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post #1 of 79 Old 11-09-2012, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a old 2 channel audio system I like very much. based on a Yamaha C4 preamp and a Yamaha M2 power amp which feed a pair of recently overhauled Dahlquist DQ10 speakers.

A few years ago I "ripped" all my vinyl to CDs and then ripped all my CDs to wav & MP3 files. I had to, all the vinyl and CDs were taking over my livingroom.

So my total number of CDs and LPs on CD is about 2000. Stuff that I like and can't easily replace.

My problem is "feeding" the files to the preamp. I built not one but two media servers using micro AT motherboards. The cheap motherboards have terrible signal to noise ratio, then I needed a keyboard and a monitor and a mouse. It is all too much cwarp.

Recently I put all the CD quality mp3 files on a small SSD hard drive. The SSD is in a SATA to USB box. I can plug the SSD drive into any of my laptops or workstations and have all 2000 cds. The ssd drive is the size of one pack of smokes, and I nevr have have to refile LPS or CDs.

Then I put a 3TB hard drive in a SATA to USB box and plugged the USB into the back of flat screen TV and that is instant access to maybe 600 movies?

That got me thinking, (in theory) if I had a $400 netbook with a USB port I could just plug the SSD drive in, then somehow pipe from the netbook to either to the power or pre amp. The magic is not in the media server, what ever I use exists just to pull files off of a tiny SSD drive.

With a netbook I would have a built in screen, keyboard, and mouse. But output signal from the netbook would be not be digital but analogue. So I'd have to have a high quality sound chip in the netbook otherwise I'm just amplifying garbage like I am with my current media center.

Maybe I could find a preamp with USB port? Problem is it might never spec as clean as my existing preamp and then I am missing screen, keyboard, and mouse.

I am open to suggestions gents, and thanks.
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post #2 of 79 Old 11-09-2012, 05:08 PM
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Mouse and keyboard are bad for user interface. When you build music server make sued you can control playback from something like smart phone or tablet. They will be your remote. You may also look at two component solution with computer media server and separate disk less media player. I use exactly that combination sand control playback (which includes browsing music library) from Android tablet.
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post #3 of 79 Old 11-09-2012, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Mouse and keyboard are bad for user interface.

Can you explain your position with some arguments instead bare statements that do not make sense to me, running for three years a server with both mouse and keyboard, wireless and view with a wireless monitor.
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post #4 of 79 Old 11-09-2012, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraut View Post

Can you explain your position with some arguments instead bare statements that do not make sense to me, running for three years a server with both mouse and keyboard, wireless and view with a wireless monitor.

I think he's just expressing an opinion. That a touchscreen phone or tablet, makes for a more convenient remote...than using a keyboard and mouse. I happen to agree; I'm not sure anyone could disagree...though everyone is entitled to their preference.

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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post #5 of 79 Old 11-10-2012, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm retired, I own a very simple cell phone that I seldom use. To use a remote I need to be able to see a screen of some kind. I can't see needing a $500 cell phone and pay $100/month connect charges as the best solution for me, just to select music. Thirty five years ago when my system was new good preamps never came with a remote. You needed to change vinyl at least every 20 minutes because no self respecting audiophile was going to use a record changer in preference to a $1000 B&O turntable. This was all before the first CD, some folks still owned 8" audiophile reel to reel systems.

For now I'm OK getting out of my chair once every half hour or so, walking over to where the B&O turntable used to sit and selecting another CD from a directory. On second thought, perhaps this is one reason I fire up the big system so infrequently?

But I do get the general point, if I could do all this with a hand held device, even if I made zero phone calls it would be easier. The android is a display/remote/keyboard/mouse and remote and a wonderful suggestion. Thank you. I'd prefer that idea to excessive clutter of a HTPC server box, keyboard, display and mouse which is what I have now.

But all that is tangential to my central point, all I really need is to be able to cleanly get the files off my SSD drive in to either my amp or pre amp. Yes in the process I need to be able to see a directory structure and pick and choose directories or files.

My Nakamichi CD player, Yamaha amp and pre amp all have a S/N ratio of > 100 dB, THD ~ .006%. Then the micro AT mother board in the HTPC has a S/N ratio of ~ 60-70 dB. If I have any decent sound level during musical interludes I have a very audible background hum. I just can't stand it. Which is why I have 13 binders each with 320 CDs in a shelf structure beside the Nakamichi CD player. Right now I have to select a binder, remove a CDs, play CDs, then re-file CDs. Honestly the binders while they are space efficient they are unattractive and bulky. I would be OK with them in the basement or attic.

The binders are much better than shelving individual 2000 CDs in jewel cases. But that tiny SSD drive is so sweet in terms of getting rid of room clutter. When I look at a tiny notebook size SSD drive with all my music replacing 13 twenty-pound binders I know that that SSD drive will be an essential part, the very kernel of my final solution.

I don't always keep up with fileing CD purchases, in the last 2-3 years I purchased perhaps 250 used CDs from Amazon. Yes I immediately rip them to files but I accumulate a large box of CDs. Then evidently I file them away 250 at a time. It more efficient to do this in batch mode because each addition always requires some physical reorganization. This week in the process (three day job) I used my i7 laptop showing the Excel spreadsheet and while working to file away the CDs I used the laptop to play the music files on the SSD drive. It's not that my notebook speakers are that fantastic, but at least it was a very clean sound source with good S/N ratio. That is what made me think, get that HTPC case out of the rack, find some way to replace it with something inexpensive, like a netbook with decent S/N ratio. (if that cobo exists?)

Hell, perhaps I could do this wirelessly, even surf the net, read email while I select music? Back to the android? I am connected, I just don't phone that often. I'm online 12+ hours a day. My home is both wired for RJ45 and I have my own wireless router to cable modem. I don't want to pay $100/month connection charges for a phone I don't need.

I can and do build PC & servers all the time. My expensive Silverstone HTPC case fits only Micro ATX motherboards and so far they all have retched S/N ratios. I don't know that a bigger case/motherboard/i7 CPU is they way to go. All I really need is a clean way to route the tiny SSD drive to pre amp? Instead of bigger HTPC, think smaller?

Once I learned I could plug in a USB hard drive directly in to the rear of flat screen TV I gave up on HTPC, I use the TV to read, display, select movies. I can't put all my movies on one hard disk but I seldom need to watch all 6 different versions of "Little Women" at one time. I can put the kernel, or at least the last few years recent releases on one 2TB hard disk.

Again gentlemen, I am thankful for the ideas.
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post #6 of 79 Old 11-10-2012, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buford View Post

With a netbook I would have a built in screen, keyboard, and mouse. But output signal from the netbook would be not be digital but analogue. So I'd have to have a high quality sound chip in the netbook otherwise I'm just amplifying garbage like I am with my current media center.
Maybe I could find a preamp with USB port? Problem is it might never spec as clean as my existing preamp and then I am missing screen, keyboard, and mouse.
I am open to suggestions gents, and thanks.
If you are just driving a pre-amp (as opposed to AVR), then the solution of choice is an external DAC connected via USB. Think of them as an external sound card. There are a ton of them at various price points. You can even get some with volume control and bypass the pre-amp and go directly to power amp should you choose to do so. With these devices it doesn't matter what is inside the netbook.

Amir
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Founder, Madrona Digital
"Insist on Quality Engineering"
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post #7 of 79 Old 11-10-2012, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you Amirm,

I will have to look into that.

Do you have any specific products or links for me to start my research?
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post #8 of 79 Old 11-10-2012, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buford View Post

Thank you Amirm,

I will have to look into that.

Do you have any specific products or links for me to start my research?

If you want tiny self contained USB DAC, here http://www.amazon.com/AudioQuest-DragonFly-Asynchronous-Digital-Audio-Converter/dp/B00882U782 is one example. You are also wrong about tablets to be expensive. Good 7" tablet is only $199. Compare it with high-end conventional remotes prices. Required software cost is only only few dollars.
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post #9 of 79 Old 11-10-2012, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buford View Post

I'm retired, I own a very simple cell phone that I seldom use. To use a remote I need to be able to see a screen of some kind. I can't see needing a $500 cell phone and pay $100/month connect charges as the best solution for me, just to select music. Thirty five years ago when my system was new good preamps never came with a remote. You needed to change vinyl at least every 20 minutes because no self respecting audiophile was going to use a record changer in preference to a $1000 B&O turntable. This was all before the first CD, some folks still owned 8" audiophile reel to reel systems.

For now I'm OK getting out of my chair once every half hour or so, walking over to where the B&O turntable used to sit and selecting another CD from a directory. On second thought, perhaps this is one reason I fire up the big system so infrequently?

But I do get the general point, if I could do all this with a hand held device, even if I made zero phone calls it would be easier. The android is a display/remote/keyboard/mouse and remote and a wonderful suggestion. Thank you. I'd prefer that idea to excessive clutter of a HTPC server box, keyboard, display and mouse which is what I have now.

But all that is tangential to my central point, all I really need is to be able to cleanly get the files off my SSD drive in to either my amp or pre amp. Yes in the process I need to be able to see a directory structure and pick and choose directories or files.

My Nakamichi CD player, Yamaha amp and pre amp all have a S/N ratio of > 100 dB, THD ~ .006%. Then the micro AT mother board in the HTPC has a S/N ratio of ~ 60-70 dB. If I have any decent sound level during musical interludes I have a very audible background hum. I just can't stand it. .

There is no need to stand for audible noise in computer audio. If you invest a whopping $30 or so in this device:

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/UCA202.aspx



You will get back almost all of the missing SNR that you enjoyed with your traditional digital player.

An independent test

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/behringer-uca202-review.html

shows the following performance:







The hum that you are experiencing is due to a grounding problem. If it remains after you complete the above upgrade, then you need to add this $20 device:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062214



That's it. Solutions for all of your problems and change from $50. ;-)
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post #10 of 79 Old 11-10-2012, 07:22 AM
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I run a m audio 1010lt soundcard, receiving signal from the phono preamp (that I use because I have 3 TT's hooked up to it) that I could do away with using a software RIAA equalizer for phono. in foobar.

I use an asus P6T WS motherboard, and when playing back from file there is no noise at all on "no signal". The only noise is from exterior sources like the phono preamp or the satellite set top.
I have on a sidetable mounted a 15" monitor, and use a wireless keyboard and mouse. The mouse uses 5" x 5" space, the monitor is mounted on an adjustable arm. I still have space on the side table for a mug for coffee and snacks. I could use the remote control that came with the thermaltake enclosure, but I find the mouse easier to operate and more responsive.

It would be nice to have a touchscreen wireless, but the only one I found are rather expensive. I also found that controlling my system from another computer through the wireless network in my house can be done (I use Team viewer for that) but the display on the remote computer is not quite of the same quality as ion the wireless monitor, using the wireless router for this.
The mouse, monitor, wireless keyboard and arm where altogether less than 200$, and I am quite comfortable using this setup for over thee years now.

I have all my cds (also about 2000) ripped to a total of three harddrives: Internal computer HD at 2 TB, 2TB external for music only and an 8TB hardrive in raid 5 (for all the data from all other computers in the house) and 25 bluray discs as final backup, containing also all sommon data.

I used to feed the signal via spdif to a hypex AS 2.100 amp with internal DAC to my kef's 104/2, a nice neutral system that worked w/o problems.
Having fallen in love with the sound of the Klipsch Heresy, I now use the analogue output from the M - audio soundcard to feed a Quad 405 amp via a Quad 33 preamp.

At the listening position I can crank up the volume to max level, and I am not able to hear noise on silence from the speakers. That is good enough for me.
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post #11 of 79 Old 11-10-2012, 07:59 AM
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Buford, there are many ways to skin your particular problem. Get a streaming appliance (like a Squeezebox or Sonos, et al), get an external DAC that improves your SQ; or build a better PC for audio streaming. Chris Connaker of Computer Audiophile, has gone to extensive lengths...to put together a box that minimizes noise associated with a typical PC, not built for hi-end audio streaming. I'm not saying you have to spend what he does to get good sound (all in degrees I suppose, which is typical of anything in this hobby, right?)...but I do agree with his philosophy, that you have to take into consideration this is not a PC for checking email, and surfing the web.

Here's his C.A.P.S. v2 design http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/405-computer-audiophile-pocket-server-caps-v20/ (fwiw, he's this close to updating this year and half old design, with a highly-anticipated v3)

For your own situation, you might pay particular attention to a) the SOtM power-filter (which suppresses noise from the psu; they also now make a sata-drive noise-filter, and fan noise-filter), or b) going to a MoBo that has integrated power, and/or can be run fanless.

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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post #12 of 79 Old 11-10-2012, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I woke up 2 or 3 AM last night and was pleased to have 2 helpful responses. So I wrote an reply and went back to bed.

Wow, check my Email when I was done walking my dog this morning and I have a goldmine of useful help.

Thank you all so very much.

Be kind to me, I am still learning and asking dumb questions.

I think I need at least 3 things:

* SONOS connect or something like it ~ $350

* A DAC, NAD makes one with fantastic specs (NAD Masters Series M51 ~ $2000) or a lot more reasonable Musical Fidelity M1DAC A ~ $800 which still seems steep.

* A Samsung Tablet with a SONOS app, 7" for $200 or 10" for $500 and up to select music.

My wireless router has a rear USB port, I guess I could plug the USB hard drive into either the DAC or the router. I'm still not sure what the SONOS does and why I need it?

CDLehner, I just read your note which was very helpful. I am open to all ideas since this is unexplored territory for me. I shall follow up, and pursue your ideas & links. Thank you so much.

Arnyk, your ideas were very much on target. I may yet use the media server to feed video in which case I will implement your ideas.

Kraut, I am also a fan of ASUS motherboards, with a quality MB noise seems not to be an problem. I just can't fit one in the small HTPC case. I also have a basement of spare PC parts, mouse, KB, and display would cost me nothing.

> At the listening position I can crank up the volume to max level, and I am not able to hear noise on silence from the speakers. That is good enough for me.

I wish I could say that.

Again, many thanks to all for helping me think this through.
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post #13 of 79 Old 11-10-2012, 09:32 AM
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Kraut, I am also a fan of ASUS motherboards, with a quality MB noise seems not to be an problem. I just can't fit one in the small HTPC case.

Really? Most HTPC cases are uATX, which everybody makes MBs for.
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post #14 of 79 Old 11-10-2012, 09:40 AM
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^^^ Buford, in all modesty...I have been through this, to the extent I feel like I can (among others) offer you some counsel. My first piece of advice? You could drive yourself mad, with all the permutations available within each of the methods of tackling this "upgrade". Do you tweak your existing htpc, and how; do you just get an streaming appliance and/or DAC, and go that route. Or build a new htpc or dedicated audio streamer, and with which parts.

I'd start by picking which path seems to appeal to you, and go from there. Just my .02

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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post #15 of 79 Old 11-12-2012, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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First Mr. CDLehner, I have been doing my homework, spending many hours reading at Computeraudiophile.com and it is a very useful web site. I owe you a debt of gratitude.

Her is a project update:

I may have mentioned this before, I have about 2000 Cds and they are something I would like to be able to listen to both at home and when driving.

I have in the past ripped them to both WAV and MP3 files.

Then this website was recommended , and this page in particular was helpful and interesting to me.

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/309-computer-audiophile-cd-ripping-strategy-and-methodology/

They also have a helpful forum. On any topic often someone has done all their homework, worked out the bugs and is willing to share what they know. In general I found that community resource very educational.

One particular product dBpoweramp is one of the best at helping to put together a digital version of a music collection. The product comes with a trial period, one copy for $38 or a family pack for $56. dBpoweramp also has a very helpful forum.

I am now on the trial version because it took me whole day to learn how to best use the package. I like it, it is well done. It is well featured and quick. Once I got the software figured out I installed it on a second PC and things go quicker using 4 CD drives. In one day, including sorting out issues I re ripped almost half of one of 14 binders or 1/28 of my collection.

One issue that alarmed me was all the small scratches and such on many of my CDs that prevent a perfect archive. I'm not hard on my CDs, put a tiny scratch maybe too small to hear but be non recoverable. That has me alarmed, because I have a higher % of scratched CD's than I ever would have guessed.

I've ordered 4 fresh CD/DVD burners because in my experience they don't die or quit, but they do slow down significantly and read less reliably over time.

Amazon has new WD 3TB hard drives for $199, but charges sales tax. Newegg wanted $150 each for the same drive. SO I called newegg and tried to be nice. New egg does not generally price match but they will for me today. So I have 2 more 3TB drives on the way.

This project will kill a week or two of my time. I have always thought of CD's as being relatively durable. That has proven not true. If I have on average $10 per CD, 2000 CDs ~ $20,000 invested I am keen on preserving them as best I can as soon as I can.

===================

I also had a chance to follow up on the assistance provided by Arnyk, Thank you again. Advise is appreciated, great advise is treasured and that is benefited from here from both of you..

This week I purchased four new CD/DVD drives, (2) 3TB hard drives and a limited slip differential for my truck. I can see spending perhaps a week or two re-ripping all my CDs each to FLAC, WAV and MP3 formats, hopefully for the last time.

It should not be that expensive making my existing media server silent. I instead go the SONOS -DAC- ANDROID route just out because it is a more robust and elegant solution.

Then this spring I intend to replace the entire factory audio/navigation/camera system in my pickup truck. I actually spend more time listening to music when driving then anywhere else.

==========

Last but not least, AP1, your idea of using a 7" tablet was very helpful. I may step up to a 10" Samsung, or the new 10" ASUS tablet is getting rave reviews. I had discounted that path but you got me back on the proper trail.
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post #16 of 79 Old 11-12-2012, 05:33 PM
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Little scratches usually do not influence the CD playback quality, or does any damage to the transfer, to do that it needs a bigger chunk missing. I have a test CD where the worst CD player still could flawlessly (audibly) read at least a 1.5mm missing piece of track. I have however never tested with EAC or any other tool to confirm the transfer in such a case.

I ripped first using EAC, but man, was that slow. I continued ripping with free jet audio ripper, and found no problems. It's automatic tagging works well. All rips in Flac, of course.

I use foobar - one of the best customizable free players (I have tried a lot, from media monkey, VLC, dbpoweramp, winamp, windows and a few more). I always came back to foobar because of its simplicity if you like that or its loads of features to customize if you want it complex.
I use the foobar ripper now when I play a purchased CD and rip it to my library.
I also use a free bluray burner by ashampoo to final backup to bluray disc (dual layer 50GB by TDK), which are stored in a safety deposit box. Eventually a small 2TB harddrive backup will the join them.
The 2000 CDs take up less than a TB.
My total Library now contains over 42 000 songs at a little over 1 TB in flac.

I used for my appr. 2000 Cds one build in the server pioneer bluray player, and sometimes a secondhand LG DVD player to rip via USB to make rippping more efficient. Took me about three month to rip when on sick leave after a knee replacement (excellent stuff, that titanium). Was an excellent exercise to load the drive(s), get to the couch, start ripping via remote mouse and get up again after a few minutes to remove and reload.
I also transferred about 100Lps of the 2000 I own, using "spin it again" - which I had to pay 19$ for, but it was easier than using Audacity. Unfortunately - ripping Lp's is 1/1, too time consuming. A retirement job using a thorens TD 125 with a M1 air bearing arm and a Denon DL 103.
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post #17 of 79 Old 11-12-2012, 05:47 PM
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I instead go the SONOS -DAC- ANDROID route just out because it is a more robust and elegant solution.

Congrats Buford. My one quibble with Sonos; they don't support hi-res. Probably not an issue for you, so away you go. Have fun!

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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post #18 of 79 Old 11-12-2012, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Educate me? Sonos does not support hi-rez audio? If I spend a fortune on a high quality DAC an the files are in CD quality MP3 format, what am I missing?

Thank you.
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post #19 of 79 Old 11-13-2012, 06:06 AM
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Educate me? Sonos does not support hi-rez audio? If I spend a fortune on a high quality DAC an the files are in CD quality MP3 format, what am I missing?

If you spend a fortune on a so-called high quality DAC you are missing sound quality value for your investment, Sonus or not.
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post #20 of 79 Old 11-13-2012, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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There are areas in life in which I have a level of expertise. When I last had a educated palate for current audio equipment we had a peanut farmer as commander in chief. I am now out of touch. And the stuff I invested in then has held up well, served me well. I am happy with those buying decisions. That stuff spec well and listens even better.

What I want to avoid this time is a budget system that is just fine for deaf people.

I plead not my expertise but my ignorance.

So yes, I intended to spend about $800 for something like a Musical Fidelity M1DAC A or a $400 Cambridge Audio DAC? In a review on line they made a remark that "the USB port is for convenience not high fidelity"? I don't understand that remark, and it is important for me to understand it because the USB would be my main if not exclusive music source.

So I am still dumb and confused. If anyone can speed up this learning process for me before I pith away good money I would grateful.
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post #21 of 79 Old 11-13-2012, 07:20 AM
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There are areas in life in which I have a level of expertise. When I last had a educated palate for current audio equipment we had a peanut farmer as commander in chief. I am now out of touch. And the stuff I invested in then has held up well, served me well. I am happy with those buying decisions. That stuff spec well and listens even better.

What I want to avoid this time is a budget system that is just fine for deaf people.

I plead not my expertise but my ignorance.

So yes, I intended to spend about $800 for something like a Musical Fidelity M1DAC A or a $400 Cambridge Audio DAC? In a review on line they made a remark that "the USB port is for convenience not high fidelity"? I don't understand that remark, and it is important for me to understand it because the USB would be my main if not exclusive music source.

So I am still dumb and confused. If anyone can speed up this learning process for me before I pith away good money I would grateful.

Hmmm Jimmy Carter served through 1981, and back then for all intents and purposes there were no such things as DACs as consumer audio products. Heck we waited 2 more years for the first CD players. You[ve been this long without even a CD player? I don't think so!

Spending $400-800 of a DAC is basically charity from you to the dealers and manufacturers.

Here's where things are at. You had a sound quality problem and I provided you with a $50 solution that would indeed work and work well.

Since you are continuing on and on like I never posted that information, further efforts on my part to help you would appear to be futile.

Have a nice day!
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post #22 of 79 Old 11-13-2012, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I have two different problems Arnyk, I did thank you for your help with the media server and I mentioned that I will follow that up on them ASAP.

I do have a Nakamichi CD deck that is newer than the rest of my system, I like it. Just this summer purchased a Oppo Blu-ray player that I use exclusively for video, it is in my bedroom. Yes most of my system does go back to 1981, the speakers and the preamp and power amp. I could no longer get belts or phono cartridges for my B&O turntable so it is junked. My Panasonic Technics SL 1200 is still very healthy but is never the less retired. The two decent cassette decks I have I also never use anymore and are also in my attic. I have had my amp and pre amp "cleaned up" for lack of a better word, they never needed repaired. Summer before last I removed the grill off of my Dahlquist DQ10 speakers for the first time and my head understood what my heart and my ears already knew. My choices were to either rebuild or replace the speakers. I chose to rebuild them, I replaced all the almost all the drivers and crossovers. I do again like the way they sound.

Arnyk > Since you are continuing on and on like I never posted that information, further efforts on my part to help you would appear to be futile.

Buford >I also had a chance to follow up on the assistance provided by Arnyk, Thank you again. Advise is appreciated, great advise is treasured and (in) that (way I Have) benefited here from both of you.

> and back then for all intents and purposes there were no such things as DACs as consumer audio products.

That would be my point Arnold. I sometimes build PCs or servers for a living. I ask my clients to trust my judgment, spend a little more and in exchange I will start them off with a more powerful and more flexible unit. I will try to use my experience to give them a boost on the PC learning curve. I'm sorry I hurt your feelings. It was not intentional. I am simply asking you for a boost on my 2012 audio learning curve.

And yes I am an old guy, married November 3rd 1975, divorced 13 years later because she had a bad sense of direction. She would wander off and had great difficulty finding her way back home. I wish she had been hit by a car when she strayed.

I was at a dealership service desk this morning and the topic was winter weather. I asked, do you remember the St Patrick's day blizzard of 1993? A young guy said "I sure do, I was a kid then and the snow was taller than I was. I still have the photos.!" Other than 39" of snow I remember picking up my girlfriend, Marge, a grandmother at the time at the hospital where she worked. She was stranded. So while he was a little kid I was dating someone's grandmother then. I guess that does make me old?

So while in 1981 it is true that the electrons were made of wood, there was perhaps a more vibrant audiophile consumer market than there is now. This is all well before Al Gore invented the internet.
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post #23 of 79 Old 11-13-2012, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Today's mail:

The Power of Seven - Up-Front
Telarc - Telarc Collection Volume 4
Harris, Ronstadt, Parton - Trio II
Amy Whinehouse - Lioness: Hidden Treasures
Telarc Blues - Rolling into Memphis, Songs of John Hiatt
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Presents Symphonic Rock
Smooth Jazz AllStars - Smooth Jazz Tribute to Pink Floyd
Amy Whinehouse - Frank
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Performs the Classic Hits of Motown
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post #24 of 79 Old 11-13-2012, 01:46 PM
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^^^ Hey Buford, this is where I bail out. It's obvious this is going to become some kind of pissing contest about the validity of DACs, etc...and who needs it; life's too short. If you really want help...where you won't be ridiculed for spending some money getting good, digital audio...I suggest you post elsewhere (you know where). This place just runs down any thinking other than their own. Good luck.

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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post #25 of 79 Old 11-13-2012, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm just a new guy looking for assistance, and I did get some great help here.

> life's too short

Amen.

& Blessings on Blessings

CDLehner, you are welcome at my campfire anytime.
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post #26 of 79 Old 11-15-2012, 06:04 PM
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Without getting into the debate about whether or not certain computer peripherals inject unwanted noise into the audio stream, I thought I would share my HTPC (home theater personal computer).

It started off about 4 years ago. I got a wonderful 50 year old executive desk from a consignment store for $50. It was in beautiful shape, solid oak and mahogany, about 6ft long and almost 3 feet from front to back.

Well, my black metal PC case looked out of place sitting on it. So I got creative. I started looking into people who had made wooden cases for their computers. Long story short, I took some measurements, went to K-mart, bought something for $99, took it home, gutted it and transplanted my computer into it. Here's the end product -

4f4820fd.jpg

It had a record player in the top, which is why it's hinged and opens. Fast forward to today. I got a new PC last December. The one in the above pic now sits in the bookshelf with my Kenwood recevier, cable box and DVD recorder. I use it for my audio collection, as well as HD movies through my Toshiba LCD TV and some old school Nintendo games via an emulator. It has a wireless keyboard, but a more convenient remote is through my Android phone with this - http://www.remotedroid.net/. My phone has a slide out keyboard I can use for typing and the touchscreen functions for mouse duties. It connects through my home network. Voila. The video card in it is a $50 Radeon that does h264 acceleration so the older AMD dual core CPU doesn't get bogged down with HD. 2GB of system RAM is more than plenty. The storage drive is only 1TB (system drive is 250GB for Windows and programs) and quickly running out of space. I do quaterly backups of photos and video onto an external USB drive. There wasn't room for an internal DVD drive, so I have an external one I connect if / when needed. I have XBMC installed onto the machine as my media server software, but haven't really played around with it. From what I've seen though, it's quite nice. Combining this with maybe a Linux distro designed for media server use, one could build a nice HTPC for quite cheap.

As for unwanted noise from the PC, I can't hear any and this PC was originally built by me as a low, very low, gaming machine. Maybe I just have good, clean power coming into the house. I'm also using the onboard audio built into the motherboard. No fancy add-in audio cards here.

On a side note, I have tried the smaller laptop / netbook route mentioned in this thread. For audio, it would work fine. But most will probably struggle with high bitrate 1080p content.
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post #27 of 79 Old 11-15-2012, 09:53 PM
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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the ODAC in this thread yet given that NwAvGuy's test data for another DAC was already referenced. Read about it here. Buy it here. There is no good reason to spend more on a DAC than this.

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post #28 of 79 Old 11-16-2012, 06:03 AM
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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the ODAC in this thread yet given that NwAvGuy's test data for another DAC was already referenced. Read about it here. Buy it here. There is no good reason to spend more on a DAC than this.

In its eDAC form, around $100 which makes it pretty reasonably priced in the cosmic scheme of things.

Why didn't I mention it - I see no evidence that it sounds any different for playing music and/or drama recordings than the $29.95 Behringer UCA 202. It is an interesting study in good numbers for a very low price but that is about it: numbers not music.
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post #29 of 79 Old 11-16-2012, 06:32 AM
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Why didn't I mention it - I see no evidence that it sounds any different for playing music and/or drama recordings than the $29.95 Behringer UCA 202. It is an interesting study in good numbers for a very low price but that is about it: numbers not music.

Right. But it does compare favorably in numbers to the much more expensive DACs the OP is considering.

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post #30 of 79 Old 11-16-2012, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Why didn't I mention it - I see no evidence that it sounds any different for playing music and/or drama recordings than the $29.95 Behringer UCA 202. It is an interesting study in good numbers for a very low price but that is about it: numbers not music.

Right. But it does compare favorably in numbers to the much more expensive DACs the OP is considering.

Which makes a point - even if you wrong-headedly believe in numbers, DACs are becoming more like each other than ever.

Anybody who is really selling expensive DACs should report to the nearest University marketing program to pick up their honorary PhD! ;-)
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