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About Aerocraft67

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  1. Aerocraft67

    Schiit Modi 2 Uber, Anyone?

    I'm intrigued by the Modi Optical in particular. In the spirit of getting no more than you need, you can hook it up to the optical out of a newer MacBook and get up to 192 kHz output (whereas earlier MacBooks were limited to 96 kHz from the Toslink). You don't pay for the extra inputs on the DAC, the box isn't larded up with a headphone amp, and you avoid all the USB issues, such as they are. I also like the potential application with an Apple TV. I have one hooked up to my modest home theater. Putting a Modi in the stream would likely send a better analog signal to the amps in my receiver than the onboard DAC for stereo music listening in "direct" mode, even though I'm still limited by the mid-fi amps. I don't think you can get more than redbook playback with Airplay, which is how I use the Apple TV to steam my collection to the home theater room (I'm content with the downsample of my HD tracks when using the system this way). But I suspect this would be a worthy upgrade to the redbook stream. For much less than $100 (assuming that's the price on the not-yet-available optical-only version), I might just take two, one for the desktop and one for the home theater. Probably a lateral performance move from a Meridian Explorer, but I like the dedicated DAC and input function. I also wonder where this leaves Bifrost. In addition to upgradability and outputs, I presume the DAC section remains superior, but I wonder when Schiit implies that Modi 2 Uber is basically a Bifrost. And you can presumably get the next generation Modi for the price of a Bifrost upgrade.
  2. I had to seek them out and they took a while to ship and they're a bit oversized, but I found nice 8" stands to achieve suitable on-axis desktop speaker listening height for Airmotiv 4. Relying on stands might free the design budget up a bit? They also free up space under the speakers.
  3. Aerocraft67

    The Death of the Home Stereo System

    I've seen similar versions of the "our hobby as we know it is fading away" discussion in other enthusiast forums. I think a big part of what drives the sentiment is just the fundamental difference of being an older vs. younger enthusiast. Older people generally have more time, means, and disposition to dedicate to a hobby than younger people. This creates a perception of waning or wayward interest among the young, such that the truly dedicated will die out with the olds. But the young will age. Surely the profile and habits of a highly engaged enthusiast will evolve with the hobby over time, but those enthusiasts will emerge.
  4. So, verdict for someone seeking to add this to a 2013 collection is...find the original 1991 CD? That's a face value question.
  5. So in the "worst case" of the SACD conversion offered as high-resolution digital download scenario, such as it is, is it still better than redbook? Putting aside the scenario where the redbook remastering is superior to the high-resolution one. This is more of a face value question than a rhetorical one—just trying to calibrate my own high-resolution purchase decisions.
  6. Aerocraft67

    HDtracks Critics' Choice 20 for 20

    Seems you have to access the promotion via the link in the e-mail, and that you can't get to it "natively" from the web site. I presume that's because the promotion targets current customers, or at least subscribers to the newsletter. Didn't mean to spoil that for HDT; I just assumed most people reading this thread would have received the promotion.
  7. Any thoughts on HDtracks' "Critics Choice 20 for 20" promotional offerings this week? I'm familiar with the classic rock selections, but curious about the merits of the others, particularly for someone in the early stage of assembling an audiophile collection in those genres.
  8. Aerocraft67

    Article: Meridian Explorer USB DAC Review

    Explorer will drive the Sennheisers, but you might find it a bit lacking. Should work fine, as intended. It works great with my Asgard 2.
  9. I downloaded straight to the NAS. Do you purposely avoid this because of known trouble? Maybe I should try downloading to the internal hard drive first, then transfer to the NAS. Still, that is irksome. And I wasn't having throughput problems, all hard-wired to a proven Synology 212j.
  10. I'd double-checked this. Indeed. Download throughput is 50 Mbps, actually 57 Mbps when I tested during my second download trial of this transaction. So that's not the weakest link in my chain, which I'm genuinely unsure if you're yanking.
  11. Thanks again for the thoughts and moral support. Looks like I ran into something resembling wgscott's scenario. I bought ALAC files, so I renamed a file extension accordingly. No dice. Then I opened with XLD, which dutifully converted to ALAC and populated directories and iTunes per my CD ripping settings. Don't know what format they started in, but probably FLAC, as previously mentioned. So I moved all the files into one directory for batch conversion and turned XLD loose on them, and am now sitting here watching them convert and load, sort of like how your dog watches you eat. I will admit that one thing I did not do was delete the original downloaded files before attempting again, per the help file. The reason I didn't do that was because I was afraid eliciting a response that HDT is not responsible for replacing lost files. I suppose it's possible that might have worked, but I like to think the help I got would have recognized the ultimately simple problem and prescribed a fruitful solution. Hitting the "resume" button that appears on the account page did nothing, and indeed the help I did get specified not to hit that button, so this isn't just a case of refusing to follow instructions. Or hapless computer illiteracy. So. Looks like a resolution to this transaction (rest assured I will dutifully notify HDT to reclaim my refund), but not my disillusionment. At these prices, and with this leap of faith that I'm getting what I pay for and that what I'm paying for is worthwhile, it's vexing to resort to public pleas for help and an hour of computing labor to play my files. I really want to like HD files and HDtracks, but these kind of shenanigans actually make me feel as delusional as most people think audiophiles are. So I guess the angst part is true.
  12. This sounds plausible, thanks. All the files have extension "*track.hddownload." As if a final step by the downloader was executed incorrectly or skipped, like you said. It occurred to me to rename with a recognizable extension, but I was discouraged by the prospect of manually renaming all the files, and wanted to get a complete, right-and-proper download straight from the source so as to avert further flakiness, and to meet the lofty expectation that my $25 albums would arrive in operable condition. Even if renaming solves the problem, I'm still disappointed that I'm hearing it on an enthusiast forum rather than from the supplier, after describing the problem with appropriate detail.
  13. Tried to buy some albums from HDtracks this weekend to take advantage of a sale, but the downloader wouldn't work, other than to download all the files to my computer then render them "failed" and unrecognizable. I've successfully transacted with HDT in the past, somewhat substantially, albeit not very smoothly. Admittedly prompt response from HDT was to reinstall and try an earlier version of the downloader, which I did, to no avail. Given the choice to resolve the problem or refund my purchase in subsequent correspondence, I was refunded and sent packing. Never mind the esoteric questions of file integrity that populate this forum, I find it scandalous that an enterprise whose core business is file downloads can't deliver the goods in what appears to be the most routine of transactions. It's 2013. There's nothing particularly exotic or antiquated about my system or purchase. What's the problem? So. Any advice for another source of HD music? I'm afraid I already know the answer, that beyond HDtracks is a fragmented mess of specialist and dubious sources. But I thought I'd ask, giving myself an opportunity to vent some frustration in the meantime.
  14. Aerocraft67

    Do you throw out music?

    I echo many of these sentiments. Given that and the previous post, I think I have a plan to clear clutter from the collection while retaining music that might become more attractive later. I also suppose I'm guilty of owning music that I feel a man oughtta own, but never have the gumption to listen to, yet maintain some expectation that I eventually acquire the taste. More related to another thread, I enjoy listening to nearly the entire collection in random mode, which exposes me to things I wouldn't seek out directly. Deleting music I don't listen to would seem to remove a way to enjoy music that's less obvious.
  15. Aerocraft67

    Do you throw out music?

    Given ample storage space, this is a pretty good way to reduce the clutter while hedging for second thoughts. Having nearly finished a "once and for all" collection rip (my third), I have some redundancies and low-quality stuff to prune that I now avoid by excluding them from playlists. Would be nicer just not to have the clutter visible.