Temporary solution before ND555 released

nbpf posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:
French Rooster posted:

 

I know you have the dave, why not try to borrow a core and connect in spdif, and compare to your mac mini?

...

Core is on my list of things to try when one day my Mac Mini gives up the ghost, or when my frustrations with Audirvana’s library handling get the better of me and make me give real consideration to replacement, though it would be campared with alternatives like Melco, Innuos Zenith, and likely another lower cost option such as so ething based on microRendu or similar.

...

I am not aware of any serious review of the Core's S/PDIF output (and, more generally, of the Core as a whole), thus it is difficult to say how it performs. The Innuos Zenith SE's USB output has received very positive reviews in the "A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming" monster thread on CA, see page 236. The new Antipodes devices of the "X" series were also mentioned as possible contenders of solutions based on SoTM Trifecta in that thread while the Melcos do not seem to come out very well in the reviews on CA. I am currently playing around with an Allo DigiOne and there have been rumors of Allo being working on a successor. From the point of view of usability this would be, for me, the best alternative because, no matter how good the UI of Innuos, Melco, Antipodes, etc. are, they are very limited. At least it seems that one can install MinimServer on the Innuos and on the Melcos and on the SoTM sMS-200ultra. This makes such devices well suitable for serving classical music. I do not know whether MinimServer runs on the Antipodes but certainly it cannot be installed on the Core.

yes, it is difficult to choose between core, innuos, antipodes or melco. There is a site «  hifi advice.com » that i like to read. The reviewer tested a lot of servers in spdif and usb mode, with different dacs.  But not the core yet.

Innocent Bystander posted:

Yes, formal reviews, espapecially comparative with other devices are distinctly lacking in this area. The Core (in this mode), Zenith and Melco have been discussed on this forum, though the latter far more than the other two.

The Zenith SE has been reviewed quite thoroughly at page 236 of the above mentioned thread by "austinpop", see post from Jan. 27 about in the middle of the page. The bottom line seems to be that both power supply and clocking are essential and the Innuos does very well in the first department whereas a Trifecta system shines in the second.

The impression that one gets reading the CA monster thread (but see page 1 for a nice table of contents put together by austinpop) is that Innuos and SoTM will rather soon come out with new devices that address both aspects: power supply and clocking.

On CA there is also a crowd funded initiative for putting togetehr a new board based on the lessons learned from Innuos, Antipodes and Trifecta.

My take is that in the second half of this year the problem of feeding a high quality USB DAC or USB interface with low power, high quality combined server+renderers will essentially be "solved" through DigiOne-like solutions and high quality LPSUs. For running Roon servers one will still need more beefy and carefully designed boards and power supplies though. Here, it will be interesting to see what Innuos, SoTM, Antipodes and Co. will come up with. 

French Rooster posted:
nbpf posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:
French Rooster posted:

 

I know you have the dave, why not try to borrow a core and connect in spdif, and compare to your mac mini?

...

Core is on my list of things to try when one day my Mac Mini gives up the ghost, or when my frustrations with Audirvana’s library handling get the better of me and make me give real consideration to replacement, though it would be campared with alternatives like Melco, Innuos Zenith, and likely another lower cost option such as so ething based on microRendu or similar.

...

I am not aware of any serious review of ...

yes, it is difficult to choose between core, innuos, antipodes or melco. There is a site «  hifi advice.com » that i like to read. The reviewer tested a lot of servers in spdif and usb mode, with different dacs.  But not the core yet.

Well, for me it's easy, I do not buy any of them. Support for MinimServer is mandatory on a music server if this is to be used to serve classical music. This rules out the Naim Core and perhaps also the Antipodes, I'm not sure. I do not want to have a ripping station integrated in my music server: ripping CDs and serving music files are orthogonal tasks and an optical drive adds complexity to the power supply with potentially negative effects on sound quality. This rules out the Innuos. I am left with the Melcos that, as I mentioned, have not compared very well as USB servers on CA. One should test a device in one's own system, of course. But my time is limited, the availability of the Melcos is not overwhelming and, until someone finds out that the USB output of a Melco + USB to S/PDIF interface is far better than the one of a DigiOne, I do not see any point in buying a Melco.  

 

.. Support for MinimServer is mandatory on a music server if this is to be used to serve classical music. This rules out the Naim Core and perhaps also the Antipodes, I'm not sure.

MinimServer can be installed on the Antipodes and will appear as a UPnP/DLNA server on UPnP/DLNA renderer devices on the network, according to the user manual. I have had an audition of the DX3 recently but only used HQPlayer/NAA. I will be purchasing either the CX or EX when available in a few weeks and will try Minimserver then and can report how it goes.

 

johnG posted:

 

.. Support for MinimServer is mandatory on a music server if this is to be used to serve classical music. This rules out the Naim Core and perhaps also the Antipodes, I'm not sure.

MinimServer can be installed on the Antipodes and will appear as a UPnP/DLNA server on UPnP/DLNA renderer devices on the network, according to the user manual. I have had an audition of the DX3 recently but only used HQPlayer/NAA. I will be purchasing either the CX or EX when available in a few weeks and will try Minimserver then and can report how it goes.

Great news johnG, thanks! I am looking forward to reading you findings. The new CX and DX server+renderer devices look very promising, do you know what are the differences between the two? Best, nbpf

Hi NBPF,

I have been taking a close interest in new servers, renderers and DACs, as I’m looking for a streaming system to replace (and improve upon) the CDS3/555PS.

Like you, I have also read the mammoth CA thread.

I auditioned a chord DAVE versus NDS/XPSDR, with both fed by the middle Melco box (N1ZH/2). The dealer used the XPS because he was out of 555PS at the time. He offered to demo the Core versus Melco but suggested that  the Melco was a material step up from the Core as a source for DAVE.

On Antipodes DX3 versus EX versus CX, the DX3 is similar to the EX but with twin ODAPS 1 power supplies, one each for the server & renderer circuits. The twin power supplies and better component spacing take the DX3 above the EX. Neither has the processing power to run full Roon server functionality with DSP and DSD512.

The Antipodes CX runs on the second generation ODAPS 2 power supply (which is apparently a good thing). It also has a much more capable processor for running the server functions, i.e. full Roon server with DSP and DSD512.  So, if you want the best Antipodes server, it’s the CX.  Use a CX for serving to an EX as renderer and you have the best that Antipodes can offer.  At least for now.  I can’t help but wonder when Antipodes will bolt a CX processor and ODAPS 2 power supplies into a DX case to create a DX4...

In terms of renderers, I am being encouraged to go for a Sonore Signature Rendu SE over an Antipodes EX by Audiostore. Both have linear power supplies, so shouldn’t set the Naim transformers humming.

All this does rather indicate that there is room for Naim to come up with a much more capable server than the Core (e.g. full Roon capability) at a considerably higher price point too.

Food for thought...

Best regards, FT

Foot tapper posted:

Hi NBPF,

I have been taking a close interest in new servers, renderers and DACs, as I’m looking for a streaming system to replace (and improve upon) the CDS3/555PS.

Like you, I have also read the mammoth CA thread.

I auditioned a chord DAVE versus NDS/XPSDR, with both fed by the middle Melco box (N1ZH/2). The dealer used the XPS because he was out of 555PS at the time. He offered to demo the Core versus Melco but suggested that  the Melco was a material step up from the Core as a source for DAVE.

On Antipodes DX3 versus EX versus CX, the DX3 is similar to the EX but with twin ODAPS 1 power supplies, one each for the server & renderer circuits. The twin power supplies and better component spacing take the DX3 above the EX. Neither has the processing power to run full Roon server functionality with DSP and DSD512.

The Antipodes CX runs on the second generation ODAPS 2 power supply (which is apparently a good thing). It also has a much more capable processor for running the server functions, i.e. full Roon server with DSP and DSD512.  So, if you want the best Antipodes server, it’s the CX.  Use a CX for serving to an EX as renderer and you have the best that Antipodes can offer.  At least for now.  I can’t help but wonder when Antipodes will bolt a CX processor and ODAPS 2 power supplies into a DX case to create a DX4...

In terms of renderers, I am being encouraged to go for a Sonore Signature Rendu SE over an Antipodes EX by Audiostore. Both have linear power supplies, so shouldn’t set the Naim transformers humming.

All this does rather indicate that there is room for Naim to come up with a much more capable server than the Core (e.g. full Roon capability) at a considerably higher price point too.

Food for thought...

Best regards, FT

Thanks for the very informative post FT, there is really a lot of food for thought in there! For the time being I will likely keep on playing around with low power, modest server+renderer based solutions like my current FitPC3 or Raspberry Pi based devices. I would not mind investing in a more professional solution but, so far, I have found the specs of the devices that I have considered disappointing (Core) or unconvincing (Melco, Innuos). I am not particularly interested in demoing these devices. Network players like the ultraRendu and the sMS-200ultra are more interesting but tend to lead to rather long "spaghetti" chains of devices and their power supply which I do not want to deal with. The new Antipodes CX looks quite promising, it would be even better if one could order it with a high quality S/PDIF output and with a wireless card module. We will see. At least some manufacturers seem to have understood what people actually need and start to offer meaningful devices. Best, nbpf       

an interesting site, «  hifi advice.com », where several server were reviewed : sotm, antipodes, 432 evo music server, bricasti m5 network player....I recommend this site.  The bricasti seems also tempting, with antipodes.....

The reviewer uses different dacs and have tried different outputs also, usb and spdif.....

The reviews are well documented and seem objective.

Innuos have announced a two-boxes "ZENith Statement server/streamer". It should be presented at Axpona and at the Munich High-End show. Perhaps not a "temporary solution" but it's nice to see that manufacturers are starting coming up with meaningful integrated server+streamer options!

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