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    by Published on 06-13-2015 10:54 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes
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    Invariably, whenever I meet fellow computer audiophiles at audio shows or dealer events we always ask each other what the other is using. Depending on the context and location, asking someone what they are using might have illegal undertones or lead to a nice conversation about audio systems. I enjoy hearing what everyone is using for both hardware and software. For the most part people seem to have a good grasp of the hardware options available. When the conversation turns to software I am usually a little surprised by how many people have never heard of some very popular applications. It's like some people selected iTunes or MediaMonkey back in 2007 and have never wondered or cared about anything else available. There's nothing wrong with that approach and it's an approach I often suggest for hardware. If one is happy with his system, there is no need to make a change. Software just seems different though. Maybe it's the comparatively low price or rate of change and feature enhancements that leads me to think people should frequently snoop around for ways to enhance their listening experience through software.

    On the other hand, I run into many computer audiophiles who either own or have tried more applications than I knew were available. That's the fun part for me, learning what people are doing and picking up a link to a new application. What follows is my attempt to introduce you to a new application ...
    by Published on 06-01-2015 01:20 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. 2015 The Show Newport
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    Today was the final day of the Newport show and I heard some great sound. I didn’t make it to nearly as many rooms today as I did on previous days because I got caught up talking to people about industry trends and neat products that are forthcoming. I also ran into CA reader joelha with his good friend and radio personality Dennis Prager. Dennis and I briefly reminisced about the time he came over to my house to hear my audio system. The whole thing is a story for another time, but I will say Dennis arrived at 11:00 PM, my wife and daughter were upstairs sleeping, and as Dennis puts it, “Turn up the volume because [he] likes to bath in it.” Needless to say there was a mini symphony gong on in my basement at ~100 db and Dennis was conducting from my listening chair (he used to be a conductor). Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I saw many rooms today using Aurender music servers, so I asked Aurender’s John-Paul Lizars for the details. He said there was a mix of N100H, N10, X100, and W20 servers throughout the show in use by both dealers and manufacturers. Sunny Components of Covina, CA featured Aurender in three rooms, Alma Music and Audio of La Jolla, CA used Aurender in two rooms, and Sweet Spot High End Audio featured an Aurender music server in its room. Manufacturers using Aurender included Goldmund, Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems, and Dynaudio. If that’s not enough Aurender for you, I also had a couple manufacturers ask me about my experience with the servers because they wanted to start using them in their own systems and at audio shows. I’d say Aurender has come a long way since I first saw the company and its single product, the S10, at the California Audio Show in 2011. ...
    by Published on 05-31-2015 12:30 AM
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    2. 2015 The Show Newport
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    The second official day of the Newport show was an interesting one for me. I heard a bunch of bad sound, a couple people wax on poetically about the “huge” vinyl resurgence, and absolutely awesome sound in the Meridian MQA room.

    Gavin Fish had the LH Labs room sounding very good using the new Vi DAC, Pass Labs components and Magico loudspeakers. Gavin brought in an interesting choice of flooring to counter some of the acoustical issues during setup and it worked very well. I was able to hear some real music in the LH Labs room, rather than sticks breaking or seals snoring in high resolution, and I really enjoyed the system. It was a system I could have spent quite a while listening to, but I had to move on.

    The best demo of the day, and most likely the entire show, goes to Meridian. Ken Forsythe put on the demonstration while talking everyone through the merits of MQA. I still have some questions and minor reservations about MQA, but when the rubber met the road and the play button was pressed, the sound quality was truly astounding. Listening to Frank Sinatra was totally awesome. Meridian also demonstrated streaming MQA from TIDAL through its Sooloos music system and the tracks sounded just as good. There were no issues streaming the content even though the hotel network was less than robust. ...
    by Published on 05-30-2015 02:22 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. 2015 The Show Newport
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    It’s nearly midnight and I’m finally back in my room going over my notes and photos form the first official day of the show here in Newport (actually Irvine). The show was seriously packed with people today. The line to get into the show wrapped around the lobby and the line to get into some of the seminars was nearly as long. it was great to see all these people despite the inconvenience of waiting in line.

    I started the show this morning with a visit to Auralic to see and hear the new Aries Mini in addition to version 2 of the Lightning DS iOS application. The demonstration was very impressive. ...
    by Published on 05-29-2015 02:25 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. 2015 The Show Newport
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    T.H.E. Show Newport Is (sort of) Underway. It was nice to move around the show without the crowds today, but several of the rooms we still being setup and had yet to get sound by late afternoon. No biggie though, today was a Press day and the official start of the show is Friday. I spent a good amount of time in the Audio Element room featuring dCS, VTL, and Wilson Audio. John Quick from dCS was using Roon, the new application from the team behind Sooloos who recently spun off from Meridian and started Roon Labs. I played a number of tracks in this room including Day In, Day Out from Billie Holiday’s Songs For Distingue Lovers. Despite some weird angles in the room, the sound was really nice. I encourage members of the Computer Audiophile Community attending the show to stop by, say high to John from dCS, play with Roon a bit, and listen to this system.
    ...
    by Published on 05-27-2015 09:29 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital Interface Converter,
    3. Digital to Analog Converter,
    4. Wireless,
    5. S/PDIF (BNC) Interface,
    6. S/PDIF (TosLink) Interface,
    7. UPnP / DLNA



    I visited the Naim Audio factory in England last September after visiting Devialet in France. The contrast between the companies couldn't have been more clear-cut. On one hand was Devialet with automated everything and the newest technology. On the other hand was Naim with real humans putting together every component by hand. Where Devialet wasn't old enough to have a major servicing department, Naim had a dedicated area in the factory where the company serviced nearly every piece of gear the company had ever made, going back many years. The area was like a Naim Audio historical society. The funny thing is though, both companies are pursuing the same goal of delivering excellent music reproduction in the home. There isn't one right way to do this stuff and there isn't one style of component that fits all user's needs. As enthusiasts who love great sound we are fortunate to have both companies perfecting their crafts in two completely different manners. ...

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