• The Computer Audiophile

    by Published on 09-02-2015 03:27 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Editorial
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    As a diehard card-carrying audiophile I am interested in all things related to this wonderful hobby. I've published articles based solely on my subjective listening experience and I've published articles detailing only objective measurements and facts about products. I enjoy publishing and reading articles that cover the gamut. I also think it's healthy and interesting to be open to perspectives completely incongruent with our own. With this in mind, I was recently sent a link to the JRiver forum to read a post about one person's perspective and experience as an inquisitive listener. I really liked what I read, in the sense that it's a real world story to which many people can probably relate and it was written in a non-confrontational way. In fact every audiophile I know, golden-eared or not, has at one time or another experienced something very similar to the follow story. I'm not pushing any agenda or endorsing a point of view by publishing this article. I simply think a worthwhile read for all who enjoy this hobby as much as I do.

    Here is a a re-written, more complete version of the post, sent to me for publication by the author Michael. ...
    by Published on 08-26-2015 11:41 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital Interface Converter,
    3. Digital to Analog Converter,
    4. Wireless,
    5. USB Interface,
    6. S/PDIF (BNC) Interface,
    7. S/PDIF (RCA) Interface,
    8. AES/EBU Interface,
    9. S/PDIF (TosLink) Interface,
    10. UPnP / DLNA,
    11. Preamp
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    The last couple audio events I attended I talked to consumers who were hesitant to purchase a new Digital to Analog Converter (DAC). The most common reason for this hesitation was that they weren't certain a DAC purchased today would satisfy their needs tomorrow, especially when they didn't even know their own needs today. What if I want to play this or play that or stream this or stream that? Those were common concerns at the events, but they have likely been on peoples' minds since high end digital audio began changing faster than is comfortable for most peoples' pocket books. I completely get it and I would likely be very frustrated if I were in the position of Joe Sixpack the average but dedicated audiophile.

    Based in Boucherville, a suburb of Montreal, on the South shore of the Saint Lawrence River, Simaudio understands consumer desire for a product that won't be obsolete as soon as it's setup on one's home. Not only that but, the people at Simaudio are incredibly down to Earth and manufacturer products that they would want to spend their hard earned money on as well. This equates to products that have terrific flexibility, upgradeability, and great sound quality and products that the hesitant audiophile should definitely consider. ...
    by Published on 08-11-2015 01:51 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes,
    3. Downloads / Streaming
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    Anyone who reads Computer Audiophile likely knows I'm a humongous Pearl Jam fan. I've been known to mention the band or its music in my writings on occasion. It also goes without saying that I'm an equally fanatic audiophile. I care dearly about sound quality. Therein lies the conundrum if you believe that the quality of music is inversely proportional to the quality of the recording. For example, there are countless audiophile recordings of bells, cellos, drums, vocals, violins, etcÖ that sound spectacular, but you couldn't pay me to listen to them because they don't contain music. Too often great recordings contain sounds without "real" music or emotion. On the other hand, like most Rock bands, Pearl Jam isn't well known for releasing audiophile standards. Much of PJ's music is best heard live with thousands of people singing along and watching the band put on a spectacular show. PJ's albums certainly aren't low-fi, but you'll rarely hear them at a HiFi show or read a product review where the writer used a PJ track for evaluating a component's sonic performance. OK call me a weirdo, but I've often dreamt of ways to connect Grammy winning recording engineer Bill Schnee with the guys from Pearl Jam. I would pay $1,000 for a PJ album recorded live to two-track at 24 bit / 192 kHz like Bill's Bravura Records recordings. I've thought of starting a petition, tweeting, emailing, etcÖ in an effort to persuade Pearl Jam to create such an audio gem, but I always stop short of clicking the send button. Where am I going with this? To paraphrase the infamously quotable Donald Rumsfeld, you listen to the music you have, not the music you might want or wish to have at a later time. With this in mind, I've created my PJ4CA playlist containing thirty of my favorite sounding Pearl Jam tracks with five honorable mentions. These tracks aren't the most popular, but I believe they have the best balance of music and sound quality. I love being exposed to new music, especially music that sounds good. I hope you enjoy the following tracks and maybe, just maybe get on the Pearl Jam bandwagon (if you aren't already) :~) ...
    by Published on 07-31-2015 03:06 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital to Analog Converter,
    3. Speakers,
    4. Wireless,
    5. USB Interface,
    6. S/PDIF (RCA) Interface,
    7. S/PDIF (TosLink) Interface
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    The Dynaudio Xeo 6 system is often misrepresented as a pair of wireless loudspeakers. The reality is that the Xeo 6 is a system that takes the place of a DAC, audio cables, amplifiers, and loudspeakers. The only piece not included with the Xeo 6 is the source such as a music server or traditional computer. What's more, the Xeo 6 system includes all of these elements in a sleek design. The visual minimalist can even place a music server and the wireless transmitter in another room, so the only visible piece of the audio system is the Xeo 6 loudspeakers. In addition to flexibility, the Xeo 6 system offers true high end audio sound quality. There are so many things right with the design of this system that itís no wonder the sound quality is so impressive. From the full digital signal path to the loudspeakers to the active design with perfectly matched amplifiers for each of the three drivers in each speaker, the system technically hits many high notes. The Xeo 6 system simply makes sense on several levels and delivers the goods when it comes to sound quality. ...
    by Published on 07-21-2015 10:23 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. The Music In Me
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    CA contributor Gilbert Klein is back with another article in The Music In Me series. This one is well worth the lengthy read - Editor

    This one is going to be a stretch for both of us, but you trust me, right? What? What have you heard? Whatever. Youíve got time for this, I hope.

    Yes, I know of late Iíve posted essays about olden times. I promise my next post will take us to modern times, to Burning Man, in fact. But for this one Iím going to ask you to take a leap of faith with me from the practical, historical and logical to the archaically possible. Today I want to go where experts play, and open up a new category.

    I donít know which bars or tour buses youíve been hanging out in, but I know people who vigorously debate which was the first rock Ďní roll record. Specialists may debate the first rock song or the first rock record; I want to discuss the first rock moment, the very first time that rock music reared its pointy little head. Among debaters, there seem to be six principal contestants for the honor of first rock record, and Iíll put links to all of them at the end of the post. My premise is rooted in a very simple point: if it rocks, itís rock. Itís a visceral thing, yeah, and you know it when you feel it, but when did it happen for the first time? ...
    by Published on 07-15-2015 01:18 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes
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    Here we go again, Uncle Neil is grabbing headlines talking about sound quality. This time Neil is pulling his music from streaming services because, "I don't need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution. I don't feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It's bad for my music."

    For the most part I like when Neil talks to the masses about sound quality. This time he's rubbing me the wrong way. I'm calling BS on this move being about sound quality. Never mind the fact that Neil's music is still available on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, and Tidal, I'm assuming he will pull everything from streaming services as his statement says. In my view this has nothing to do with sound quality. ...
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