Music Servers, Do They Matter?

The Occasional Podcast host Brian Hunter is joined by digital designer and Innous Director Nuno Vitorin. 

In more analog mindset, does it make as much sense to evaluate a separate music server in the same terms as one might consider a cartridge to a turntable? In addition to thinking about the why, Nuno discusses much of the how – including where to get started and what to look for. 

The discussion starts at the very beginning of source material. Listen, learn and hopefully adapt your way to a better listening experience.
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Yes, of course music servers matter. 

Every component in your system has the potential to degrade performance or keep it stable. 

Quality of parts - power transformers and motherboard quality are of the utmost importance. There is also storage/RAM latency/networking options etc. Go for one that is priced mid-tier. Not too cheap and not too costly.

No it makes no sense whatsoever to evaluate a music server like one would a cartridge or turntable.   It's totally different.
My "music server" is an inexpensive USB hard drive on my network.  Maybe I should have put more thought and money into it.  Or maybe not.
I went from a laptop to a Bluesound Vault and clearly heard the difference. Plan to go up to up to an Aurrender. The sever absolutely makes a difference. Although DAC differences are easier to hear by far. I would not compare a server it to a cartridge, but perhaps turntables, or the difference between CD transports. Only my experience of course. 
deadhead1000 I have been though the same route just order the Aurender N10
Tomstruck - the A10 with a nice DAC is my end goal!
deadhead 1000 I haven't demo any of the Aurenders with the built  in  DACs are you planning to use it direct 

Finally...someone who agrees with me.
I find that most folks on forums (in general) tend to go off topic, into tangent mode, or don't answer questions directly. 


it's up to you. It's your money. Your music server is especially important when you have large files (like DSD). And any tracks that were remastered or edited will sound better on a quality music server.

I think the premise behind a lot of naysayers in this topic and many others is...they want to sound smart. Kind of like an electronics engineer disputing claims.
For me, a dedicated music streamer or server offers much higher sound quality over a laptop. In a highly resolve audio system, a dedicated streamer with an external DAC provides a very enjoyable experience. I’m not all surprised to see folks replacing their CD players and turntables with streamer / DAC combo. Having a access to vast library of music for a low monthly fee is hell of a incentive to not pursue streaming.

If you’re happy with spinning CD or LP’s, please enjoy! At the end of the day, what matters is MUSIC not the format.
I sure like my music server , it’s my third in four years coming from a dedicated transport and separate dac I’d never go back too.

Today I’m experiencing the best playback quality I’ve ever experienced so far in my home , 432 Evo Aeon server and Holo May KTE dac both purchased completely on spec late last year ,the playback performance turned out spectacularly well.For me it’s what’s up stream of the dac .

seriously dude, "finally someone that agrees with me". lol

"OP, it's up to you. Don’t spend too much, don’t spend too little." lol

I am about to find out.  I ordered a Lucas Audio LMDS 8tb Music server to go with my Lampizator Pacific.  I sure hope it does.