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  1. #1
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    Intel NUC music server incoming

    Just purchased an Intel NUC i7 in an Akasa case with Roon ROCK installed from a local seller for only $350.

    Here are the specs:
    NUC7i7DNB
    Ballistix 16Gb RAM
    NVMe M.2 256GB Sabrent
    Akasa fanless case - dead quiet and does not get hot.
    Has Roon ROCK OS installed.

    It's in a fanless Akasa case which is dead quiet and keeps the computer cool.


    Here's a pic of the actual unit (the seller had two of them for sale, I'm buying one of them).



    Going to compare this to my current 2012 Mac Mini-based Roon Core, which my hypothesis will be "noisier" as it's powered by a SMPC, has an internal fan, and a fair bit of unnecessary "overhead" of componentry. I'll be powering the Akasa NUC with a quiet linear power supply.

    Stay tuned as I'll be providing some listening impressions as to how the Mac Mini compares to the Akasa NUC music server once I get all the bits in and set up. Cheers.

  2. #2
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    I have been around the horn with various Mac, and PC servers. I have built a couple of fanless ITX systems, both of which failed somewhere. I bought a SGC i5, but the SSD won’t stay mounted. I keep coming back to a fanless i7 NUC 6pro, running ROCK, with a USB drive for the music. Runs cool, and tirelessly. That being said, I’m running on the QNAP NAS currently.

    Mind you I have a DAC with built in streamer, so I just need it to run library services, and I resample all to DSD64, as that sounds best on my DAC. I don’t need any special, reclocked USB. Plenty of power for this in the NAS, and the i7 NUC 6pro.
    Amplification : Modwright LS300 - Atma-Sphere "Class D" monoblocks
    Digital : MSB Premier DAC+Digital Director, Oppo 203, Sonos Port (W4S mod)
    Analog : Technics SL1200G, Boulder 508
    Speakers : Daedalus Audio Muse Studio
    Headphone : BHSE + Voce

  3. #3
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Bones13 View Post
    I have been around the horn with various Mac, and PC servers. I have built a couple of fanless ITX systems, both of which failed somewhere. I bought a SGC i5, but the SSD won’t stay mounted. I keep coming back to a fanless i7 NUC 6pro, running ROCK, with a USB drive for the music. Runs cool, and tirelessly. That being said, I’m running on the QNAP NAS currently.

    Mind you I have a DAC with built in streamer, so I just need it to run library services, and I resample all to DSD64, as that sounds best on my DAC. I don’t need any special, reclocked USB. Plenty of power for this in the NAS, and the i7 NUC 6pro.
    That's very useful info, Bones, thanks. I'm going to be doing something similar; the Intel NUC's only function will be to send files from a hard drive (or from Qobuz) via optical to the Lumin P1, which has also has a DAC with a built-in streamer.

  4. #4
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    I think this is the same board used in Nucleus Plus Revision B.

    Note that your 19V LPS should not be rated less than 3.5A.
    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

  5. #5
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by wklie View Post
    I think this is the same board used in Nucleus Plus Revision B.

    Note that your 19V LPS should not be rated less than 3.5A.
    Hi Peter! Yes, I have the same specifications for the NUC and for the required LPS: 19V, ≥ 3.5A.

    I'm going to use this Intel NUC until the Lumin L2 ships and is available. 😎

    Thanks again for the excellent support, and please say Hi to Nelson for me, I met him at AXPONA. I always appreciate the level of support you and the nice folks at Lumin provide. 👌

  6. #6
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    L2 does not run Roon Core.
    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

  7. #7
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by wklie View Post
    L2 does not run Roon Core.
    Hi Peter, yes, I know and that's fine. I've also consistently found that for ripped content and streaming that the same file sounds better with the native Lumin app than Roon. When I am listening "critically", I listen to my P1 with the native Lumin app, but when I just have the system on and and am listening "casually", or have music on in the background, so to speak, I use often use Roon for that role, especially in "Radio mode" to discover new content.

    I have some music content both on a USB flash thumb drive and also an el-cheapo consumer-grade external USB hard drive, and have found that the highest music qualty is obtained by playback of a file ripped from disc using the native Lumin app rather than that same file served up by a Roon Core "server". The issue I have with my el-cheapo consumer-grade external USB hard drive I've been using connected to the P1 is that it's really slow to load ripped file content into the Lumin app for playback. This is not the fault of the Lumin app, but rather the hard drive drive mech itself, as content loaded from a solid-state flash (USB thumb drive) drive loads almost immediately.

    So, with that, I plan to get the L2 when it ships, put my key music content on it, and use it to serve up files ripped from disc to the P1 via the Lumin app for the highest playback audio quality. As mentioned above, I consistently find the native Lumin app to sound better than the same ripped file "served up" by Roon. 👌

    That being said, though, I still use Roon as it's a great way to discover new music, and a key point I find folks frequenty don't understand is that it's not an "all or none" situation using Lumin's "native app" and Roon. Using one does not at all obviate using the other: you can switch playback between the Lumin app and Roon and have it work very seamlessly; the P1 is great in that it will effectively switch playback of tracks from Roon to the Lumin app and back to Roon effectively instantly. 👍

    This music server is simply an experimental project to see how a "streamlined" dedicated music server Roon core sounds compared to using a consumer-grade Mac Mini functioning as a Roon core, just to gain data for "the database". I'm a scientist, and scientists do experiments; it's in their nature. 😎

    Cheers and thanks, Peter.

  8. #8
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    I have a lot of experience with these and build a lot of them and love them. Also use one for myself for a few years. They are quiet, and stay cool, and do what they have to do.

    A few tips: I always adjust the bios settings for audio. At standard settings there are a few processes running you don't want. For details you may pm me.
    Optionally you can buy an extra Akasa heatsink. With that it protects the SSD more against heat, although, with Roon Rock does not get warm at all, it may protect and it is a cheap addition
    - I never tried it myself, but this case does come with an internal power unit. Correct me if I am wrong but I think that that one could be replaced by an audiophilic one.
    - 16 GB of ram is fine.

    it is an amazing buy, technically seen you have the same specs as the roon nucleus, with the same sound, but then for 1/5 of the money. Well done.

  9. #9
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Alkyogre View Post
    I have a lot of experience with these and build a lot of them and love them. Also use one for myself for a few years. They are quiet, and stay cool, and do what they have to do.

    A few tips: I always adjust the bios settings for audio. At standard settings there are a few processes running you don't want. For details you may pm me.
    Optionally you can buy an extra Akasa heatsink. With that it protects the SSD more against heat, although, with Roon Rock does not get warm at all, it may protect and it is a cheap addition
    - I never tried it myself, but this case does come with an internal power unit. Correct me if I am wrong but I think that that one could be replaced by an audiophilic one.
    - 16 GB of ram is fine.

    it is an amazing buy, technically seen you have the same specs as the roon nucleus, with the same sound, but then for 1/5 of the money. Well done.
    Thanks, Alkyogre, very useful info.

    I've now got mine up and running, an even streaming from Qobuz, it already was clear it sounds quite a bit better than my Mac Mini Roon Core. It's quite a bit more "dimensional", "fleshed out" sounding with more body as well as "spaciousness" between the "voices", both instrumental and vocal. I just connected an external USD drive with a bunch of content, it found all the files and now I can access files ripped from digital disks as well as streaming from Qobuz. So far, I am very impressed, and I'm not even powering it with a linear power supply, yet. Moreover, I haven't even connected it to the Altaira sub-system of Gemini via one of it's USB ports yet. 👌

    More good stuff to come, I would expect. I'll reach out via PM about checking the set up of the BIOS, thank you. Cheers!

  10. #10
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Some pics of the set-up in the "remote server room"....



    Top view showing EtherREGEN (under doorstop) at left rear, along with the AfterDark Master Clock and power supply, the Pace router at right, and the Akasa NUC Roon Core (which I've dubbed "Alita, Battle Angel", play on words there...) NUC in front.

    Everything powered by a Shunyata Gemini power distributor & Venom V14 NR PCs with Alpha and Venom ground cables going from EtherREGEN, Alita (via one of it's USB ports), and the Pace Router to Gemini's Altaira GP-NR subsystem, which makes everything really quiet. 👌


    Front view of Alita, Battle Angel servin' up tunes. 😺


    Sounds....REALLY GOOD. Whoa.

  11. #11
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Sounds....REALLY GOOD. Whoa.
    With the original NUC power supply, or the 19V LPS (which brand)?
    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

  12. #12
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    It is a bit weird, but it is the Akasa that gives a boost in sound quality, it means that this Akasa-nuc sounds better then the original plastic version. The first time I build one, and tested it, I did not expect that, but the difference was huge.

    Between an i3/i5 or i7 I never noticed any difference in sq.

  13. #13
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by wklie View Post
    With the original NUC power supply, or the 19V LPS (which brand)?
    Hi Peter,
    Presently I'm just using a 19V/4A laptop-style SMPS that I bought at Best Buy until I can purchase an LPS for it. I was going to get the Small Green Computer 100 Watt 19V LPS, but the person who sold me this Akasa NUC has tested several LPS including HDPlex, Teddy Pardo, Farad, etc., and said he can provide a reference for a supplier for the LPS that he and his buddies found to sound the best after comprehensive testing. He was busy with a medical appointment today when I swung by to pick up the Akasa NUC, so I didn't have time to discuss his findings, but we're going to connect via Zoom and discuss his findings and recommendations for the linear power supply he found to be the best.

    Moreover, given that my Mac Mini Roon Core is also powered by an (Apple-factory installed) SMPS, it made for a good experimental control ("the datum" as we say in science) to compare to this Intel NUC, and I can safely say that "Alita, Battle Angel" pretty much smokes the Mac Mini Roon Core per the attributes I described above. And, it's getting better (and quieter) as it "settles' (computers, CPUs, cables, etc. really do not like being jostled in a car or logistics truck).

    And, even presently powered with an SMPS, it is notably quieter than the Mac Mini Roon Core I was using previously. I can only imagine how good it will be with a good LPS...

    Once I get that, I'll post some additional impressions here. I still plan on getting the L2, once it's launched as I am sure it will be very impressive, knowing how well Lumin executes on it's product development.

    Cheers.

  14. #14
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Alkyogre View Post
    It is a bit weird, but it is the Akasa that gives a boost in sound quality, it means that this Akasa-nuc sounds better then the original plastic version. The first time I build one, and tested it, I did not expect that, but the difference was huge.

    Between an i3/i5 or i7 I never noticed any difference in sq.
    Interesting, but can't say I'm surprised, per se. My hyphothesis is that the Akasa case allows for the "simplest" implementation/installation, with just the minimal required parts and "sub-systems', and nothing more to obtain functionality. IIRC, the original plastic-cased NUCs still have the internal fan subsystem, and I'm sure that contributes noise, just as one example. The Akasa case doesn't require the fan as it uses heat sinks to disperse heat.

    When I used to teach DFSS, a key principle I tried to drill into the heads of our engineers is that the simplest manner in which a function can be performed...the better. In TRIZ, this is known as the "Theory of Ideality", shown here:



    "Simpler" really is "better", just as Linn and Nelson Pass have been espousing for years, and those Akasa-based NUCs look really simple. 👍

  15. #15
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Although not everybody believes it, I have always believed fanless to be an important thing.
    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

  16. #16
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    NUC board calls for 12-19V DC. As little as 2A/12V will do, if you don't plan using upsampling. You can always switch power sense to ON in the BIOS - it will limit the CPU performance if the PSU is not able to deliver the requested current.

    This is a great, low noise 4A/12V PSU for the Nucleus:
    https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256804636423034.html

    Just be aware that the NUC7i7DNB board will not work with Akasa Plato X7 case without modifications to the case's cooling block - this is why NUC7i7DNB is not listed on the Akasa webpage as compatible.

    Yes, I know that you can fit the NUC7i7DNB board inside the case without any problems and many people do it - they just don't realise one of the three CPU chips that should be touching the cooling block, is literally hanging free in the air with zero cooling, as the cooling block is not long enough.

    I can only imagine that the CPU is throttling down in such a build to avoid overheating and subsequent damage.

    On the other hand, the less powerful NUC7i3DNB and NUC7i7DNB baords fit just fine.
    Adam

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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    There is something above the nuc. I really like these, but it misses a good clock, especially those oxco clocks are great.

    The best computers are not only fanless, but also have an audiophilic soundcard, feeded by a separate lps. They are made for headless purposes, meaning that you directly hook a dac on it. This reduces jitter. Those kind of computers are very expensive and start price is about 20k dollar.

    What I do, I thought it could be done cheaper. This is the reason I added that Singxer digital to digital converter behind my nuc to reduce that jitter. It worked amazingly well. Because it sounded far better then my Sonore ultrarendu streamer with dedicated lps, I listen now with a nuc headless system, with that Singxer behind it.

  18. #18
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Alkyogre View Post
    There is something above the nuc. I really like these, but it misses a good clock, especially those oxco clocks are great.

    The best computers are not only fanless, but also have an audiophilic soundcard, feeded by a separate lps. They are made for headless purposes, meaning that you directly hook a dac on it. This reduces jitter. Those kind of computers are very expensive and start price is about 20k dollar.

    What I do, I thought it could be done cheaper. This is the reason I added that Singxer digital to digital converter behind my nuc to reduce that jitter. It worked amazingly well. Because it sounded far better then my Sonore ultrarendu streamer with dedicated lps, I listen now with a nuc headless system, with that Singxer behind it.
    Hi Alkyoogre,
    Thanks for this info; it's very helpful.

    Regarding a clock, I am using an AfterDark Queen master clock that is connected to EtherREGEN (ER) with a Venom-X clock cable. This brought a BIG improvement to the system sound, overall. Very appreciative that John Swenson put a clock port on ER. Both the Queen clock and ER are powered by an AfterDark LPS.

    Regarding the soundcard, not sure that would be necessary in my case (though not exactly sure) because I don't use a USB cable to the DAC anymore. All I do is connect the Akasa NUC to EtherREGEN (in the remote server room) with a Sigma Ethernet cable, an then run LC/LC optical fiber out from ER's SFP cage on A-side into the back of my Lumin P1's SFP cage in the main audio rack in another room. I use single-mode 1310 nM Corning fiber per Peter Lie's recommendations (again, thank you, Peter ) in to Planet Tech MGB-TL40 LC/LC optical transceivers. So, I don't use an Ethernet or USB cable in the main rack at all, anymore. Simple. And...simpler is better, as Nelson has been telling us for many years, now.

    I'll look into the Singxer digital to digital convertor; thanks for the tip on that. Cheers.

  19. #19
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    If you are using an end-point connected via Ethernet (wired or optical), then it doesn't matter.

    The normal way of upgrading the sound of Nucleus is

    a better PSU for the Nucleus

    or

    an Ethernet connected end point.

    If you have your Nucleus in another room (read: not next to your hifi) then the PSU on the Nucleus doesn't really matter. Only the end point and its PSU.
    Adam

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  20. #20
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    In a core-endpoint connection I hear a SQ difference between such a fanless Akasa Nuc and same motherboard in the original plastic case even when they are located in another room far away from my endpoint, the streamer. I still don't understand why.

  21. #21
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    How is your Nucleus connected to Singxer SU-6? Via USB? Or do you use a separate end-point between the Singxer SU-6 and Nucleus?
    Adam

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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Elberoth View Post
    If you are using an end-point connected via Ethernet (wired or optical), then it doesn't matter.

    The normal way of upgrading the sound of Nucleus is

    a better PSU for the Nucleus

    or

    an Ethernet connected end point.

    If you have your Nucleus in another room (read: not next to your hifi) then the PSU on the Nucleus doesn't really matter. Only the end point and its PSU.
    Thanks, Adam. Your info has been really helpful. Yes, the Akasa NUC is in another room that I call the "remote server room", and on another power circuit in the home than the gear in the main rack in the listening room. It's also powered with a Shunyata Venom V14 NR power cord that filters AC mains noise, and that Venom V14 NR is plugged into a Gemini power distributor, which also reduces AC mains noise further.

    in the listening room, the "endpoint" is a Lumin P1, which has a fully dual-mono PSU with dual-mono Plitron transformers inside a fully-shielded "cage" inside the P1 main chassis, as shown. Connection to the P1 endpoint from the Akasa NUC is via LC/LC optical fiber from EtherREGEN in the remote server room.

  23. #23
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Audiophilic switch --> network cable --> Nuc (fanless nucleus clone) --> USB cable --> Singxer --> optical output --> DAC etcetera

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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Alkyogre View Post
    Audiophilic switch --> network cable --> Nuc (fanless nucleus clone) --> USB cable --> Singxer --> optical output --> DAC etcetera
    OK, that makes sense. Your Nucleus clone is connected via USB cable, which is why you can still hear the infulence of the case and PSU.

    I was talking about a scenario where the Nucleus is connected to your end point via Ethernet (via a switch). In which case, in my experience, neither the case nor the Nucleus PSU makes an audible difference.

    The exception beeing the Nucleus sitting next to your audio gear - then you can hear the difference the PSU makes, as quality linear PSU will contaminate your power less than SMPS does (when you put the Nucleus PSU and the rest of your system on the same power strip).
    Adam

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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by wklie View Post
    Although not everybody believes it, I have always believed fanless to be an important thing.
    Yeah, that wouldn't surprise me at all.

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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Alkyogre View Post
    Audiophilic switch --> network cable --> Nuc (fanless nucleus clone) --> USB cable --> Singxer --> optical output --> DAC etcetera
    Almar, is the connection from the Singxer to the DAC via optical using a TOSLINK optical cable, or using SFPs and (something like) LC/LC optical fiber? Thank you.

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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Elberoth View Post
    OK, that makes sense. Your Nucleus clone is connected via USB cable, which is why you can still hear the infulence of the case and PSU.

    I was talking about a scenario where the Nucleus is connected to your end point via Ethernet (via a switch). In which case, in my experience, neither the case nor the Nucleus PSU makes an audible difference.

    The exception beeing the Nucleus sitting next to your audio gear - then you can hear the difference the PSU makes, as quality linear PSU will contaminate your power less than SMPS does (when you put the Nucleus PSU and the rest of your system on the same power strip).
    this is my current setup. I had a server endpoint connection before and there is a sound quality difference between a plastic nuc and an aluminium nucleus.

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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Almar, is the connection from the Singxer to the DAC via optical using a TOSLINK optical cable, or using SFPs and (something like) LC/LC optical fiber? Thank you.
    a toslink cable

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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Did you try AES or I2s from your Singxer to your DAC, and if so what didn't you like about it (since you ended up using an optical connection) and what optical cable are you using?
    Thanks....
    INDUSTRY AFFILIATION: OWNER/PRESIDENT OF
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by MRJAZZ View Post
    Did you try AES or I2s from your Singxer to your DAC, and if so what didn't you like about it (since you ended up using an optical connection) and what optical cable are you using?
    Thanks....
    Sorry, MrJazz, to whom was your question directed to: Alkyogre or...? 🤔

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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Alkyogre View Post
    there is a sound quality difference between a plastic nuc and an aluminium nucleus.
    In addition to the fanless factor, aluminium helps shielding. That is why our products use aluminium chassis (in addition to beauty, which is important). In our X1 we even have aluminium shield between the digital board and the analog board.
    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by wklie View Post
    In addition to the fanless factor, aluminium helps shielding. That is why our products use aluminium chassis (in addition to beauty, which is important). In our X1 we even have aluminium shield between the digital board and the analog board.
    I really love how thoroughly Lumin "thinks things through"...

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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by MRJAZZ View Post
    Did you try AES or I2s from your Singxer to your DAC, and if so what didn't you like about it (since you ended up using an optical connection) and what optical cable are you using?
    Thanks....
    No, I did not try it yet. Only tried the first optical cable I had, with the idea that light is not effected by electromagnetic radiation. Since I noticed it still passes 192 kHz / 24 bit that cable was fine for me.

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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    This just in to power Alita, Battle Angel: an iFi DC Purifier2



    The DC Purifier2 is an audiophile-grade "DC noise filter" that reduces noise from 312X to 100,000X, according to iFi. It uses Active Noise-Cancelling tech based on the Thales Spectra military radar defence technology used in jet fighters.

    Best thing is, it was only 129 bucks! 👍

    So, I'm going to place one between the SMPS that powers Alita until I can identify a clean, quiet LPS to power Alita. And, I'm going to put one between the SMPS that powers my AT&T Pace Router because I know for a fact that puppy is really dirty.

    More later, once I can do some A/B comparisons with it.

  35. #35
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Just put it in between the SMPS and Alita.



    Okayyy...that was not subtle. Sounds notably better: noticeably quieter, more body to instruments and vocals, and "weight" to the presentation, and...it's actually louder than before I installed it. Bass has more power and definition, as well. And, it literally just came off the logistics truck. Likely it will continue to improve as it settles.

    So, what I'm learning from this set of experiments is that the quality and design of the music server "computer", it's power supply, and the attendant digital and power cables AND reduction of ground-plane noise is really important for these music server-based systems. Mac Minis ain't gonna cut it anymore...

    Next item up is to put one between the SMPS that powers my AT&T Pace Router, which I know for a fact is really dirty. As soon as the new power supply for that arrives, I'll install that, also, so stay tuned.

  36. #36
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    I have also something new on my nuc. Did some research on SSD's. I noticed that some brands of consumer SSD's break very fast, although they are 'tested" (read marketing) as great SSD, the reliability after a certain period seemed to be very poor. The best SSDs on the market are unpayable, they are most of time very small and used in medical healthcare devices.

    I chose a Micron 7450 Max m2 400 GB. A payable enterprise SSD. I think that the quality is even better then the Samsung 980 Pro.

    Next step is to install new software on it: this time no Roon Rock, but I go for the definite solution:
    Audiolinux in combination with a Roon installation and HQPlayer embedded. The latter one can heat up the nuc when you convert PCM to DSD with the Nuc. For that reason I chose a better SSD and of course I use a heatsink.

    To be continued.

  37. #37
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Alkyogre View Post
    I have also something new on my nuc. Did some research on SSD's. I noticed that some brands of consumer SSD's break very fast, although they are 'tested" (read marketing) as great SSD, the reliability after a certain period seemed to be very poor. The best SSDs on the market are unpayable, they are most of time very small and used in medical healthcare devices.

    I chose a Micron 7450 Max m2 400 GB. A payable enterprise SSD. I think that the quality is even better then the Samsung 980 Pro.

    Next step is to install new software on it: this time no Roon Rock, but I go for the definite solution:
    Audiolinux in combination with a Roon installation and HQPlayer embedded. The latter one can heat up the nuc when you convert PCM to DSD with the Nuc. For that reason I chose a better SSD and of course I use a heatsink.

    To be continued.
    Very cool, Almar. Thanks for the information. Please keep us updated with your findings.

    Cheers.

  38. #38
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Alkyogre View Post
    Samsung 980 Pro.
    Do not use 980 or 990 unless you have the knowledge and resources to upgrade its firmware.

    Use only 970 for m.2 or 870 EVO for SATA.

    I cannot suggest anything else for consumer-grade.
    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

  39. #39
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Alkyogre View Post
    I have also something new on my nuc. Did some research on SSD's. I noticed that some brands of consumer SSD's break very fast, although they are 'tested" (read marketing) as great SSD, the reliability after a certain period seemed to be very poor. The best SSDs on the market are unpayable, they are most of time very small and used in medical healthcare devices.

    I chose a Micron 7450 Max m2 400 GB. A payable enterprise SSD. I think that the quality is even better then the Samsung 980 Pro.

    Next step is to install new software on it: this time no Roon Rock, but I go for the definite solution:
    Audiolinux in combination with a Roon installation and HQPlayer embedded. The latter one can heat up the nuc when you convert PCM to DSD with the Nuc. For that reason I chose a better SSD and of course I use a heatsink.

    To be continued.
    I was not aware of Audiolinux software. My i7 sonictransport crashed after a power outage a few years back. I sent it back to get the software reinstalled so the unit was back up and running. Worked fine for Roon/Tidal/Qobuz etc until another outage. I decide rather than just keep shipping it back to Connecticut from Washington state I had a very limited windows 10 installed on the internal drive. Been living with that for a while. Works well but the sound has a edge to it compared to my memory of the linux software performance.I'm going to get the Audiolinux software installed on a new internal drive and keep the windows drive available just incase. I have no linux experience so a guy is coming over to get the system up and running. I have looked through the Audiolinux website and I think I understand the process. But, I'm sure I would only screw it up. I wish there was a Youtube video on "how to install Audiolinux". But, I couldn't find anything. Hint hint...someone make a video!
    Speakers: Magico S3 (23')
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    Roon Core: sonicTransporter i7 powered with HDPlex 200w linear PS, running AudioLinux for Roon--Tidal and Qobuz with iPad Pro

    Time is just a tool humans created to measure movement and record events

  40. #40
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by wklie View Post
    Do not use 980 or 990 unless you have the knowledge and resources to upgrade its firmware.

    Use only 970 for m.2 or 870 EVO for SATA.

    I cannot suggest anything else for consumer-grade.
    +1

    It is not the firmware (you can update that using Samsung Magician software), it is the heat. The 980 and 990 run much hotter and are not really suitable for fanless case usage.
    Adam

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  41. #41
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    The 980 and 990 firmware had a fatal issue that required update:
    Failing Samsung 990 Pro and 980 Pro SSDs UPDATED – Official Response, Replacements & More – NAS Compares

    Note that the decreased life prior to the firmware update will not be restored after the firmware update. The damage was done.
    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

  42. #42
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    There is an active group which say that Windows does sound better then linux, because Windows does make use of asio and Wasapi drivers and linux does make use of their alsa driver. There is no way to get asio or wasapi to work on linux. But the drawback of Windows is that all background processes are ongoing in the background which have a poor result. To shut of the background processes it is needed to run audiophile optimizer, which will run on either Windows 10 pro or Windows server. With windows pro you have to do all things manually, with server you are all set, but this license is very expensive. A few years ago I had to pay 1200 euro only for that Windows server license and on the other hand support for windows 10 pro is ending soon.

    But the questionable thing for me is: if Windows does sound so well, then all streamer builders donÂ’t use it donÂ’t use it and they must run on a kind of linux software and their alsa drivers, so in my opinion linux can sound quite good and a perfect Windows installation is annoying, expensive and more difficult to maintain.

    About audio linux, the good news is that you donÂ’t need basic linux knowledge. You can easily install it and all programs are for download with pre buttons. For instance if you want Roon, you only have to go with the keyboard to install Roon and thats it. Installation of audio linux, you need to download it and make in Windows a bootable USB stick (at least 32 GB, and preferably not Sandisc) first. For making bootable USB sticks I recommend BalenaEtcher. It is so easy, start it, select your downloaded file, then choose your target - the USB stick and make a bootable drive. Then restart your pc, change the bios settings to boot USB first and follow the instructions

    By the way I did not start yet installation yet due to some private issues, hope to get into it soon amd share results.

  43. #43
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Alkyogre View Post
    There is an active group which say that Windows does sound better then linux, because Windows does make use of asio and Wasapi drivers and linux does make use of their alsa driver. There is no way to get asio or wasapi to work on linux. But the drawback of Windows is that all background processes are ongoing in the background which have a poor result. To shut of the background processes it is needed to run audiophile optimizer, which will run on either Windows 10 pro or Windows server. With windows pro you have to do all things manually, with server you are all set, but this license is very expensive. A few years ago I had to pay 1200 euro only for that Windows server license and on the other hand support for windows 10 pro is ending soon.

    But the questionable thing for me is: if Windows does sound so well, then all streamer builders donÂ’t use it donÂ’t use it and they must run on a kind of linux software and their alsa drivers, so in my opinion linux can sound quite good and a perfect Windows installation is annoying, expensive and more difficult to maintain.

    About audio linux, the good news is that you donÂ’t need basic linux knowledge. You can easily install it and all programs are for download with pre buttons. For instance if you want Roon, you only have to go with the keyboard to install Roon and thats it. Installation of audio linux, you need to download it and make in Windows a bootable USB stick (at least 32 GB, and preferably not Sandisc) first. For making bootable USB sticks I recommend BalenaEtcher. It is so easy, start it, select your downloaded file, then choose your target - the USB stick and make a bootable drive. Then restart your pc, change the bios settings to boot USB first and follow the instructions

    By the way I did not start yet installation yet due to some private issues, hope to get into it soon amd share results.
    Very helpful info, Almar. Thanks!

  44. #44
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    I did save the original hd from the sonictransport. I may use that and give the installation process a try. Then I can gain some confidence from the install. If I fail I still have my original plan. Thanks for the information.
    Speakers: Magico S3 (23')
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    Roon Core: sonicTransporter i7 powered with HDPlex 200w linear PS, running AudioLinux for Roon--Tidal and Qobuz with iPad Pro

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  45. #45
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel View Post
    I did save the original hd from the sonictransport. I may use that and give the installation process a try. Then I can gain some confidence from the install. If I fail I still have my original plan. Thanks for the information.
    Darrel,
    Are you presently able to use your SonicTransporter? I thought about buying one, but Alita came up locally for only $350.

  46. #46
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    For those interested in a protocol describing how to install Audiolinux here is the link:
    AudioLinux - The audiophile realtime plug & play operative system


    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel View Post
    I wish there was a Youtube video on "how to install Audiolinux". But, I couldn't find anything. Hint hint...someone make a video!
    Agreed.

  47. #47
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Darrel,
    Are you presently able to use your SonicTransporter? I thought about buying one, but Alita came up locally for only $350.
    Yes, I'm using it and have used it since ownership. I'm just running a limited windows 10 home software for Roon. I use a HDPlex 200 linear power supply to power it. It's a nice quiet computer. Linux software that came with it just wasn't stable after random power outages. I haven't had power outages since I had window 10 home installed on the current hd.
    Speakers: Magico S3 (23')
    Integrated:Gryphon Diablo 300 plus DAC
    Streamer: HiFi Rose RS150b
    CD/DVD: Oppo 205
    Cables: Cardas-Shunyata-AudioQuest-Supra
    Roon Core: sonicTransporter i7 powered with HDPlex 200w linear PS, running AudioLinux for Roon--Tidal and Qobuz with iPad Pro

    Time is just a tool humans created to measure movement and record events

  48. #48
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel View Post
    Yes, I'm using it and have used it since ownership. I'm just running a limited windows 10 home software for Roon. I use a HDPlex 200 linear power supply to power it. It's a nice quiet computer. Linux software that came with it just wasn't stable after random power outages. I haven't had power outages since I had window 10 home installed on the current hd.
    Thanks, Darrel, that was very helpful info.

    Yeah, I've been wanting to buy an HDPlex LPS to power my Akasa-cased NUC Roon core, but HDPlex is presently out of stock on them. I've only read excellent comments about them, and they're the "de-facto" standard LPS that most of the guys that are really into building their own "super high-end" music servers (like Nenon at AS) are using. I've got a notification set up with HDPlex to be notified when they are back in stock. Cheers and thanks again. 👍

  49. #49
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    There is a GREAT psu for your Nucleus or Nucleus clone:

    https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256804636423034.html

    $200 shipped. LHA Audio is a great chineese company. There is really no point in spending more.

    PS. All Nucleus boards work on 12-19V DC as per Intel spec sheet. I always recommend to get 12V one, as you will be able to reuse it down the road, if you ever sell your Nucleus. 19V one will basicly only work with Nucleus.
    Adam

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  50. #50
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    Re: Intel NUC music server incoming

    I have the opposite recommendation. I recommend using only 19V LPS with no less than 3.5A output (i.e. 66W) for authentic Intel NUC boards for ensuring system stability. The reason is that many LPS will drop voltage when stressed. When its voltage is dropped from 19V, it may hopefully still work. When it drops below 12V, nothing good can happen.

    Edit: The rationale for this is to cater for the worst case from an engineering perspective. To ensure system stability, you need the power to be sufficient for the worst case, not the average case. There is a third party review that stresses the NUC7i7 (i.e. same generation as Nucleus Plus) and got a maximum measured 58.5W consumption.

    For things outside authentic Intel NUC boards, I agree 12V is much more versatile.
    Peter Lie
    LUMIN Firmware Lead

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