• The Front Page RSS Feed

    by Published on 07-05-2010 02:28 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes

    I continually research methods and products to improve sound quality, music server performance, and convenience all with audiophiles in mind. This research includes, among other things, talking to many manufacturers, engineers, dealers, and CA readers from around the globe. It's always nice to hear what other people are doing to improve their music listing experience. As some readers know I've been researching isolation devices to isolate the computer from audio components, shared power sources, and noisy switching power supplies. Like everything else in life I found there is more than one way to get the isolation job done. My conversations with engineers have ranged from those who recommend as much isolation as possible to those who recommend virtually no isolation other than what's built into the components. Using these conversations and my own searches I've put together a handful of products Computer Audiophile readers may want to investigate. As always, don't take any one person's word about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of these products. Read information from as many sources as possible and try out the products for yourself if feasible.
    ...
    by Published on 06-23-2010 10:50 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Announcements,
    3. Downloads / Streaming

    Once again CA supporter and industry leader Reference Recordings has supplied two complimentary high resolution audio tracks for Computer Audiophile readers. The first two HRx tracks offered by RR in 2009 have been downloaded and enjoyed by thousands and thousands of readers. The next two tracks are from RR classics Thinking About Bix and Reveries. The tracks are offered in stunning HRx 24/176.4 quality. As many readers know HRx is a trade name owned by Reference Recordings. It means so much more than simply high resolution 24 bit / 176.4 kHz audio. HRx material is an exact copy of the digital master files directly from Reference Recordings or an analog to digital transfer using the highest quality process in the industry. There is no upsampling from a lower sample rate. The HRx logo should give audiophiles piece of mind that what you see is what you get.
    ...
    by Published on 06-17-2010 10:50 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital Interface Converter,
    3. Digital to Analog Converter,
    4. FireWire Interface,
    5. S/PDIF (RCA) Interface,
    6. AES/EBU Interface,
    7. S/PDIF (TosLink) Interface

    Over the last couple years I’ve listened to people utter the phrase, “I’m waiting to see how it all shakes out." Without context it’s entirely appropriate to assume we were discussing the global economic meltdown. However these conversations revolved around music servers, interfaces, and differing computer audio technologies. People were frequently delaying the purchase of a new DAC because of their uncertainty about the future of the marketplace. Specifically uncertainty about interfaces such as USB, FireWire, Ethernet, AES/EBU, and S/PDIF. These interface options have caused serious hesitation from the same people who eagerly accepted Compact Disc technology as if it offered perfect sound forever. Equally hesitant are audiophiles feeling a bit burned by SACD and DVD-Audio. Audiophiles shouldn’t let the past halt their potential heightened enjoyment of this wonderful hobby. There’s no format war going on. Many different interfaces and technologies will flourish in the years to come. Falling victim to analysis paralysis or suffering from alligator arms are two easily curable conditions. Ambivalent audiophiles, It’s time to fish or cut bait.
    ...
    by Published on 06-08-2010 12:54 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Disk Storage

    As the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for ‘cause you just might get it. Readers of Computer Audiophile and nearly every publication have been wishing for honest but negative reviews in one form or another since product reviewing began. A cursory scan of letters to magazine editors and forum posts often provides evidence of this wish. Numerous comments begging for writers’ blunt honesty about products that don’t live up to expectations and questions about how every reviewed product can possibly be good are common occurrences. Frequently negative review comments come in the form of a writer skirting around the obvious conclusions and forcing people to read between the lines. Irrespective of the motivation to hold back or stretch a writer’s creative liberty to the max, it’s neither what readers want nor what readers deserve. With this in mind I present my review of the QNAP TS-559 Pro Turbo NAS. An inconsistent product that did not perform to reasonable expectations.
    ...
    by Published on 05-25-2010 07:46 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital Interface Converter,
    3. Wireless,
    4. Music Hub / Controller,
    5. S/PDIF (RCA) Interface,
    6. S/PDIF (TosLink) Interface

    The Logitech Squeezebox Touch outputs bit perfect digital audio at 16/44.1, 24/88.2 and 24/96 kHz. There I said it. I’ve been waiting to relay that fact to all Computer Audiophile readers for a couple weeks while finishing up this review. Support for high resolution audio via wireless streaming hasn’t come cheap over the last few years. The Logitech Transporter handled high resolution audio but started at $2000 and could easily double in price with some audiophile modifications. Bit transparency at 88.2 and 96 kHz via wireless for less than $300 is wonderful for audiophiles. If the Squeezebox Touch did nothing else correct it would still be worth the retail price. Fortunately there is much to like about the “Touch” including its sound quality.
    ...
    by Published on 05-13-2010 07:42 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital Interface Converter,
    3. USB Interface,
    4. S/PDIF (BNC) Interface,
    5. S/PDIF (RCA) Interface
    Article Preview

    In 2008 Devilsound Labs released its Digital Audio Cable. The idiot-proof USB to RCA DAC in-a-cable reviewed here on Computer Audiophile. Since the DAC’s release Devilsound Labs has changed its name to Halide Design and released The Bridge its new asynchronous USB to S/PDIF converter. The Bridge isn’t just another USB to S/PDIF device. Halide Design licensed Streamlength™ asynchronous USB code from Wavelength Audio to take this converter to another level. Not content to rely on Streamlength’s™ reputation as one of the best USB implementations available, Halide completed The Bridge with an innovative design in a very small package.
    ...

  •