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    by Published on 01-16-2017 12:37 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Editorial
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    Note: This post has very little to do with audio and less to do with computer audio. If you're only looking for such information please skip this post. If you want to read an interesting story and find out about a good music related book, continue on. Much more information about MQA, after my lengthy discussion with Bob Stuart in Las Vegas, is forthcoming in another article.


    CES 2017 started with a bang. Thursday morning Tidal dropped 30,000 MQA tracks and everyone could decode the tracks in software, starting immediately. Music lovers everywhere were listening to old albums again for the first time. Some loved it, ...
    by Published on 01-06-2017 12:59 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. 2017 Consumer Electronics Show
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    Today was full of surprises at CES 2017. Tidal announced 30,000 tracks available immediately in what it calls master quality (MQA), Napster announced high resolution streaming, Pandora did everything except announce high resolution streaming (look for it soon though), MQA announced software decoding in Audirvana and the Tidal desktop app, Roon communicated it would have full software decoding soon, Chord announced the Hugo 2, Blu mk II, and Poly, Klipsch featured really cool products for reasonable prices, and I heard some great sound.

    Now, where to start? I guess I'll cover this is the order I saw / heard it today.

    Before leaving the hotel room this morning, I was able to release the good news that, effective immediately, Tidal was streaming 30,000 tracks in MQA, and MQA decoding was now available in software. Both of these are big news. Tidal was ready to go with MQA long ago, but the record labels just didn't have the content to deliver. Once the number of titles hit critical mass, Tidal flipped the switch on Master Quality. MQA is included with HiFi Tidal subscriptions for now, we'll have to see if there is an added cost for Master Quality at a later date. ...
    by Published on 01-04-2017 10:54 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Books
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    Inside the Horrific Guns N’ Roses ‘Hell House’

    How a one-room space on Sunset became ground zero for sex, drugs, depravity, and talent in the 1980s L.A. rock scene

    By Mick Wall

    . . .


    Although it was Duff McKagan who had booked what Guns N’ Roses were already calling “the Hell tour” to Seattle, once they returned to L.A. in June of 1985, one thing was clear: with Tracii Guns out of the picture, the band had a leader, and that leader was W. Axl Rose. “Axl always had this kind of vision of where he wanted to be,” Slash would tell me. “What he wanted the band to be. He didn’t like people he thought were trying to hold him back.”

    With Tracii now out of the way, and the other band members unready to challenge a guy so seemingly set in his own mind, Axl was ready to assume leadership. Sure, Duff was determined to keep pushing forward; like Axl, he wanted to rehearse regularly and get the show on the road as soon as possible, but he would yield to the singer in terms of writing. Slash and Izzy, who were more involved in the writing process, were so laidback (and increasingly ...
    by Published on 01-03-2017 11:48 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Preamp
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    Now that 2016 is gone, in the rearview mirror, forever to be forgotten, I look back on some highlights.......just kidding.

    Other than the release of the microRendu and the Holo Spring dac I found little to be excited about in 2016. It sucked! And through it I had my worst health crises (I am fine now, thanks for asking ). But one audio company, a small family-owned business in Sparks, Nevada, kept me toe-tapping in my music, come hell or high water. And that company I discovered in 2015. In fact, I so owe it to the readers of Computer Audiophile to become aware of Shane Duffy's wonderful little company that I thought I would shout it from the hills (no hills here in Cleveland, but just go along anyway).

    PERLA AUDIO! Yes, Perla Audio, the little audio enterprise that had the cojones to introduce new amplifiers and preamps (and a DAC and some wild new speakers) into a very crowded and mature industry segment.

    Perla's ideas started in 2010 when Shane and his family decided to mortgage out the nestegg due to his zeal and commitment that a new set of speakers would impress the audio community. But he needed more technical help and in came his technical partner-to-be, Ronald van Robinson, a 30 year veteran in the industry. Perla Audio was born sometime in 2012, and their first products (while continuing to work on speakers) included an integrated amp called the Signature 50, a dual mono design which, among other features, had no coupling capacitors in the path. It wasn't long that this product got the reviews and awards it was destined for, including my buddy Terry London's wonderful review in HomeTheaterReview.com (Best of 2015 award) and Dick Olsher's large kudos in Absolute Sound ( 2015 Editor's Choice award). ...
    by Published on 12-27-2016 10:35 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Basics
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    Hello Guys - Just a quick note during this usually relaxed week between major holidays. I was recently a guest on The Next Track podcast to discuss DACs. The information is fairly light and easy to understand, and may be valuable for those who don't eat, sleep, and breathe digital audio. Give it a listen and subscribe to The Next Track is you're interested. Kirk and Doug are down to earth guys who love music and computers, similar to many readers of CA. I hope you find the 35 minute episode helpful and enjoyable. ...
    by Published on 12-22-2016 07:06 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Software
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    Note: I originally started this piece as an in-depth look at Android for audiophiles. I wanted to do the research and educate people so they didn't have to spend their time combing the entire Internet. I figured the article would be a great resource for getting the best sound out of an Android device. After several days of research, talking to experts, even talking to Google, this article turned in a little different direction. There are major problems with Android audio. I ran into them. I tried to provide details and some workarounds, amid my frustration. - CC

    I purchased my first iPhone on June 9, 2008. It was the 3G model. Back then, I didn't really use it for audio because the world was a different place. That phone was maxed-out at 16GB of storage, there were no major streaming music services, analog audio output was less than good, and there were zero devices capable of extracting digital audio from an iPhone. As future iPhone versions were released with more storage, streaming services appeared with lossless offline downloads, and external DACs capable of turning an iPhone into a pretty good audio device became available, I switched from my 160 GB iPod Classic and began to depend on my iPhone for mobile audio playback.

    On September 7, 2016 the iPhone 7 was announced. I was set to upgrade from my iPhone 6 Plus, but was very underwhelmed after watching Apple's presentation. I thought about keeping my 6 Plus until the "magical" iPhone 8 is released, but decided it was time for a change. I switched to the Google Pixel phone running Android. When switching to an Android device, it was very important to me to use an official Google phone. Google ensures its phones have the "real" Android experience, without bloatware, and will be updated to the newest version of the Android operating system as soon as it's released. On the other hand, manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola, and Huawei use such customized versions of Android, it's hard to believe they can still use the Android brand. Bloatware an lack of updates are two major issues with non-Google Android phones. Anyway, I made the switch to a 128 GB Google Pixel, and the quest for audiophile quality audio from Android started immediately. I literally hadn't received the phone yet, and I was already trying to find the right audio-related accessories and the best way to output bit perfect audio. ...

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