Jump to content
IGNORED

Rocky Mountain Audiofest Thread For CA Readers


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, you asked for it and you got it. This is the thread for the Computer Audiophile readers in attendance at RMAF 2008 to relay their experience to everyone else. What did you see, what did you like etc... Many manufacturers are going to use MacBooks, Mac Pros, or PCs instead of standard CD/DAC transports. Make sure to snap some photos and attach them to your posts :-)

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the Hyatt, in the Simpli-Fi Audio Room, they are using a system called Amarra, a joint venture of Sonic Studio and VRS Audio. It's Mac software plus a DAC, $10K. What's interesting is the way the software works -- it shadows iTunes. So you continue to use iTunes to control your music, but the Amarra software is playing it. In their demo, it definitely sounded better than iTunes and the improvement gave me some clarity (pun intended) about my slight dissatisfaction with the sound of computer audio in my system. But $10K? Not for me I don't think. Oh, it uses firewire from Mac to DAC and will support up to 24/192. If you're at the show, check it out.

 

I'm sure the Wavelength USB DACS are sublime, but the Wavelength room sounded dreadful to me.

 

The PS Audio PWT (transport) and Ultralink DAC are nice looking (a real departure from their past ID) and the PWT is very promising, I think. Not sure it's the minor game changer I thought it would be, but don't hold me to that. The combo, at around $4K, should sell like crazy.

 

Mac Mini 5,1 [i5, 2.3 GHz, 8GB, Mavericks] w/ Roon -> Ethernet -> TP Link fiber conversion segment -> microRendu w/ LPS-1 -> Schiit Yggdrasil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had the privilege of attending the show this last weekend as well as many of the panel discussions. After one of the discussions I talked with the chief engineer of Benchmark (John Siau). I inquired as to what interfaces they were looking to add in the future. Firewire input seems like it is going to be added within a year or so as this is being driven by the pro market place. But the big news is that within the next 3 years or less the industry will be moving to Ethernet. The new specification is being written now. This new develpment direction was also intimated to by the engineer from Bel Canto.

 

Alan B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Alan B

Could you be more specific about which Firewire and which Ethernet that Benchmark is considering?

 

I am attempting to picture in my mind a system for my office and another for my home office. Every time I say to myself, yes, that will work, I have second thoughts due to all the complex connections: Firewire 400 & 800, USB, Ethernet 10/100/1000, TOSLINK, coax, and so on.

 

Thanks,

Daphne

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm curious to know what inherent advantages Ethernet might have in a computer audio solution vs. USB or Firewire.

 

(By the way, my understanding is that USB is perfectly capable of supporting resolutions greater than 24/96 if someone would develop the appropriate chipset. Am I mistaken?)

 

Dan

 

Mac Mini 5,1 [i5, 2.3 GHz, 8GB, Mavericks] w/ Roon -> Ethernet -> TP Link fiber conversion segment -> microRendu w/ LPS-1 -> Schiit Yggdrasil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As to which Firewire (400, 800, etc.) speed he did not specify. I am not on the pro audio side so I could not venture a guess, but I would suppose that it would be the one that is most common. The Ethernet protocol is one that is currently under revision by the two standards committees. As this was an informal Q&A session after the panel discussion there were many questions coming at John from several different individuals. Sorry I could not be more specific but I will send John an email and get further clarifications and post it here.

 

Alan B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Dan - One major advantage to Ethernet in my opinion is the much greater distance the Ethernet cable spec allows. It has also been around "forever" and will likely be around much longer than USB and FireWire. Plus, imagine ow much money companies like Nordost will make selling an Odin 100 meter Ethernet cable! Only kidding of course :-)

 

I talked to Gordon Rankin about USB supporting greater sample rates than 24/96 and he said this is absolutely possible. In fact there are USB chips in the works to accomplish this exact thing.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...