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A musician's guide to the enjoyment of digital audio, continued

6 November, 2011   If you have read my previous posts (there's only 2 so far) you know that I have upgraded my entire audio system in recent months. The "upgrade project" was prompted by my desire to hear and compare several loudspeakers of different types: dynamic, electrostatic, planar/magnetic. It had been a few years since I compared new technologies in speakers and I wanted simply to hear what the audio magazines had been describing.   After choosing several speakers to compare I decide

douglas882

douglas882

 

Hear music the way it was intended to be reproduced - conclusion

If you have followed this series on a quest for proper timbre, I have reached a conclusion. From wikipedia, in psychoacoustics, timbre is also called tone quality and tone color. No question, music source, electronics, interconnects, power, etc., all have impact on timbre. However, the biggest factor on reproducing proper timbre, by orders of magnitude, is the speaker to room interface which is limited by small room acoustics: http://www.gcmstudio.com/acoustics/acoustics.html   I was lucky

mitchco

mitchco

 

New All-in-One Player Purchase........... Well sort of

Background: A few months back I was bitten by the upgrade bug. Since then I have spent some time adjusting the current setup and tweaking the placement / room. Finally, I felt that I had maximized on what I had and it was time to look at new components.   I went to a local dealer and they recommend moving up to that next level, specifically Naim and Linn. Since I am only into computer audio it was the Naim Uniti and Linn Majik DSM.   I went home and did some budgeting taking into account

Jsmith

Jsmith

 

The Gorey (not a typo) End

Around eight years ago, a small package appeared in my mailbox. Inside was a CD from my niece, featuring a band I had never heard although the cover artwork looked familiar. Turned out that the art was done by Edward Gorey, whose work you may know from the animated illustrations that accompany PBS-TV's Mystery series. Gorey had lived near my niece in her Cape Code neighborhood until his then-recent death. His legacy includes many books and illustrations, mostly dealing with the delightfully

curmudgeon

curmudgeon

 

Wap's Noob quest to playback DSD via computer Blog

OK. Kind of a "DSD for Dummies". So... here... we.... go...!   Just ordered an 8x192 ADDA Mytek "Bundle"..The USB card is going to be 4-8 weeks away..The initial Plan is stereo, using Signalyst running on Win7 on a 6 month old MacPro. I've gone ADDA (rather than straight DAC), to have a bit of fun with a Moog litttle phatty StageII synth whilst I'm waiting. Also a good friend wants to do some LP archiving. I've gone the 8 channel over the stereo Mytek for ultimate flexibility, and future proo

wappinghigh

wappinghigh

 

How to setup a bit-perfect digital audio streaming client with free software (with LTSP and MPD)

Inspired by Bit-perfect audio in Linux at 88.2 and 176.4 now possible I created a setup at home which I share at How to setup a bit-perfect digital audio streaming client with free software (with LTSP and MPD).   In short, my wanted setup had the following requirements:     having bit-perfect audio for all digital formats accepted by my DAC having the freedom of only using free software having the freedom of only using open non patent encumbered file formats having the freedom t

ronalde

ronalde

 

Coming soon: Archive your vinyl to digital with a digital recorder

I have been looking for a way to create digital archives of some of my vinyl collection. The new Furutech GT40 and the NAD PP3i are a new breed of phono stages that provide analog to digital (ADC) converters that allow this. But what if you want to archive your vinyl using that fancy new tubed phono stage or that expensive moving coil cartridge? I've got a neat solution for you!   Stay tuned...

autoformer

autoformer

 

Top Tip: Fine grain volume control in OSX with Wavelength Proton

Here is a nice tip for those of you using the Wavelength Proton USB DAC.   One of the very clever things about the Proton is that it has an analog attenuator that is linked to OSX system volume. When you press the volume up and down keys on your Mac, a signal is sent to the DAC via USB that tells it to adjust the volume up or down as requested. It's a brilliant feature.   The trouble is that the regular volume steps on OSX are pretty coarse. With the Proton, you can end up between a volum

autoformer

autoformer

 

Halide Bridge vs Musical Fidelity V-Link

A few people who posted in the "Help me choose a new DAC" thread asked me to report back on the Halide Bridge vs the V-link. I rigged up my big system for an A/B comparison and listened for a few hours this afternoon. Here's the setup:   MacBook Pro > Halide Bridge/V-Link (A/B) > McIntosh C-50 DAC/PRE > McIntosh MC452 AMP > Martin Logan Summit X   I tried music of varying types and sample rates through both USB interfaces. From my listening position, using OSX screen sharing a

autoformer

autoformer

 

Hear music the way it was intended to be reproduced – part 5

Now that we have a calibrated frequency response at the listening position, let’s look at the other part of the timbre (i.e. tone quality) equation which is the time domain. Sound in your listening room has 3 measurable dimensions: time, energy, and frequency. We have looked at frequency response, targeting the B&K house curve, and how it affects timbre. So how does the time domain in your listening room affect timbre?   As mentioned earlier, I had the privilege to work in many recordin

mitchco

mitchco

 

Analog, Again

Last night ...   Album: Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Opus 11 Artist: Arthur (Artur) Rubinstein & New Symphony Orchestra of London [appears to be a 1961 performance; re-issued in 1999]   This was my first listen to an album recovered from floodwaters. Following record-breaking torrential, sustained rainfall in our community, we happened to look in at a neighbor, a 92-year-old widow whose steep hillside house took on six feet of water and a good deal of mud. When we arrived,

curmudgeon

curmudgeon

 

Warning on Chesky Records Issue

I purchased some discs from Chesky Records in September and received no product.They did however remember to debit my credit card.I have been unable to contact them as all their email addresses bounce back.I have found a few others that have had a similar experience.Are there any users on Computer Audiophile that have had the same problem?

Vvd

Vvd

 

(Analog) Album of the Evening

Last night, I heard something that I otherwise would have posted to Chris' Album of the Evening thread (http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Album-Evening) -- but it was not digital. I had my first listen of a LP, dated 1963, that I picked up last weekend from a garage sale for the princely sum of fifty cents.   Album: Beethoven Piano Sonatas No. 11, 19, 20 Artist: Sviatoslav Richter   The condition was remarkably good, including cover and inner sleeve, and the performance was very in

curmudgeon

curmudgeon

 

Death By Misadventure

So we learn from the British press this morning that Amy Winehouse's death was by alcohol poisoning. Characterized by the Brit coroner as "death by misadventure." (Can't help but also think of Janis Joplin ...)   I listened to my own CD-ripped 16-bit version on the Sansa while walking to work but here are a couple of video clips to give you a taste of her stunning Back to Black, higher-def versions of which you will want to hear with your best rig. A quick Googling shows me that there are 24

curmudgeon

curmudgeon

 

A musician's guide to the enjoyment of digital audio

Hello! I am a professional musician and educator and have been enjoying recorded music virtually all my life. The opportunity recently presented itself to improve my hi-fi system; after attending a high-end audio show for the first time (AXPONA in Atlanta, GA, in April 2011), I decided to include a computer as the basis of my system improvements. This blog (first time I've blogged on anything... this might as well be fun...) is a) the story of my decisions on equipment, b) what I've learned abou

douglas882

douglas882

 

Shell script for tweaking OS X

I made this for 10.6.X, but most of it still works on 10.7.X. However, there is lots more to do for 10.7.X, and I haven't had time to put into making a newer version. Meanwhile, feel free...   Here is the shell script. Please read through it first (a good idea):   http://sage.ucsc.edu/downloads/shellscripts/audiophool.zsh   Download it to (say) the desktop, and if the name offends, sorry, just rename it.   Then run it by opening the terminal into the directory where you downloaded it

wgscott

wgscott

 

Confessions of a DigiPhile IV

OK, so I jumped straight into the deep end!   I got a pair of Genelec 8260s last Wednesday. I have a 2 weeks full refund on them, so the speakers in my living room are actually loaners. They'll order min as soon as I say go.   My listening room is small, relatively bare and untreated -so far. The whole building will have all outer walls replaced next year, so I'm not about to add a lot of treatment until after that.   They sounded quite good off the bat, but bass heavy and a little mudd

DigiPete

DigiPete

 

Hysterical

Enough dealing with tweaking, testing, fiddling, dithering, pushing, moving, aligning, reacting to WAF-thwarts (see Jim Smith Tip #64), reading Jim Smith, and other busy-ness for a bit. After all, I have been rushing home from work every night this week to work on this NAD/PSB project. Further fine-tuning the new system can wait a while; I have a backlog of music to be heard (not to mention several books from the library to read). So I'm just relaxing and getting to the new (probably a month o

curmudgeon

curmudgeon

 

Portable DAC

Can anyone reccomend a portable DAC to use with my macbook pro and B & W MM1 speakers. I travel alot to my ship where ever she may be and I use my macbook pro for listening to music and watching movies. I'm looking for a DAC that will work well with my speakers and headphones. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.                 On the go system: macbook pro 15" 500GB SSI drive, i7 dual core processor, B & W MM1 speakers, Grado PS500 headphones, Audivarna plus.

seasalt55

seasalt55

 

Confessions of a DigiPhile III

The quest for Digital solutions begins   I needed something decent to tie me over till I found my final solution and the needed funding.   An Arcam rDAC made the cut. It’s a USD 500 unit and it has given me full value for the money. Cheap enough to be disposable and good enough to not make me do something rash. Today I would probably have chosen a Rega DAC or M2Tech Young.   I hit the local audiophile pushers, but most of them think that I speak Russian. They have lots of nice analogue r

DigiPete

DigiPete

 

Audirvana ... Ouch!

Just hooked up my iMac, running Snow Leopard, for use with the new spouse-friendly NAD/HRT Streamer II/PSB system I have previously mentioned. Did it via 100 megabit ethernet, figuring it would be a little more stable than using wi-fi (and more consistent with Jim Smith recommends).   Played a few tracks with Audirvana (it had worked well previously with my MacBook via wi-fi, and I am very much an open source supporter) but in the softer passages I heard clicks or ticks similar to, but a bit

curmudgeon

curmudgeon

 

She Who Must Be Obeyed

(With apologies to the creators of Rumpole of the Bailey, the old BBC TV series about the feisty but aging barrister who feared nothing – except his wife, Hilda, often referred to by Horace Rumpole as "she who must be obeyed…")     Jim Smith (whose Get Better Sound is making more sense to me all the time) speaks of the need to take WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) into account.   UPDATE: I just discovered Chris' great post and must-read comment thread at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/conten

curmudgeon

curmudgeon

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