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Thread: Servers at 3 price points.

  1. #1
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best!
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    Servers at 3 price points.

    Well, starting to do the serious leg work ahead of finally getting into computer audio.
    I have the dac I'm going to use (will reveal which it is when I buy it, but at sub £4K and apparently beating some alternatives at 3-4x the price, I'm really happy w my choice).
    Now I'm looking to streamers/servers.
    Need it to be Roon-ready (Aurender out), HQP would be nice, and ideally a dead simple interface for this user who is all thumbs when it comes to computer audio.
    At low end ie below £5k I'm identifying Auralic Aries, InnuOS Zen, AudioAanZee, InnuOS Zenith.
    Up a bit ie £7-10k, we have Computer Audio Design CAT, Pink Faun 2.16, Antipodes DX.
    At top end, £15k+, SGM.
    Can I get a discussion going on these?
    My CV - a resolute analog man who is finding my efforts to maximise things in my room esp w attention to power and noise suppression has supercharged my digital, so much so that the £10-20k that would normally have gone on my analog is now going on my digital.
    But but BUT...I'm a resolute RBCD man, w my Eera Tentation cdp hitting the heights, and so just as I get my ongoing digital to a place I'd never dare hope for, I'm reluctantly considering getting a streamer/dac (cannot use the Eera as dac, no "Digital IN" jack).
    My genres of prog rock and fusion still v well served by traditional cd, eg a new King Crimson period box set of 24 CDs in lavish packaging soon to be released, and I really have zero idea how much new music I'll find via Tidal/Roon.
    But I feel compelled to go this route, the curiosity is pushing me, yet the anxiety of inevitable interaction with a Tablet is filling me with dread LOL.
    And so with a potential giant killer dac in tow, and my inexperienced (to say the least) attitude to streaming, will I be happy to stick cheaper Aries or Zen, or will Antipodes, Pink Faun or CAD at mid expense level really tickle my fancy, or will I feel the compulsion to go deep into SGM price territory if streaming becomes something I get adept at and find lots of music I'd never guess, with me right now only used to handling cds?
    I guess I'm asking if the category of Pink Faun, Antipodes, CAD, totally beats Aries, Zen, and is up there close to SGM?
    Because the reviews on these 3 mid expense streamers is full of superlatives, listing no real weaknesses or shortcomings.
    Because I can handle the £10-12k that this mid level streamer market would cost me with dac, it's what my current analog front end, and cdp, have cost me each.
    Trans Fi Salvation tt & Terminator arm, Soundsmith Straingauge SG200 cart/Eera Tentation cdp/Nat Audio Utopia line stage & SE2SE SET monos w.NOS '48 GE tubes/Zu Definitions 4 spkrs w.Duelund caps & Lundahl transformers/Stacore isolation platforms, Symposium Isis rack & Rollerblocks isolation/Sablon Reservas & Elites cbls/Westwick 8kVA balanced pwr, Oyaides dedicated lines w.Furutech US sockets, SR Black fuses, Entreq Silver Tellus grndng.

  2. #2
    Site Founder And Administrator Ron Resnick's Avatar
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    Jan 2015
    Beverly Hills, CA
    No, no, no!

    Get Greg Beron's United Home Audio Phase 1 tape deck for $6,500!

    (I will talk to Irana.)
    Mono and Stereo - Senior Contributing Reviewer

    turntable: American Sound AS-2000; tonearms: SME 3012R, Schröder LT; cartridges: ZYX UNIverse Premium X-SB2, Air Tight Opus-1; tape: Studer A820 Mk II; phono stage: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 power supplies; line stage: VTL TL-7.5 Series III; amplifier: VTL Siegfried Series II; loudspeaker: Gryphon Pendragon; cables: MasterBuilt Ultra; stands: Herzan + Taiko Tana + Evo LPS for Io, custom for turntable, Stacore Basic+ for amps; power: Benjamin Electric subpanel, JPS in-wall wire, Furutech NCF outlets, Torus AVR60BAL; room: 19' wide X 24' long X 14' tall; acoustic treatment: SoundSense A.T.I. + Lumitex drapes + Vibramat, ASC IsoThermal Tube Traps; tweaks: Shakti Stones, Shun Mooks, self-propelled sound-absorbing cocker-poo

  3. #3
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! BlueFox's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    Silicon Valley
    Throw away the DAC, the interconnect cable, the power cable, and get a Lumin.

    Lumin S1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.

  4. #4
    A slightly out of the square option. What about going with a Chord Blu 2 upscaler/cd transport with your new mystery dac.

    While a Chord Dave/Blu 2 combo is the more logical dac pairing apparently according to early feedback the Chord Blu 2 brings more magic to the equation than the Chord Dave itself.

    So you have a dedicated cd transport with all the benefits of upsampling which happens in the Blu 2 rather than the server. Could then perhaps go with a simpler renderer up front like the Sotm ultra200 which is proving absolutely brilliant for me.

    100 per cent on the absolute essential need for Roon based and also Tidal as it is just the most exceptional way to discover and curate new music... HQ itself may not be necessary if the Blu 2 is going to be doing all the upsampling math at the very end.

    As (at best) a barely mid level computer literate myself I would definitely suggest putting aside a small part of your budget to getting a local computer whiz in to help you with the setup no matter how you go... wouldn't have to be a crazy spend I'd guess but certainly tech support would be the best investment for many if not all of us. That would be the beauty of an SGM obviously but still could just get an IT based computer wizard in to give you some peace of mind and a great start either way.

    I spent the last 6 years optimising various laptops and using Audirvana, Pure Music, Amarra also with and without Tidal integration. Also then comparing Aurenders and Lumin and in the end the Sotm ultra was a clear choice for me. But I wouldn't do anything as involved as any of ethernet based approaches without some tech support as it can be less of pure music and more of pure hell when the computer eventually says no!

    But purely in terms of changing the way you listen to music Roon and Tidal are absolute game changers (especially Roon) and going this direction is ultimately the big win and will be about letting go of any musical boundaries of the past and an infinite injection of the new horizons and wildly joyful musical expansion. It's an absolutely priceless liberation that'll make you forget all about any anxieties about what is possibly missing in your gear and replace it with just the endless pure wonder of world of more music.... so now best hop off me soapbox and head on back to the music. Best of luck with it.
    Magnepan 20.7 - Shindo - Sanders - Sotm Ultra - Chord - Shunyata Cyclops & Z Anaconda and Python PCs - Wireworld Platinum Eclipse SCs, ICs, USB, jumpers - Stillpoint Ultra 5s throughout the system.

  5. #5
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best!
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    E. England
    BlueFox, you have to do better than that LOL.

  6. #6
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best!
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    Tao, I've never got on w Chord gear, but will bear in mind.
    The SOTM is on my radar however.
    Tao, their website is a bit bewildering.
    Can you guide me to what device(s) from SOtM I should be looking at. If you prefer to PM me go ahead.
    Appreciate your time.
    Last edited by spiritofmusic; 09-30-2017 at 01:00 AM.

  7. #7
    Addicted to Best! Blue58's Avatar
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    London, UK
    If you need a CD ripper, Roon, Tidal and ease of use then Innuous Zen fits the bill to test the waters of streaming until you decide if it's for you or not.
    Plus points, local service and support if anything should go wrong. Great value and even more so if you scored one on fleabay.
    Discovering new artists I think will be the deciding factor as you have already shown you are capable of using the Roon interface on iPad.
    Sound Galleries Monaco Server 2015(Roon>Tidal>HQPlayer-Poly Sinc xtr DSD128) > Sablon Audio Reserva Elite USB (data only)/Sablon Audio Reserva Ethernet >
    T&A DAC8DSD > Sablon Audio Reserva Interconnects > Java Triple Shot LDR pre > SupaNova45 DC SE amp > Sablon Audio Reserva speaker cables (pigtailed) > Avantgarde Duo Omega. Sablon Audio Reserva power cords throughout. HiFiMan Edition X V2, SR Blue fuses, Oyaide EE f/s2.0 V2 mains spurs, Akiko Audio tuning sticks, GIK Acoustic TriTraps/panels.

  8. #8
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue58 View Post
    as you have already shown you are capable of using the Roon interface on iPad.
    Wow congrats Marc, proud of you

  9. #9
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best!
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    You're too kind Barry, I tend to be all thumbs looking for music at yrs.
    I suspect I'll be using my cdp for some years yet, so a ripper is not critical.
    But ease of use and local UK support makes a lot of sense re Innuous Zen.

  10. #10
    Addicted to Best! Rodney Gold's Avatar
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    Start simple , Roon/Tidal, one of these sub 1000 quid computers like these and the dac of your choice...
    Roon/Tidal ..Squeezebox touch . Trinnov ST2 room correction...Twin Devialet D Premier amps , Vivid Audio Giya G1 Spirits .. fully treated room

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