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A musician's guide to the enjoyment of digital audio

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Hello! I am a professional musician and educator and have been enjoying recorded music virtually all my life. The opportunity recently presented itself to improve my hi-fi system; after attending a high-end audio show for the first time (AXPONA in Atlanta, GA, in April 2011), I decided to include a computer as the basis of my system improvements. This blog (first time I've blogged on anything... this might as well be fun...) is a) the story of my decisions on equipment, b) what I've learned about computer audio and something of how I learned it, and c) comments on why I enjoy music and its reproduction as I do.

Since I've never blogged on anything before, I will, out of necessity, be "making this up as I go." I'm going to enjoy this ongoing conversation and I hope you do, too. Thanks for reading.


26 October, 2011
It might be appropriate to bring up my "why digital?" decision. At one point I was an analog fan and collected LPs. I owned hundreds of them at one time, maybe thousands. At the same time I was also building a library of CDs, many of them digital reissues of my treasured LPs. As time marched on, I saw that LPs fell out of favor with retailers and it was my opinion that turntable technology was becoming cost prohibitive to the average listener. Then Mother Nature stepped in and flooded my basement, ruining my LPs. I was left with an all-digital music library and decided that the best sound for the money - for the middle class listener on a family budget - was in CD technology, not in replacement of my LPs. I continued to build a library of CDs, mostly classical and jazz, with a few selected vintage rock titles. I've listened to CDs ever since and had intended to replace my aging NAD CD player with a much better unit, likely a Rega Apollo. My quest for the right CD player led to an introduction to computer audio at a fabulous audio/video retailer in the Atlanta area, Audio Alternative in Lilburn. A few visits to the audio store later, and with the Atlanta AXPONA show last April, I knew that a computer as music server was in my future.
By profession I am a college professor of music and have used Macintosh computers for professional and personal reasons for over 20 years. My personal loyalty to Apple technology, combined with all that took place in my audio story, led to a decision to transfer my CDs to computer files and join the wave of computer audio fans. At this point I do not regret that decision at all and I see no reason that I might regret it in the future.



1 November, 2011

Current system
Mac mini (mid 2011) 2.3GHz : 500GB *2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 * 8GB memory * 500GB hard drive * Intel HD Graphics 3000 * OS X Lion
Apple wireless keyboard, Magic Mouse, external optical drive
LaCie Minimus 2TB external hard drive
Peachtree Audio iDac
NAD C515BEE compact disc player
NAD C375BEE integrated amplifier
PSB Synchrony Two loudspeakers
AudioQuest Type 4 speaker cable
AudioQuest Black Mamba II interconnect
AudioQuest Coffee USB cable (dbs)
AudioQuest VDM-3 coaxial digital

custom built cherry audio cabinet, designed and built by HG Designs, Tunnel Hill, Georgia


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  1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
    Hi douglas882 - Thanks so much for inviting us along :~)

    I'm looking forward to reading about where you've been and where you're going on this audio journey.

    Don't worry about never having blogged about anything before. Half the fun will be, as you say, "making this up as I go."