Jump to content

Tasso

Building the ideal(ish) Music Server

Recommended Posts

Sooo, gents, what I am interested to know is whether the balls out cost no object (mostly) exploration that Tasso is undertaking, offers significantly more fidelity than the Chann's budget build? Or is it more a) flavour of the sw :cool: last 5% stuff c) different as opposed to better/worse.

 

I've always favoured MPD (Voyager MPD or CuMPD) when I was building on small Alix boards or similiar. Cheap and good, lightwight and very transparent to the recording. Downside is that it can be a little brutal.

 

I can see a Vortexbox build on a NUC also offering attraction. Bung on a suitable LSU and you may have a very cost effective solution.

 

The only problem with the Alix & NUC boards is they typically have a mSata memory & a half-size mini PCIe, which I doubt you could get a USB card on.

 

For a budget LSU, I came across this shop on ebay - http://stores.ebay.com.au/av100hk?_trksid=p2047675.l2563 might be worth a look.

Edited by andrew_stenhouse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The way it goes, I will soon implant one of these thing in my brain so the cells can have their deserved holiday year round without the need of exercising too much..! :D

Thanks Gordon for the heads up. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way it goes, I will soon implant one of these thing in my brain so the cells can have their deserved holiday year round without the need of exercising too much..! :D

Thanks Gordon for the heads up. ;)

Been trying to get info about changing the OS to 2012 server but not much info on this device around as yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I've been trying to stay away from CA and concentrate on getting my golden ratio listening room finished, but I'm sorely tempted to get into Linux CA, would this device be able to use the Linux distro's?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been trying to stay away from CA and concentrate on getting my golden ratio listening room finished, but I'm sorely tempted to get into Linux CA, would this device be able to use the Linux distro's?

The specs say 1.3 ghz base frequency with 1.86 ghz burst freq so it should easily run most Linux distros. We have had excellent results with single core @ 1.6 ghz. There are one or two distros built only for 64 bit architecture like "Audiophile-Linux" but if the unit supports 64 bit then it should work well with that too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Audiophil of AO fame recommends powering the SSD on which the OS resides with an LPS in addition to the mobo.

He also recommends ECC memory.

Any thoughts on this Tasso?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The specs say 1.3 ghz base frequency with 1.86 ghz burst freq so it should easily run most Linux distros. We have had excellent results with single core @ 1.6 ghz. There are one or two distros built only for 64 bit architecture like "Audiophile-Linux" but if the unit supports 64 bit then it should work well with that too.

Yes, audiophile Linux v3 is what I'm looking at, will see if little computer supports 64 bit, thanks for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Amazon wouldnt deliver it to OZ, so I bought an Anoil with 3537F  64 bit processor from ebay- cost me $130 , Audiophile-Linux is free , so will be interesting to compare this to my expensive audio optimised PC running 2012.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been experimenting with more components:

Single sided memory - this also outperforms the regular memory in my setup(s). These sticks are 4GB each

8a5828c975ad9eb6fabf63ec3bcebca2.jpg

A different power supply - this one by PPA studios

be1cea17928662184c4c72b66b6d2663.jpg

And a USB Pcie card from Paul Pang of PPA. Paul makes a big deal about using an TXCO clock to re-clock the signal to the DAC.

5512a025bdf989021609e3d99632ae10.jpg

I have to say that the PPA usb card is pretty special. In my setup it outperformed the SOTM card through revealing more detail and imaging. Not night and day differences however

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Very nice one, Tasso.

 

I bought a USB3.0 PCI card which Paul uses to modify from from eBay here in Australia for 12$. It uses D720202 USB host controller chip made in China which requires 24Mhz Crystal to work with.  I planned to do the same as Paul is doing on it just for enjoying the DIY feeling (knowing Paul one at 129 USD is good price). Of course I cannot make the hand-made isolation transformer (which sits between the clock output and D720202 Xtal input) using silver wires like Paul makes.

For  5V-3.3V regulator with filter to feed power to TXCO oscillator, I can grasp one from eBay or make one.

 

The problem is I cannot find anywhere which has TXCO or VXCO oscillator for 24 Mhz. Do anyone know where I can get one?

 

Tasso, if your motherboard has a spare PCI or PCIe slot, I think this PCI power noise filter below will help further at good price. It cleans out common-mode noise from PCI bus

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Elfidelity-PC-HI-FI-Power-Filter-card-PCI-PCI-E-HiFi-PC-audio-power-purification-/271869855380?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f4cb4c694

Edited by Tam Nguyen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Audiophil of AO fame recommends powering the SSD on which the OS resides with an LPS in addition to the mobo.

He also recommends ECC memory.

Any thoughts on this Tasso?

I thought that the motherboard needed to support ECC memory and most consumer grade boards do not. I also understand that ECC memory does data correction but at a penalty of slightly more latency. I'd be interested in anyone else's experience on this.

In terms of single sided or genuine single rank (1R) memory however, the differences are clear an unmistakeable over the standard memory that only seems available locally.

With powering the SSD from an external LPSU, I have little doubt that incremental improvements in SQ could be detected but I have drawn the line at direct LPSU power to Motherboard and to PCI/PCI-e output card as a sustainable long term solution ( aka plug and play convenience)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazon wouldnt deliver it to OZ, so I bought an Anoil with 3537F 64 bit processor from ebay- cost me $130 , Audiophile-Linux is free , so will be interesting to compare this to my expensive audio optimised PC running 2012.

Looking forward to your findings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Very nice one, Tasso.

I bought a USB3.0 PCI card which Paul uses to modify from from eBay here in Australia for 12$. It uses D720202 USB host controller chip made in China which requires 24Mhz Crystal to work with. I planned to do the same as Paul is doing on it just for enjoying the DIY feeling (knowing Paul one at 129 USD is good price). Of course I cannot make the hand-made isolation transformer (which sits between the clock output and D720202 Xtal input) using silver wires like Paul makes.

For 5V-3.3V regulator with filter to feed power to TXCO oscillator, I can grasp one from eBay or make one.

The problem is I cannot find anywhere which has TXCO or VXCO oscillator for 24 Mhz. Do anyone know where I can get one?

Tasso, if your motherboard has a spare PCI or PCIe slot, I think this PCI power noise filter below will help further at good price. It cleans out common-mode noise from PCI bus

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Elfidelity-PC-HI-FI-Power-Filter-card-PCI-PCI-E-HiFi-PC-audio-power-purification-/271869855380?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f4cb4c694

I have tried the in line SATA power filters and thought they did help with spinning drives but not so much with SSD. Perhaps the mobo based filter is a better solution.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sooo, gents, what I am interested to know is whether the balls out cost no object (mostly) exploration that Tasso is undertaking, offers significantly more fidelity than the Chann's budget build? Or is it more a) flavour of the sw :cool: last 5% stuff c) different as opposed to better/worse.

I've always favoured MPD (Voyager MPD or CuMPD) when I was building on small Alix boards or similiar. Cheap and good, lightwight and very transparent to the recording. Downside is that it can be a little brutal.

I can see a Vortexbox build on a NUC also offering attraction. Bung on a suitable LSU and you may have a very cost effective solution.

The only problem with the Alix & NUC boards is they typically have a mSata memory & a half-size mini PCIe, which I doubt you could get a USB card on.

For a budget LSU, I came across this shop on ebay - http://stores.ebay.com.au/av100hk?_trksid=p2047675.l2563 might be worth a look.

You can get a mini-PCIe to PCIe X1 adaptor from eBay but then the NUC enclosure might not be suitable.

The build I have been discussing outperforms any Banana, Raspberry Pi type build for a USB DAC, with a lot more usability. IMO, the Pi's do have negligible noise compared to traditional PC audio but the mini-ITX based server with SOTM USB output also has negligible noise but with better timing, lower jitter etc.

For synchronous i2S implementation, I think the smaller boards like Beaglebone Black would be ideal with their ability to output i2S directly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks mate. Very helpful . 

 

I'm going to let the dust settle and then get onto a build. Mind you, I really need something that browses by folder structure, my tag are dreadful. I have been attempting that little mission of late. Yuk.

Edited by andrew_stenhouse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks mate. Very helpful .

I'm going to let the dust settle and then get onto a build. Mind you, I really need something that browses by folder structure, my tag are dreadful. I have been attempting that little mission of late. Yuk.

It depends on the software you use. Interfaces for vortexbox, daphile and MPD all have a feature where you can select music direct from the music folder. I'm not too sure about others though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Yes, I am familiar of course with mpd. And Vortexbox having owned an Antipodes. Daphile I have never tried and doubt I would.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to your findings.

Yes I'll let you know, but I may have jumped too early , after doing some googling today I found some mini computers designed solely for Linux , and with better options, amazing how much stuff is out there.

There an Australian company that specialises in mini computers and Linux, I will talk to them.

Jeez it's hard to keep up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I am familiar of course with mpd. And Vortexbox having owned an Antipodes. Daphile I have never tried and doubt I would.

Andy,

how did you find MPD and Vorterbox and which synergies well in your setup?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't comment yet Chan, I have yet to build another server with either. My own view is that what you don't have you don't miss, and depending on the dac you are using the implementation of the sw and hardware may assume some or no importance. 

 

Edit; surplus.

Edited by andrew_stenhouse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been trying to get info about changing the OS to 2012 server but not much info on this device around as yet.

 

I'm trying to do a configuration with Windows Server 2012 as a basis for comparison. Having installed server 2012  on an quad core Atom/Celeron board , I found that there are no drivers for the Lan controller to suit Windows server. so Ill have to get a  compatible add-in card ( Some guys hack the .inf file).  It does seem more finicky  in terms of compatibility so perhaps it may be better to ensure that  suitable drivers are available before trying it out.

Edited by Tasso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now thinking about going with this motherboard/processor combo : http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Q1900DC-ITX/.

Already have the case and SSD so that only leaves memory and psu.

http://www.newegg.com/global/au/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157495

That would be a great platform. The CPU has a TDP of 10 watts which I think should still be within the low noise category with linear. PSU, etc. The great thing about these low power consumption mini-ITX boards ( apart from SQ) is that they are silent fanless designs with hard wired processors and are easy to power with their 12V input jacks. With SSD, overall power consumption will be low. Great price too.

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.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...