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Thread: Music Server Project

  1. #41
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    Async USB and BS

    Quote Originally Posted by garylkoh View Post
    Async USB has been one of the biggest sources of bovine excrement in marketing DACs in the past year or so. It has nothing to do with data accuracy. All it means is that the incoming USB data stream is re-clocked. With sync USB, the clock of the USB receiver is synchronized with the USB transmitter (hence sometimes called adaptive because the clock adapts to the sending clock).
    Async USB provides a simpler way to implement a low jitter DAC relative to adaptive mode USB. For the cost of a small number of lines of firmware code, you reduce the amount and complexity hardware needed and potentially reduce the cost of the hardware needed for a high quality result. Most thinking engineers appreciate simplicity and the potential for low cost designs that deliver the goods.

    You can find plenty of bovine excrement in the marketing of all kinds of high-end gear. Marketing products using buzz words without supporting detail or test results works when the audience is technically ignorant.

    Async USB got to be a hot buzz word for many audiophiles in the last year or two. You may be offended by the rise of the Async USB buzz word. However, I'm more offended by marketing of products that are not very good or are just snake oil.

    Quote Originally Posted by garylkoh View Post
    Async can have just as bad jitter as sync if the clock at the DAC is badly implemented.
    A bad implementation can sink any approach. No revelation there.

    Bill

  2. #42
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Thanks, Bill. You are correct. Async makes things easier to implement a low-jitter DAC, but by no means is async better than sync - as some of these marketing folks would like us to believe.

    Those of you club members building the server together with us, please read the cismemoryplayer site that I had a couple of posts ago. I haven't tried everything mentioned there, but a lot of what they say concur with my findings. This afternoon, I had my server already stabilized and outputting bit perfect and started tuning and tweaking.

    Since Jerry came around to pick up cables from me for the DAC shoot-out, I press-ganged him to help me listen. We did some re-configurations, and I have to admit that Win7 is sounding pretty good.
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    Genesis Advanced Technologies

  3. #43
    Senior Member fork's Avatar
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    Gary, if you're out there, I'm wondering how you're confirming bit-perfect output. Also, where does the tuning come in when the output reaches the point of bit-perfect; are we talking solely about controlling electrical noise?

    On a separate subject, here's a software for Win 7 that replaces nLite and vLite. Provides a simple way to turn off and delete Win 7 features, create a bootable ISO image and a few other things.


    http://www.rt7lite.com/

  4. #44
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Darrin, in their latest firmware update, Weiss has files with the various resolutions to confirm 16- and 24-bit transparency for all resolutions supported. The other thing that I do is that I have a DAC with HDCD indicator, and I play a file ripped from a HDCD. If the HDCD indicator comes on, it is most likely (but no guarantee) to be bit-transparent.

    Thanks for the rt7lite link. I'll explore it after RMAF. Right now, I'm focussed on getting the server tweaked to ship on Fri.
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    Genesis Advanced Technologies

  5. #45
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Folks, is there any interest in getting together this Sat 2nd Oct to build your servers? I'm going to go to the Head-fi meet which is close to my office. John and Jerry want to build their server sooner than later and I thought that we could all get together to build them since I should have everything shipped off to RMAF by then.
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    Gary L Koh, CEO and Chief Designer,
    Genesis Advanced Technologies

  6. #46
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Cool PNWAS Music Server Project Completed

    Well, with no major incidents, no smoke, sparks or fires, we've completed the building of the unofficial club music server. Now, at least six of the members will have "identical" music servers.





    Cutting pieces of Dynamat to damp the chassis and seal the ventilation holes



    What it looks like completed



    And the user interface.....




    Excruciating details available here:
    http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/n...r_RMAF2010.pdf

    Now to enjoy some music.....
    __________________________
    Gary L Koh, CEO and Chief Designer,
    Genesis Advanced Technologies

  7. #47

    Red face Thanks Gary for making it all possible!

    Quote Originally Posted by garylkoh View Post
    Well, with no major incidents, no smoke, sparks or fires, we've completed the building of the unofficial club music server. Now, at least six of the members will have "identical" music servers.





    Cutting pieces of Dynamat to damp the chassis and seal the ventilation holes



    What it looks like completed



    And the user interface.....




    Excruciating details available here:
    http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/n...r_RMAF2010.pdf

    Now to enjoy some music.....
    Gary

    I can't seem to find words adequate to properly express my sincere gratitude for the gracious help and oversight you provided during the music server assembly process last Saturday evening. Sunday morning I configured Win7 Pro on my server following your instructions. Monday I found time to connect the glass cable I bought from Joe to my DAC and play some tunes from a thumb drive. The sound improvement over my CD player which I consider pretty good for a $1200 SONY was absolutely astounding to my ears. What a fabulous investment for a few hours work and a little money! I did purchase the DBpoweramp software, installed and tuned it and the results played back through the server are marvelous. I found the best price at Newegg for the 2 Seagate drives you recommend (instructions page 3) for music storage. I found the RAID enclosure you recommend to be out of stock at Newegg but apparently available at a reasonable price from Tigerdirect. I hope to have my music storage gear received, installed and operational by this coming Saturday if Targetdirect can actually deliver the enclosure by then. In the meantime I'll be spending my free time ripping away at my sizeable CD collection for FLAC file permanent storage. Once I get the accompanying jewelcase documentation onto PDF's it'll be goodbye CD hardcopies and jewel cases and welcome more free shelf space.

    Best Regards.

    Keith Birdwell

  8. #48
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    You're welcome, Keith. Welcome to the forum.
    __________________________
    Gary L Koh, CEO and Chief Designer,
    Genesis Advanced Technologies

  9. #49
    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for sending me your newsletter about the Music Server. Great article - thanks for sharing.

    I've been thinking about a music server for a couple of years now, as my age implies that, at some
    not-too-distant time in the future, my eyesight will have deteriorated to the point where aligning a cartridge will not be possible ... so I'd better have ripped my vinyl to hi-rez digital before then!!

    I would appreciate your comment on one point - which is only to do with digitizing vinyl. Sure, you need a ss drive in the music server for the OS. But - and I know this is "conventional" computer thinking ... why use a standard mirrored disk drive array to store the music files?

    Why not use USB sticks to store each LP? You manually choose the LP you want to play by selecting the USB stick, insert it into the computer and then fire it up? I have read that running direct from a USB stick delivers much better sound than pulling the music file off a disk drive?

    Can you comment on this?

    NB: If you use a disk as storage, I have also read that you get better sound from using vastly more memory than *you* configured, so you can play the LP direct from memory, instead of off the disk? (Don't know if this is true, though! :-)) )

    Regards,

    Andy

  10. #50
    WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)/Member Sponsor [Technical Expert] garylkoh's Avatar
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    Hi Andy,

    The vinyl cognoscenti will crucify me for this, but yes, ripping your vinyl to hi-rez digital is definitely the way to go for us aging folk.

    The reason I recommended a standard mirrored disk drive array for storage of music files is that solid-state drives are still too expensive in the 500GB range. Once you get the drives outside the server, and with a separate power supply, I did not find the spinning drive to be detrimental to the sound of the server. So, playing off a USB stick sounds no better than playing off the drive array I recommended.

    With the drive array, you don't need to worry about looking for USB sticks. The main advantage is organization, and being able to browse your entire music collection on screen. You can select by artist, performer, soloist, whatever. The more information you tag your music with, the better you can search. For example, I can play every piece I have with David Oistrakh as soloist without having to look through every record and CD.

    The server is already configured with the maximum amount of memory. You get better sound if the music storage drive is de-fragmented, and if the drive has a larger buffer. The drive I recommended is a hybrid drive with 4GB of solid-state read cache and a 32Mb buffer.
    __________________________
    Gary L Koh, CEO and Chief Designer,
    Genesis Advanced Technologies

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