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ZKit4 & ZKit5 in home audio server (Read 3078 times)
Walter
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Posts: 9
ZKit4 & ZKit5 in home audio server
07/21/09 at 08:56:21
 
As a part of my home audio server project, I purchased the Zkit 4 and Zkit 5. I finished putting them together and am burning them in and having a listen now, sounds really nice -- I'd highly recommend them especially if you want to boost a signal.

Posting some pics -- note currently I have the system spread out on some boards for prototyping -- will later have all the components rearranged and fitted into a custom box.

First pic is of the Zotac Dual Atom Ion mini-itx motherboard, with 4GB RAM, a 500GB drive and CD/DVD/Bluray combo drive. The Zotac board is less than 6.75" square so the whole system should be relatively compact when done. Running Windows 7 RC and Foobar2000 -- been ripping my CDs in uncompressed WAV format using Exact Copy.



Next pic is of the ZKit 4 and the ZKit 5 (tube regulated). Currently using Yeo's (DIYPARADISE) Monica USB DAC -- it's a NOS DAC and implements an async USB interface.  Yeo's DAC sounds very smooth, but I would also be interested in hearing Steve's new DAC as well.  I'm using the output from the USB DAC and routing it into the Zkit4 before sending it to my amp, especially since the signal off the DAC isn't that strong.



Next pic is the Zotac driving an LCD TV as well as a separate monitor -- I'll use a MIMO (740) 7" USB touchscreen monitor as a small system console in case you don't have it hooked up to a larger LCD.



Will mainly use it for audio, but it can also playback movies very well, see last photo.

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SE84CS, Torii-I C, Torii II, Carina, Mardis TA10.1, MLB
CSP2, ZBOX, Dec343, Dec685, Njoe Tjoeb 4000
BIX, Duals 1019, 1219, 701
Graham Slee AMP2 SE & AMP 3, Bel Canto Phono1, Bel Canto DAC2
RL1.5, MG944, Solos, Horns, Hornshoppe Bass Cube
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Walter
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Posts: 9
Re: ZKit4 & ZKit5 in home audio server
Reply #1 - 08/08/09 at 05:28:02
 
One additonal comment on software setups.  As mentioned in my last post,  I'm using Foobar2000 with WAV files ripped with Exact Copy. I experimented with different audio drivers, including the Kernel Streaming plug-in which sounds very good. But in the end, I went with the asio4all.dll (see www.asio4all.com) driver since to me on my setup, it sounded a little better.  I did, however, have to play with it a little to get it to install with Windows 7. Also in all the Foobar2000 setup screens, you want to keep everything at 44.1KHz and 16 bits, use none of the dsp plug-ins, as well I turned off all the re-gain options. Basically that makes sure, the audio doesn't get altered or upscaled, etc from the 44.1KHz and 16 bits.

I still also have to do a custom box for my setup. Also I'm using a small wireless keyboard with trackball ( see : http://usb.brando.com/usb-2-4ghz-rf-wireless-tiny-keyboard-with-trackball_p00897... ).  But I'm thinking of doing a small iPhone app as a remote control for the Foobar2000 TCP plug-in -- since the iPhone would make a really nice remote control.
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SE84CS, Torii-I C, Torii II, Carina, Mardis TA10.1, MLB
CSP2, ZBOX, Dec343, Dec685, Njoe Tjoeb 4000
BIX, Duals 1019, 1219, 701
Graham Slee AMP2 SE & AMP 3, Bel Canto Phono1, Bel Canto DAC2
RL1.5, MG944, Solos, Horns, Hornshoppe Bass Cube
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machinehead
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Posts: 1
Re: ZKit4 & ZKit5 in home audio server
Reply #2 - 12/06/09 at 23:40:11
 
Walter, that is an awesome build, you could fit the whole thing in a standard 17" chassis!

I have a couple of questions, is the diyparadise DAC the same asynchronous USB as Wavelength audio uses?  Or is it  a different method of asynch?

I am interested in building the Zkit 4 & 5 for my DAC, it uses opamps originally, how do I integrate it?

Thanks.
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