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Audio System

About Me

Found 15 results

  1. Some of you may know that I don't like Flash drives or MLC or TLC based SSDs. (I know nothing about SLC SSDs). While I love the fast boot time, the flash memory based product used here always seem to diminish sound quality with a kind of glaze over the sound. Yes, I have tried external LPSes to power SSDs. I have also gone to extraordinary lengths to get rid of SSDs using hard disks, NAS based iSCSI boot drives, and most recently USB 3.0 hard drives via an Adnaco fiber connection. The last solution is the best and fastest so far. Despite every effort to stop random disk reads and writes during music playback, Windows 10 seems to want to talk to the disk drive incessantly. Worst, player software like Roon logs everything without providing user controls to turn logging off. Having read about the new 3d Xpoint technology from Intel and Micron for years, product has finally shipped under the Optane brand. 16 and 32gb SSDs are now available using this technology. Whats promising is that Optane has a very simple structure that is lower latency then flash memory. The question is "Does Optane generate far less noise during operation then a flash based SSD?" If so, this could be audio SQ Nirvana. It seems that regular SSDs are constantly testing memory cell data and moving data around even when they are not being accessed. They depend on massive redundancy for reliability. SSDs have internal microprocessors running to get this done. This is a noisy process. In comparison 3d xpoint is actually non-volatile RAM and is directly addressable by the processor. See more here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_XPoint. For $80 you can now get 32gb of Intel Optane packaged as an NVME SSD or drive cache(caching only works on a i7-77XX Z270 machine). My music PC is a i7-6700k Z170 machine. I read an Optane review the other day, http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/8234/intel-optane-raid-worlds-fastest-system-disk/index.html and realized that my machine will run an Optane SSD. So I bought one at Microcenter yesterday. In the SSD package tested here, I suspect there is a processor of sorts to handle the serial to parallel interface from the NVME PCIE bus to the NVRAM. Nevertheless, this process should be much less noisy than a normal SSD. After shrinking my Windows boot drive down to 26gb, I used Paragon Migrate to move the boot image to the Optane memory stick in the motherboard NVME slot. After some BIOS configuration, I can now boot from the Optane stick or USB 3 based 4 TB hard disk at will. All of that aside, as a new technology, the exercise is to learn Optanes impact on sound quality. New memory technologies happen infrequently. My hope is that Optane is far quieter then flash memory and therefore usable as a boot drive. With 4 hours in, I can tell you it's far quieter then any SSD I have ever tried, but still needs to open up a little. The good news is that I am hearing bass lines in well known test tracks that I never heard before. Soundstage started a little too zoomed in, but has receded over the 4 hours of operation so far. Let's see what happens in the next few days. Stay tuned, Larry
  2. As USB flash drives with capacities of up to 1TB start to become available, I would like to know if there are any advantages (or disadvantages) in using flash drives instead of solid state and hard disk drives for music replay from locally attached USB storage.
  3. Hello all, I think I've read lots of tips here, about how to get the better sound from your SSD/HDD/SD card or other internal/external storage device (FW and Thunderbolt : good, USB : garbage...), but did anyone tried to connect his SSD/HDD to the internal PCI-e or mini PCI-e output of the Mobo ? I read that the reason why Mac Mini's did sound quite good with the Thunderbolt external disks was because it was powered from a mini PCI-e bus (?). I have a mini PCI-e output I don't use on my HDplex PC mobo (I removed the wifi card who was there...). Do you think I could gain something with a mini PCI-e to USB or Sata adapter ? Something like this : Carte Mini PCI Express USB 3.0 - Vente Carte Mini PCI Express USB 3.0 sur conrad.fr | 986875 (french link, sorry) My current stting is an external usb 1 To SSD with a 3.0 short cable to my HDplex PC, but powered with a Teddy Pardo 5v PSU (usb to 3,5mm mini jack). It's already very good to my ears : about the same that internal Sata , but it was too hot to let it there... So, can I expect something better with mini PCI-e + 5v power through external PSU, or is it just bullshit ? Thanks for any advice.
  4. Selling one-owner MacBook Air 13" Mid-2013 computer. 1.3GHz I5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD. Asking price of $750USD includes shipping to US contiguous 48 states. I bought an Aries and use this only for audio, so actual wear & tear is light. Bought new from Apple in May 2014. Mavericks is installed on a 32GB SD card and all of "The Audio Optimization Guide for Apple OX - Mavericks" have been run - and yes, running from the SD card does sound better . There is a user named "Music" on the internal SSD with the same configuration. Audirvana+ 2.x, Ammara SQ, and Tidal are installed. I will include a 1TB WD USB drive and of course the SD card with the OS. Includes original box, power adaptor, packaging. Easy way to get into computer audio, please PM me with any questions or to purchase. Thanks, TP
  5. Wondering if anyone is connecting MacBook Air as a one computer config so one usb port is connecting to dac, and internal ssd as boot drive - whats the best sq solution in your experience: 1. Use another usb port for external hdd - ssd, or just a regular drive? I play mostly dsd; 2. Use the SD card slot and better sq or not? 3. Use thunderbolt external hdd, better sq? Audirvana manual recommends making sure the high speed usb port are dedicated to usb connection to dac, not sure if the 2 usb ports on macbook air is on same circuit thus shared, therefore am wondering if using the other connection options may imprive sq. Anyone can chime in on this? Thanks.
  6. Dear All, I'm looking to replace an older SONORE music server box, which had been serviceable, but now severely limited by driver support for its LYNX AES16 Sound card. There's obviously a myriad of options and as much as I'd love to research/spec out from scratch, I simply don't have the time to invest in the learning curve. Wishlist is as follows: Extraordinary sound quality Rock solid, bullet-proof, appliance style operation, with remote control (MCE is fine) Dual boot 1) VB as well as stripped down 2) MS Windows with audiophile optimiser from AudioPhil. Ideally a third boot option which would be OpenElec - this triple boot option would be great (but only to the extent it does not complicate setup/daily use as an appliance or degrade sound quality) audio output from a) sound card or b) USB/firewire to AES/EBU input on McIntosh MX151 Interfaces - 1) MP Droid / JRiver - 2) ROON for Windows and 3) Kodi for OpenElec SSD for OS and NAS for audio files (or local 2 - 3 TB Drive, whichever is better sound quality/ease of use) DSD and FLAC all sampling rates to to 24 bit / 192 kHz Multi channel (5.1) nice but not critical Video card (ideally 4K) or happy to go headless if this really complicates set up/degrades audio quality. The 4K option would enable me to use this also as a high end video server All audiophile grade components inc. mother board - no weak links Isolated signal/audio paths Optimumly clocked No jitter introduced Isolated /clean power supply (240V) Filters, etc. Streacom FC-7 Alpha or similar form factor DAC NOT needed - the McIntosh MX151 has an onboard DAC Up to about say $3,000. 50% up front and 50% on completion I'm ready to roll now; feel free to respond here or via pm, with confirmation of your intended approach, components (makes and models), drivers, config, timeframe, etc. Many thanks guys Jim
  7. My MacBook pro died, and want a "just right" recommendation on a Mac Mini music server solution. My gut feeling is - i5 processor, 4-8 gigs of RAM, and SSD. Used is just fine with me from eBay. Should music library be on the internal SSD or external USB SSD? What about storing music on large internal SD card, how's the quality of music stored on SD card, vs interntal SSD or external USB SSD? Thanks!
  8. I'm considering going to a NAS based storage (Synology DS218j with their matching HDD) for music files vs my laptop with an internal 1TB SSD. Are there any compelling reasons for me to change? Any suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks.
  9. Following a successful insurance claim, I have an amount to spend on a new audio computer. I previously used a 2009 2.26 gHz Mac mini with SSDs, Mountain Lion & Audirvana+. I want a more family oriented HTPC this time (previously everything was stripped down for audio only). I can have a separate user account for audio if needs be, but I want the machine to be used by the family for streaming HD movies, and light gaming (minecraft etc). It should be fairly future proof. I would like to interface with it via Android tablet & phone (we have no other iThings at home). I am looking at i5 NUC builds & mini ITX builds which are low power, passive cooled SSD machines, or for the same money middle range Mac minis with spinning drives & SMPS. I don't doubt either either machine is more than capable in terms of hardware, but still, a mini ITX build appeals due to a sense of 'audiophile good practice', ie passive cooling, SSD, low power (optional LPSU) and possible PCI expansion. Yet a Mac would have OSX, which is great IMO. So although a modern Intel PC gives more hardware for the same money, I also have to decide between W8.1 and OSX. It has been suggested to me that the Mac will sound better despite the hardware differences, as "OSX is just better for audio". Has anybody any experience of comparing the two operating systems SQ? Or failing that, observations? My impression is this doesn't matter too much, but as I am waiting for the settlement to arrive I might as well ask the question.
  10. I understand that one should avoid bus conflict, i.e. connect the external storage HD via FireWire when using a USB converter, and vice versa (my most likely setup: a Weiss FireWire converter and external storage connected via USB). Now, if one installed a second SSD instead (in the optical drive bay), installing it as an individual volume accessible via the desktop (just like an external storage drive), is there any bus conflict there? Greetings from Switzerland, David.
  11. Hi fellow sound quality seekers I want to make a couple of super SATA cables, just to see what everyone is talking about. My problem is that i am unable to find the connectors. Anybody knows where? I will post pictures and resuls if i succed with something that is worth the time and efford.
  12. It does on my "Computer Audiophile on the Cheap" system. Transferring a file via USB3.0 to the SSD from the External 4 Tb Hard Drive, and playing it from the SSD actually sounds better. I don't know why, but it is certainly worth transferring your play-list over from their safe homes on the External, and kill them off when you are done listening. I don't get into arguments with folks about USB interconnects to the external DAC, but some sell for a few dollars and others cost Hundreds. I think phenomena I am describing has more to do with the quicker throughput of the file, from the SSD to the DAC. Don't know, don't care. It sounds better.
  13. I have been running my system with a 2009 MBP with a regular internal hard drive (OS and program). Music has been fed through an external hard drive via Firewire 800. It was my assumption that upgrading the internal HD to a SSD was a natural progression. And it has been a great improvement in speed for my general computing tasks. However, I have been disappointed in the sound. My sound has become thinner on the high end with much less life. Just wondering if folks with older MBPs have upgraded to SSDs and if mine is a common experience. (SSD is from OWC designed for the vintage model.) Thanks in advance, Rick
  14. Upgraded from synology 1512+ to 1817+ and added a pair of 60gb ssd as raid 1 cache and noted the following. BTW, am using nas to store files and accessing it via afp from macmini running jriver mc23 to sotm sms200 to ayon stealth dac. 1. No difference in first 5 hours or so as the ssd cache started to fill up. 2. Noted hard disk physical access began to reduced thereafter as files are accessed from the ssd. 3. Less noise from hard disk activity and also less noise from synology fans as the unit also ran with less heat as hard disk temperature goes down. 4. Faster access time when choosing new songs. 5. Sounded better controlled especially with stacato notes with tighter bass and treble rather than leaky decay. 6. Background was also darker. SSD cache is activated per volume basis and i think you would need to have all your music in one single volume to enjoy the cache. cheers,,,,pete
  15. Hi, this is my first post here, but I've been lurking about for a few weeks. I have been given an HP Pavilion G6 laptop, which is to become my dedicated music server. I am on a very tight budget, hence the second hand starting point (I wanted a bat cave when I was a kid; still dreaming lol). I was thinking of replacing a failing hard drive with an SSD. The thing is I've had budget option SSD's on portable memory and they have sometimes lasted little more than a year of daily use. What would you recommend I replace my hard drive with, an SSD or another HDD, is one likely to quit as quickly as my past experience suggests? I have a budget of £140-£200, I think that's about US$240 or so. Many thanks from Bill.
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