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#1 sonarsonic

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 10:59 AM

Hello Everyone,

 

PART 1.

 

I haven't been there for a while as lots of events happened in my life in the past 7 years. But when I was not occupied with the events, I was enjoying music with what I had and just upgrading JPLAY with new releases. So I will provide a short background.

 

About 12 years ago I started an adventure with a HP Pavilion laptop running JRiver and a USB Beresford DAC. Then I stumbled across Marcin's posts on a Polish Audio Stereo forum about Weiss Dac2 being one of the best DACs available at that time. It's main advantage was supposed to be a Firewire port in stead of USB. As I had a FW port in my laptop I started to dig in and finally imported a Weiss Dac2.

 

Then came the first release of JPLAY - huuuuge improvement.

 

8 years ago also I upgraded to a Dell Precision 4600 with an i7 and 16GB RAM + Intel SSD and it's with me up till now. It runs AOptimized Win Server 2019 and is used just for Audio.

 

There has been a huge technology leap over the past 10 years with USB gaining more and more attention with the role of FireWire diminished. Right now I find myself lost with the noisy laptop from the previous era and a FW DAC which sounds terrific.

 

If it was a USB DAC, I would "simply" build a fanless Audio PC, but in this case I'm not quite sure what to do to be cost and sound effective. Should I build an Audio PC and insert a 3$ Firewire card from Aliexpress and use my current dac till I save some money for the DAC upgrade? Or should I buy an USB DAC and utilize the noisy laptop, save money and  wait for new technology leaps on the PC market like new CPUs, RAM or SSDs and then build an AudioPC in a year or two? That's are my current dilemmas... Can you please share your thoughts or advice?

 

PS. My plan for next year was to upgrade my amplifier (Dussun v8i) or speakers, but I suppose PC/DAC took over the priority.

 

 

PART 2.

 

Due to the fact that I build my last PC about 15 years ago, I am a total dummy now. I aim at a SOTA, fanless and headless Single-PC which I would be able to control wilt my smartphone to play music.

Assume the budget of 3-3,5K Euros.  

 

I couldn't find any posts with the complete list of currently recommended components for Audio PC that would cover CPU/MoBo setup, RAM (how much), SSDs, internal cabling, Chassis and Power supply (I see that JCAT chassis and 400W are not available).

 

Can you please post the list of recommended and best sounding parts, so that either me or somebody else would like to start building an AudioPC in 2-3 months, we would know what to buy?

 

If you managed to get to this point, thank you for reading!

 

Szymon

 


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Dell Precision 4600 -> Weiss DAC2 -> Dussun v8i -> AkustyK ILR22 Speakers


#2 Marcin_gps

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 01:54 PM

Here's my latest HW recommendation for a PC:

supermicro  X11SCL-F motherboard
Intel Xeon E-2136 CPU
2x 4GB ECC RAM (I recommend Apacer DDR4 ECC UDIMM 2x4GB server/workstation extended temp. range RAM)
Apacer SLC SSD for OS 
 
the rest of the comonents from JCAT:
JCAT USB Card FEMTO
JCAT NET Card FEMTO
JCAT Reference SATA Cable for OS
 
PSUs and enclosure will be replaced soon (proprietary SOTA builds). 
 
Best regards,
Marcin 

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JPLAY FEMTO: a complete network music software player for the most demanding audiophile.

Want to squeeze more from your PC-audio? Hear the difference with JCAT

#3 sonarsonic

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 02:40 PM

Thanks Marcin! As always ready for help:) When to expect PSU and eclosure? Will they they come in the same price as the legacy products on the jcat website?

 

Talking about SSDs. I get that one SSD is for OS - small one. What about the music library? Are they as important as OS? Can they be HDDs? Can they stay in the same enclosure (I prefer single unit)? How should they be connected for the optimal SQ?

 

Given that I aim to use the network only to connect to my smartphone to control the PC, can I spare buying NET card and utilize a consumer card and cable?

 

Cheers,

Szymon


Dell Precision 4600 -> Weiss DAC2 -> Dussun v8i -> AkustyK ILR22 Speakers


#4 Marcin_gps

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 03:10 PM

Thanks Marcin! As always ready for help:) When to expect PSU and eclosure? Will they they come in the same price as the legacy products on the jcat website?

 

Talking about SSDs. I get that one SSD is for OS - small one. What about the music library? Are they as important as OS? Can they be HDDs? Can they stay in the same enclosure (I prefer single unit)? How should they be connected for the optimal SQ?

 

Given that I aim to use the network only to connect to my smartphone to control the PC, can I spare buying NET card and utilize a consumer card and cable?

 

Cheers,

Szymon

 

PSU will be available in Q1 2020. ATX PSU in Q2. Prices will be much higher as these products are cost no object and build to last. I'll post a preview of the first PSU this week with more details. 

 

If you're going to use HDD for music library, I'd recommend using 2.5 inch HDD with low rpm. I have good experience with this one: https://toshiba.semi...mq03abbxxx.html

It's 5V only too. It can be in the same enclosure, but I'd look at what can be done with vibrations (some anti-vibration pads would be a good idea)

 

Finally, if you're going to use a standard network interface, you will sacrifice sound quality. I also don't transfer music data over network (my library sits directly on the PC), but network card, network cables, network isolator or even m12 switch improves sound quality drastically! Network connection is used all the time whether you transmit music data or control data only, it's important to take care of this part. 

 

Best regards,

Marcin 

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JPLAY FEMTO: a complete network music software player for the most demanding audiophile.

Want to squeeze more from your PC-audio? Hear the difference with JCAT

#5 sonarsonic

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 03:20 PM

Thanks a lot Marcin. I have two follow up questions.

1. What are the differences between the PSU and ATX PSU? Do they have different purposes? Looking at the 400W PSU on JCAT website right now, I assumed that I would be able to power up everything in my computer set up with just one and dedicated device +JCAT DC cables.

2. Would it be beneficial to store Music Library on SSDs? I know I'll have to make compromises on the way but just checking options.

 

Cheers,

Szymon


Dell Precision 4600 -> Weiss DAC2 -> Dussun v8i -> AkustyK ILR22 Speakers


#6 Marcin_gps

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 05:08 PM

Thanks a lot Marcin. I have two follow up questions.

1. What are the differences between the PSU and ATX PSU? Do they have different purposes? Looking at the 400W PSU on JCAT website right now, I assumed that I would be able to power up everything in my computer set up with just one and dedicated device +JCAT DC cables.

2. Would it be beneficial to store Music Library on SSDs? I know I'll have to make compromises on the way but just checking options.

 

Cheers,

Szymon

1. First PSU that will be launched is designed to power USB & NET cards. It's a dual-rail PSU for peripherals. 

ATX PSU is a very powerful multi-rail PSU that let's you feed a complete PC.

2. It should be beneficial, yes. 

Regards, 

Marcin


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JPLAY FEMTO: a complete network music software player for the most demanding audiophile.

Want to squeeze more from your PC-audio? Hear the difference with JCAT

#7 ciccio1112

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 08:33 PM

Hi Marcin I would like to buy this motherboard and processor recommended by you. I already have the apacer industrial grade ddr4. Given the position of the ddr4 with respect to the CPU in the motherboard, how can I mount them in my HDPlex H5 case, the passive heatpipes will disturb the apacer in height, do you know how to solve? Alternatively what would you recommend me to take as a motherboard ??
Best regards.

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http://tweakvideo.altervista.org il   mio negozio: http://www.avtek.it

 

Il mio server audio singolo pc. Windows server 2019 + jplay 7 + ottimizzatore audiofilo 3.0 + fidelizer pro 8.4 


#8 Marcin_gps

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 11:03 AM

 

Hi Marcin I would like to buy this motherboard and processor recommended by you. I already have the apacer industrial grade ddr4. Given the position of the ddr4 with respect to the CPU in the motherboard, how can I mount them in my HDPlex H5 case, the passive heatpipes will disturb the apacer in height, do you know how to solve? Alternatively what would you recommend me to take as a motherboard ??
Best regards.

 

I installed this motherboard inside a streacom fc9 


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JPLAY FEMTO: a complete network music software player for the most demanding audiophile.

Want to squeeze more from your PC-audio? Hear the difference with JCAT

#9 jaynyc

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 03:44 PM

For OS drive... Any opinions about using PCIE Optane in one of the direct2cpu slots VS Apacer SATA SSD?

#10 Griddy99

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 01:35 AM

For OS drive... Any opinions about using PCIE Optane in one of the direct2cpu slots VS Apacer SATA SSD?

I haven't directly compared the two types of drives.  I plan on using the Optane 905p SSD myself as OS drives.  My thinking is that the Optane drives use a large SLC flash memory cache that enable them to have read/ write latencies of below 10 microseconds, which is quite comparable to the Apacer SLC, which I believe is around 7 microseconds or less.  I think that the low latency of the SLC is what gives the folks who use the Apacer drives such good sound.  Additionally, by utilizing the pcie direct to cpu slot, you will avoid the small latency penalty inherent in the SATA interface which passes through and is controlled by the motherboard chipset.  In my build, I plan on avoiding the use of SATA and possibly disabling it in the bios.  Ultimately, I would like to transition to RAMDISK, which will bring drive latencies down even further into the nanoseconds.


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#11 jaynyc

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 01:38 AM

@Griddy99 Thank you

#12 Ben Webster

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 08:09 AM

I‘m not sure if SLC is the only feature you should look at.

 

Not sure which Apacer SLC your refer to (SS130-25 ?), but I own these two SSDs as OS Disk:

- Samsung SSD 840 Pro 128 GB, SATA 6, MLC

- Intel SSD X25 E Extreme 32 GB (or 64 GB), SATA 3, SLC

Unfortunately I hadn‘t the chance to compare these two SSDs directly but I had the feeling, that the Samsung is really better (even it is a MLC).

 

Has anyone compared these two SSDs?


System doesn’t matter - if you have mine.


#13 Nobudy

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 09:18 AM

I have compared Samsung evo 850 MLC with Intel x25-e SLC and Samsung RBX32GB SLC,
And my notis is that the Samsung 850 has one with digital / sterile sound character,
which many perceive as cleaner (nothing wrong with that)
and Samsung and Intel SLC have a more balanced/softer analog sound character,

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I'm listening to the music , not gear
Sound says more than numbers.

 

Xeon CAPS- Heavily upgraded Schiit EITR- EAR Yoshino DAC- EAR Yoshino Pre Amp- EAR Yoshino AMP- Speakers

 


#14 Ben Webster

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 09:28 AM

Apacer Ss130-25 64 GB

- Read Latency < 7 Microseconds
- Sustained Sequential Read 520 MBit/s
- Sustained Sequential Write 540 MBit/s
- 64 GB
- SATA 6
SLC
- 27. June 2019
- Price (new): ca. € 550,-
 
Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB (was in my old Audio-PC, very happy with)
- Read Latency 8 Microseconds
- Sustained Sequential Read 530 MBit/s
- Sustained Sequential Write 390 MBit/s
- 128 GB
- SATA 6
MLC
- December 2012
- Price (used): ca. € 30,- to € 60,-
 
Intel X25-E Extreme 32 GB: (now in my new Audio-PC, not sure if better than Samsung 840 Pro)
- Read Latency 75 Microseconds
- Sustained Sequential Read 250 MBit/s
- Sustained Sequential Write 170 MBit/s
- 32 GB or 64 GB
- SATA 3
SLC
- December 2008
- Price (used): € 80,- to € 100,-

System doesn’t matter - if you have mine.


#15 Marcin_gps

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 04:20 PM

I read one report that the Optane drive is better than Apacer SLC SSD, but I don't know how this guy powered the Apacer drive nor which cables he used. And I witnessed how extremely important these factors are. 

 

With optane the power is drawn from PCie slot unless I missed sth? 


JPLAY & JCAT Founder


JPLAY FEMTO: a complete network music software player for the most demanding audiophile.

Want to squeeze more from your PC-audio? Hear the difference with JCAT





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