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Music Sever/ Computer as Transport (CAT) Discussion Thread

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

This thread aims to pull into one place all discussion of music server and computer based transport setups.  

 

Please feel free to discuss PC Hardware, MAC, software/apps, remote control, hardware tweaks, software tweaks, links to other discussions, resources and articles, links to new products and services.  

 

As long as it relates to music coming out of a computer with an eye to maximise audio quality and ease of use, all discussion is welcome.

 

drez

post #2 of 33

There are a lot of specific issues with various OSs and hardware combinations.

post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 

My dilemma is that discussion of music server/CAT is sporadic at best and generally isolated to discussion of particular setups or centered around particular pieces of equipment.  Make the scope too narrow and inevitably there are not enough people on this server to discuss the topic.  perhaps a good way to start would be to invite members to post information about their current music server setup and/or previous setups which they have used.  I could personally only point to a handful of articles comparing different music server setups from and sound quality standpoint and even then the actual content is not reliable.  other forums such as computeraudiophile.com which stretch outside the realm of headphones (as well as sane budgets) also discuss this material but you are right, create separate threads to discuss individual hardware.  But I don't like that form, too many trade members, too many mac users and budget greater than hearing types.  

 

Anyway perhaps narrow thread to Linux & Windows, and discussion of computer hardware and OS?

post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post

I could personally only point to a handful of articles comparing different music server setups



Then I take it you have read my site

 

comparison2.jpg?t=1309692362


Edited by Dynobot - 9/21/11 at 3:50am
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynobot View Post





Then I take it you have read my site

 

comparison2.jpg?t=1309692362


Great website reading it currently!

Seems we are on the same page with regard to USB isolator tweak (I also found it overall reduced sound quality)

 

So SB touch is still your favorite?

 

post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post




Great website reading it currently!

Seems we are on the same page with regard to USB isolator tweak (I also found it overall reduced sound quality)

 

So SB touch is still your favorite?

 


Yep the Touch is still my fav....but compared to a properly set up Linux machine its pretty much a wash as far as sound goes....only slight trade-offs.

 

Which is to say I can and do happily go back and forth between Linux and SB

 

post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynobot View Post





Then I take it you have read my site

 

comparison2.jpg?t=1309692362

 

 

Quote:

Summary:

Mac = least time to get up and running/least amount of music software/greatest cost /analytical side of neutral

Linux = most time to get up and running/moderate amount of music software/least cost /analytical side of neutral

Windows = moderate time to get up and running/largest amount of music software/average cost /warmer side of neutral

Squeezebox Touch =minimal time to set up/only one music software available /low cost /close to neutral

 

blink.gif

 

You're ranking OSs by sound quality?

 

post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post



 

 

 

blink.gif

 

You're ranking OSs by sound quality?

 



Yeah I know....CRAZY right.

 

Next thing you know people will be ranking copper wire by sound quality, or God forbid software that handles the same bit-perfect files.

 

Oh well.....

post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynobot View Post




Yep the Touch is still my fav....but compared to a properly set up Linux machine its pretty much a wash as far as sound goes....only slight trade-offs.

 

Which is to say I can and do happily go back and forth between Linux and SB

 

I'm a fan of the SB Touch as well.  I've used a dac out from the computer as well (HRT streamer) but the SB works great and the price is good for everything you get.  I'm curious how do you tweak your SB?  Do you use a dac with it or use the analog outputs?  I've been using the analog outputs and I've been happy with it but I have been thinking of adding a dac such as the musical fidelity v-dac ii. 
 

 

post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsj View Post



I'm a fan of the SB Touch as well.  I've used a dac out from the computer as well (HRT streamer) but the SB works great and the price is good for everything you get.  I'm curious how do you tweak your SB?  Do you use a dac with it or use the analog outputs?  I've been using the analog outputs and I've been happy with it but I have been thinking of adding a dac such as the musical fidelity v-dac ii. 
 

 


Hi Alex,

 

The tweaks are outlined on my site...basically I tried to use the same tweaks that I use for Linux/Music Player Daemon.

 

 

 

post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynobot View Post




Hi Alex,

 

The tweaks are outlined on my site...basically I tried to use the same tweaks that I use for Linux/Music Player Daemon.

 

 

 




I'll check out your site again but do you use a separate dac or do you rely on the SB's dac.  I think it works well but I've been wondering whether it can be improved.  Nice site btw.

 

Edit: I'll spend some more time on it; great site but the SB tweaks are over my head, lol. 


Edited by alexsj - 9/21/11 at 7:03am
post #12 of 33

I use a separate Dac...A Audio-gd Ref7 and Audio-gd Ref 5 one for each SBT.

 

BTW, if you need help with the mods I can walk you through it.  They seem complicated but its really easy...probably 2 minutes and your done.  Totally reversible.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsj View Post






I'll check out your site again but do you use a separate dac or do you rely on the SB's dac.  I think it works well but I've been wondering whether it can be improved.  Nice site btw.

 

Edit: I'll spend some more time on it; great site but the SB tweaks are over my head, lol. 



 

post #13 of 33

Assuming you're not of the everything sounds different all the time regardless of logic/science/anything else school of thought (ie programs,operating systems, memory timings all sound different - looking at you Dynobot), I would be watching the Raspberry Pi with interest - it's a $25 Linux box which, much to my surprise, exposes the I2S bus, with a nice header you can wire things into. With a board to convert that to S/PDIF, you might have the cheapest decent transport ever.


Edited by Willakan - 9/21/11 at 7:30am
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willakan View Post

Assuming you're not of the everything sounds different all the time regardless of logic/science/anything else school of thought (ie programs,operating systems, memory timings all sound different - looking at you Dynobot),


Hahahhaaha

 

Don't just look at me....the folks at Squeezebox forum seem to think latency timings sound different too.  Guess its just mass psychosis.  Either way, I respect the opinion of those who do not hear a difference.

 

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=89359

post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynobot View Post

Hahahhaaha

 

Don't just look at me....the folks at Squeezebox forum seem to think latency timings sound different too.  Guess its just mass psychosis.  Either way, I respect the opinion of those who do not hear a difference.

 

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=89359

I would go for various unavoidable biases enforced by expectation...but I somehow doubt we're ever going to agree on this.

Out of interest, from a purely objective perspective (humour me!) what would you say is the cheapest silent linux box (assuming some build of linux is inevitable due to puny hardware/expense) you could build yourself to serve as a 24/96 transport? I may not agree with the overwhelming majority of what you say, but you seem to know what you're doing when it comes to choosing computer components and configuring them - even if we disagree as to the utility of much of the configuration!



 

 

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