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    by Published on 02-05-2016 02:31 AM
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    2. Bits & Bytes
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    It all started with an email on December 4, 2014. ďHi Chris, It is my great pleasure to provide details on Meridianís breakthrough technology, MQA (Master Quality Authenticated). The press release is pasted below. And attached is a white paper ÖĒ That seems like forever ago. In the ensuing months MQA has been growing like a snowball rolling downhill. More manufacturers getting on board, more content partners signing up, and more chatter within Computer Audiophile community (among others). Based on objective site analytics, I can easily say that since CES 2016 the interest in MQA has grown immensely here on CA. Much of the talk since MQAís first introduction has been speculative because only a relatively small number of people have actually heard MQA music. Even those whoíve heard it, have likely not heard it in their own audio systems. That was until Meridian officially released the MQA enabling firmware for its Explorer2, Prime, and select components (818v3,*808v6 and Special Edition Loudspeakers) Thursday February 4, 2016. I downloaded the firmware and updated my Explorer2 to v1717. Itís now MQA enabled and I have a DAC that decode and render this content through my own audio system in my own listening room. Iíve been waiting for this forever. Iíve heard MQA at shows plenty of times, but never in my own familiar environment. Now that the hardware was enabled for MQA playback, I needed some MQA music to play. Late afternoon I received an email with a link to download ten MQA FLAC files. Click, save, unzip, play, listen Ö MQA rules, itís the best thing since sliced bread. If only it was that cut and dry. ...
    by Published on 01-20-2016 10:38 AM
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    2. The Music In Me
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    This time we start out in deep left field. For a brief period in the late 1960s, San Francisco had a gifted spiritual teacher with a devoted and growing following named Stephen Gaskin. The meetings became known as Monday Night Class, and I was lucky enough to have attended some of them. Iím not sure how it started, but I know where: Stephenís writing class evolved into an informal series of talks at SF State, and the lounge or classroom they gave him was soon too small, so they moved him to a lecture hall, and then more people started showing up, necessitating a move to the Straight Theater on Haight Street. From there he moved with his followers in a 50-100 car/truck/bus caravan to Tennessee, where he resided until he died in 2014. His community there, known as The Farm, has become a center for spiritual advancement and midwifery. In fact, a friend of mine was pregnant and told me about the midwife she was talking to, and was amazed that I knew who Stephen was. Now you can, too: Stephen Gaskin - Wikipedia

    But now weíre done with Stephen Gaskin except for one thing: the souvenir I have from the day I met him.
    ...
    by Published on 12-30-2015 01:32 PM
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    2. Bits & Bytes
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    At the end of September Google released its Chromecast Audio device. The device is simply a WiFi connected digital to analog or digital to digital converter that supports Google's Cast protocol and streaming music directly from Spotify and other cast-enabled apps/services. The Chromecast Audio is distinguished from the original Chromecast and generation two Chromecast by its lack of HDMI output and lack of video support. I ordered a Chromecast Audio as soon as Google announced it, and of course opted for the fastest shipping method available at nearly the same price as the device itself. For $35 I was excited, as was the Computer Audiophile Community. I set my expectations low and hoped for the best. When the unit arrived I plugged it into my system for some straight forward testing. I wanted to know if the device passed the digital audio unaltered. After about three seconds I concluded the Chromecast Audio, in its current state, was a failure. All audio was converted to 48 kHz no matter what sample rate was sent to the device. I put the Chromecast Audio on the shelf and waited to see if Google cared to make firmware changes enabling audio to pass through unaltered. To my surprise, in December Google released a firmware update that not only enabled audio to pass through the Chromecast Audio unaltered, but also enabled support for sample rates up through 24 bit / 96 kHz. It was time to retest and hopefully write a little about the successes or failures. ...
    by Published on 12-21-2015 10:11 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. The Music In Me
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    Yes, it all happened. Yes, the band played the gig, and yes, there was a foxy blonde in a tight red dress near the front. But how big a part she played in this cannot be accurately determined, and as there is no one we can ask about it now, we are reduced to a consideration of the facts. Leave us proceed.

    Swing Music was the pop music of its day and its day became popular in the late 1920ís and remained popular through the 1930ís, when big bands started playing the swing and the Big Band Era was upon them. One of the great big bands, of course, featured the sophisticated stylings of Duke Ellington, who was, of course, one of the greats (canít say it enough!). Ellington hired only the best players and they were one of the most respected bands of their day. However, that day had been in the 1930ís and 40ís, and their day had passed by the early 1950ís. In mid- decade, rock Ďní roll emerged and started sucking all the air out of the big bandsí tires, whose leaders were now having trouble keeping all those players on the road, in hotels, restaurants, etc. ...
    by Published on 12-10-2015 05:35 PM
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    2. Editorial
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    Itís time for the Best of 2015 Awards here at CA. To be considered for the awards, a product must have been used by me over the last year. The product doesnít need to be released in 2015, only used in 2015. The number of products in the Best of 2015 Awards is short compared to some lists. This is because there are no participation trophies here at CA. The products below earned their places on this list. Adding a position for every component Iíve used this year would only serve to dilute the list and take away from those products truly deserving of the Best of 2015 award. There are only winners on this list. No ties, co-winners or runners-up.

    I'm excited to read what the members of the CA Community list as their products of the year. Please light up the comment section with your Best of 2015 selections. ...
    by Published on 11-20-2015 11:08 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. The Music In Me
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    Yeah, itís a long one this time, but you should see what I took out. Iíll be honest: What weíre talking about, plus or minus, happened in the early sixties, so yeah, weíre talking about the era that everyoneís heard enough about: the Sixties. To get from the sixties to the Sixties, weíre going to start with folk music, which was a small but growing movement in the late 50ís, then blossomed around 1962. In its early days it was a little like punk rock in the mid-seventies: it was very visual so it got a lot of press, but it didnít sell a lot of records. Folk music set the stage for the Sixties, provided the tinder, as it were. But for it to happen, for it to ignite, it needed a spark. Today we look at the spark. ...

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