• Computer Audiophile Symposium - From Performance To Playback

    Computer Audiophile is proud to announce the inaugural Computer Audiophile Symposium to take place at world-renowned Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California. Never before has an event demonstrated this complete musical chain. Experience everything from a live acoustic performance to a high resolution digital recording to the state of the art in computer-based playback. Witness legendary Recording Engineer and product innovator Prof. Keith O. Johnson capture this live performance. Industry leaders including Mastering Engineer Paul Stubblebine, Reference Recording's Marcia Martin, Sonic Studio's Jonathan Reichbach, Berkeley Audio Design's Michael "Pflash" Pflaumer, and representatives from Meridian-Sooloos will illustrate every step in the chain from performance to playback. In addition to these well recognized panelists, Matan Arazi will debut a groundbreaking music server and his approach to developing this all-out assault on computer based-playback.



    The major purpose of this Symposium will be focussed on clearing up confusion and explaining high quality computer-based playback in the home. Chris Connaker, Founder of Computer Audiophile and accomplished Information Technology professional, will discuss and demonstrate a wide array of music server technologies. Chris will cover many topics from file formats to FireWire interfaces and DACs to operating system configurations to digital music distribution throughout the home. These are just a sampling of the topics Chris will review in this new and exciting world of computer and High-End audio convergence. The Symposium will also provide attendees an opportunity to ask questions and interact with every panelist and presenter. Hear first hand from the people who have been in the trenches of computer-based audio for over 18 years. This is an extraordinary opportunity to learn about the current state of computer-based playback in addition to where it may be headed. Concluding this unique experience will be the opportunity to download a high resolution recording of the exact performance witnessed by the Symposium attendees. This will provide a valuable reference to compare the sound of live versus recorded music as each person ventures into the next phase of their musical journey with computer-based playback.


    The Computer Audiophile Symposium will be hosted by Computer Audiophile's Founder Chris Connaker and sponsored by Tim Marutani of Marutani Consulting in Emeryville, CA and Maier Shadi of The Audio Salon in Beverly Hills, CA. This Symposium will be centered around innovation, knowledge and insight into the complete musical chain and focused heavily on computer-based playback. State of the art high-end playback systems will be used during the Symposium to demonstrate technologies and concepts. However this will not be an event that revolves solely around audio components. Rather, insightful concepts and discussions about how certain components may be used to obtain high quality sound will take precedence. Attendees will hear from both technical innovators as well as those who understand and have designed demanding home audio solutions for audiophiles around the world. In addition to all of this, the location of this Symposium is enough to give any music aficionado goose bumps. Fantasy Studios has an incredibly rich history involving artists from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Santana to countless Jazz greats. Entering Fantasy Studios and walking the halls that so many greats have walked in addition to attending the Symposium in Studios A and D where so many great recordings were made is a profound experience in itself. Join those with a passion for music at the place where decades of great music was recorded and gain tremendous insight into reproducing great recordings in the home.




    The Computer Audiophile Symposium will consist of two identical sessions the weekend of June 27th & 28th, 2009. Food and Beverages will be served at both sessions. Each session will be at least four hours in length (breaks included). Parking is available in the Fantasy Studios lot at no additional cost. There are a very limited number of tickets available for each session as this is a very intimate setting. The sessions will both be held in Studio A with the live recordings to take place in Studio D.


    Session One: 3 PM Saturday 06/27/2009
    Price: $279


    Session Two: 12 PM Sunday 06/28/2009
    Price: $279




    Attendees from out-of-town may contact Amanda at Fantasy Studios for a reduced rate at the Claremont hotel in Berkeley. The Claremont is three miles from the event and a wonderful place to stay. In addition to the Claremont Amanda will be happy to direct Symposium attendees to other reduced rate accommodations in the Berkeley area.

    Amanda Howell 510-486-2038 | email



    The distinguished panelists include:

    Keith Johnson - Reference Recordings

    Paul Stubblebine - Paul Stubblebine Mastering & DVD | The Tape Project

    Marcia Martin - Reference Recordings

    Jonathan Reichbach - Sonic Studio

    Michael "Pflash" Pflaumer - Berkeley Audio Design

    Rob Darling (Sat.) - Merdian-Sooloos

    Brad Paulsen (Sun.) - Merdian-Sooloos

    Matan Arazi

    Fantasy Studios - Home Page | Complete History | Client List |




    The Symposium sponsors share a passion for music that spans several decades.

    Timothy Marutani (Marutani Consulting, email, 1-510-652-1911) is a veteran dealer whose experience dates back to the 1970's. Even then Tim was drawn to cutting edge technologies. Tim's range of expertise is reflected in projects he has completed around the world, from whole house sound, video and automation to edge of the art two channel installations. He began using computer-based audio 14+ years ago and began a research project over two years ago with the goal of identifying the hardware and software that will define computer playback for his customers.

    Maier Shadi (The Audio Salon, email, 1-310-863-0863) is a dealer whose professional relationship with High End audio began in the 1990's. Maier has developed a world wide customer base including senior executives, managers and artists at major record labels. His experience developing reference quality two channel systems and his commitment to service sets him apart in the industry. To Maier the future of computer-based playback will fulfill the promise of ultimate sound quality and unmatched convenience. Maier continues to share his passion with customers whether they are building their first or last high-end system.

    The collaboration between Tim and Maier in sponsoring and codeveloping this Symposium is driven by a desire to help remove the initial hurdles that computer playback presents and allow end users to resume their enjoyment of music.



    Information about the Symposium host:

    Chris Connaker is an audiophile who has loved music and high quality sound for as long as he can remember. He listens to all types of music on CD, SACD, DVD-Audio, Vinyl, and high quality downloads. He started Computer Audiophile to fill a large gap in the audiophile community. While trying to take his music listening experience to the next level with a computer-based system he discovered it was very hard to find answers and quality products for audiophile grade computer-based / music servers. Instead of waiting for traditional sources to cover this in greater detail, Chris founded Computer Audiophile in November of 2007. The site brings together Chris' background in Information Technology and his passion for music. Chris has over a decade of experience designing, configuring, and managing global IT networks. From desktop hardware and software to network disk / storage to switches, routers, and firewalls. Chris has experience with all of them. Chris believes the term "computer audiophile" will soon be synonymous with "audiophile" and future generations of audiophiles will laugh at the fact people once used anything other than music servers.


    Contact Information:
    Chris Connaker





    Computer Audiophile Symposium Poster
    Computer Audiophile Symposium Poster
    click to enlarge



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    Comments 24 Comments
    1. Tonto's Avatar
      Tonto -
      Ahhhh so that is what the big thing was, very cool - pics and audio of everything please!
    1. BobH's Avatar
      BobH -
      Good luck with it Chris. I can see another 'let's nag Chris for the write-up' on the horizon!
    1. emmodad's Avatar
      emmodad -
      this should be a hoot... and a veritable HDCD technology orgy as well......
    1. zerung's Avatar
      zerung -
      I do hope that this event will garner wide publicity. Otherwise this event would be lost in time. <br />
      <br />
      IMHO I think that if this can capture people imagination, this will generate more solution for computer based audiophiles, which should truly bring an computer based solution as good as a good vinyl system, something which we are on the threshold of achieving.<br />
      <br />
      Go CAS
    1. rancew's Avatar
      rancew -
      Will there be a podcast of the symposium?
    1. flatmap's Avatar
      flatmap -
      Very cool idea... and nice poster!
    1. markr's Avatar
      markr -
      I know that this isn't what anyone expected. It is however more towards what I had hoped this would be. This looks like a great time! I think that the price is right on. Great panelists too. To me the most awesome thing is the location. A legendary studio complex that is state of the art (http://www.fantasystudios.com/). SSL and Trident mixers. Studer analog tape machines. The lingering spirits of Brubeck, Santana, Fogerty and so many more. It is in San Francisco too! <br />
      <br />
      This only makes sense to me: being a computer audiophile was made possible through the knowledge and actions of pro musicians, technicians and engineers who were dissatisfied with what was being offered to us for home playback. I have long believed that these are the people who can drive the change that is needed in the home audio listening environment now. And, after all, their livelihood going forward is dependent on our preferences in what we buy. Not just in playback equipment, but also in how the performances are recorded and delivered to us.<br />
      <br />
      This event could help clear many of the lingering questions that are on the minds of many of the participants here at CA. For those of you who are struggling to make sense of this thing that is computers and audio, this will be a chance to bring your questions, grievances and ideas to people in the forefront of the action. Computer Audiophile is a 'different' idea in this age. it tries to encompass all of the forms of this way of achieving great audio that isn't encumbered by physical 'formats' <br />
      <br />
      Austin --->San Francisco. This is bringing back some old connections to the past for me. I'm thinking of buying some bell bottom pants and polka dot shirts and doing what I did 'back in the day'. Hitchhiking and alternately - Truckin' - there (not.. - I'm WAY out of practice now). There is not enough time to grow my hair out down to my a**, so no flowers in my hair..... Anyone have Owsley's phone number? This is a great idea Chris. I hope lots of CA folks will be able to meet there! tres cool man<br />
      <br />
      I dig the poster too....<br />
      <br />
      - markr<br />
      <br />
    1. Bodyslam's Avatar
      Bodyslam -
      This looks to be a lot of fun, and I'm sure I'll be learning a lot as well.<br />
      <br />
      And by the way, yes I do have Owsley's phone number. If he were in town I'd invite him--he's never less than fascinating to hang with. But he's living in Australia these days and doesn't get back more often than every few years.
    1. markr's Avatar
      markr -
      Yessir. I'm going to do everything I can do to get there. I see y'all know where to put your apostrophes as well as a thing or a thousand about sound too. <br />
      <br />
      I was 'sort' of kidding about Owlsley, but it would be definitely be cool to hear him talk - and talk to him - about his years in audio. I had no idea that he had relocated to Australia until I suddenly thought of him last night and then looked him up on the web. <br />
      <br />
      looking forward,<br />
      <br />
      - markr
    1. HiFiGuy528's Avatar
      HiFiGuy528 -
      Will it be filmed and video to be post here?
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi Dj_AmTrax - Unfortunately for people who can't make the event I have no plans to record the Symposium audio or video.
    1. Brucemck2's Avatar
      Brucemck2 -
      <br />
      Chris, I'm trying to figure out if I can make it work on Sunday if I fly in and out on the same day ... How far is it measured in minutes to the Oakland and the San Francisco airports at 4pm or so in the afternoon on the Sunday?
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi Brucemck2 - I've flown out of the Oakland airport a couple times on Sundays and it's incredibly quick and quite vacant! I'd say it's 20 to 25 minutes to OAK and 40 to 45 minutes to SFO. I hope you can join us, it should be a really fun event.
    1. Mike in MD's Avatar
      Mike in MD -
      I could suggest Baltimore.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hmm, feedback noted :~)
    1. Voltron's Avatar
      Voltron -
      Signed up for Saturday, so I'll see you there Chris!
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
    1. emmodad's Avatar
      emmodad -
      last time i had the pleasure of seeing a voltron it involved much headphone fanaticism in the midst of a deluge to end all deluges; my 4-legger Emerson seducing a houseful of head-fiers; and more than a bit of vino and single malt to lubricate the proceedings.... maybe not all the same inside Fantasy Studios, but welcome to this weekend's pahtay!
    1. Markweee's Avatar
      Markweee -
      Hi everyone, I'm back from four days of laying in bed sick and I finally feel great! I just had to add that in here because I really am excited to feel normal again and ready to publish some articles and reviews! Anyway, on with the show...<br />
      <a href=http://www.adisonhighschool.com/adison/schooling.asp>homeschool programs</a> AND <a href=http://www.adisonhighschool.com/>Online high school diploma</a>
    1. XP9433's Avatar
      XP9433 -
      I thought you might have some photos, stories, and impressions to pass on?<br />
      <br />
      Cheers<br />