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  • music computer

    I thought this comment from Psycoacoustics in another thread was interesting enough to break out into a new thread.

    Originally posted by (Mark) Psycoacoustics View Post
    Spent the day online looking at computer crap.
    Need a new music computer.
    At the link below, check out the thread at gearslutz.com with more than 5500 posts spanning more than 7 years, ongoing, and largely focused on this topic.

    https://www.gearslutz.com/board/prin...=560019&pp=100

    PC or Mac or Linux?

    What are you planning to use for interface(s)?




    Last edited by JRT; 02-05-2018, 08:49 AM.
    "Our Nation’s interests are best served by fostering a peaceful global system comprised
    of interdependent networks of trade, finance, information, law, people and governance."
    - from the October 2007 U.S. Naval capstone doctrine
    A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
    (a lofty notion since removed in the March 2015 revision)

  • #2
    Since Music Computer is a vague description - I'm curious as to anticipated task load.

    "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
    “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
    "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

    Comment


    • #3
      I've been using my home built for a while and am pretty happy with the way it sounds. This is what I am using as of now. See what you think.

      Mother Board: ASUS SABERTOOTH Z97 MARK 1 (It is supposed to have "Special" high-quality low noise audio circuitry)
      CPU: I3 4160 3.06Ghz
      Memory: 8Gig 1666mhz
      Power Supply Corsair CX750M Module
      Sound Card: Zonar Essence ST Using the SPDIF out
      Music and movie player is JRiver Media Center. I don't really like it, but I have it and haven't thought about changing it for any real reason at this point.
      MiniDSP HD between the mid and bass passive between the mid and tweet.
      Still running System 7 64bit...... I never want to change...
      I've decided to use Microsofts chip side video processing and I don't have any real issue with it. I am running 1080 still and it seems OK

      I've got 8Tb hard drive for music and movies and it is quiet and easy to use.

      I'm certainly open to suggestions if anyone has some upgrade comments. Thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        Any known reason why MS Media Player is deficient for movies and / or music?

        Comment


        • #5
          Don't know if there is any validity to it or not, but reading other forums, it was suggested JRiver had better sound so I just went with that. I am not really happy with the interface, but it works.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sydney View Post
            Since Music Computer is a vague description - I'm curious as to anticipated task load.
            I was thinking that (Mark)Psycoacoustcs may have been referring to a DAW (digital audio workstation), hardware optimized for running DAW software such as Steinberg Cubase or Avid Pro Tools. A music DAW usually does not have the video requirements of a gaming rig, but much of the rest of it shares a lot in common with those gaming rigs, except with some added concerns with hardware compatibility issues and ASIO drivers specific to those.
            "Our Nation’s interests are best served by fostering a peaceful global system comprised
            of interdependent networks of trade, finance, information, law, people and governance."
            - from the October 2007 U.S. Naval capstone doctrine
            A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
            (a lofty notion since removed in the March 2015 revision)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by musiclear View Post
              ... JRiver ... I am not really happy with the interface, but it works.
              Could you expand on that some?
              What do you dislike about the interface?
              "Our Nation’s interests are best served by fostering a peaceful global system comprised
              of interdependent networks of trade, finance, information, law, people and governance."
              - from the October 2007 U.S. Naval capstone doctrine
              A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
              (a lofty notion since removed in the March 2015 revision)

              Comment


              • #8
                That affirms what I'd thought - a Production platform as opposed to a Music Server.
                The musicians I know have fairly simple setups rather than the larger real-time multichannel rigs.
                "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
                "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

                Comment


                • #9
                  To JRT, It is not as intuitive as I would like and I find myself taking steps I shouldn't need to. It seems to want to think for me, which I don't want it to, so I find myself trying to figure out how to what I want. JRiver seems to work like a Mac, which I am not smart enough to operate. They bug the crap out of me to the truth. :(

                  Sydney, This is a stereo set up only. The sound card is fully capable of 7.1, but I use stereo. That is my preference. And this is a very smooth and detailed system. I have found very few that I would prefer in any of the high-end shops.

                  I may sound like a Stereophile add here, but the "holographic" nature of the sound or the openness and accuracy of the soundstage is very rare.

                  If I were listening to ultra high end at a display, came home and drooled for what I didn't have, I would make changes, but honestly, this system really competes with the best of what I have heard anywhere.

                  So in my mind, the PC set up is A OK in my books.
                  Last edited by musiclear; 02-05-2018, 02:39 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by musiclear View Post
                    I've been using my home built for a while and am pretty happy with the way it sounds. This is what I am using as of now. See what you think.
                    ...
                    Mother Board: ASUS SABERTOOTH Z97 MARK 1 (It is supposed to have "Special" high-quality low noise audio circuitry)
                    ...
                    Sound Card: Zonar Essence ST Using the SPDIF out
                    ...
                    MiniDSP HD between the mid and bass passive between the mid and tweet.
                    ...
                    I'm certainly open to suggestions if anyone has some upgrade comments.
                    If it works well for your applications, upgrading would be wasting resources.

                    I was curious about the audio CODEC used on that motherboard and looked up the specs. It uses the Realtek ALC1150 which is the CODEC that Bohdan Raczynski (Bodzio Software) often advocates for use with his Ultimate Equalizer software. If you are looking for something to play with, it might be worthwhile trying Ultimate Equalizer in combination with the ALC1150 CODEC and related motherboard based audio subsystem.
                    Last edited by JRT; 02-06-2018, 04:06 PM.
                    "Our Nation’s interests are best served by fostering a peaceful global system comprised
                    of interdependent networks of trade, finance, information, law, people and governance."
                    - from the October 2007 U.S. Naval capstone doctrine
                    A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
                    (a lofty notion since removed in the March 2015 revision)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by musiclear View Post
                      I've been using my home built for a while and am pretty happy with the way it sounds. This is what I am using as of now. See what you think.

                      Mother Board: ASUS SABERTOOTH Z97 MARK 1 (It is supposed to have "Special" high-quality low noise audio circuitry)
                      CPU: I3 4160 3.06Ghz
                      Memory: 8Gig 1666mhz
                      Power Supply Corsair CX750M Module
                      Sound Card: Zonar Essence ST Using the SPDIF out
                      Music and movie player is JRiver Media Center. I don't really like it, but I have it and haven't thought about changing it for any real reason at this point.
                      MiniDSP HD between the mid and bass passive between the mid and tweet.
                      Still running System 7 64bit...... I never want to change...
                      I've decided to use Microsofts chip side video processing and I don't have any real issue with it. I am running 1080 still and it seems OK

                      I've got 8Tb hard drive for music and movies and it is quiet and easy to use.

                      I'm certainly open to suggestions if anyone has some upgrade comments. Thanks
                      There are a couple points of irony here. The Asus "Special" high-quality low noise audio circuitry is only used if you're using the analog outs on the motherboard, but you're using the Zonar instead. And again, the Zonar is only an advantage if you're using the analog output of that, which you are not and are instead passing S/PDIF to a MiniDSP.

                      I'll wager that any motherboard at all using a S/PDIF to your MiniDSP would sound exactly the same.
                      Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                      Wogg Music
                      Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That irony is not lost on me.

                        I just went with that motherboard in part because I needed to buy one, so why not get one dedicated to sound. There may be some other benefits other than analog. They specifically mentioned low noise and shielding which may or may not affect the digital sound. I don't know.

                        As far as the Zonar, I thought, again, low noise and maybe better clocks? Again, I don't know, but since I knew I wanted a non-motherboard sound card, why not get one that was designed with sound quality in mind.

                        Also, the power supply had some mention of lower noise in the advertisement and since I needed one, I figured, why not?

                        All in all, I am happy and would likely do something similar again if needed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No worries, if you're happy with the setup that's the most important part. I was going to go back and edit about the clocks, that's really the only thing the S/PDIF output device has any control over and high end folks will chase those clock sources for that last little bit of sound quality. Not sure if the Zonar re-clocks the signal or how that would work. Also, I've always had good luck with Asus motherboards, and it's usually not to your advantage to cheap out on the part that literally supports everything in the PC.

                          Carry on
                          Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                          Wogg Music
                          Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have several PC's that I listen to music etc on. In my primary HTPC I went with a Seasonic fanless PSU (not a semi-fanless, a true no-moving parts PSU), an Athlon 5370 APU (sadly pretty much NLA at this point) with a massive passive heat sink, and I use the on-board HDMI out to the Oppo and let it do the heavy lifting. 8gig of RAM and a SSD fill it out, more than enough grunt for streaming even 4K video and playing HD Tracks stuff. No moving parts, absolutely silent. We used it as part of the front end at DDIY last year.

                            I have another semi-fanless SFF PC I just built that I plan on using for measurements. I will use onboard audio for that one, but generally speaking I prefer USB soundcards/DAC. Not sure of any inherent superiority over modern integrated, but in the past the on-board stuff was pretty bad and noisy so I guess I just have the habit.

                            For audio playback I use Windows Media Player, for video I use an older version of XBMC - I find the new interface to be absolute garbage.
                            Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I suppose this subject could span anything from the little Arduino & Raspberry Pi minimal network attached playback devices, inexpensive DSP loudspeaker filltering as Neil Davis is working on, loudspeaker measurement computer rigs, HTPC rigs, higher powered DAWs and multichannel convolvers. Could probably expand the subject to include consumer DLNA/UPnP, pro-grade solutions using AES/EBU (AES3) and/or multichannel MADI (AES10), servers with consideration toward audio and A/V, networked audio using Dante & Ravenna (AES67/AES70), etc., etc.
                              "Our Nation’s interests are best served by fostering a peaceful global system comprised
                              of interdependent networks of trade, finance, information, law, people and governance."
                              - from the October 2007 U.S. Naval capstone doctrine
                              A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
                              (a lofty notion since removed in the March 2015 revision)

                              Comment

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