• The Computer Audiophile

    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. ...
    by Published on 07-07-2014 09:32 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Editorial


    I've been thinking quite a bit, over the last few months, about the future of high quality audio playback. In fact, I'm obsessed with this topic. I was born a music loving audiophile and I worked in enterprise information technology for a decade before starting CA. My passions for both music and technology are converging quickly to provide a better high quality experience. There has never been a better time to be a music aficionado who loves great sound quality and technology. I absolutely love the possibilities and can't wait for some of them to come to fruition. We are no longer limited by technology. The only limiting factor is our imaginations. If we can think it, we can do it.

    In the not to distant future we will be streaming lossless audio, in all relevant sample rates, directly to our main audio components from a Cloud music service provider such as WiMP or Qobuz. Music, playlists, ratings, and favorites will all be stored in the Cloud. Listeners will control playback with iOS and Android apps provided by their streaming service providers. Similar to a UPnP / DLNA control point, the apps will serve as a remote control and library curation and browsing tool. In the same fashion as Google's Cast functionality, no audio will be routed through the iOS or Android device. Music will stream directly to an audio component such as a music server, digital to digital interface converter, or digital to analog converter from the Cloud. Content not available from the streaming service providers can be uploaded, purchased elsewhere, and made available for streaming with simple in app authentication, or located on one's local network attached storage device. There are a couple products capable of very similar functionality right now, namely Sonos, Spotify Connect, and the Auralic Aries / Lightning platform, but there are major differences between where we are now and where we are headed. Only lossless CD quality streaming audio will be available in the short term. During this time, high resolution content will still be purchased through traditional outlets such as HDtracks, Acoustic Sounds, and the PonoMusic store. ...
    by Published on 06-24-2014 12:33 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes
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    Earlier this month I traveled to Glasgow, Scotland to visit the Linn factory. I've been to many manufacturers, dealers, and audio events around the world, but this was my first time in Scotland. I had no expectations before the trip and didn't even know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by the incredibly nice Scottish people and with, what I'm told is very rare, the wonderful weather. Everyone I came in contact with during this trip was eager to help me, eager to sit and chat, and eager to share interesting tidbits of information about Glasgow. I'd love to go back to Scotland with my family and spend much more than two days in this beautiful country.


    Visiting the Linn factory was both informative and intriguing. Learning about the company's history, its avant-garde founder Ivor Tiefenbrun, its new products, and its vision for the future was well worth the time spent getting to and from Scotland. Most people think of Linn, and other manufacturers, as a company with a range of products. My visit to the factory enabled me to see behind the products. I talked to the acutely smart people who develop and support Linn products and who lead the company into the future. ...
    by Published on 06-16-2014 12:54 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Editorial
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    Any day now Apple will flip the switch and offer high resolution downloads. That's what many people have said over the years since Apple first began requesting high resolution material from record labels and artists. The reasons given for this high resolution switch flipping have been countless and reported incestuously (yes, this is the correct word I want to use). Some tech sites will do anything for an attention-grabbing headline, even if it means citing another site who cited a blogger with no credibility. Pretty soon these sites may even cite themselves accidentally by using links that go through a number of URL shortening services. What follows is my opinion, not citing any other site, third party, or anonymous source close to Apple. Some of us have opinions and aren't afraid to share them without hiding behind the veil of "this just in from one of my sources." I could be absolutely wrong, absolutely right, or somewhere in the middle with my reasoning. I know for sure I'll be right or wrong with my conclusion that high resolution audio isn't coming soon from Apple. I'll even go one step further and opine that Apple won't release high resolution downloads for purchase or even a lossless CD quality streaming subscription service in the next three to five years. ...
    by Published on 06-06-2014 10:31 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital Interface Converter,
    3. USB Interface,
    4. UPnP / DLNA
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    Have a good USB DAC? Check. Want to turn it into a networked device without changing one item on the DAC? Check.

    Over the last couple years I increasingly wanted a specific product that didn't exist. I wanted an ultra simple device with Ethernet input and USB audio output. This seems like such an obvious product that should have been available since the day the first USB DACs hit the market. Especially because so many of the network addressable DACs have big problems with file types, compression schemes, gapless playback, etc… Plus, if the sound of a specific USB DAC is what the listeners want, but they also want the functionality of a networked DAC, they should be able to bridge the gap. This isn't rocket science and this isn't the 1980s. Tiny ARM based Linux compatible single board computers are everywhere. It's time for the Internet of Things and running on this IoT are millions of tiny devices that can be used to create a simple Ethernet in and USB audio out device. As The O'Jays, The Kinks, and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings said, Give the People What They Want. Thus, the SOtM sMS-100 Mini Server was created. We finally have a physically simple device that converts network audio streams into USB audio streams for playback on nearly any popular USB DAC. ...
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