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pitfire 15th June 2008 01:42 PM

DIY music player like Linn Klimax DS?

Is it possible to build a music player like the Linn Klimax DS? That player costs about 20k.

If possible, how would you do that? Would a DAC + PC be a possibility, or is it possible to integrate the PC (FPGA?) on the DAC board? The HDD should also be in the same case, no NAS.



stevodude 16th June 2008 04:04 AM

Not sure what Linn are trying to acheive with a stupidly outrageous price for a simple network audio streaming device.

similar product is the logitech sqeezebox that I know of, and for 1/100 of the price, and I doubt 100xthe audio quality...

I have built some sound system/network controlled device, similar concept as I could bring myself to buy a squeeze box.

but the 'AudioPC' (fedora) is central, connected to network & wireless. Amps directly connected to PC, controlled via laptop or a pda.
Good thing about this is I can upgrade the analogue pc cards without buying a whole new system.

pitfire 16th June 2008 03:17 PM

thanks stevodude

What would be the best system for a HDD/network-player?

Correct me if I am wrong, but basically a good DAC and HDD plus a pc would do it or not?

All DIY-systems I have seen so far, were systems with a complete PC. Is it not possible, to do this like Linn, T+A, Naim etc. using dedicated chips like the Xilinx Virtex-4 or is that chip not responsible for the playback? (I am not an electronics engineer)

I don't want a huge box, so if there is a solution on a nano-ITX pico-ITX-Board, that would be great.

What about the transfer from PC to DAC. I read a lot about optical, coaxial or USB. What is the best?


Kal 22nd June 2008 08:04 AM


take a look at Thousands threads about PC based audio. Also take a look at the webpage of Reference Recording (they once invented HDCD) and they are using a simple DELL PC with XP (no Vista for a audio PC!!!) and a dedicated LYNX soundcard connected to an outboard DAC... Lots of information to be read, but well worth the effort.

stevodude 22nd June 2008 11:54 PM

smallest path would be maybe looking at the openwrt OS (linux for embeded devices like the linksys wrt54gl) - this has usb support so you can plug in usb sound cards.
I haven't tried this route yet, as it requires a little more time than setting up a pc with musicPD on it.

either way if you use a PC, it doesn't have to be in your loung, but can be anywhere in your house, ie in a cupboard...

I have a comms rack downstairs so it was easier for me.

But musicpd can be run on anything ( Ive seen it from a PII 233Mhz processor and up...)
so yea I mini ITX, or VIA 733Mhz Micro box would work fine with usb dac's feeding your amps...

ie: on your network you have:
network switch/hub
Wireless router (for your pda/laptop to control the music)
Audio server - Mini ITX box with Linux compatable usb DAC's output to amplifier.

software on audioserver:
Linux - I have used Vector (great for no gui, or low end pc's, Ubuntu, fedora, slackware) - currently toying with fedora.
jinzora - Web server attached to mpd for music controll via web interface - works on pda * laptops -

Total cost for me $0 and a few hours configuring OS/Audio/web

total cost if you have nothing:
Mini ITX PC - $200?
USB DAC - $100
Wireless router - $100
OS & configs - 4hrs

If you have some hardware allready and have the time (being on diy audio you obviously have time because it's a hobby thing) then it is worth it, but ig you don't have the time or the hardware, then go buy some Logitech slimservers :-)

Dave 15th December 2008 01:16 AM

The Linn uses the UPnP as outlined here,

and this from what I've read,

tassosk 15th May 2009 04:37 PM

I am really interested for Linn Klimax DS schematics. Is it posible to PM them to me?

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