I haven't heard either server but both have gotten good reviews and there are some threads on Audiogon about them that you can search for. Both servers are most noteworthy for their display software, I think.
There is a dealer here on Audiogon, Sound Science, who sells servers called Music Vaults. They would be worth checking out also. I think he'd be happy to discuss his products in comparison with those you've already seen. He puts his phone # in his ads.
Thanks Tom. i'm going to look into that.
IMHO the Sooloos has the best interface. I have not found anything that comes close. If I had to rate them I would go Sooloos first and the Qsonix second. To me what makes the Sooloos is the ability to cross reference music. It really is going to come down to which GUI you like better. You can't go wrong with either. Believe me I wish I owned either of them!
I have seen the Sooloos demo'ed but have only played with it in the store. I previously had an Arcam FMJ server which was great in its day but not particularly user friendly. Once Arcam discontinued the model there was no support available when I had issues but still good for the price. I have had a Qsonix system for about 4 months now and love it. I run it through a Moon DAC. Have the 1.5 TB HD and 19" touch screen. The touch screen and the interface make it so easy to listen to all the CD's you have had for years and forgotten about. You can select by Cover art, artist, album and many others including year, decade and composer. You can make playlists based on current songs, moods, time of year, driving and hundreds of other combos. Can save playlists and transfer them to an Ipod or burn CD's. Can run it remotely from your listening chair with an Ipod touch or IPad. Gives you album reviews. I have mine hooked up to my home network so can also run it from any computer in the house. It is always connected to the internet so whenever there is a software update, it is automatically downloaded to your unit, no matter when you purchased it. There is no yearly maintenance fee for this. Have contacted support a couple of times with minor questions and had excellent service. Its not perfect but very close to it. Highly recommended. If Sooloos is better than this and it better be to justify the price differential, it must be great.
I have some experience with both; but own the new version of Qsonix. I like the Qsonix; and find the user interface to be simply incredible; very easy my wife can use it; the software updates are great and solve some of the issues with meta tagging of the data, and album art covers. The new sound board from Wadia is a big step up from earlier model. It sounds best with balanced digital cable into dac. It can create its own play lists, and has many similiar features to the sooloos. The advantage I think of the Sooloos is its fixed raid hard drive; which does not need a fan; and is a bit quieter...but you need a mirror raid backup hard drive. I bought a WD portable back up hard drive for 1.5TB for $99; and I'm good to go. I find the quality of my HDtracks hi res downloads to be simply fantastic; both at 24/96 and 24/192. I found Meridian gear to work best in an all Meridian system; but hated how difficult it was to access control changes via computer, and base managment was very cumbersome. When I switched to a non complete Meridian system; the benefits seemed to disapper...
just my two cents; both good, with the external dac you have, I think you'll be happy with the Qsonix...they just dont advertise as much as Meridian, but they are quality company with outstanding customer support and reliability.
Good luck with your choice.
I home demo'ed Qsonix for awhile in my system but never had a chance to try Sooloos. I ended up not buying Qsonix for a few reaasons.
Features that I found very important that does not support by Qsonix (as of 4-5 months ago, not sure about now but may be worth checking out) are:
1) lack of gapless play. I have lots of operas that require gapless play ie no pause between tracks. Qsonix does not suppor this so there is always a little fade in and out between tracks.
2) When using Qsonix to rip an album, it does not let me merge multi CD Boxsets into single album so each CD will be its own album . Again, I have lots of operas, classical music etc, probably close to a third of my CDs are boxset. The only way to go around that is to rip these CDs with my computer and import these albums into Qsonix later which was a bit of a pain.
3) Sound quality wise, the new Qsonix/Wadia with its digital output into my Playback MPS-5 via XLR is very mellow and laidback, nice for certain music but as a whole, I prefer my own computer server/XXHighend/Weiss INT202 firewire/XLR converter. Although I have to say that QSonix is much more convenient to use than my computer server. But at least, at the time, I did not feel that it was worth it to replace my computer with Qsonix just for the interface, considering the cost factor.
4) Searching through music library is still a pain. I think it is well setup for rock, pop etc but for classical music, browsing first through genre then composer etc is not possible. Here I find the flexibility in indexing and browsing capability is still a bit limiting in comparison to say iTune or MediaMonkey on computer.
I talked to Qsonix quite a bit during that time, some features they are working on but gapless play and merging album is way way down their list of things to do and they may not get to it at all.
The best thing to do is try out both Sooloos and Qsonix interface for awhile until you really know their capability and limitation. Qsonix unfortunately did not quite work for me. However, your requirement may be different.
Thanks for the information on how QSonix handles opera and classical. Your points about box sets and gapless play are really helpful as I, too, am most concerned with how the various music servers handle classical music. Having played a bit with Sooloos, I have the impression that it might fare a bit better however, the functionality of grouping (play all movements of a piece together) seems to be lost when you use the iPod interface.
I understand that Qsonix has closed down. Anyone has any info on this ?
You are better off to get Sonos and use a reclocker on your good system to a DAC like Metrum Octave or Wired for Sound DAC2. Other Sonos can be without reclocker. A lot cheaper and actually better SQ, as well as whole-house audio.
You can use any computer you want with Sonos. Rippers will be better than either of these servers too. Use dbpoweramp or XLD to rip CDs.
I know that they moved to Newbury Park,CA from their original Westlake Village location; which is near where Constellation Electronics is being made....this move was around 1.5 years ago...I've not heard that they closed down; their local dealer to me did not mention this when I was in two months ago; they are still showcasing the Qsonix as their go-to music server. I have not received any auto system upgrades to my software though in a while; I'll dig deeper, and report back.
Your digital source will impact the sound so I'd try both in your system through your dac. I've heard significant differences in sound by switching between different transports and digital streaming/computer sources feeding my Simaudio 650D dac. I thought a good dac would make all digital sources sound the same but this is not so.
I believe that Qsonix is located in Oak Park, CA. Close, but no cigar.
Unfortunately; I have had confirmation that Qsonix is closing up, and no longer selling their product. Some dealers may still be able to access their chief technical guy for unit repairs, and parts however...for limited continued support.
I am disappointed; as I made a major investment with them when I purchased their server; and upgraded to the 205, which I enjoy...but with this economy, more manufactures will have struggles to make ends meet...may they RIP...
No comaprison, the Meridian Sooloos system is much better than the Qsonix system.
You should also have a look at the Bryston BDP-1 digital player or even their newer model, the Bryston BDP-2.