Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
TP1

Building the ideal(ish) Music Server

Recommended Posts

On the subject of power supply, I have progressed with the tweak powersupply for the Banana Pro Server. So far thumb up, the sound just so lovely. I thought with choke input filter would slowdown the sound and compromises dynamics, that didn't happen but rather very engaging. Look forward to put it to real test against Tasso owned Paul Pang power supply and HD-Plex. ;)

a6d5c290dcc01f9f1ba270db66f7dce6.jpg

cf681f91766840409caee362b77ff60f.jpg

774fa67b1f97b96d7394ea0836e314db.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The PPA card contains its own battery for the clock - that's the big lump you can see. I also have SOTM cards as well, each had its merits.

PPA use an OCXO clock in their latest V4 USB card and also have used them for the motherboard clock.

That is great but ocxo is not ocxo i have tried many with zenelectro including different power supply's enjoy your journey i have .........................

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the subject of power supply, I have progressed with the tweak powersupply for the Banana Pro Server. So far thumb up, the sound just so lovely. I thought with choke input filter would slowdown the sound and compromises dynamics, that didn't happen but rather very engaging. Look forward to put it to real test against Tasso owned Paul Pang power supply and HD-Plex. ;)

a6d5c290dcc01f9f1ba270db66f7dce6.jpg

cf681f91766840409caee362b77ff60f.jpg

774fa67b1f97b96d7394ea0836e314db.jpg

get rid of the fuse that is a choke  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fuse was bypassed. Only there for deco, Mario. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


After listening to his progression throughout, it has inspired me to built one. So here is my build, a dual setup in one box. The total cost so far is under $1k. A Banana Pro complete self efficiently operates with its own AP, and one with Atom N270 (a similar to Antiphodes). All will be powered by my mod linear PS with 4TB 3.5" HDD music library. This will be my ultimate server for any gtg! :)

 

Please forgive my ignorance, why the both Banana Pro AND the atom boards?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please forgive my ignorance, why the both Banana Pro AND the atom boards?

That's only the tip of the iceberg........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please forgive my ignorance, why the both Banana Pro AND the atom boards?

My server consists of both Banana Pro and Atom single core 1.6GHz board.

As for your question, it is fun doing and good to carry around to gtg. ;)

Banana Pro vs Atom or any other PC are;

1. Affordability, only $80 for the complete hardware.

2. All in one Server with built-in wifi, no external AP requires for mobile device to remotely control.

3. Low power, low noise, low jitter, and can power by a 5VDC battery.

4. Embedded hardware, so no unnessary addons, those not relavent in audio World.

Edited by Chanh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apple has thunderbolt which allows people to run their PCI-e cards externally... Wish there's a commercial solution available for the PC world...

 

There is.... thunderbolt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


That's only the tip of the iceberg........

What, are you going to reveal even more of my ignorance?? ?............:-)

Edited by Ancientflatulence

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Chanh Ahhhhh, now I understand, I was trying to figure out why you needed both boards to get a music server to work. Would be interesting to hear the difference, if any, between the two boards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Chanh Ahhhhh, now I understand, I was trying to figure out why you needed both boards to get a music server to work. Would be interesting to hear the difference, if any, between the two boards.

Sonic difference was obvious! Which is better is purely subjective and pending on personal taste, setup synergy. Therefore I have both boards, each will have 4 different players for us to play with at gtg. MPD, Squeezelite, Vorterbox, Dalphile, and JRiver. All are Linux base. Have enough of Windows, that journey is now dusted and not worths pursuing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest myrantz

There is.... thunderbolt

That's why I said Apple Thunderbolt. But you're right, actually forgotten Thunderbolt is slowly releasing PC m/bs with Thunderbolt support (Thought it's an Apple only thing, thank goodness it's not :thumb: )... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Sonic difference was obvious! Which is better is purely subjective and pending on personal taste, setup synergy. Therefore I have both boards, each will have 4 different players for us to play with at gtg. MPD, Squeezelite, Vorterbox, Dalphile, and JRiver. All are Linux base. Have enough of Windows, that journey is now dusted and not worths pursuing.

 

Would you say each sw has a flavour that somewhat depends of the dac used?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this the thread to read for those who can't afford the Antipodes $6000+ price tag?

 

I'm looking to separate out my audio source and make a dedicated audio server. It's currently on a N40L with x4 HDDs in it + an SSD for the OS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sonic difference was obvious! Which is better is purely subjective and pending on personal taste, setup synergy. Therefore I have both boards, each will have 4 different players for us to play with at gtg. MPD, Squeezelite, Vorterbox, Dalphile, and JRiver. All are Linux base. Have enough of Windows, that journey is now dusted and not worths pursuing.

Really interesting thread, I'm fairly new to this forum and HiFi in general.

I never been to a gtg but I'm really keen on building my own server and would love some help from the local experts.

I didn't like MPD, really liked Daphile (isn't this squeezelite) wasn't keen on JRiver (on windows or Mac), never tried Vorterbox.

I've also been messing around with roon but sonically running it on a windows nuc with ssd sounds bright and not very good, they might bring out a Linux version, love the idea of the radio function and Tidal integration but I love the squeeze software and plugins on my SBT.

I ordered an updated regen USB on a whim....I think because of who designed it not sure if I'll end up using it.

Building something yourself is definitely more fun than buying say an auralic mini and would allow you to customise what software you want. I'd be very happy to build something based on squeezelite but it would have to sound a lot better than my SBT with EDO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Building something yourself is definitely more fun than buying say an auralic mini and would allow you to customise what software you want. I'd be very happy to build something based on squeezelite but it would have to sound a lot better than my SBT with EDO.

Your SBT combined with a good linear PSU will most likely have better SQ than the average PC being used as a music source. I understand , from others who have done the comparisons, that the optimised SBT with Linear PSU will give some purpose built servers a good run for their money. If you haven't got a linear PSU for the SBT, then that will give you a nice upgrade.

However if you want to go further, PC builds also have the ability to use SOTM USB cards which contain extensive power filtering and an ultra low jitter clock. They also have the ability to access internal SSD via sata and optimise memory choice and configuration, all of which contribute to performance.

Vortexbox has a bit different sound to Daphile, generally smoother and more expansive sounding in my comparisons. But it depends on preference and system response which is " better"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Your SBT combined with a good linear PSU will most likely have better SQ than the average PC being used as a music source. I understand , from others who have done the comparisons, that the optimised SBT with Linear PSU will give some purpose built servers a good run for their money. If you haven't got a linear PSU for the SBT, then that will give you a nice upgrade.

However if you want to go further, PC builds also have the ability to use SOTM USB cards which contain extensive power filtering and an ultra low jitter clock. They also have the ability to access internal SSD via sata and optimise memory choice and configuration, all of which contribute to performance.

Vortexbox has a bit different sound to Daphile, generally smoother and more expansive sounding in my comparisons. But it depends on preference and system response which is " better"

I need to sort something out!

@@Tasso how would a Vortexbox compare to a Antipodes - significant price difference if I'm not mistaken? Compare those to say a Consonance Ref 8?

 

Any words of wisdom?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Opera Consonance Reference 8 contains a DAC as well as a server. It uses audio grade linear PSU and a designed for purpose motherboard. In terms of the server side of things, it would be right up there with the best but it should really be considered only if you want a complete DAC/Server solution . I have heard the Ref 8 machine and was impressed - DSD performance is excellent too. In terms of a new purchase, I can't imagine a better value server/ DAC combo in terms of performance level per dollar.

However, if you want to choose between different DACs, the Ref 8 only has spdif out ( as far as I am aware) and it would be more useful to have USB output for music server only duties.

I haven't directly compared my build to the Antipodes but have referenced both against the DP-700 feeding into the same DAC. The Antipodes sets a very high standard indeed but I can't say for sure how exactly mine compares because they both performed so close to the SACD player that any differences that remained didn't really matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need to sort something out!

@@Tasso how would a Vortexbox compare to a Antipodes - significant price difference if I'm not mistaken? Compare those to say a Consonance Ref 8?

Any words of wisdom?

It's important to distinguish between a Vortexbox appliance and the software. The appliance is sold by accredited outlets and the Vortexbox software is freeware that can be used by anyone. The differences in sound will depend on the hardware configuration

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @@Tasso

 

I'm in two minds, one - move across to the all in one Ref 8 and leave it at that. Simple straight forward should partner well with my Osborns (sell my Octave and Audiophilleo)

 

or two... follow your footsteps and build one that competes with an Antipodes at a quarter of the price. (just waiting for you to finalise all the testing ;) )

Edited by roh008

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your SBT combined with a good linear PSU will most likely have better SQ than the average PC being used as a music source. I understand , from others who have done the comparisons, that the optimised SBT with Linear PSU will give some purpose built servers a good run for their money. If you haven't got a linear PSU for the SBT, then that will give you a nice upgrade.

However if you want to go further, PC builds also have the ability to use SOTM USB cards which contain extensive power filtering and an ultra low jitter clock. They also have the ability to access internal SSD via sata and optimise memory choice and configuration, all of which contribute to performance.

Vortexbox has a bit different sound to Daphile, generally smoother and more expansive sounding in my comparisons. But it depends on preference and system response which is " better"

I was under the impression that the LPS had a greater effect if using the analogue output and not so much the digital USB but I'm not sure where I got this impression lol.

In that case I'll need to keep an eye out for a couple of linear PSU's on the second hand market or maybe just one in the first place to try.

I'm hoping adding the regen into the mix may be good but as I said it was an impulse buy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Tasso, nice work!     Can I ask why you decided to use Pauls LPSU over the HDplex? Have you powered Pauls V3 card with the HDplex using the 2800 mini ITX board?

It looks like Pauls V3 card fits fits the 2800 board ok but how neat is it to fit to the case? (looks like face-plate is 90 deg to mobo) 

Have you tried playing Pauls V3 card (5volt) into a ps audio direct stream dac?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was under the impression that the LPS had a greater effect if using the analogue output and not so much the digital USB but I'm not sure where I got this impression lol.

In that case I'll need to keep an eye out for a couple of linear PSU's on the second hand market or maybe just one in the first place to try.

I'm hoping adding the regen into the mix may be good but as I said it was an impulse buy.

 

That was the popular view for a while but it is not the case. The "digital" signal is not 1's and 0's  travelling down the wire but in fact an electrical signal with variations in voltage that represent the digital information. SMPS generate RFI  measured in mhz , and as the name suggests it is transmitted through the air as well as down the wires so there is very little that can be done to stop it completely upon entering the DAC, particularly with cheap SMPS's.

 

It may well be the case that  electrical noise affects digital circuits less  than analog and isolation circuits help somewhat, but  it still affects it to some degree which  when eliminated, can make an audible improvement to the sound. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Tasso, nice work!     Can I ask why you decided to use Pauls LPSU over the HDplex? Have you powered Pauls V3 card with the HDplex using the 2800 mini ITX board?

It looks like Pauls V3 card fits fits the 2800 board ok but how neat is it to fit to the case? (looks like face-plate is 90 deg to mobo) 

Have you tried playing Pauls V3 card (5volt) into a ps audio direct stream dac?

 

I   haven't  chosen  PPA PSU over HD PLEX,  I haven't  got a final PSU sorted yet.    I am running a couple of builds at any point in time and at the moment the one I have posted pictures of uses a Sotm PCI card which can only accept a 12V voltage. With the motherboard also requiring 12V, I need 2 x12V feeds. So I am using the PPA and the HD  Plex together until I sort out a final solution.  At this stage it is likely to be a custom built 2 X 12V  PSU by HD Plex ( who do take orders for custom builds)  but I may also dabble in a DIY style of PSU.

 

All builds utilising  12V  motherboard and a PCI-e card ( Not PCI)  require 12V  and  9V (Sotm) or 5v (PPA).  Only HDPlex can do all of these  with high quality off the shelf power and I would therefore recommend HDPlex  as the first option.  They are versatile and well built PSU's  which  have separate outputs for 5V, 9V, 12V and 19V  and come with a variety of connectors for a range of applications including SBT.

 

Regarding PPA vs Sotm cards I have had time to revisit the comparison.  This time it was a more critical session with SNA member @@Chanh . It was immediately apparent that the PPA card  (V2) gives great dynamics - more so than Sotm  ( which is no slouch at all). The Sotm card  revealed a lot more micro detail that was missing from the PPA and upon reflection I think it is better  balanced proposition for my system.   Others could have different preferences. I haven't tried  PPA V3.

 

Sotm have seemingly gone to greater lengths with their design. Sotm cards are designed  and built specifically for Computer audio application, while the PPA card is a modified standard USB 3 PCI-e card.  I'm not drawing any conclusions from that because it is only the performance that matters, but thought it worth mentioning.

Edited by Tasso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Classifieds Statistics


    Currently Active Ads

    Total Sales (Since 2018)

    Total Sales Value (Last 14 Days)

    Total Ads Value (Since March 2020)
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...