🔷 ELAC Discovery Server

This is the official thread for the ELAC Discovery Server

This thread is for discussion and reviews.

  • Ethernet, USB out, coax and toslink out, 2x RCA out, wireless
  • Roon and streaming support

:red_circle: Hifiguides Amazon Link

[Reviews]

Z Reviews…

If you guys make this an official thread, I’ll contribute my thoughts, and experiences with this unique little niche device.

Here’s Hans “Dry Toast” Beekhuyzen’s review on the unit from a couple years back.

I don’t quite understand how these work. is it essentially a dedicated PC that streams from your music service or collection? does it do more than that, cause they seem to be awfully expensive for so few functions.

Stay tuned, I will write up (I’ll make time this weekend) a detailed who/what/where/how to this sweet, sweet little piece of HW. It’s not for everyone, but for people in my niche, it’s a godsend of $$$$ savings… allows one to pretend they’re a real audiophile with stacks of disposable income even.

:slight_smile:

2 Likes

To understand why I love the ELAC Discovery Music Server you have to take a step back and talk about Roon. If you don’t know what Roon is, take a look. Once you understand Roon and what it does for you as a music lover, you can then start to build on why this little gadget is so good.

It’s expensive MSRP is $1249 but F*@k that, you can easily find it in many places on sale for $899 and if you hunt on eBay you can find them for under $500. I bought mine for $305 last Dec, open box so LOOK! I think that ELAC royally screwed the marketing and messaging on this as it was supposed to be part of their ecosystem of connected speakers receivers and crap like that. Well that whole group hasn’t done very well and the greatness that is this little product has been buried under all of the collateral damage.

I say little, which it is, measuring 8 ¼” w 4 5/16” D and 1 7/8” H, about the size of a chunky paperback but it’s heavy. Mostly because it’s milled from a one-piece hunk of aluminum with a brushed finish and a diamond cut edge. It’s got a black mirror face with just one LED in front and all the connections are round the back. This thing isn’t beautiful but it’s not ugly and given the size, there’s a lot of option of for placement. Since a lot of my gear is brushed aluminum, this thing fits right in.

There’s are two SPDIF, one Coax on Opt. An ethernet port and a USB. The USB is only for an external hard driver or thumb drive as this thing can only access your library either through an attached drive or via ethernet to your network. Notice I said ethernet… no wifi, but that’s not too bad an issue as you can plug it right into a repeater or a nearby router.
As far as file support, it can handle PCM up to 24/192 but no DSD or MQA or anything of the sort. So you’ll have to throw out your Snoop Dog Doggystyle album cause you got that on DSD right?

So now to the business end of why you need this. When you clicked on the link to check our Roon, you saw that it’s $9.99 a month for ever, or $699 for a lifetime membership. I love the concept of Roon and what it does makes my listening session that much more rewarding but I don’t have a house in Monto Carlo, a house in the Swiss Alps and a house in Miami that I need to make sure all have their various $30k stereos connected to my music library. I just listen to music in 3 places, my living room, my car and my desktop computer, they all happen to be in the same place. So that’s where this ELAC Discovery Server comes in. You DON’T PAY THAT $699 LIFETIME ROON FEE! You head me. It comes with a perpetual Roon license… but there’s a catch. You can only have one Roon server. But that’s okay, I only have one house. So now, for me the entry into the world of Roon was $305 dollars for a lifetime licence. The other catch is is a small one, you don’t actually get Roon, you get Roon essentials which is a little stripped down. Nothing major, just limits your music library to 30k sons. I currently have less than 6k in a lifetime, so I think for me at least, I can live with that limitation. If you can a subscription to Qbuz or Tidal this server will compile your music and playlists there as well and show it to you in the same slick Roon magazine format (easy to love) as well as doing the same for your local library.

There’s no real magic to this thing, it’s basically a fancy Raspberry pie with a decent dac and streaming capabilities all bundled for you in the fancypants Roon front end. I’m sorry, not Roon, it’s Roon Essentials. I get it, you can’t just give something for free that you charge everyone else $699 for. So it’s Roon Essentials. It looks just like Roon, but there’s a limitation to the amount of music files, and only one location. I can live with it.

From the ELAC Discovery (which I’m powering with a LPS and it DOES makes a difference) I have the Coax SPDIF out going out to my Bryston DAC and from there it’s connected to my main system. If I wanted to connection to other things I could as you can use one digital out and two analog out for three separate zones in your home. I will probably be using the analog out to feed my Bottlehead Crack amp but I haven’t yet finished. The DAC is is fine, but like I said it cleaned up a bit when I fed it with a good power supply. Anyway, the digita and analog out can all play individual streams or be synced and play as one. You can also use things like an Apple TV or a Sonos or whatever else to play using the Discovery Server as the streaming source.

That’s pretty much it. Hans give it a pretty good review of the technicalities in his video although it’s a little old. Originally this has a 15K music file cap and previous versions of the software has other limitations which have been taken care of via patches and updates.

One item of note, it seems as my $305 bargain was an early model and I struggled to play anything higher than 24/48 resolution for a bit, until a realized that it was an issue with the ELAC Discovery. I called them up, they said it was a known issue on earlier models and they fixed it for me and had it back at my doorstep in three days. So support is good.
I promised you guys a write up, and this was it. Feel free to ask questions. I’m not proofreading this wall of text, so forgive any minor mistakes.

4 Likes

Solution to connectivity problems where your phone, laptop or Tablet cannot find your discovery on the network. When this happened mostly on my Chromebook I would have to unplug the discovery and after rebooting my Chromebook could find it. The next time I opened the app it could not find the device. When asking to connect to another device you can push help and manually enter the Discoveries IP address but this did nothing.
I found a solution online which said enter the IP address as 255.255.255.255 and this solved the problem. App opens and device connects.

Hello,

Thanks for the great Elac write up. Have you managed to connect any external drives to it on the same network ? I am really struggling with the “path name” and if you have any tips it would be greatly appreciated. And what number did you ring Elac on??

Best, Geoffrey Smith