Alternatives to melco or innuos

To be quite honest Naim are far from perfect in the streaming area if you go by this forum.

Innuos customer support is excellent in my experience.

Phil

I agree, the InnuOS servers seem quite well specified. However, I would like to see models without ripping station but with high quality S/PDIF outputs.

It is odd that everyone is putting ripping stations in their hard disk player: CD players were finally also just players, not ripping stations!

My Audiophilleo solution is just a bolt on powered from the rear USB port of the nDAC. It can run for 15 hours off the PurePower. The Naim DAC V1 uses the Audiophilleo technology for its USB port. I bought a < £4 usb cable from my local computer shop. No need for expensive 75ohm data cables.

Phil

Sure, I have used a number of USB to S/PDIF interfaces and most work very well.

Still, every half decent CD player had electrical and optical S/PDIF outputs and I would like to see high quality electrical and optical S/PDIF outputs (and high quality USB, Ethernet, etc. outputs) on modern music servers.

Could be because audiophiles have on the whole canned their CDPs but still have a CD collection they’d like to listen to. From a copyright law perspective you either need to buy the digital file or possess the original CD, so a server is the obvious place to implement fast, turnkey bit perfect ripping, given its where you’ll store the file and stream it from.

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Roon don’t believe memory pb gives anything worthwhile intact quite the opposite from a user experience, so I would not hold your breath. It might improve Squeezelight on he InnuOS but they believe other wise for their product, CTO has already been quite vocal about it on their forum.

Perhaps they want to sell Nucs rather than just having a closely integrated solution in someone else’s box! Anyway I can do without Roon! Love my Zenith though. Call me cynical!

Phil

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No, a server is not the obvious place for implementing a ripping station. A CD reader is a potential source of electromagnetic noise and an additional challenge to the power supply unit. Ripping a CD collection is best done on a desktop computer and once a CD collection has been ripped, there is no need for a ripping station anymore. A music server is also not necessarily a suitable storage solution. It might store a local copy of a music collection for convenience, but storing and serving are very different concern which should ideally be kept separated. It is not uncommon, for instance, to run a server on a networked Raspberry Pi and store a music collection on a NAS.

melco and innuos top server store and serve in the same time. They are considered among the best available.

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No, Melco have the D100 as a separate ripping unit in much the same way as Antipodes have the P1 ripping platform. I am not saying the InnuOS are lesser servers, just that I would not buy a server with an integrated ripping station. Hence, I would like to see InnuOS servers (and Naim servers, etc.) without ripping stations. It goes without saying that other users might have other needs or wishes!

This is interesting. It’s touching on a question I’ve had for a while. I know Antipodes has the P1 and Melco the D100 etc, but why would an integrated ripping station denigrate server performance? After all, ripping is a discrete activity and when not active, I don’t understand why it is detrimental to be in the unit and dormant. Obviously Antipodes and Melco have an answer to my question, I’ve just never asked it publically. I’d be interested in your views.

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Ripping functionality was not available originally in the Melco units. It came as a firmware upgrade later on, first using an external USB drive before Melco introduced their own ripping solution. I suspect the reason why the Melco servers don’t have a built in ripper is that there is no room inside the tightly packed cases.

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Ok thanks James. So for Melco it’s more a practical, spatial issue rather than performance? I see…

I don’t know if that’s the same for Antipodes though. Perhaps something else is going on too? Hence my question. Antipodes intentionally separated the server and player cx/ex after first integrating both functions. I guess they could readily have put ripping duties into the cx had they wished but have the P1?

I do not think that a ripping system is necessarily detrimental to sound quality in a music server but, to be honest, I simply do not know!

A CD reader is certainly a complication that conceivably could make the power supply more expensive, more complicated or both. It might also require some isolation.

I personally would never buy a server that has an integrated ripping station but it is fine that there are servers with integrated ripping stations for those who believe that they need them, of course!

A quick google of the innards of a CX - it’s pretty tight, although the DX has an internal ripper. From a manufacturers point of view it’s one less thing to go wrong too. I must admit i have no preference either way as i rip externally so the Melco was a good solution for me at the time with a great support (local for me). The Innuos kit seems to be excellent too and i’d not have any issues using either solution.

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Sure they could have put ripping duties into the CX but why would they have wanted to do so? A music server is finally just a CD player with some local storage for a few thousands CDs, access to remote data, internet radio and streaming services. These duties are completely orthogonal to ripping and editing duties. Also, ripping is best done on a platform that effectively supports metadata editing and renaming before the data are sent to storage and server services. This is ideally a laptop or a desktop computer. Thus, there are actually no reasons to integrate ripping services into music streamers. This can be done, of course. But it does not have to be done.

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as said Analogmusic, when ripping is done, it’s done. So why it will generate noise after the ripping process?

No they just don’t believe Ram playback offers anything worthwhile and recommend it to run on better CPUs as to not compromise the features it has. They have closely integrated solutions with other manufacturers that dont run on NUCs.

I suggest you familiarise yourself with some of these server’s ripping abilities. Why would i want to take a PC, buy something like dBpoweramp, rip my CDs, check and edit the meta data, copy the file to a server and make a back-up copy, all manually, when all i need do with an Innuos for example is feed it a CD and all the above steps are taken care of automatically, including obtaining and storing any missing meta data from internet data bases, organising the ripped CDs in appropriate files, making back-ups and flagging any bad copies or missing metadata?

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Because, if you rip classical music albums, you will anyway to edit most of the results of automatic ripping + metadata attribution: what you are talking about sounds good but the reality is a very different one and, to the best of my knowledge, no automatic system today does a good job of classifying classical music. Perhaps they are fine with rock and pop music and perhaps in a decade they will be fine for classical music as well. But, for the time being, they are not and I bet that even the InnuOS system cannot be configured to look for relevant classical music tags. They look for what is available in internet databases which is at the moment very little and, above all, very poorly organized!

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