Sorry for Q- Need help moving to music server.

Sorry for such a generic question.

Just not sure where to start. Probably a common question here for traditional audiophiles making the change. Here is my situation:

Have a moderately high end system of separate components.

Have about 500 CD's. A few SACD's.
Have about 20,000 CD's in mp3/wma/AAC format on a hard drives.

Wanting to start playing my digital files on my high end system.
Want to start ripping my CD's to high bit formats for digital playback.

Using an older cheap Sony CD player for a transport to send signal to a pretty nice DAC (Eastern MiniMax DAC plus) with upgrades from Morningstar. I do like the DAC lot.

(My TRL modded Sony CD/SACD player is not sending a digital out signal for some reason which has prompted me to reassess the whole front end of my rig now).

Anyway- ready to take the plunge to go to a digital music server based front end in my system.

I have high end Windows 7 based PC on a local home network.
I could run a 50 foot Ethernet cable from my router to a music server unit as it is all in same room if that helps, or of course do wifi on the local network.
Could also connect USB drives directly to a unit if better option. Dunno.


Play the files on my hard drives through my high end system.
Rip many of my CD's to digital to play back.

Use the new Eastern MiniMax DAC plus.It has multiple digital inputs ( AES/EBU, BNC, RCA, OPTICAL and USB) and uses the Sabre ES9018 DAC chips.

Would like to have a reasonable user interface to scroll through the Music folders. Would be hooked up to my 50" plasma if needed/possible.

I also am an Android user if that helps at all for interface.

Not sure what is best way to approach this.

Have been looking at various options-
OPPO 103/105
Pioneer N50 ,etc.

The options seem a little overwhelming actually.

Budget is maybe $500-$1000 or so.
Not married to the DAC. I guess I could sell it if in all in one box was as good.

Any ideas are welcome!

Long time no hear Lkdog. Hope things are going well. I have been looking at this myself. Since your DAC has a USB input take a look at the VortexBox devices at Small Green Computer. They can connect to USB DAC, have ability to rip CDs, or allow you to transfer files over from other sources. Comes with a music player and you can use iPad or Android apps as the control point. A variety of HD sizing available too. Shoot me an email or give me a call sometime.
Oh they have Ethernet options too if you want to go that way. Send them an email they are very helpful when it comes to helping with configuration.
"Wanting to start playing my digital files on my high end system.
Want to start ripping my CD's to high bit formats for digital playback."

When you say rip CD's to high bit formats, are you talking about ripping to a format higher than CD? If so, don't bother. You can't get something more than what you started with.
Purchase Lenovo Q190 with intell and 8g memory. There are often sale on this item. Hunt for coupon... Than replace stock hdd with solid state -- will have to do it on your own(no factory option with sdd) so you may request hard copy of operating system from lenovo which won't cost you any extra. Q190 is extremely quiet and with replaced hdd with ssd it will be even more quiet. To get rid of processor fan you'll have to purchase expensive heatsink chassis. I'm thinking of moving Q190 to the heatsink, but still have to stretch another $500. Otherwise Q190/SSD will yield $850 for excellent media and music server with cool remote media keyboard. Have a back-up HDD or use stock HDD that you can purchase extra enclosure and SATA-USB adapter so you can back-up your music data and keep playable on SSD.
Sorry for the delay in response and thanks to all for responding! I forgot about the lag in a post getting approved by the mods here in Audiogon so was away from the forum for a couple days.

Hey Clio09- great to hear from you! I have a story for you.
Yeah- am kind of confused right now as to next step. :)
Will look at the option you mentioned and shoot you an email.

Zd542- Sorry I mean to say rip redbook uncompressed.

MArkanetz- Will check out Lenovo.

All a big learning curve for me.
And here is another option if you dont want hi rez downloads. Get a Sonos bridge about 90 bucks and a sonos connect. All you files on hdd are accessible, and it has a great interface for android and ipad. Plug the connect into your dac and its about as good as t gets for the price. And you can wirelessly add music to any other room in the house for pretty cheap. Its the toaster of music servers. Easiest to set up, great customer support. Worth looking into
Download Foobar2k, it's free, and load it on your PC. It has many plug-ins to control your playlist from your phone. Rip a couple CD's to the drive and get a feel for working with Foobar. Make sure you have enough space on the drive for your collection. Personally, I would buy a 1 terabyte drive and use that after formatting.

Foobar has a plug-in for SACD as well. It has a bit of a learning curve, but don't give up. Once figured out it has many options for display configurations/album art etc. My PC has a USB streamer which is connected to my DAC. The convenience is nice to have and would not go back to a CD player. Download of foobar Addons for customizing

There are also others that you can pay for and provide the same functions as foobar. For just getting your feet wet, you have to spend very little to nothing. You can even output to your DAC with the built in sound card.

Good Luck
Thanks guys.

I think I am going to give the SONOS Connect a try.
I did buy dbpoweramp. Very cool.

I downloaded the trial version of J River.
Not sure I like it.
May also try Foobar as suggested.
I just posted this to another thread. Very important for ripping...

AFAIK, only EAC and dbpoweramp allow you to set the offset specific to your cd drive, and are preferred by audiophiles. That is crucial for perfect ripping. No other programs have it.

I bought dbpoweramp out of personal preference, and don't mind the cost because I'm ripping hundreds of cds. I rip to flac, and make a copy in mp3 for portable listening.

I use foobar for flac playback and remote control it from my phone. Foobar requires some work to set up, especially with the "components." My DAC is the Oppo BDP-105