NAS drive or PC for music storage?

Gazzip

Well-known member
Jan 15, 2011
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I currently stream Apple Lossless from my iMac via a standard OEM Cat5 cable, (20 metres long), in to a squeezebox touch.

I was wondering whether instead of using my iMac for storage I were to use a NAS drive. This could be located 1 metre away from my HiFi and connected to my SBT using a HiFi grade of USB or a Cat 5 cable.

Would this make any difference whatsoever to the sound quality?

Thanks.
 

michael hoy

Well-known member
Oct 6, 2008
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I do not expect there to be a difference in sound quality.

I would say if putting a NAS box in the listening area to go for a silent (fanless) device, but depends on your budget.

You have some very nice kit in your signature, so I would be looking for a quality device to go with it.

Tranquil or Quite PC - here as well, have some good quality cases.
 

Overdose

Well-known member
Feb 8, 2008
279
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There is technically no such thing as hifi grade ethernet cable, but lets not go there.

The benefit of a NAS is mainly lower power consumption and is worthwhile for that purpose alone. If you wish to put the NAS near your hifi, then a quite model would be best, as has been suggested. There is no real reason to have the NAS anywhere near the hifi though, if you can hide the cable. Properly set up, the NAS can be accessed from anywhere in the home and by anyone, so can be quite versatile.
 

Gazzip

Well-known member
Jan 15, 2011
88
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18,540
Thanks guys.

I kind of figured that was the case but had heard things about power supply / wifi interference if I use my PC or iMac for streaming.

Cheers, Gazzip
 

Diamond Joe

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2008
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18,545
If you want a silent NAS then don't get a QNAP, mine suffers from a little bit of fan and a tiny bit of HDD noise. I suppose if I'd bought more expensive HDDs that wouldn't have been a problem and I could always upgrade the fan, but I'm not bothered, it's in another room.
 

mike162

New member
May 26, 2012
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My opinion; there is all sorts of nonsense talked about cables, often by people who would like to sell you incredibly expensive cables & connectors!

For analogue they can make a huge difference, its easy to hear, though it is easy to confuse "different" with "better".

It is not the same with digital, as you are NOT transmitting music, merely a code which details all the elements of the music. Therefore "hifi" digital cables are a nonsense (though I agree that it is possible that "hifi" Optical digital cable might be worthwhile to reduce reflections that may cause "jitter").

To demonstrate the point, I use "homeplugs" to transmit signals from my router to my laptop over the electrical power system in my home. The signal is not degraded as far as I can tell (no error messages). I also use the same system to stream iPlayer & Lovefilm from my router to my HD television with, to my eye, no degrading of the picture, and I have been experimenting with streaming my ripped CD's from my NAS drive situated on the first floor of my house to my hifi on the ground floor at the other end of the house via the homeplugs. Pretty good so far - though I do not intend to compare and to run a "hifi" cable at £150? per metre across my house as I would likely need £3000 of the stuff!!!
 

HuwWatkins

New member
Jun 2, 2011
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Their is so much crud talked about digital files its getting annoying to me.

Your NAS is simply a small server, it doesnt process a file for any type of data whatsoever when its sending it to a device, it simply sends the data and the device on the other end processes it - THAT device can matter when it comes to final replay of music/video etc. The NAS just sends data.

The things to look for in a NAS are :

Wired Connection - you should go for Gigabit interface, any switches (please dont use hubs) in the path of the data must also be gigabit devices for the benefit to take effect, however 100Mbit is fine, even for quality video streams unless there is perhaps 12 people in your house constantly streaming off the device.

Wireless - negate the cables, at the potential cost of less reliability in especially 'noisy' RF situations. More bandwidth the better, most devices can manage a reported 108Mb connection nowadays - yes its scientific best scenario but a good measure.

Storage - More is better, always. Take into account using FLAC you will need about 15Mb per 'normal' song. If you go original CD Quality WAV format - make that 10Mb per minute of tune.

Processor on the NAS - get a modern, good make one, and its unlikely you'll go wrong as i believe nearly all now are using multicore processors that do not get in the way of the data delivery (ie slow it down). Again there is no real processing of the file, but there is in so far as organising and sending it goes - old NAS would suffer speed drop due to this.

The cables - do you really think that if 'standard' Cat5 cables introduced so much trouble theyd be in use now in most computing environments ? the answer is NO btw. Us nerd types value our data transfers more than the audiophiles value the frequency response.

Ive never laughed so hard as when i saw an 'Audiophile' Cat5 cable for sale at £95.

:)
 

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