Help an old timer with his digital mess.

rooze

Well-Known Member
Dec 29, 2012
15
9
310
USA
audioresurgence.com
Hello,

My apologies in advance if this turns into a long rambling post, but I need help from an agile mind, or two.

I’m trying to improve my digital playback. At the same time I’m trying to add digital playback to a second system in an adjoining room, hopefully with some shared resources.

In my main rig I’ve a SonicTransporter i5, UltraRendu, into a Denafrips GAIA and i2s into a Denafrips Terminator.

I’ve a 8tb USB drive plugged into the i5, with about 6tb of music in a range of formats, including DSD.

I do not stream from any services like Tidal and have no intention of doing so.

I use Roon, though I’m not married to it. In fact, dropping the monthly expense would by nice but certainly not a priority.

Problems -
1 The i5/UltraRendu crashes quite frequently. Perhaps once a week. It’s not always the same thing. Sometimes the router needs a reboot, sometimes the i5. Sometimes Roon server needs restarting, sometimes I have to unplug the power supply to the UltraRendu.

2 There’s a low-level high frequency whine audible through the speakers that’s definitely coming from the WiFi/i5/UD setup. I’ve moved things around but it’s always present when the i5 is in the chain. If I switch off the i5/UD/WiFi and just use my CD Player into the GAIA then it’s fine.

So how do I improve the sound of my system?

I could go opticalRendu to try to resolve the noise issues but that might not help with the annoying reboot issues.

I’m leaning toward a change of music server / front end.

I’d also like to add digital to a second system and be able to access the files on my USB drive in another room adjacent to my main listening room.

I’m completely open to selling everything including the GAIA and Terminator.

The thoughts I’m having include trying a Lumin U1 or U1 mini to replace the i5/UltraRendu. But will this be a step backwards in sound quality?

If I keep the i5/UltraRendu and add something like a Bricasti M5 to the second system, will it be able to access the files on the USB plugged into the i5 or will it need the files on a NAS drive?
Should I sell everything and buy a Lumin X1, then what would I need for the second system?

I guess this is probably going to be too ‘niche’ for anyone to help with, but I thought I’d throw it out there in case someone has ideas.

I suppose the succinct version of the above is-

What music server will be a step up from an i5?
How do I tap that server from a second room?

I can add around $5-7k to whatever I get from the proceeds of any sales.

Would really appreciate some help so I can move forward and not sideways or backwards!

Thanks

Rooze
 

cjf

Well-Known Member
Nov 19, 2012
380
40
333
Hello,

My apologies in advance if this turns into a long rambling post, but I need help from an agile mind, or two.

I’m trying to improve my digital playback. At the same time I’m trying to add digital playback to a second system in an adjoining room, hopefully with some shared resources.

In my main rig I’ve a SonicTransporter i5, UltraRendu, into a Denafrips GAIA and i2s into a Denafrips Terminator.

I’ve a 8tb USB drive plugged into the i5, with about 6tb of music in a range of formats, including DSD.

I do not stream from any services like Tidal and have no intention of doing so.

I use Roon, though I’m not married to it. In fact, dropping the monthly expense would by nice but certainly not a priority.

Problems -
1 The i5/UltraRendu crashes quite frequently. Perhaps once a week. It’s not always the same thing. Sometimes the router needs a reboot, sometimes the i5. Sometimes Roon server needs restarting, sometimes I have to unplug the power supply to the UltraRendu.

2 There’s a low-level high frequency whine audible through the speakers that’s definitely coming from the WiFi/i5/UD setup. I’ve moved things around but it’s always present when the i5 is in the chain. If I switch off the i5/UD/WiFi and just use my CD Player into the GAIA then it’s fine.

So how do I improve the sound of my system?

I could go opticalRendu to try to resolve the noise issues but that might not help with the annoying reboot issues.

I’m leaning toward a change of music server / front end.

I’d also like to add digital to a second system and be able to access the files on my USB drive in another room adjacent to my main listening room.

I’m completely open to selling everything including the GAIA and Terminator.

The thoughts I’m having include trying a Lumin U1 or U1 mini to replace the i5/UltraRendu. But will this be a step backwards in sound quality?

If I keep the i5/UltraRendu and add something like a Bricasti M5 to the second system, will it be able to access the files on the USB plugged into the i5 or will it need the files on a NAS drive?
Should I sell everything and buy a Lumin X1, then what would I need for the second system?

I guess this is probably going to be too ‘niche’ for anyone to help with, but I thought I’d throw it out there in case someone has ideas.

I suppose the succinct version of the above is-

What music server will be a step up from an i5?
How do I tap that server from a second room?

I can add around $5-7k to whatever I get from the proceeds of any sales.

Would really appreciate some help so I can move forward and not sideways or backwards!

Thanks

Rooze
Hello,

Would you mind clarifying the below connection chain?

"SonicTransporter i5, UltraRendu, into a Denafrips GAIA"

Am I to understand that you are running a USB cable from the SonicTrans i5 >>>TO>>>>The UltraRendu? Then you are also plugging an external USB Drive into the 2nd USB Port on the SonicTrans i5?

Also, assuming my understanding above is correct, does the USB drive you use have its own power supply or is it USB Buss powered (ie...requiring 5v or so be present over the USB cable sourced/drawn from the SonicTrans i5's power supply)?

I'm not sure if you have tried to remove the external USB drive from the i5 and leave it disconnected for a few days to see if the i5 crashes less frequently or not? Guess you might need to store a few albums locally to the i5 for that test.

Also, what connection method do you use from the UltraRendu >>>TO>>>>>The Denafrips?

My thought would be to see if you can stabilize the primary music server (SonicTrans i5) first. If that is not possible then you know at least one item to eliminate/replace. If you can find a situation where the SonicTrans i5 can run for weeks/months on end (or at least longer than the normal crash interval) then you have one less thing to replace.

I can certainly offer "Rip and Replace" advice as well if you want to just say "The Hell With It, I'm Starting Over" but I guess that depends on your remaining patience level with the current rig.
 

BlueFox

Member Sponsor
Nov 8, 2013
1,701
388
340
Best thing I did to improve my system was get a Lumin X1 file player. This eliminated the DAC, the interconnect cable, and the DAC power cord. I cannot imagine ever going back to multiple components and cables to play music.
 

Kingsrule

VIP/Donor
Feb 3, 2011
1,238
419
720
As a matter of importance and not saying anything about your setup, get your music files off the USB drive and onto an SSD drive..do this immediately before the usb drive crashes..
 

rooze

Well-Known Member
Dec 29, 2012
15
9
310
USA
audioresurgence.com
Hello,

Would you mind clarifying the below connection chain?

"SonicTransporter i5, UltraRendu, into a Denafrips GAIA"

Am I to understand that you are running a USB cable from the SonicTrans i5 >>>TO>>>>The UltraRendu? Then you are also plugging an external USB Drive into the 2nd USB Port on the SonicTrans i5?

Also, assuming my understanding above is correct, does the USB drive you use have its own power supply or is it USB Buss powered (ie...requiring 5v or so be present over the USB cable sourced/drawn from the SonicTrans i5's power supply)?

I'm not sure if you have tried to remove the external USB drive from the i5 and leave it disconnected for a few days to see if the i5 crashes less frequently or not? Guess you might need to store a few albums locally to the i5 for that test.

Also, what connection method do you use from the UltraRendu >>>TO>>>>>The Denafrips?

My thought would be to see if you can stabilize the primary music server (SonicTrans i5) first. If that is not possible then you know at least one item to eliminate/replace. If you can find a situation where the SonicTrans i5 can run for weeks/months on end (or at least longer than the normal crash interval) then you have one less thing to replace.

I can certainly offer "Rip and Replace" advice as well if you want to just say "The Hell With It, I'm Starting Over" but I guess that depends on your remaining patience level with the current rig.
Hi,
Apologies for my slow response to your follow up questions, I usually receive an email notification but nothing came through.
Your connection chain assumption is correct.

I started out with i5, UltraRendu and UltraDigital then i2s from the UD into my Denafrips DAC. I simply replaced the UD with a Denafrips GAIA, which does the same basic job as the UD.
So i5 > UR > GAIA DDC I2s > Denafrips DAC

My USB drive has its own walwart.

I’ve an SBooster LPS on the i5 and a Small Green Computer LPS on the UltraRendu.
My i5 has no internal SSD storage.

I haven’t actually used my digital setup in a few weeks, I’ve been focused on vinyl, having just bought a new table.

I’m definitely leaning toward ditching the multiple boxes and I’ve been thinking about a Lumin T2 as the next step. I feel somewhat reluctant about painting myself into a corner with the one box approach, obviously hoping it wouldn’t be a step backwards in SQ over the i5 setup.

The Lumin X1 is too expensive for me presently. I need to recharge the coffers following the turntable purchase.

Thanks
 

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