Amare Musica is a highEnd oriented audio brand coming from Poland. Their portfolio is growing month after month in order to adapt to the market. This brand is now offering amplifiers, DAC, Network players (transport and drives). The network players range is going from the Nano, with mini music server in the middle, to the Diamond Server.
Amare Musica is now proposing loudspeakers and DAC with network player version. Just note that Amare Musica propose some DSD DAC with tubes output, but also a specific management of the DSD/PCM conversion (Passive conversion of the DSD to Analogic if you send DSD signal). You would find a review here. I was able to listen this DAC and let’s say that with DSD signal as input it is a very good quality/price.
The presentation of this product will be done in 2 steps : technical presentation and listening feedbacks.
This diamond Server is shipped with a gorgeous FlyCase, including remote, screw driver to change remote control batteries, a power cable and 4 specific feet coming from Franc Audio. (Decoupling ceramic feet).
This Diamond Server is differentiating from the rest of the family by a specific focus on power supplies. The tested version is the latest one : the MK3. From power supply side, the Diamond Server embed 4 different linear power supplies :
- one for the motherboard,
- one for the double OLED screen,
- one for the SPDIF/AES interface,
- one for the dedicated USB Audio board.
Everything has been well engineered in order to remove or decrease all the noises and pollution. The SPDIF/AES board signal is coming from the dedicated USB Audio and propose 3 different ypes of connectors : SPDIF RCA (1) and BNC (2), AES (3). The dedicated USB Audio board is powering the SPDIF/AES board but also 2 USB audio (4 & 5) outputs. It remains 2 USB outputs/inputs (6&7) that can be used to plug storage solutions like hard drives or connection to a DAC. Concenring the USB Audio outputs, Amare Musica propose a setting to power on/off the 5V of the USB through a relay and a seeting accessible with the remote. Last connector, for sure, an ethernet connexion(8).
The Diamond Server is switched on through the switch at the back of the product. It only puts the machine in standby mode and you need to power it through the remote. The linux-based system requires around 30 seconds to be operational.
In terms of server/renderer solutions this MK3 version propose :
- UPnP (through internal or external server)
- UPnP Openhome (as BubbleUPnP server is embedded),
- Roon thruogh RAAT protocol.
The MK3 version brings a DSD512 compatibility. The DSD is available on USB connectors. The SPDIF/AES are compatible till 24bits / 192kHz (I was not able to test higher resolution and frequencies as my DAC is not supporting such parameters).
Beyond a « simple » network streamer, this product is a…server. The server is relying on minimserver embedded in the Diamond Server. In this way, it is possible, to use the web interface of the Amare Musica Diamond Server to map an external drive or a network drive that would store the digital media. The only limitation of the internal server is that it is blocked and you can not add minimstreamer module for example in order to enable any transcoding. You can also use external server like minimserver, AssetUPnP, Jriver, etc..as the Diamond Server is UPnP compatible. The UPnP play can be visualized on the OLED screens. it is not the case with Roon as the Diamond Server.
The web interface allows to access different settings :
- transcoding DSD (Native or DoP)
- outputs selection (USB or SPDIF/AES). Pay attention that in case of use of USB in Roon compatibility, you need to reboot the machine if you want to move from SPDIF/AES to USB and « vice-versa ».
- Audio Buffer (2MB is recommended for 12 seconds of CD format) and Buffer (time) before playing.
- Volume management : digital (i would not recommend) and hardware (BitPerfect).
- TIDAL and LastFM settings
- Mounting of USB drives « Music on USB »
- Network drives mounting through SMB or CIFS protocols (NAS option).
The Diamond Server embed also :
- BubbleUPnP accessible through IP address of the Diamond Server and port 58050. This compatibility, brings openhome (gapless, play lists manageemnt, Tidal and Qobuz play through different applications like Lumin, mConnect or Linn Kazoo).
- TIDAL client
- Radio client IceCast et TuneIn. For tuneine,not possible to connect as of now with logins in order to pull favorites.
- LastFM client to « scrobble » the playing list (login requested)
The Diamond Server allows to play files from USB drives but in this case, you need to use the web interface.
To summarize, the Amare Musica Diamond Server propose nearly same functionnalities as other renderers/server less expensive like the Sonore micro/ultra rendu, Sonore Signature SE, or SOtM SMS200. But, its design/engineering is since the beginning oriented to the highend starting by its aluminum case (including the remote) but also by the 4 dedicated linear power supplies. This is really pushing the Amare Musica Diamond Server as an exceptionnal product. The designers nearly thought to everything, and the web interface is well designed and easy for both settings and also playing local music. Based on a linux distribution this product is open to evolutions but propose all the standards of the market (UPnP, OpenHome, Roon,..). Compared to others, it propose numerous outputs with high level of attention on the quality side (power optimization). Without going further to the conclusion of the listening sessions that i would release later, whatever the output we discuss, the sound performance of this product is far better that all other renderers i tested/had at home(Auralic Aries, dCS Network Bridge, Lumin U1, Sonore ultra rendu with LPS1 Power Supply,…)
This product is a clear success from technical and sound quality stand point.
Part 2 would appear in the coming days. Stay tuned.
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