• The Computer Audiophile

    by Published on 01-29-2015 10:02 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. CAPS v4


    This is the final installment of the CAPS v4 series! It will cover both the Maroubra and Bundoran servers because they are very closely related. This is the first time a CAPS design has been based on an Intel NUC. Part of me feels bad because there isnít much to ďdesignĒ when using the NUC platform, but I am more excited than anything because there is a lot of user demand of NUC based servers. For readers unfamiliar with the Intel NUC, itís a very small motherboard with the CPU soldered to the board. Itís one of the platforms Intel has decided to keep supporting, unlike its traditional motherboard business. Anyway, the main purpose for NUC based CAPS servers is size. These servers will fit into almost any component rack or fit nicely hidden behind a DAC. There isnít much hardware experimentation to be done when using a NUC, but I believe Iíve found a couple ways to make these last two designs a bit more audiophile than a standard off-the-shelf server. The Maroubra and Bundoran servers arenít for everyone, especially those who like to try different things and tweak their systems a bit. These servers are simple solutions that donít cost an arm and a leg and fit nicely into any existing audio system. I hope readers donít see this installment of CAPS v4 as anticlimactic but rather something offering two sensible solutions for specific members of the CA Community. ...
    by Published on 01-22-2015 09:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital Interface Converter,
    3. Wireless,
    4. USB Interface,
    5. S/PDIF (RCA) Interface,
    6. AES/EBU Interface,
    7. S/PDIF (TosLink) Interface,
    8. UPnP / DLNA
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    The Auralic Aries is one of the most highly anticipated products in recent memory. From the moment it was announced as a wireless DXD and DSD capable component with USB output to today, the Aries has remained high on many peoplesí lists of components to audition. Fortunately Iíve been able to audition the Aries for several months. During this audition many software and firmware updates were released and the product continued to improve far beyond its initial capabilities. For example, users of the Aries requested USB disk playback and Auralic delivered the feature through a firmware update. Based on my experience with the Aries itís completely understandable why the product remains very hot among members of the Computer Audiophile Community. As of today the Aries and corresponding Lightning DS app deliver on all Auralicís ...
    by Published on 01-13-2015 03:19 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. 2015 Consumer Electronics Show
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    CES 2015 is in the can and Iím disappointed. Iím disappointed that I didnít make it to nearly as many rooms as I wanted to and I didnít spend enough time in the rooms I visited. Without an editorial staff itís impossible to do this show any justice. For the most part, what I saw was great. The new Ravenna based network DAC from Merging Technologies, the NADAC, looks promising. It has the ability to output from two to sixteen channels and should be priced around $6,000 - $7,000. One of the best sounding rooms I stumbled into during the entire show was that of Nagra. The Swiss manufacture demonstrated prototype amplifiers that were part of a system featuring the HD DAC and a MacBook Air. The sound was delicate and stayed in my mind throughout the entire four days of CES. ...
    by Published on 01-04-2015 10:23 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital Interface Converter,
    3. S/PDIF (BNC) Interface,
    4. UPnP / DLNA
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    Iíve been using the Signature Series Rendu for several months in combination with several audio system components. Whether Iíve connected the ďSSRĒ straight to a DAC or to an integrated amp with built-in DAC, the results have been the same, steady and superb. The performance of the Signature Series Rendu has enabled my other components to really shine because they are receiving a very clean and I assume low jitter signal from the SSR. Not only this, but the SSR turns all my components into network capable DLNA devices. Superb sound and expanding the capability of oneís favorite components are what the Signature Series Rendu is all about. The SSR isnít a jack of all trades, rather itís a purpose-built Ethernet to S/PDIF or I2S converter. In other words a DLNA renderer built for a single purpose and built to accomplish its job as well as possible. Members of the CA Community looking for a way to use their favorite DAC or integrated as a network / DLNA device must consider the Sonore Signature Series Rendu as it has enabled the sound of my audio system to soar as high or higher than any component Iíve heard previously. ...
    by Published on 12-16-2014 09:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Announcements
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    One week ago Devialet contacted me about returning to Paris to see a new product before it was released to the public. I was provided no additional information. I wasnít sure if I was going to see a loudspeaker, a DAC, or an iPhone replacement. I said yes immediately because Devialet ...
    by Published on 12-05-2014 09:27 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. CAPS v4
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    CAPS v4 Pipeline is more traditional than CAPS Cortes because itís designed to connect directly to oneís audio system. The server has space to add in cards such as USB, AES/EBU, or S/PDIF. In addition to cards, the server has plenty of room for power products and large desktop hard drives. Pipeline offers plenty of room and power for user experimentation as opposed to the mini servers of the caps v3 ilk. Iíve been using the server in a 100% silent configuration with a linear power supply and solid state hard drive with great success. I canít wait to see what members of the CA Community do to this server to take it beyond my standard configuration and push it to the max with tips, tricks, and tweaks. ...
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