AUDIO FORUMS >> Digital >> Lonely Raven Dedicated Music PC👍👍👍

Message started by HockessinKid on 12/07/17 at 14:12:13

Title: Lonely Raven Dedicated Music PC👍👍👍
Post by HockessinKid on 12/07/17 at 14:12:13

Greetings Fellow Forum Members,

In a quest to transition from a CD/SACD to computer/DAC set up, I recently purchased a dedicated music PC from Lonely Raven (Eric) to accompany a ZDAC2 digital audio converter.  I think the rave reviews of the latest version of AKM chip equipped DAC's and Tidal music streaming SQ led me to make the move to add these new source components.

After some brief back and forth messaging with Eric, I settled on a PC equipped with a 512GB Samsung SSD hard drive and built-in WiFi.  Eric downloaded Tidal, Roon, Exact Copy, and Splashtop software to the computer ensuring everything was plug in ready/capable before shipping the computer.  He also provided a keyboard and mouse to help complete the set up.

Upon arrival, I hooked up a monitor with keyboard and mouse then linked the computer to my home WiFi.  Enabling Spalshtop software on my Samsung tablet allowed me to remotely control the dedicated music PC.  So I no longer needed the somewhat cumbersome keyboard, mouse and monitor in my listening room.  The whole set up took me about 30 minutes - easy peasey.

After setting up the PC, I powered up the ZDAC up converting the TIDAL (Master setting for highest SQ) to DSD. Well all I can say is "HOLY CRAP".  Lonely Raven's super quiet PC and Steve's new ZDAC2 tethered with decent quality USB cable is producing exceptionally detailed, toe-tapping music through my Omega SAHO XRS speakers.

The SQ of this combination already exceeds my previous TRL modified Sony CD/SACD player by a long shot.  Keep in mind that the ZDAC2 and USB cable have less than 40 hours of burn in at this point.  I expect things will get even better at the 200 hour mark or so.

So if you are a computer technology neophyte like me looking for a GREAT PC sourced music system, consider dropping Lonely Raven a PM.  I highly recommend his dedicated music PC's.


Title: Re: Lonely Raven Dedicated Music PC👍👍👍
Post by Lonely Raven on 12/07/17 at 16:55:15

Thanks so much for your kind words! And I'm so glad everything went so smoothly! That was my goal to make these easy, powerful, and as inexpensive as I could - especially for the Decware forum family.  :)

After some further use, if you have any suggestions for improvements, please drop me a line - I'm always wanting to make things better, and I get that what I like and how I use the computer might not be the same for others.

I've sold 5 of these and I'm hoping the others will chime in as well. I'll have a few more built and ready to ship by the weekend.

Thanks again HK - I'm smiling a big smile right now knowing that you're pleased and it's sounding good.

Title: Re: Lonely Raven Dedicated Music PC👍👍👍
Post by 4krow on 02/10/18 at 07:35:20

That is an easy choice in my system as well. LR sold a dedicated computer to me as well, and the results made sense for digital, surpassing any Cd player that I have owned. The only thing that cripples me is the computer ignorance that gets in the way at times.

Title: Re: Lonely Raven Dedicated Music PC👍👍👍
Post by Lonely Raven on 02/16/18 at 16:24:58

Thanks for that 4k!

Yeah, the computer savviness (or lack) is exactly why I built these. I tried to make them as plug and play as possible. You'd be throwing it out a window with all the trial and error I went through to get it where you have it now.

Title: Re: Lonely Raven Dedicated Music PC👍👍👍
Post by Showme on 06/08/18 at 18:09:23

My experience with Eric and his computer have also been beyond good. I computer skills are also challenged so he made me able to get a nice setup going. I'm curious about recommendations on the USB cable. I'm sure I could upgrade it if I knew what to get.

Title: Re: Lonely Raven Dedicated Music PC👍👍👍
Post by Lonely Raven on 06/10/18 at 05:57:18

Thanks guys! I'm glad I can make things a little easier for you and help you get into digital.

I've been away from the forums for a few weeks, busy with family stuff - I happen to be sitting down to listen to my music PC and Mystery Amp for the first time in a long while...and it all reminded me to see what's going on in the forums!

I still have some PC hardware available if anyone else needs some. The Price of SSDs has dropped a bunch, so they are even more affordable now!

Title: Re: Lonely Raven Dedicated Music PC👍👍👍
Post by TubemanRQ24 on 01/31/20 at 14:39:44

So what is your take or opinion on JPlay playback software running Windows Server 2016 or Server 2019?

I have been using a dual-PC JPlay PC transport system for over 5 years now, and it has been quite formidable a digital front-end, however to do it right, it can get rather pricey and complicated.

I got tired of "re-arming" Windows Server trial installations, and having to deal with the setup, TCP/IP issues, and installing Windows Server in "core" mode with NO GUI, can be tricky for those who are not computer savvyy.
Right now I am burning-in a TASCAM DA-3000 to use as a digital file player. I am hoping that this can get as good or better than the dual-PC JPlay playback system I have been using.
Anyone had any experience with JPlay or the TASCAM DA-3000 as a digital file transport, NOT DAC?

Title: Re: Lonely Raven Dedicated Music PC👍👍👍
Post by Lonely Raven on 02/03/20 at 23:00:54

I don't recall if JPLAY was one of the ones I've played with in the past, but I absolutely feel you on the Windows Server and all the configuration. i did that song and dance for a few years and I feel like the older I get, the less tolerance I have to squeeze a server for those extra couple of % of sound quality. I've been more and more leaning towards the 80/20 method; which is easier and easier these days with newer technology and knowledge.

What I mean is, I'd rather knock something out easy and inexpensively and quickly getting 80% of the sound quality I need, vs burning so many hours and dollars to try and squeeze another 5%-10% out of the software, if it's even there to squeeze out. I'd rather spend that time listening, or if I need more I'll look for that 80/20 in diffusers or speaker placement or gear stands or whatever low hanging fruit.

That's part of what prompted me to build the Mini-PCs, it's a quick and easy way for people to get into digital music since I've already done the hard work. Hell, I don't even want to try and squeeze more out of these little PCs for myself so I've been using Roon (on these same PCs) for it's quick and easy setup and focusing on listening and room treatment.

And I predict that really great quality Streaming Hardware, Endpoints, and DACs are going to be inexpensive and easy to use, putting software based PCs solidly on the wrong side of that 80/20 thing. I'm already seeing some sub-$500 devices coming from China that are getting great I'm figuring it won't be long before DAC/Steamers are as common as high end smart phones.

My point to all this rambling, I'm not banging my head on a (software) wall to squeeze blood from a stone, and soon I think it will be a moot point. So take it easy on yourself and get something that gets you there easier, and enjoy more music.   ;)

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