Digital Storage/Server, Sans DAC- What's Available?

Looking for a digital storage device, that will enable me to experiment with High-Res downloads, feeding into my DAC-equipped pre-amp(good up to 24 bit/192kHz). This is what I have in mind, but- don’t want to spend a couple Grand, on an experiment: Anyone know of a currently available/lower priced, digital server/storage device, WITHOUT it’s own DAC, besides the Naim Uniti Core Hard-Disk Server?

probably reading this wrong but isn't any NAS pretty much a server too if media apps are added and configured for media playback?

I've used Syhnology NAS for some time.

that is until I found out it hated bean soup.
who knew?

there are a few two bay and one single bay storage units.

from $160 to $400.

I like the218 plus $300, and the 718 plus $400, versions.

upgradeable RAM in each. but a faster CPU in the 718, along with two more years warranty and the option for adding on more slave storage later and seeing it all just as the initial unit, and not two different devices.

both can support various RAID arrays. and drives up to 10 TB in each slot/bay..

the cheapest twin bay model makes you use a screwdriver to add drives and runs around $160.

regardless, Add on an ethernet dAC and you are in business... well once you acquire those HD files.

tha Micro Endu interfaces or crosses over from Ethernet to a USB output.

it runs around $500 or less if used.

its power supply is the only issue with its cost. it is reputed to be happy to see upgraded linear PS. those range from $150 to ???

Or did you mean an all in one server & renderer streamer

something you can drop files onto and it has interfaces suitable to connect to any DAC?

these can get pricey.

so far I could flip a coin and take any one of Aurender, Wolf, or lumen. another thread here mentioned Enuus? I think.

that's all I know. Good luck
  With using a NAS directly into a DAC, how does one manage the files visually?  Does the server software have an app or a web browser that allows a tablet or PC to control?  Is there a monitor attached?
  I have NAS but control it with either a computer or a renderer.
"Or did you mean an all in one server & renderer streamer
something you can drop files onto and it has interfaces suitable to connect to any DAC?" Yes- and as Mahler mentioned, a way to manage files, without a computer(etc).   Something like this:

the Naim UC runs right at $2450 US, retail.
it does not come with storage
does allow some sort of proprietary CD ripping though
does have more than USB output
is a box needing rack space

otherwise it doesn’t do much more than the sonar Micro Rendu thingy, which if ROOn is in the mix makes setup way simpler.

is the S MR plus a NAS device the end of the line?

Dunno. but it do seem an option for dipping a toe in the water without going in over one’s head.

bought new with the $150 PS as reported in the Digital Trends review, or the Commp Audiophile account, you sit at $800. add your own USB and maybe a likewise upscale E Net wire @ $100 each, a bit of browser configuration, and at $1K, you are streamingh HD files beyond 24/192 and arguably riding in Business/first class in terms of SQ.

naturally, if bought preowned? less.

unless you want to use something like an OPPO MFD or some other upper end DLNA player, I’m wondering what other options are there for less than a grand that supports as many file types or formats as the micro rendu.

so far they all appear to be controlled by their own apps or browser interfaces via phone or tablets.

I’ve no horse in this race, merely interested.

with ‘bucks’ in hand I’m gonna opt for a less hands on, hopefully higher sQ one box solution, but those avenues appear to be libving in the 5 to 10K side of town.

also, depending on options from a recent audio show I could not properly distinguish significant sQ diffs from the Aurenders, Wolfs, or Lumen likewise gizmos.

therefore without further scrutiny, as said,  they are in the ‘pick em’ category for the moment. albeit, wolf’s on shore advantage of support is pretty attractive. good luck.  
Again: " Or did you mean ... and... has interfaces suitable to connect to any DAC?" Yes. The CD ripper is also something I wanted to try. I have a couple spare hard drives, far as storage, but- I’m not buying the Naim anyway. I don’t want my computer, or anything USB, in the mix, at all. I’m looking for an easy method, plug-n-play, way out(or- in, as the case may be). High-Res downloads can wait, I guess. Perhaps, until I find a used Naim(might be a minute). Thanks for the tips. Oh, yeah: What’s an OPPO MFD(I couldn't find any info)?
If you’re going to use a external DAC, you could consider Bluesound Vault 2i. I am using one with my external DAC and it sounds pretty amazing. The app is easy to use, many streaming options as well as direct high-Rez downloads from HDTracks to its internal storage, all easily manageable from the app. 

You get server, CD ripper, decent built in DAC, 2TB storage all for $1299.00.
Now, that is interesting!   Would that it had AES/EBU output.  My only options would be either a 75 Ohm, RCA to BNC cable, or TOSLINK. Neither of which excite me.   Still, I'm saving that info.  Thanks!


multi format streamer & disk player

I agree with the idea to bypass USB when or if possible.

the industry however does seem focused on using that interface and simply applying patches to overcome USB inherent abberations.

to date with disimilar DACs using BNC or AES has probven a better route and this was derived from using a lynx  PCI Express sound card to feed the ??? dACs. 

as well I used a converter whose  input was USB but output was BNC. yet both proved better than using USB directly into the various DACs.

this wass  however some years ago.

even the Wavelength USB to BNC Brick was a eye opening event hearing it used with a Bel canto DAC 3.1.

what compells me to continue on this path is what I glean from new articles on several upper range DACs, like, EMM Labs new Ref, MSB new Ref, and another I don’t recall just this minute, but is just as costly.

the main roadblock in HD file playback in over comming the USB bit is the lack of quality  ancilliary interfaces such as BNC, and AES/EBu.

the industry pounced on the USB protocol as it is the shortest path between each important part. the files and the renderering or converting unit

the industry also belies the bugs USB still has to deal with saying the tech today is substaintially better.

why then are nearly every DAC maker introducing ‘bridges’ as an option for side stepping USB connectivity?

PS Audio, BC, MSB, DCS, Berkley, etc., all make one.


if every personal confuser was equiped with coaxial audio outputs in every case, things might be different.

good hunting…