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About Voltron

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  1. Sadly, I forgot about this event and missed it completely! D'oh! Hope you had a good time in the Bay Area Chris. Maybe you're out here planning another Symposium . . . ?
  2. I'll try to be there, Chris. Music Lovers is a great shop and I'd love to pick your brain on some server ideas if there is any time.
  3. No need for concern, Bryan, the FW input into the ULN-2 is fantastic and takes Amarra up a big notch. I have the Amarra Model 4 (ULN-8) and a couple of my buddies have the ULN-2 or Sonic 302 and they love it. It is made for FW and you will not be dissatisfied. As for Amarra Vinyl, that is a component of the full Amarra that Sonic Studio is working on as that clip by the OP suggests. It is not an alternative to digital listening it is a tool for digitizing your vinyl or other analog music. You connect the analog output from your phono stage -- or even connect the the tonearm directly to your interface in the case of the ULN-2/8 and other devices that have mic preamps that can provide enough gain -- and you can record in hi-rez. I have Sonic's Sound Blade software, which I understand will be incorporated in some form to Amarra Vinyl, and the results are outstanding. I am really looking forward to the integrated solution, and think it will be great. If you buy Amarra Mini now, you can always get credit to upgrade to the full Amarra later if the Amarra Vinyl idea is appealing to you.
  4. You do not need to do anything further to enjoy your iTunes music through Amarra Mini, as far as I can tell. If you are using the optical output into your DAC, then that is supported by Amarra and you should be fine. You have enough RAM, your 1TB storage is fine, and AIFF files are perfect for Amarra. You will need an iLok key (search the web to see a picture) and can get one from Amarra if you choose. That plugs into a USB port and must be attached to use Amarra. You are not stuck with that Mac and can always download and play on another Mac so long as you have the authorized iLok attached to the new computer. I use Leopard still, but I believe Snow Leopard is supported just as well. I think that answers your questions, so just get it and have fun listening. Then, I would recommend getting some hi-rez tunes to compare and see if you like the improvements. Cheers
  5. It seems to me from reading the Drobo site that the Droboshare only works with the Drobo 4-bay model and NOT the 5-bay Drobo S:<br /> <br /> "Supports up to two Drobos*<br /> DroboShare can support two simultaneously connected Drobos*. This means your networked storage can grow up to a theoretical 32TB on a single DroboShare since each Drobo can grow to 16TB as hard drive sizes expand. Since you’re using Drobo*, you can rest assured knowing your storage is not only safe, but also expandable at any time.<br /> <br /> *DroboShare is compatible with the 4-bay Drobo only."<br /> <br /> That is a drag, and your summary above should be edited if my reading is correct.
  6. I was at CES for one day last year and I am sure you are having a ball. I am curious about the latest from QNAP or Thecus on NAS setups for home/audio, about the reception Amarra software % hardware is getting in any rooms you have visited or generally, and also whether the new Weiss DAC202 is present. And if you happen to see any really cool headphones, that would be fun to hear about as well!<br /> <br /> Cheers, Al
  7. @Clay: One more slightly off-topic comment regarding the Sonic 302 vs. Amarra 4 comparison. The 4 is mine and JP and I will certainly do our best to post something up here. Partly on-topic, the DA10 can be factored into the equation through the optical out from the MacMini, but I do not have the DA11 available to compare. Cheers!
  8. I have used the Remote App and the Apple remote with Amarra since upgrading to 1.1 although I don't know what the "latest update" is you are complaining about.
  9. Well, happy birthday for the second time today, although with different meaning. Great that you launched the site on your birthday. Cheers!
  10. Congrats, Chris, and cheers to you for following your dream. This is a great site with lots of potential in the heart of audio's future. Enjoy your new day job! :-)<br /> <br /> Al
  11. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about judging gear, Barry, and often wonder why so many people get hung up with exactly what is inside a component over how it ultimately sounds/performs. Good implementation and overall design mean more than the letter designation on a given slab of silicon. I really love my Amarra Model 4/ULN-8 and also agree with the praise you give it. You add a world of knowledge and experience I do not have, so your thoughts and impressions are very valuable to this board. Thanks for sharing them so freely, and thanks for all the tips on needle-dropping that you share here and moreso on the Hoffman forums. I have been doing 24/176.4 drops with SoundBlade on my system and think that they sound incredible. My buddy jp11801 uses his Sonic 302/ULN-2 to great effect as well, so I am incredibly impressed with the Metric Halo gear and gratified to see it spreading to audiophiles in the know. Cheers, Al
  12. Hello Barry. I agree that the Alpha DAC should strongly consider Firewire or at least USB2 given its most obvious use. My main concern with using the Model 4 as a transport was whether it did anything to the signal before sending it to the Alpha. I did not think it did anything to change the digital signal (and certainly nothing to degrade it) but I was unsure. I also use the Model 4 for needle drops, and it is fantastic. I am still trying to figure out the nuances of SoundBlade and how best to cut up tracks in the Sonic Console, but the Amarra software is supposed to unify all of that in future releases which will be good for audiophools like me.
  13. I own the Amarra Model 4, which is a re-branded and slightly modded ULN-8, and I have done two separate comparisons of that unit to the Alpha DAC. The methodology was different, in that I used a Mac Mini with Amarra software connected by Firewire into the Model 4/ULN-8, and then took the digital output in AES to the Alpha DAC. I am not aware of any downside to this method, but I would be curious to hear if that handicapped the Alpha DAC (or helped it) by feeding it something different than what the Model 4 received. In any event, I preferred the sound of the Model 4/ULN-8 in both instances over the Alpha DAC. Most of the source material was hi-rez, including HRX, Kent Poon's disc, HD Tracks, and Blue Coast recordings. I was using headphones and high quality headphone amps for the comparisons, and I heard the same kind of differences in extension, detail/definition, and soundstaging that Barry D mentions above. They both sound fantastic, but I preferred the Model 4 and thought it had the edge in sound quality. I really was amazed, to be honest, because I expected to prefer the Model 4 plus Alpha DAC setup after the hype and an earlier demo of the Alpha in a great system, and also from not knowing the Metric Halo gear personally. I do not expect to add the Alpha or any other DAC, although I am still hoping to borrow the Alpha from Tim Marutani for a demo in my home system with speakers. Plus, there is the anticipated flagship Spectral DAC that may materialize someday. Always curious, of course.
  14. Thanks for posting up your thoughts Earl. We met in the studio when you introduced yourself and I said I was nobody important, just a lawyer who loves music. Anyway, I have been on vacation since the day after the event and have not been able to post any thoughts, but I will find some time to do so. Chris, Tim, Meier, Paul, Matan, and many others did a great deal of work organizing this event and although I think it could have been even better it was a great first event of its kind. Thanks team!
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