• Bits & Bytes

    by Published on 09-18-2014 12:48 PM
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    I spent the last two days at the WiMP / Tidal headquarters here in Oslo, Norway. I am very impressed by the company, its lineup of partners integrating lossless streaming, and its vision for the future. The Tidal office buzzes with activity from the energetic staff. I was fortunate to talk to several employees in different departments from marketing to the editorial team to ultra technical guys working with massive amounts of data. Everyone felt a sense of pride for the product, not only because it's from Norway but also because each member of the staff has input into the product. Everyone I talked to appeared to be in love with their job at WiMP / Tidal. I walked away with a sense that it's a very hip and cool company for which to work. Speaking of work, HiFi industry veteran and Peachtree Audio co-founder David Solomon is now Tidal's Director of Sales and Marketing in the United States. Speaking of the United States, I predict Tidal will launch its lossless streaming service in the US at the Rocky Mountain Audiofest in October, given the company is listed as an exhibitor! Members of the CA Community attending the show are likely to see Tidal streaming in many rooms this year. Based on the number of partnerships Tidal has established with manufacturers seeking to embed the streaming product into components, RMAF and the months to follow will be exciting times for the CA Community. Given that WiMP / Tidal is a public company it's nearly impossible to squeeze information from the team. There are strict stock market rules about what information can be shared with non-employees. Fortunately, I attended the annual WiMP / Tidal company party Wednesday evening and talked to several hardware manufacturers who are currently working on embedding the lossless streaming product or who may embed it in the near future. Journalists, even in HiFi, have ways of getting the inside scoop. I lined up a review or two with some well known component manufacturers while at the event and I look forward to sharing all the information with the CA Community as soon as possible. Until such time, here are some photos of my trip to Tidal headquarters in Oslo, Norway.
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    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 ...
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