• CAPS v3

    by Published on 12-27-2012 03:30 PM
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    2. CAPS v3

    The fourth and final CAPS v3 server design is called Zuma. This design is a big departure from all other CAPS designs. Zuma is a high power server capable of nearly any audio task it's assigned whereas previous CAPS servers have slightly more power than needed for bit perfect audio output. Zuma is much more difficult to assemble than the previous servers because it requires installation of processor heat pipes to keep the CPU cool. Computer audiophiles are forewarned that Zuma isn't for the newbie seeking a weekend project. I hadn't built a fanless PC requiring thermal paste and heat pipes for over a year when I sat down to tackle this build. My sloppy work with the thermal paste can be seen in the photos. Once the paste is on a surface it's nearly impossible to remove. Fortunately any competent computer tech can put the server together or CA readers can simply purchase a fully assembled Zuma server from Small Green Computer. The look of Zuma is very nice and similar to traditional audio components with close to an 18 inch width. Zuma has three different display outputs, that should make users seeking a media server happy and eSATA for excellent external storage. CAPS v3 Zuma is a very versatile server with plenty of power and options to please many computer audiophiles. ...
    by Published on 12-18-2012 07:45 PM
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    2. CAPS v3

    CAPS v3 Carbon is the third of four v3 designs to be published and the last derivative design from v3 servers Topanga and Lagoon. The Carbon design is different form previous designs in several ways such as a more stylish case similar to an audio component, unique external storage expansion options, and a SATA filter. Carbon also provides endless opportunities for creativity inside the spacious chassis for items like batteries, power supplies, hard drives, and even a UPS. I believe the Computer Audiophile Community will have some very creative ideas for using the extra space inside this chassis. Carbon is my favorite CAPS design thus far and it's the one I use every day. I power the server and SOtM USB card with an optional Red Wine Audio Black Lightning battery supply. The sound quality from the CAPS v3 Carbon server is equal to or better than the best servers I've heard in recent memory. ...
    by Published on 12-12-2012 03:39 PM
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    2. CAPS v3

    CAPS v3 Lagoon is the second of four designs and a very nice upgrade from the entry level Topanga server. Lagoon has major similarities with Topanga such as the same motherboard, memory, base power supply, and case. I made a point to enable easy upgrading from the Topanga server while at the same time not dumbing-down the Lagoon design. A familiar addition to Lagoon is the SOtM tX-USBexp PCIe USB card for improved USB audio performance. In addition the mSATA drive from Topanga has been replaced with a new very low power SSD. The power saved by switching disks is not insignificant and plays a role in Lagoon's optional enhanced power supply. Based on my experience with this power supply I won't use a CAPS server without it in the future. The difference between using the server with and without the enhanced PSU is easily identifiable and repeatable. Even the most inattentive listener should recognize the impact of this PSU. Lagoon's unassuming compact design, increased sonic performance over Topanga, and enhanced power supply options should make it a great option for many computer audiophiles. ...
    by Published on 12-06-2012 08:45 PM
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    2. CAPS v3

    The first of four CAPS v3 designs to be published is called Topanga. This is the lowest cost and easiest to assemble CAPS server ever designed. Low cost doesn't equate to low quality components and poor performance. Properly configured Topanga is capable of great sound quality and providing a great user interface for computer audiophiles. I didn't skimp on any part of this design. The key was research and selection of the right components for the job, not the cheapest or the most popular. This server will appeal to several readers in that it's a great entry into computer audio for the uninitiated, it's a simple bit perfect server for the objectivists who believe bits are bits, it's a great UPnP/DLNA server for all the network audio aficionados, and it can be upgraded to a CAPS v3 Lagoon or even Carbon without replacing all the components. It has been about eighteen months since the previous design was revealed. The wait is finally over. As Mills Lane and Marvin Gaye would say let's get it on. ...
    by Published on 12-04-2012 01:00 AM
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    2. CAPS v3

    The Computer Audiophile Pocket Server CAPS v3 is finally hear! More specifically all four of the CAPS v3 servers are finally here! Version three marks a departure from previous designs (CAPS v1 and CAPS v2 ) in the recognition that one size doesn't fit all. Yet, staying true to my audiophile roots I designed each of the four new servers with the singular focus of music playback. Differences between v3 designs are in areas such as ease of assembly, expansion capability, size, sound quality, computing power, and cost. In addition to launching CAPS v3 I'm also requesting that CA readers around the world use these designs as references from which to push the limits of what's possible. The collective brain capacity of this community continues to astonish me every day. I can only imagine what CA readers will come up with to make our collective listening experiences even better. ...
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