp (Rodgers & Hart Songbook version), Steely Dan "Hey Nineteen" from Gaucho. It's funny how Tidal was so different, in all cases and all resolutions (CD 44.1 included). I was careful to select the same version of the three album choices. That was 6 tracks total, CD/HiRez, CD/MQA, CD/HiRez (well 5 tracks in truth as Qobuz doesn't have a CD quality version of Gaucho, only two 24/96 versions 1983 and 1993). Of course I expected some weirdness with Tidal's MQA tracks. But the three MQA tracks were 48KHz, and I think that first unfold is in Aurender's software. Either way, the Tidal CD def tracks were so far off, and all in the same manner. All the Tidal tracks had the same sonic signature to them. The Berkeley DAC isn't MQA, so I had to really base the comparison on the CD quality tracks across all three and then compare Qobuz against my HiRez on disk. Where I found Qobuz to be almost (if not entirely) indistinguishable from hard disk playback. Hope others find this helpful. Aurender N-10, Berkeley DAC, Analog pre-amp, full Class A monoblock amps and Dunlavy speakers. The Front end uses regenerated AC from a PS Audio P-10, while the amps are each on their own home run.
  3. Could you run the A10's digital USB output to a cheap USB DAC to feed zone-2 ?
  4. Exactly as Noushy states, just a fancy little Linux computer. A computer which has all the same weaknesses of any disk based operating system. If not cleanly shutdown, the system may decide to verify the disk on power up. Usually this is nothing more than a little time spent checking the disk. On infrequent occasions the fdisk procedure may make some small corrections. On rarer occasions the disk can be deemed to have corrupted data. It basically depends on whether any writes were directly in progress at the moment the power died. I'm not a fan of battery backup for compute devices. That solution is far more expensive than the problem. A good power management system (of which there are many) is all that is needed. The critical feature is for the power to be cleanly disconnected as soon as the first supply side glitch is detected (brown-out, surge, phase drift, etc. etc.). The power must remain off until manually switched back on by an operator.
  5. I don't think any music server should be considered a master copy or a backup copy. The music server should be considered a disposable replica of the data set. The master copy should be on a reliable storage appliance (e.g. a co-located NAS drive). That NAS drive should have a backup strategy that matches your disaster recovery requirements (e.g. a remote storage appliance, or just another co-located storage appliance, or simply some USB SSD).
  6. There is safety in paranoia (i.e a secondary backup). 😊
  7. @noushy, please don't equate "reliablity" (e.g. RAID) with "disaster recovery" (e.g. backups). They are not the same thing. RAID is an amazing thing. RAID (at some level) should be embraced by everyone who can afford it. But RAID is not a backup strategy.
  8. @justubes, well you're not alone. I hear about similar situations all the time, where someone suddenly realizes a lot of data ($) is at risk. Sometimes things just grow organically, and then all of a sudden there's a small problem. Correcting it is not hard, but it will cost some. Everyone has to do the calculus of risk vs backup. It's a lot like the insurance business. First you need to have requirements, then defined strategy to meet those requirements, and then implement the strategy. Then continually refine and adjust the requirements, strategy and implementation. It's always investment vs risk. As a simple first step, you're going to need a device that holds the master copy of your data. View the music server as just a cheap replica of the master copy that can be lost at any time. And then the master copy needs a backup.
  9. From an IT perspective, relying on the device itself is a flawed approached. In that model, if an Aurender unit (disk) does die, you don't have a mechanism to reconstruct the data set from scratch. It would be much better to have a specific rsync script for each unit; mirroring data from the NAS drive to the device. That way, anytime the source content on the NAS drive is modified, it is rsync'ed to the specific Aurender. If files are added or metadata is updated, it just gets pushed to the specific Aurender, as dictated by its rsync script. RAID6 provides "reliability". RAID is *not* a backup mechanism. RAID6 is expensive, in that it is slow, and wastes storage. A far better solution is to dedicate a single, separate, NAS server as a dedicated backup. Relying on RAID as a backup mechanism is a recipe for a lot of eventual trouble (data loss).
  10. I'm very surprised (shocked) by all of this discussion of coping data off of an Aurender product? I keep the master copy of all data on a NAS drive. The NAS drive is what gets backed up as well. My N10 is simply a "rsync" replica of what's on the NAS drive. The NAS drive is the reference copy of the data, not the Aurender. I never have to copy anything off of the Aurender. That is just way way backwards! All music files are "managed" on the NAS drive. There is nothing for Aurender to fix.
  11. I've had good results with USB in the past. But when I upgraded to the N10 i re-compared USB to AES 110ohm. In our system, I found the AES to be better than USB. YMMV as already stated. For USB I was using the Berkley Alpha USB, and then AES to a Berkley Alpha 2 DAC. With the upgrade to the N10, I found the straight AES to better. All top line cables from Tara Labs. A little different then a lot of comparisons, as this was two cables and an added device. Albeit high end cables and one of the best USB converters out there. Typing this I realize I also have a Tara spdif cable that I never tried in this system (its used in another rig). Anyway, you won't know for sure in your own system without comparing. Good luck!
  12. The whole "WAV vs FLAC" debate has raged on many forums before. And by FLAC, let us assume strictly uncompressed FLAC only. In general, there isn't a winner. A lot depends on the specific hardware platform, the core operating system, the application software, and having two good encodings of the exact same source material. Good luck, have at it. As Vincent stated, listen to the two and pick whichever one you like. But don't assume that one "data packaging technology" (aka file format) is better than a different data packaging technology. Again we're talking strictly about uncompressed FLAC vs WAV.
  13. My personal N10 experience with USB vs AES/EBU is a little different then some other posts. I'm certain that the results depend on all of the components present. In my particular case, I found the AES/EBU balanced digital out to be noticeably superior to the N10's USB output. Big caveat in my case, is that the USB had to go through a Berkeley Alpha USB and be converted back to AES/EBU. Our Berkeley BAD2 doesn't have a direct USB input, hence the Alpha USB that was used. Many reviews of the Alpha USB claim that it improves, not degrades, the final result. But those reviews would also suffer from specific equipment bias. I guess the only point here, is that there are no absolutes, and which digital output sounds best in a particular system (using the N10) has a lot to do with what that system is, rather than just this output vs that output. Listening and judging for yourself is always required. And just to pile on a little, I never had a N100H, but have owned two similar types of devices. The step up to the N10, sound quality wise, completely justified the steep price.
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