Music Servers are they good?

I am considering selling my Onix cd player and purchasing a Music server like the Yamaha CDR-HD1500. The 200GB hard drive should be plenty for me, but I don't have any experience with any music servers. I can get the Yamaha new for $600.00 which is about the most I want to spend. I don't care to make copy's, just store my cd collection for the convenience. I am going to eventually use a high quality $1000+ dac so optical and rca digital outs are a must.

If there are better for about the same price please let me know. I am looking for suggestions from people that are doing the same.
Take a look at the PC Asylum:

Computer Audio Asylum

Best to use an existing computer, Laptop or a Mac Mini as music server, which allows you much more flexibility down the road than a ready-made server with built in hard drive.

Then there are many ways to connect your computer to the Stereo, starting with the Slimdevices Squeezebox, USB DACs like the Benchmark and Wavlength DACs, or external USB Soundcards like the EMU0404.

Good luck!
In my opinion the most important part of playback is the DAC. So using a transport or a Hard drive is of low importence to me.


I am building a TDA1541/S2 dac and I have two other dacs. I want something to make my life simpler. I have about 200 cd's and would like to borrow more and put them on some sort of hard drive system without compression. I want to make it simple and easy for anyone to use. I do like the fact that the Yamaha is compact and has a drive built in, but I am sure there are others. A computer should work well, but what about digital outputs (rca and optical)? The computer may also be a little bit more difficult to use.
Once you start to use the computer with a program such as iTunes, you will be amazed at how much easier it will be vs a stand alone music server. The screen size and user interface are worth it. There are many USB to SPDIF converters (DIY Paradise has an easy kit) if you prefer SPDIF.
I've st a few friends up with used iMacs and a drive for about $500-$600 and the appear to be working great. If you can afford it, the new iMacs/mac mini with the front row remote control are just too easy, and a great pc to boot. I would check into how easy it is to rip (import). With a mac it is easy to set it in so that you just put the cd in and it spits it out after ripping and tagging info for all of the songs. Makes ripping a real no brainer...
As for ease of use, iTunes is like a card catalog- click on a song, album, artist, play list or genre and it will start to play that list. I listen to more of my music than I ever have in the past. What DAC are you building?
I am building Pedja Rogic's dac. I also have Thomas' TDA1541 dac ver. 2 from diyAudio and one more that uses the same dac chip as the Timbre unit (can't think of the name). I built DIY Paridise's Monica about a year ago when I built the DIY cd transport with the cd-pro unit. I sold them and bought an Onix XCD-99, but have always tossed around the idea of a Sony CD changer with a digital out. This music server thing really has me thinking it is by far the best solution for me. I want both rca and the toslink digital outs. My dac with the crystal chip is only optical in.

Thanks for all the info. The pc or mac thing may be my best option. I have a wireless network in my home and could then sent info to the music server.

I have iTunes on my laptop pc. I have only used it for mp3's.
The Squeezebox has toslink and and rca outs, and it sounds great, but it is only as good as your dac.

I think the squeezebox could easily replace a 3 or 4 thousand dollar CD player, provided you are feeding a worthy dac. I use it with a dCS Delius/Purcell and get fantastic results.

But the important thing is that it will allow you easy access to your music library, which is not just a convenience anymore--it is really the best way to exploit whatever system you have.

You'll wind up playing things you would never hunt through your CD collection to play, just because it is at your fingertips. I know of some people who are selling some very expensive audiophile hardware and are replacing it with USB dacs that are sonically inferior in everyway. I think they enjoy the hard drive functionality so much that they are willing to make sacrifices in sound quality.

The problem is that right now there aren't many really good standalone dacs that are reasonably priced but there are almost no CD players with digital inputs for music servers.