• Bits & Bytes

    by Published on 08-14-2014 12:47 PM
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    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 06-24-2014 12:33 PM
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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 12-26-2013 08:43 AM
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    I've been following loudspeaker manufacturer Magico for nearly five years. I was first introduced to the company's founder Alon Wolf through mutual friends in California's bay area. Soon after meeting Alon I visited Magico's Berkeley factory where the company was designing its then flagship M5 loudspeaker. I spent quite awhile listening to the M5s during that visit. At that time the M5 was the best speaker I'd ever heard. In late December 2009 I re-visited Magico's Berkeley factory to listen to an unknown speaker that I was told was something special. The experience was a bit like déjà vu as I spent hours listening to the newly designed Q5 loudspeaker. This speaker was far above and beyond anything Magico had previously produced, but I left the factory proclaiming, "The Magico Q5 loudspeaker is the best loudspeaker I've ever heard anywhere. There isn't a single product on the market today that's capable of this level of performance." Much has changed since that last visit including a new flagship Q7 loudspeaker, the introduction of Magico's S Series, and a new home for the factory. Fast forward to December 2013. It was time to visit Magico once again. ...
    by Published on 10-08-2013 04:26 PM
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    Over the years I've built up a collection of applications that make my life much easier. Most of these apps are directly related to audio but some can be used for many other tasks. When I read about CA members using remote control applications meant for remote access over the Internet, even though they are ten feet from their music servers, I try to jump in and recommend a better solution. Unfortunately these recommendations soon get buried under all kinds of other threads. Tasks as mundane as finding the IP address of a DLNA renderer or another device on one's network can be impossible without the knowledge of how it's done. Some applications have quietly added features over the years that go unnoticed by most people who don't have time to read the release notes for every update. For example, most CA readers are unaware that JRiver can analyze every track in a library and assign it a dynamic range value. This value is embedded into the track's metadata saving one from reanalyzing an entire library should something go wrong with a music server. What follows is my CA Software Toolbox of applications and details on how I use the apps. Readers are encouraged to post their favorite apps, tips, and tricks to make this a definite guide we can all references when needed. ...
    by Published on 07-25-2013 10:09 AM
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    Computer Audiophile readers following my Twitter account likely know I was at the Pearl Jam concert at Wrigley Field July 19, 2013. I posted a few photos before the show but didn't want to channel my inner-teenager and tweet throughout the concert. Plus, CA readers have lives and could likely care less about some guy (me) tweeting from a concert. It was an evening I'll never forget. The sound was as good as I've ever heard at a concert. It didn't hurt that I was nine seats to the left of the sound board engineers. Readers familiar with Wrigley Field know there are hundreds of roof top seats located on buildings across the street from the field. When the concert started ...
    by Published on 07-16-2013 08:53 AM
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    Just a quick note about a great Dave Grohl interview I stumbled upon the other day. The interview covers items like Dave's documentary Sound City and his thoughts about recording to magnetic tape. Here's my favorite quote from the interview, "Okay, so 15 years ago, if a tape was shredding or a reel broke what would you do? You just play the fucking song again." Another sad but true quote from the interview, "I called someone from management and said we’re going to do it to tape, and they said, “Can you do that?" Not only did the Foo Fighters record to tape the band chopped up the master tape and gave it away piece by piece in the Wasting Light CD cases. You got to love real rock bands. Here's the unedited video of the interview. ...
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