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Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
2017-10-28, 13:17
Post: #31
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
I think I may have already said this, but I was skeptical about the claims Melco make. But, I have just "upgraded" my NAS from a standard Synology DS214play to a "high-end" (their term) QNAP HS-251+.

As I still have them both, with identical source music files, on identical WD Reds, I have over the last few days been able to do direct A/B's between them, using the same server (MinimServer). I have taken the Jitterbug out of the QNAP for this purpose as well, and temporarily used a standard ethernet cable on the QNAP too, to match the Synology's setup. The only difference between the two then is the OS and hardware.

The QNAP is outperforming the Synology by quite some margin. If even I can discern an improvement then it's probably significant. I tried to describe it before, but the best I can do is, it seems to take the QNAP less effort to do the same job, resulting in a wider/broader soundscape, and a "smoothness" that wasn't there before. Instruments are more clearly delineated too, and easier to pick out. Perhaps that's just another way to say the overall experience is "more musical". Not that it wasn't before, just a step up.

It could simply be that the QNAP has 2GB RAM, while the Synology only has 1GB. But whatever it is, I'm glad I made the change Smile

Result is, I am less skeptical of the claims than I was. But I'm talking a price differential of practically nothing.

Akurate EDSM | Majik ExaktBox-I [on Custom Design iRAPs] | Majik 140, REL T5
Rega RP1, [QNAP HS-251+, Jitterbug, MinimServer, Asset], Kazoo [Linx1010]

AV: Marantz NR1506 | B&W 620(C), M1(S), REL T5 (LFE) | Fronts powered by Linn
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2017-10-28, 15:39
Post: #32
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
(2017-10-28 13:17)timster Wrote:  The QNAP is outperforming the Synology by quite some margin. If even I can discern an improvement then it's probably significant. I tried to describe it before, but the best I can do is, it seems to take the QNAP less effort to do the same job, resulting in a wider/broader soundscape, and a "smoothness" that wasn't there before. Instruments are more clearly delineated too, and easier to pick out ... It could simply be that the QNAP has 2GB RAM, while the Synology only has 1GB. But whatever it is, I'm glad I made the change Smile

I doubt that the amount of RAM has any bearing on the issue. The improvement you are hearing could be because the QNAP is sending less noise (which, incidentally, will be analogue in character) down the Ethernet cable than the Synology, giving you a lower noise floor at the Linn end. Interestingly, I could detect no difference between my Netgear and QNAP NASs, which bears out my earlier point that these things are context-dependent.

David

Main system: [Basik/Basik+/K5/Lejonklou Gaio >][Roksan Kandy Mk III >] KEDSM > Akurate Exaktbox 10 > Linn Silvers> A4200 x 2 and A2200 > K600 > Akubariks
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2017-10-28, 16:28 (This post was last modified: 2017-10-28 16:30 by spannko.)
Post: #33
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
(2017-10-28 12:56)DavidHB Wrote:  
(2017-10-28 11:00)dubselect Wrote:  ... as always there are believers (who hear or think that they hear an improvement) and non-believers (who think that there can not be any improvement because it is not possible) ... I personally always try to keep an open mind when I test any new audiophile device.

Me too. It is also important to remember that most of us only have the opportunity to try one or two systems in each case, and there is always the possibility that any results we get may be context-dependent. It is probably unwise to form absolute views of a piece of equipment based on such small samples; the best one can do is to relate one's opinion to the circumstances of the demo.

(2017-10-28 11:00)dubselect Wrote:  My opinion about Melco - it makes no difference in comparison with a "standard" NAS.

The one short test I was able to hear on my system did indicate there was a difference of some sort, but it was so small that it was hard to tell what the difference was, or indeed to decide whether it represented an improvement. My conclusion was that the Melco N1A/2 (the model I heard) would be unlikely to justify its cost in my system. That opinion does not relate to the use of the Melco in other contexts, and particularly about its use as a renderer, of which I have no experience.

(2017-10-28 11:00)dubselect Wrote:  Here is the talk about noise. Some people claim that Melco decreases the noise level and thus improves the soundquality. Well, anytime I hear a reduction of noise, I hear an improvement in dynamics - the lower the noise level, the wider is the real dynamic range a human can hear. Thereby the sound becomes cleaner, more coherent, less harsh, less grainy etc.

That is the kind of effect I have come to expect when it is likely that the noise floor of the system has been lowered. It is the kind of difference I can hear (again, on my system) between playing a FLAC stream directly and playing it transcoded to 24 bit WAV. That difference is small; the difference between the N1A/2 and the basic model QNAP NAS in my system was even less. So my results were similar to, but not quite the same as, those of dubselect.

All of that said, I'd be very wary of writing off the Melco completely. If the description of the Japanese market in the review is anything like correct, the Melco clearly fills a niche in its home country. And for some people, the combination of music store and renderer with a 'consumer' rather than 'computer' UI will be attractive. I just don't need one in my Linn system.

On a separate point, I hope we can now put to bed any thought that we are going to see some kind of new product jointly developed by Melco/Buffalo and Linn. Nothing is impossible, of course, but you have to stretch what little evidence there is very thin indeed to come to that conclusion.

David

I honestly don’t understand why anyone would want to put this story to bed so soon. The (prima facie) evidence suggests that Linn have already co-developed an audiophile NAS with Melco/Buffalo, and if it’s true, I think it’s is a very significant development.

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2017-10-28, 17:10 (This post was last modified: 2017-10-28 17:11 by JPO2005.)
Post: #34
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
I've heard of a Melco and must say this is an incredible sound enhancement.
1. Sound of streaming services like Qubuzz, Tidal etc. is much better.
2. Sound from the QNAP over the Melco much better.
The best thing to hear the music directly from the Melco is that is already incredibly good. I wonder how you can listen to music without a Melco.
Of course, the middle Melco was around classes better than the small, Shit.

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2017-10-28, 17:28
Post: #35
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
(2017-10-28 16:28)spannko Wrote:  
(2017-10-28 12:56)DavidHB Wrote:  I hope we can now put to bed any thought that we are going to see some kind of new product jointly developed by Melco/Buffalo and Linn. Nothing is impossible, of course, but you have to stretch what little evidence there is very thin indeed to come to that conclusion.
I honestly don’t understand why anyone would want to put this story to bed so soon. The (prima facie) evidence suggests that Linn have already co-developed an audiophile NAS with Melco/Buffalo, and if it’s true, I think it’s is a very significant development.

But the evidence is paper-thin (and it is by no means clear that the reviewer fully understood what he was told about Linn's involvement). Given what we know about Linn's products and stated intentions (which certainly do not include an 'audiophile NAS'), what makes you think otherwise?

David

Main system: [Basik/Basik+/K5/Lejonklou Gaio >][Roksan Kandy Mk III >] KEDSM > Akurate Exaktbox 10 > Linn Silvers> A4200 x 2 and A2200 > K600 > Akubariks
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2017-10-28, 17:31
Post: #36
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
Seem to remember that Linn's engineers opened up a Melco and just commented that there was just standard network kit inside, nothing special or unusual. That is my memory of the only comment from Linn. Might be my bad memory, of course!!!

CJ

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2017-10-28, 17:59
Post: #37
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
(2017-10-28 17:31)CJ1045 Wrote:  Seem to remember that Linn's engineers opened up a Melco and just commented that there was just standard network kit inside, nothing special or unusual.

If that's to any degree correct, it does not exactly square with the idea that Linn is planning to co-operate with Melco on product development. OK, as CJ says, it's just his recollection. But where's the counter-evidence?

David

Main system: [Basik/Basik+/K5/Lejonklou Gaio >][Roksan Kandy Mk III >] KEDSM > Akurate Exaktbox 10 > Linn Silvers> A4200 x 2 and A2200 > K600 > Akubariks
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2017-10-28, 18:13 (This post was last modified: 2017-10-28 18:14 by JPO2005.)
Post: #38
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
Just as the Melco sounds, Linn would have to deliver at least a middle Melco at Klimax level for free.
How can Linn claim that the stream of the NAS hardly affects the sound! That is not true, we know, but the difference is so powerful I find very embarrassed.
Most likely you have to retrofit for a lot of money because Linn builds such incomplete devices.

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2017-10-28, 18:38 (This post was last modified: 2017-10-28 18:39 by DavidHB.)
Post: #39
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
(2017-10-28 18:13)JPO2005 Wrote:  Just as the Melco sounds, Linn would have to deliver at least a middle Melco at Klimax level for free.

They would on my system (which has a Klimax front end). On that system, the Melco makes, as I said, almost no difference to the sound quality, and as such is near worthless to me. I quite accept that the same is not true for other people, but by the same token it is wrong to claim that a Melco will improve the performance of any and all systems, because my experience tells me that that is not the case.

(2017-10-28 18:13)JPO2005 Wrote:  How can Linn claim that the stream of the NAS hardly affects the sound! That is not true, we know, but the difference is so powerful I find very embarrassed.

Where have they made this claim? I'm open to correction, but I don't think that Linn have made any public pronouncement on the subject.

(2017-10-28 18:13)JPO2005 Wrote:  Most likely you have to retrofit for a lot of money because Linn builds such incomplete devices.

Linn DS/DSMs are intended to be hosted on (and use the facilities of) networks. A network is a multi-purpose system, on which a variety of devices can operate. No one manufacturer can make them all. You might as well castigate your cooker manufacturer for not making gas meters.

David

Main system: [Basik/Basik+/K5/Lejonklou Gaio >][Roksan Kandy Mk III >] KEDSM > Akurate Exaktbox 10 > Linn Silvers> A4200 x 2 and A2200 > K600 > Akubariks
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2017-10-28, 19:33
Post: #40
RE: Linn Co-develops Audiophile NAS
(2017-10-28 15:39)DavidHB Wrote:  
(2017-10-28 13:17)timster Wrote:  The QNAP is outperforming the Synology by quite some margin. If even I can discern an improvement then it's probably significant. I tried to describe it before, but the best I can do is, it seems to take the QNAP less effort to do the same job, resulting in a wider/broader soundscape, and a "smoothness" that wasn't there before. Instruments are more clearly delineated too, and easier to pick out ... It could simply be that the QNAP has 2GB RAM, while the Synology only has 1GB. But whatever it is, I'm glad I made the change Smile

I doubt that the amount of RAM has any bearing on the issue. The improvement you are hearing could be because the QNAP is sending less noise (which, incidentally, will be analogue in character) down the Ethernet cable than the Synology, giving you a lower noise floor at the Linn end. Interestingly, I could detect no difference between my Netgear and QNAP NASs, which bears out my earlier point that these things are context-dependent.

David

As is everything. In this case, as with many other things in this thing we call audiophilia, I think it is safe to aver that the context is mostly the person. Nothing is so subjective as the personal experience Wink

Akurate EDSM | Majik ExaktBox-I [on Custom Design iRAPs] | Majik 140, REL T5
Rega RP1, [QNAP HS-251+, Jitterbug, MinimServer, Asset], Kazoo [Linx1010]

AV: Marantz NR1506 | B&W 620(C), M1(S), REL T5 (LFE) | Fronts powered by Linn
Net: NetGear DGN2200 | GS108 | AQ Forest x3

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