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the big big PC transport thread!

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by Paul Staples, Jul 9, 2018.
  1. Paul Staples
    I would love everyone to contribute their thoughts, opinions and advice regarding building the ultimate PC transport device: e.g.
    transport fanless cases, (or not!)
    transport/i2s ocxo clocks,
    transport USB/EAN/COAX/OPTICAL/i2s/XLR (etc.)
    transport LPSU/SMPS
    transport mainboard ocxo clock,
    transport CPU/memory/SSD/HDD requirement,

    ... please help me (& others) to build their own personal transport for music audiophiles everywhere - many thanks!
  2. Paul Staples

    ...at what cost silence (i.e. reduced ripple)?

    the HDPLEX 400W ATX Linear Power Supply (ATX) has a rated mV of 3 - 5,

    my seasonic Prime Ultra Titanium 650 Watt MPSU (ATX) has a rated mV of 10 and below,

    the HD PLEX costs around £422 more than my Prime Ultra (smps); is the reduction of around 5mV worth the extra £422? ...would it even be noticeable in a blind audio/sound test?

    ...how great is the difference between 5 and 10 mV of ripple noise?

    many thanks in advance for all opinions offered!
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  3. Paul Staples
  4. jabob513
    I would be shocked if it were noticeable in a blind test........
  5. Paul Staples
    Hey! ~ many thanks!

    could you possibly explain what brings you to that conclusion please?

  6. jabob513
    There's going to be voltage regulation on the PSU, on the mobo, and probably on the device that is actually outputting the digital signal from the PC. Depending on your downstream components (dac) and whether or not they interact with the power from the PC at all (USB or otherwise), the effect of any electric noise in the digital signal is already a contentious topic. I personally would spend that money on better room treatment for speakers or a straight headphone upgrade or something like that.
    Paul Staples likes this.
  7. Paul Staples
    ok - many thanks!
    So, you think there is little to be gained from a LPSU, and that, I won't gain anything in addition to what I already hear with my seasonic SMPS?
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  8. Zenvota
    I use an Uptone ISO regen with LPS 1.2, dac has amanero usb to i2s with an isolator on the i2s, and a topaz ultra isolator for power. The difference between usb straight into the dac without the transformer is massive. The complete lack of noise from the computer and ac mains and the clean clocked signal is wonderous.

    So for a pc usb transport its, usb high speed galvanic isolation(isolation from the lps 1.2 also) > usb hub chip, clock, and regulators > usb conversion, clock, and regulators, and for ac power isolation and common/traverse noise reduction.

    I have a more affordable setup on my work rig using an older uptone usb regen and breeze audio du-u8 with optical out to the dac which lets me put the dac amp on an isolation transformer as well. All bought used and under $200 for all 3 items.

    Cabling is all pretty standard and affordable low inductance star quad/quadropole xlr, ac, and dc, with supra usb.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
  9. Paul Staples
    OK, thank you for your information! I have no idea what all that stuff is that you mention (LOL). ...erm? ...how does that relate to my thread topic question please? People have said on various forums that when you are talking about 5+/- millivolts it isn't even significant and that Broadband ultra-low impedance is a much more important parameter. Also I am not using USB! My i2s is a Pink faun PCIe riser card with independant power supply. In addition I am using a Power Inspired AC mains pure sine wave regenerator for all my devices/boxes, with screened cabling.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
  10. Zenvota
    Sorry misinderstood thought you wanted people to share what transports they were using from pcs xD
  11. Paul Staples
    ...that perfectly OK, no problem. Nice to know what you are using though :grin:
  12. Zenvota
    Hah, for what its worth, my pcs are not even remotely optomized for audio but the sound comin out of the headphones is quite good :wink:
    Paul Staples likes this.
  13. Paul Staples
  14. gimmeheadroom
    I decided not to go that route and I hope my response is not off-topic because of that. I don't want the player and the transport to be in the same room much less the same housing. So I set up a UNIX server and I serve music over dlna and Samba.

    I have various devices that can play music over the wire or wireless.

    Right now I am running foobar on a Lenovo M710q which is a textbook sized mini PC running Windows 10, measly 4G of RAM, Intel i3-7100T 4-banger (2+2) which is a cheap, good CPU as far as Intel goes, good clocks, low power dissipation, tons of USB ports, DP, and two drive slots. Apps and the OS go on the SSD. I have a 7200 RPM WD Black drive in there with nothing on it at the moment. It does have a tiny fan but it's pretty quiet. I have drivers for 3 USB DACs installed on that box and I use that feature when I want to play SACD ISOs. Otherwise I just play flac directly over the wire. This box runs over wifi and is roped off from the rest of my network. It's Windows, it's going to have vulnerabilities, I'm not letting it onto my LAN.

    The rest of my hardware runs on CAT6 FTP cable from a dual core router that is plumbed into CAT6 cabling in the apartment.

    The UNIX server runs on a commodity tower server with 4 drive slots and is amazingly quiet. It sits in the living room under a Yamaha mini stereo that has dlna, Tidal, Spotify, etc.

    I also run an Oppo 205 over USB, Samba or dlna, and an Audiolab CD player that has a USB DAC sits in the rack on top of the Oppo.

    I like UNIX for a server because it can run headless, take a lot of load, manage a lot of storage, and I can administer it myself, no smoke and mirrors, no forced updates, and a real filesystem and tools for ripping, moving things around etc. It has just a webserver, dlna server, and Samba running on it. I have command line tools to rip music and movies of pretty much any format.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
    Paul Staples likes this.
  15. Paul Staples
    very interesting, many thanks for your contribution. Sounds like a lot of work went into that setup.

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