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RE: Sound Quality: USB HDD vs. Ethernet NAS/HDD

A quick answer is, yes, HDDs can add noise. In fact your choice of using a 2.5" drive is the worst solution as they are all powered via the 5v pin from the USB bus. Those USB power lines are usually very noisy electrically. I would also point out that my reference earlier to one of my HDDs being " inferior" for sound was in rlation to a Samsung 2.5" drive. BTW, that Samsung came with a really awful connecting wire which needed to be replaced with a better one( not an audiophile marvel, just a bog standard mini USB 3 to USB A). When I say awful even people using the drive for normal data handling purposes complained at the slow speeds using it.

As for electrical noise and the use of 3.5" external drives, these are powered via their own wall wart supply. These too are noisy and should be replaced with a low noise 12v PS. Note that some, like a Toshiba Canvio impose a greater load than some audiophile supplies are engineered for (2A rather than the usual 1.5A).

So there is a conflict here with a requirement for minimum mechanical noise as desktop HDDs do generate some such noise compared to 2.5" ones. I would add that they do quieten down after some use and I am mostly unaware of the noise from any of my Seagate HDDs when listening from a couple of metres away. But " mostly" is the caveat and for anyone for whom absolute silence at all times is neccesary this is not a good solution.

The Melco is interesting ( in fact I am considering one myself). Although it can be connected to an NAS source via ethernet I believe that they contain enough internal storage (1 or 2 Tb) to be used as stand alone devices for many people. That may be a simple solution with an HDD ( or HDDs) used for backup and/or as a library source to load the Melco's memory. There is , however, the question of a control application as I don't think that Melco offers one of its own ( which confuses matters - well, for me).



Edits: 05/09/17 05/09/17

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  • RE: Sound Quality: USB HDD vs. Ethernet NAS/HDD - PAR 01:46:53 05/09/17 (0)

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