I have just upgraded from a Bryston BMP to a Naim NDX2 (with Hugo TT DAC), and want to move to a NAS for storage. I knon Qnap and Synology are generally recommended but am slight bemused by the choice of models and the multitude of conflicting web comment on set up impact to SQ!
The main options seem to be to either buy big /high spec with wider multimedia integration and future growth in mind (e.g. Qnap TS 453B ?) ; or to go simple with a minimalistic solution located close to the NSX player to minimise any risk of noise or timing issues - which is the Bryston philosophy (e.g. Synology 218, or Qnap HS 251+)
Would anyone be able to comment with their recommends or does/don’t ?
You can go one step further than this if you want, as the NDX2 has a UPnP server built in. Stick a USB drive in the front or rear port, enable server mode, and forget all about setting up third party NAS, servers, etc.
If nothing else, this gets you up and running at virtually zero cost, and you can easily transfer that music to a regular NAS/server at a later date if you feel the need.
How big is your music collection? Do you have a lot of classical music? A NAS is not necessarily the best platform for running a UPnP server and certainly not a must have for a streaming solution.
I would install MinimServer on a networked Raspberry Pi and have it serve your music collection. The latter can be stored on a drive connected to the Pi via USB, on a NAS or on any DAS that is accessible on your LAN. What really matters in this context is the software that you use, the hardware is essentially irrelevant.
Another approach would be to connect a Raspberry Pi running MinimServer and upmpdcli directly to the TT DAC via USB. This would allow you to overcome the limitations of S/PDIF and to significantly simplify your system. You could make better use of the NDX2 and you would not need any switch and any NAS. It would give you a full-fledged UPnP streaming solution without the inconvenience of sending large files across your LAN and with less waste of resources.
Many thanks for the feedback and thanks for the info of needing to set to server mode, i now have my SSHD running, which is definately a great step forward for now, as although I have my WD my cloud linked up, it’s not presenting half of my library properly (Nain suggested it was nas issue, and I need to swap to Synology/ Qnap… hence my questions)
What I meant with “better use” is that the NDX2 has its own DAC and analog outputs. Perhaps the NDX2’s DAC is not as good as the HUGO TT but still it’s a very capable DAC. If it turned out that the USB input of the HUGO TT is not worse than its S/PDIF input (perhaps you could use something better than an RPi to feed the USB input of the TT, for instance an Allo USBridge), you could perhaps use the NDX2 as a streamer (not just as a transport) in a second system. Of course, it is possible that the HUGO TT sounds better when fed through the NDX2. In this case there would be no better way of using the NDX2.
The reason why I was asking if you have a lot of classical music is because, if that was not the case, you could use the NDX2 as a server as suggested by ChrisSU. The problem with classical music is that the Naim servers (at least that on the Core) offer rather poor support for classical music: standard classical music tags like Ensemble, Work (Composition) and Form of a musical piece (symphony, string quartet, oeverture, berceuse, pieno concert, clarinet concert, piano sonata, etc.) are not supported. Thus, if you have classical music, it is better to use MinimServer as a UPnP server.
That’s not a lot, you could buy a 1TB SSD and have enough space left to increase the size of your collection by 200%. Together with a small, low-power and headless computer (a Raspberry Pi, an Allo USBridge or a NUC running AudioLinux), that’s s all you need to drive the HUGO TT. You’ll have to check whether this sounds better or worse than a feed through the NDX2.
I have a QNAP HS 251 (in another room, but it’s so quiet, it could go on the rack). I have a large classical collection and use minimserver (though Asset, preferred by many on this forum, is also available). I store my files in FLAC and get minimserver to transcode them. There is a learning curve, but a lot of that is to do with getting the tagging right. I was somewhat nervous of going the local streaming route but am now very happy with the convenience and sound quality I’m getting.
If you’re in the U.K. there is a company called Ripcaster (hope this doesn’t offend forum rules) which sells NASs preconfigured and ready to go. I phoned them and found them really helpful in choosing a particular model and disc size. I cannot foresee filling the two 2Tb discs in the NAS. For a simple, low tech, local streaming setup I think this is hard to beat.
You mentioned that you used a HS251 and minimserve to transcode from Flac. Can I ask what you were converting to? - i ask as I thought most players (such as my Naim NDX) accepted Flac, and so wondered what the reason was for doing this.??. Thanks.
Some people find WAV to sound better than FLAC on Naim streamers, and Naim themselves have said that WAV is subjectively likely to give best performance. So you have the option of using FLAC storage, with smaller file size and more versatile metadata handling, and still sending WAV to the streamer. Try it, you might like it.