• Preamp

    by Published on 08-28-2013 01:44 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital to Analog Converter,
    3. USB Interface,
    4. S/PDIF (RCA) Interface,
    5. S/PDIF (TosLink) Interface,
    6. Preamp,
    7. Headphones
    Article Preview


    exaSound e28 8 Channel DSD DAC: Computer Audio Is Surrounded!
    Argh! A multichannel review? Seriously? Who likes multichannel? And file-based multichannel? Seriously? Who does file-based multichannel? Isnít surround sound for sci-fi spaceship flyovers and spooky foley effects in horror movies? And you call yourself an audiophile?

    Ok, so I got all that (tongue in cheek) out of the way. Those of you who have embraced computer audio and are content with two-channel soundstages, I implore you to read on. Maybe just one or two (thousand?) of you can discover the incredible potential of the realism and adventure, in the VAST catalog of hirez multichannel music that is becoming available to use, at your listening seat.

    When I first realized the potential of computer audio, when I first heard and experienced both the sonic improvements and the incredible convenience of remote-controlled file-based music playback, I was dreaming of the day when this paradigm would allow me to listen to ALL my music, both 2 channel and multichannel. I have a significant amount of time and energy invested into my multichannel music (not to be confused with movie setup) signal path, and am lucky to have dedicated equipment for both 2 channel and multichannel hirez listening. Itís not necessary to be this OC, but I am. ...
    by Published on 06-13-2013 12:44 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital to Analog Converter,
    3. UPnP / DLNA,
    4. Preamp
    Article Preview

    At times things get a little complex here at Computer Audiophile. Maybe thatís the nature of both computer enthusiasts and audiophiles. The mentality that version 2.0 must be better than version 1.0 and the more work it takes the better the payoff can be seen throughout this wonderful hobby. Thereís nothing wrong with exploring computer audio and taking it to the extreme in an effort to improve oneís music listening experience. In fact I encourage this every day as a way to take computer audio as a whole to the next level. However, complexity can take the fun out of almost anything. Countless times Iíve run into a computer issue and spent thirty minutes tracking down the cause. Meanwhile my friends listening to vinyl have already flipped the record over to Side B and started thinking about their next album to play. In the spirit of simplicity and enthusiasm for just listening to music I set out to use the Linn Akurate DSM network audio player as if I was brand new to this hobby. I wanted to forget about my enterprise Cisco based network with several UPnP / DLNA servers, control points, and renderers. Thus, I installed the Synology Media Server software on my Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive, used my iPad to control playback with Linnís Kinsky app, and streamed music directly to the Akurate DSM. The experience left me pleasantly satisfied and wondering if I still needed my unusually complicated network audio configuration. This simple setup enabled me to listen to more music through the Akurate DSM and forget about how each packet was speeding through my switches and Ethernet cables. While listening I thoroughly enjoyed the very good sound quality put out by the Akurate DSM. A NAS, iPad, and Linn Akurate DSM is a very compelling package for those seeking high quality sound and simple network based audio. ...
    by Published on 01-22-2013 03:04 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital to Analog Converter,
    3. Music Servers,
    4. Preamp
    Article Preview

    The MAN301 is an ambitious attempt by Weiss Engineering to create a music server capable of numerous digital and analog configurations and a totally unique user experience through its own custom iPad application. I applaud Weiss Engineeringís ambition and willingness to chart its own course in music server design rather than follow the herd. The MAN301ís ability to pull music from an unlimited amount of storage via Ethernet is great for music aficionados with gigantic multi-terabyte music collections. Weissí inclusion of its award winning DAC inside the MAN301 is also terrific for audiophiles looking to combine feature sets or reduce the number of boxes in their listening environments. In typical Weiss fashion the MAN301 features coarse analog and fine digital volume control, audio routing from digital in to digital out, digital in to analog out, Ethernet in to analog out, and many other configurations on several interfaces like RCA, XLR, S/PDIF, USB, and FireWire. As expected the Daniel Weiss designed audio features of the MAN301 are top notch. However the custom iPad application and music server functionality need a bit more fine tuning to make the product a competitor with the best solutions available. Fortunately in the several months since I received the MAN301 I updated its software a few times and was very pleased by the progress Weiss Engineering has made toward better features and improved functionality of existing features. Overall the Weiss Engineering MAN301 sounds very good and its functionality will only improve with time. ...
    by Published on 09-23-2012 03:21 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital to Analog Converter,
    3. USB Interface,
    4. S/PDIF (RCA) Interface,
    5. AES/EBU Interface,
    6. S/PDIF (TosLink) Interface,
    7. Preamp

    Several Consumer Electronics Shows ago I remember seeing the PS Audio PerfectWave DAC in a very early stage of its development. If I'm not mistaken the front color display was actually an iPod screen placed in the front window of the chassis. Most high end audio focussed show goers had no clue what PS Audio was doing with this new PerfectWave series of products. As The Computer Audiophile one of my most important stops of the entire show was the PS Audio suite. The PerfectWave DAC was right up my alley and I wanted to extract as much information as possible from everyone in that suite. I must have asked the same questions to five different PS Audio representatives just to see if I could squeeze an extra morsel of information. I left the PS Audio suite thinking the PWD looked very promising based on a nice set of features and that PS Audio as a company was laser focussed on the next phase of high end playback with the PerfectWave products leading the way. Since that show PS Audio hasn't wavered in its dedication to the PerfectWave platform and computer based audio. In November 2011 PS Audio announced the MKII update to its original PerfectWave DAC. Once the dust settled I got my hands on the MKII this summer. After a couple months with the PWD MKII in my listening room I have some strong opinions about the product. The bottom line is the MKII update is a game changer that elevates the PerfectWave DAC to C.A.S.H. List status and puts the original PWD MKI to shame. ...
    by Published on 03-06-2011 12:25 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital to Analog Converter,
    3. Speakers,
    4. USB Interface,
    5. S/PDIF (BNC) Interface,
    6. S/PDIF (TosLink) Interface,
    7. Preamp

    Over the last year I participated in a few computer audio seminars around the country with Peachtree Audioís David Solomon. During the events I spent a fair amount of time listening to the Peachtree Design 5 loudspeakers. Every time I listened to these speakers I commented positively about either the aesthetic design, build quality, or impressive sound quality. The one thing left to do was listen to the D5 speakers in my own listening room where familiarity with the environment would lead to much more accurate judgments. Fortunately David offered a pair of D5s for review while we discussed my review of the new iNova integrated amplifier. I accepted the offer to review the speakers and the amplifier as a complete system. There was no hiding the fact I liked the D5s based on previous experience. That also meant I had high expectations for these speakers. On the other hand I hadnít listened to the iNova enough to leave a lasting impression in my mind. That said I still had high expectations because of its lineage. I liked the original Nova very much. In fact I liked it too much according to some Computer Audiophile readers. It was time to find out if the Design 5 speakers were as good as I previously thought, if the new iNova was anything more than an original Nova with an iPod dock, if Peachtree refined the highly regarded Nova into something better, or simply sat on its laurels riding the previous wave of success.
    ...
    by Published on 04-20-2010 11:01 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital to Analog Converter,
    3. S/PDIF (RCA) Interface,
    4. S/PDIF (TosLink) Interface,
    5. UPnP / DLNA,
    6. Preamp

    November 24, 2009 Linn announced it would stop production of CD players at the end of the year. Computer audiophiles around the globe were jubilant while skeptics were unconvinced the announcement was anything more than a publicity stunt. Opinions aside the cessation of CD player manufacturing was a bold step in an industry where homeostasis has been the norm for so long. This announcement and subsequent halt to CD player production wouldn't have been possible without Linn's foresight into the disc-less world of hifi. Linn's commitment to its Digital Streaming line of products began years before most consumers could even conceptualize listening to music without a Compact Disc let alone streaming music via Ethernet. Linn announced its first DS (Digital Stream) player, the Klimax DS, back in 2007. Since that time Linn has released several DS components at various price and performance levels. The Linn Majik DS-I, Digital Stream player with Integrated amplifier, is the newest component in the Digital Stream lineup.
    ...
    Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast