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ChiDave1
ChiDave1's picture
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Last seen: 6 days 15 hours ago
Joined: Jan 19 2008 - 4:50pm
My PC music server

My setup was strongly guided by the TAS article (Dec 07) many of you have probably seen. So, the laundry list will look familiar. I did this setup as a cheap proof-of-concept to see if I liked using a music server at all. Hence the PCI card instead of a DAC and generic cabling.

PC:
Nothing special but overkill for music. 2.4Ghz P4 chip running XP sp2.
Ultra-quiet fans: $30-40 for two.

Storage:
Internal 500GB Seagate Barracuda drive. $100 new on ebay.
External 500GB Maxtor One Touch. $100 retail on sale.

Sound Card:
M-Audio Audiophile 192 (can set sampling rate up to 192Khz). Bought on ebay for around $100

Playback:
Foobar. Using EAC to rip but not sure how much it really matters

Cables & adapters: generic, maybe $20 from Radioshack.

Amp:
Unico SE. My first step from mid to hi-fi.

Speakers:
PSB Stratus Bronze. Upgrading when I get my annual bonus.

Total cost: $350. With the external hard drive backup.

Comment on setup:
THE BIGGEST TIP FOR EVERYONE USING A STANDARD PC:
At first my PC was too loud to enjoy music at low levels. Turns out this was easy to remedy. Bottom line: Replace the fans in your PC with ultra-quiet ones without replacing any other components.
I spent money on a better power supply I couldn

CharlyD
CharlyD's picture
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Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: Jul 20 2006 - 4:01pm
Re: My PC music server

Great work on your project! I'm curious though as to why you're looking to replace the DACs on your sound card with an external DAC. Is there something you find deficient in the M-Audio 192? If you go with a CD player with digital input, the interface will likely be S/PDIF and may not transfer hi-rez content (at least 88.2kHz/24-bit) and will definitely be only 2-channel.

It's also interesting that you're dissatisfied with the UI offered by Foobar and would like to see better ability to build searches based on available metadata. This seems to be a common complaint for those of us who enjoy classical music. I think Olive did a fantastic job on their UI, but, unfortunately, they do not offer a player with that UI as a separate product.

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