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Linn Owners

Removing the last moving part?

Billz

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I see the price of large capacity Solid State Hard Drives is coming down. This got me thinking that the time maybe right to remove the last moving parts from my system and ditch the old hard drives in my NAS. In the past I have always increased the capacity of my drives when I have upgraded them. I no longer need to consider that as I do not intend purchasing anymore music as I subscribe to Qobuz and Tidal. In fact I could probably go to 2TB SSHD and still have room left for some expansion of my Library. What is the verdict on SSHD’s? Are they as reliable as the old spinning disks? I would of course buy drives recommend for NAS drives like the Wester Digital IronWolf drives. If I do this, I will then have eliminated all sources of vibration from my whole system (apart from speakers of course).
 

Bill.

 

entdgc

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Not used them in my NAS but have had them on my MAC laptop since 2012 with no problems. This inspired me to upgrade my Windows PC and I couldn't believe how much it speeded up the general operation. It used to take several minutes to fully boot, now it takes less than a minute - and of course pretty much every non-processor limited function improves too. I'm not sure I would upgrade my NAS yet as a) there is nothing wrong with the current hard drives b) I would want to be convinced of a functional/musical benefit as the NAS is never heavily loaded for music streaming.

 
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Paulssurround

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I have been reading about SSD recently, and the consensus seems to be that they are not any more reliable than the regular spinning hard drives.

The advantage of SSD appears to be that they are much quieter as no fan is needed and don’t generate any heat, so presumably more energy efficient.

There should be no improvements in sound quality, AFAIK.

If you do purchase an SSD, make sure to back it up onto an external hard drive.

 

peter@57m

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I have replaced spinning disks with SSDs in my current and previous Melcos, N1ZH and N1A respectively.

I felt that there was an improvement in SQ with the SSD. I also had the opportunity to take at separate time, the N1A and N1ZH to other people who had them and do a direct comparison. In both comparisons those present felt there was an improvement..

What causes this, I don't know. Maybe less power drain, maybe less vibration, I don't know.

Subsequent to the comparison, one person bought some SSDs for their Melco but were different models to mine and they felt it was worse. Then changed the SSDs and got some improvement.  So it seems not all SSDs are equal.  They believed that the brand we were using, Crucial, had a distinct difference between the disk controller being used in different models.  The ones that sounded best had a Silicon Motion controller.

On the LeJonKlou forum there has been a long running thread about SSDs and they feel the Intel SSDs sound best.

So just "SSD" may not be best but only certain SSDs

EDIT: Model info

The model I installed were Crucial MX500 1TB SSD

 
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Baba Yaga

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I have been using SSDs in my QNAP HS-251 for several years by now. Primarily because that combo is really totally silent and also because some comparisons before showed that SSDs sound a bit better. Durability is no longer not an issue, in addition there are mostly reads and only write once activities anyway. There is no wear on reads, different from hard drives btw. I got two Samsung 850 Pro, estimated durability is more than 300 years  :D  That should be sufficient I guess...

 

Billz

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Thanks for all your input guys. My current drives are WD Reds and coming up 5 years old. They are in my QNAP TS251 in RAID. I tend to change them every five years in case of failure and use them as external USB backup drives, discarding my old backup drives which will be approaching 10 years old. It just seems a natural progression to use SSD’s especially as I have Roon which runs faster on a SSD. As @Baba Yaga says, SSD’s don’t do a lot of writing when used for music storage as once I write my existing library to the new drives, that will be it for many years. At my age they should see me out unless I get another lightening strike 😀

Bill.

 

Solanum

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SSDs are just as reliable (if not more - especially if primarily reading not writing) as HDs these days, plus silent and faster read access. Also your NAS can optimise storage for use on SSDs as well.

I don't use them because of the size limitations, I currently have paired 4TB IronWolf drives (mirrored RAID), which are 75% full. I'll probably get an expansion unit and put mirrored 8TB drives in there. Doing that with SSDs will start approaching the cost of my DSM!!!!! :)

 
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JPO2005

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If a QNAP sounds better with SSD's, which I can imagine, then I suspect that it is due to the power supply. I think if you separate the power for the mechanics from the power for the electronics, that could be the reason for the improvement. I have been wanting to buy a second power supply for QNAP for a long time to try this.

My dream QNAP would be this: https://www.qnap.com/en-uk/product/tvs-671

 

DavidHB

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I'd echo everything that @entdgc says in favour of SSDs on computers. About sound quality on servers, I'm not so sure. I'd want to know what the mechanism is by which sound quality can be affected. SSDs could, I suppose, be less noisy than hard drives (I'm thinking here of electrical noise; obviously SSDs, unlike hard drives, are mechanically silent). If so, I suspect that any difference attributable to fitting SSDs to a server would probably tend to be system dependent. I am mindful that, when I tried a Melco in my system, it made, so far as I could tell, no difference at all, while other people swear by the sound quality improvement they attribute to the Melco.

@JPO2005's point about the power supply is interesting. Power supply "wall warts" are well known as noise generators. But pretty much everything in electronic systems generates noise; the issue is how much noise is generated and the extent to which it is able to find its way into the analogue domain of the Hi-Fi system, both of which are system-dependent variables.

David

 
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JPO2005

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@JPO2005's point about the power supply is interesting. Power supply "wall warts" are well known as noise generators. But pretty much everything in electronic systems generates noise; the issue is how much noise is generated and the extent to which it is able to find its way into the analogue domain of the Hi-Fi system, both of which are system-dependent variables.

David
That's what Melco does. If you want to do it well it should already be 2 medical power supplies. The topic power supplies and current is unfortunately an infinite one, begins already with the wiring of the power distribution box (EMF etc..).

What only speaks against it is that these Melco's sound terrible, is always the same when devices make effects only think WOW and after longer listening you realize that it is simply less music. I know some who have sold their Melco`s again.

 

Nopiano

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That's what Melco does. If you want to do it well it should already be 2 medical power supplies. The topic power supplies and current is unfortunately an infinite one, begins already with the wiring of the power distribution box (EMF etc..).

What only speaks against it is that these Melco's sound terrible, is always the same when devices make effects only think WOW and after longer listening you realize that it is simply less music. I know some who have sold their Melco`s again.
I think there are plenty of customers of Melco who are delighted with their purchases too, though how many of these use Linn network devices as well I wouldn’t know. 
As David says, I’d expect the results to be highly system dependent, which is where a good dealer helps enormously.  My nearest Linn dealer also is a premier Melco dealer, and also sells Innuos, so at least I know I have plenty of options!

 

kelly200269

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I was using a Toshiba USB 3.0 desktop HDD drive with my Roon Nucleus until recently. I switched to an internal Samsung SSD, and haven’t looked-back.

The SSD is faster, and music now plays instantly, rather than waiting for the HDD to spin-up. SSD’s are SO much better.

 
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DavidHB

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It occurs to me that the title of this topic represents a hopeless aspiration. The electrons are moving, aren't they? :)  

David

 

Billz

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It occurs to me that the title of this topic represents a hopeless aspiration. The electrons are moving, aren't they? :)  

David
You are of course correct David. Maybe I should have said, the last ‘Mechanical’ part. I was really thinking about things that can cause vibrations in the system, not sure how much vibrations an electron makes, that’s way above my level of understanding 😀

 
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Billz

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I was using a Toshiba USB 3.0 desktop HDD drive with my Roon Nucleus until recently. I switched to an internal Samsung SSD, and haven’t looked-back.

The SSD is faster, and music now plays instantly, rather than waiting for the HDD to spin-up. SSD’s are SO much better.
Definitely my next move to swap out my HDD’s from my NAS for a pair of SSD’s. Just hoping for a price drop soon.

 
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Nopiano

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Definitely my next move to swap out my HDD’s from my NAS for a pair of SSD’s. Just hoping for a price drop soon.
I’m sure that’s a good idea, though when I replied above I was trying to recall a relevant article from a few years ago.  It was along the lines that SSDs are less suitable for music because of something in the way the discs read and write data.  Whether it was indexing or rebuilding catalogues, or some other technical operation I can’t recall.  But it implied that each ‘cell’ or whatever it’s called has a finite life, and music storage didn’t sit so logically as regular data.  Why that is I can’t recall, and I’ve tried a bit of googling without success.  
There must be some relevance, as some hard disks are meant to be more suitable for music, but I can’t recall what their USP is.  Maybe they’re just physically quieter, or do they sound different/better?

 
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JPO2005

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One should not forget that almost all devices, including Linn, write to memory first and that is nothing else than an SSD.

 
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Solanum

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One should not forget that almost all devices, including Linn, write to memory first and that is nothing else than an SSD.
If you mean data/buffers, they are likely writing to RAM though and that is completely different to SSD. The firmware will be flash memory, which is a key component of SSDs.

I’m sure that’s a good idea, though when I replied above I was trying to recall a relevant article from a few years ago.  It was along the lines that SSDs are less suitable for music because of something in the way the discs read and write data.  Whether it was indexing or rebuilding catalogues, or some other technical operation I can’t recall.  But it implied that each ‘cell’ or whatever it’s called has a finite life, and music storage didn’t sit so logically as regular data.  Why that is I can’t recall, and I’ve tried a bit of googling without success.  
There must be some relevance, as some hard disks are meant to be more suitable for music, but I can’t recall what their USP is.  Maybe they’re just physically quieter, or do they sound different/better?
SSDs had (and perhaps still do, although it has improved significantly) a lower limit on the number of times each sector could be written to compared with HDDs. The SSD firmware is quite sophisticated these days and balances that (plus the NAS can optimise it too). For music storage you are unlikely to write very often, so it wouldn't be a problem anyway. All data is written the same, music files are no different to any other data. So far as storing and serving music there is no real difference between HDD and SSD. An SSD is faster (irrelevant, even for hi-res music) and, if your NAS is in your listening room, they do have the advantage of being silent.  Most NASs have a fan though....

 
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Nopiano

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SSDs had (and perhaps still do, although it has improved significantly) a lower limit on the number of times each sector could be written to compared with HDDs. The SSD firmware is quite sophisticated these days and balances that (plus the NAS can optimise it too). For music storage you are unlikely to write very often, so it wouldn't be a problem anyway. All data is written the same, music files are no different to any other data. So far as storing and serving music there is no real difference between HDD and SSD. An SSD is faster (irrelevant, even for hi-res music) and, if your NAS is in your listening room, they do have the advantage of being silent.  Most NASs have a fan though....
Thanks for that. I’d wondered if the distinction was no longer relevant in practice, and it sounds like it isn’t.  Just so as I understand, not being a NAS user currently, do SSD based NASes have fans too?  If so, what is getting hot?