Digital Music. Direction and advise wanted.

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Sound Dragon, May 18, 2017.

  1. Sound Dragon

    Sound Dragon AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Valley Stream. NY
    So I am well on my way to rebuilding my system. The system so far consists of the following.

    Pre Amp juicy Music Peach II
    Amp is a single Yamaha PC2002M (for now)
    Speakers are JBL 240TI's, (Cant wait to get them back from a refoam/rebuild!)
    I have 3 sources for CD and SACD. NC555es, DVP 9100es, and X777es
    Analogue project is currently underway and will be a Technics SP10 MKII with Jelco Arm.

    My current streaming and Digital end is a newly acquired Peachtree audio DAC ITx along with an old 2009 MacBook Pro. Using I tunes (I know) and Pandora at the moment.

    I was really going to pull the trigger on a Sony HAP Z1es to kinda match my other Sony components and because it seemed like an easy way to get to where I want to be. Int this iteration I would keep the MacBook in the system for Pandora and another service like Tidal.

    After doing some unrelated reading on another item I came across the ELAC Discovery Series DS‑S101‑G Network Audio Player. Seems this device is married to Roon. Purchase of the unit gives you access to Roon essentials which is a Lite version of the software. Understated in design and cheaper all around than the Sony HAP z, at least initially. If you want a full version of Roon (not required but Nice) you will still have to come out of pocket for it, Not to mention the separate cost of Tidal.

    Than there is the Auralic Aries and Aries mini. The Aries is priced competitively to the closeouts for the HAP Z. the Mini is way cheaper And I am still researching to see if it would be a contender. The Aries has a very modern look to it. Not sure how I feel about it.

    Last option would be to build a dedicated machine for audio only. Either Windows or Linux based. Preferably Fan less though the Mackbook fan and HD is currently inaudible to me.
    I gues I could just save a ton of Money and get an SSD and upgrade the RAM for the MBP. Maybe invest in a dedicated NAS Drive for audio only. So many was to tackle this.

    What are your thoughts on this. I appreciate any and all feedback.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  2. Sound Dragon

    Sound Dragon AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Valley Stream. NY
    Wow. I would have thought I would have gotten at least one suggestion by now. I wonder if this mic is on? Okay then, another dear diary thread it is!

    My current projects have me all over the place and not infront of my system which is not good. I have decided that for the sake of expediency to upgrade the old MBP(MacBook Pro) I am thinking 512 Gig SSD for OS X and Music software. Upping the RAM to at least 8 gigs. A G Drive 4 TB NAS will also be in the mix.

    The challenge will be to keep iTunes from dominating the music files. I will run iTunes for the masses in the home and Audirvana for me. I am thinking of creating 2 separate folder structures for each. One with tracks In AAC and another with Flac. I Imagine this will be very time consuming. Most of my music is already in either AAC or 320 MP3. I am thinking of just starting over and getting it right one last time but ideally I wouldn't mind keeping the AAC files I already have.

    I figure that if I do it this way and later on decide to go with either the HAPZ or the Elac my music is ready to go. With the rate that technology is changing I will at least be better prepared to take the next step.
     
  3. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Well, it was 2 days. I wouldn't sweat it.

    Roon is still growing. The ELAC only gives you 1 year free. The software is expensive 119/yr or 499 lifetime. You will need to have a server for Roon - please read to understand the setup is. http://www.roonlabs.com

    There is other software foe the MAC for audio - do a search on this site and computer audiophile.
     
  4. Sound Dragon

    Sound Dragon AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Valley Stream. NY
    Actually, the elac gives you a license for Roon essentials which is a light version of roon. The license is tied to the device not you so it stays with it. It comes pre configured and simply requires network information and music location to start. It's pretty intuitive and interesting.

    If you spring for the full version of roon, it will build on top of the roon essentials on the device.
     
  5. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Light doesn't give you the best of what Roon offers, namely lyrics and other information related to the players, etc. That is because they have agreements and licenses with the record companies.
     
  6. Sound Dragon

    Sound Dragon AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Valley Stream. NY
    Yeah. Kinda what I said initially as well. So if you spring for the lifetime Roon license, you still come out ahead of the HAP Z. But what is becoming quite apparent is that outside of going with a pc build, all other choices will have compromises. Another reason why sticking with the MBP for now might be the logical choice. Just won't have access to J River. I think I can live with that.

    Starting to read up on Media Monkey now. I think I have used this before but I cannot remember for the life of me what I thought about it.
     
  7. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    The HAPZ has an amazing DAC in it. The ELAC is designed at a lower price point, take that into account (I like the ELAC also - so don't get me wrong). Ever thought of JRiver? You can run it on your Mac and also use it as a server and use an iPhone as a remote for it. JRiver comes in Mac, Windows and Linux flavors - you can a license for all 3.

    I am using JRiver for Windows.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  8. Sound Dragon

    Sound Dragon AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Valley Stream. NY
    All this time I thought J River was for PC only! Ha my very own mental bias! That being said, I have been lusting after the HAP for so long. I just keep spending my fun funds on other projects instead of buying it.

    The MBP upgrade is affordable enough to tide me over. And the cd ripping is going to take me a few weeks for sure.

    I think I am still undecided.
     
  9. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Well, hang on - others will see this and chime in :D
     
  10. Sound Dragon

    Sound Dragon AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Valley Stream. NY
    Looking at Pure Music as an option. It's a bit pricey but cheaper then Roon I guess. What I don't understand is if it will play native FLAC or convert to Apple lossless. Need to do some more reading.
     
  11. Poinzy

    Poinzy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,448
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Since you're upgrading, people are waiting for you to sell something.
     
  12. Sound Dragon

    Sound Dragon AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Valley Stream. NY

    HA!....probably true..
     
  13. olson_jr

    olson_jr AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    12,615
    Location:
    Pilgrim Hills Michigan
    I love my Roon!
     
  14. sfseay

    sfseay Member

    Messages:
    86
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    I have a HAPZ1 connected via USB to an Auralic Vega DAC. I prefer the sound out of the Vega to the Z1.
     
  15. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Man - Roon is expensive. I wish it was cheaper.
     
  16. Sound Dragon

    Sound Dragon AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Valley Stream. NY
    The Auralic units do look tempting. Though the Aries has this modern art piece look that some may find.....odd. The mini is a simple white box affair. To be clear, Roon is expensive though by all indications very good.
     
  17. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    [​IMG]

    It is just a glorified PC, with a built-in DAC and an embedded OS. Using the same CPU as most Android cellphones.
     
  18. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,044
    Location:
    SE Alaska
    Roon intrigues me, but (I may be out of date on my information on Roon) I sort of dislike subscription software, particularly expensive software. I understand you can buy a "lifetime subscription for $500, but that sorta investment in something like software where its entire usefulness is linked to the company being around to support it would make me too nervous in the trust dept. The advantages to Roon (as I understand them) other than the aforementioned lyrics etc is its metadata driven playlists features which seamlessly integrates with Tidal and what is on your own drive. That would be nice as I am a playlist junkie and I never can get a decent playlist from Tidal or any other streaming outfit.
    I hear this all the time, that the fan is inaudible. I think and maybe you understand this, that it isn't so much the physical ambient sound of the fan blades cutting air that is of that much concern, but the RF noise that any spinning motor can introduce into the mix to produce interference such as jitter which may or may not always be heard or noticed, but could still be there to a degree. I had so much problems with RF noise (not clear what its source was, wireless, hard drive or fans) that I went with the Raspberry PI3 which is fanless and with no moving parts and wireless too, it plays much better to my ears than the same DAC (in this case the Modi multibit) plugged into my Win PC that I will never go back to running digital music from any PC. My PC is still storing the files for now, but are only serving them to the Raspberry via ethernet cable. JRiver has a plug and play Linux version that runs on the RPi and already being a user of JRiver it wasn't too difficult to get up and running and I am not that tech smart to begin with.
     
    ldatlof likes this.
  19. olson_jr

    olson_jr AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    12,615
    Location:
    Pilgrim Hills Michigan
    I bought in with a lifetime subscription when I had some extra dough from working way too much overtime. They were haveing a 20% off sale when I did.

    I really do not care about the lyrics feature as much of what I listen to does not have lyrics. What I like it how the search function shows me who played on the recording and lets me search out other recordings by the sidemen, other recordings on that label, and read reviews, without having to access AMGs commercial ridden site. It makes everything I was doing much more convenient and I can do it with my phone without getting out of my listening chair. Setting up different zones throughout the house was a breeze as is importing new music. On top of all that it sounds very nice.

    Using ROON with TIDAL has most likely saved me the price of admission just in that I am not buying CDs or making trips to the libraries & stores seeking out new music.

    Like I said, I love my ROON.
     
  20. olson_jr

    olson_jr AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    12,615
    Location:
    Pilgrim Hills Michigan
    Yea, the radio function is pretty great. I don't know home many times it has just started playing what it thinks should be next based on my collection and what I have saved as favorites in TIDAL and I think I could not have picked a better song myself.
     

Share This Page