USB HiFi and HighEnd

24bit96.com - USB HiFi and HighEnd - Main Page

Build your own Digital Audio System Build your Digital Audio Computer for playing Music with your USB DAC

It's simple and cheap to build your own audio computer that stores high-res files and sends these to a USB DAC. We highly recommend that you use a dedicated computer for digital music playback and audio files management, which you can then seamlessly integrate into your current audio equipment.

As far as performance goes, any current computers and processors can be used. You should pay particular attention to noise levels and basic network functionality, and choose your components accordingly. Following is a partial list with a description of the individual components for a home-built audio PC or music server which should help you in your purchasing selection.

DIY USB Audio Computer - Parts list

Parts Description approx. Price
Of course the case should look good and be small - but take care that it has the same form-factor as your motherboard (e.g. Mini-ITX) and that the power-supply is external and without fan.. $ 100.00 - $ 200.00
Mainboard & CPU
We recommend mainboards with an integrated CPU ("CPU on board"). Intels Atom CPU based boards are highly recommended for best audiophile sound results. The motherboard should have stabilized voltage, form-factor Mini-ITX will be fine, take care that you can use them without a CPU-fan (fanless). $ 100.00
Using a SSD-drive is expensive but you have no noise, using a SATA-drive will result in much storage for less money, and if you want to buy a nearly noiseless SATA-drive check out drives with lower speed (5,400 RPM). depending on SSD/SATA and disk-space
$ 50.00 - $ 250.00
Memory / RAM
The RAM depends on the chip of the motherboard - 2 GB (Linux based USB Music Server) - 4 GB (Windows / OSX) should be ok, but please be advised to use only good value RAM. The best is to operate the memory modules in "Dual-Channel Mode", the motherboard therefore is equipped with two identical RAM-modules. $ 40.00 - $ 100.00
(No!) Fan There are a few mainboards with on board CPUs available (like the famous Intel Atom boards). But if you need a fan, buy a special "Low Noise Fan". And avoid internal power-supplys with fans or noisy case-fans. $ 10.00 - $ 50.00
Noise Optimization If you have a case with an external power-supply, a SSD-drive and an onboard CPU without a fan you do not need noise optimization. But if not you can use a Low Noise Fan as described above and reduce noise and vibrations using sound deadening/damping mats (you can buy them at automotive acoustic shops) for SATA-drive and case. $ 15.00 - $ 30.00
More... When you build in your motherboard in the case, juts take care not to enable the harddrive-LED - it could be extremely disturbing when the light flickers all the time. 0.00 $
After you have built the audio server, you need only configure the Hi-Fi PC for bitaccurate digital playback with Linux/MPD, Windows7/foobar2000 or Mac OS X with Audirvana Free/VOX.

DIY USB computer audio system

Primephonic - Classical Music as DSD, WAV and FLAC

High Definition Tape Transfers

Primephonic - Classical Music as DSD, WAV and FLAC

High Definition Tape Transfers

Home Cooking with Valves