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Best computer-based audio solution???


Afveep

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OK Chris- you're teasing us again! What's the scoop??

Tom

 

Tidal Audio Agoria Loudspeakers; VAC Master preamp; Merrill Audio Christine preamp, Merrill Audio Jens & VAC Renaissance Phono Preamps;   Bricasti M28 & Merrill Audio Element 118 Monoblock Amplifiers; Sonore Signature RenduSE Optical network player; Bricasti M12 Source Controller/ DAC; Spiral Groove SG-2 TT with Centroid Arm & Transfiguration Proteus Diamond Cartridge; Ampex ATR-102 Reel-Reel with Merrill Audio Master tape head preamplifier; Ansuz signal and power cabling and power distribution; Symposium Isis racks 

INDUSTRY AFFILIATION: Dealer- XtremeFidelity.net (VAC,  Bricasti, Merrill Audio,  Sonore, Ansuz, Synergistic Research & others)

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Hi afveep - Glad you noticed my little twitter hint.

 

I will be verifying my statement in terms of sound quality with a week. As far as price goes you're guaranteed to like it :-)

 

I can say some of my most respected collegues have already closed the book on this one and said the sound is hands-down the best available. I hope they are correct, the best sound for the least money is not something ever thought of in this hobby.

 

Much more to come.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Hi !

 

Saw it to ! I'm interested in... If it is ready to use out of the box. Tried to solder an amplifier one year ago... I don't want to retry !

 

JB

 

Macbook 13.1\" - MAudio Firewire Audiophile - Profigold wire - NAD C 320 BEE - Triangle Comete 202 - Apple Nano 2nd Generation with Rockbox - Songbird - Spotify

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Hi Steve - Certainly, there is always room or improvement and I am 100% open to anything that improves sound quality.

 

Sammie - I used the term arguably the best and colleagues of mine have said it is the best hands-down. That said, the word "best" is always subjective. The solution I am talking about is the most resolving yet, but may not equate to a pleasant listening experience for everyone.

 

I should have some details published in about a week or so.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Ok- trying to be patient once again. But how about a couple more hints?? mac-based(I hope), stand alone, etc.??

Software or hardware?

All-in-one?

 

"inquiring minds want to know".....

Tom

 

Tidal Audio Agoria Loudspeakers; VAC Master preamp; Merrill Audio Christine preamp, Merrill Audio Jens & VAC Renaissance Phono Preamps;   Bricasti M28 & Merrill Audio Element 118 Monoblock Amplifiers; Sonore Signature RenduSE Optical network player; Bricasti M12 Source Controller/ DAC; Spiral Groove SG-2 TT with Centroid Arm & Transfiguration Proteus Diamond Cartridge; Ampex ATR-102 Reel-Reel with Merrill Audio Master tape head preamplifier; Ansuz signal and power cabling and power distribution; Symposium Isis racks 

INDUSTRY AFFILIATION: Dealer- XtremeFidelity.net (VAC,  Bricasti, Merrill Audio,  Sonore, Ansuz, Synergistic Research & others)

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I don't want to give away the whole article or project and I don't want to get ahead of myself on this one. There have been some serious listening sessions and unbiased A/B'ing taking place with all kinds of computer based systems and configurations. The feedback on the various configurations is about 10 to 1 in favor of one system. I am going to put together a system with equivalent quality for as cheap as possible. I believe I have the right combination, but I want to be absolutely positive before I publish the details or possibly lead people astray with incorrect information.

 

Let me be 100% clear on this, I used the description "arguably the best" in my Twitter post. That description can be interpreted 100 different ways by 100 different readers. Just like every other component in high-end audio there is no "best" as we all have different tastes and ears. The word "arguably" should always be emphasized as much as the word "best." This specific computer based solution is the most resolving according to almost everyone who has heard it. If your looking for the most resolving system this could be the ticket. On the other hand you may not like the sound or the software interface etc ...

 

In the latest Abso!ute Sound magazine Robert Harley reviews the Wilson Alexandria X2 speakers. To some these are the best speakers money can buy. To others the Alexandria X2 speakers wouldn't make their audition list.

 

So, I didn't mean cause undue hype because that invariably leads to a letdown for those who disagree with my final conclusion. However, I am very excited about this system and I think all the readers should be as well. I stand by my description of "arguably the best" system and hope everyone is careful not to twist the description into something it is not.

 

Thanks so much for all the interest! Stay tuned for much more!

 

 

 

 

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Chris,

... arguably...

We are all very impatient to read/hear what you meant. Is a miracle possible?

By the way you mentionned in a twit 2 weeks ago the arrival of the Cambridge DacMagic and no review since then. How does it sound? Several people around me said that there is no need to spend more money now. In 2 years time that may be another story but for now this is the safest solution money can buy.

 

Dac202/LebenXS/MagicoV2 Stealth cables www.bluedy.com

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Hi Chris.

 

As you know I "love this site"...I've sat back for months (no correction years) buying various components of computer audio..: haven't we all! in an attempt to reach computeraudio Nirvana. playing with them, moving them around in and out of various systems.....sound familiar? !! Now they sit in various "zones" in all corners of my house. My grand plan (putting what I've learned over the years of this fantastic hobby) is to bite the bullet and make ONE complete computer audio solution in one Premium listening enviroment (my study: which also happens to have the best acoustics) You don't necessarily need raw power, or huge speakers either...just "finesse". This leads me to my point:

 

...don't forget absolute sound coming out of a computer isn't everything. How easy it is to run the software interface, right down to practical stuff like "is there a decent volume control" and not to mention room acoustics are all important. I mean my current dilema is, when I'm sitting at my desk (were the computer is), is it better to have bookself speakers in front of you or floorstanders behind you? Seems petty, but this is a serious decision that turns out to be far more important than say the bit rate!

 

I reckon running straight from MAC usb>I2S low jitter DAC (with volume control so it behaves like a preamp)>poweramp>(all battery powered)>high end bookshelf's at ear level pointed in straight at your head is going to be hard to beat....in other words something like Empirical's new DAC>Redwine's 30.2>high end British speakers...or am I missing something.....? Of course tube lovers might like to substitute (there favorite)....but both these guys make tube solutions as well...

 

So Looking forward to it: lets hope it isn't too expensive (obviously excludes amarra)..or have they announced something recently that your not letting on? !!!!

 

Can't wait....

 

AB

 

New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Cullen Circuits Mod ZP90> Benchmark DAC1>RotelRKB250 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening areas: 1/ QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. 2/ (Source awaiting)>Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>Rega's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- MacMini>A+(Standalone mode)>Exasound e28 >5.1 analog out>Yamaha Avantage Receiver>Pre-outs>Linn Chakra power amps>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. Velodyne SPL1000 Ultra

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Hi AB - Very good points.

 

The price point I am aiming for with this system is $1,000 to $1,200. This is partially why I am so excited about it. Before the hype gets out of hand and makes it so the solution could never live up to that hype I will say a little bit more about what I am doing.

 

1. This will be a Windows XP based PC

2. It is based on the Windows reference music server I've discussed previously

3. The combination of low price and incredible sound have me very excited

4. More than a few people I speak with on a daily basis have done A/B tests with several computer based music servers and they say a system similar to what I'm putting together is the most resolving system they've heard yet.

5. I am taking the system mentioned in #4 and making it as cheap as possible without degrading the sound quality. This will enable almost everyone to have a reference music server.

 

I know some advanced Computer Audiophile readers will look at this system and think "That's it" but many more should be enthusiastic about this. At least I hope so, I surely am :-)

 

 

 

 

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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hopefully it wont be too long, as these minor reveals are driving me just wild with excitement!

 

Panasonic PXP 42 V20; Panasonic DMP BD35; Sky+ HD Box. [br]Optical out from Asus P7H55-M into AVI ADM 9.1 speakers. [br]\"Music will provide the light you cannot resist\"[br]

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The Super Pro 707 USB DAC (which can prob be found on the same site..audiomagus or obadimports) is a superb dac. Someone recommended it to me. It uses a different dac chip (Cirrus i think) compared to a lot of other lower priced dacs. I am currently using the digital coax input and rca output, but it has the usb as well. I'd highly recommend it for someone not wanting to pay a huge amount.

 

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Well, there is the software/operating system/computer. Which beyond the fairly simple trick of keeping everything bit-perfect to the DAC, does not impact resolution at all. Then there is the DAC.

 

Then it's no longer "computer audio."

 

I'm a bit confused. Intrigued, but confused.

 

Tim

 

I confess. I\'m an audiophool.

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Hi Tim - Is your glass half empty this morning :-) Only kidding of course.

 

 

I think you may be in the category of reader I eluded to with this prior statement.

 

"I know some advanced Computer Audiophile readers will look at this system and think "That's it?" but many more should be enthusiastic about this. At least I hope so, I surely am :-)"

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Hi Chris,

My first post to this site.

 

Any idea when your research will be complete?

I am trying to get my head aound these PC based music systems as I want to install one in my (small) bar to play good sounding music ... not headbanging stuff.

 

I have a good NAIM system in my home but know nothing about PC based systems and unfortunately, the more I read the more confused I get with DAC's, NAS's and other strange abreviations.

 

Cheers

 

 

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Hi John - Welcome to Computer Audiophile. I hope to have some info up on the site by this weekend. I'm also receiving a complete Amarra based solution Thursday, so there is a lot to do this week and next :-)

 

Anyway, feel free to read about some of the basic music servers CA01, CA02, CA03 ... You might glean some info about all of this in those articles. Whatever I can do to get you to where you want to be music server-wise just let me know.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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