Suggestions: SOTA Ethernet Server for a DAC Renderer

Oct 30, 2017
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#61
I was talking about S/PDIF. If USB is used as an endpoint, then the jitter of the Master Clock in the USB interface matters. It would be the Master Clock, but may also be affected by jitter and CM noise on the USB cable.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Ya that confused me. Not sure why as we were talking about async per micro's question.
 
Jun 24, 2015
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jplay.eu
#62
Regarding Ethernet controller/clock and if it makes a difference. The editor of Alpha Audio magazine has just installed the NET Card FEMTO in his music server and his observations are that streaming now sounds better than files on the internal SSD (source)
 
May 30, 2010
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#63
Regarding Ethernet controller/clock and if it makes a difference. The editor of Alpha Audio magazine has just installed the NET Card FEMTO in his music server and his observations are that streaming now sounds better than files on the internal SSD (source)
I can easily accept it - however better sound quality is not a technical explanation. Probably I will also buy a NET Card FEMTO to try in my Roon PC server, but not because of the clock, just because probably it is a much better designed card and it leaks less noise in the audio system.

As it has two RJ45 I would like to bypass the router and connect the DCS upsampler and the Synology NAS to the W10 PC. Do you think it is a good strategy?
 
Feb 3, 2011
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#64
Regarding the Mojo Deja Vu Linux/Roon server:

I was ready to get it but I keep coming back to these questions
It tough to get straight answers from Mojo, Benjamin really likes to hear himself talk:

Is 64gb large enough to handle future Roon improvements? Do u have 128gb SSD? (I'd feel better with 128gb ssd)
How much ram? If only 4gb, can u get 8 or 16?
What processor? Speed?

I get the distinct impression that the Mojo is set up to use internal SSD drives for music storage and not to access a NAS with a large library

Not convinced this is the way to go.....
 
Oct 30, 2017
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#65
Very good questions. I have had some discussion with Benjamin and can try to articulate my perception of him and his philosophy. I have not made my final decision on a server and I am not prepared to categorically defend his product but I do see a lot of logic in his approach.

I was ready to get it but I keep coming back to these questions
It tough to get straight answers from Mojo, Benjamin really likes to hear himself talk:
Benjamin is a very passionate guy. I find politely interrupting him (if there is such a thing) in a way I would not with most people does not offend him and allows you to get what you want from him. I am somewhat persuaded that the "thing" that makes him so passionate in his dialogue is the same "thing" that drives him to absolute perfection in the optimization of his devices. Only the absolute best components and design will do for him.

Is 64gb large enough to handle future Roon improvements? Do u have 128gb SSD? (I'd feel better with 128gb ssd)
How much ram? If only 4gb, can u get 8 or 16?
What processor? Speed?
I agree with this concern if it is your intention to use Roon for DSP. You are going to need more of everything in this case starting with an i3 processor minimum and more cache, ram etc. The Mojo is optimized for "bit perfect" playback (NOT DSP) with Roon only managing the library and HQplayer serving/playing only "bit perfect" (i.e., no upsampling). There are kind of two camps in this regard. If you are in the "bit perfect camp" you DO NOT want all this additional topology in your server as it is deemed to compromise sound quality through noise, etc. He uses a low-noise ultrahigh-efficiency 6 watt main board. That is off the charts low and is the polar opposite of a DSP approach. The Mojo is all about "bit perfect" sound quality exclusively. Benjamin wants the best of everything and in his opinion it's like this:

--Bit Perfect > Upsampled (This is obviously dac dependent. It's true on the Mojo Dac as well as my MSB.)
--Roon is best at Music Interface.
--HQ > Roon as a server/player for sound quality.

As such he has designed a server that is optimized for absolute best sound quality predicated on these beliefs.

I get the distinct impression that the Mojo is set up to use internal SSD drives for music storage and not to access a NAS with a large library.
You are correct here as well. In Benjamin's opinion per his testing, when you have an ultra quiet, low jitter device like the Deja Vue, local SSD is better than a NAS source feeding the server through an ethernet connection. Somehow the ethernet pollution is worse than the local SSD's as a file source. Remember also, his SSDs are isolated in a ferrous shielded compartment, mounted on Sorbothane standoffs, and are powered independently from the main board for optimal performance. (He does feel the Samsung Pro's SSDs are necessary over the EVO's.) I discussed this at length and he is adamant in this regard for his device based on his listening tests and comments from his customers.
 
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Feb 3, 2011
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#66
So what is the best Roon server to use with 7Tb of music on a QNAP 8 bay NAS?

The SGC i7 sonic Transporter is lookink like the one...
 
Oct 30, 2017
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#67
So what is the best Roon server to use with 7Tb of music on a QNAP 8 bay NAS?

The SGC i7 sonic Transporter is lookink like the one...
Well I am not the expert but if you wanna use roon to full extent of its capabilities, you need a pretty powerful processing capability as you mentioned. The next question is are you going ethernet or USB to the Dac. If USB, Andrews device is a good option at a price point with the SGM at the other extreme. If ethernet, I would still prefer something with ethernet port optimization and isolation. Unfortunately I am not aware of something that has the processing you need for full roon dsp that is also optimized for ethernet to the degree of the four units in my OP. I do think this is something that the market needs to address as processing demands increase along with ethernet to I2S direct being developed as a superior interface to USB. Last time I talked to Andrew (a few months ago) he had bridged ethernet ports but nothing too special. He didn't seem to think much else was necessary. Maybe see if Andrew could put in a JCAT Femto Ethernet card in the Sonic and do something custom with a linear power supply feeding the card independently??? IMO if you did this you would have a very wiz-bang, full roon DSP solution. It would be good for Marcin to comment here.......
 
Jun 24, 2015
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jplay.eu
#69
I can easily accept it - however better sound quality is not a technical explanation. Probably I will also buy a NET Card FEMTO to try in my Roon PC server, but not because of the clock, just because probably it is a much better designed card and it leaks less noise in the audio system.

As it has two RJ45 I would like to bypass the router and connect the DCS upsampler and the Synology NAS to the W10 PC. Do you think it is a good strategy?
Correct, it's a low-noise design, but the clock is also important. We've all been shocked with the improvement on the JCAT USB Card FEMTO compared to a previous revision which used a less precise clock.

Yes, this is a good strategy.

Regarding the Mojo Deja Vu Linux/Roon server:

I was ready to get it but I keep coming back to these questions
It tough to get straight answers from Mojo, Benjamin really likes to hear himself talk:

Is 64gb large enough to handle future Roon improvements? Do u have 128gb SSD? (I'd feel better with 128gb ssd)
How much ram? If only 4gb, can u get 8 or 16?
What processor? Speed?

I get the distinct impression that the Mojo is set up to use internal SSD drives for music storage and not to access a NAS with a large library

Not convinced this is the way to go.....
The Mojo Server as someone already mentioned here is not for intensive DSP. It is a product optimized for bit-perfect playback. Using more RAM and higher spec CPU would only add noise which Ben is trying to avoid.
Using 64GB or 128GB SSD is a sign that external library is mandatory, so it is has to access a NAS.


Best regards,
Marcin
 
Oct 30, 2017
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#70
I did not include the Antipodes on the list in my OP because historically I considered it to be optimized around Usb and Spdif, but I see the new DX Gen 3 has a second ethernet port. In the servers in my OP the second ethernet ports were designed to isolate the network and to connect direct to a dac's ethernet renderer which is my goal. From the limited information on their web site, the second ethernet port on the Antipodes DX 3 looks like it is meant to receive input from the high powered Antipodes Core as opposed to isolate the network and connect to an ethernet dac. Does anyone have any perspective on this port design and/or performance of the DX Gen 3 being connected direct to a dac via ethernet.

dx_main.jpg
 
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Oct 30, 2017
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#71
I did not include the Antipodes on the list in my OP because historically I considered it to be optimized around Usb and Spdif, but I see the new DX Gen 3 has a second ethernet port. In the servers in my OP the second ethernet ports were designed to isolate the network and to connect direct to a dac's ethernet renderer which is my goal. From the limited information on their web site, the second ethernet port on the Antipodes DX 3 looks like it is meant to receive input from the high powered Antipodes Core as opposed to isolate the network and connect to an ethernet dac. Does anyone have any perspective on this port design and/or performance of the DX Gen 3 being connected direct to a dac via ethernet.

View attachment 38425
Anyone with familiarity of the Antipodes DX Gen 3's dual ethernet port design relative to network isolation and direct to dac ethernet performance????
 
Oct 30, 2017
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#72
Well this just showed up on the Antipodes web site and it looks optimized for exactly my application:

http://www.antipodesaudio.com/antipodes-cx.html

Direct Ethernet means the CX has two Ethernet ports. Connect one to the network for setup and remote control purposes. Connect the second Ethernet port direct to an EX or an Ethernet DAC using a short high quality Ethernet cable. The direct link cuts out noise from the rest of the network and benefits from the very low-noise environment of the CX.
The CX delivers stunning sound quality, exceeding the audio performance of even the excellent DX while also providing high processing power to handle demanding server features with ease.
WOW......that's a bold statement! Nice.
 
Oct 30, 2017
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#74
Thanks Stereophonic, I will do some homework on the Atlantis. I don't have a lot of direct experience with Wadax.
 
Oct 30, 2017
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#75
Ok, got my MSB Reference today so I need to pull the trigger on a server. Again my main criteria are best possible SQ using dual isolated Ethernet Ports to go direct to MSB Renderer and Roon capability. The choices I see are:

Mojo Audio Deja Vu
Innuos Zentih mk ii SE
Antipodes CX

Any final words of wisdom on these three?
 
Feb 3, 2011
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#76
I'd get a SGC i7 sonic Transport with a JCAT Femto ethernet card and a LPSU to power the sT and the Femto card.....

And sell those 501's buy my 2 511's.....:)
 
Nov 3, 2017
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#77
I have been following this thread waiting to see where it goes as I had pretty much narrowed down to the same three. The one + (for me) is that the Zenith has a ripper which I can use, albeit likely only for my initial transfer from my CDs to hard drive, but as the cost of CDs go down and prices of downloads go up (tba) I may just buy the CD and transfer on to HD. This is all about sound though and my experience is that a ripped cd will still sound much better than the equivelent download. The Antipodes CX looks to be a great option too. The distributor sent me the new prices, and availability. $5600.00, available in March (sometime). NO STORAGE. It looks like you will be in for $1100.00 per terabyte. I also found out that even though you can add your own drives, I was told they need to be sourced from Antipodes. Feature wise these two options seem to have the same features/build, but the Zenith has the in memory playback, vs. the Antipodes having HQ Player software. Depending on what you plan on doing with your files wrt upsampling, HQ player may not be important. There seems to be an inconsistency from Mojo regarding HQPlayer, and software in general. At one point he was all for loading Roon/HQplayer and using the combo whether or not you were upsampling, then I think he felt JRiver was the best sounding player. I think the key to Mojo is running AO, which I am very aquanted. Then you got to think about the JCat ethernet/usb. In my system I much prefered Roon direct (no DSP) than with HQplayer in the loop. When I was upsampling everything to DSD 512, HQp was king, but this is moot for me at this stage. If I decide to go Mojo it would likely be with Linux OS because of MSWindows constant updates that invariably cause incompatibility issues between various software that you use. This pretty much puts the Mojo out of contention because I can't wrap my head qround Linux. **** I have not heard any of these units. Based on end user reviews the Zenith and Antipodes are neck/neck. The Zenith seems to be more popular, and there is more info/pro reviews accessible online. I haven't read any reviews or comments that have differentiated the sound differences between the Z se and the Z standard. I believe the difference is silver wire and that Mundorf caps are used in the PSU plus a little more here and there, but not too certain. I think the 'limited' 100 is bologne. It seems that you can always order, but the few dealers I spoke with have one in stock for 'various' reasons. If I had to make a decision right now I would likely get the Standard Zenith with the open mind of getting the SOtM Ultra/Paul Hynes PSU to relieve some of the heavy lifting from the Zenith, run Roon core to SOtM direct to my TotalDac reclocker. I believe this would easily surpass any benifits gained by the 'se' at a lower cost. If I were to go Antipodes, I would apply the same logic and go for the ex @ $4100.00 and add the SOtM/Paul Hynes PSU. Please share your thoughts at this stage. Congrats on the MSB!
 
Oct 30, 2017
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#78
I'd get a SGC i7 sonic Transport with a JCAT Femto ethernet card and a LPSU to power the sT and the Femto card.....

And sell those 501's buy my 2 511's.....:)
Thanks King but as I mentioned before I do not want to upsample and I think the horsepower in the i7 comes with a noise based SQ compromise.
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
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almaaudio.com
#79
Remember that with the Innuos, you still have the option of having your Roon Core elsewhere on the network, and just using it as a Roon Player.
 
Feb 3, 2011
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#80
Thanks King but as I mentioned before I do not want to upsample and I think the horsepower in the i7 comes with a noise based SQ compromise.
Never said anything about doing up-sampling...I have 70,000+ tracks and I gotta say that based on the speed I get now with Roon an i3 or i5 processor isn't going to cut it TODAY let alone down the road as Roon gets fatter. Thinking it is nosier vs. knowing it is are 2 different things. Roon isn't recommending an i7 for no reason....if the Nucleus+ had a loop thru and the Femto card it would be the way to go.....just saying.........

BTW..What are u going to do today with no MSB Roon renderer? I'm waiting for it LOL