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SilenZio High Performance Media Servers

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Old 12-03-2016, 11:17 PM
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Weirdcuba Weirdcuba is offline
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Default Silenzio, buying decision and experience

Well, I fell into the deep end with many in these parts and purchased a Silenzio. The decision was multi-layered, with lots of different influences in different directions. There are many choices out there in the digital server market and there are lots of options, besides just sound quality. No matter what you do, at the heart of a digital server beats a computer of one variety or another, so that means there are options, not just in the component, but how the computer is configured.

I was moving from two places. I had tried the mac mini via wifi (used both Roon and JRiver) and that was not satisfactory from a SQ perspective. The user interface on JRiver pushed me to Roon and I really really enjoy the Roon interface. So, I plunked down for the lifetime membership and am also running my Auralic Altair in the bedroom system via Roon - so Roon narrowed the field significantly.

The second component I left behind was the Bryston BDP-2 (without the sound card upgrade). I had the Bryston before it was Roon ready and it had an OK user interface, but not great. I also had the BOT-1 for ripping CDs, but didn't really use it much. I found that it was not useful for CD playback (which was OK, as I don't really enjoy spinning CDs very much). Then, when Bryston upgraded to Roon, I liked it much better due to the user interface, but the SQ simply was not where I wanted it to be - either streaming from the Mac Mini or via a hard drive connected directly to the Bryston (hard drive was much better). I suppose I might have upgraded the sound card, but really felt like I wanted to get reference quality playback and the ability to realistically rip CDs (as much new content is available only/mostly on CDs).

So, that put me into the server market. I definitely wanted the ability to draw from a NAS as my home network was evolving at the same time. I looked at several different options, but kept coming back to the Silenzio due to the positive references on AA. I also had to have the ability to rip cds in the same unit, since I had eliminated cd playback otherwise in the system. The requirement of one unit to rip and play really made the Silenzio one of the few options, and the ability to have a human being to talk to about it made all of the difference.

I will watch the comments and review of Dan's purchase and review of the Aurender, which I'm sure will be fabulous, but it's just a different solution to the issue. I also looked into the Antipodes and several other servers, but the silenzio just seemed like the right fit for my situation.

So, it showed up a week or so after I plunked down the cash (which was half or less than the other components I had considered (see comments above re five figure losses - didn't want to repeat that)). It's a plain black box, but built in a quite sturdy fashion - this is not a commoditized PC with cheap fit and finish. This is a hefty beast, without cosmetic embellishment, but with solid materials that are well assembled. It is totally unassuming in the rack, but it also just works.

Now, to the fun stuff - it sounds awesome. From the first moment, it blew all of my other combinations out of the water. I'm running a USB (WW platinum) connection to the DAC and streaming from the NAS via Roon, and it works great. I did have to requisition a monitor (as we're otherwise a mac household) to get it online, but now that it's up and running, the monitor is gone. It runs great via VNC viewer, which I use from the laptop as there's just more screen real estate than from the iPad. I've had it about a week now and I have not had to reset/restart/redo anything - I've left it on and it just works.

Ripping CDs is easy, but it does take time. The rips are great from a SQ perspective (much better than the commercial service that I used to rip my collection), but they take a while. That's fine for me though, as I really only wanted ripping capability to make sure that I could capture new CD content. I do want to go back and re-rip my collection because of the sub-par copies I have now, but I can do that over a long period of time.

Roon runs from the server and the music sits on the NAS. Controlled via the laptop or iPad. I back up the audio files to a USB drive that I'll take to the office to store as a double back up to the NAS. It is quiet - dead quiet, with black backgrounds and wonderful presentation of the music. I'm breaking in my new PSAudio DirectStream DAC at the same time as the Silenzio, and it just gets better every day. In my view, the Silenzio is truly reference quality - befitting of my big rig. Everyone differs and we can get to quite rarified air quite quickly in this game, but I doubt E hears many complaints about the sound quality of the Silenzio.

The biggest leap for me was into the Windows environment. We've been a mac only household since OSX came out and I have to admit that I like it that way (although getting way less enamored of Apple and the closed mac system than I used to be). That said, I use Windows at work and it's just not that big of a deal. Plus, if something blows, I can text/call/pm E and just see what's up. He is very patient (even with time zone differences). If you're not a computer guy, I suspect he would be an invaluable resource. I heard/read all of the stuff about "it's got to be a linux system with all other non-audio processes turned off to sound any good", but in my experience with the Silenzio, that simply isn't true.

The silenzio fits quite well with my system and sounds quite good to my ear. It appears to be reliable, and E is there if anything goes wrong. It's like all computers - I'll probably outgrow it in a few years, but at half the price of the competition, that's not such a bad thing to contemplate. I'm not a video guy (at all), but the bang for the buck on this thing would be even bigger if I were.

Highly recommended. No regrets. Come on in - at least right now, the water is fine.
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Main Rig: (waiting on room to be built)

Amplification > Accuphase A200 (2) / C3800 / C37
Sources > PS Audio DirectStream DAC > DirectStream Memory Player > Silenzio by -E- (via Roon/NAS) > Magnum-Dynalab > MD-108T SE / MD-205 > ClearAudio / Innovation / Universal > Lyra / Kleos
Speakers/Cables > TAD R-1 MKII > Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement Copper (1), Gold (1) // REL 212 SEs (2x)
Power > Accuphase PS 1230 (2) / 3 dedicated lines with PowerPorts
Foundation > Rix Rax > Hoodoo / Amp Stands > Stillpoints under as much as my bank account can then accommodate
IC/PC > Power // Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement HC, Grand Illusion Statement > ICs // Verastarr Grand Illusion Signature XLR > Digital // Verastarr Nemesis USB
Other > Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro

Rental (while the room is being built): Accuphase E650 replaces the C3800 and A200s. All of the other stuff above that's usable, except the turntable stuff. Using TAD CR-1s, rather than the R-1s.

Portables and Cans:

Cans > Sennheiser 800
IEMs > Westone W50, Bose QC20
Amplification > Auralic Taurus
Sources > Auralic Altair, Onkyo DP-X1
IC/SC/PC > Sennheiser Balanced / AQ Yukon XLRs / Shunyata Venom 3 (2) / Black Dragon Balanced


Kitchen:

KEF LS50 Wireless
Wyred4Sound Modded Sonos Connect
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2016, 12:31 AM
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Weirdcuba, HUGE congrats! I love my Silenzio/NAS/Esoteric K-01 setup, too.
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Randy (1158) - Wilson Sophia 2; BAT VK-600SE, BAT VK-52SE, Esoteric K-01; JL Audio F113 x3; Sound Anchor Stands; Exact Power EP-15 and SP-15; Oppo BDP-83 SE; Bryston SP3; Emotiva MPS-1; Sony VPL-VW285ES 4K front projector; 92" Stewart Firehawk; Rocket 200, 300, 750; ASC Tube Traps; WireWorld Silver Electra 5^2 PC's, Silver Eclipse 6 IC's and Silver Eclipse 6 SC's; Shunyata Sigma HC (x2) amp to wall; Shunyata Hydra 6/Black Mamba CX-HC and Shunyata MPC-12/Venom HC power distribution and conditioning; Stillpoints Ultra 5, Ultra SS and Mini isolation; Clearaudio Concept (MC) turntable; PS Audio GCPH phono stage; Bryston 10B-SUB active cross-over; Sonos streaming; W4S Remedy upsample and clock; Silenzio media server; WireWorld Platinum Starlight USB.
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:52 AM
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Yamaki Yamaki is offline
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Congratulations on the upgrade!
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:54 AM
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Jim.......Good review of your new Silenzio music server. Emile is gathering a crowd of happy owners faster than an ice cream truck gathers kids on a hot summer day. I am glad to hear you are pleased and that the Silenzio has proven to be a performance boost for your system. Happy listening.
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STUDIO - McIntosh C1000C/P, MC2301 (2), MR88, Aurender N10, Esoteric K-01X, Shunyata Sigma spdif digital cable, Sonos Connect, PurePower 2000, Stillpoints, Furutech Flux 50, Michell Gyro SE, Michell HR Power Supply, SME 309, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Wireworld, Sonus faber Amati Anniversario
LIVING ROOM - McIntosh C2300, MC75 (2), MR85, Magnum Dynalab 205, Simaudio MOON Neo 260D-T, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, Aurender N100H, Shunyata Sigma USB cable, Micro Seiki DD40, Ortofon Cadenza Blue, Nakamichi BX-300, Sony 60ES DAT, PS Audio P10, Furutech Flux 50, Sonos Connect, Stillpoints, Wireworld, Kimber, PMC EB1i, JL Audio f113
VINTAGE - McIntosh MA230, Tandberg 3011A tuner, Olive 04HD, Sony DTC-59ES DAT, McIntosh 4300V, JBL 4312A

Last edited by jdandy; 12-04-2016 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 12-04-2016, 01:01 AM
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Silenzio/NAS/Esoteric K-03X. Couldn't be happier!!
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Analog: VPI Classic Direct (12" Fatboy) with Ortofon A95 cartridge; Ortofon ST-80SE Transformer; McIntosh C2500.
Digital: SilenZio Gen 3 High Performance Media Server; Esoteric K-03X.
Supporting System: McIntosh MX122 A/V Center; MC205 Amplifier; Bryston 14bSST2 Amplifier; PS Audio P10 Power Reconditioner; Revel Salon 2 Mains; Revel Voice 2 CC; JL Audio f113v2 (2); JL Audio CR-1 Crossover; Focal IC1002 Surrounds; Paradigm Studio Sub 15.
Cabling: Wireworld Silver Eclipse XLR; Wireworld Silver Electra Power Cords; Wireworld Silver and Gold Eclipse RCA's, Audioquest Aspen Speaker Cables.
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Old 12-04-2016, 01:34 AM
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Thanks for the detailed review! Very helpful.
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[MacBook with Audirvana+ -- WW Plat USB -- W4S DAC2 -- WW Silver IC -- C2300 NOS Telefunken blue tips -- WW Silver IC -- Mc252 -- 803S] + [dual Fathom F113 v2] + [WW Silver PC's]
Long term goals, one piece at a time
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Old 12-04-2016, 09:17 AM
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Well done Jim and congratulations!
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Main room - Sonus Faber Stradivari, JL Audio F113v2 & CR-1 Crossover, McIntosh MC2301 Amplifiers with Stillpoint Ultra SS feet, McIntosh C1100 on Stillpoint Minis, Esoteric K-03X on Stillpoint Minis, Cybershaft Ultimate 2 OP17 on Stillpoint Minis, SilenZio v.2 Audio by -E- Media Server (running ROON), GigaFoil v4, Keces P3 with Ghent PC, 9 M Supra Cat 8+ and 0.65 M Revelation audio ethernet cables.

Other - 2 Stillpoint Apertures, GIK Bass Traps, Vicoustics Waveguide panels, Shunyata Alpha Clock 75 1.5 meter BNC, Shunyata Alpha 1.5 meter USB, WW Gold Eclipse 7 SCs, WW Silver Electra 7 PCs, WW Silver Eclipse ICs; 3 X 20 Amp Power lines, PS Audio P10 & Dectet, 3 Sound Anchor stands, Powerports and numerous Noise Harvesters. Furutech Flex 50, Cable risers, HRS dampeners

TV Room Audio - Panasonic TC-P60GT50, McIntosh MX-121, MC7106, Revel F52 & C32, B&W LM1, Sonos Connect\W4S Remedy\iFI 9V Power, WW & Kimber cables, PS Audio Dectet
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:15 AM
Randy Myers Randy Myers is offline
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A big congratulations. If I were to go with a dedicated built music server at this point I have no doubts I would be calling -E-. It is so nice reading nothing but good write ups and experiences with this machine!
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:34 AM
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Jim... very nicely written, Congrats! I'm a very happy Silenzio owner x 4
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FLORIDA
MX136, MC1.2KW(10) MC2KW(2), MCD1100, MS750(2) MVP881, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, HT-2 SUBS(2) HT3F(2) WS350(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) XCS350(2) JL GOTHAM v2 SUBS(2) LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" MOTORIZED SCREEN, CINEMA-TECH SEATING, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: ACCUPHASE A250 AMPS, C3850 PRE-AMP, DP950 CD/SACD TRANSPORT, DC950 DIGITAL PROCESSOR, DG-58 DIGITAL EQUALIZER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS1230 POWER SUPPLY, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
CAPE COD

MX150, MC501(2) MC1.2KW(10) MC2301(2) MR88, MVP881, MCD1100, MDA1000, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, ESOTERIC K-01X 30th ANNIVERSARY (BLACK) SACD/CD PLAYER, G02-X CLOCK, HT3F(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) JL GOTHAM SUBS(2) JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(4) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) KALEIDESCAPE STRATO & TERRA SERVERS, LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" SCREEN, SONUS FABER STRADIVARI, SILENZIO, FORTRESS SEATING, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Analog Rig: CLEARAUDIO INNOVATION WOOD, UNIVERSAL ARM w/ Da VINCI' CART, 2nd UNIVERSAL ARM w/ GOLDFINGER STATEMENT CART, HRS-MXR REFERENCE RACK-GLOSS BLACK w/ M3X SHELVES, AESTHETIX RHEA SIG PHONO-PRE, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: BURMESTER 911MK3 AMP(3), 088 PRE-AMP, 089 CD PLAYER, 100 PHONO PRE-AMP, 948 POWER CONDITIONER, AVID ACUTUS REFERENCE SP TT, GRAHAM PHANTOM II SUPREME ARM, BENZ MICRO LP-S CART, GRANDIOSO P1/D1 STACK, G01X RUBIDIUM MASTER CLOCK, N05 NETWORK PLAYER, SILENZIO, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, SONUS FABER AIDA SPEAKERS, JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(2) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES

Library System: GRANDIOSO M1 MONOBLOCK AMPS, C1 LINESTAGE PRE-AMP, K1 CD/SACD PLAYER, G1 MASTER RUBIDIUM CLOCK, E02 PHONO-PRE, SILENZIO, AERIAL ACOUSTICS 20T V2, AERIAL SW12 SUBS(2), CANTON REF K1’s, VPI HRX TT w/ SDS POWER SUPPLY, ORTOFON CADENZA BLACK CART, KLAUDIO RCM, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Bryston/Esoteric System: ESOTERIC C02-X PRE-AMP, P-02X TRANSPORT, D02-X DAC, G02-X CLOCK, BRYSTON 28B3 CUBED MONOBLOCK AMPS, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2(2) AMR-DP777-SE DAC, SILENZIO, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, QUADRASPIRE RACK, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
Accuphase/Canton System: ACCUPHASE E650 INTEGRATED, DP560 CD/SACD PLAYER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS530 POWER SUPPLY, CANTON REF K3’s, CANTON REF K5’s, SILENZIO, HRS MXR REFERENCE MAHOGHANY RACK w/ M3X2 SHELVES, WIREWORLD GOLD CABLES
Bryston Active System: BP26 PRE-AMP, MPS2 POWER SUPPLY, BAX-1 CROSSOVER, BDA-3 DAC, BDP-3 PLAYER, BCD-3 CD PLAYER, BIT15(2), MODEL T ACTIVE SPEAKERS, 21B3 CUBED AMPS, SILENZIO, TARGET RACK, WIREWORLD SILVER CABLES
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  #10  
Old 12-04-2016, 12:34 PM
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mtroo mtroo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterlu View Post
Jim... very nicely written, Congrats! I'm a very happy Silenzio owner x 4
I thought you were on number 5. Quit slacking off, Ivan.
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Amplifiers: McIntosh 1.2 Kw
Preamp: Esoteric C03
Speakers: Salon2 with F113v2 x 2
Analog: VPI Avenger Reference with Ortofon A95 and Esoteric E03 phonostage
Digital: Silenzio and Esoteric K03-x and G02
Power Management: PS Audio P10 x 2, P5
Cables: WW PE7 SC & IC, Furutech Flux-50 Filters
Rack: HRS SXR Signature
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