All about Music Servers for a minute......

Hello All:

How is everyone this evening???

I did post under Analog last week, in the hope of getting some kind of handle in which I wanted to know which Turntable/Arm/Cartridge System to get, and to determine which Phono Stage I should consider as well.

It can NOW be said that I pretty much got a handle on things. My selection right now is:

(01). Turntable -- Rega P3-24/RB-301 Arm -- $895.00; or Rega P5/RB-701 Arm -- $1,395.00

(02). Phono Cartridge -- Grado Prestige Gold Mk II -- $225.00 (MM); or Sumiko Blue Point Special II -- $400.00 (MC)

(03). Phono Stage -- PS Audio GCPH -- $1,000.00 (New); $600.00 to $700.00 (Used)

And that is that.

And to signify that I am serious about that shit, I even went as far as to buy over $35.00 worth of used vinyl off of e-Bay today. And that is to add to the vinyl that I have already acquired either through estate sales, being passed down from friends who do not want to spin vinyl any more, or from my late father. I will continue to acquire vinyl here on out.

But now, what I want to know is what do I do about my existing CD Collection??? I have bought me an i-Pod classic about three (well, almost four) years ago (and love it tremendously), and I started either uploading some of my CD Collection into i-Tunes, and then onto my i-Pod, and the music that is on my i-Pod is also on my computer's hard drive.

And now, this gets to the situation right now as I am continuing to re-vamp my audio system.

Instead of investing into another stand alone Compact Disc Player, I am thinking of buying myself a Laptop Computer for Christmas this year, and then coverting my old PC into a large capacity Music Server, and then just buying a D/A Converter and connect my old PC to that.

And what I want to know is can it even be done at all, and if so, do I need to invest in a new sound card with digital outputs, and then connect my PC and External Hard Disk to the D/A Converter??? Or will my existing sound card be adaquate???

Right now, unless something changes during the rest of the year, my choices for D/A Converters will be:

(01). PS Audio Digital Link III

(02). Musical Fidelity M1

Well..... that's it for now.

Basically, my question is, can I convert my old PC to a Music Server??? Or do I need to go on and just buy a component that is designed to be a Music Server in the first place???

Thanks A Lot In Advance.....

Happy Shopping & Happy Listening.....

Yes you can.
I agree completely about getting a DAC rather than a CD player, as the DAC is more flexible.

An old PC is perfect for a music server, since music servers generally don't require a lot of horsepower. Just a good amount of drive space and a good network card. If you're technically sophisticated, you can install Linux on the old PC and make it an impressive server. If you're not, then don't fear, because Windows can do an adequate job of that nowadays.

I'd recommend getting a Logitech Squeezebox rather than worry about a sound card. It's a great server platform, and you can buy as many Squeezeboxes in the future as you want, and then listen to music in multiple parts of the house. (I use an old Linux server with 4 Squeezeboxes currently, and it works so well that I'm hesitant to mess with a good thing.)

Good luck!

Buy High Resolution Technologies Music Streamer II+ . It is a USB DAC and does not require a sound card. It is very very good sounding DAC. It is crazy good and for $350.00 you cannot beat it. My audio friends think I should own a more expensive DAC to match the rest of my system. I keep comming back to the music streamer. I now have the music streamer pro and it sounds better yet. It is the balanced version of the II+. Oddly I liked my II+ better than the PS Audio Perfect Wave Dac that I just sold here on audiogon. My new music streamer pro sounds better than my friends Audio Research DAC 8. He just cannot believe that this little box. I am now sold on simple is best.
Take a look at the Logitech Squeezebox touch.
Go to computeraudiophile dot com and check out their FAQ section, which begins with "I'm a total beginner I don't even know what I don't know, where do I start?" You'll find perhaps more than you want to know, but there are many practical suggestions pertinent to your plans.

In an office system I have been using the USB output from a laptop into a Benchmark DAC1-USB -- excellent results.
Hi Charles,

The simple thing to do to test the waters is to buy a reasonably inexpensive USB DAC like the HRT, NuForce or any of the other good quality inexpensive USB DACs. You can get a lot of information about USB DACs at and at

If you get a USB dac, you just plug it into your computer and you are instantly off to computer audio land in 5 minutes or less!

If you decide that computer audio is you, then you can start researching upgrades to your music server and higher-end USB DACs and decide if you want to invest your audio dollars into that medium.


Congratulations, you have made astute choices so far. You will soon want isolation support for the Rega. I do not know about that model, but many, if not all, Grados are mor or less incompatible with rega tt's - they lack shielding and pick up hum from the motor. Although I had a similar combo, I had to fabricate a mu-metal shield for the Rega; if I had known, I wouldn't have tried to mix the two.
charles, seeing that you like great gear and high performance i would recommend a mac with pure music / channel d as a player. i am enjoying this set up right now and do all my listening with it. 129 dollars. if you are going pc then look around at some of the recommendations here on audiogon. i doubt you will regret the small price to turn your computer into a serious performer. i have a emotiva erc-1[ isolated with ps audio power cord and morrow ics} with a music fidelity v-dac which works well but not even in the same leaque as my laptop to v-dac.
Keeping the computer out of the listening room is a great way to go in my opinion. Streaming using UpNP from your computer to is easy and you simply need some software and a UpNP receiver from Rotel, Naim, etc or just use an Apple TV to stream iTunes from your old computer into it then into a decent dac and off you go.
Lloydc, Rega eliminated that problem when they went to the P-3 24 motor. If you have the old motor, it is an easy cost effective upgrade.