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    by Published on 08-20-2014 09:14 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Speakers,
    3. Music Hub / Controller,
    4. UPnP / DLNA

    My first exposure to a new Linn technology named Exakt was at the 2013 CEDIA Show in Denver. I didn't have a chance to listen to the system on display because the show floor was very noisy, but I talked to Linn's Managing Director Gilad Tiefenbrun about Exakt. I walked away from the conversation enthusiastic about the capabilities of Exakt and about the possibilities for better sound reproduction in home environments. I'm a big supporter of using technology, but only when it's appropriate. Linn's use of Exakt technology to send lossless digital data via CAT5/6/7 cables into the loudspeakers and keep that data in the digital domain, through the crossover and volume control, until just before the final amplification stage within the loudspeakers is what I call great use of technology. Less than one year after that CEDIA show I have an Akurate level Linn Exakt system in my listening room. I had reservations about setting aside my large analog equipment, state of the art digital to analog converter, and TAD CR1 loudspeakers in order to put the Exact system in place. There is no going in to this system half-way as it's fully active with amplification attached to the loudspeakers, digital to analog converters attached to the loudspeakers, and RJ45 ports rather than binding posts for receiving the incoming signal. I couldn't even use an Aurender music server if I wanted to with the Exakt system. None of this is good or bad in and of itself. It's just a fact of using any Exakt system. There's no hodgepodge of components to select, interconnect, and hope for a good synergy. Exakt works within its own ecosystem, and it just works. After the initial setup and two weeks of extensive listening I am very impressed with the Linn Exakt technology. In fact, the Akurate Exakt DSM and Exakt Akubarik loudspeakers comprise the best Linn system I've ever heard. Period. ...
    by Published on 08-14-2014 12:47 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes
    Article Preview


    Just a quick post before heading off to the California Audio Show. I look forward to this show for many reasons, among them is meeting members of the Computer Audiophile community. I've met several readers at this show and events at local Bay Area dealers and I enjoy talking to them every year. A major plus for me at this show is that the highest density of Computer Audiophile readers is in Silicon Valley. There are tons of computer savvy audiophiles in the Bay Area in addition to the tons of traditional audiophiles looking to finally get on the computer audio bandwagon. At the show this year two rooms will feature the new Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC RS. I encourage all members of the Computer Audiophile community to spend some time with this DAC. There's nothing like it on the market today. In addition, those interested in hearing DSD files converted to high resolution PCM can do so in the MIT room through the Alpha DAC RS one main system or a headphone based system. The Bay Area is the place to be and I hope the California Audio Show, now in its fifth year, will prove to be a fun time for all attendees.
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    by Published on 08-07-2014 11:50 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. CA TV
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    In this episode of CATV find out about the QNAP HS-251 silent NAS, Lumin L1 NAS, and a new feature called 90 Seconds of Audiophile Information.

    Show Links:


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    by Published on 07-28-2014 03:06 PM

    My job as an audio journalist requires that I attend trade shows and report back to the Computer Audiophile readers what Iíve seen and heard. Despite the luxury of listening to the best audio systems and making friends all over the world, audio trade shows can be grueling. Thus, on the last day of every show I have a free / fun day where I stroll the halls without any appointments or meetings. On my fun days I look for diamonds in the rough, new products that need and deserve attention, and products that are unique and new to me or the CA readers. This year at the Munich High End show I was strolling one of the main areas on my fun day and the Norma Audio booth caught my eye. Iíd never seen nor heard of the brand even though it wasnít a new company. The main reason the booth caught my eye is the impeccable internal product design. The board layout and look reminded me one of my favorite brands, Spectral Audio. The two reasons I spent five minutes talking to the Norma Audio team are its high speed, wide bandwidth designs (2 MHz range), and the company offers a very versatile Digital to Analog Converter (DAC). The similarities to Spectral with clean design and wide bandwidth impressed me without hearing a note. Fortunately Norma Audio offers a standalone DAC, unlike Spectral, and there was no way I would leave Germany without making plans to review such a product. I set in motion a review of the Norma Audio HS-DA1 (Pre), a DAC with built-in preamplifier and headphone amplifier. At the time I wasnít sure if I had found a diamond or cubic zirconia. Without the ability to listen to the product at the show, Iíd have to wait until I returned home to Minneapolis. ...
    by Published on 07-21-2014 03:12 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. CA TV
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    In Episode Five of CATV I talk to Dynaudio North America's Mike Manousselis about the new Xeo 4 and Xeo 6 wireless HiFi system. We spent some time listening to the first pair of these speakers in North America and really enjoyed the sound and ease of use. These are a definite improvement over the previous Xeo series. The new system supports high resolution up to 24 bit / 96 kHz and features great DSP (Digital Signal Processing) for use in corners and along walls. I currently have the Xeo 6 loudspeakers against a wall (left channel) and in a corner (right channel). The DSP does wonders for clearing up the sound. The new Xeo Hub also has no issues sending audio from my basement to the main level of our house without a hiccup. If I experience problems I have the new Xeo Extender, but thus far I have no need for an extensions. Here's Episode Five, enjoy. ...
    by Published on 07-18-2014 04:59 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Announcements
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    Ready. Aim. Click! Get your credit cards ready because Peachtree Audio is about to launch Deepblue2 on Indiegogo! I reviewed the first edition last year (LINK) and totally loved what I heard. The new versions looks to be even better. CA readers may also be interested in hearing the entire story behind the disappearance of Deepblue version 1.0. In the Indiegogo video Peachtree Audio's Jon Derda (A.K.A. Ambassador of Awesome) describes what happened and why Deepblue2 is replacing version 1.0. Get them while they last (Video appears to be missing now). I have a feeling Deepblue2 is going to sell out fast. The campaign launches Monday 07/21/2014. ...

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