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  • The Computer Audiophile

    CA is now Audiophile Style!

    When I started Computer Audiophile in 2007 the site was a one man blog that educated audio enthusiasts about computer based playback and covered the slow industry uptake of high tech. From day one the user community was the most important part of the site, and still is to this day, because it was already onboard with high tech HiFi. In the early days I remember writing articles about the emergence of asynchronous USB and Apple keyboards that caused audible pops and ticks during music playback when connected to the "wrong" USB port. I also remember writing a script that closed iTunes, asked the user to set the correct sample rate, and reopened iTunes for bit perfect output of high resolution audio. Then came Amarra with its auto sample rate switching in iTunes and the world was a better place.

     

    Those willing to tweak a Windows XP computer and bypass the KMixer could also be treated to high quality audio back in the day. As long as they didn't adjust any settings while music was playing. Friends of mine blew several pairs of beryllium tweeters after their XP machines went haywire and sent static noise through to their speakers. The wonderful Wild West of digital audio for those seeking a better experience than physical media based listening could provide.

     

    High end music servers slowly started to trickle into the market over the years and have since become commonplace. Now we can do pretty much anything we can think of and we have the option of a traditional computer or component designed and delivered by a number of HiFi manufacturers. We also have incredibly powerful devices in our pockets that can stream a trillion lossless tracks nearly anywhere in the world. 

     

    In the past, present, and future everyone of these digital devices was, is, and will be a computer. That device in your pocket that can make telephone calls is a computer just the same as the most high end music servers and the MacBook Pro on which I type this announcement. A CPU, RAM, disk, operating system, inputs, outputs, etc... They're all there in one for one another, but somehow the word computer has become a four letter word. 

     

    Over the years I've met many people who have no idea what the words computer and audiophile have to do with each other. Sure there are the old school analog guys, but that's OK. The larger issue was all the people who thought this site was dedicated to computer speakers like those from Logitech, Creative, and of course Bose. I met someone who had been in the industry for decades and I blew his mind when I explained to him all that Computer Audiophile encompasses. This was two months ago. Seriously. 

     

    Combine the stigma of geeks in their mother's basements listening to Logitech 7.1 systems and the fact that the word computer is being used against us with a  what I'm about to explain next and it's easy to see why Audiophile Style is the future of HiFi. 

     

    In January 2018 we launched the Superphonica marketplace as the first step in our long term plan. It's site that enables people to buy and sell HiFi gear, with the revenue generated going to produce more content for audiophiles right here on this site. Due in part to the success of Superphonica we put out a call for additional paid writers. The response was overwhelmingly positive. 

     

    With the foundation in place it was time to take the major step of re-branding Computer Audiophile. This has been on my mind for about five years, but I've always put it on the back burner. Until now. The time is perfect for something new, something fresh, and to shed the stigma that we are a bunch of Geek Squad technicians. Not only that, but re-branding puts us in a perfect position to pull in a wider audience and at the same time lay the groundwork to overtake the old guard of the HiFi industry. 

     

    When I was fresh out of college in 1998 I remember reading The Absolute Sound and dreaming about putting together a system like those reviewed in its pages. In the years since, I started CA and with the help of the best user community in HiFi we are now bigger than TAS. I have no ill will toward TAS or any of the old guard, but in the minds of many, it's time for a change. 


    This brings us to Audiophile Style and the questions, why the name Audiophile Style and will anything else around here change?

     

    The name Audiophile Style was selected for several reasons, but one that reflects what this site is all about. Style is a manner or way of doing things. When I built my new office, I did it audiophile style and made it a listening room as well. When I put all-in-one speakers around my house, I did it audiophile style and selected the best sounding speakers I could afford. 

     

    Think of it in an educational sense, and ask yourself how would someone go about putting together the best music playback system, what's the best way to stream high resolution, how can someone get the most out of their favorite music no matter the source? The best way to find out is to ask someone who understands quality, someone who cares about music and music reproduction. An audiophile would go about this in a specific way or a certain manner. In other words, the audiophile would do this audiophile style. 

     

    I certainly shoot for obtaining that absolute sound or perfect reproduction of an unamplified signal, but I also know that getting less than perfect sources to sound as good as possible is equally important. In addition to my passion for perfection in my listening room, I have a passion for improving sound in less than ideal circumstances. 

     

    People in my extended family use Apple Music and Pandora. They've tried Tidal, but it lasted a week. Everyone they know uses Apple Music, so that's their single paid streaming service. Period. If they can't decide what to listen to, they use Pandora's free tier. The fun part for me in all of this is getting their lossy streaming services to sound spectacular and introducing them to HiFi on their own turf. When I first put Dynaudio Xeo loudspeakers in my brother's office, the sound quality was so much better than his Bose bluetooth speaker that the entire family noticed. Comments like, "hey what's this" or, "What changed" were common. Even my brother-in-law can't get over the sound of the Klipsch all-in-one called The Three. He is the last person I'd expect to call me and rave about sound quality, and ask me if he can connect his TV to the speaker.

     

    The bottom line is that doing things in an audiophile style means doing them the best way possible. Audiophile style is a manner of doing things. 


    style | stīl |
    noun

    1. a manner of doing something: different styles of management.
    • a way of painting, writing, composing, building, etc., characteristic of a particular period, place, person, or movement.
    • a way of using language: he never wrote in a journalistic style | students should pay attention to style and idiom.

     

    Sure the name has changed from Computer Audiophile to Audiophile Style, but things won't change much. We'll still bring you the best digital audio content available, and our core will always be digital. Digital is our foundation. It makes zero sense to stray from that foundation. It's the topic about which I'm most passionate. Fortunately, our new writers have additional passions and expertise. For example, Danny Kaey's review of the Boulder 1100 series amp and preamp was published simultaneously with this announcement, along side in-depth digital articles and even one from Josh reviewing the new Sennheiser closed back HD820 headphones. Expanded content won't equal less digital content. 


    Think of Audiophile Style as giving you what Computer Audiophile always did and more. In addition to more written reviews, today we're launching our new video series called Audiophile 5. Audiophile 5 is a series about you, not us, where we cover products and topics that interest you. And, we do it all in 5 minutes. We hate long videos as much as the next guy because time is the most valuable thing have. We don't like to waste it hearing about what the presenter had for breakfast and what he and his significant other did last night. If you like that kind of stuff, fine. It just isn't us. We much prefer the slogan, all killer no filler.

     

    The first Audiophile 5 video covers the Aurender ACS10 content server. Look for a full written review later this month. We shot this video in early December and have since learned quite a bit and developed the concept much further. We can't wait for you to see what's next. 

     

    That's it for now. As we start 2019 right, I want to thank the community who makes this site what it is. Without contributions from all of you this site wouldn't exist. I'm consistently amazed at the breadth and depth of you knowledge and willingness to share it with complete strangers. The whole of this community is much greater than the sum of its parts. 

     

    Let's get 2019 going audiophile style. 


     

     




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    I used to frequent an irreverent post-audiophile board called Audio Annex. Their definition of audiophile style: bearded and overweight, wearing overalls and a food-stained sweatshirt.

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    6 hours ago, Jud said:

     

    It was actually a practical note to anyone who (1) posts in or follows active threads and so gets a fair amount of email from here, (2) gets a lot of email in general, and (3) has set up sorting rules to help manage email, that the sorting rule for email from this forum might need to be tweaked if you don't want it all coming to your Inbox.

     

    I love Head-fi's notification system.

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    11 minutes ago, audiobomber said:

     

    I love Head-fi's notification system.

     

    I've posted on and received notifications from Head-Fi. For me this actually has less to do with how a particular forum' does notifications, and more to do with how one organizes a lot of email.

     

    But I imagine Chris and others might be interested in knowing what you like about the way Head-Fi does it.

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    11 hours ago, firedog said:

    The site makes the name.
    Not the other way around.

    Do any of the regular members/posters really think the name matters?

     

    Agreed, it's only of relevance to those unfamiliar to the site and searching for a place to visit.

     

    I agree with losing "Computer" in the name for the reasons nominated in the OP.

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    4 hours ago, Jud said:

     

    I've posted on and received notifications from Head-Fi. For me this actually has less to do with how a particular forum' does notifications, and more to do with how one organizes a lot of email.

     

    But I imagine Chris and others might be interested in knowing what you like about the way Head-Fi does it.

    I don't know if this is universal, but I don't get email notifications from Head-Fi. When someone posts to a thread I'm following, I get a notification at the top of my page. We don't have that option here, it's either email notifications or nothing. Some threads go hog wild and monopolize my inbox, which is annoying.

     

    PS Audiophile Style is my favourite website for content. If there's some way to get notifications that I'm not aware of, please let me know.

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    Just now, audiobomber said:

    I don't know if this is universal, but I don't get email notifications from Head-Fi. When someone posts to a thread I'm following, I get a notification at the top of my page. We don't have that option here, it's either email notifications or nothing. Some threads go hog wild and monopolize my inbox, which is annoying.

     

    PS Audiophile Style is my favourite website for content.

     

    On Head-Fi I turned on emails for when someone quotes, mentions, or PMs me there, as it's often a question. I also only have it notify me at the top of the web pages when it's one of those three things, plus likes. For threads I'm following, on both sites I just check the "subscribed threads" / "content I follow" lists, which for me allows better time management.

     

     

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    I don't see mentioned anywhere that I don't like the style of the font. ;)

    Kindly regard this as nit picking.

     

    Best is to observe in the blue header (and not the header of this topic),

     

    First off, it is quite "illegal" to have two words with too close similarity (on the font department). This is disconcerting

     

    Then, while it looks like only the degree of tilt is slightly different, the fonts used in both are just different. This is mind boggling (painful).

     

    Yes, I read about the hand-painting. OK. But the "style" seems not to be, while the "audiophile" is. Maybe this is only visible in the capital "A", but it does not matter really. It again disconcerts.

     

    The P had again a different tilt degree than the remainder of the characters (observing the first word only). Both "i"'s relative to each other, same thing.

     

    Because the "Style" is more tilted towards vertical (or maybe because it is more bolded (more thick) anyway, it receives an unwanted emphasis. It now reads as Audiophile Style.

    Would it have tilted to the other direction (to the right), it would read as Aúdiophile Style. Emphasis is now on Audiophile and on "Au" within that (it is about this latter only). Notice that Audiophile Style (inherently, to me) reads as "not so stylish, not classy - Westside Story comes to mind.

     

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    I realize that most will not be bothered by this, *if* it is seen at all (was, and even now when I point it out it could still be difficult to see). I am most certainly no stylist of any kind (Chris, no need to link to my forum again - haha) but I am massively bothered by such things (if I can't find the reason); If a license place is 0.5mm askew (that's mm, not inch) I will see it when driving behind a car. It bears no reason, and thus it is "wrong". Obviously this is the reason why in many States the license plate is allowed to be absent in the first place. MileHalf.png.508c916ec4dcdbb65037eac11d3ddbda.png

     

     

     

     

     

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    56 minutes ago, PeterSt said:

    I don't see mentioned anywhere that I don't like the style of the font.

     

    Like this?

     

    as_logo.thumb.jpg.37f6a4778cc81006199ea7ecf98cdcf2.jpg

     

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    7 hours ago, mansr said:

    Peter, you are the last person I'd take style advice from.

     

    Good, because he is talking about form. The foundation of something greater in importance that eventually equates at a high level to style. B|

     

    He called Chris out for making the first professional impression others gain as sloppy and inconsistent. He touched on how strict the rules governing design are. Finally he noted message, delivery, impact... everything is at odds and in direct contrast to setting off in the stated new direction with a refinement of purpose it should have portrayed. Specifically the one Peter stated, knives out street fighting hoodlums with an unusually high musical bent, was well considered to make his point explicitly.

     

    I had stopped myself at an offhand comment on discombobulated appearances of a comfortable dressed down environment due to the overwhelming number of critiques already instigating further denigration of the commissioned work. With some regret I add to the confusion.  

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    8 hours ago, PeterSt said:

    If a license place is 0.5mm askew (that's mm, not inch) I will see it when driving behind a car.

     

    Really Peter, one-half millimeter?  Come on...  Your eyes are even better than your hearing! :P

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    5 minutes ago, rando said:

    He called Chris out for making the first professional impression others gain as sloppy and inconsistent.

    The first impression I get from anything Peter has designed is that of wanting to claw my eyes out and nuke it from orbit. Also the second impression.

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    7 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

    Hi @PeterSt - I actually love the fact that the logo isn’t a font that’s perfect. The imperfections are cool to me and give it a more human look and feel. 

     

    I couldn't agree more. Handwritting fonts always look artificial to me.

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