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  • DIY Dedicated Audio PC

    I want to build a dedicated audio PC, anybody done it? Any tips on Hardware, Software Etc?
    My Build Blog: LHark Audio

  • #2
    Re: DIY Dedicated Audio PC

    Well as far as software.goes I like foo bar 2k. And hardware depends a lot on what you want to do. Yic you use a sub amp, and have a 2.1system vs a 2.0 are also major differences, what are you looking to do?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: DIY Dedicated Audio PC

      Grasshopper - Time for some searching.;) Try "HTPC" (Home Theater Personal Computer) both in this forum and on goggle.

      Here is Pete's project:
      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...highlight=htpc

      And a recent GreyWarden one:
      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...highlight=htpc

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: DIY Dedicated Audio PC

        Yeah I'll eventually have all the parts listed in my signature, the netbook was available on Walmart.com but I checked the other day and it's unfortunately NLA. I'll be swapping in a 1TB HDD ($100, hell yeah) and another GB of RAM probably shortly after I open the box (I get back home in November)...

        If I were to build a Dedicated Audio PC as in, no movies at all. I'd go with a Mini ITX fanless board and a stack of HDDs possibly with an HDMI connection (If you're going to connect it to a HT receiver) or a Asus Xonar PCIe sound card (2.0 stereo). You can always look into the MiniDSP as well to integrate a subwoofer (or 2), but you'll need a measurement setup to do it 100% properly. Emotiva even sells a RCA splitter box to "properly" split an RCA signal to add on a subwoofer.

        I say an Atom processor minimum, 2 or 4GB of RAM (max speed the MB will support, it's cheap enough nowadays), as much HDD as you can afford, a small decent case to fit it in, check out Silverstone, they make some nice ones, most cases come with power supplies, but check out AcousticPC online. They also sell the "Quietest Drives Available" and even carry a BD-ROM drive, so there you go ;)

        Oh yeah software. Foobar2000 is free, I've had some difficulty finding a skin that I like, so I usually run it in the original format. XBMC is super super super easy to use, downloads/installs add-ons by itself, it's visually pleasing, plenty of skins that also self-install, a little difficult to manuever, but it's pretty easy to learn.

        J.River is $50 I think, I downloaded the free demo and wasn't really thrilled, but I think I might have been a little biased, can't hurt to try a free demo, right?

        That's all I can think of right now.

        रेतुर्न तो थे स्रोत
        return to the source
        leviathan system thread
        deadhorse thread
        shockwave build thread

        instagram :: greywarden_13

        in war, victory . . . in peace, vigilance . . . in death, sacrifice.

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        • #5
          Re: DIY Dedicated Audio PC

          Here's my dedicated audio\HTPC I built.
          Attached Files
          A good friend will come bail you out of jail. A real friend would be sitting in the cell next to you saying "Dammit man we effed up!!"

          "Yeah you kinda walked up in here and punched the biggest, baddest speaker in the face haha." - Greywarden


          My first Speaker Build - A 5.1 HT System:


          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=223774

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: DIY Dedicated Audio PC

            It has an AMD 6 core processor. 16 gig of ram. 4 Terabytes of storage. Hauppage TV Card. Blu-ray burner. Sapphire 6970. Its connected to my receiver through Toslink. Absolutely love it.
            A good friend will come bail you out of jail. A real friend would be sitting in the cell next to you saying "Dammit man we effed up!!"

            "Yeah you kinda walked up in here and punched the biggest, baddest speaker in the face haha." - Greywarden


            My first Speaker Build - A 5.1 HT System:


            http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=223774

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: DIY Dedicated Audio PC

              Originally posted by fezzywigger View Post
              I want to build a dedicated audio PC, anybody done it? Any tips on Hardware, Software Etc?

              Well I read you post wrong last night. Thought you wanted a pc speaker set. For an htpc you need a good sound card ans vid card. And at least a 3.0ghz dual core. And even that might be q little hard pressed for 1080p.

              I love ht omega striker. Its available on newegg.com for around 80. It has 2 digital outsand a digital in. Hope that help some! Good luck

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: DIY Dedicated Audio PC

                My son is 9 now, when he was less than a year old I took a HP "T case" with a 200 megahertz processor and 256 mb of ram. Ran Windoze 2000 Pro. Other than power interruptions, it ran 24/7/365 for 3 years with no complaints and no issues. Ran MusicMatch Jukebox (an earlier version) with no issues.

                I see great info about huge loads of ram, and cutting edge processors given to you, and Im thinking....why?
                Audio just isnt that demanding.

                My personal office set up is a 2gig AthlonXP running 1 gig of PC3200 DDR. HDD is only 10 gig, with XP and office taking up 1 gig, and 8 gig of my "desert island" tunes. Has a DVD player in it, so that if I get bored with the in house tunes, I can burn several gig to a DVD-R at home and bring them in. Occasionally Ill burn a few new songs to a thumb drive and play them for a week or so. Motherboard is a mATX in a smallish case that tucks under my desk. Since I have the company computer on my desk I control the hole mess with a KVM!

                I guess what Im pointing out is that ANY semi recent thrown away computer will play audio. Including the Creative Labs 2.1 sound system, I have $100.00 invested....and it work fine.

                Your Mileage May Vary
                Ron
                I see in my son's eyes, each day, the wonders I have squandered fortunes to possess and have sought my entire lifetime to attain.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: DIY Dedicated Audio PC

                  Agreed! There really is no need to build a high powered PC that will be used for music only purposes. It's like using a full sized truck just to commute two blocks away. It's a waste of money, money which should be used to what matters most.....SPEAKERS!
                  ;)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: DIY Dedicated Audio PC

                    Originally posted by dtkeith View Post


                    Well I read you post wrong last night. Thought you wanted a pc speaker set. For an htpc you need a good sound card ans vid card. And at least a 3.0ghz dual core. And even that might be q little hard pressed for 1080p.

                    I love ht omega striker. Its available on newegg.com for around 80. It has 2 digital outsand a digital in. Hope that help some! Good luck
                    I think you still read it wrong. "dedicted audio pc" only. No vid needed, so also not terribly high power processing needed either.

                    greg

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: DIY Dedicated Audio PC

                      Originally posted by gregbegland View Post
                      I think you still read it wrong. "dedicted audio pc" only. No vid needed, so also not terribly high power processing needed either.

                      greg
                      Right you are... I was't looking at the OP's first message, saw the HTCP pc and got excited . And if you have a lot of files i'd still recommend a dual core. If you don't mind some lag everyonce in a while the a mid-range single would work

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: DIY Dedicated Audio PC

                        ... that's why I suggested an Atom with a couple GB of ram....

                        10GB for music?

                        This is my music folder, which I've discovered is rather small compared to most peoples' (working on that, though :D ) and one folder with about 20-25 HiRes tracks in it, very good ones at that, love listening to those ones

                        Click image for larger version

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                        रेतुर्न तो थे स्रोत
                        return to the source
                        leviathan system thread
                        deadhorse thread
                        shockwave build thread

                        instagram :: greywarden_13

                        in war, victory . . . in peace, vigilance . . . in death, sacrifice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: DIY Dedicated Audio PC

                          Originally posted by fezzywigger View Post
                          I want to build a dedicated audio PC, anybody done it? Any tips on Hardware, Software Etc?
                          That is like saying you want a motorcycle without descibing what type of riding interests you (dirt, enduro, crotch rocket, cruiser, bagger, etc.).

                          For example, are you going to use it only to serve up 2ch audio through a reciever, using digital interconnection and the reciever's DAC? If so, you don't need much.

                          Are you going to do analog output on the computer, where it then needs a sound card with much better analog audio performance?

                          Are you going to use more than 2 channel stereo output?

                          Are you going to use the computer for DSP crossovers?

                          What you plan to do with it affects complexity and cost significantly.




                          .
                          Last edited by JRT; 07-17-2011, 05:39 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."
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                          A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
                          (a lofty notion since removed in the March 2015 revision)

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                          • #14
                            Re: DIY Dedicated Audio PC

                            Remember, the home theater PC will probably have at least one fan in it, so it will be a contributor to your room's noise floor, and the HTPC's thermal management is just as important as the sound card you choose, or what playback software you select. You can buy some specialty ultra-low-noise fans from companies like Noctua, and the Antec cases usually come with fairly quiet fans. Use a power supply with a 120mm or 140mm fan in it, and pick a model that is reputed for being quiet (see http://www.silentpcreview.com for recommendations). Then use a CPU cooler with a 120mm fan on it (also make sure it's reputed for being quiet). You can probably forget about all the other fans, and let the case vents ventilate passively (under negative pressure by the PSU's large fan, which also extracts air from the case).

                            Don't cheap out on the case. Antec's HTPC cases are tough to beat for the price when it comes to design, materials, and build quality. They usually come with quiet, long-lasting fans in all the right places.
                            Best Regards,

                            Rory Buszka

                            Taterworks Audio

                            "The work of the individual still remains the spark which moves mankind ahead, even more than teamwork." - Igor I. Sikorsky

                            If it works, but you don't know why it works, then you haven't done any engineering.

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                            • #15
                              Re: DIY Dedicated Audio PC

                              I guess hardware depends on how much $$ you want to throw at it.

                              If you want it to "look" like audio equipment, I'd suggest looking at Antec cases. They have some that have extra-quiet fans and mine actually looks like audio equipment, with an aluminum face and minimal gamer type poke'mon bling.

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