• The Front Page RSS Feed

    by Published on 06-22-2016 12:36 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Music Servers,
    3. USB Interface
    Article Preview



    Over the last several years Korea's SOtM has continued to gain traction in the HiFi world. More recently, Switzerland's Highend-AudioPC has become a major player in the high end computer audio market with its Audiophile Optimizer product. It seemed like a match made in audio heaven, that I couldn't resist, when the two companies paired up to produce the sMS-1000SQ Windows Edition music server. Add to that the SOtM sPS-1000 linear power supply and Roon from Roon Labs, and I was off to the audio races. But, I wasn’t simply looking for a good solution that I could use, I was looking for a solution that combined many items from which a typical audiophile might shy away, namely a custom computer, add-on USB card, custom internal clock, Windows Server software, and Audiophile Optimizer (that ships with a sixty page user manual by itself). The sMS-1000SQ WE ships with all of the above pre-installed. I can already hear many members of the Computer Audiophile Community grumbling because they have recently assembled all the parts to build a custom computer and read the entire AO manual in preparation for a challenging and time consuming installation process, when maybe they should have considered purchasing the SOtM sMS-1000SQ Windows Edition. ...
    by Published on 06-16-2016 08:40 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. The Music In Me
    Article Preview



    WARNING: This essay contains prrofanity. Definitely NSFW! And then more NSFW at the end!

    In 1969, the Rolling Stones were once again behind the Beatles. The Stones’ manager made them write their own songs because the Beatles were writing their own songs, but the Beatles were always a few months ahead. The Beatles went out-there-psychedelic with Sgt. Pepper’s six months before the Stones went out-there-psychedelic with Their Satanic Majesty’s Request. Then the Beatles went acoustic and diverse with the White Album, and the Stones followed them with Beggar’s Banquet. In 1968, the Beatles left their onerous contract with Capitol Records and started their own label, calling it Apple Music, which was also planned to encompass clothing, inventions, and other bands and projects of an as-yet ill-defined nature. It was an exciting time in Beatleville, what with them driving cool cars and buying estates in the country to live in while the Stones were angry and tired of being perennially so broke that they had to ask for money to pay rent on the boring London flats they were still living in. The Beatles were rich and they weren’t. By now they knew that the only way to make any money was to do what the Beatles had done, so they decided to leave their label, London (Decca), and start their own label, which they’d call Rolling Stones Records. ...
    by Published on 06-09-2016 08:37 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital Interface Converter,
    3. USB Interface,
    4. UPnP / DLNA,
    5. RoonReady
    Article Preview



    In Part 1 of my Sonore microRendu review I went into detail about the product's design and hardware. In Part 2 I will touch on the software, power supply options, a less expensive but less capable version (Sonicorbiter SE), and give an assessment on how my HiFi system sounds with the microRendu.

    Since the microRendu was announced it has been a very hot topic on CA. Since the product was released it has become a very hot topic in high end audio circles everywhere. This product has many high end manufacturers concerned, and rightly so. It's $640, plus the cost of a power supply ($50+), and it outperforms much more expensive products on the market. The first production run of the "mR" sold out almost immediately. The second production run is well one its way to selling out. It appears that this tiny product from a tiny company is currently the biggest thing in HiFi. ...
    by Published on 06-03-2016 12:40 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital to Analog Converter,
    3. S/PDIF (BNC) Interface,
    4. AES/EBU Interface,
    5. S/PDIF (TosLink) Interface
    Article Preview



    In September 2014 I reviewed the original Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series digital to analog converter. I began that review by saying,

    "Rarely do I hear a component that's truly a game changer, a component that's so good I can't stop listening through it, and a component that's so good it renders much of the competition irrelevant. I can't remember, off the top of my head, the last time I heard such a component. That is, before the Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series arrived. The Alpha DAC RS, every bit a true game changer, blew me away from the first listen in my system. Since its arrival I've listened to more complete albums and heard more new sounds from old albums than any time in my life."

    Looking back at that review I am reminded of the impact the Reference Series had on my enjoyment of this hobby. It's crazy how one can get used to the new normal and easily forget about life before a significant event or change in one's life. I guess that's just part of being human. It actually keeps us sane in the face of tragic events, but it also dulls the enthusiasm for that new car smell with each subsequent ride. I've lived with the Alpha DAC Reference Series for almost two years and in that time I've simply become accustomed to the quality of sound it can reproduce. I know that statement may sound crazy, but it's true. My new normal, or reference as it may be called, is one of the best products available in HiFi. Call me jaded or any number of adjectives that describe this first-world problem and that's OK. I get it. But, I also haven't completely forgot my roots. There was a day back around sixth grade when my new Technics receiver and sixty-four dollar Kenwood loudspeakers totally blew away my Toshiba boombox and changed my life forever. Perhaps it's these adjustments to new things in life that partly motivates engineers to improve their products. The thrill of listening to a component that brings one that much closer to the real thing, can't be denied. ...
    by Published on 05-22-2016 06:21 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. The Music In Me
    Article Preview



    There was a brief time in America between the beatniks and the hippies, and that was the time of the folkies. The Sixties was a time of cultural change, and among the precursors of the change was the new interest in folk music. Actually, to say that the interest in folk music was new would be disingenuous; what we now call folk music used to be known as… music. It chronicled the thoughts of the day, and some of those songs are still around, although their meanings have generally fallen into don’t-know-don’t-careville. Por ejemplo, it’s commonly understood that song we all sang, “Roses, roses, pocket full of posies, all fall down,” was about dying from the Black Plague in London in 1665. As recently as the 1920’s and ‘30’s, we had the folk music that came out of the deep South and the Okie Dust Bowl migration of the 30’s, and some of that turned into jazz, blues and rock. Before the new jongleurs* like Bob Dylan showed up in the early Sixties, folk music was mostly songs from the past, although the irony must have been noted that at one time, those songs had been written, they’d been topical. Sure, songs about romances sweet and tragic were always topical, but we’ve been singing about the erosion of London Bridge since at least the Sixteenth Century. Still do, yo. ...

    Page 1 of 99 123451151 ... LastLast
  •