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  1. #1
    Masters Level Member ted_b's Avatar
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    My new CAPS V2+ build; best digital I've heard

    As i stated in another thread, I just completed a CAPS V2+ build, with the help of Chris Connaker, fellow CAPS builder Terry (TJHub) and Jesus (Sonore US). I could not have done it without them.

    I made a bold statement that this thing is not only the best digital I've heard (and I've heard a lot) but only cost me $743. Well, it can be slightly more or less than that depending on the info below. I did not add in any VNC remote desktop prices, nor the cost of jremote ($10). I also assume that users will pick a linear power supply (possibly one they already use; the mobo requires a 2.5mm/5.5mm dc plug and runs 8v-19v) over the included wallwart, but since Chris did not include that extraneous upgrade cost neither am I. And Windows 8 will cost you a $69 intro price by the time the preview expires in January. And if you go mSATA with the SSD you don't use the SATA filter, subsequent cabling, or upper bracket.

    Here is my Bill of Material

    caps-v2-bom.jpg


    Here is a rough build process:

    1) Order above products (Note: the motherboard has what is called mSATA support. This means you can order, instead of the Samsung 830, a Mushkin 60 GB mSATA pcie SSD and install it directly to the motherboard. It then does not need the $65 SOtM SATA filter, nor need the SATA cabling, nor need the upper bracket that comes with the ITX6 case. Chris ok’d this approach (theoretically) but I do not have experience with it, however. Gotta assume it is dead quiet, though.
    2) while waiting for delivery, download 64 bit Windows8 preview (choose 64 BIT ISO image) from here: Download Windows 8 Release Preview
    3) To prepare your 8GB USB thumb drive use something like WinUSB Maker Josh Cell Softwares: WinUSB Maker - The Windows Setup to USB Solution then attach Windows ISO file
    4) Install memory on mobo, plug in SSD SATA and power cables, install mobo and output shield on case, and attach upper bracket, SOtM SATA filter and SSD. Plug in cables, leaving molex connector for later SOtM USB card install. Leave case open (or at least do not anchor top on permanently) for later SOtM install.
    5) Update Intel mobo bios from IntelDn2800mt website (mine wouldn’t boot up right until I did). File is called “MT0159P.bio”
    6) Install Windows from USB thumbdrive
    7) Reboot to make sure all is well
    8) Open up case and install SOtM USB pcie card, attach molex connector (molex to SSD adapter in original design not needed) and reboot.
    9) Install VNC of choice or use remote desktop to allow for headless maintenance activities
    10) Install JRMC Media Center 18 and run as Media Server (options_> startup->media server only).i.e no need to see Media Center screens since you will be browsing remotely. It is always available, but is background as default.
    11) Enjoy!!!!

    The next step would be to tune Windows8. Terry (tjhub) has helped me tremendously here. I will later post his initial stab at a Windows8 version of a process list (i.e turn off a bunch of unnecessary noisy processes). Until then just unpin all the goofy apps from the main start screen and then, on your desktop, simply download Fidelizer and run it (Audiophile mode for me cuz Extremist turns off the network, and I need my network for ipad, NAS file serving, and VNC (splashtop). Fidelizer is an optimizer script for reducing or re-prioritizing processes for clean audio, and does a wonderful job. The app is a bit kludgy in that it does not allow auto-run, so any reboot requires you to re-run it. And in talking with Terry, Chris, etc I'd rather just optimize Windows8 myself. But I haven't gone there yet.

    My system is set up with JRMC Media Center 18 running WASAPI-Event style (DoP V 1.0), and a Wireworld Platinum USB cable from the SOtM card to my Meitner MA-1. It is playing flawlessly, both native DSD and PCM (to 24/192).
    "We're all bozos on this bus"....F.T.

    My JRiver screencast tutorials : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f1...tml#post272960
    My DSD database: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ySk/edit#gid=0
    My SACD Ripping Guide (needs updating but still works): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...r%20v4.0.1.pdf

    US Technical Advisor, NativeDSD.com: www.nativedsd.com

  2. #2
    ---------------- wgscott's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting these details. The only thing that has me hesitating is the OS. If I could run linux or hacked OS X, it would be ideal.

    If anyone has experience with either of those on this particular setup, please post.

    Also, if Ted or anyone has compared the sound of this to the sound of a Mac mini (running either an equivalent windows, or OS X), that would really help with diagonalizing the cost/benefit trade-off matrix. (i.e, if it is 2% better than my mac mini, it probably isn't worth the effort, but if it is shockingly better, well, I guess I should do it).

  3. #3
    Ph.D. Level Member Paul R's Avatar
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    What are you storing the music on Ted? An external USB drive?

    -Paul
    Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.
    Robert A. Heinlein

  4. #4
    Masters Level Member ted_b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    Thanks for posting these details. The only thing that has me hesitating is the OS. If I could run linux or hacked OS X, it would be ideal.

    If anyone has experience with either of those on this particular setup, please post.

    Also, if Ted or anyone has compared the sound of this to the sound of a Mac mini (running either an equivalent windows, or OS X), that would really help with diagonalizing the cost/benefit trade-off matrix. (i.e, if it is 2% better than my mac mini, it probably isn't worth the effort, but if it is shockingly better, well, I guess I should do it).
    I run a late 2009 Mac Mini with 8 GB and SSD; tweaked, etc with the same Hynes SR7EHD power supply (tuned to 18.5V instead of the CAPS 12v). It is shockingly better than the Mini in my system. And yes, Windows 8 is a weird OS, but reports from folks like jplay, jrmc and others state that it is optimized for much better audio paths than any other Windows, and my results have nothing to stand on to debate that!! Maybe JRMC is that much better too, dunno.
    "We're all bozos on this bus"....F.T.

    My JRiver screencast tutorials : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f1...tml#post272960
    My DSD database: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ySk/edit#gid=0
    My SACD Ripping Guide (needs updating but still works): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...r%20v4.0.1.pdf

    US Technical Advisor, NativeDSD.com: www.nativedsd.com

  5. #5
    Masters Level Member ted_b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.Raulerson View Post
    What are you storing the music on Ted? An external USB drive?

    -Paul
    Paul,
    I run it with a gigabit ethernet NAS file server (Synology DS410). I have yet to compare SSD music (as a theoretical check; would not store my music there) and/or Oyen Digital USB music (local external) but tjhub and others have tried and said there is no difference. I will do my own a/b however. Can't freaking imagine better sound. I am hearing imaging that has taken on perfect phase and depth cues; tonality and organic texturing out the yin-yang, and microdetails down to a noise floor that is closing in on a 0db or less (vacuum?? )!! And my previous examples weren't chopped liver!!!
    "We're all bozos on this bus"....F.T.

    My JRiver screencast tutorials : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f1...tml#post272960
    My DSD database: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ySk/edit#gid=0
    My SACD Ripping Guide (needs updating but still works): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...r%20v4.0.1.pdf

    US Technical Advisor, NativeDSD.com: www.nativedsd.com

  6. #6
    Ted, what driver do you use in Windows for USB class 2 audio, for your Meitner DAC ?
    I am using Thesycon 1.29 and having many issues with sync, when powering the DAC or the PC off and back on.
    I don't have that issues when using Linux and MPD.

    How do you compare the sound quality of Auraliti, that I saw that you have, to the new CAPS build ?

  7. #7
    Masters Level Member ted_b's Avatar
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    UPDATE: I have on reputable sources that the Mushkin mSATA SSD drive, installed directly onto the motherboard's pcie slot reserved for such things, is very very good. This is what I would have done if feeling more pioneering. And saves cabling mess, upper bracket mess and a $65 SOtM SATA filter. In fact now all you need is a simple SATA power to molex power connector to the SOtM USb board, period. (Note: when I say "mess" I'm being somewhat facetious as this build is pretty darn clean and simplistic anyway).

    My next project is to take Terry's (tjhub) process list and pare mine down to it. But since Fidelizer is working fine I am gonna just listen to more music for awhile. I'm in re-discover mode.
    "We're all bozos on this bus"....F.T.

    My JRiver screencast tutorials : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f1...tml#post272960
    My DSD database: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ySk/edit#gid=0
    My SACD Ripping Guide (needs updating but still works): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...r%20v4.0.1.pdf

    US Technical Advisor, NativeDSD.com: www.nativedsd.com

  8. #8
    Masters Level Member ted_b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpost View Post
    Ted, what driver do you use in Windows for USB class 2 audio, for your Meitner DAC ?
    I am using Thesycon 1.29 and having many issues with sync, when powering the DAC or the PC off and back on.
    I don't have that issues when using Linux and MPD.

    How do you compare the sound quality of Auraliti, that I saw that you have, to the new CAPS build ?
    I have the same 1.29 but use WASAPI-Event style. Meitner will post a new 1.61 next week, and I have a preview of it. I may or may not install cuz I have had NO issues (Meitner has not powered off but I've powered off CAPS a couple dozen times during testing, etc to no issues). In the Mac setup I learned to never show the MAC a dead Meitner or the Mac would de-register it until the Meitner was powered back on and Mac rebooted (i.e don't power off the Meitner first).

    The Auraliti is nice, too, and shares the SOtM USB technology (different card of course). It has some of the same attributes but not the heft/weight of either the Mini (which is nowhere as background quiet as Auraliti) nor the CAPS. I'd keep the Auraliti but my "other server" needs to have firewire for my next DSD multichannel project (stacked Myteks) so I will likely sell. I may include a SR3-12 Hynes with it for a steal, cuz I don't need 3 servers.
    "We're all bozos on this bus"....F.T.

    My JRiver screencast tutorials : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f1...tml#post272960
    My DSD database: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ySk/edit#gid=0
    My SACD Ripping Guide (needs updating but still works): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...r%20v4.0.1.pdf

    US Technical Advisor, NativeDSD.com: www.nativedsd.com

  9. #9
    Thanks Ted. I got 1.61 for preview as well, but did not test it yet. I have the EMM DAC2X and since I have so many sync issues with it with Windows, I have switched to Linux with MPD. Now I can show the PC a dead DAC and it will work immediately after powering it back on.

    Why do you think your CAPS sounds better than Auraliti ? Is it because of the different hardware you use, Jriver vs MPD, or Windows 8 vs Linux ?

  10. #10
    Masters Level Member ted_b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpost View Post
    Thanks Ted. I got 1.61 for preview as well, but did not test it yet. I have the EMM DAC2X and since I have so many sync issues with it with Windows, I have switched to Linux with MPD. Now I can show the PC a dead DAC and it will work immediately after powering it back on.

    Why do you think your CAPS sounds better than Auraliti ? Is it because of the different hardware you use, Jriver vs MPD, or Windows 8 vs Linux ?
    Great question...bad answer. No idea, frankly. Likely a little bit of each.
    "We're all bozos on this bus"....F.T.

    My JRiver screencast tutorials : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f1...tml#post272960
    My DSD database: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ySk/edit#gid=0
    My SACD Ripping Guide (needs updating but still works): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...r%20v4.0.1.pdf

    US Technical Advisor, NativeDSD.com: www.nativedsd.com

  11. #11
    Ph.D. Level Member Paul R's Avatar
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    LOL!

    Sounds like a real joy of a system!


    Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by ted_b View Post
    Paul,
    I run it with a gigabit ethernet NAS file server (Synology DS410). I have yet to compare SSD music (as a theoretical check; would not store my music there) and/or Oyen Digital USB music (local external) but tjhub and others have tried and said there is no difference. I will do my own a/b however. Can't freaking imagine better sound. I am hearing imaging that has taken on perfect phase and depth cues; tonality and organic texturing out the yin-yang, and microdetails down to a noise floor that is closing in on a 0db or less (vacuum?? )!! And my previous examples weren't chopped liver!!!
    Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.
    Robert A. Heinlein

  12. #12
    Ted, do you keep the PC and the DAC on all the time ?
    Do you use sleep mode in Windows ?

    If you power off, what is your power on sequence, and what is the boot time until you can actually play a song.

  13. #13
    Masters Level Member ted_b's Avatar
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    I keep the pc and DAC on all the time, yes. No sleep mode; it is headless so none of that. When a reboot is needed (not usually for normal listening at all) it takes about 20 seconds including off to on; it is extremely fast. But then I have to restart Fidelizer As I mentioned earlier, I will tackle the Windows 8 process killing optimizations as my next step, eliminating Fidelizer as a solution. But reboots are, so far, a maintenance issue not an everyday music server activity. I haven't rebooted in a few days at least.

    Windows 8 is now becoming notorious for hiding everyday things, like the start menu, but I figured out that alt f4 (via splashtop's virtual keyboard) gives me a shutdown menu. That works fine.
    "We're all bozos on this bus"....F.T.

    My JRiver screencast tutorials : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f1...tml#post272960
    My DSD database: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ySk/edit#gid=0
    My SACD Ripping Guide (needs updating but still works): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...r%20v4.0.1.pdf

    US Technical Advisor, NativeDSD.com: www.nativedsd.com

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ted_b View Post
    I have the same 1.29 but use WASAPI-Event style. Meitner will post a new 1.61 next week, and I have a preview of it. I may or may not install cuz I have had NO issues (Meitner has not powered off but I've powered off CAPS a couple dozen times during testing, etc to no issues). In the Mac setup I learned to never show the MAC a dead Meitner or the Mac would de-register it until the Meitner was powered back on and Mac rebooted (i.e don't power off the Meitner first).

    The Auraliti is nice, too, and shares the SOtM USB technology (different card of course). It has some of the same attributes but not the heft/weight of either the Mini (which is nowhere as background quiet as Auraliti) nor the CAPS. I'd keep the Auraliti but my "other server" needs to have firewire for my next DSD multichannel project (stacked Myteks) so I will likely sell. I may include a SR3-12 Hynes with it for a steal, cuz I don't need 3 servers.
    Ted,

    Interested in your experience with using WASAPI-Event style with your Meitner. So far I cannot get it to work with DSD files, whereas Kernel works fine. Any settings in DSP I need to be aware of with JRiver?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ted_b View Post
    I have the same 1.29 but use WASAPI-Event style. Meitner will post a new 1.61 next week, and I have a preview of it. I may or may not install cuz I have had NO issues (Meitner has not powered off but I've powered off CAPS a couple dozen times during testing, etc to no issues). In the Mac setup I learned to never show the MAC a dead Meitner or the Mac would de-register it until the Meitner was powered back on and Mac rebooted (i.e don't power off the Meitner first).

    The Auraliti is nice, too, and shares the SOtM USB technology (different card of course). It has some of the same attributes but not the heft/weight of either the Mini (which is nowhere as background quiet as Auraliti) nor the CAPS. I'd keep the Auraliti but my "other server" needs to have firewire for my next DSD multichannel project (stacked Myteks) so I will likely sell. I may include a SR3-12 Hynes with it for a steal, cuz I don't need 3 servers.

    Ted,

    Ignore my previous request for info on WASAPI-Event. I am an idiot. I had the wrong source in the config. It is all working fine and making quite a difference. I am glad I saw your post as my EMM wasn't giving me what I expected. All is good.

    This is why I love this CA.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jpost View Post
    Ted, do you keep the PC and the DAC on all the time ?
    Do you use sleep mode in Windows ?

    If you power off, what is your power on sequence, and what is the boot time until you can actually play a song.
    I shut down my Windows 8 CAPS v2 every time I'm done listening. I set the power button on the case to "power off." Windows 8 is very good at quickly shutting down "apps" before shutting down. I've never had an issue doing things this way.

    When I hit the power button to turn it on, it takes 42 seconds to start playing my last playlist in JRMC. I have JRMC setup to auto-launch and start playing where I left off with my last listening session. It is all very simple and quick. I just launch JRemote on my iPad, and listen.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jtwrace's Avatar
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    Ted-

    Can you post some pics of the CAPS 2V+? We like pics! :-)
    2 ch Setup:
    Motorola Modem sb6141> Emo Systems EN-70HD > eero > Synology 1813+ (DSM 6.0), 4TB Seagate NAS Drives, 4GB RAM & Zero Surge & APC XS BX1000G/backup to Synology DX513) > Emo Systems EN-70HD > µRendu > Vinnie Rossi LIO > NC500 (sometimes) > Spatial M3 Turbo S....and bunches of other equipment for sale.

    Headphone Setup:
    AURALiC Gemini 2000
    AURALiC ARIES MINI (Black) > AURALiC Vega > AURALiC Taurus MKII > MrSpeakers Alpha Dog with DH Labs headphone cable (Black)
    Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT on order
    Travel: MacBook Air (JRiver) > iFi Micro iDSD > IEM

  18. #18
    Masters Level Member ted_b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Priaptor View Post
    Ted,

    Ignore my previous request for info on WASAPI-Event. I am an idiot. I had the wrong source in the config. It is all working fine and making quite a difference. I am glad I saw your post as my EMM wasn't giving me what I expected. All is good.

    This is why I love this CA.
    Well, here it is (cuz I did it in response...maybe it will save others )

    jrmc18-meitner.jpg
    "We're all bozos on this bus"....F.T.

    My JRiver screencast tutorials : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f1...tml#post272960
    My DSD database: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ySk/edit#gid=0
    My SACD Ripping Guide (needs updating but still works): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...r%20v4.0.1.pdf

    US Technical Advisor, NativeDSD.com: www.nativedsd.com

  19. #19
    Masters Level Member ted_b's Avatar
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    Jason,
    Sorry I took no pics. It is same case as Terry's

    749d1338728075-new-c-p-s-v2-build-issues-dsc07150-1024x768-.jpg
    "We're all bozos on this bus"....F.T.

    My JRiver screencast tutorials : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f1...tml#post272960
    My DSD database: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ySk/edit#gid=0
    My SACD Ripping Guide (needs updating but still works): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...r%20v4.0.1.pdf

    US Technical Advisor, NativeDSD.com: www.nativedsd.com

  20. #20
    That is cheating Ted... But it sure is a pretty case.

  21. #21
    vinyl nerd spdif-usb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ted_b View Post
    Windows 8 is now becoming notorious for hiding everyday things, like the start menu, but I figured out that alt f4 (via splashtop's virtual keyboard) gives me a shutdown menu. That works fine.
    Try this.

    Welcome to Classic Shell
    If you had the memory of a goldfish, maybe it would work.

  22. #22
    Masters Level Member ted_b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJHUB View Post
    That is cheating Ted... But it sure is a pretty case.
    Nope, I gave you props.
    "We're all bozos on this bus"....F.T.

    My JRiver screencast tutorials : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f1...tml#post272960
    My DSD database: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ySk/edit#gid=0
    My SACD Ripping Guide (needs updating but still works): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...r%20v4.0.1.pdf

    US Technical Advisor, NativeDSD.com: www.nativedsd.com

  23. #23
    Fantastically helpful, Ted. Thanks so much for posting this. I'm going to follow your example with the Caps and the Paul Hynes. I'm sure many others will as well.
    MG555

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by ted_b View Post
    Well, here it is (cuz I did it in response...maybe it will save others )

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	jrmc18 meitner.jpg 
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    Thanks.

    Just curious if you find WASAPI-Event the best for the EMM

  25. #25
    Freshman Member slowdown5646's Avatar
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    Thanks for this! I was wondering if anyone who has used it has tried using 8GB RAM? Supposedly it doesn't support it but on a google search it seems people have used it without issues. Pretty surprising how cheap this all is.
    Macbook Pro -> Audirvana+ -> Meridian Explorer -> Objective2 Amplifier -> Westone ES5 IEMs

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