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Old 21st February 2013, 12:33 AM   #21
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Location: Tamper, FL, USA
Thanks Hengy. I have tried once or twice, hooking the headphone out from a netbook to an audio system. Too much noise (hiss -- probably RFI). Funny, it works fine with headphones. I soon bought a cheap USB audio DAC which sounded much better. Currently I have a USB->SPDIF (Toslink or Coax) so I can feed my DAC(s). I probably will remain with the Windows platform, mainly because I like the option of staying with my current softwares, and including the ability to stream music via a web app.
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Old 21st February 2013, 02:30 AM   #22
BFNY is offline BFNY  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldermizer View Post
So many suggestions! I tried SpeedFan on my laptop and did not seem to be able to control anything. The PC fan is not the only issue: there is some ac hum probably due to my line staging. I have the DEQ2496 doing Bose EQ duty and the gain on the power amp(s) is really high. Gain staging I can fix. The PC ... I will continue to collect information. Even work on my graduate classes in my spare time
I had severe hum and noise on my Dell laptop line out when driving my audio system, also when using a pcmcia sound card line out on the same machine. Tuned out to be a power supply / ground issue. I lifted the ground on the laptop supply(3 prong to 2 prong AC adapter) , and the hum and noise disappeared.

Probably USB out with USB isolator using external supply is the best solution there (A&B Systems). Or USB to optical SPDIF for complete galvanic isolation.

I really only use it to explore artist back catalogs on free version of Spotify, not serious listening.
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Old 23rd February 2013, 04:05 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by i2k92 View Post
I use default Win driver, as it is headless and 100% used for music playback I dont care about the video quality. I believe for Win based music player dn2800 has the best value of all mobos. Before dn2800, I used MSI e350 + picopsu and I found that dn2800 is far more suitable for music pkaying duties.

other option would be alix board + mpdpup. mpdpup sounds awesome + free.
Just loaded Windows 8 64-bit on DN2800MT. Yes, it does work! Thank you.
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Old 25th February 2013, 11:49 PM   #24
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I just did a quick look at Squeezebox on EBay. Still have new/used. I know little about these products, but from the prices I can do the same or better with a cheap netbook or similar (I already have my choice of external USB, TOSLINK and three DACs possible.) I am quite sure I want to remain with the WIN platform (even XP is fine) -- because I'm used to the music players (I use Winamp, Foobar and Itunes all for slightly different reasons). I am interested in those Linux based boxes -- can I slap XP or later Win on them? If the fan whirreth not, speak!
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Old 26th February 2013, 12:14 AM   #25
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I've done some more Ebaying. I saw a Viewsonic VT-something. Price marginal (Win XP). Prices are not competitive with low-end netbooks/notebooks. I am starting to get disheartened! Looks like I will be resurrecting the old Frankenputer (Originally a Micro Center Powerspec ...something) with my $12 "soldermized" PSU (remove fans, and it will work ... for six months anyway). No covers, no fans (except the tiny CPU fan) and ... full PC power. Or maybe try the quieter spare laptop ... for just a music PC....

Where is the $50 all-in-one metal brick, no fan, ten USB 3.0 Ports, runs on 12V (external), 8 GB RAM, huge SSD internal ... add your own OS ... ok I am tripping!

Aw heck, why not go back to childhood when things were simpler. How about a ...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kenners-Clos...item1c307b3eda

Last edited by Soldermizer; 26th February 2013 at 12:23 AM. Reason: double posted, so created a whole new message!
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Old 1st March 2013, 05:03 PM   #26
boris81 is offline boris81  United States
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I am building a silent media PC myself. The small netop computers like Intel NUC, AMD E-450 or Atom D based all look tempting in the $200-300 price range. Some of them have fans but I imagine you could gut them out and install a passive heatsink.

Intel BOXDC3217IYE Intel QS77 2 x 204Pin Intel HD Graphics 4000 Integrated by CPU Chassis: Aluminum and Plastic Black Next Unit of Computing Kit - Newegg.com
Zotac ZBOX ZBOXNANO-AD12-U Mini / Booksize Barebone System - Newegg.com

I ended up with an overkill system mainly because of reports that AMD APUs and Atom CPUs can't stream Netflux. 3 years a go I built an i3 Core system on an ITX board with a picoPSU silent power supply and a giant passive cooling heatsink. It has worked so well that now I find myself building again an i3 system just a later generation. Cost-wise my system will be at least double that of those small computers I linked above but I have some of the parts already.

It's a crappy time to be on the market for a small fanless computer. They will get much better in a year or two. Interestingly though, I thought the same thing 3years a go and although AMD's APUs and Intel's Atom line have improved significantly they are still have some way to go. I took a risk with a costly i3 system but if it remains current for another 3 years I will consider it a success.
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Old 18th March 2014, 10:05 AM   #27
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Default Alix vs Raspberry

Does it really make a difference if I use an Alix Board instead of a Raspberry Pi?
I mean will you really notice in terms of sound quality?

With my current setup I'm using a Raspberry with MPD as the preferred choice of Music Player. The CPU runs at an even 5% load playing 30MB flac files. My DAC is doing all of the decoding.

At the beginning of each song when the raspberry is buffering the Music the load is temporarily 50-70% for a few seconds and then down to 5% again ...

Does it really matter???
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Old 18th March 2014, 01:34 PM   #28
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mBox View Post
Does it really make a difference if I use an Alix Board instead of a Raspberry Pi?
No, especially now that the RPi USB drivers are being fixed.
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Old 18th March 2014, 07:20 PM   #29
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Now that we know which transporter to use let's go on building our SS Amp (that is Solid State Amp). Okay let's do it. How do we do it?
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Old 27th March 2014, 05:46 AM   #30
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I have an ultra-cheap music server that works really well.

I went to the local tip (refuse centre for the Septics) and "rescued" three small clients from the electronics bin. They are Dell (putting aside that I hate Dell with a passion) clients that probably ran something like Citrix, have a P4 processor, a DVD burner, one SATA connector but the drives were removed. I put in an old 250G drive and loaded Daphile.

The box is small, makes very little noise, and has WAF (critically important given my other audio exploits, as in "those speakers are HUGE!").

The next step is an USB DAC that outputs to SPDIF so that I can send a digital signal direct to the miniDSP miniDIGI's.

Abs
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