Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

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Fretless
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

The sound of silence.

It really makes a huge difference, no fans, no disk-drives. Just music - and how!

This absurdly over-spec PC was designed for medical use. That means reliability and accuracy; lives can depend on this machine working properly. So we have no WiFi, no CD/DVD drive, no frills.

An Intel Celeron i7 CPU with 4 cores that can run into 'turbo' mode and get to serious processing speeds when required, without generating excessive heat that would need mechanical cooling. 120Gb of SSD storage. Multiple USB 2.0 and 3.0 sockets.

A plain aluminium case, easy to sterilise, with both side-panels acting as finned heatsinks. External 12V medical-grade switching PSU.

Problem was, it wouldn't connect to my monitor so I was running blind. Initial fire-up was with a USB stick to boot Volumio and I had a USB keyboard linked up.
Remembering that with the Acer I had pressed 'F2' to initialise the boot, I did that here and heard a beep from the PC.

Checking 'volumio.home/' on the browser of my phone, the new device appeared - ready for configuration. Hey, we're off! Damn, this thing's fast. Loaded my music library from the NAS in record time and then a quick listening-test. It works.

Time to take the plunge and install Volumio on the internal drive. Bye bye Windows 10 Pro. Didn't need it anyway. Boot stick out and Jitterbugs in. Now down to some proper audition work.

Did I say this PC is fast? Bloody fast. It's starting tracks before you have finished looking them up. Sharp and solid performance on the UI that makes the Tinkerboard feel sluggish.

And finally the sound. Incredible. Open, smooth, detail, definition. Whatever you want, this has got it. Depth, transparency, stability. Bucketloads of focus and imaging. The Acer PC had given me a taste of what the possibilities are but this box really delivers with truly stunning sonic performance and NO mechanical noise to distract.

I just hope they sterilised the case properly before it left the hospital. Starting to feel a bit funny ... :auto-ambulance:
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antonio66 (Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:09 am)
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + AQ Carbon USB
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by slinger »

Sounds like a winner. And you've got Volumio booting from the SSD?
Amps - NVA P50, A30, A40, Stanislav Palo Tube Headphone Amp BB 85
Speakers - Monitor Audio Silver RX2
Cables - NVA LS1+LS3, SSC, Gotham S/PDIF, IBRA Optical
Digital - NAD C516BEE, SONY ST-SDB900 DAB TUNER, TEAC UD-H01 DAC
Analogue - Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB, Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 Phono
Cans - Grado SR80, ATH-M50X

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

Yup. Works like a charm.

Although I haven't tried disconnecting the power lead. When I did that with the Acer it needed an F2 prompt on first startup.
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + AQ Carbon USB
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by slinger »

Hmmmm. I must take another shot at mine.
Amps - NVA P50, A30, A40, Stanislav Palo Tube Headphone Amp BB 85
Speakers - Monitor Audio Silver RX2
Cables - NVA LS1+LS3, SSC, Gotham S/PDIF, IBRA Optical
Digital - NAD C516BEE, SONY ST-SDB900 DAB TUNER, TEAC UD-H01 DAC
Analogue - Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB, Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 Phono
Cans - Grado SR80, ATH-M50X

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by antonio66 »

Great work Fretless, I thought when you purchased the new pc it would make a good difference.
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Fretless (Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:35 pm)

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by CN211276 »

I also thought this PC would be a. big improvement over a standard domesic one.
System: DC Blocker, NVA BMU, Cisco 2960G, Sonore MicroRendu/MCRU PS, AQ Jitterbug, ifi iPurifier 3, Chord Mscaler, Chord Qutest/MCRU PS, NVA P90SA Mk2, NVA A80s Mk3, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS, Blue Jeans dual BNC, AQ Carbon USB, Cat 8 ethernet.
HP:Grado SR 325e, Chord Mojo.
Analogue: Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1, NVA SSP.
Second System:NVA P20, NVA A20, NVA Cubettes, NVA LS3, NVA SSC, Arcam Miniblink or Mojo.
Out:Oppo PM3, AQ DF Red.

RIP Doc

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

Right then. I'll let you all in on where I purchased this oversized Tinkerboard for the measly price of 249 euro.

Here: https://www.hardware-expert.nl/refurbis ... 60016.html

They still have about 40 in stock.
What I don't know is how much they charge for shipping to the UK.
But you can mail them - almost everyone in Holland speaks excellent English.
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + AQ Carbon USB
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by CN211276 »

Fretless wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:52 am
Right then. I'll let you all in on where I purchased this oversized Tinkerboard for the measly price of 249 euro.

Here: https://www.hardware-expert.nl/refurbis ... 60016.html

They still have about 40 in stock.
What I don't know is how much they charge for shipping to the UK.
But you can mail them - almost everyone in Holland speaks excellent English.
As a matter of interest, how much would a new one cost? If a new Cisco switch is anything to go by it would be big bucks.
System: DC Blocker, NVA BMU, Cisco 2960G, Sonore MicroRendu/MCRU PS, AQ Jitterbug, ifi iPurifier 3, Chord Mscaler, Chord Qutest/MCRU PS, NVA P90SA Mk2, NVA A80s Mk3, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS, Blue Jeans dual BNC, AQ Carbon USB, Cat 8 ethernet.
HP:Grado SR 325e, Chord Mojo.
Analogue: Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1, NVA SSP.
Second System:NVA P20, NVA A20, NVA Cubettes, NVA LS3, NVA SSC, Arcam Miniblink or Mojo.
Out:Oppo PM3, AQ DF Red.

RIP Doc

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by artsenna »

And here I thought the TB S was a bit of an overkill. This is a sledgehammer to a nut :grin:

Great job making it work.
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Fretless (Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:15 pm)
Cambridge Audio CXC/ASUS TB S/Jolida Glass FX3 DAC/NVA SSP coaxial
Project RPM4/Graham Slee Gram Amp 2SE
MF X80/NVA A40/Metaxas Audio Enosis interconnect
Tannoy Mini Autograph/Target R4 stands/NVA LS6

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

Current price for a new unit is 1229 euro (ex. 21% VAT)

VAT brings it to 1485 euro - but then you do get the latest version Intel processor.




Just for clarification:

The Allo USBridge Signature player that I had in my sights has a new price of 271 euro.
Processing board there is from an RPi3. No PSU included.

Then the refurbished silent PC (including PSU) becomes a very attractive alternative.
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slinger (Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:29 pm)
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + AQ Carbon USB
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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