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tars Digital Audio on a New Level

The music server tars from genuin audio ends the long-lasting discussion about the right format for audiophile listening pleasure. Analog or digital is now no longer an issue, for tars can also convey those special qualities that are generally attributed to vinyl records: fine dynamics, spatial representation and naturalness, yet with a comfort that goes far beyond the convenience of a CD.

In addition to striving for perfect sound quality, this server has placed great emphasis on designing an easy-to-use and extremely stable digital music system. A further core objective of the development was the comprehensive configuration: tars brings together all relevant functions in a single device. An additional computer is not required at any time.

4 in 1

The music server tars combines four central functionalities: reading CDs or audio files, storing and managing the resulting music library, playing the audio files and controlling via tablet. Each of these processes takes particular account of audiophile demands. Therefore, in reliable genuin audio style, uncompromising paths have been taken to ensure genuine and undisturbed listening pleasure.

CD Ripping

One simply needs to insert a CD into the tars’ drive. The data will be independently extracted from the CD, compared with up to five databases and stored internally on the SSD storage module of the music server.

The AccurateRip algorithms of renowned software dB Poweramp, which performs in the background, guarantee a perfect reading process.

All files are upsampled and stored in WAV format with 24-bit word width and up to 192 kHz sample rate. This also applies to audio files that have been imported via an external hard disk or a USB stick. Thus, the present files correspond 1:1 to the native word width and potential sample rate of the connected external converter.

Solid State Drive

The collected music files are stored on tars’ internal SSD modules. Up to 5 SSDs can be mounted and addressed. By today’s standards, it is possible to hold up to 40 terabytes of data. This is about 60.000 CDs.

In addition to fast access times and distinct long-term stability, the absence of any mechanical elements found in conventional hard disks also supports the use of SSDs. This avoids disturbing noises that will undoubtedly affect listening pleasure. This approach continues in a totally fan-less design of the server that is cooled completely passively by an elaborate heat pipe system and lateral cooling fins.

In addition, all solid state disk mounts, the CD drive and the case itself are damped with aluminium butyl. Absorber feet from Thixar guarantee perfect decoupling in three-point mounting.

PCIe Bridge

A core philosophy of genuin audio is the short signal paths principle. This concept, which always serves the goal of a natural sound image, is also consistently applied in tars.

The PCIe bridge on the mainboard – specially manufactured for genuin audio by the renowned Dutch digital audio specialists Pink Faun – is also a key component. It is used for direct transmission of the files located on the SSD modules onto the S/PDIF output, which is available in coaxial (RCA) or symmetrical AES/EBU-format (XLR). This process is controlled by genuin audio’s in-house programmed driver software.

The operating system of the music server resides on a NVMe SSD. It is responsible for the other processes within the tars, and is to some extent bypassed in a pure playback process.

Ultra precise timing

The exact timing of the transmitted digital signals, which is totally relevant for a natural playback, calls for an extremely accurate and exceptionally temperature-stable OCXO clock. This module also comes from Pink Faun. Its accuracy is 10-9. The combination of a high precision clock and the shortest possible signal path from SSD via PCIe Bridge to S/PDIF, can minimize jitter to the largest extent.

Jitter avoidance

A particularly low jitter rate is extremely important for a convincing playback of digitally stored music.

A bit represents a snapshot of the music. If it cannot be read or played, it will be treated as “skipped”. In normal digital sources, Error Concealment Codes (ECC) are therefore fed in to compensate for skipped bits. Although the ECCs should compensate for the skipped bits, this will result in a dramatic increase in temporal pulse jitter. This effect is also called “Read Jitter”. It makes up a serious source of error in digital music reproduction.

genuin audio has therefore deliberately attended to jitter avoidance in every operation of the music server tars: ripping / storage / playback.

With tars, we have developed a music server that does not behave like a PC, but rather a classic high-end audio component. Nevertheless, it offers the comfort of the computer world, but combines it with the highest audiophile sound quality.

René Kockisch
Developer of genuin audio tars

Four paths to power

The enormous importance of power supply for high-end audio components is undisputed nowadays. This critical aspect is even more important in a music server. As they were originally not designed for fragile audio signals, computer mainboards, for example, are a potential source of interference caused by sound deteriorating crosstalk noises.

genuin audio has therefore, in typical consistency, taken several effective measures to exclude such negative influences:

  1. All relevant system components – motherboard, CD drive, PCIe bridge and SSD – each have their own separate power supply line.
  2. Internal linear power supply has been completely swapped out. It is based on a Philbert transformer because it has a lower stray field than conventional toroidal transformers. This external discreet power supply is deliberately generously dimensioned, which is also apparent in its weight: 12 kilograms.
  3. The four power supply lines for motherboard, cd drive, PCIe bridge and SSD are connected to an external power adaptor as part of a specially crafted eleven-millimeter thick cable and are highly securely fixed through a huge bayonet nut connector.

A computer but no computer

Basically, tars is a computer that does not feel like a computer. Because it has been optimized in every aspect for high-end audio playback and has no other task to fulfill.

genuin audio’s music server is based on Windows 10 IoT operating system in an “embedded” version, which has been tailored solely to this specific functionality. This means that all other processing aspects that are not necessary for music reproduction have been removed. There are no unnecessary additional processes or programs, and a false operation is impossible. The result of this concept: tars is highly efficient, stable and easy to handle.

Invisible service

The user does not need to attend to this music computer at all. Updates are automatically installed in the background by genuin audio as soon as the device is turned on and connected to the Internet. The listening pleasure of the owner of a tars will not be interrupted.

It is also possible to obtain a chargeable remote maintenance of the music server in order to remedy any malfunctions or optimize settings. This is done directly via an Internet connection to genuin audio where the device is checked per remote access and adjusted if necessary.

Tablet operation

The music server tars does not need an external computer screen. It is controlled solely by a tablet. Alternatively, a smartphone can be used. Because of its larger screens, however, we still recommend using a tablet. You can choose between iOS or Android operating systems.

The “JRemote” player app recommended for managing tars is available for download from App Store or Google Play. This reliable software affords a simple and convenient way to select tracks, organize music libraries and create playlists. “JRemote” supports all popular formats: FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3, OGG, AAC, WAV.

In its default configuration, the tars runs the “JRiver” media software in the background. Alternatively, the music server from genuin audio can be supplied with the “Roon” music player.

Multiroom compatibility

The genuin server offers the possibility to be integrated into a multi-room concept. The music files stored on its internal SSD memory modules as part of a DLNA-based setup can also be accessed by other clients. Or you can choose the software “Roon”, which is tailored for multi-room sound distribution. Therefore, music can also be played in places other than the usual listening room, e.g. kitchen, bathroom or bedroom.

Preamplifier option

tars is delivered in its basic configuration as a pure server with a fixed volume output.

For those who want to use the music server as a preamplifier in combination with active speakers, however, tars can also come with a volume control, even fitted at a later stage.
This upgrade is done directly via remote maintenance by genuin audio. The volume is then conveniently managed via the virtual volume control of the “JRemote” app on the tablet. Thanks to an extremely precise 64-bit processing of the software, sound-deteriorating influence is completely excluded.

The inside matters

Even in the digital world, the fundamental principles of genuin audio have their validity: innovative technical approach, short signal paths, best materials, uncompromising audio quality. This leads to a music server whose outstanding sound quality does not respond to but rather ends the old discussion about “analogue or digital”. It is no longer about formats. It is all about music.

Technical specifications

Connectivity RJ 45 Ethernet, USB 3.1, 2x AES/EBU (XLR), Coaxial (RCA)
Sampling Frequency Up to 192 kHz
Resolution 24 Bit
Upsampling 24 Bit / variable Sample Rate
Clock Pink Faun, 10-9s
Data Transfer Pink Faun PCIe Bridge
Storage 1 x NVMe-SSD (Operating System), 1 x SSD (Media Library) 1 TB, expandable to 5 x SSD (8 TB maximum each)
CD drive Teac CD-SN250, damped with Alubutyl
Cooling Passive
Volume Control Optional (64 Bit)
Software Windows 10 IoT (OS), DB Poweramp (CD-Rip), JRiver (Media Center), Roon 2.0 (Multiroom Music Player / optional)
Music Player JRemote (recommended) iOS / Android
DSD DSD 64 and DSD 128 via PCM conversion to 24 Bit / 176,4 kHz
Streaming Airplay (iOS), Chromecast (Android), Qobuz and Tidal (via Roon)
DNLA Server Yes
Cabling High-purity copper, manufactured and crimped by hand
Mains Supply Quadruple power supply (mainboard – cd drive – bridge – SSD)
Power Supply Unit External, with Philbert transformer
Cable Length to Server 2 Meter
Plug Bayonet nut connector
Case Aluminium
Dimensions 165 x 135 x 305 mm (B x H x T)
Weight 12 Kg
Case Server Aluminium (black or silver), damped with Alubutyl
Dimensions Server 441 x 125 x 331 (+100) mm (B x H x T)
Weight Server 8,2 Kg
Absorberfeet Three-point installation using aluminium cylinders with integrated gel decoupling from Thixar

Press comments on the genuin tars

„It doesn’t matter what you feed the tars: the audio performance depends solely on the quality of the original source. If it’s a “proper” music file in a sufficiently high resolution based on a good recording, the tars outperforms all music computers I’ve come across so far.“

Amré Ibrahim in image hifi, 06/2023


„The tars by Genuin Audio is a sonically outstanding music server with great ease of use. If any more evidence of the importance of the music server in premium digital chains were needed, here you have it!“

Roland Dietl in HIFI STATEMENT (August 2018)

hifi records logo

“Genuin Audio has created a great music server in tars. It excels in high engineering effort, convenient features, ease of use, maximum reliability and above all – in conjunction with the external D / A converter – excellent sound quality. Genuin Audio and the developers have to be congratulated on this team achievement.”

Olaf Sturm in hifi & records, 01/2018

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