• CA Articles RSS Feed

    by Published on 09-29-2014 02:23 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes


    As I sit here sideways at my keyboard, with my twice-daily ice wrap around my knee, elevated and precarious, I am reminded of my doctor's response when I asked him why this seemingly innocent outpatient knee 'scope is taking so damn long to heal (three and a half months of pt, etc). To paraphrase: "Even though we have been doing these for many years, hundreds of times each per year, the prognosis is always different. Everything matters! Age, location of tear/damage, predilection to fast healing, diet, exercise, etc etc. So, PLEASE, do not read about 3 week recoveries on the Internet and expect that to be the norm. It's not a new science, but it's full of variables. We took a lot of lateral meniscus out, for example."

    Well...this article is not about my knee pain. It's about my music pain! Not really, but it is about one aspect of our own science (hobby) that is filled with many variables, where "everything matters" (note: as much as I like that terse, succinct, accurate, frustrating mantra I have to give credit to our own CA contributor Barrows for truly inventing it as his own).

    So..what am I getting at? Computer audio is far enough along that many new hobbyists expect there to be some standards and feedback that can help reduce the almost infinite variables involved in making a good knowledgeable decision about a new music system based on computer playback. That would seem to be a fair expectation. So why aren't there more "fundamentals" or "dogmas" in computer audio after all this experiential data from many users. Why not? My opinion, alone, is this: few of us can experience removing enough of the largest variables in this hobby to discuss any semblance of "fundamentals", because those variables are

    1)
    our own room;
    2) our own hearing limitations;
    3) our own listening preferences;
    4) our system make-up as a whole (i.e cake recipe vs cake) and finally,
    5) the introduction of a new piece into those first four aspects.

    ...
    by Published on 09-18-2014 12:48 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes,
    3. Downloads / Streaming
    Article Preview


    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.
    ...
    by Published on 08-14-2014 12:47 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes
    Article Preview


    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.
    ...
    by Published on 07-18-2014 04:59 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Announcements
    Article Preview



    Ready. Aim. Click! Get your credit cards ready because Peachtree Audio is about to launch Deepblue2 on Indiegogo! I reviewed the first edition last year (LINK) and totally loved what I heard. The new versions looks to be even better. CA readers may also be interested in hearing the entire story behind the disappearance of Deepblue version 1.0. In the Indiegogo video Peachtree Audio's Jon Derda (A.K.A. Ambassador of Awesome) describes what happened and why Deepblue2 is replacing version 1.0. Get them while they last (Video appears to be missing now). I have a feeling Deepblue2 is going to sell out fast. The campaign launches Monday 07/21/2014. ...
    by Published on 07-07-2014 09:32 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Editorial


    I've been thinking quite a bit, over the last few months, about the future of high quality audio playback. In fact, I'm obsessed with this topic. I was born a music loving audiophile and I worked in enterprise information technology for a decade before starting CA. My passions for both music and technology are converging quickly to provide a better high quality experience. There has never been a better time to be a music aficionado who loves great sound quality and technology. I absolutely love the possibilities and can't wait for some of them to come to fruition. We are no longer limited by technology. The only limiting factor is our imaginations. If we can think it, we can do it.

    In the not to distant future we will be streaming lossless audio, in all relevant sample rates, directly to our main audio components from a Cloud music service provider such as WiMP or Qobuz. Music, playlists, ratings, and favorites will all be stored in the Cloud. Listeners will control playback with iOS and Android apps provided by their streaming service providers. Similar to a UPnP / DLNA control point, the apps will serve as a remote control and library curation and browsing tool. In the same fashion as Google's Cast functionality, no audio will be routed through the iOS or Android device. Music will stream directly to an audio component such as a music server, digital to digital interface converter, or digital to analog converter from the Cloud. Content not available from the streaming service providers can be uploaded, purchased elsewhere, and made available for streaming with simple in app authentication, or located on one's local network attached storage device. There are a couple products capable of very similar functionality right now, namely Sonos, Spotify Connect, and the Auralic Aries / Lightning platform, but there are major differences between where we are now and where we are headed. Only lossless CD quality streaming audio will be available in the short term. During this time, high resolution content will still be purchased through traditional outlets such as HDtracks, Acoustic Sounds, and the PonoMusic store. ...
    by Published on 06-24-2014 12:33 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes
    Article Preview


    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. ...

    Page 1 of 39 1234511 ... LastLast