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  1. #91

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    Total cost without the USB cable is ~200 shipped. Keeping the stock Intel heatsink and case fan cost is ~150.
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  2. #92

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    If you are using the NFB-5 you don't need a USB cable that seperate power and data since you aren't powering the NFB-5 with the cable.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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  3. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    If you are using the NFB-5 you don't need a USB cable that seperate power and data since you aren't powering the NFB-5 with the cable.

    H9
    I know, I just like the concept . That and its about the same price or even a bit cheaper than the Carbon.

    USB cable swapping time
    Last edited by EndersShadow; 08-24-2012 at 01:36 PM.
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  4. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post

    USB cable swapping time
    If they are the same length and built well, it won't make a single bit of difference. If funds are tight focus that $$$ where it can be better utilized.

    Unless of course you just want to stare at the pretty cable

    I have found no real difference between an inexpensive well made USB cable vs. a boutique cable that is of the similar construction. And as you know I am a BIG cable believer.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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  5. #95

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    ES,

    I agree that iTunes is a poor frontend for a system. If you want to do it on the cheap, get VLC Player (which actually sounds quite good, and is super lightweight) and purchase the VLC pro app (i think it was $3) to control it with your iphone/ipad/ipod touch.

    It will control all computers on your network running VLC, and will allow you to brose all folders on attached /discoverable computers on your network.

    This is what I use on my office setup and it works great. the fact that it is lightweight and free of a showy GUI is key to me. And the app has been flawless for me.
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  6. #96

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    Does VLC have a plug-in (ASIO4ALL) to bypass all the Windows crap it makes the signal go through before output?

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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  7. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by newrival View Post
    ES,

    I agree that iTunes is a poor frontend for a system. If you want to do it on the cheap, get VLC Player (which actually sounds quite good, and is super lightweight) and purchase the VLC pro app (i think it was $3) to control it with your iphone/ipad/ipod touch.

    It will control all computers on your network running VLC, and will allow you to brose all folders on attached /discoverable computers on your network.

    This is what I use on my office setup and it works great. the fact that it is lightweight and free of a showy GUI is key to me. And the app has been flawless for me.
    Looking into it but....

    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Does VLC have a plug-in (ASIO4ALL) to bypass all the Windows crap it makes the signal go through before output?

    H9
    Crackles, pops, hizzes and other audio anomalies

    If you hear some unwanted audio problems you can try another audio output module to see if that solves the issue. Open Settings -> Preferences... and then choosing Audio -> Output module (remember to tick Advanced options box). There are multiple output modules you can use for audio. DirectX and Win32 waveOut should work in most cases. Unfortunately there isn't an ASIO support in VLC.
    Crackles, pops, hizzes and other audio anomalies with SPDIF passthrough

    SPDIF passthrough of Dolby Digital (AC3) and DTS audiotracks don't work with all soundcards. Win32 waveOut output module should work better with SPDIF and you can also try latest Nightly builds with Win32 waveOut.
    I don't hear dialog, conversations etc. while playing 5.1 audio

    Make sure you have select proper speaker setup from Windows audio settings or from soundcard control panel. If you have done so, make sure VLC also has right settings. Audio -> Audio Device to select proper speaker settings.
    How do I adjust audio delay?

    During playback you can press Ctrl + k or Ctrl + l to adjust audio delay (adjust step is 50 ms).
    (Graphical) user interface related questions and problems
    Not sure if any of the other output modes will be similar in quality. NewRival how do you have it setup?
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  8. #98

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    If it doesn't have ASIO4ALL or a similar output, forget it because you will be outputting a contaminated signal.

    You've worked hard to assemble a rig, don't compromise at the last second with a crappy media/source player. THIS IS WHY so many people think computer audio sounds poor, it's not an easy thing to assemble or understand, but if done correctly it can sould stellar.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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  9. #99

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    You can say I'm a fan of Nocua too. http://i.imgur.com/OUuVU.jpg
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  10. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    You can say I'm a fan of Nocua too. http://i.imgur.com/OUuVU.jpg
    Hehehe... from one to another (my old case but still have the same fans )



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  11. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    If it doesn't have ASIO4ALL or a similar output, forget it because you will be outputting a contaminated signal.

    You've worked hard to assemble a rig, don't compromise at the last second with a crappy media/source player. THIS IS WHY so many people think computer audio sounds poor, it's not an easy thing to assemble or understand, but if done correctly it can sould stellar.

    H9
    Agreed, not willing to compromise sound quality after all this work. There has to be a way and I will find it
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  12. #102

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    Found some info on XMBC that might be my ticket:

    They apparently have a iPhone app that allows playback: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=128279

    And they apparently have a way enable WASAPI playback for audio files: http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010...sing-dsplayer/

    One of my goals is to get the best audio and video possible using XBMC, both for music only files and for video files. The best audio for music requires either an ASIO or WASAPI driver, so as to bypass the resampling by Windows to get bit-perfect audio. For video the goal is to pass TrueHD and DTS MA unmolested by bitstreaming them to my preamp/processor. The former can be done using a patch developed by ArtVandelae and specifying in advancedsettings that audio only files should be played using DVDPlayer. Then one can set the audio output as WASAPI. The latter can be achieved by using DSPlayer, as Damian shows in this tutorial.

    My question: whether there exists a build or a means to accomplish both goals, video playback with bitstreamed DTS MA and TrueHD, and audio playback with bit-perfect output. I?d love to read that it can be done.
    Last edited by EndersShadow; 08-25-2012 at 03:05 PM.
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  13. #103

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    Here is the software for VLC to bypass Windows kMixer, etc: http://software.muzychenko.net/eng/vac.htm
    Its called Virtual Audio Cables (VAC)

    And here is a thread with one users experience:
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/221237/asio4all-explanation
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  14. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by newrival View Post
    Here is the software for VLC to bypass Windows kMixer, etc: http://software.muzychenko.net/eng/vac.htm
    Its called Virtual Audio Cables (VAC)

    And here is a thread with one users experience:
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/221237/asio4all-explanation
    I will take a look for sure. In the interum I found what might be the best solution: XBMC

    I was aware of this program before (had an older version installed on my main PC and laptop to play with) and that it played FLAC but didnt do too much more research. They now have a remote app for the iOS devices that works quite well (have it on my iPhone testing on my main PC right now). If this works right it might be just what I go with overall since XBMC can be installed using Linux as the OS which would be awesome. Even if I have to install Win 7 and run XBMC over the top it still would be worth it IMHO.

    I just installed XBMC's newest build (Eden) on my computer and its totally working with WASAPI playback on the NFB-5 so I know that all works. I have some slight kinks to work out with the app on the phone as it wont show my music library. I have a feeling thats because currently the FLAC library is on a different drive than the XBMC install and that the app cant "see" it. I have a question in to the guys who made the app about that.

    I also have to ensure it will work over an ad-hoc network but I am pretty sure it will. The interface is pretty slick too.

    Other than that XBMC might just be what I need.

    Here is a link to a thread about the app. http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=128279
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  15. #105

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    Someone on AVS linked me to this video: http://youtu.be/afPIeGlq-xI

    He's running XBMC and the same app I am using just on his Android phone
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  16. #106

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    I used to run XBMC as a front end to my HTPC. I ended up switching to Boxee (which is XBMC based. At the time there were so many XBMC "distros" or GUIs it made the program fun to tweak, but that meant the support was very sparse. And most had bugs and little instabilities. Boxee had great support and development (and went on to create their own hardware, the Boxee Box). What the XMBC landscape is like these days, I don't know. Just be aware that with open source there comes great flexibility, but not without it's headaches.

    And I'm certainly not trying to disuade from XBMC, I just know you said this was your work/office setup, and I don't know what kind of business your in, but for me, I have enough distractions keeping me from being creative and/or productive that I don't want to looking for the latest patch, waiting for the current bug fix, or entering lines of code. Also, I run memory intensive software all day on two computers, so a lean software is necessary for me, as even running iTunes could add an hour to a full render that I could be running. This is just my perspective, I am sure you will pick what is best for you.
    Last edited by newrival; 08-27-2012 at 10:57 AM.
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  17. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by newrival View Post
    I used to run XBMC as a front end to my HTPC. I ended up switching to Boxee (which is XBMC based. At the time there were so many XBMC "distros" or GUIs it made the program fun to tweak, but that meant the support was very sparse. And most had bugs and little instabilities. Boxee had great support and development (and went on to create their own hardware, the Boxee Box). What the XMBC landscape is like these days, I don't know. Just be aware that with open source there comes great flexibility, but not without it's headaches.
    Understand that for sure. I think its pretty stable now but will check out Boxee just for giggles anyway. The remote app worked great last night with everything while I was messing with things so hopefully I will be good to go.
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  18. #108

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    I bought my components earlier this morning and they are on their way. I think I did good.

    I went with the following:

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-A75N-USB3 (good review here)

    I went with this motherboard as it uses good parts from a trusted brand. I read LOTS of reviews of ASRock boards (both H67, H61, H77, FM1) and while some are positive there were some constant issues with them and some trusted sources said they were iffy at times. I was more familiar with ASUS but that board wouldnt work given its 24 pin connectors location. Given I dont want to mess around I decided this board was a better choice and its got just about everything I wanted.

    As a side bonus it also will work with the Streamcom FC8 case I in all likelyhood may move this system into sometime soon so I can go totally passive. It will depend on how this system sounds noise wise but I really like the Streamcom case. Its not worth returning my current case at the present time for the Streamcom as I dont have the cash for it.

    CPU: AMD A4-Series A4-3400

    In looking at this CPU v the Pentium G530 in this link the A4-3400 bests it in just about all the tests they ran, especially the FLAC test. Given that and that Windows 7 goes back to more single core usage I decided to go with this CPU. It also should allow me to use a blu-ray player and playback video with no issues on my TV (if I decided to do that later on) as well as Netflix and Youtube.

    Memory: Kingston HyperX LoVo 4GB(2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600MHz

    This memory is more than likely overkill for this particular setup but since it wasnt too expensive and is also low voltage I thought it would be worth it. I checked to ensure it is listed as compatible on Gigabytes website. It is also 30mm tall so I shouldnt have any issues with it running into the 3.5 HDD installed in my case.

    I am going to hope the stock heatsink will be under 40mm tall but we will see. If not I was planning on buying the SILVERSTONE NT07-AM2 as it will more than fit. I also plan to replace the stock 80mm fcase fan with a Noctua 80mm fan.

    Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.
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    ^Update to above. The Gigabyte board was out of stock at the vendor I ordered it from. I ended up cancelling that order and ordering from another vendor. I took the suggestion at the same time to upgrade to the A6-3500 2.1 triple core CPU at the same time. All other parts remain the same.

    Updated list below:

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-A75N-USB3 (good review here)
    CPU: AMD A5-3500 (good reason to upgrade here here)
    Memory: Kingston HyperX LoVo 4GB(2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600MHz
    Last edited by EndersShadow; 09-06-2012 at 07:12 PM.
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    Here are some shots of the computer case with the NFB-5 headphone amp



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    Got in some of the parts today (CPU and Motherboard). So of course I had to mock things up a bit.

    Parts:




    I am glad I mocked it up because I know now I cant use the stock heatsink. Its simply too tall as shown in the pics below. I have decided to go with the Silverstone NT07-AM2 heatsink because unlike some of the other low profile options, I can use a different fan with it if I want. I also will be replacing the stock 80mm fan with a Noctua one.

    Here are the pics:





    For reference here is the entire computer case next to a standard CD case





    As you can see, the HDD wont work with the heatsink as even with the HDD directly stacked on top its a good 5mm to tall.



    Masterchief approves!

    Last edited by EndersShadow; 09-12-2012 at 10:53 PM.

  22. #112

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    I had a friend finally put together a music computer. Using the Foxconn nettop with 500 GB laptop drive, Windows 7, J River, and Focusrite USB DAC. Did everything for less $340 and the focusrite sounds great.
    So hot it burns twice

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    Looking good Dan. Hope you get the parts to make it all fit right. Finally got the head unit installed today. Everything works. Need to read the manual though. Tried the speakers I bought. Wrong size so I'm still working on that part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNHNDYMAN View Post
    Looking good Dan. Hope you get the parts to make it all fit right. Finally got the head unit installed today. Everything works. Need to read the manual though. Tried the speakers I bought. Wrong size so I'm still working on that part.
    Awesome! I am glad it got hooked up and is working good!

    With regards to my project, LOL, well been having "fun" with memory. The first set I bought was too low voltage (1.3) to get it to boot, despite that model being on the manufactures "Approved memory list". Took it to a buddies house and used some of his memory. Booted just fine. Stopped by Fry's and bought some higher voltage memory (1.5v which is the board default) last night on my way home from his place.

    Woke up this morning and installed it, no joy. So I am waiting for him to wake up so I can check again what memory he was using (forget if it was 1333 or 1600) so I can try some other memory for a third time . This is getting a bit ridiculous!

    The stock heatsink is too tall (which I was pretty sure of from the get-go, so I still need to replace that but wont be able to order the NT07-AM2 till next Friday. Will also order the Noctua case fan as well.

    I just want to get it to boot and stay on at this point.
    Last edited by EndersShadow; 09-15-2012 at 08:46 AM.
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    Spent my morning at Fry's and still no luck.

    Gigabyte as stated said my first set of memory had too low a voltage. Ironically after checking their memory compatibility list (found here) you will note that their is an entry under the Kingston section titled KHX1600C9D3LK2/4GX. Which just so happens to be the memory they said wouldnt work.... interesting right.

    Well I went to Fry's and purchased a set of Corsair 2x2 gig DDR3 1600 memory (model number: CML4GX3M2A1600C9). Still wouldn't boot. Went to Fry's again this time with the actual computer in my hands and exchanged it for 2x2 gig of Corsair DDR3 1333 memory (model: CMV4GX3M2A133C9). This memory is also on the approved list.

    Still no post.

    Been talking to Gigabyte about this since the issue started so they should now RMA the board and replace it with a new one. Otherwise there will be some problems.
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

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  26. #116

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    Thought I would update everyone on the status of the build.

    The Gigabyte board ended up being bad and had to be RMA'd. I have yet to order the replacement board which will be the ASRock A75M-ITX. I also will be ordering a new CPU heatsink as the stock one is about 4mm to tall. It is the SILVERSTONE NT07-AM2. I will be replacing the stock case fan as well with a Noctua NF-R8 PWM since the motherboard supports PWM fans. I also hope to replace the Silverstone fan on the heatsink later on with one of these as well.

    I had to RMA the memory as well and now have a 2 sticks of CORSAIR 2GB DDR3 1333 waiting for the parts to get here.

    The plan is to order all the parts on the 19th.
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    Forgive me as I'm a bit late to the thread updates. I'm shocked to hear about the gigabyte board. Especially their memory list. Are they skipping steps now and just assuming? Unreal... I've been impressed with some Asus boards as of late. I would go Asus over Asrock if it were my build.

    Also, why not go 2.5"HDD instead?

    Looks slick so far. Let me know if I can help in anyway.

  28. #118

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    The ASRock board is the ONLY board I can find that's FM1 and mini itx with the 24 pin located in the right position. I also prefer ASUS but can't this time around. What makes me feel a bit better is that the AMD A-6 3500 and that ASRock board are favorites of the xmbc crowd so it shouldn't have any problems.

    I was also very disappointed in Gigabyte as I went out of my way to buy that board specifically because it was supposed to be better.

    I am going 3.5 on the HDD for now to save cash as I have a 320 gig on hand. Come black Friday or Christmas I hope to upgrade to a 2-3 TB 2.5 HDD

    P.S. I have run ASUS exclusively until now for both my motherboards and gpu's. Great company!
    Last edited by EndersShadow; 10-08-2012 at 12:00 PM.
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    I take that back Drenis. There is 1 offering from Asus, the F1A75-I DELUXE that would work and work well. However its 149.99 at the ONLY place I can find it at (e-cost) that is an authorized vendor.

    Personally I prefer the savings and going with the ASRock given its much easier to find (for now). That might change when it comes time to order though....
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    P.S. I have run ASUS exclusively until now for both my motherboards and gpu's. Great company!
    Indeed! My wife has an ASUS laptop that has literally given her zero issues since she bought it and is running strong year after year. Also their higher end gaming motherboards are drool-worthy.

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