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baddog1946 wrote:I have been thinking of building a dedicated Linux based system from scratch and this sound card is a candidate for it. Anyone have experience with it or any other suggestions like motherboards etc.?
Not necessarily true ... I got pretty good ears and am right happy playing CD Redbook (44.1/16). Supposedly, you get improvement in headroom if you convert to higher res, but I've never heard it. Big caveat there is whether you're working with an existing (read: older) library of music or starting fresh with digital downloads. Also, TosLink isn't always all it's cracked up to be. Depends on your motherboard. Mine has a RealTek HD chipset, and the Tenor USB interface on the Maverick TubeMagic DAC I use runs rings around it. The S/PDIF may be technically better, but I don't listen to technical.The key with an external DAC is it must support a TOSLink input and 24 bit/192HZ material.
Take the Analog output of your DAC - and plug it into your ST-120. You now have a very clean signal path from Linux->Digital->DAC->Analog->Tube Amplifier.
In my experiments FLAC playback is indiscernible from the original medium.
If your looking for software I recommend MPD (music playing Daemon), MPC (Music Playing Command Line), and phpmpreloaded (for web control).
baddog1946 wrote:Hi all:
Still working on getting my Linux based server system configured and I could use some feedback on my theory so far. Here goes:
So if it takes 70 minutes for a high quality CD transport like the Philips CDM2-Pro mechanism to read all data from CD disk, 2 minutes for a DVD drive, 30 seconds for a Blue Ray, 4 seconds for a PC- HDD and a RAM buffer reads it in less than a second then a system using a RAM chip as a buffer to load an entire CD/playlist would eliminate laser tracking errors, corrections due to CD physical damage, missing bits, servo deviations by the CD motor and demodulation errors from the laser to the DAC. With a solid state ram buffer or perhaps even a solid state HDD during payback the DAC is being fed 100% error free data.
Combined with good quality SPDIF connections this seems to me would be the way to get about as clean a signal as possible.
By eliminating any physical contact errors and moving the data digitally as it passes through the system topology it remains in accurate error free digital format. A quality DAC with a true clock would complete the digital signal chain to the amp. This should yield a very clean signal only limited by the original source media. Feed back is welcomed here on both the software and hardware sides of the equation.