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Computer Audiophile


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About rs350z

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  1. i have read many articles about how the usb connection is inferior to toslink or coax for music. i have also read reviews on usb dacs that were rated unfavorably compared to their non-usb products. my 2 cents worth: get an audiophile dac that uses the typical connections toslink,coax, glass, aes and then use a jitter device that is directly hooked up to the mac or airport express using the toslink cable and then go out of the jitter device with a quality coax, aes, or glass cable to the dac. by doing this, you will clean up the signal before getting to the dac and you are not limited to which dac you want to buy. there are many jitter devices out there in the market (according to reviews/articles, the best seems to be the genesis but i haven't heard them all). i have some a couple different makes of jitter devices and even the cheapest 1 improves the music quality greatly. as for hard drives, if you purchase music, the best way to store your data is on some sort of network raid device or the network drobo unit. in the previous threads and in many real life situations, if you are using JBOD's to store your stuff and you lose a drive, you are sunk. if you use time machine, you are doubling the amount of storage needed to backup your data. if you purchase a raid 5 network setup (buffalo for example), and you have 4 1 tb drives inside, you actually have 3tb of capacity whereas in the time machine, you would have 2tb of capacity. for remote control of itunes on a mac, the iphone or itouch works great with remote buddy software.
  2. Squeezebox or Airport Express?

    i have a friend that deals in jbl equipment and he used the SB as his digital front end. i didn't like the interface of the SB and i felt that the SB was the weak point in his system. he was waiting to replace it with the transporter. i went with using all airport express units in my home, wired or wireless. they interface easily with my mac/itunes server, no dropouts in wireless mode, easy to setup, and pretty cheap. in 2 hookups, i use a jitter device to cut down on the jitter and these devices feed an external dac. in 1 setup, i come out of the AE directly into a receiver for non-critical listening in my family room and for my outside speakers. since some of the jitter devices can be found fairly cheap, in time i will use a jitter device between the AE and the receiver using the internal dacs in the receiver.
  3. for my dedicated audio room, i just purchased a monarchy DIP device for the jitter coming out of the airport express unit. i also just purchased a new manley DAC. i use an adcom gda-700 dac in my den setup and the manley dac is superior to the adcom. should be at 3 times the cost. after everything burns in for a while, i will be comparing the music server setup to my classe cdp-10 player which is a very good player. if you are looking for an improvement in sound from a digital source (cd, music server, xm, etc..) look into jitter devices. they make a big difference to the quality of the music, they clean up the jitter before feeding an external dac.
  4. if you are using the airport express in a dedicated audio setup, you will need to reduce the jitter coming out of the airport express. i am using an audio alchemy dti device that is hooked up to the airport express. i then go into my audio dac using a digital coax cable. huge difference in sound. also, reading some of the threads about using 16 bit dacs. it is not always true that the 24 bit dacs are better than the older 16/20bit units. i evaluated quite a few dacs a little while ago and ended up purchasing a $3500 20bit dac. check out for yourself to see which units you prefer. i use multiple airport express units throughout the house that distributes my itunes music to different systems (not for my dedicated audio system just yet, that will be happening very soon) with good success and i control the itunes remotely using an ipod touch or macbook.
  5. Laptop v. Desktop - Audiophile Music Server

    why use a macbook when a desktop will outlast a laptop if it is constantly on. have you ever felt a macbook after it has been on for a while? they get pretty hot whereas the mac mini, imac, or macpro don't get that warm. i have 1 of each. plus, the cost of a mini is 1/2 to 2/3 the price of a laptop. i use my mac mini as a music server along with multiple airport express units wired and wireless throughout the house. i control the mac mini itunes from a macbook or an ipod touch from different rooms. in my den, i use an audio alchemy dti device to reduce jitter before going into dac using a digital coax cable. very nice sound. also, using a mac mini in different rooms in your audio cabinets, you can share the central itunes repository and the mini can be used to surf the net or do other functions.
  6. i enjoyed reading your music server articles. Looking forward to take a listen to the new audio research dac later this year. i agree with you on a mac mini as the basis for a audiophile music server. the units are small, quiet, has the superdrive, front row capabilities, and the best operating system around. I would recommend that laptops are not used for music servers because they generate a lot of heat and heat will shorten the life of a laptop. the mac mini is 1/2 to 1/4 the cost of a macbook or macbook pro. if you use leopard on the mini, it comes with time machine which you can turn on to backup your system every hour automatically to an assigned disk drive. with disk prices coming down, it is getting cheaper to purchase a NAS (network attached storage) system that allows you to hook the storage system up on the network instead of the mac mini. Also, whether you purchase a NAS system or just a storage system that you plug into the computer, i would recommend purchasing a unit that has 4 drives in it (minimum) and set it up using RAID-5 technology which expands the capacity of the dsk system while enabling data redundancy. with a raid-5 setup using 4 drives, you have the capacity of the 3 drives added together (if you have 500gb drives: 3 x 500gb = 1.5tb of usable data) while the 4th drive (500gb in this example) is for the parity which is stored with the data so you can lose 1 of these 4 drives and the storage system runs without any hiccups. you just need to replace the failed drive and the storage unit will rebuild the storage system in the background.<br /> <br /> i use this kind of music server in my house currently with excellent results. for my den setup that i listen to 8 hrs a day, i stream the audio from itunes to an airport express device which is hooked up to an audio alchemy DTI device to remove jitter, then goes to an external dac using a coax cable. the dac feeds a dk design integrated amp feeding totem speakers. i also have a dedicated cd/sacd player and a FM tuner and i haven't used them for months. <br /> <br /> for whole house, i use airport express devices wired and wireless hooked up to systems in other areas that i listen to music. i use an ipod touch or a macbook to remotely control the itunes on the mac mini which is in a different part of the house. <br /> <br /> it won't be long that i integrate or replace my cd player in my dedicated audio room with streaming music.