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Music only media pc for £500?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by gavp, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. gavp

    gavp
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    Hi guys and gals,

    I've been waiting and waiting for the new Cambridge Audio 640H http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?PID=39&Title=Azur+640H

    as I'm after something to store all my cd's and tapes on. I have also come across the Yamaha CDR-HD1500 http://www.yamaha.co.jp/english/product/av/products/hf/cdrhd1500.html

    There are good and bad things about both products, in an ideal world I'd like a combination of the two, so I was wondering has anyone built a media pc for their music collection?

    Both the above products come in at around £500. Would it be possible to build a media pc for around this price? If so what kind of motherboard, what sound card, etc, etc. :confused:

    I live near Scan in Bolton so I'm assuming I could get most of the items needed from there. As for a case something like this would suffice http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Hiper-Media-C...805689517QQcategoryZ51059QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    I'm not bothered about TV tuners, gaming and so on I just want to have my music 'uncompressed' (so a big HD required) and of a good quality.

    As you have guessed I'm a novice when it comes to knowing parts but I have friends who have built their own gaming machines so I can get them to put it together for me!! :D

    Any ideas would be most appreciated :smashin:

    Cheers

    Gav
     
  2. gavp

    gavp
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  3. stuartmc

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    We sell a few of the Hiper cases and they are a good slimline solution. We can sell a single tuner Media Center for £650 so you should find it easy to build what you are suggesting close to your price range. Use a MATX motherboard with onboard video and ideally a SPDF digital out so that your amp can get a digital audio feed.

    If you raise your budget slightly you could even get MCE 2005 as an OS with remote control.
     
  4. lisag

    lisag
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    An entry level shuttle would be pretty cheap, you would not need very top range components just for music, should come in well below £500... what would you do about a display though? You can get those little VFD screens, or will you connect to an existing tv/monitor?

    lisa
     
  5. Barbarosa

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    I've just ordered the bits to put one together here. The case, mobo, RAM, soundcard, HDD & OS came to £415. On top, I have added a WiFi adaptor and WiFi PDA as a remote control, bringing the total to just over £650.

    Paul
     
  6. loonatic

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    I am actually selling my old MP3 machine which was based around a Shuttle ZEN SFF PC and a 12" TFT touchscreen.

    It makes for a very quiet PC as it has only one 80mm exhaust fan which is controlled via the motherboard.

    Anyway...if you're interested see here for more details:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=248001

    Cheers, Lee
     
  7. cbemoore

    cbemoore
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    I'm using an ancient old PC as a music server, streaming FLAC files to a pair of Slim Devices Squeezeboxes.

    I'd really recommend this approach for 3 reasons:

    1) You can add multiple squeezeboxes to give you music all round the house
    2) You don't need to turn on a TV or monitor screen to control your music
    3) You can hide the server somewhere quiet, and have the (silent) squeezebox in your listening room

    If you haven't considered a Squeezebox yet, then please do! They really are absolutely brilliant.....

    Chris
     
  8. gavp

    gavp
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    Definately want to have a co-ax digital out for best sound quality and will probably use Winamp or iTunes so not sure if I would need anthing more than XP??

    Am after something that will slot nicely onto my AV rack as the unit will be connected to the TV.

    This sounds fairly decent, ive just contacted bigbry.co.uk for a quote as they offer a basic package at around £325

    Cheers for highlighting this, it looks decent enough, although I would have it without a screen.

    Its a very good option although my main priority is the quality of the music, I have not heard a squeezebox but I am assuming the quality of wi-fi over a co-ax digital lead will not be as great????

    Thanks for all the replies so far, any more keep em comin!!
     
  9. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    Actually, the Squeezebox is superb audio quality and will outperform most computer soundcards.

    It has been compared to CD players costing £000's:
    http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=16321

    Andrew
     
  10. Cable Monkey

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    I have built one consisting of:

    Hiper HTPC case
    P4/533 M-ATX board, onboard video
    P4 2.4gig 533 fsb
    1 stick 512 ddr333
    M-Audio 24/96 sound card
    Hiper pci riser
    Quiet 1U cpu cooler
    40gig HDD
    Teac laptop drive (slot loading)

    The bits have been aquired over a period of time, only the case and soundcard was actually purchased at the time of build. I am running XP, using Foobar to pull FLAC files off a freecom NDAS drive and it works very well although its functionality is very much that of a pc. All I want to do now is tidy it up so I can boot up and use a remote to browse files and hit play when I have compiled a list of what I wish to play. I may consider dropping the motherboard back to a Shuttle SV25 motherboard with a 1200 celeron PIII because I certainly don't need a P4! One point worth mentioning is the 24/96 card has been a revelation in pc audio for me.
     
  11. chuckalicious

    chuckalicious
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    I too would suggest the Squuezebox way, or the Creative Wireless Music streamer.

    Both of these would require a bog standard PC hooked up to either a wireless or wired network. The PC itself would only have to meet the specs asked for by the streaming device, so it's not too high. Because it's networked, the PC can be anywhere out of sight, and only the streamer (ie the Creative or the Squeezebox) have to be anywhere near the hifi connections.

    Both of these devices have good remote controls so you don't even need your TV on.

    I really would urge you to go down that route, as it's the most user friendly.

    Rip the music onto the PC server and it should autmatically show up on the player.

    As for the sound quality, as far as I know, until it gets to the audio output of the sound card or streaming device, it's just a data stream, so whether it speeds round your PC internals to the sound card or over the network to a streamer, it's still just data. Chances are the converters etc on the streamers are of far better quality than most sound cards.

    I think Overclockers.co.uk are in fact doing the Creative devices in their clearance section just now
     

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