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Why dedicated PC audio beats the likes of Aurender W20

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by music_man, Apr 29, 2018.
  1. music_man
    It depends on what you are running like anything else. I am running a dedicated Windows 2012 server PC stripped to the bones. Boots form a SD card. Linear ATX PSU. It is fully fitted with Dynamat. solid copper chassis. There is nothing causing noise in it. The network and USB cards are powered by external high end linear psu. Fully optimized Jriver or Foobar. Audiophile optimizer, Jplay, fidelizer. Also known to use HQ Player. Only one program on SSD at once. No DLL conflicts then. Stripped basic Intel video, no card. High end German DVD rom. Same as in Bryston BCD-3. Beyond that services shutdown etc. to the minimum. Fanless throughout of course. Although it is running an I7 with 32GB of on board memory. 26TB storage which you cannot do on things like the W20. Plus SD reader to boot from. 500GB Evo SSD M.2 Gen3(on board) to store application. Much more not listed.

    People may think the W20 or such should sound better. No, it is just a computer hardware running software. However it is not optimized nearly like this. There is much more you can do to tailor your sound with an actual computer you have access to the OS. Plus running intona on USB and RJ45. the data is clean so no purifiers. They just ruin the sound on something like this. It is no bigger than the W20.

    When people argue this they forget one thing. A PC can be whatever you want it to be. If you try hard enough it will greatly surpass dedicated hardware. If you just want to take it out of the box and go something like the W20 is going to be for you. If you are willing to spend 30 hours on it the PC may be for you. They are both fine but I feel a PC like this offers much more, including sound quality.

    I just wanted to put it in perspective since this is often hotly argued. It really just depends on what you want and what you expect. Neither is wrong. they both have their plusses and minuses. However the setup I mention does, IMO have outright much better sound than any streaming hardware device. However you cannot just take your gaming PC and do this. Either way something at this level is over 20 grand. You can do it on a smaller scale but then perhaps the hardware devices get the edge.

    I forgot to mention dedicated hardware devices cannot play many files. Including URL radio stations but just whatever services they are loaded with. Plus many of these devices require a PC or tablet/phone to fully operate them. For now I will stick with a purpose built PC. YMMV
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
    nordkapp likes this.
  2. Marcin_gps
    I agree - a DIY computer build can outperform so-called 'hi-end music servers', but only if both hardware and software is optimized for audio.
  3. dwinnert
    I run everything bit-perfect to my DAC. Those 1's and 0's will not change between the file and the DAC even on a crappy comp as long as the ram, timing etc is ok. All of your issues will be in the DAC and how it connects to the PC and how if converts the digital file into an analog signal. Look at a digital music file and how we get them. If the computer is changing the 1's and 0's then there is a good chance that the music file will be flawed even before you get it because it was "changed" on some other crappy computer that it came from.

    Now if you are talking about eliminating background noise from the physical computer. Going fan-less, using SSD's etc., will do that.
    gregorio likes this.

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