Differences between NAS and dedicated music servers such as Melco and Innuos

ava1962

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Good morning everyone!
I have C 1.2 (converted from C 1). I mainly use it to listen to music files I have stored on a QNAP NAS. I am thoroughly pleased with the acoustic result so much so that I think it is impossible to sound better in any way. But lately I've had the idea of buying a music server (Innuos or Melco). So I would like to ask, does it make sense to switch to dedicated music server? Will the acoustic effect be impressive? Will it be about the same??? Please your experience! Thank you very much in advance!
 

MadFloyd

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What player do you use currently?
 

MadFloyd

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Ch precision C1.2
It's not a player. I'm sure you can't walk up to it, press a few buttons and hear music, you need to feed it with a digital signal, no?
 
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Kingrex

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Like Madfloyd asked, how do you get the files from the NAS to the C1.2. Do you use a laptop?? Is the NAS direct coupled to the C1.2. Does the C1.2 read/control the NAS?
 
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Kingrex

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FWIW, this crowd will tell you to get a Taiko or get a CH server or some such device from the same manufacturer.

You can use any server. And generally, using a server would improve upon a laptop. If your NAS is direct coupled to the CH1.2, then that may be a very good, hard to beat system.
 

Kingrex

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The NAS directly to the C1.2.
The C1.2 reads/controls the NAS.
Try putting some files on a SS drive and play from that. It might change a little.

I bet its top knotch as is. Does CH make something they claim is next level that streams to the C1.2?
 
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asiufy

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Let's assume you're playing files over the network, from the QNAP to the CH. That's far more interesting than USB, as the network will provide a good degree of isolation between the noisy NAS and your DAC. But that doesn't mean the server on the other end doesn't matter, and a better, quieter one (like Innuos), will surely sound better.
Now, if you're hooking the QNAP to the CH via USB, then the proper server will sound much, *much* better than a QNAP...
 
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ava1962

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Let's assume you're playing files over the network, from the QNAP to the CH. That's far more interesting than USB, as the network will provide a good degree of isolation between the noisy NAS and your DAC. But that doesn't mean the server on the other end doesn't matter, and a better, quieter one (like Innuos), will surely sound better.
Now, if you're hooking the QNAP to the CH via USB, then the proper server will sound much, *much* better than a QNAP...
Thanks for your reply.
following the manufacturer's instructions, I have been using the SOTM switch for a long time, so I have a very good level of network noise reduction. I was just saying that the use of a Melco or Innuos server, to which I would transfer all the music files from Qnap, would significantly improve the performance! In this case Qnap would be removed.
Sorry if I didn’t let you understand what i mean!
 

zbub

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Hi ava1962. Sorry my comments below might be long but I went through similar situation as you are facing now.

I currently have C1.2 and Melco N1Z (5T HDD version). Never tried Innuos in my system so I can't comment on it.
Prior to my first Melco (N1A 4T HDD), I streamed music files via a QNAP NAS to a WiFi Router then to a Linn DSM using Ethernet connections. As you know Melco has 2 Ethernet outputs, one directly to the streamer and one to the WiFi Router for controlling music playback. Melco N1A connected directly to Linn definitely sounded better than QNAP to WiFi Router to Linn. I was using Audioquest Vodka Ethernet cables at that time.

When I bought CH C1, I continued the Ethernet route, never considered USB so I can't comment on that either. Got the higher end Melco N1Z (sounded cleaner and more refined than N1A), upgraded C1.1 to C1.2, and now using Siltech Single Crown Ethernet from Melco to C1.2. I like the Siltech Ethernet cable a lot!

I have also never tried a switch in my system, and I was told by a few friends that even though the Ethernet connection to the WiFi router should not be in the signal path, but different Routers (and a switch) still make a difference, so I am considering trying something like a SOtM or Nordost or Melco switch between Melco and WiFi Router.

With all the comments above, I believe a Melco will sound better than QNAP with C1.2
 
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ava1962

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Hi ava1962. Sorry my comments below might be long but I went through similar situation as you are facing now.

I currently have C1.2 and Melco N1Z (5T HDD version). Never tried Innuos in my system so I can't comment on it.
Prior to my first Melco (N1A 4T HDD), I streamed music files via a QNAP NAS to a WiFi Router then to a Linn DSM using Ethernet connections. As you know Melco has 2 Ethernet outputs, one directly to the streamer and one to the WiFi Router for controlling music playback. Melco N1A connected directly to Linn definitely sounded better than QNAP to WiFi Router to Linn. I was using Audioquest Vodka Ethernet cables at that time.

When I bought CH C1, I continued the Ethernet route, never considered USB so I can't comment on that either. Got the higher end Melco N1Z (sounded cleaner and more refined than N1A), upgraded C1.1 to C1.2, and now using Siltech Single Crown Ethernet from Melco to C1.2. I like the Siltech Ethernet cable a lot!

I have also never tried a switch in my system, and I was told by a few friends that even though the Ethernet connection to the WiFi router should not be in the signal path, but different Routers (and a switch) still make a difference, so I am considering trying something like a SOtM or Nordost or Melco switch between Melco and WiFi Router.

With all the comments above, I believe a Melco will sound better than QNAP with C1.2
I really appreciate your answer!!! It was very helpful indeed!!!
 

zbub

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Jun 27, 2013
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I really appreciate your answer!!! It was very helpful indeed!!!
you are welcome!

Oh I just remembered one more thing. I never tried the top of the line Melco with internal SSD drive, but I did try an external SSD connected to Melco's "Expansion" USB, and SSD sounded nowhere near as good as the internal HDD. Can't explain why, but I asked another friend who also own a Melco N1Z 5T, and he reported the same conclusion. Perhaps the internal SSD will indeed sound better but I have not tried one.
 
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asiufy

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Thanks for your reply.
following the manufacturer's instructions, I have been using the SOTM switch for a long time, so I have a very good level of network noise reduction. I was just saying that the use of a Melco or Innuos server, to which I would transfer all the music files from Qnap, would significantly improve the performance! In this case Qnap would be removed.
Sorry if I didn’t let you understand what i mean!
Yes, either server will sound better than your QNAP. I know because I used to use a QNAP many years ago :) And, at least on my DACs, the difference was huge!
 
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ava1962

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you are welcome!

Oh I just remembered one more thing. I never tried the top of the line Melco with internal SSD drive, but I did try an external SSD connected to Melco's "Expansion" USB, and SSD sounded nowhere near as good as the internal HDD. Can't explain why, but I asked another friend who also own a Melco N1Z 5T, and he reported the same conclusion. Perhaps the internal SSD will indeed sound better but I have not tried one.
you are welcome!

Oh I just remembered one more thing. I never tried the top of the line Melco with internal SSD drive, but I did try an external SSD connected to Melco's "Expansion" USB, and SSD sounded nowhere near as good as the internal HDD. Can't explain why, but I asked another friend who also own a Melco N1Z 5T, and he reported the same conclusion. Perhaps the internal SSD will indeed sound better but I have not tried one.
Your report could not be more helpful. Thank you very much
 

exupgh12

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In short, Yes - in my experience, using an audio server such as the Melco connected to both Ethernet and USB yields a notably superior sound compared to directly attaching my Stremer\DAC to the QNAP, even after employing the SOtM switch in between.
 
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zbub

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In short, Yes - in my experience, using an audio server such as the Melco connected to both Ethernet and USB yields a notably superior sound compared to directly attaching my Stremer\DAC to the QNAP, even after employing the SOtM switch in between.
Hi, have you tried a switch between Melco and the streamer? Was the switch beneficial? Thanks.
 

exupgh12

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Hi, have you tried a switch between Melco and the streamer? Was the switch beneficial? Thanks.

In my setup, I have placed a SOtM switch before the Melco Server.

The Melco Server is equipped with two ports: one for incoming Ethernet and another designed for connection to the DAC. Effectively, the Melco server operates as a standalone switch.

In addition to the Ethernet connection, there is a USB output from the Melco Server that connects to the MSB PRO ISL. This specific device is responsible for converting the signal into fiber before it enters the MSB Premier DAC.

As can be seen, there is now a need for another switch (between the Melco output to DAC in my topology as the Melco itself acts as a switch.
 
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