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Alan Brown

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About Alan Brown

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  1. This possibly ought to be in the music networking room, but that seems more hardware related and I wanted to get maximum exposure - I hope that's alright Mods? Internet radio stations based in the USA are about to be clobbered by a new Bill concerning royalties. It is an unjust situation which, it is reported, favors large corporations (Apple, Spotify, Tidal(?) and others) with a rate which is equal if not lower to previously, but could price almost all independent net radio stations out of existence. Given what we know about royalty payments to artists through such corporations, I doubt this will benefit musicians much... I know there is a lot of love for Radio Paradise among music lovers and audiogeeks like us, so if you can spare the time please visit the Change.org page here and sign a petition to get this re-examined. More information can be found on the Radio Paradise homepage, including a link to this open letter to David Byrne (who ought to know better IMO).
  2. Following a successful insurance claim, I have an amount to spend on a new audio computer. I previously used a 2009 2.26 gHz Mac mini with SSDs, Mountain Lion & Audirvana+. I want a more family oriented HTPC this time (previously everything was stripped down for audio only). I can have a separate user account for audio if needs be, but I want the machine to be used by the family for streaming HD movies, and light gaming (minecraft etc). It should be fairly future proof. I would like to interface with it via Android tablet & phone (we have no other iThings at home). I am looking at i5 NUC builds & mini ITX builds which are low power, passive cooled SSD machines, or for the same money middle range Mac minis with spinning drives & SMPS. I don't doubt either either machine is more than capable in terms of hardware, but still, a mini ITX build appeals due to a sense of 'audiophile good practice', ie passive cooling, SSD, low power (optional LPSU) and possible PCI expansion. Yet a Mac would have OSX, which is great IMO. So although a modern Intel PC gives more hardware for the same money, I also have to decide between W8.1 and OSX. It has been suggested to me that the Mac will sound better despite the hardware differences, as "OSX is just better for audio". Has anybody any experience of comparing the two operating systems SQ? Or failing that, observations? My impression is this doesn't matter too much, but as I am waiting for the settlement to arrive I might as well ask the question.
  3. I hope to hear one of these soon. I was speaking with the designer about this cable, and there is some very clever chemistry and physics gone into this particular design. TQ don't use anything off the shelf (except for plugs - currently) they have their own bespoke alloys made, manufacture their own insulators... the tooling cost for each product is truly eye watering. Without betraying any trust, I think I can say one of the advantages of the Black Diamond is that it should serve to render the 5v from the server almost irrelevant, making conditioners and such unnecessary.
  4. The thing is, if you're an owner of a Young DAC, even with new drivers you will not see Integer/Direct mode compatibility. Young, Vaughan and Evo (and HiFace 1) are all non USB2 standard. If (and it appears to be a big 'if') in the future, M2Tech produce drivers that allow Integer/Direct mode, these drivers will be compatible only with the correct hardware (with which neither the Young, Vaughan or Evo are equipped). That is not to say these products may not be 'updated' one day, but when I asked about this very possibility, M2Tech indicated to me that they saw no benefit that surpassed bulk mode transfer.
  5. On the right hand side of this page, I downloaded 10.7. Hope that helps.
  6. 1 happy user of 'Black' here, as well as a blue & black interconnect. As a computer audio users we chase down pretty incremental improvements in our systems, what with various software players, power supplies and USB cables etc. None of those changes are gross, but we consider them worthwhile. The TQ black is also very worthwhile IMO, it has particularly unusual qualities with regards to imaging and soundstaging at it's price. There is also a nice quality about the bass, a 'shapliness' if you will. Texturally it is very detailed, with a very slightly warm sound. I like it very much and consider it worth the asking price - it does what all good cables do, but something else as well. If you 'get' it, it is quite unique. Maybe not 'night and day' in some systems, but well worth pursuing. As Colin says, try it first in your own system, in your room.
  7. Did it! - Much happier now, everything works again... You can save your itl and xml files, so it goes back together nicely. Helpful advice here. Don't skip 'pacifist', it's essential to get everything working nicely, as I found out. No more updating for me, at least until JRiver for mac has no 0s or 1s in it's release number...
  8. You can run Audio HiJack Pro in tandem with most music players.
  9. iTunes 11 doesn't really do 'it' for me. The loss of some features, the way it searches for things, duplicates appearing in my library after the 'upgrade', annoyance at the ever increasing size of the program, clunky interface with the older Remote app, the way it plays on after an album now instead of stopping, random shuffling/missing tracks/playing tracks twice... (To be fair for a moment, there may be ways around most of these minor annoyances, but I can't be done with it - it worked before and I'm going back) I run a headless Mac mini, controlled via the Remote app with a 2nd gen iTouch (which I daren't update). Mucking about with the thing is a pain I can do without, as the whole thing worked flawlessly for months prior to iTunes 11. Which previous version of iTunes would be most suitable to roll back to? I would guess 10.7 or 10.3, as it will work well with the recent versions of Audirvana+ and the Remote app. I plan to delete everything (my music is on a NAS) and reinstall from scratch. My tagging is pretty decent, so shouldn't be too painful, and I can always run Bliss or similar on my NAS if I choose.
  10. Similar to above. My DAC isn't integer/direct mode compatible, yet A+ is very much 'worth it'. It's a fine player, and cheap also. Try the free trial for yourself. BTW, I have previously found optical out from computers to be poor, I recommend USB. Alternatively, an async USB > S/PDIF converter (Like HiFace 2, Audiophileo 2 and many others) will stand you in good stead.
  11. Hi Matt I have no problems with my power connection, it's on the snug side TBH. What I have found, on two occasions, is the need to uninstall the MAC drivers and reinstall. One one occasion this was down to a power outage while playing music, the other an accidental unplugging by children, again while playing. I have had three Youngs, from the first in the UK to the updated version a couple of months later. Youngs have become increasingly robust to what was described above (ie the need to be powered on first, loss of lock - particularly over TOSlink - etc), and seems relatively bomb-proof these days.
  12. Well, now you have said that I am completely unsure! This is what I did in an idle twenty minutes: Disconnected the Young from my usual MAC, took a bog standard USB cable & chopped it in half. I reconnected the ends after trimming most of the length out, leaving me twenty cm of length. The only internal wire I did not reconnect was the red 5v wire. I then connected the Young to my W7 laptop (for the first ever time), installed the USB driver, and played a few choons. Seemed to work fine, unless I have misunderstood how a USB cable is constructed (quite possible)? I thought the Young incorporated HiFace technology, in the form of a stripped down EVO internally. That being the case, does not the EVO have it's own power supply?
  13. Hi Tubesound, Just a pair of signal cables, no 5v? Very tidy job, regardless, I shall follow in your footsteps. My Young DAC doesn't require power at the USB input. I would like some pretty gold plugs like yours though...
  14. Hi Crimson, I've had my interest piqued recently with various computer builds and upgrades, and have decided to investigate. I have made a few changes on my Mac Mini (late 2009), with minimal cost, as kind of a 'proof of concept' exercise. I am now happy to shell out a bit to complete the Mini modifications, and then contemplate a proper build next year. Here is what I have found so far, taken from the original thread here. Next steps are to recase the Mini (it's easy - I'm quite familiar with the iFixit guides now) to facilitate a passive cooling modification. It seems to me that you can do a lot with a Mac Mini before it's necessary to 'go beyond' it, I have substantially boosted performance for peanuts, and estimate the total bill at the end of the project to be approx. £350 GBP.
  15. I was going to go with the Feat's 'Waiting for Columbus', but Ted beat me. I might drop Lyle Lovett's 'Live in Texas' into the mix.
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