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01-10-2008 Post mapped to 2 branches of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 6319
Reply to: 6319
The commercial music servers.

It is shame that in 21 century we have such mediocre, not to say moronic, park of music servers.

Whoever does music servers t know stat a file server with uncompress 24-bit files is a phenomenal source of music. So, why we have not a lot of well-performing and the most important - convenient in operation music servers?  This really is beyond my understanding.

There are professional DAWs  - the digital audio workstations -but there are hardly good, hardly convenient and for whatever reason they are ridiculously expansive -$30K-$50K. They are so expensive because they are sold 100 machines per year – who the hell need them!  In the today world to make a completely silent box that will play 16-24bit at 44-88kHz, row files and CD/DVD is not so complicated. The unit must have a comfortable touch-screen 8-10” display, good software to support it’s functionally and to be fully remote control operational or to have the touch-screen to work over air. In the today wold such a machine should cost no more $1000 and should be easily available (without AD/DA aboard)

At the CES 2008 Boulder showed their new music server with a price tag of $24,000. Are they out of their mind, partially considering that this DACS are always were garbage? If a music server has no AD and DA aboard then it should cost not more $1K, and perhaps slightly more it is has 4G-8G hard-drive space.  How the hell they come with One Lamma price sticker?

BoulderDiscPlayer.jpg

Anyhow, where are those cheap and convenient in use music servers? Where are those Theata, Audio Research , Madrigal, CEC, Marantz, Cary, Musical Fidelity , BAT, Mark Levinson , Burmester, Wadia, Sonic Frontiers , Vecteur, Mcintosh, Audiomeca, Krell, Classe, Aeyre, Esoteric, California Lab, Weiss, Denoan, Counterpoint, MBL and the rest of “important” hi-fi front-end manufacturers? I think we need to wait until some Chinese do it for us….

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-10-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
jessie.dazzle


Paris, France
Posts 456
Joined on 04-23-2006

Post #: 2
Post ID: 6320
Reply to: 6319
A deconstructionist approach
I can't see what advantage one of these "music servers" might potentially offer over a small portable computer sitting on the hifi rack next to a couple large external hard drives and a good outboard DAC.

As for quality of sound : Such a laptop-driven rig is the best front end component I have ever owned... Total cost was around $5000 ($3500 of which went for a tubed USB DAC).

Here are some advantages to using a laptop-driven setup over a one-box commercial music server :

Control everything from anywhere in the house : The newest version of the Mac OS (sorry!) gives you complete wireless remote control over a second Mac, allowing you to see the screen of the other computer, and execute ALL functions remotely. This means you can browse your music library, see what's playing, change the music, add notes, etc, all from the couch (it does this via the wireless VPN, or Virtual Private Network). As far as the user knows, the computer that is running the DAC and the hard drives is sitting right there in his lap, not on the hifi rack.

A real screen : The screen of a lap top is much larger than the what I would expect to find built into a hifi component. This is nice when displaying all the information (title, composer, performing artist(s), date recorded, etc) related to files in a music library... Whats more, the screen of a laptop uses COLOR.

A real keyboard : Excellent for adding your own notes to the file in the space for "comments" (make some use of that keyboard). What about when you transfer files from a CD to the hard drive, and the CDDB (CD data base) gets the info wrong (this often happens with classical CDs); would you rather enter the correct info via a touch screen while standing and sweating in front of your rack, or via a real keyboard from the couch?

I could go on...

jd*


How to short-circuit evolution: Enshrine mediocrity.
01-11-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 6324
Reply to: 6320
Ergonomically and functionally done very stupidly.

 jessie.dazzle wrote:
Control everything from anywhere in the house : The newest version of the Mac OS (sorry!) gives you complete wireless remote control over a second Mac, allowing you to see the screen of the other computer, and execute ALL functions remotely. This means you can browse your music library, see what's playing, change the music, add notes, etc, all from the couch (it does this via the wireless VPN, or Virtual Private Network). As far as the user knows, the computer that is running the DAC and the hard drives is sitting right there in his lap, not on the hifi rack.

Jessie,

what you describe is exactly what I have as well and I also do like this approach. I have a dedicated PC that sits next to my AD/DA, connected to my home wireless network. If I wish I run Remote Desktop from my laptop to Music Server and mange the playback software from laptop. I would not play the file off my laptop.

I still feel that there is a place for dedicated "music servers"… if they are done properly. A "music server" should read CD and 88kHz files of a disk. What would people do if then have a DAC with one digital input? We do we need to have CD transport and "music servers" as a separate box if they do essentially the same functionality.

Anyhow, I feel a "music server" need to be a highly optimized PC running very small amount of the very dedicated tasks. Consider it as a 44-88Khz transport with a network card, large storage capacity, remote access, high quality of I/O, high quality files player, clock synchronization, large display and good ergonomics. Companies try to do this task nowadays but they charge $20K -$40K for those machines – it should not be so much and it should be much-much less expensive, not to mention that all "music servers" that I have see were ergonomically done very poorly, not to say very stupidly.

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-12-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tuga


Posts 173
Joined on 12-26-2007

Post #: 4
Post ID: 6337
Reply to: 6319
Could this be the answer?
Resolution Audio Opus 21 iXS

We went over to listen and Jon Iverson noticed the source read "iTunes." "Is that a music server too?"

"No, it's a streaming component, the iXS ($2500) that allows you to access your computer's music library from your audio system. It utilizes the Opus 21 CD player's DAC. It only runs iTunes. Best of all," he pointed to the table, "guess what you use as a remote?"

We goggled. An iTouch? "You download Alloysoft.com's Signal and it allows you to use your iPhone or iTouch to control everything within Apple's GUI."


http://blog.stereophile.com/ces2008/010808res/



"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes
01-13-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tuga


Posts 173
Joined on 12-26-2007

Post #: 5
Post ID: 6342
Reply to: 6337
Interface to access HD database
 tuga wrote:

Resolution Audio Opus 21 iXS


This RA looks like a step in the right direction.
You can keep the noisy HD database in a diferent roon, with mouse, keyboard and display and connect it with a optic cable (noise filtering) to an interface with a touch screen remote.

(I planned to add this to the original post but I don't know how to edit a post)


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes
02-06-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 6568
Reply to: 6324
A smaller, full-function, remote-desktopable remote control?

 Romy the Cat wrote:

 jessie.dazzle wrote:
 
Control everything from anywhere in the house : The newest version of the Mac OS (sorry!) gives you complete wireless remote control over a second Mac, allowing you to see the screen of the other computer, and execute ALL functions remotely. This means you can browse your music library, see what's playing, change the music, add notes, etc, all from the couch (it does this via the wireless VPN, or Virtual Private Network). As far as the user knows, the computer that is running the DAC and the hard drives is sitting right there in his lap, not on the hifi rack. 
 
 ...what you describe is exactly what I have as well and I also do like this approach. I have a dedicated PC that sits next to my AD/DA, connected to my home wireless network. If I wish I run Remote Desktop from my laptop to Music Server and mange the playback software from laptop. I would not play the file off my laptop.

http://forums.mobileburn.com/showthread.php?t=20294


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-07-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
miab
Canada
Posts 46
Joined on 02-07-2008

Post #: 7
Post ID: 6570
Reply to: 6568
Ideas for remote service of server
Yes I've been using the little N800 for some time now. It is as small as most hand held remote's yet it also allows you to have the world at your fingertips as well (quite litterly- it has a touch screen). There is an application called 'rdesktop' that allows one to remotely run their desktop off of it. The stand that is built in makes it very handy but the screen is a little bright in it's most dim setting if you like to hear music in the dark.

http://www.symbian-guru.com/welcome/2007/10/windows-xp-on-t.html#more

http://beans.seartipy.com/2007/10/29/accessing-the-windows-desktop-remotely-from-nokia-n800-using-rdesktop/

I've setup a pentium m based music server that is totally fanless. It's easy to do because of the low power needed by these chips. Still much experimenting yet to do for the music stream quality though.  

IMG_0602.jpg
02-07-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
miab
Canada
Posts 46
Joined on 02-07-2008

Post #: 8
Post ID: 6571
Reply to: 6570
And if you want it to look like the Boulder and others
http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/enclosure.php?area=usa


lc18-v1.jpg

cw03-front-view.jpg
02-07-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 6572
Reply to: 6571
If “that” task were solved then it will be “it”.

Yes, the enclosure something like this, thanks for tip, miab, but it opens a door for desire more. A good box with fanless operation, 1920 x 1200 pixels touch-screen, 6 hard-drives, remoter control, $650 price tag is very good beginning.  We could load it is with a good digital interface, run on the box a good file-reading software  and found the way to optimize windows to handle the only task we need (everything with external DAC).  The very first question I would ask myself then would be: how to make the audio station CR-ROM to read disk in real time with a quality of the best dedicated CD transports? If that task were solved then it will be “it” and I would be the first who would run to implement it. Unfortunately I have no expertise to made CD transport to “sound better” and all my experiments with make my computer-based CD-readers to sound even remotely close to TL0 end up to be complete fiasco.

The enter idea to have an integrated Music Server is that you would need juts one digital input on you DAC and can play you files and your CD/DVD from one workstation. I need to wait unit somebody resolve this problem.

Rgs, Romy the caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-09-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Telstar
Posts 30
Joined on 02-06-2008

Post #: 10
Post ID: 6580
Reply to: 6572
Computer transport and DAC
 Romy the Cat wrote:

Yes, the enclosure something like this, thanks for tip, miab, but it opens a door for desire more. A good box with fanless operation, 1920 x 1200 pixels touch-screen, 6 hard-drives, remoter control, $650 price tag is very good beginning.  We could load it is with a good digital interface, run on the box a good file-reading software  and found the way to optimize windows to handle the only task we need (everything with external DAC).  The very first question I would ask myself then would be: how to make the audio station CR-ROM to read disk in real time with a quality of the best dedicated CD transports? If that task were solved then it will be “it” and I would be the first who would run to implement it. Unfortunately I have no expertise to made CD transport to “sound better” and all my experiments with make my computer-based CD-readers to sound even remotely close to TL0 end up to be complete fiasco.

The enter idea to have an integrated Music Server is that you would need juts one digital input on you DAC and can play you files and your CD/DVD from one workstation. I need to wait unit somebody resolve this problem.

Rgs, Romy the caT


Dear Romy,

The CW03, the case that i'm going to buy costs $650 alone:
http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/p_contents.php?pno=cw03&area=usa

About the number of hard disks you dont really need 6 just for audio. 2x1 TB drives would be more than adequate.
Fanless and platter-HDD is a bit of nonsense because the HDDs will pollute the power more than a couple of silent fans.
The othet option is to run a normal bulky workstation in another room and use a long digital cable.

I'm working on such a project for my personal needs and either way the point where i hit with my head is the DAC, cannot find the right one: I want to play 24/96 and higher-res audio files bit-perfect without much manipulation from the converter.

I think that the MSB platinum DAC III that somebody mentioned on this very forums is what comes close to such needs. I cannot find the thread anymore, but I wonder if this guy tried it yet.
02-09-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 11
Post ID: 6582
Reply to: 6580
The important things for DAWs

 Telstar wrote:
About the number of hard disks you dont really need 6 just for audio. 2x1 TB drives would be more than adequate.

One Die Walküre in 24/88 is 12G space on HD… An average concert is about 1.5-2G. I also have a tendency to records all events, with commentaries, interview and so on….

 Telstar wrote:
The othet option is to run a normal bulky workstation in another room and use a long digital cable.

It is what I do so far

 Telstar wrote:
I'm working on such a project for my personal needs and either way the point where i hit with my head is the DAC, cannot find the right one: I want to play 24/96 and higher-res audio files bit-perfect without much manipulation from the converter.

I think that the MSB platinum DAC III that somebody mentioned on this very forums is what comes close to such needs. I cannot find the thread anymore, but I wonder if this guy tried it yet.

Might be the new Berkley DAC would do it for you.

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=6382

Whatever you do invest as much as you can in term of quality in sound-card/digital-interface. The card, the reading software and the DAC are 3 major things that determine the DAW sound. What I found the most interesting and challenging in the project like yours is if you will be able to make your CD-ROM from of your new machine to play CDs in real time with the same quality as the better CD transports do. Whatever I tried on my workstation sounded horrible. If I found a way a CD-rom on my DAW to play better or competitive to my transport then I would build something that you are trying to build.

Rgs, The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-09-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Telstar
Posts 30
Joined on 02-06-2008

Post #: 12
Post ID: 6584
Reply to: 6582
Computer Transport

Oh I was thinking about FLAC, such as the ones from Linn Records, not raw WAVE files.

 Romy the Cat wrote:

Might be the new Berkley DAC would do it for you.
http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=6382

Not really: it is not true 24 bit. But it should be quite good, exp for the HDCD decode. I have always had a like for hdcds, they sounded better in my old rotel and they sound better even without a hdcd-capable dac.
I searched everywhere for the best DAC on the net and I'm monitoring several forums. That's why I came to yours Smile

 Romy the Cat wrote:

Whatever you do invest as much as you can in term of quality in sound-card/digital-interface. The card, the reading software and the DAC are 3 major things that determine the DAW sound. What I found the most interesting and challenging in the project like yours is if you will be able to make your CD-ROM from of your new machine to play CDs in real time with the same quality as the better CD transports do. Whatever I tried on my workstation sounded horrible. If I found a way a CD-rom on my DAW to play better or competitive to my transport then I would build something that you are trying to build.


True, being the DAC is the most important IMO.
I'm not sure if you use your computer as a full DAW (so you need recording and mixing capabilities or just for audio playback (as in my case).

1) The digital transport (i.e. the Soundcard): I learned that the best way to just transport the digital signal from the DAW to the DAC is by using an external, firewire soundcard, with external power supply, such as MOTU or Fireface. Internal souncards gets noise from the computer. Using a Prism Opus would not need this peripheral, but I have no idead how good the Opus is and how stand with the other top DACs, such as the Lavry, the Berkeley, the MSB and others.

2) The Software: Vista x32 with foobar/asio/kernel mode or xxhighend are the best

3) The DAC: here I cant decide Smile

Lastly, about your challenge, I do not wish to use the cd-rom for audio playback as i would with a cd-transport. I'm pretty sure is impossible to find a mechanic without absymal jitter. When I want to play immediately something that I just got, I use my Teac VRDS, with reclock, into my TwinDAC+ (which I would like you to try, check it here:
http://www.twindac.com/TwinDACSpec.htm ).
Also, I will use the transport for A/B comparisons until i'm fully satisfied with the computer transport. And then still keep it Smile
02-09-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 13
Post ID: 6585
Reply to: 6584
The external Soundcard, software abd TwinDAC

 Telstar wrote:
Oh I was thinking about FLAC, such as the ones from Linn Records, not raw WAVE files.

I use only WAVE64 (.w64) files,

 Telstar wrote:
Not really: it is not true 24 bit. But it should be quite good, exp for the HDCD decode. I have always had a like for hdcds, they sounded better in my old rotel and they sound better even without a hdcd-capable dac.

I do not know if the Berkley DAC will be true 24bit, it is very much might be the 24bit. Pacific was 24Bit processor but the last 4 bit never was used, so in really it was 20Bit processor. Interesting the move from 16Bit to 20Bit has a huge sonic impact, but the move from 20Bit to 24Bit has very little impact. Still, if the Berkley DAC will not activate the HDCD then I do not see what it can’t work at pure 24Bit. Anyhow, some information about it will come out soon on later…

 Telstar wrote:
True, being the DAC is the most important IMO.
I'm not sure if you use your computer as a full DAW (so you need recording and mixing capabilities or just for audio playback (as in my case).

I religiously do not mix or edit my file. My vision is that ANY DSP actuation after the original recording kills sound and therefore play just raw files. I use the phrase DAW juts becose I do not know better naming for audio file server.

 Telstar wrote:
1) The digital transport (i.e. the Soundcard): I learned that the best way to just transport the digital signal from the DAW to the DAC is by using an external, firewire soundcard, with external power supply, such as MOTU or Fireface. Internal souncards gets noise from the computer. Using a Prism Opus would not need this peripheral, but I have no idead how good the Opus is and how stand with the other top DACs, such as the Lavry, the Berkeley, the MSB and others.

Interesting. Do you feel that firewire interface might not be the compromising factors? Also, if you already isolated the soundcard from the noisy computer and have a dedicated poser to it then why do not have the good DACs aboard the card. There are some very expensive cards with “premium” DACs in them. Who knows, they might work out in this configuration

 Telstar wrote:
2) The Software: Vista x32 with foobar/asio/kernel mode or xxhighend are the best

Hm, very interesting! Do you feel I need to try other players? I use the logic that it is the best to play the file with the same software what it was recorded. I record with WveLab6 and play the same. I do admit that is not execlsy comfortable but I even thought to write my own…

 Telstar wrote:
3) The DAC: here I cant decide
Lastly, about your challenge, I do not wish to use the cd-rom for audio playback as i would with a cd-transport. I'm pretty sure is impossible to find a mechanic without absymal jitter. When I want to play immediately something that I just got, I use my Teac VRDS, with reclock, into my TwinDAC+ (which I would like you to try, check it here:
http://www.twindac.com/TwinDACSpec.htm ).
Also, I will use the transport for A/B comparisons until i'm fully satisfied with the computer transport. And then still keep it

About the TwinDAC – it sound like a bogus DAC, thight I never had it. I automatically discard anything that stresses Black Gate capacitors it is a huge sign for me about the Minority of the designers.  Also the TwinDAC has 2.5kOhm out impedance, are they kidding? There is another aspect. The TwinDAC outputs very low voltage - I do not like it. I want a DAC to swing 5V minimum in order to make me to look at a DAC seriously.

Rgs, Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-09-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Telstar
Posts 30
Joined on 02-06-2008

Post #: 14
Post ID: 6587
Reply to: 6585
More on computer transport

 Telstar wrote:
Not really: it is not true 24 bit. But it should be quite good, exp for the HDCD decode. I have always had a like for hdcds, they sounded better in my old rotel and they sound better even without a hdcd-capable dac.

 Romy the Cat wrote:

I do not know if the Berkley DAC will be true 24bit, it is very much might be the 24bit. Pacific was 24Bit processor but the last 4 bit never was used, so in really it was 20Bit processor. Interesting the move from 16Bit to 20Bit has a huge sonic impact, but the move from 20Bit to 24Bit has very little impact. Still, if the Berkley DAC will not activate the HDCD then I do not see what it can’t work at pure 24Bit. Anyhow, some information about it will come out soon on later…

Because those 20 bit were true 20 bits Smile
No, it won't do true 24 bit ladder, according to the specs on their website. Nonetheless it can be good. At least it is sure that it will accept 24/174.6 format. But I I'm pretty sure that will be hdcd. it's one of their pluses.
 Telstar wrote:
1) The digital transport (i.e. the Soundcard): I learned that the best way to just transport the digital signal from the DAW to the DAC is by using an external, firewire soundcard, with external power supply, such as MOTU or Fireface. Internal souncards gets noise from the computer. Using a Prism Opus would not need this peripheral, but I have no idead how good the Opus is and how stand with the other top DACs, such as the Lavry, the Berkeley, the MSB and others.

 Romy the Cat wrote:

Interesting. Do you feel that firewire interface might not be the compromising factors? Also, if you already isolated the soundcard from the noisy computer and have a dedicated poser to it then why do not have the good DACs aboard the card. There are some very expensive cards with “premium” DACs in them. Who knows, they might work out in this configuration

Excuse me Romy, which soundcard do you employ and how is your poser? I assume that it is not inside your DAW. How it is connected to the computer and to the DAC? I think that you are using the pro Lavry DAC at the moment.

For what I have heard, firewire inteface, exp the fw800 is not a bottleneck. I did plan to get a relatively cheap firewire soundcard just to transport the digital signal from the computer to the DAC.

 Telstar wrote:
2) The Software: Vista x32 with foobar/asio/kernel mode or xxhighend are the best

 Romy the Cat wrote:

Hm, very interesting! Do you feel I need to try other players? I use the logic that it is the best to play the file with the same software what it was recorded. I record with WveLab6 and play the same. I do admit that is not execlsy comfortable but I even thought to write my own…

I did not include professional software, but I tried Cubase with a usb DAC and XP and the results were disappointing to say the least.
I'm pretty sure that Wavelab uses ASIO, depending on your soundcard drivers. I believe that ASIO sounds better in Vista, though. Everything sounds better than in XP Smile Against mac the distance is closer.

Have you ever tried high-res files from Linn Records? If so, how do they compare to your own recordings?

 Romy the Cat wrote:

About the TwinDAC – it sound like a bogus DAC, thight I never had it. I automatically discard anything that stresses Black Gate capacitors it is a huge sign for me about the Minority of the designers.  Also the TwinDAC has 2.5kOhm out impedance, are they kidding? There is another aspect. The TwinDAC outputs very low voltage - I do not like it. I want a DAC to swing 5V minimum in order to make me to look at a DAC seriously.


No, its not bogus at all Smile
Just very spartan design (first case, like mine, was better looking btw). 5V? Not sure, but I read of quite some DACs outputting 2V.
Anyway, if you try it, let me know. I think retail price is under 2000€.
02-09-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 15
Post ID: 6588
Reply to: 6587
Deplete interest in DACs

 Telstar wrote:
Because those 20 bit were true 20 bits
No, it won't do true 24 bit ladder, according to the specs on their website. Nonetheless it can be good. At least it is sure that it will accept 24/174.6 format. But I I'm pretty sure that will be hdcd. it's one of their pluses.

Well, perhaps, I do no0t know. Dima for instance (and he has quite high expertise in the subject) claims that there no true 24bit converters available anyhow. BTW, with all advances of HDCD, that I fully appreciate, it makes send only on 16 bit. At 20-24 bit I personally was not able to see any benefits of HDCD of any custom jitters. So, I do not know how advantageous would be the Berkley HDCD is you play 24/88

 Telstar wrote:
Excuse me Romy, which soundcard do you employ and how is your poser? I assume that it is not inside your DAW. How it is connected to the computer and to the DAC? I think that you are using the pro Lavry DAC at the moment.

I use Lynx-16 and it is inside of my DAW. I selected it base upon the minimum on-board processing.  My point was that it one use externals card and if the fw800 is not a bottleneck then the card might have DACs on board.

 Telstar wrote:
For what I have heard, firewire inteface, exp the fw800 is not a bottleneck. I did plan to get a relatively cheap firewire soundcard just to transport the digital signal from the computer to the DAC.

I did not include professional software, but I tried Cubase with a usb DAC and XP and the results were disappointing to say the least.

 Telstar wrote:
I'm pretty sure that Wavelab uses ASIO, depending on your soundcard drivers. I believe that ASIO sounds better in Vista, though. Everything sounds better than in XP Against mac the distance is closer.

The ASIO is the Steinberg’s protocol so I am also sure Wavelab uses it. I did not updated my DAW to Vista yet.

 Telstar wrote:
Have you ever tried high-res files from Linn Records? If so, how do they compare to your own recordings?

I did not try. I did not see among what they have available the music that I were interested.

 Telstar wrote:
No, its not bogus at all Just very spartan design (first case, like mine, was better looking btw). 5V? Not sure, but I read of quite some DACs outputting 2V.Anyway, if you try it, let me know. I think retail price is under 2000€.

Nope, I will not try it, I have no motivations or need to try DACs, I might try, juts for a hell of it the new Berkley DAC to see how it will push against the Lavry DA924. I might also try in future one unique DAC that Dima invented, the one that has no analogue with any other DACs even made my mankind (pure analog DAC!!!!) It pretty my deplete my interest in DACs

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-10-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Telstar
Posts 30
Joined on 02-06-2008

Post #: 16
Post ID: 6595
Reply to: 6588
DACs and computers
 Romy the Cat wrote:

Dima for instance (and he has quite high expertise in the subject) claims that there no true 24bit converters available anyhow. BTW, with all advances of HDCD, that I fully appreciate, it makes send only on 16 bit. At 20-24 bit I personally was not able to see any benefits of HDCD of any custom jitters. So, I do not know how advantageous would be the Berkley HDCD is you play 24/88


He WAS right. There WERE no true 24bit ladder converters before that MSB and the Q5 DSP of Anagram Technologies, that has not been implemented in any commercial DAC yet, as far as I know. Link here:

http://www.anagramtech.com/products/ip/q5src/

BTW I have a Fim 24-bit HDCD that sounds marvelous on my VRDS transport, and the DAC is less than 24 bit. It could only sound better on the Berkeley Smile

 Telstar wrote:
Excuse me Romy, which soundcard do you employ and how is your poser? I assume that it is not inside your DAW. How it is connected to the computer and to the DAC? I think that you are using the pro Lavry DAC at the moment.

 Romy the Cat wrote:

I use Lynx-16 and it is inside of my DAW. I selected it base upon the minimum on-board processing. My point was that it one use externals card and if the fw800 is not a bottleneck then the card might have DACs on board.

If you are not using the Lynx DAC, how good it is really does not matter. Isolation from computer noise matters most IMO. While the Lynx is very good, I still believe you can get slightly better using a firewire interface as digital transport. Also Check the lenght of the cables. I think up to 5m is safe for firewire. I'm not sure about spdif (optical or whatever, these interfaces confuses me). You may want to try with a fireface 400 (i'm assuming you have a firewire controller).

Also, let me know if you try different file formats. Your audio chain is one of the best that I know and being high-efficiency is very revealing. For instance Linn records makes available test files in different resolutions and formats. Another site that has a (free) evaluation is this:
http://www.2l.no/hires/index.html

 Telstar wrote:
No, its not bogus at all Just very spartan design (first case, like mine, was better looking btw). 5V? Not sure, but I read of quite some DACs outputting 2V.Anyway, if you try it, let me know. I think retail price is under 2000€.

 Romy the Cat wrote:

Nope, I will not try it, I have no motivations or need to try DACs, I might try, juts for a hell of it the new Berkley DAC to see how it will push against the Lavry DA924. I might also try in future one unique DAC that Dima invented, the one that has no analogue with any other DACs even made my mankind (pure analog DAC!!!!) It pretty my deplete my interest in DACs

The Cat


Okay Smile
I think I will try the Orpheus Prism (they rent it, one day rent will do the job when my DAW will be ready). And something that Peter is working on.
02-10-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 17
Post ID: 6599
Reply to: 6595
"...something more than the contemporary pro demands."

 Telstar wrote:
If you are not using the Lynx DAC, how good it is really does not matter. Isolation from computer noise matters most IMO. While the Lynx is very good, I still believe you can get slightly better using a firewire interface as digital transport. Also Check the lenght of the cables. I think up to 5m is safe for firewire. I'm not sure about spdif (optical or whatever, these interfaces confuses me). You may want to try with a fireface 400 (i'm assuming you have a firewire controller).

You are not exactly correct about Lynx. First of all my card had no DACs aboard it is just a digital I/O, channels re-mapper and the card’s software. Before I got the card I interviewed quite many technical people about the type of reprocessing that took place in digital I/O cards. I am not willing to pretend that I understand everything I was told but there is a LOT of what going on in digital I/O cards. What I was told about Lynx was the most convincing. Ironically he most details information I got calling to Lynx and to some of their competitors that produces the similar cards. I am not familiar with firewire for audio. You are saying that I can get the feed in and out of my DAW without audio card via firewire? Would it this case my Lynx card stop to override the “bad” sound card that sits in my motherboard? Something should run the clock of this thing…. BTW, Lynx permits itself to slave itself from my ADC clock…

 Telstar wrote:
For instance Linn records makes available test files in different resolutions and formats. Another site that has a (free) evaluation is this:
http://www.2l.no/hires/index.html

Yes, and they use the fundamentally faulty and inferior SACD as reference… Funny…

 Telstar wrote:

I think I will try the Orpheus Prism (they rent it, one day rent will do the job when my DAW will be ready). And something that Peter is working on.

This Orpheus Prism is an interesting devise, I never saw it.

http://www.prismsound.com/music_recording/products_subs/orpheus/orpheus_home.php

I hope those pro guys who made it had in their minds something more than the contemporary pro demands.

Rgs, The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-11-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 18
Post ID: 6606
Reply to: 6595
DAD - another perspective D/A converter player

BTW, Telstar, here is another interning company that you might find worth to explore. They do not have a big buzz in US but they  are getting a lot of momentum in Europe. The company is Digital Audio Denmark and their site is

http://www.digitalaudio.dk

I never had them but I presume that they might be fine DA converters.

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-12-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Telstar
Posts 30
Joined on 02-06-2008

Post #: 19
Post ID: 6620
Reply to: 6606
Digital audio dk
Never heard of them.

Funny how many many many interesting DACs exist and you (the buyer) have not the slightest idea on how they may sound.
02-12-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Telstar
Posts 30
Joined on 02-06-2008

Post #: 20
Post ID: 6621
Reply to: 6599
More on firewire audio (my opinion)
 Romy the Cat wrote:

You are not exactly correct about Lynx. First of all my card had no DACs aboard it is just a digital I/O, channels re-mapper and the card’s software. Before I got the card I interviewed quite many technical people about the type of reprocessing that took place in digital I/O cards. I am not willing to pretend that I understand everything I was told but there is a LOT of what going on in digital I/O cards. What I was told about Lynx was the most convincing. Ironically he most details information I got calling to Lynx and to some of their competitors that produces the similar cards.


I'm sorry - I dont know all Lynx models. if it had a DAC, it didnt matter because you are just feeding the Lavry with its digital output.

 Romy the Cat wrote:

I am not familiar with firewire for audio. You are saying that I can get the feed in and out of my DAW without audio card via firewire?

Correct.
You could replace the Lynx with a firewire soundcard. And see if it sounds better or not.

 Romy the Cat wrote:

Would it this case my Lynx card stop to override the “bad” sound card that sits in my motherboard?

I meant that the Lynx digital output may retain some noise from the computer, not that you get noise from the onboard soundcard (provided that you have one -You have onboard audio disabled in the bios, have you? Smile )

 Romy the Cat wrote:

Something should run the clock of this thing…. BTW, Lynx permits itself to slave itself from my ADC clock…

Since the Lavry has a master clock, you should look into firewire devices that have a word clock input. I'm not sure about the Fireface, but the MOTU should have that.

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