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What I’ve found so far in world of N.A.S. Storage and Music Streamers and players


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Hey Guys,

Sorry for being so quiet these last few months , It’s been a Crazy busy time for me through the Fire and floods, and repairing the smoke damage . 

I had reached out to the group asking about N.A.S Storage and Music streaming network and player  some time ago and found that it seemed to be a topic of interest for some,  and at the time not a lot of info so far was within the group.  I felt that with all the great support and advice I’ve been given from all within “The Carver Site” , This may be a way for me to try a give back some  with information what dI’ve found so far with hope that it can be of help to others.  Again , I had no idea of how much there would be to learn and research in all those categories,  so through all these months I’ve been doing my homework. I’ll do my best to be as accurate and detailed in what I have found. I’ve always been a little , or “ VERY”  intimidated in doing a post because of how incredible sharp and knowledgable most of you are when it came to the world of audio. But  everyone has always been so supportive, and giving of all there knowledge,  and for all that I “ Thank all of you “. 

 

So, Here we go. I’ll touch base on:

1) external DAC

2) NAS Storage

3) Music Streaming devices

4) Network music players

     ( All in one System’s and individually Music players and network streaming devices together, examples , low $$ to High$ $$$)

5) ROON -   Operating system for music that is hardware agnostic. 

 One app that brings all of your stored music together with all your music streaming services, including. Tidal and Qobuz , high res music services in one search interface.  ( This App will be the one that all will be using for there digital music world - IMOP. ) All new digital music streaming system’s are being developed for Roon, with some also having there own operating system.  I can’t cover it all, cables, all the various system, etc.., but with a little help I’m sure in the end we’ll all have a good starting point, if interested in the digital world. 

 

N.A.S Storage  and Network Music Streaming for HI Def audio I found  when I really got into the Digital Audio world , it really wasn’t as complicated as I though it would be.  But again as with everything in audio , it can be as simple or as complicated as one wants within there system.  I think I’ll go in the above order,  Because that’s how I entered it.  First I wanted to improve my digital sound and to make it not just as good  and warm as my beloved Vynyl world, and favorite albums, But better.  Then I heard about storing my CD’s , and  digital music in what was know as NAS music storage. After hearing how incredible my digital  music was sounding, I wanted to enter the world  of a Music Network streaming system , Pandora, Spotify, to  Hi Res music services like Tidal and Qobuz , and the muisic streaming player that with some individual systems accompany  the streamer so that so I hear it in the System.  But What was this thing Called Roon that I found all these new high end Music  Streaming / Player system were developed with Roon , the New universal Operating system for music That is hardware Agnostic.

Please let me know any of the routes that you may have chosen or thinking of going with for your system. I will be adding to this as I go along,  Please bear with me as I pull all my info together on each subject to best I can so as to give you a feel and hopefully route you may like to start. It’s wide open from very affordable systems to the point I always dream of, But to rich for me.

When I say this in my  own humble option, This is where Music has been on its way and heading in a Directions I feel will open up a New World of Music ,  With it’s depth in clean Hi Res , warm  music  and a huge Music library services when one can find and hear pretty much what one would want to hear. It keeps getting better and better.

I still love my vynyl , But in my next post I’ll start off with the benefits of adding an external DAC. 

Below is a picture of where my system is now, I’m just now finalizing and getting my digital music streaming 

playing device. Pictures to follow when I get it, very soon.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

56C9F15B-5E86-40E9-BD5D-9830CFEEAA02.jpeg

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Thanks very much for the legwork, sir.  

I also learned a ton about digital to analog processing here at Carversite, the weakest link in my system at the time.   

 

This does beg the question, what streams /stores the best resolution digital and what can be some restrictions (including even network / home WiFi routers etc.)

 

I will also add this to my followed threads.

Thanks again.  

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  • 6 months later...

I came to the pure digital folder to post up a question that may be answered in part by your investigation, David. Namely, how might us guys who have awesome two channel analog setups  get around to playing our extensive digital libraries through our ancient equipment? 

 

I have an AppleTV, it'll stream audio happily to anything that its connected to, via HDMI or optical. Not one single bit of my ancient audio collection can handle either one. I have a great Marantz Blu-ray/SACD, but it doesn't accept outside audio sources, its output only. It does have a "network" port on it, so I might be able to hook it to a drive via a router, but thats a bit too involved for what should be simple. It has a USB port on it, but since its from 2014, thats for playing .mp3 not for lossless files (which is what I have). 

 

What I really need, apparently, is something that hooks into an AUX or TAPE input on a typical 2 channel preamp, something does D/A conversion and gives me a high quality analog source. Something I can plug either a USB3.0 drive into, or attach it to a cheap NAS. 

 

Have you found anything that does that?

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You're looking for some Good Schiit there. :D 

 

I use oppo blue ray players to do just what you describe. I have a 103 Darbee, 103, and a 105D. They're all capable of streaming from online sources and from my LAN storage via wifi and cat5. They play CD/SACD/DVD/DVD audio, BluRay, flac, mp*, and several other file formats. Both models have several digital inputs including HDMI, optical, digital coax, USB, and analog rca inputs and outputs. The 105 has balanced and rca outs. The 103s have rca outs only. Sadly, oppo has left the transport business, and the prices have almost doubled for the used players in the last few months. Even with the price increases, I can't recommend them highly enough. 

 

The newer 203 & 205 models have some improvements over the 103 & 105s, but those models have all nearly doubled in price in the last year. I've seen the still new in box 205s sell at triple the $1300 that they sold for when the last run was done in summer 2018.  They're regularly listed at $3K+ on ebay.

 

205: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?LH_PrefLoc=1&_nkw=oppo+udp-205&_sop=10

 

203: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?LH_PrefLoc=1&_nkw=oppo+udp-203&_sop=10

 

105: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?LH_PrefLoc=1&_sacat=293&_nkw=oppo%2Bbdp-105&_sop=10

 

103: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?LH_PrefLoc=1&_sacat=293&_nkw=oppo%2Bbdp-103&_sop=10

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Sk1Bum said:

You're looking for some Good Schiit there. :D 

 

I use oppo blue ray players to do just what you describe. I have a 103 Darbee, 103, and a 105D. They're all capable of streaming from online sources and from my LAN storage via wifi and cat5. They play CD/SACD/DVD/DVD audio, BluRay, flac, mp*, and several other file formats. Both models have several digital inputs including HDMI, optical, digital coax, USB, and analog rca inputs and outputs. The 105 has balanced and rca outs. The 103s have rca outs only. Sadly, oppo has left the transport business, and the prices have almost doubled for the used players in the last few months. Even with the price increases, I can't recommend them highly enough. 

 

The newer 203 & 205 models have some improvements over the 103 & 105s, but those models have all nearly doubled in price in the last year. I've seen the still new in box 205s sell at triple the $1300 that they sold for when the last run was done in summer 2018.  They're regularly listed at $3K+ on ebay.

 

205: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?LH_PrefLoc=1&_nkw=oppo+udp-205&_sop=10

 

203: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?LH_PrefLoc=1&_nkw=oppo+udp-203&_sop=10

 

105: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?LH_PrefLoc=1&_sacat=293&_nkw=oppo%2Bbdp-105&_sop=10

 

103: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?LH_PrefLoc=1&_sacat=293&_nkw=oppo%2Bbdp-103&_sop=10

 

 

 

 

At $3k for what I'm sure is a good player, I think I'll pass on those Oppo(rtunitie)s.... My Marantz was $1k new, and its an excellent player. The other $2k would be best spent buying a big pile of Sumo gear, plus all the mods I'd need for the Carver stuff I currently have.

 

I just noticed that link you put at the top of your post, Bum - thats some pretty neet stuff there! I wonder how it compares to the stuff MassDrop keeps emailing me about. 

Edited by Butcher
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I bought all of mine used, have had all of them for over a year with no problems. oppo is still servicing and supporting them. I gave under $400 each for the 103s, and about $550 for the 105.

 

If you're looking for just a DAC, check out the first link I posted to Schiit Audio. They make good products.

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I’ve always loved the sound from the Oppo’s CD players, and the Oppo 103/105 players sound good and can work with your Carver audio gear. Oppo uses the ES DAC chips and that’s one of the reason why I purchased the L.K.S. Digital audio dh-004 Dac for apx $1,425.00  which uses 2 of the ES3808 pro dac chips in mono combined to give stereo and used my Oppo 95 as a transport and loved the combo for the sound they both produced. I did a lot of research into the Music Streaming Devices out there, and again with the audio world , with quality of the sound and what they offer in abilities and dollars the Sky’s the limit. I ended up purchasing the Innuous Zen Mk III music streaming system which requires an external DAC W/ 2TB internal storage system and a built in ripper with it own software to operate it for apx. $2,400.00 or use 3rd party software like Roon , which I use and highly recomend . Hands down the Best Music software management out there, at least for me.

Roon

“ Brief description of “Roon “is  a monthly, Yearly or Lifetime Subscription available which manages your Music Streaming, Music library either on PC or Mac, But it can manage your music library wherever it’s located on your network: on the computers hard drive, on a NAS Box or in folder on multiple networked devices. You can establish multiple user profiles so that each person in your household can compile their own lists of favorites and have their own unique play history and music recommendations.Roon installed on other computers (endpoints) on your network and you can use them as remote controls for the primary computers audio system, or you can stream your music over your network to those endpoints. In both scenarios . You can choose between the computers onboard audio subsystem and any connected outboard hardware. Roon is the Music operating software system which is setting the standards that music streaming companies and developers and building there’s hardware system to incorporate and manage the music. 

 

I did a lot research in the Music Streamers that were available at the time I purchased the Innuous Mk III and spent over double of what I was looking to invest, But I found at this time there were not a lot of high end quality Music streamers used for sale due because of it being still a New Medium and there are not a lot of used hi end music players available, so I went with a system which I can used for many years to come, and I absolutely love the quality of sound and what it has to offer.

 

Other’s I liked and received great reviews:

 

I purchased the Cambridge Audio 851 N music Streamer, and liked the quality of sound, The front display to see what is playing and operations for apx. $1,450.00 but returned it for the only reason that it upsampled everything it played. Though I liked the sound, I did not like not having the ability of not upsampling the music and it was missing a few things I was looking for and new that I would want in the future.

 

Here’s a few Music streaming systems out there to considered-or get a feel for what’s out there and cost:

One of the favorites for starting at Apx, $485.00 and up is the Bluesound Node 2i music streaming system, and it has received great reviews and I was very close in getting one for apx : $925.00 , But I havn’t had an opportunity to listen to with my system. But , I’ve read very good reviews for the Monies spent.

Audiolab 6000N Play - review” Great sounding streaming solutions needn’t cost a lot” - Very good reviews in 2019 Apx. $650.00

Audiolab 6000A apx. $1,000.00- very good reviews

Sono’s systems starting at apx. $350.00 and up/

Sony HAP-S1 high Resolution music streamer apx. $ 1.000.00  but had mixed reviews

NAD C 658 : Unbalance and balanced RCA outputs- Hi resp support 32-bit/192 kHz  apx $1,650.00 -  good reviews

Cocktail Audio X30 all in one Hifi audio system w/ music server/network streamer- apx. $899.00 -again very good reiveiws.

Cambridge audio CXN (V2) reviews very good, “the best at this price range “ apx. $995.00 and up

lumin M1 - starting at apx. $2,000.00 to there high end up to $14K, A very good Music streaming co with high Standards

 

There’s Many Music streaming system out there, I feel you can get a nice system like the Audiolab 6000N for $625.. the Bluesound 2i used for less $500.00 and they both have very good reviews. I hope this helps, If there’s any more specific questions I can help, Just pm me, or post and I’ll do my best to answer or find out the answers. I researched for months back back in late 2018/ early 2019 before deciding, but it comes down to what specific needs or wants that may be looking for your system. I preferred having a seperate music streamer form my CD player, but there are some nice CD player /music streaming systems that can also work well with your system. For example, the Oppo 103/105, Marantz  network music playerNA6006 refurbished for $479.00,

 

Again, I hope this helps. I will do a seperate post on “Roon” music management software to show it abilities and eases of use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I just wanted to add that what ever Music Streaming Device you may choose, expensive or not, It will bring back the excitement of  new Music and also the Nostalgic of the older tunes. I love the Music Streaming world and what it has to offer in the endless library of Music, High Def and the Clarity of depth of the music sound. Along with the feeling  of being in this “Huge massive open Library with Row’s and Row’s of endless music “ to go through and never being disappointed,  Add the Music Software management of your music with “Roon”, I feel like I did as a Kid when I got a new Vinyl Album opening it and seeing all the artwork, then putting the needle down and listening to the new music with such excitement. The added bonuses is the clarity and depth that was never revealed in the the analog world, but also it will give you information on the music and the Artist that wasn’t available on the old vinyl and cassettes.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love the sound and excitement of opening up a new vinyl album for all the reason described above, But now I listen to vinyl album for just that feeling and sound of the album with it’s occasion “cracks or pops” from the old albums. But , If its clarity and depth,  or Hi Res  audio files,  I go to the Music Streamer. 

Also with the music streamer come the ease of just listening to whatever your in mood for at the time, and letting it just choose that music your in the mood for and not have to go back to the source like the turntable to either turn over the album, or put on something new. This is all done by the music steamer along with it putting music on that you may forgotten or hearing for the first time. I’ve found such excitement and enjoyment in this new digitial world that when I hear something on the radio, I write it down so I can hear it in more detail at home on the music streamer. I still love putting on a vinyl album on the turntable and listening to it,  But for me,  If its clarity and depth in the music I want to hear, there’s no comparing to this new sound and world of the digitial Music Streaming and it’s high def library of music to choose from.

Below is a quick pick of the Innuous Zen Mk lll and the L.K.S Digitial audio Dac. If there’s any I can be of help with inregards to Music Streaming systems or Roon Software, Just let me know and I’ll do my best to answer or find what you may be looking for.

D5F04017-6C9E-4E39-B1DC-E20BA22D8E22.jpeg

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Thanks for the reply, David.

 

I really wouldn't be interested in Roon. I'm not comfortable with either subscription software or with stuff that sits behind the firewall and opens ports/sends info to who-knows-where, and its all a lot more complicated/expensive than I need. I have a bunch of wifi speakers to play around with for that and the list is growing. Sonos, HEOS, and now B&W has Formation, Foundation, Inflammation, whatever it's called. None of it works perfectly or even hits most popular standards, so thats all just casual listening and TV sound. 

 

What I really need is just a box that gets in between my analog 2ch preamp and my source drive (whatever that may be, from a lowly USB3.0 up to an actual laptop sitting there with a drive full of music and a software interface) and makes sure everything matches.  Digital needs to become analog, maxed out bitrate needs to be sweet music, and impedances and sensitivities must be at parity. A remote vol would be nice too, because while we were sneering about cheap Magnavoxes and Panasonics with their plastic remotes back in 1985, all those high end preamps we used to push on customers then didn't have any remote at all. "Why would you need to keep changing volume? The preamp is ten feet away, get up and do it, don't color your signal path with remote nonsense!"

 

 

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  • 1 year later...

I must bring this thread back from the nether, for I have progress to report.

 

I was mucking about on the Drop forum and found a thread very similar to this one. One participant had achieved some success by re-purposing an old Apple router as a music source for his stereo. 

 

I happen to have several boxes of cast-off computer bits, and I found a pair of old Airport Wifi routers in there. I took the newer of the pair, which is called the Express, or Extreme, or Exuberant, or whatever marketing superlative they used. The important part is that it is an 802.11alphabet router with an analog audio out on the back. Use the Airport setup program to set the modem up as an extender, and plug it into the preamp. 

 

I've gotten mine set up with my old office system: Adcom preamp and amplifier, Canton bookshelf speakers. My MacOS computer supplies the sound over the Music program, but you can use anything that supports Airplay. If I decided I don't want to sit at the desk but rather in the lounger over in the corner of the office, I can use my phone to control the system. Since my music is stored on a NAS drive next to my primary router, every device in the house signed into the network can make these bits work. 

 

Using the computer or phone, I can change tracks in my library or use TunedIn, and set the EQ and volume. The only thing left to do is figure out a remote power switch and then my swiftly decomposing bottom need never leave the chair.  Since I'll need a power protector for the office system perhaps I'll find something that can do this. 

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I had a few moments after that last post to think to myself, "Oi, what about that other system upstairs? Y'know, that one system as opposed to all the other systems? Don't you want music streams going that a way?"

 

I had one router left, a truly ancient one that looks to all the world like a laptop power adapter, so I decided to repurpose that thingie. Plug it into the wall outlet next to my desk computer, find it with the setup utility, name it, try to update it a couple of times but its so old the firmware is rather soft and moldy so no updates, but it tests out ok. So I pull it out of the wall, run it up the stairs, stop for a moment and breathe heavily, then plug it in with all the appropriate cables and such. Cracking good music source, and this one is controlled from my iPhone. 

 

I do believe I'll sieve me a few more of these "outdated" routers from the stagnant pool that is eBay and have a go at this with the other, oh, 9 systems in the Schloss. 

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That is a neat idea @Butcher! I just picked up an AirPort Express/ Extreme (one of those) locally for $15.00. Didn’t need it just bought it because of price. I didn’t think about doing what you do but now I have a new idea.......grin

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Posted (edited)

This topic has me interested as I have a majority of my CDs ripped to a NAS. A Google search shows a few options using a Raspberry PI as an audio streamer.  I'm already using a rPI 4b running OpenELEC as  video streamer. I assume the concept will be similar. 

Edited by Hal
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7 hours ago, Hal said:

This topic has me interested as I have a majority of my CDs ripped to a NAS. A Google search shows a few options using a Raspberry PI as an audio streamer.  I'm already using a rPI 4b running OpenELEC as  video streamer. I assume the concept will be similar. 

 

Thats interesting. I've seen those implementations before but never delved into them. How do you remotely control said streamer?

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4 minutes ago, Butcher said:

 

Thats interesting. I've seen those implementations before but never delved into them. How do you remotely control said streamer?

 

To your question, let me share some philosophy (mine)...,  YMMV

 

At one point, I tried to RIP all my content..., but eventually realized..., I was duplicating, and, well, that's time I will never get back..., time I could use doing something else, productive..., that didn't duplicate what was already out there.  

 

I got rid of most of what I had ripped to my NAS.  From professional/commercial sources, It's better indexed, and, well, more complete, from any of the better streaming services..., I use TIDAL, there are others.  

 

I transitioned over to one of these, the Elac Discovery Server,  ELAC DISCOVERY SERIES DS-S101-G (jimclarkstereo.com) 

 

1002379988.jpg

 

I picked up from Jim Clark Stereo, I can control what music is played remotely, from my laptop..., you can use other devices, tablet, smartphone..., etc.

 

1002379973.jpg

It feeds your DAC, or ? like any other input source, and gets its input from the ethernet cable plugged into it.  Your device talks to the interenet, telling it what to play..., (WAY over simplified description there...)  This works for me.

 

Elac offers "access points" (not to be confused with internet access points for your WiFi)..., so you can have the same thing streaming on your 9 systems around the house..., all controlled by your "device" from your "streaming service..."

 

I like the design.  And, when I bought mine, it had a LIFETIME subscription to ROON, which is a great interface (for me and in my opinion) to operate the whole thing.  In a word, I can drive my analog/vintage gear with modern streaming..., and, it works well.  

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Thats certainly one way to do it. Quite a hefty investment though. If I were to spend that much on music management for my home I'd have just bought a Mac Mini. It would have become a full-fledged server then, and one could plug the DAC of choice into it, should one be so inclined.

 

For my own uses, I stay away from streaming music from the outside world. I've read some truly terrifying things about the information being compiled on paid customers of such services. And of course I like to own my music. Its not much trouble for me to rip and add the appropriate art, and at under $50 per unit for one in like-new condition, adding Airport extenders to the system here is both easy and cost-effective. Or as I call them, "Oiport!" for those rare moments when the Airplay connections drop. "Oi! What now?"

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2 minutes ago, Butcher said:

Thats certainly one way to do it. Quite a hefty investment though. If I were to spend that much on music management for my home I'd have just bought a Mac Mini. It would have become a full-fledged server then, and one could plug the DAC of choice into it, should one be so inclined.

 

For my own uses, I stay away from streaming music from the outside world. I've read some truly terrifying things about the information being compiled on paid customers of such services. And of course I like to own my music. Its not much trouble for me to rip and add the appropriate art, and at under $50 per unit for one in like-new condition, adding Airport extenders to the system here is both easy and cost-effective. Or as I call them, "Oiport!" for those rare moments when the Airplay connections drop. "Oi! What now?"

 

My time (ripping, configuring, dealing with IT...), is limited, at this point in life..., and is worth WAY more than the $1000..., (my perspective...)

 

I now use my NAS for storing those things that I created..., or digital items (photos, designs, etc.) that don't exist anywhere else - and of which I am the lone steward.

 

OTOH..., I took the day off yesterday, was literally on the phone with Netgear Tier 3 Support for over 5 hours in ONE call..., only to finally get them to realize that the T.O.L. gaming WiFi router they shipped me 2 weeks ago, was defective..., (something I knew when I called in...)   That 5 hour block only saved me $279.   So, I guest the value of time is relative... 😉 

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