SGM 2015

The Sound Galleries Music Server has been designed to bring the best of two worlds together:

  1. The best sounding audio player.
  2. The best software for discovering and choosing the music to play.

In our opinion the best audio player is HQPlayer from Signalyst and the best software for discovering and choosing music is Roon from Roon Labs.

The Sound Galleries music server has been built around computer architecture. It doesn’t feel like using a computer anymore than your car or refrigerator though. Almost all electronic devices are “smart” nowadays, just like your phone.

You turn on the music server with a button on the front and turn it off by pressing the same button. In other words just like an amplifier or any other piece of HiFi equipment in your system.

Your interaction with the Sound Galleries Music server will typically be with an iPad or iPhone running the roon app. This has been designed around the desires of people who are passionate about music, rather than to please computer nerds.

The HQPlayer software used as an audio engine can look ahead into each music track while it’s playing, discover all the artefacts that were introduced in the recording process and eliminate them!

The roon software uses a sophisticated database to build information about the artist or composer whose music your are playing. It will show you all the meaningful connections to other works by similar artists or composers. These other works can be from your own music library or one of the lossless streaming services such as Tidal, which are perfectly integrated into roon.

HQPlayer’s sophisticated digital filtration, using advanced digital signal processing and roon’s sourcing and presentation of all relevant information and music, are both extremely demanding on internal computing resources.

The more demanding these computationally intensive tasks are the greater the risk of generating unwanted noise within the music server that would pollute the sound.

The Sound Galleries development team have solved these issues in three crucial ways:

  1. Fully optimising the operating system to only run the processes necessary for HQPlayer and roon to work.
  2. Building proprietary power supplies for the crucial components. Each power supply being dedicated to the task at hand.
  3. Passively cooling with heat pipes and heatsinks. No fans!

Additionally a custom designed oven controlled clock is incorporated to ensure perfect timing.

Only the basic motherboard and CPU are off the shelf parts.

The operating system is a custom build of Windows 10. This is irrelevant to a customer of the Sound Galleries music server though, as he/she never needs to interact with the operating system directly.

Future versions of the our music server might make use of a different operating system; but this will not change the way our customers interact with the music server.

The Sound Galleries music server is a state of the art device for enjoying music, built and designed without compromise right down to every detail of its design.

Instead of comparing it to other “computer audio” products such as “streamers” and so called “music servers” it begs comparison with the finest turntable arm and cartridge combination you can think of. When you hear it you will believe it!

Specifications

Processor                                    Intel Skylake i7 6700K

Memory                                    16 GB DDR4

SSD                                                1 TB

SGM audiophile grade custom hardware

  • 5 ppb stability OCXO with low noise power supply replacing the motherboard system clock
  • Low noise dual choke power supply for computer motherboard and CPU
  • Low noise, high frequency power supply for SSD
  • Mundorf Mlytic capacitors with 660,000 microfarads storage capacity
  • Steel potted power supply transformer with internal copper foil shielding
  • High performance RAM with custom aluminum heat sinks
  • Heatpipe cooling system for CPU connected to copper billet CNC milled heatsinks allowing fanless high load operation with CPU overclocking
  • Optimized BIOS settings for CPU and RAM

SGM audio playback software

  • HQ Player capable of
    • PCM to DSD 512 realtime conversion
    • DSD 64 to DSD 512 upsampling
    • PCM to PCM upsampling to 24/ 88 & 96, 24/ 176 & 192, 24/ 352 & 386
    • PCM bit perfect delivery
  • Roon Server
    • Library and Tidal streaming content delivered to HQ Player
  • Kodi media Server
    • Library and Qobuz streaming content deliver to HQ Player
  • iTunes content delivery to HQ Player
  • Audio optimized custom Windows 10 build with Process Lasso management of execution priorities

 

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