Author Topic: Purpose built computer based music players  (Read 14461 times)

Online Doggie Howser

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #90 on: September 17, 2011, 19:59 »
I didn't have my Mini with me today when I went to Raindrop but I did bring along my Lion MBA 13" SSD with PureMusic and iTunes installed. Hog mode enabled but integer was broken. DSP disabled except for memory play/upsampling/invert.

Output was via the Locus Nucleus USB and ASI coax via the Wavelink HS.

Fed to the Ayon CD5S acting as pre/DAC.

Overall, it was clear to me in the 3 tracks I selected that the MBA/HS/PM combo still had a fair ways to go against the Aurender S10.

It's noticeably better in terms of timbre/realism of the double bass in the first track of We Take Requests (Oscar Peterson Trio).

It showed better delineation of instruments in Miles Davis' It Never Entered My Mind, and highlighted the brushed cymbals(?) that was only in the background when I played the same song on the MBA/HS/PM combo.

Those with the Mach2Music, I'd really like your comments on your head to head against the Aurender. I'm sure if you asked Ray, he might be keen to hear it for himself if he didn't have an audition scheduled :P

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Offline durianlover88

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #91 on: September 17, 2011, 20:29 »
Bro DH, to be frank I did not like what I hear at RDA showroom, but I anyway booked the Aurender S10, with intention to make use of it's better clock and memory play (similar to perfectwave transport) - jitter reduction purposed - to hook up to EMM Labs XDS1 via ASI AES/EBU cable. I cannot imagine any better way to do computer music without USB. Let's see how this goes when my Aurender arrived..
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Online Doggie Howser

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #92 on: September 17, 2011, 20:46 »
DL88 :) I have mentioned this to Ray before, but as I said, I understand where he's coming from. He's trying to set up a more "mainstream" living area that's similar to what most of us would have in our own rooms in Singapore. So if you like what you hear in the room, chances are you can get almost exactly the same sound at home if you duplicate the gear and layout. Which is IMHO fairly easy to do.

Contrast this to most other showrooms which show off their gear in the least compromised layouts. But most of us can't really attain that level of performance from the same gear cos we can't put our speakers in the same wife-unfriendly, child-unfriendly arrangements. :P

I do have the "advantage" of being there every other week. I think short of tritesta and lkypeter, I am probably the next most frequent visitor :P so I do have a good idea of how the system sounds. When Ray changes certain gear, it's quite noticeable.

And of course, it also helps that I have the Ayon CD5S at home for another frame of reference.

In any case, I think you should be in for a treat when you bring the Aurender back... cos IMHO the Ayon CD5S in my new place is the best I've ever heard it :P so I'm sure the Aurender should do the same for you.
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Offline mars73

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #93 on: September 17, 2011, 20:56 »
I think it is to be expected that the Aurender is better. It really should considering its 2-3 times the price of a fully modded Mach2 Mini with add ons. If comparing to a base mac mini, i think the difference is price is like >4 times?

The odds were always against the macbook in this comparison, as it had to go through several interfaces to reach the dac: usb, converter, then spdif, while I believe the Aurender goes straight via spdif to dac.

Agree that the mach2 would be an interesting comparison but unfortunately my mach2 is a pain to lug around as it runs off battery power (car batt!) as well as external firewire hard drive. Also have to bring my mbp along to operate the mac mini headless. In my own set up, the mach2 is way, way better than my mbp.

In any case, i think the market for the 2 machines might be slightly different, not just in terms of price, but also functionality. I can still surf and watch HD movies with my mach2 in my home entertainment set up.

Online Doggie Howser

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #94 on: September 17, 2011, 22:22 »
Aaarggghh.. you using the Mach2Mini for HD movies!???

I thought the whole OS had been tweaked bare so there was nothing distracting it from playing back music :P

Anyway, here's a comparison in terms of pricing:

Mach2Mini 2011 with SSD/8GB - US$1649 approx S$2.1k
1TB FW HDD S$190
USB cable can range up to $1k or beyond
USB SPDIF box $1.3k for Wavelink HS
PureMusic licence US$130 approx $170
coax SPDIF cable can range up to $1k

A decent setup could easily cost from S$5.6k. I've probably spent a bit more on the USB cables :P

With the preorder price of the Aurender, it's just a small jump away. IMHO well worth the difference.

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Offline mars73

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #95 on: September 17, 2011, 22:54 »
Well, for your comparison, strictly speaking you can't include the coax cable in your total cos you'll need it for the aurender too if I'm not mistaken  :)

In any case, a lot depends in one's set up. For myself I focus on a good USB dac so that I avoid having to get the USB converter and additional digital coax cable, which is not only more expensive, it also potentially degrades performance vs a dac with a properly built USB implementation. So that takes out the price of the digital coax and wavelink hs. Plus I think not everyone buys >$1k USB cables...


Offline mousike

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #96 on: September 17, 2011, 23:02 »
Well, for your comparison, strictly speaking you can't include the coax cable in your total cos you'll need it for the aurender too if I'm not mistaken  :)

In any case, a lot depends in one's set up. For myself I focus on a good USB dac so that I avoid having to get the USB converter and additional digital coax cable, which is not only more expensive, it also potentially degrades performance vs a dac with a properly built USB implementation. So that takes out the price of the digital coax and wavelink hs. Plus I think not everyone buys >$1k USB cables...

I think he meant digital coax cable and good ones does make a huge difference. I think keeping USB out of the DAC box is a plus not minus. Say even if you omits these items there is still linear or battery power supply to consider. I would pick a very good linear supply over battery.

Offline Quest

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #97 on: September 17, 2011, 23:04 »
I think he meant digital coax cable and good ones does make a huge difference. I think keeping USB out of the DAC box is a plus not minus. Say even if you omits these items there is still linear or battery power supply to consider. I would pick a very good linear supply over battery.
mars73 is just referring to DH's comparison of $5.6k price tag for macmini setup when he shldn't include the price of a good coax in (i.e. $4.6k) when comparing the price versus a aurender, which also needs that same cable.

Offline mousike

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #98 on: September 17, 2011, 23:10 »
mars73 is just referring to DH's comparison of $5.6k price tag for macmini setup when he shldn't include the price of a good coax in (i.e. $4.6k) when comparing the price versus a aurender, which also needs that same cable.

My bad...still a linear PSU will cost more...

Offline mars73

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #99 on: September 17, 2011, 23:20 »
I think he meant digital coax cable and good ones does make a huge difference. I think keeping USB out of the DAC box is a plus not minus. Say even if you omits these items there is still linear or battery power supply to consider. I would pick a very good linear supply over battery.

well, honestly i don't know for sure 100%. imo, i feel the fewer interfaces the signal has to go through, the better the chances to avoid messing up the signal too much.

as for a very good linear power supply vs battery, i have no idea which is better performance wise. but i think the former is very much more expensive than the latter.

but hey what do i know. all i know is i'm happy with the performance with my battery powered mach2, vs the cost incurred, and it totally kicks the butt of my mbp. i'm sure those who get the aurender will feel the same.

Offline mousike

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #100 on: September 17, 2011, 23:23 »

but hey what do i know. all i know is i'm happy with the performance with my battery powered mach2, vs the cost incurred, and it totally kicks the butt of my mbp. i'm sure those who get the aurender will feel the same.

Bro, as long as it rocks your boat thats most important  :)

Online Doggie Howser

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #101 on: September 17, 2011, 23:46 »
With the Aurender, you take tweaking out of the equation. It sounds great out of the box. No settings. No software. No additional drivers.

The Mac still requires a fair amount of tweaking to get it right. And it's close but just not quite there yet.

For me, a couple of things are in favor of the "industry building block" side like with a Mac. I love what PureMusic is doing and with native DSD support and USB-X interface, it looks like we can do more things on the Mac, even speaking from the perspective of a music server. And as I mentioned before, the iTunes library means all my other devices sync off the same single library.

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Offline mars73

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #102 on: September 18, 2011, 00:22 »
With the Aurender, you take tweaking out of the equation. It sounds great out of the box. No settings. No software. No additional drivers.

The Mac still requires a fair amount of tweaking to get it right. And it's close but just not quite there yet.

For me, a couple of things are in favor of the "industry building block" side like with a Mac. I love what PureMusic is doing and with native DSD support and USB-X interface, it looks like we can do more things on the Mac, even speaking from the perspective of a music server. And as I mentioned before, the iTunes library means all my other devices sync off the same single library.
 

That's true, never did think about the DSD side of things. The tweaking and hassle part of the Mac is also true compared to an out of the box solution like Aurender. But isn't tweaking part of the fun :P

Btw, the fellas at Mach2 said can play movies and surf no problem. Just don't go installing business apps and other stuff ^^

Online composition

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #103 on: September 18, 2011, 12:41 »
In the recent review of the Meitner MA-1 DAC, Computer Audiophile prefered the USB output from SOtM tX-USB internal PCI to USB converter over AurenderS10 AES output.

Quote " Recapping my experience with the Meitner Audio MA-1, I preferred the sound quality with the C.A.P.S. v2.0 server via asynchronous USB slightly better than through the Aurender S10 via AES."


Offline Quest

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Re: Purpose built computer based music players
« Reply #104 on: September 18, 2011, 12:44 »
In the recent review of the Meitner MA-1 DAC, Computer Audiophile prefered the USB output from SOtM tX-USB internal PCI to USB converter over AurenderS10 AES output.

Quote " Recapping my experience with the Meitner Audio MA-1, I preferred the sound quality with the C.A.P.S. v2.0 server via asynchronous USB slightly better than through the Aurender S10 via AES."


interesting.. still waiting for sotm's PCI-e version! been so long!