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    by Published on 04-29-2015 08:52 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Network Audio


    Over the years I've researched countless software and hardware combinations, based on the Raspberry Pi, for use in HiFi audio systems. I'm not alone. Audiophiles all over the world have been trying to squeeze every ounce of audio quality from the device since its release in February 2012. During the early attempts it was "nerd city" with massive tweaking and lackluster results. Now, with the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, the right software, and a few optional add-ons, audiophiles have a simple solution for HiFi sound starting at around $50.

    After publishing the previous CA Geek Speak article with instructions for using a Beaglebone Black as a UPnP renderer, I noticed many user comments seeking additional features. Members of the CA Community asked for WiFi, Spotify, and different audio output options among other things. Satisfying these needs wasn't possible with the hardware limitations of the Beaglebone Black. Thus, I went back to the Raspberry Pi platform and pieced together three different solutions for bit perfect playback. ...
    by Published on 03-19-2015 01:10 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Software
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    Since the dawn of ripping CDs and downloading high resolution music people have been subjecting the files to audio analysis through applications such as Audacity and Adobe Audition. This type of analysis can be interesting when it reveals a high resolution album was simply upsampled from at 16 bit / 44.1 kHz version. A much more interesting, and more telling, indicator of sound quality can be seen when analyzing a track's waveform for dynamic range compression. Now that audiophiles are streaming lossless 16 bit / 44.1 kHz music from services such as TIDAL HIFI, Qobuz, and Deezer, the question of how to analyze this music becomes relevant. In the past we simply imported the file stored on our hard drive into one of the analysis applications and we had our answers. Because streaming services don't store music on our hard drives in the traditional ...
    by Published on 03-11-2015 12:10 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Network Audio
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    Warning: This article is technical in nature, but is far from rocket surgery. The step-by-step how-to instructions below make the process extremely easy. That said, this article isn't for everybody.

    This is the second article in the CA Geek Speak series (Link to first article ). If you have a USB DAC and want to turn it into a network capable device or if you want to setup multiple zones for playback and control via iPad for less than $100 per zone, then this article is for you. The instructions below provide a step-by-step guide for creating a UPnP / DLNA / OpenHome renderer with Ethernet input and USB output for connection to a USB DAC. In a way, this device can be considered the poor man's Auralic Aries (Review Link ) or SOtM sMS-100 Mini Server (Review Link ). In the previous Geek Speak article readers were forced to log in to the device and make configuration changes via command line. This time I've taken care of all the configuration myself. Readers simply need to download the preconfigured image file and flash it to a Beaglebone Black (Rev. C) following the instructions. That's it. ...
    by Published on 10-15-2014 11:13 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Network Audio
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    Over the last couple months I've talked to several manufacturers who expressed great frustration over end user network problems. In no way was this a blame game placing blame on the end user, rather just an expression of frustration that each manufacturer was incorrectly blamed for a dysfunctional product. In addition, some frustration was also expressed toward audio dealers who refuse to learn computer networking basics or enough about networking to support the products being sold. Given the level of frustration by manufacturers and end users I think it's a good idea to publish a little refresher on networking for computer audio and provide the CA Community a glimpse into my network as an example of a network that is rock solid and (almost) guarantees flawless performance. I've never had an issue with computer audio that was traced back to a problem with my network. I don't say that to boast, rather to help readers understand that my network and the following examples should suit them well for audio playback.
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    by Published on 12-02-2013 04:31 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Room Correction
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    In this article, I walk through the steps using Acourate to create a 3-way digital crossover (XO) for tri-amping my speakers. Additionally, using the audio toolbox functions of Acourate, I walk through the steps of time aligning the drivers, linearizing each driver, and performing a final room correction.

    With respect to room correction, I recommend reading, “Acourate Digital Room and Loudspeaker Correction Software Walkthrough” for an introduction to Acourate. The article details the steps of acquiring a calibrated microphone, measuring the system, and designing a baseline room correction to provide the listener with a perceptually flat frequency response at the listening position.

    My goal is to make this guide repeatable so anyone following the same steps should be able to achieve similar results. Using digital XO, time aligning and linearizing the drivers, and correcting the room’s frequency and excess phase response, increases my systems imaging resolution so my speakers *disappear*. ...
    by Published on 08-13-2013 01:01 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Network Audio
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    Theoretically wireless networks should have been capable of streaming high resolution audio since consumers started adopting 802.11g 54 Mbit/s WiFi back in 2003. Streaming 8 channels (7.1) at 24 bit / 192 kHz requires roughly 37 Mbit/s of bandwidth. Thus, high resolution two channel audio should have been a breeze to sling around one's house ten years ago. Unfortunately real life stood in the way. The actual throughput of wireless network devices has never been close to the theoretical maximum. Issues such as latency, dramatic signal losses due to distance and home construction variables, and the lack of technology to harness the power of wireless signals has made wired Ethernet the only game in town. Some computer audiophiles are fortunate to have wired ethernet networks connecting their music servers to their Network Attached Storage devices (NAS) anywhere in their houses. Others are stuck placing components in less than stellar locations because they can't stretch an unsightly Ethernet cable across the living room. With the release of 802.11ac wireless routers, access points, and adapters many audiophiles previously constrained by the lack of wiring may finally have a solution for smooth streaming. ...

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