by Brad Easton and Kevin OBrien on 06/24/2012


We wanted to let our readers in on some major work we've undertaken lately. We love our HD Ref-2 music server transport but we knew we wanted to beef up our processing power while maintaining near silent operation. We figured there had to be a way to get our Ref-2 practically silent. It's been a long road but we've made it, finally.

The older Ref-2 designs were based on 6-core processing, a 1 TB disc drive, 16 GB of RAM, a Blu-Ray ROM, and a basic DVI/ HDMI/ D-SUB PCI video card.  We housed the Ref-2 in an industrial, rack-mountable, lockable steel chassis. We added the SOtM USB PCI card option for the Special Edition and the SSD models.

The NEW Ref-3 model employs 6-core processing, a  512 GB SSD drive, 32 GB of RAM,  the same video card, the same chassis as the Ref-2, the SOtM USB PCI card, and an external power supply for the SOtM card. We also offer a RAID option that can bring the SSD storage up to 1 TB if desired. The major benefit of the Ref-3 over our previous models is the nearly inaudible operation as well as more RAM, more SSD storage, and an external power supply for the SOtM USB card.

We decided to come up with two models for the Ref-3 and discontinue our Ref-2. We now offer a YFS HD Ref-3 Base Model and a YFS HD Ref-3 Special Edition. The 'Base Model' and the 'Special Edition' are exactly the same server but the 'Base Model' is missing the SOtM USB PCI card as well as the external power supply for the SOtM USB card. It also only employs 16 GB of RAM instead of 32 GB. The 'Special Edition' contains the SOtM USB PCI Card as well as the power supply to go with it. Both units offer the same 512 GB SSD storage drive. Remember, our servers are completely custom so you can get as much SSD storage as you want. We'll charge you accordingly for the extra storage space.

Our server is the only currently available dedicated music server transport on the market that packs all of the above options in a semi-affordable package. We haven't been able to find an external power supply option for the SOtM card let alone a server that could easily integrate one so we decided to do it ourselves and push the computer audio envelope. Just plug our non-switching power supply into the rear of the unit in order to separately power the SOtM USB card. You don't have to take the cover off to unplug the power supply when you want to move both units. VERY HANDY. We have accomplished all of this at under $13,000. Simply AMAZING!!!

We do use fans in our latest design because with all the processing power we provide, there's no way to cool our servers without them. Don't worry, they're not audible during normal operation. Don't get caught up in the mini-ATX motherboard craze to get a fan-less server. If that's your goal, just buy a high-end SSD laptop and you'll get better performance than the competition's currently available music servers.

The other guys claim their designs are "silent" and "fan-less". You CAN achieve one without the other. We don't think many folks realize this. Our competitors' "silent" designs are not truly silent. Why don't these server manufacturers tell you what SPL their products are running at? Because if they did, you'd realize they're not really silent at all. We aren't afraid to test our operating SPL's. In fact, you can see into our design with the cover on as we have implemented an open top and we're not hiding anything from anybody. We don't have to.

We implement Windows 7 Professional for an operating system along with Foobar 2000, JRiver Media Center, or Album Player for a digital playback suite. We prefer Album Player based on its playback abilities. The Ref-3 is fully compatible with the latest standard-res and hi-res file formats (16, 24, and 32  bit word lengths and 44.1/ 48/ 88.2/ 176.4/ 192/ 352.8/ 384 kHz sampling rates). The Ref-3 also plays DSD64 and DSD128 files! (with compatible playback software)

Our control options for the Ref-3 are the same as the Ref-2. The Ref-1 needed a keyboard, monitor, and mouse to operate. The Ref-3 is fully operational with ONLY A TABLET/ LAPTOP/ PHONE! The user doesn't need to plug anything in to the Ref-3 to get it up and running and fully operational except an ethernet cable. Choose your favorite tablet/ laptop, power on the Ref-3, wait 45 seconds, and then start controlling your new Ref-3 server anywhere your local network allows. VERY COOL!

We think you'll enjoy using the most powerful, user friendly music server the audiophile world has to offer. It's only a matter of time until the other guys are scrambling to catch up. 

Contact us with questions.  We're here to help!

Remember, the Ref-3 is totally custom designed to your specs. If you want some features taken away or added, it's your call!  We can make it exactly the way you want it. No problem! We offer a full in-home install for an additional fee. Contact us for details. The entire install is done in under 2 hours. This service is only available in the contiguous United States. We can provide install support over the phone/ e-mail for any other location. Our products are available in 110V-120V as well as 220V-240V. Just let us know where you need your YFS server to operate and we'll take care of it!

We can now ship a fully functional Ref-3 via UPS to the lower 48 (contiguous United States)!!!

We offer package deals on our YFS USB cables if you plan on buying a server too.

Contact us for more details.

THANKS for your interest in YFS products!

- YFS Design Team