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Cheap solution for music in silence

daftcombo

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#1
Hi,

I'm after a completely silent PC, tablet or whatever to play music on JRiver or Foobar with a convolution plug in (convolver) or anything else similar.
My smartphone with Android has the Foobar app but can't use a plug-in like convolver. The JRiver app neither.

I know about totally silent PC which cost around 1 000$, but I'd rather get something cheaper.

Does it exist?

Thanks!
 

stunta

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#2
I have a Zotac Zbox I put together for around $400 many years ago that is still serving as my music server (used to run JRiver, now runs Roon with DSP). No moving parts and runs silent. They have quite a lot of models/configs to choose from.
 

Arnandsway

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#3
One of the newer Intel NUC's is a good alternative.
The newest generation with a i3-8109u processor is relatively powerfull, compared to alternatives in the same price range. In EU this barebone is around €250, so you could spend more to get a more powerfull processor and/or making it passively cooled.
 
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somebodyelse

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#4
You could try a Raspberry Pi with Volumio and a hat-based dac or spdif output. It may work with usb dacs too, but there are reports of glitches when combined with convolvers. The odroid boards are said not to have the glitches with usb dacs, but cost a bit more.

There are plenty of fanless miniITX and microATX boards that should have more than enough power do run what you need. Some of them have a dc power input that'll work with an old laptop power supply. The rest will work with a picopsu, or look for a case with a built in silent supply. It's up to you how much or little you're prepared to spend on a case and ssd. Using Daphile keeps the memory requirement and overhead to a minimum, has DRC built in, and saves the cost of a Windows license. You can control it through a browser, or use one of the many Squeezebox control apps.
 

daftcombo

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#5
Thank you for your suggestions.

I need a convolution plug-in. Do those solutions allow it?
The Zotac Zbox does run Jriver so yes.
 
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#6
I second the NUC8 i3 running JRiver. Add 8 GB of RAM, a M2 SSD and a 2.5 inch hard drive and you got yourself a neat music player/server for less than $500.
 

daftcombo

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#9
Then it's not what I am after. I need something fanless, otherwise there won't be much improvement over my HP laptop.
 

daftcombo

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#10
Anybody has/tried a HP Stream?
Seems fanless and SSD only.
Starts at 200$, not bad!
 

somebodyelse

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#11
The SSD on the Stream is eMMC and usually only 32GB. I've heard of several instances where Windows Update has filled it and refused to update since, but they may have fixed that now. I wouldn't spend my money on one. Parts for a silent mini-itx would be a similar price if you're happy assembling a PC.

There are 3rd party fanless cases for the NUC if you want to go down that route, probably ~$100.

Daphile includes a convolver so you don't need a plugin. It's a free download and can install on a usb stick, so you can try with an existing PC, but probably unplug the existing hard drive first to avoid accidents. I linked to the instructions for the Volumio convolver plugin in the earlier post.
 

technoian

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#13
Don't dismiss the intel NUCs.
Celeron processor versions should be plenty powerful enough for what you want and have a lower TDP so need less cooling. If you want totally silent then install an SSD and replace the casework with one of the fanless ASAKA cases especially made for the NUCs.
 
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#15
It's worth bearing in mind that ambient noise in a quiet home is around 40db so anything with a fan that makes less noise than that should be inaudible.
 

yue

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#16
There are various good Intel based fanless desktop solutions below $150. Some are even below $100. They run Windows and are powerful enough for you to do simple real time music processing, such as the one supported by media players.
 

daftcombo

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#17
There are various good Intel based fanless desktop solutions below $150. Some are even below $100. They run Windows and are powerful enough for you to do simple real time music processing, such as the one supported by media players.
Interesting, but it would require another screen, mouse and keyboard. A all-in-one solution would be better, for storage at least.
 

yue

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#19
Interesting, but it would require another screen, mouse and keyboard. A all-in-one solution would be better, for storage at least.
I would just make it headless and control it using my mobile phone. no screen/keyboard required.

storage --- 32gb is already much bigger than phones. if you need extra storage like I do, an NAS works a lot better and you can put it in your garage/basement. Useful for you to stream video/photos as well.
 
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