I use a W10 Ethernet NAS system;
i7-3770 on an Intel MB board with a Seagate 6TB IRON WOLF HDD NAS storage drive and 8GB of memory. The boot drive is a 128GB SSD. The PC system cost was less than $1,200.00 since it is so simple.
The PC goes into an Ethernet over Power-Line module with a CAT6 Plus patch cable to the router located upstairs.
My Motorolla PHONE uses Bubble Up UpNP controller software to talk to the roter and PC wireless. The PC is loaded with MINIMSERVER software. The PC streams music to the ASUS ROUTER through another CAT6+ patch cable and then to the DAC to the BRIDGE II and into the DS DAC with WINDOM firmware. The ASUS router is a 802.11ac version 5, not 802.11ax version 6 (useless for the low data rate).
If I use WIRELESS at 2.4 GHz or 5.0 GHz from the PC to the router upstairs, I do get data drops, not with hardwired connections. I find the seemingly Neanderthal Ethernet power line adapters are very good (I have the latest IEEE spec HOME LINK versions). I test over 50 MBPS throughput.
I have no issues with sound quality at all with this setup. The limits are more my sources than the “system” and, it is easy to use as digital ever will be with a homemade set-up.
OK, a dedicated music NAS may be easier to use, but Ethernet is re-clocked (even in the bridge II it is re-clocked) and errors remain at zero (but not with wireless!).
The main issue I see is EASE of USE. That is an important one, too.
Building a PC, router network, getting all the PC software settings working and a wireless “controller” loaded and working isn’t a cake walk if you aren’t pretty PC oriented. A plug and play solution is a HUGE benefit to most people. Better, it needs to be a protected ecosystem such that it can’t be “broken” with a W10 update or server / controller software update; MINIMSERVER or BUBBLE UP UpNP in my case.
A typical user should not have to wrestle with all this stuff if digital is to be as easy as dropping in a CD, and that being easier than messing with a record.
I’m all for a quality closed ecosystem NAS for MUSIC more for stability of USE than SQ as Ethernet moves data around the globe with zip errors. My experiences with my homemade music NAS fully supports a far more user friendly interface that is reliable, upgradeable (storage) and cost effective.
My system is the WORST for stability day-to-day thus, it is a good jumping off point for something BETTER. When it dies, I will re consider what is available.