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Flac file help

alpne1

New member
Mar 14, 2013
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Hi

I have just bought Cyrus 6a Tannoy revolution DTSE floorstanders and Audiolab Mdac. At the moment it goes Ipod-mdac-amp playing 320Kbps files. I have listened to Flac files via computer usb to Mdac and was amazed at the difference and wondered how I can play flac files without having the computer on??as I am looking to ditch the Ipod. Will a Nas drive do it and if so how would I access the playlist Ect.? Will the Liv Zen 2tb work plugging into the Mdac ? Im gutted ive just spent £2000 to listen to poor coppies of Mp3's Any help would be much apprisiated. Thanks
 

skippy

New member
Mar 11, 2012
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Alpne1

Your money's not been wasted, but you do have a little bit more to shell out.

The NAS is the way to go, but you'd also need a way to control it, either by 2nd hand SB touch or a Sonos, then you'd just need to control this through an app through a tablet or phone.

I have a Dlink, I did try a Qnap , but I struggled to get any progress in setting that up (customer service was poor too). Apparently though Qnap have since brought out a more user friendly version, but I'm happy with the Dlink.

Also as you have the Mdac you can use that with the media player you choose.

I'm not any kind of expert, but I have this system and it just works flawlessly.
 

stevebrock

New member
Nov 13, 2009
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If you get a Synology NAS then you can control it with the DS Audio app on iOS or Android (tablet/phone)

I use DS Audio app on my iPhone to control my NAS which plugs directly into my DAC with excellent results - files are ALAC as I use iTunes.

When i want to import a new CD, I rip it to iTunes on my MacBook Pro - My iTunes library then points to the NAS, it is all very simple & seamless.

However Synolgy do not do gapless playback so if it is important to you then just take note.
 

npoguy

New member
Apr 22, 2011
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If you plan to go directly from Synology NAS to a DAC, I strongly advise that you check the web to see if it's compatible. I had serious issues going from the DS212J to my Emotiva XDA-1 DAC. I was able to get it to work, but I had a few scary moments of thinking I would need to get a new DAC.
 

alpne1

New member
Mar 14, 2013
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Thanks Guys for the info

Steve ive read the synology could plug into the Mdac but heard stories of it clicking during playback due to the Asynchronus compatability with Synology have you had any problems ? Which one would be ok ?

Its all very confusing. Ive reaserched all my purchases for months every day lol cant believe I managed to get this so wrong. !!!!!

Thanks
 

npoguy

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Apr 22, 2011
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When I plugged mine into the Emotiva, I got skips and clicks. When it played, it played beautifully--better sound quality than the same file played through the SBT.

I have no explanation for it, but just as I was thinking about sending the NAS back , the issues stopped and hasn't skipped since. My wife thinks the NAS sensed danger and whipped itself into shape ;)
 

stevebrock

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Nov 13, 2009
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I have the DS212j which more than adequate for storing FLAC/ALAC files, I have 2 x WD RED 2 x 1TB - set up as RAID 1 (mirrored)
 

alpne1

New member
Mar 14, 2013
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Steve

Do you have to have your computer on to play the music files ? Is it easy to set up a NAS ? Are the drives supplied with the NAS and is it easy to control via the tablet or phone app.

Sorry all this is way beyond me. I was used to popping in a CD and listening. Im determined to master this technology malarky Ha Ha

The wife is gonna blow her top when I tell her I'm not finished buying yet !!!!!

Thanks to everyone for your input and help
 

npoguy

New member
Apr 22, 2011
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Alpne

I realize your reply wasn't addressed to me, but I thought I would give you my input based on doing this just a couple of weeks ago. Setting up the 212J was very straightforward and simple. It literally takes 20 minutes and a small screwdriver to get the box physically set up. From there, you load the software on your computer, download some of the apps and then start copying files. In my case I was moving from Itunes to the NAS. It is very time consuming if you have a big library (I had about 300 gigs), but there isn't much for you to do while the NAS is doing its thing. Once it was set up, you don't need the computer because you can control from the iPad app. For the first 24 hours or so after my files were copied over, it was very slow to load files--much slower than my SBT; sometimes 15 seconds or so between commands. After that, everything sped up and worked very quickly. I had a lot of doubts during the first weekend and thought about sending it back several times. Once everything got ironed out, I've really enjoyed it.

BTW, getting the SBT to work with it (even with the NAS Logitech server) was a little more complicated and you lose Spotify connectivity (at least I haven't figured out how to get it to work), but I'm still happy. I'm still exploring all of the other features.
 

alpne1

New member
Mar 14, 2013
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thanks npoguy

Your information is very much appriciated I just worry I will botch it with very little computer experience. Lookings at the prices I guess the Nas drive straight into the Dac is the cheaper option at the moment so will probably go for that.

i nipped into PC world on the way home to see if they could give me some gems of inspiration.

In one word CLUELESS two of the advisors hadnt even heard of a NAS drive LMFAO :roll:

many thanks
 

Overdose

New member
Feb 8, 2008
279
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0
alpne1 said:
Hi

I have just bought Cyrus 6a Tannoy revolution DTSE floorstanders and Audiolab Mdac. At the moment it goes Ipod-mdac-amp playing 320Kbps files. I have listened to Flac files via computer usb to Mdac and was amazed at the difference and wondered how I can play flac files without having the computer on??as I am looking to ditch the Ipod. Will a Nas drive do it and if so how would I access the playlist Ect.? Will the Liv Zen 2tb work plugging into the Mdac ? Im gutted ive just spent £2000 to listen to poor coppies of Mp3's Any help would be much apprisiated. Thanks
Can I ask how the iPod is connected to the mDAC and also what are the sources of the mp3s and FLAC files? I doubt the differences that you are hearing are down to the formats themselves, so something doesn't seem quite right.

For what it's worth, I find that rips from CDs at 256kbpsVBR AAC files, sound no different to the lossless versions, so I'm surprised that the 320kbps mp3s sound noticeably off. Perhaps the problem lies elsewhere and you don't need to spend any more money.
 

alpne1

New member
Mar 14, 2013
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Hi Overdose

Ipod is sitting on a pure i20 digital dock going to M-dac via digital coaxial lead. Mp3 files are mainly 320 kbps from my CD rips which I have now sold :oops: some itunes ACC at 256 kbps. Flac files are cd rips.

I reaserched before I bought my new system 3 weeks ago and from searching forums I thought the same as you , that there would be very little difference between CD/acc/MP3 at 320kbps and flac;however I used my daughter and her friend as testers much to their annoyance.:rofl:

In all cases they picked the flac by far as the better sound saying it was a fuller sound and could hear more detail.

So that confirmed it was not just me and my search for the best sound possible.Maybe I should have spent another 6 months reaserching, trouble is there are some conflicting advise and what is good for some is poor for others !!

Im starting to miss my old marantz pm7200 and 7300 now :mad:

many thanks
 

npoguy

New member
Apr 22, 2011
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alpne1 said:
thanks npoguy

Your information is very much appriciated I just worry I will botch it with very little computer experience. Lookings at the prices I guess the Nas drive straight into the Dac is the cheaper option at the moment so will probably go for that.

i nipped into PC world on the way home to see if they could give me some gems of inspiration.

In one word CLUELESS two of the advisors hadnt even heard of a NAS drive LMFAO :roll:

many thanks
I didn't really know what I was doing either. I watched several videos on the web, including a few on WHF (under videos/how to) and just started trying things. The Synology NAS came with a short introductory presentation, but it wasn't very helpful. At first, I couldn't even figure out what my admin password was because it wasn't intuitive that I was setting one! Definitely download the Logitech server app if you are using an SBT.

Moving the files to the NAS was literally as easy as finding the Itunes music folder and copying it to the Music folder on the NAS (which was created during the setup phase). It will tell you how long the copying will take--probably 6 hours or more. If you use iTunes for your music, make sure you go into the Itunes settings and check the boxes to let it organize the files once the copying is complete.

Again, setting up the SBT was another story and took some effort. It would see the NAS folder, then lose it, then recognize it again. I spent hours trying to get Spotify to work, but then learned that it's probably a compatability thing between Synology and spotify.

And, definitely do not get too frustrated during the first 24-48 hours. I'm not smart enough to know why, but everything started working better after that. Up to that point, I had the box ready to go back to the "river store". Bottom line, it wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done, but I was proud of myself once it was up and running.
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2011
236
0
18,790
alpne1 said:
Hi

I have just bought Cyrus 6a Tannoy revolution DTSE floorstanders and Audiolab Mdac. At the moment it goes Ipod-mdac-amp playing 320Kbps files. I have listened to Flac files via computer usb to Mdac and was amazed at the difference and wondered how I can play flac files without having the computer on??as I am looking to ditch the Ipod. Will a Nas drive do it and if so how would I access the playlist Ect.? Will the Liv Zen 2tb work plugging into the Mdac ? Im gutted ive just spent £2000 to listen to poor coppies of Mp3's Any help would be much apprisiated. Thanks
Do you find a difference between 320 kbs mp3 anf a FLAC file.... :O

Man you'll be the first... ;)

:cheers:
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2011
236
0
18,790
I do have a Synology 213 with 2x3tb HD at RAID1 and my NAS is connected through USB into Rega DAC, and with better results as I had with the SBT into Rega DAC through Coax input! And with no click, pops, or any noise what so ever!

But Rega DAC did click with SBT when I change a 44.1K music into a 96k, and the inverse as well.... Never managed to solved the problem....
 

skippy

New member
Mar 11, 2012
68
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0
Got to disagree there.

You can notice a difference between an iPod playing 320 KBS files and a PC or NAS streaming flac.

My missus could hear the difference too (so it's gotta be good)
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2011
236
0
18,790
skippy said:
Got to disagree there.

You can notice a difference between an iPod playing 320 KBS files and a PC or NAS streaming flac.

My missus could hear the difference too (so it's gotta be good)
Of course you can!

I was being ironic...!

:cheers:
 

Overdose

New member
Feb 8, 2008
279
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0
Take a CD and rip a track that you know well at several compression rates. Listen to these back to back on the same device, so that all factors bar the actual files are removed.

It is quite possible that there is a level difference between sources. I wouldn't give up yet. Any differences that might exist between files of different bit rates, particularly at such high bit rates, should not be so obvious that you would immediately sit up and take note.

There is a free piece of software called 'Foobar' that allows one to AB test different files, you might like to give that a try. I think that you'd find the results interesting.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
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As Overdose says, it's interesting to test the differences.

The 'daughter test' may in fact be revealing differences in hearing ability. To some people, lossy CODECS like AAC sound flat and lacking in sparkle, but other people don't notice much or any difference. This may be because lossy CODECS are designed to save space on disk by eliminating the least audible bits of the frequency range, which tends to mean the very top end. If you're a woman or young, you're more likely to hear a difference. Men on average have less keen high frequency hearing, and as we age, our high frequency hearing deteriorates. Moreover, men lose their high frequency hearing fast than women do. High frequency hearing also becomes more variable, so that if you take a group of 50-year-old men, you'll find very considerable differences between their ability to hear high frequencies. On the other hand, as they age, women tend to lose low frequency hearing more than men do.

Matt
 

alpne1

New member
Mar 14, 2013
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0
So just to clarify

If I get a synology nas to Mdac and it wont work will I be able to add a logitech squeezebox or sonas connect to resolve the issue of playing flac files via usb to M-dac to Cyrus amp ??

I know after my experiment I am not going to be satisfied with the I pod 320kbps files

Has anyone had experiance with Liv Zen 2 tb music server ?

Many thanks everyone for your help
 

fr0g

New member
Jan 7, 2008
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The software and more importantly the codec can have a large bearing on the quality of the MP3 files.

I don't personally believe you would be able to differentiate my current LAME ripped MP3s from FLAC.

However some early codecs were pretty poor and it was obvious. What software are you using to rip to MP3?

I would recommend EAC or dbPoweramp and a copy of the latest LAME codec.

If you're using an older version of WMP or iTunes the rips may be quite poor. FLAC rrips can't suffer from this as they are lossless.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
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alpne1 said:
If I get a synology nas to Mdac and it wont work will I be able to add a logitech squeezebox or sonas connect to resolve the issue of playing flac files via usb to M-dac to Cyrus amp ??
Yes, that's exactly it. If you can't get the Synology/MDAC combo to work (and I'm sure there's plenty of help out there on the web), you could put a cheap streaming device between the NAS and the DAC. I don't know anything about the Squeezebox. I've had Sonos for eight years now though, and it's been a breeze. (See my sig below.) Sonos Connect to MDAC will give you good sound and great ease of use. Obviously you could add more Sonos boxes in future for multi-room use. The excellent Sonos control app can be installed on PCs, smartphones and tablets.

Good luck!

Matt
 

stevebrock

New member
Nov 13, 2009
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i dont see why your M-Dac will not work with the Synology NAS, when you plug your DAC into the NAS, then play music it will see your DAC as a pair of USB speakers - it does with my Rega DAC anyway!

There is a compatibility list, the Rega DAC is not on it, but that list looks very old and I think all modern DACs will work

I cant see how it wont work
 

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