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Computer Audiophile

MiddlemanOne

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  1. http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/charlie-hansen-1956-2017/ Charlie was the founder of Ayre Acoustics, and was also co-designer of Neil Young’s Pono Player HI-Res unit. Also mentioned in the article was the passing in December ‘17 of Arnie Nudell of Infinity and Dick Shahinian of Shahinian Acousics.
  2. Wonder if anyone here can help me. I am based in Asia and have a non-booting Pono digital player that needs repairs. I have checked the support groups online that I have to send it back to Pono in the States, most likely by Fedex with return packaging but also with relevant customs forms included for import & export. Question is, where can I find such forms, as noone on the groups I've been to has bothered to show them? Must mention the player also has a built-in lithium-ion battery.
  3. My PonoPlayer has suddenly stopped working. I am not able to boot into it at all, the device just hangs. I found out to get it sorted I need to send it back to the States to Pono itself to get it fixed, along with a prepaid envelope and export paperwork for US customs. Does anyone have any experience of this? What do I need to fill in? Also for the courier who should I use ie. Fedex/DHL? Thanks in advance.
  4. I just got word that Sony's latest update for the PS4 can allow it to play back HiRes FLAC files as well as upscale compressed audio to near HiRes quality. The update also allows it to work with the new PlayStation VR headset. Hooray for HiRes! Sony PS4 gets high-resolution audio support | What Hi-Fi?
  5. Hi all, just letting you know that Uncle Art's new 2016 album of retro games music (remade) from games such as Starglider, Frontier Elite II, Carrier Command, Beneath A Steel Sky and Geoff Hammond's F1 Grand Prix is out now. I've heard it and it's terrific! Especially the live orchestra for Frontier's theme. The tracks are available on MP3 and FLAC format (to satisfy the HiRes audiophile within us) > A TEMPORAL SHIFT MP3 / Flac - A Temporal Shift
  6. MiddlemanOne

    UAMP portable amp shipping woes

    Guys I am happy to report I got my UAMP this morning! Although the package was slightly crumpled on the outside, everything was there - the unit, pouch, clip and cables. Above all the unit works. There was also a small card with the manual link download but it wasn't working yet at the time of posting. >
  7. MiddlemanOne

    UAMP portable amp shipping woes

    Hi guys, Just wondering if anyone has received the UAMP portable headphone amps from the Kickstarter campaign. The UAMP team announced on their last Kickstarter update June 28th that they would start shipping a week after the end of last month, but noone I've heard of has received theirs yet, and its becoming rather concerning...
  8. MiddlemanOne

    Mac Pro-lookalike Dune PC Case

    Hi guys, Thought you guys might be interested in this cylindrical PC case, currently funding on Kickstarter >
  9. Dave Needle, one of the most legendary hardware engineers of his time, has passed away on 20th February 2016. Dave was instrumental in the creation and completion of the Amiga 1000 (Lorraine) introduced in 1985, an incredibly revolutionary computer for its time. Especially regarding its custom chip set which he helped engineer, which could produce 12-bit 4096 RGB graphics and 16-bit 4-channel PCM based polymorphic sound which digitised sound sampled from real instruments. Apart from this, he also co-invented the Atari Lynx handheld and with fellow ex-Amiga engineer RJ Mical at Epyx helped developed 3DO's Interactive Multiplayer system. He was also VP of The 3DO Company for several years. Indie Retro News: Dave Needle - Amiga Co-Founder & Atari Lynx Co-Inventor has passed away
  10. MiddlemanOne

    Seiun $40 HiRes Clarity DACs

    The Clarity Aura DAC I had ordered recently arrived yesterday! So this is my equipment. I have an iPhone 6S, Sony NW-A15, Pono Player and Cyberdrive Seiun Player. I've been putting it through its paces...and I have to say it is JUST SO GOOD. I was very surprised because at the price of $39 I didn’t expect the Clarity Aura to come so close that is almost overshadows the Pono Player in terms of sound quality. Using a pair of Grado SR80es as test headphones, I put the units to the test. On the Clarity Aura, the sound was quite amazing, in that it was not only detailed but certainly had a musical quality not dissimilar to Pono. Playing Kenny G’s Songbird at 24/192 on both the iPhone and Pono, the sound and imagery was clear and detailed. Whilst the soundstage wasn’t as slightly broader or defined as Pono it was close. Next I compared Anita Baker’s Been So Long 24/192 FLAC from her Rapture album. Testing this between the Clarity and the Pono, yielded virtually NO DIFFERENCE between the two. This was a big surprise. Both sounded fairly rounded, and balanced with strong imagery and detailed sounds. So I then tested it on the Sony, Seiun and iBasso. On the Sony, whilst the instruments, guitar and percussion was clear and fairly focused, the soundstage was a lot smaller than Pono and the Clarity Aura and the vocals had somehow become 2D, losing the sense of depth I could hear on the other two units. Having tested it before myself, the Sony is known to have a ‘glass ceiling’ in that it can’t break through its soundstage at certain pitches. I noticed this when testing Kitaro’s Aqua track a while back comparing to the Pono. Going back to the test, on the same Anita track the iBasso bass sounded less punchy overall than all the others even at the same volume, and the drums and bass sounded muddy. Then comes the Seiun. The Seiun is another surprise because, whilst it doesn’t quite sound as good as the Pono nor the Clarity Aura because it can’t seem to render high pitches well enough (they sound a little piercing at high volumes even when it has been burned in), it sounds better than the iBasso and in some ways the Sony also. However the Seiun Player does seem to exhibit some distortion on lower MP3-grade files. This I could clearly discern on Whitney Houston's Didn't We Almost Have It All at higher pitches especially crescendo. For the Anita track the Pono sounded the most rounded balanced and complete on the Pono in terms of soundstage and separation but the Clarity Aura comes a close second for quality. In addition to testing with the iPhone 6S, I also tried the Clarity Aura DAC with my PC running the Pono Music World app. Apart from running all the files with flying colours (MP3, FLAC etc) it also played my DSD files. The biggest plus of the Clarity Aura DAC is that it can playback DSD-256 files so-called Quad-speed DSD tracks. This is a phenomenal development by Cyberdrive - and it showed on my tests and setup panel (card could run at 24-bit with 352.8kHz sample rates). I ran a couple of DSD files on my PC and it actually sounded better than my PC’s internal Realtek chipset. So all in all a great unit to have!
  11. MiddlemanOne

    Seiun $40 HiRes Clarity DACs

    Hi guys, Just thought to let you guys know (if you haven't already) I also came across these recently, which are ultra-cheap portable HiRes DACs for smartphones and Macs/PCs by Seiun > Clarity Aura | Cyberdrive These will do PCM 24/192 and Native DSD up to 256. And at the price range (an amazing $39.99 excluding shipping) it looks like Seiun is now moving really aggressively in the HiRes and DAC market...
  12. MiddlemanOne

    My Seiun Player arrived today!

    The interface is not bad at all. You use the REC button to switch on and off, and the volume/track buttons to move between menus (which includes language and settings). Once you select the Music icon and your chosen folders which it displays, it allows you to select your music. Only niggle is the track buttons is also the volume buttons so you have to hold it a little to move the actual volume level. But otherwise it is a great addition if you like to listen on the move.
  13. MiddlemanOne

    My Seiun Player arrived today!

    Um, actually you're referring to the Pro X edition which is a LOT more than this and looks like a smartphone. This is the Seiun PLAYER, which is an iPod Shuffle competitor and less than Shuffle prices. I got this from their IndieGogo campaign. But I'm impressed with the player as apart from HiRes 24/192 playback it can also RECORD in HiRes (I believe). There's a microphone built-in and a mini-speaker also. And it accepts a mini-SD up to 128GB!
  14. MiddlemanOne

    My Seiun Player arrived today!

    Hi guys, Just sharing with you some pics of my new Hi Res 24/192 Seiun Players/recorders which I managed to get today. Got them both together for an absolute bargain USD$65 from the Indiegogo campaign (excluding shipping), just thought you should know.
  15. Hi guys, Anyone seen this? It's Pioneer's first DAP and foray into HiRes and it looks like a killer device. Apart from being cheap and having FLAC/DSD playback it's also the first portable to sport Meridian's MQA (Master Quality Authenticated HiRes music format > Pioneer XDP-100R Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET
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