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 Post subject: Music Rig (modded Lian-Li, Intel SSD, external sound cards)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:07 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Canada
I built this computer specifically to listen to music, with occasional gaming as well.
  • Intel Q9550 @ 3.2ghz, 1.14v
  • Asus P5Q-E motherboard
  • Intel 80GB X25-M G2 SSD
  • Seagate Momentus 320GB, enclosed in Scythe SilentDrive, then soft
    mounted with mCubed Silent Brackets (notebook hdd * silent^2 :D )
  • Radeon 4870 1GB
  • Enermax Modu82+ 525W
Cooling Setup:
  • Scythe S-Flex case (back) fan @ 800rpm
  • Scythe SlipStream CPU fan @ 800rpm
  • Noctua NH-U12P Heatsink
  • Thermalright T-RAD GPU Heatsink
  • Enermax PSU fan replaced with Noctua P12, thermally controlled by a
    T-Balancer miniNG
  • Thermalright 92mm fans on GPU, also controlled by the miniNG.
    The miniNG does a really good job of keeping the GPU fan noise
    down to a minimum. The entire system is inaudible from 1 meter away.

As you can see, the top of the case has been cut to make room for 2x120mm fans.
There is actually no need to put fans here, as convection + the GPU fans is
more than enough to exhaust the hot air from the case.

Pictures (excuse the dust :oops: The case is over a year old now... )

Image

Image Image


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The audio setup:
  • Tetra 120u Monitors
  • North Star m192 DAC
  • MSB Power DAC Gold
  • Grado HP2 and HF2 headphones (not shown)
  • Abraxas Custom Built Integrated Amp (not shown)

Image

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:05 pm
Posts: 50
Location: AZ
Very clean! Excellent, I love it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:40 am
Posts: 50
Location: Copenhagen
Great build! *THUMBS UP*


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:15 pm
Posts: 194
Location: *-Home-*
cool! nice!

Just like you I enjoy music...

However I do not use my PC to listen to music, I have a dedicated HTPC for that, I use DacMagic, Rotel Processor with Rotel amps (RB-1080 and RB-991) and B&W Speakers (700 series).

My Dream is to be able to buy a Benchmark Dac, and a nice transport for CDs & SACDs.

Congratulations on your build, its very very nice!

_________________
Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
cause its ok to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
cause you think that being a girl is degrading
But secretly youd love to know what its like
Wouldnt you
What it feels like for a girl


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:07 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Canada
Thanks for the comments :)

I'd love a dedicated HTPC, but I only have 1 room for everything :?
Would also like to hear better speakers, but most of them will look
really awkward on my desk.

Kate wrote:
My Dream is to be able to buy a Benchmark Dac, and a nice transport for CDs & SACDs.


Have you considered getting using a Firewire or
USB digital interface with your PC, instead of a
dedicated transport? Or a DAC with properly
implemented USB input, such as the Ayre QB-9?

I wouldn't recommend buying the Benchmark DAC
unless you audition it first. It was my first
dedicated DAC, about 5 years ago, and I believe
many others have surpassed it, even at its price
point. I'd consider getting a Stello DA100 instead
of the DAC1, it is both cheaper and better (imho).
Since you already have the DacMagic, it may even
make sense to skip the 1K DACs and go straight
to skip 1K DACs altogether ;)


Last edited by nyu3 on Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:31 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:07 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Canada
edit: double post


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:15 pm
Posts: 194
Location: *-Home-*
Hi!

Well I have a Rotel CD Player, its not THEEE BEST Cd player, but I kinda like it. I also have a Denon 2930, which is a DVD player with PCM1791 dac, which is decent but also not the best.

With the HTPC + dacmagic the sound for lossless audio is great, not even sure if I would be able to "listen" the difference if I used a better DAC.

The benchmark for me would bem the top DAC I would even buy.

The DAC Magic is connected to the PC using USB, for the denon and rotel I do not use the external DAC, as they sound pretty good alone.

I found that most sound cards, is aweful, maybe one exception is the Asus Xonar, apparently they use BurrBrown dacs and the sound is better than the regular SB cards...

You know, sound quality for me is very important, I play violion as a hobby and I love cello and violin sound, so I do appreciate sound quality!

One day I will be fortunate enough to have those nice 802D or 801D B&W speakers!! :)

_________________
Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
cause its ok to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
cause you think that being a girl is degrading
But secretly youd love to know what its like
Wouldnt you
What it feels like for a girl


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:07 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Canada
Glad to see another music-phile here :) I used to
play the cello, but now nothing :oops: I listen to
mostly Beethoven String Quartets and now
Wagner. One of these days, I'd like to hear
Wagner through top end horn speakers like the
Acapella or Avantgarde :D

Imho, computers can better than even the best
dedicated silver disk transports. For example,
something like a computer with Weiss INT202,
RME Fireface, Logitech Transporter, or perhaps the
new Wavelength Wavelink would make an
excellent digital front end for any DAC you get :)

An example setup would be:
HTPC -> Wavelength Wavelink -> Your DAC

Get the convenience of having all your music
stored on hard drive, without any compromise in
sound quality.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:15 pm
Posts: 194
Location: *-Home-*
hi!

String Quartets is always nice, I REALLY appreciate the cello and violin sound, I always liked, since I was very young.

Never heard of those speakers, the best I got the chance to hear was Wilson Audio and Gryphon, do not remember the models, as it was pretty much irrelevant for me... i.e. I would never be able to buy it.

Logitech Transport? You mean like squeeze box? Never heard of Wavelength Wavelink.

I spent a painful ammount of money buying my current setup, I got a Rotel RSP-1570, RB-1080, RB-991, B&W 703, B&W 705 and HTM7, and a Velodyne DLS-4000r. As for players I have the Rotel CD Player, a Denon 2930CI, and a sony Bluray. And for lossless music, I got a very simple HTPC with DacMagic.

I am a big fan of english speakers, I like the Kef sound, and B&W sound. While people describe the 700 B&W line as harsh, I think it sound amazingly for violin and cello.

I am trying to save money to buy an RC-1070 and RB-1070 and a set of 705 speakers and start a simple dedicated audio player in my bedroom.

Well yes, not many girls like this things, but for me music is very important, I grew up listening and playing violin, I used to dream of playing in a quartet...

Once again, in music... nothing beats the sound of good Cello and a good Violin.

_________________
Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
cause its ok to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
cause you think that being a girl is degrading
But secretly youd love to know what its like
Wouldnt you
What it feels like for a girl


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:22 am
Posts: 379
Location: maine
I don't get what exactly the DAC is...and the benchmark brand at 1295 dollars. A computer transforms all of it..if we are listening to it. Bizarre quest if you ask me. looks nice. :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:07 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Canada
colm wrote:
I don't get what exactly the DAC is...and the benchmark brand at 1295 dollars. A computer transforms all of it..if we are listening to it. Bizarre quest if you ask me. looks nice. :roll:


A sound card is basically a DAC (most sound cards
have an ADC section as well). DAC stands for
digital to analog converter. Basically, your
computer only "transforms" music files (mp3, flac,
whatever) into a digital stream, which needs to
be converted into an analog stream to be played
on your speakers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:13 pm 
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*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:21 pm
Posts: 1255
Location: 15143, USA
Nice build. I'm jealous of your HP2s. Simply outstanding headphones.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:46 am
Posts: 49
Could've sworn the case looked familiar... *looks at username* :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:58 pm
Posts: 258
Location: Markham, Canada
I swear, I have seen your rig at Head-Fi...in the post your computer rig thread...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:07 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Canada
Astute!


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