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My Squeezebox Touch isn't performing the way it used to, so it's time for a replacement. I like the idea of the Cambridge CXN, but it's slow to access files on a hard drive. Any suggestions on something that finds files and songs quickly, and works well with an external DAC?
While playing my music files from a drive is something I do over 90% of the time,using my PC as the "player" doesn't appeal to me . The only way I would even consider doing that is if the PC was completely dedicated to just playing the files (& I do mean completely), So I use an Auraliti PK100 digital file player,which plays the files from either a flash or extenal drive .
I export the output of the player to a Metrum Hex DAC.From there it's being routed to my outdated (but still sounding pretty good)McCormack micro mini line drive. I've been considering upgrading (if even possible) the Auraliti's sound card,but with as enjoyable as the Hex make everything I listen to sound,I normally have this thought on a "back burner"
One can get a used (outdated?) Computer for Beer prices.
More than capable for such a prosaic use as reading Music files.
Won''t be shiny and sparkly like yet another bit of Audio Jewelry to impress vistors with though.
ANd without a screen of any kind except on the component (like a SBXT or a Cambridge CXN has) or on the phone app.
Just like many DIY PC/Mac setups, your Auraliti PK100 is a small PC dedicated to just playing music files. In fact, the PK100 uses a common off-the-shelf Intel Atom mini-ITX motherboard available to any hobbyist.
That's pretty interesting Abe, but many of us aren't actually "PC Hobbyists"!
Audio Hobbyist?? Sure.. but for those of us that look at PCs as great tool we use with our Audio systems,selecting an available motherboard & putting it together with the other necessary components needed for a "workable" file player "Ain't so easy" !
He,he,he... More power to those who can put something together! I really hadn't come across too much DIY PC information when I decided to go with the Auraliti several years ago. The one thing that I'd probably try to do differently would have been to place a "real" onboard power supply on the unit.(Though the 12V switching PS works just fine plugged into my Equitech 1.5Q balanced transformer conditioner)
I'm sure the Auraliti does a great job for what it was designed to do. My only point is that since the Auraliti is based on a PC motherboard, a capable DIYer can produce comparable results from his PC.
Auraliti back panel with side-mounted sound card on a PCI riser
Which is exactly what I believe I had said in my response to your posting !
The Auraliti pictured in your posting is actually the PK90,whereas I'm using the PK100. I'm not a fan of outputting my digital output via a USB connection. The PK100 allows me to use it's BNC output (which I prefer to use on my Metrum Hex DAC)
I have the Auralic Aries for that part of my system. Has a great number of digital output options, currently I use the AES output.
I would get the one with the Femto clocks, at least that's the one I have and I like it.
I put a 6 moons review of it in the link below.
What is your SB Touch doing -- or not doing?
Any chance it could be an issue with the LMS server instead of the Touch?
I have a use for it in another set-up.
Your original post made it sound like the Touch wasn't working right. Glad to hear that's not the case.
I'd second the motion for a Raspberry Pi. Fun project and plug-in boards are available that give excellent sound. The price is right, too.
But, if you're are after fancy audiophile-approved appearance and creds, then you'll need to look elsewhere.
The SBXT does require a restart every day or two because it fails to read the USB Flash drive. Happens to any drive I use, and SD cards too. But I have learned to live with it. Great device overall though.
About $350, a good Squeezebox replacement. Plays hi res files, control and display is via phone or tablet (which you probably already have) - there is a HEOS app on the app store / Google play store. Allows connection to anything with a USB plug (thumb drive, hard drive, etc), streams a multitude of music services via wifi or ethernet, and has an excellent sounding internal DAC as well as the capability to use an external DAC. Pick it up at Best Buy with a 30-day return policy, no questions asked.
Yes, a small PC running JRiver MC.
I would prefer to use an audio component.
I second that.
Hard drives are OK for music files on a NAS but keep PCs out of the chain apart from their ability to select your music.
For fast and reliable access, nothing beats Sonos. I have partly upgraded to using BluOS to handle my music files through a Master Series NAD (M12) which is certainly an audio improvements but a control downgrade. BluOS is better than any UPnP I've seen but still not quite as slick as the Sonos interface
How would I integrate Sonos if I already have speakers and an integrated amplifier? Which component would I need?
All you need is a Sonos Connect - £350. Use an Ethernet cable to connect it to your NAS, a co-ax or optical digital cable to your DAC and get the control app on any PC, tablet or phone.
The Connect has a built-in DAC but it isn't exactly state-of-the-art so use a "proper" one!
The user interface developed by Sonos is so intuitive and easy.
What it won't do is handle hi-res files but Redbook (CD) is fine - as well as MP£ of course if you stoop to that format!
Never sure about the Bryston. I'm sure it does what it's designed to do very well, but does it do all you want it to?
I have the NAD M12 that is in effect a digital and analogue preamp and DAC plus (with a board added) a BluOS streamer. I'm very pleased with it.
My music is stored on a RipNAS - combined ripper and NAS. I've had this for some years and the hard drives are nearly full.
I'd like a single box that rips, stores the ripped files, but also plays CDs without ripping them first. Friends' CDs for example, that I may not want to keep. There's not much out there, but NAD has just come up with such a box - the M50.2. The trouble with that is that it duplicates much of the M12 and this has rendered it substantially over-priced.
Everything on the M12 is there (fewer inputs) except the all-important DAC and IR remote. If it included these I'd sell the M12 and all would be rosy, but that's not possible. A cut-down version of M50.2 (rip, store, play only) would suit M12 owners, or add the DAC and remote and we'd have a great one-box device that will directly feed a power amp.
Looks like it needs to be connected internally to a computer to function.
Well, it can run LMS, just like your SB Touch does.
When you indicated you wanted to play files from a Hard Drive, I would guess there is a computer controlling the Hard Drive. So you can have that computer run LMS. Attach the RPi and the Computer to the same Network.
It would work just like your mentioned Cambridge CXN.
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