called a computer - you will probably enjoy a Macintosh since you appreciate engineering
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Cambridge Audio 640H, allows you to daisy chain other units, outboard USB hard drives and other computers, my brother and I play files from our units over the internet across state lines without having to download!.
Your 39 has a digital input? the 640H makes a nice transport, I use my surround processors and Bel Canto DAC 2 for playback. $1,499 not too bad a price considering what others cost. It makes a nice user interface for a computer server.
the thing with these units for the moment is that many of them are trying to play the closed system game - can't expand the storage the comes with the system being the main example I've seen.
For those of you who don't spend a lot of time thinking about Intel in Apples, Open Source on Wall Street and the world being wired - i.e. looking at the broader landscape of computing, closed systems are a dead-end strategy; both for the manufacturer and anyone who buys in and wants to store more content then the manufacturer in their infinite wisdom made allowances for.
Ckorody- how is the Cambridge Audio 640H a closed system, if it allows you to add additional storage via outboard USB hard drives and access files via it's network connection on other computers?
Cambridge Audio 640H sports a audio grade linear power supply that doesn't need a fan, so it can happly live in
your listen room.
Thanks all you responding!
My problems with PCs or Macs are:
1. I don't want to turn on the computer with fans in
2. Sound quality. As Ckorody said, LOL.
BTW, I tried ML390S DAC with SPDIF-out of my LOW-END Aopen Yamaha 744 sound card. Not good...
I will try to survey on Cambridge gear. Any other suggestions? VRS and Olive seems not my options.
Dream... I think its a gross conceptual error to assume that the sound quality coming out of VRS/Olive pre-built gear will be any different than a PC configured properly.
I use a Serener EPIA small form factor PC. Its fanless and with a NEC Spinpoint drive, probably the most quiet drives around. It outputs to a USB audio device. I haven't found any onboard/card options that sound as good--although I have not tried some of the very high end cards like the RMEs that will support external word clocks.
You also should make sure the software you are running isn't causing problems. Search on asio and kmixer--you want to bypass the PC sound processors or it will screw everything up audibly.
I don't like proprietary solutions like Cambridge because I have no idea what its using to rip, what its using to encode, and what its using to playback. I know EAC is the best bit-for-bit ripper on the planet. Its free. I know that the ALAC system I use is lossless. I can move my files and have some future-proofing of my investment in time that resulted in the files. I can edit my tags and clean them up the way that *I* like them. I haven't seen any standalone devices that look like they meet those criteria.
To get my system set up, I first hooked up a monitor/keyboard/mouse to my Serener. It can hook to those devices, its just that normally I don't have it hooked up. In that configuration, its just like a normal desktop (except size wise). It has a USB out and LAN connection, so... I loaded it with iTunes, slimserver, connected my Waveterminal U24 (USB on one side, coax digital on the other), hooked it to the network. I took the digital out from the Waveterminal and ran that to my DAC...
The Serener I have runs Windows XP, so it recognized the USB device and installed the drivers. I already had my library ripped to a network drive, so I gave the Serener password access to the network drive, had iTunes scan it and catalog it, and I was done...
WinXP has the whole remote desktop thing built in. I think I may have had to enable the computer for remote access, but it wasn't hard. I think you may even be able to use a windows mobile device to run a remote desktop off a network computer. My airpanel actually communicates via Wi-Fi, so I had to have an access point somewhere on my network. Not too hard...