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  1. Hello Folks Today six years ago the very first public version of the AudiophileOptimizer went online, so happy happy birthday AO! 🎂 And here we are, six years and thirtheen versions later going for it one more time! 😎 But this is only the thirteenth official version, in fact between AudiophileOptimizer 2.20 and 3.00 more than 450 internal versions have been compiled while working on it for almost 10 months.The beta phase was around 4 months long letting the feedback from almost 100 testers further shape and finetune the final version of the AudiophileOptimizer 3.00. So as you can imagine this has been a lot of work and this post will highlight many details about it. We've put a lot of links to other posting where you can read much more detailed information about those specific topics. AO 3.00 is faster than any previous version. It is actually a LOT faster. On systems with slow drives, lets say CF cards for example, it could be a pain launching up AO, it took very long time to start. This is a story of the past now... All this blazing fast speed is due to the new engine we have been working for months... This does not only make things much faster for the end-user, it also makes coding and testing AO much faster. Compiling all components (AO, ST, AS, Uninstaller & Setup) took around 17 minutes before the new engine. With the new way of things compiling all modules takes roughly 3-4 Minutes. Imagine you have to do this process a 100 times in a short frame of time... The new engine will also help greatly in the future to adapt AO to new operating systems. As you know in the past a new OS versions always ment months of work to have all working again for the new OS and maintaning functionality for the old ones. With the new engine a new OS will be adapted much faster. Another advantage is that what has been achieved for one OS can now be easily and almost all the time be achieved for all the other OS'es as well. Example, AO 2.20 could enable Device Manger, but only on Server 2016 and not for 2012 R2. AO 3.00 uses the new engine and the result is that we now have the device manager enabled through setup.exe on all three supported server OS's, meaning 2012 R2, 2016 and 2019. Microsoft makes each Server Core version tighter and smaller. This is for various reasons, they want to lessen the codebase which means less surface for attacks. It also means less downtime of server since they need less updates to be patched and so on. This process of making the OS even smaller and lighter has a price, and the price is functionality. So with each iteration of Windows Server in Core it got trickier to have your media player and especially the Audio stack working again. Bringing back the WASAPI Architecture to Windows Server 2016 was an adventure that took place over three years, so it wasn't exactly easy to accomplish that. With Windows Server 2019 the method of Server 2016 did no longer work and again a lot of time and effort had to be spent to make WASAPI in Core mode available again. Windows 10 keeps changing every six months, for the good and the bad. Nevertheles the AudiophileOptimizer 3.00 is fully tested on Windows 1903 (Build 18362) which came out barely two weeks ago. So no matter what OS you are running, the upgrade to AO 3.00 is the right choice for sure! So let's have a closer look at the change log. Version 3.00, Major Upgrade ============================================================================ AudiophileOptimizer 3.00 - Massively improved sound quality for all supported operating systems - Many drivers will no longer need F8 and disable driver signature enforcement during boot (Amanero, Pink Faun, FiraDisk & many others...) - Parameter "-filter" lets you directly select Sound Signatures/Digital-Filters - Extremeley improved load times and running much faster (new engine) - Roon Support extended for HQPlayer & Spotify support - Support for JPLAY FEMTO - Enables WDM Drivers in Windows Server 2016/2019 Core Mode - Enables Kernel-Streaming in Windows Server 2016/2019 Core Mode - Enables WASAPI in Windows Server 2016/2019 Core Mode - Enables RoonServer & RoonBridge in Windows Server 2016/2019 Core Mode - AO disables automatic maintenance (Win10/Server 2016/Server 2019) - Update of "Prepare Essentials Edition" feature for Windows Server 2019 - Ability to remove Windows Defender (Windows Server 2016/Windows Server 2019) - Updated MediaPlayer support for Windows Server 2016/2019 Core Mode - Added support for Windows 10 Build 18362 (Windows 1903) - Added support for Windows 10 Build 17763 (Windows 1809) - Added support for Windows Server 2019 RTM (Standard, Datacenter & Essentials) - Added support for Windows Server 2019 Evaluation (Standard, Datacenter & Essentials) - Removed Support for Windows Server 2012 (Standard, Datacenter & Essentials) - Now also removes pagefiles other then C:\ drive - Enables TIDAL Windows Player in Core Mode - Minor changes, fixes and updates ServiceTool 3.00 - Install HD Audio Drivers feature (does your driver need yo to press F8 during each boot to disable driver signature enforcement? no more!) - Custom shell as shell replacement (out of our 35+ variantions of shell replacement you can't find one that fits your needs? no more!) - Added command prompt as shell replacement - Focusrite RedNet Control 2 shell replacement - Added support for Windows 10 Build 18362 (Windows 1903) - Added support for Windows 10 Build 17763 (Windows 1809) - Added support for Windows Server 2019 RTM & Evaluation (Standard, Datacenter & Essentials) - Removed support for Windows Server 2012 (Standard, Datacenter & Essentials) - Added shell replacement for JRiver Media Center 25 (x86 & x64) - Minor changes, fixes and updates AudiophileShell 3.00 - Initial version of AudiophileShell - Launch AudiophileOptimizer - Launch ServiceTool - Launch powershell - Launch command prompt - Launch SCONFIG - Launch device manager - Launch sound control panel (WASAPI only) - Launch file explorer (FoD only) - Launch disk management (FoD only) AudiophileUninstaller 3.00 - Initial version of AudiophileUninstaller - Remove all files, folders, tools, shortcuts, etc. - Reverse all changes and optimizations Setup 3.00 - Big update of the Setup Guide - New OS installation guides (Windows 10, Server 2012 R2, 2016 & 2019) - Fix for shortcuts not always created properly - Registry backup no longer overwritten through update process - Minor fixes for the device manager - High-DPI Mode for high-resolution displays (4K etc.) - Enables Device Manager in Windows Server 2012 R2/2016/2019 Core Mode (en-US only) - Added support for Windows 10 Build 18362 (Windows 1903) - Added support for Windows 10 Build 17763 (Windows 1809) - Added support for Windows Server 2019 RTM & Evaluation (Standard, Datacenter & Essentials) - Removed support for Windows Server 2012 (Standard, Datacenter & Essentials) - Adds link to Control Panel on desktop - Minor changes, fixes and updates Current AO users can get their update by visiting our download page found here -> https://www.highend-audiopc.com/download To uprade to AudiophileOptimizer 3.00, simply run the new version of setup.exe over your current installation. Setup.exe can be run in core, minimal-server and GUI mode. You don’t have to do a reset via ServiceTool before you run setup.exe. Once setup.exe updates your current version of AudiophileOptimizer, it will automatically launch the latest ServiceTool to make a full reset in the end. If you upgrade AO 2.20 (or older) to AO 3.00, setup will launch ServiceTool 3.00 at the end of the installation process to make that full reset. Since your old Activation-Key will no longer work for the new version, ServiceTool will need a new Activation-Key. Do not close ServiceTool, go to the self-service Activation-Portal and generate a new AO 3.00 compatible Activation-Key and activate ServiceTool with the Activation-Key; this will also activate AO and all other components. Please feel free to ask anyhting you'd like to know. We really hope you enjoy the latest iteration of the AudiophileOptimizer and we also hope to be around for another 6 years! Very best, AudioPhil
  2. My HIGH-END AUDIOPHILE MUSIC (🔉) SERVER "Concept" BUILD. What do you think - any improvements? Hardware - Case: Silverstone Premium Aluminum CS01 SFX Mini-ITX chassis Motherboard + CPU - Gigabyte J4105N H RAM - G. SKILL RipJaws DDR4 F4-2400C16S-8GRS 8GB low voltage Storage - Boot drive - Samsung 850 EVO MZ-N5E250 (250 GB) Storage drives - X2 Samsung 850 EVO MZ-75E4T0 (4,096 GB) USB card - Sotm TX - USBexp https://www.quietpc.com/sotm-tx-usbexp PSU - SilverStoneTechnology SST-NJ450-SXL or go DC with Nikola https://fidelizer-audio.com/nikola-linear-power-supply/ or build your own. External CD / DVD - Asus BW-16D1X-U Pro Software - #windows10pro or #windowsserver 2016 Audiophile Optimizer - https://www.highend-audiopc.com/ Fidelizer Pro - https://fidelizer-audio.com/ Music player - #roonlabs or #audirvana + your #highresolutionaudio #dbpoweramp ripped music. (24/32 bit - 192000khz - to max - wave, aiff, alac or flac - dsf, dsd256! ) DAC streamer - RECOMMENDED (I was actually inspired to built it with this beauty in mind) - Auralic VEGA G2 https://us.auralic.com/products/vega-g2 Cables USB A to A - #shunyata Sigma USB or venom-usb. #audioquest https://www.audioquest.com/cables/digital-cables/lightning-to-usb-a/carbon Or upgrade your #cables with - #pachankostudio https://www.pachankostudio.com/ Power conditioner - Panamax M5400-PM 11-Outlet Home Theater Power Conditioner Or something pro Furman? ... #musicserver #audiophile #highend #hifi #audio #sound #pc #hardware #pcbuilds #dacstreamer #concept #auralicvegag2 #gigabyte #gskill #silverstone #samsung #audiophileoptimizer #fidelizerpro
  3. I must say I find this download very impressive. This really sounds as if being there. The label has a very good track record. Their previous releases has all been 96 pcm, and very very good indeed but this DXD takes it all up a notch. If this is exemplary for DXD recordings then that is what I will be searching for. DXD recommendations please! Sound Liaison; Carmen Gomes sings the Blues.
  4. Hi everyone! I am writing this post in order to present you a project I have been working on the last months: Archphile: Archphile - Yet Another Archlinux Based Distribution for Raspberry Pi Archphile, is a customized ArchlinuxARM distribution in order for the Raspberry Pi to be used as an audiophile mysic player along with the use of USB Dacs. The whole spirit of the project is to keep it simple. The main ingredients of Archphile are: - ArchlinuxARM - MPD - Ympd (a nice web interface for MPD) There are no automations and there will never be. Usb disks/sticks work out of the box and in order for the system to see your network shares you will have to edit /etc/fstab (you will find some examples there in order to customize and use). Some special notes: - Archphile since the beginning contains the latest FIQ FSM USB driver which solves the majority of problems with raspberry pi and USB Dacs. For more details please see: Troubleshooting pops and clicks with usb DACS - How to - Archphile However from next version step 1 will no longer be needed. - Archphile repository contains customized packages which are updated frequently. The major packages there are mpd-archphile (two packages - one with ffmpeg support) and ympd. - Some instructional articles in order to help beginners configure their system - You can download and see initial instructions here Screenshot: Conclusion: I am not a developer and Archphile is just a configuration I created for my needs and I just thought that uploading and sharing my image would also help users with the same needs that do not have the knowledge to configure a linux system. My intention is not to support many devices as I just want to support the devices I like and use in my everyday life. Udoo Quad is the next possible device to be supported by archphile. I really hope that you like and enjoy Archphile. Cheers, Michael
  5. Ok so I'm considering ordering a Yamaha RS202 2 channel stereo reciever with Bluetooth. I have two 6 1/2 inch B.I.C. America venturi bookshelf speakers DV64. I have a somewhat small room. I feel like this will be a good way for me to just chill and listen to music with Bluetooth on my phone. I asked a question about the pa speakers in my room. Took the advice got rid of them. I just want clear decent sound. Theres the pic so u have a idea of the room.
  6. A few years ago we introduced the "shell replacement" feature in our ServiceTool and since then we put a lot and continous effort into it. The ServiceTool in AO 3.00 now offers more than 35 different variations of the shell replacement, so why do we put so much effort and time into this little feature? And what after all is a shell replacement, and why should you use it in your setup? Let's start with a few explanations. A shell in the windows world is what you already know as your desktop environment or GUI (graphical user interface). It is your desktop, your start menu, all the basic functions you can see right after you log in to your windows machine. So basically this is the entire windows environment which gets loaded after the login. Of course there is a lot happening, many process and threads are started to present you the windows desktop and load all the features and functions of Windows. In the Windows Server world the shell can also have a different appearance, namely on Windows Server systems which are running in Server Core (core mode). On those setups you have no graphical user interface, all you will see after the logon is a command prompt window. It looks almost identical with the MS-DOS command prompt a few of you might still remember from days long gone. So a shell replacement is exactly what the name implies, we're going to replace the shell with something different. Let's say you mainly use Roon as your media player, wouldn't it be convenient having Roon launching automatically right after logon? Of course it would be convenient, but you could also simply put it in the Autostart folder right. So what's the difference? If you put in your Autostart Folder, Roon will just get loaded aside from the graphical user interface. It will be started together with the entire windows system and all its proccesses, threads and tasks in the background. But if you entirely replace the windows shell with Roon, only Roon and nothing else will be launched after logon. So the big advantage in this case is not the conveniece part of having it autimatically launched (you'll get that as free extra bonus ), the point of the shell replacment is to entirely bypass the entire windows desktop and just launch your media player of choice. This is not only very convenient, it'll reward you with a significant impovement in sound quality due to bypassing the entire windows desktop. Of course this works exactly the same way when you are on Windows Server in core mode, the difference in sound quality isn‘t just as big as it is on a system with a GUI. If you want to have even more convenience simply combine the shell replacement with the Autologon feature of ServiceTool. If you configure Autologon you will no longer have to press ctrl-alt-delete to enter your password, your machine will boot and logs iteslf in automatically. When you have additionally configured a shell replacement the media player of your choice will launch right after the automatic logon. So these two features basically transform your computer into a HiFi device. Simply press the power button and everything else will happen automatically, and you get a massive gain in sound quality! List of all available shell replacements in ServiceTool 3.00: JRiver Media Center 17 - 25 (both x86 and x64) Bug head emperor Total Commander Foobar2000 TIDAL Fidelizer Pro HQPlayer HQPlayer NAA Roon RoonServer RoonBridge Roon combined with HQPlayer RoonServer combined with HQPlayer AudiophileShell MinimServer MediaMonkey muso Kodi Alchemy Custom Shell Focusrite RedNet Control 2 Command Prompt Especially interesting is the new "Custom Shell" feature of ServiceToot. It allows you to create your own shell replacement which fits your needs 100%. See more details about this here -> https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/56327-how-to-customshell-as-shell-replacement/ Of course a shell replacement can also easily be reversed using the ServiceTool. Just launch it again, select the shell replacement feature and select "R" for "Restore default shell". No matter if you where in GUI or core before, ServiceTool will automatically restore the right default shell for you. Enjoy it, AudioPhil
  7. I just received this from my friend Alex from the Netherlands and I can confirm that the code works. https://www.soundliaison.com/index.php/536-sound-liaison-dxd-music-sampler
  8. As you’re aware that there’ll be upgraded version of Fidelizer in upcoming release. However, it doesn’t decrease the quality of works I put into original Fidelizer one bit. Version 6.0 comes with big changelog fixing various issues found thorough the year. It also have some changes and improvements to be more stable and reliable. If you enjoy good sound from Fidelizer and want more for the better, consider Fidelizer upgrade program to advance your computer audio journey to the next step. Changes in version 6.0 -Added Fidelizer upgrade program for buying advanced version of Fidelizer -Changed ‘Professional’ optimization level name to ‘Workstation (General Purpose)’ -Changed default optimization level to ‘Workstation (General Purpose)’ for stable default configuration -Changed some core optimizations to supported values according to Microsoft documents -Fixed multi-core optimizations not working properly for audio playback part -Fixed Fidelized audiophile player playback stability and compatibility -Fixed JRemote and few others apps not working in Windows 8.1 using Extremist optimization level -Fixed some Network Streaming optimizations that worked on unchecked one instead -Fixed uPNP not working using Extremist optimization level with keeping network services -Fixed some errors in parsing system configuration -Revised core optimizations improving compatibility with all optimization levels and network streaming Info and Download: Fidelizer 6.0
  9. Hello everyone,This is Jerome Sabbagh writing. I am a saxophonist and audiophile. I was recently profiled in the Stereophile series Musicians as Audiophiles. Personally, I enjoy listening to vinyl and high resolution files, and I buy both.Three years ago, the support of audiophiles of all stripes helped make my album "The Turn" a reality. "The Turn" made a few "best of" lists for 2014 (LA Times, Boston Globe, DownBeat) and was also favorably reviewed in Stereophile and Analog Planet. I recently recorded a new album, "No Filter", a project I co-lead with my old friend - and fantastic guitarist - Greg Tuohey. Like "The Turn", this record was recorded live to two track 1/2 inch tape at 30 ips by James Farber at Sear Sound. It will be mastered and cut to vinyl directly from the tape by Bernie Grundman but 96/24 downloads will also be available, as well as CDs. I am raising funds to make this happen. The ADC of choice at Bernie Grundman Mastering are modified Lavry Gold and JCF. I'm hoping to audition both and pick the one that sounds best for the digital versions. I've had good experiences with both converters, which was a factor in picking this particular studio.Click here for Kickstarter linkI am happy to answer any and all questions and hope you might consider supporting this. We are shooting for an October release on Sunnyside Records.Thank you!Jerome Sabbagh
  10. Hi all, Just looking forward to spend max $150 if I get a DAC/Amp to get better sound from Audio Technica M40x. I currently use FiiO E10. Please throw some suggestions. Regards.
  11. My top 3 music for December 2017; Linn has a 3 for the price of 2 offer through out December :Linn Sound Liaison has released a magnificent follow up to the 1st Enghave Barok download, with a sublime recording of one of Bach very best cantatas the Bwv 39. Sound Liaison The download is on special offer for $/€ 10 this month. That is steal for that kind of recording quality.
  12. New audio magazine/interior design/acoustic treatment magazine idea suggested by a misreading of a recent troll thread topic. Thoughts? (Also, feel free to post any pics--remember that it's American only, please create a new thread for any European or other Hi-Fi Interiors! ) Some quick cover images I found on Google mockups I created*: *Disclaimer: strikethrough text is accurate, copyrights retained by their respective holders blah blah blah hahahaha
  13. Check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1844799967/applepi-dac-highest-performance-raspberry-pi-dac Reviews: The Audio Beatnik "Ok, specs are great and all, but how did it really sound? Frankly, very good, surprisingly good." and "The mid-range and truthiness of the music rivaled that of the other DACs I have on hand that cost significantly more." Read the full review at this link: http://theaudiobeatnik.com/applepi-dac-review-theres-art-in-this-dac-and-it-shows/ Volumio's Founder -- Michelangelo "Sound-stage and spatial resolution are just excellent." and "This DAC is producing the most detailed sound to ever come out of my Raspberry PI, all the subtle nuances of my test tracks were there and clearly distinguished from everything else." Read the full review at this link: https://volumio.org/forum/orchard-audio-applepi-dac-review-t9633.html
  14. I built an HTPC/music server/server a few years ago using a mid-2010 Mac Mini and I love it. Elgato's EyeTV and Turbo.264 record and transcode all my tv as 1080p that I can easily stream across the LAN, etvcomskip marks all commercials for automatic skipping, I have an extensive iTunes library that can be streamed to multiple rooms with airplay, and I run my own mail/calendar/address/web/VPN/VNC/LDAP/Profile Manager/file/etc. personal cloud server using Server.app. I've configured it with 8 GB memory (boy do I wish the 2010 models supported 16 GB), and have replaced the original 1/2-TB dual drives with 1 TB drives, all fast. The mini sounds good -- I run a mini-tos audio cable into a very nice dac -- but I've never pushed the audio envelope on the mini because I'm fortunate to have a really good transport that I use for serious, rather than passive listening, which is what I really use the mini for. I'll pop a cd into a Linn player if I want to sit down and listen to it, or a blu-ray into an Oppo if I want to watch a good movie. Otherwise I'll let iTunes (or EyeTV) play or stream and accept the good, but not excellent, audio that comes with these. Though I am happy with the mini's audio -- it's as good as (even better than) I expect it to be -- I'm wondering if it's reasonable to expect any more from it. What would people recommend to improve the audio that comes out of the mini? A few relevant questions: Has anyone configured a mini's audio and achieved what they consider a rival to a decent high-end system? Is there anything to internet rumors that the quality of the mini's digital output was improved in the 2011+ models? Anyone actually listened before and after? Listening experiences on lossless flac or equivalent versus 256 kbps AAC? I created my iTunes library using the cdparanoia ripper and OS X's afconvert command with AAC at 256 kbps. I arrived at this decision by performing my own listening tests on CDs I created by transcoding from WAV->AAC->WAV at various bitrates and confirming that 256 kbps is indeed excellent. On several very nice sounding systems, my fellow enthusiasts and I had difficulty distinguishing the re-transcoded 256 kbps AAC tracks from their originals, though this test is admittedly a little different from decoding AAC on-the-fly. In practice, my iTunes AAC library sounds good, but not really superb like the same track out of a Linn transport. Is there any hope that lossless compression would improve anything? Would using the mini's USB perform any better? I hear good things about Bel Canto's USB-S/PDIF converter. Any experiences pairing this with a mini? I'm sure this is a high-performing unit, but I'm honestly a little skeptical that it could do anything to turn the mini's water into wine, and hesitant about the price of a converter that's the same as the base mini itself. Any direct experiences improving the audio above that provided by toslink on 2010 or later models?
  15. Computer Audiophile Users can get 25% off We'll Be Together Again, featuring Javon Jackson, Ron Carter, and Billy Drummond on HDtracks using code CPUTOGETHER. The shadows of the Sonny Rollins trio and Joe Henderson trio (both having recorded classic albums at the Village Vanguard) hover over this sparse, revealing trio outing with Jackson, Carter and Drummond. And like his sax playing elders, Jackson put his own stamp on a set of well chosen jazz standards while also showcasing a few originals. “Sonny being a big influence on me, obviously there would be some things in there that would be reminiscent, or have that spirit anyway,” says Jackson, who just hit the half century mark this June. And while playing without a chordal instrument was a challenge in some respects for the saxophonist, he explains that Carter’s presence more than made up for the absence of piano on this Chesky release. “Ron is kind of like a symphony behind you. He’s the bass player, but he’s the piano at times, he’s the drums and he’s out front with the melody. So he can be several things at once. With him there, there are so many colors that are available to me. So it’s not out of disrespect to the piano, it’s just that with Ron, we have a lot of opportunities. This trio setting just allows him to kind of roam a little bit and be more of a free safety, to use a football analogy.” Part of the Chesky Binaural + Series, all recorded with a single microphone, the band appears right before you with this spacious, lush and multi-dimensional recording. Now headphone users will hear the same three-dimensional sound and imaging as audiophiles have for the past 25 years with Chesky Recordings. Also, these new Binaural+ Series albums capture even more spatial realism for the home audiophile market, bringing you one step closer to the actual event. You will hear some of the most natural and pure Jazz music ever recorded.
  16. The best way I can describe it goes something like this. I read about 24/96 recordings, and noticed that they were huge compared to FLAC files, freely traded on the Internet from repositories at bt.etree.org. I saw an ad for the Dragonfly by Audioquest, version 1.2, and it was much better than the original version, and it cost $150. In my world, $150 is an amount that would take four months of saving a little each month. That is what is called a "Dream". Then I noticed that a newer, even better Dragonfly was on the market, and I got my 'old' version for $79. It was like reading your first book, not required by school. It opened my mind, it made me want to read more. Then the Audioquest folks had to replace my defective version 1.2, and I discovered that it had been defective from the start, cause what I was hearing was the First Time, even though I had heard the recordings many times over the years, familiar with every note. After all, was it even possible to imagine anything better than 24/96? I read about the Schiit Modi2 for $99, (plus $23 shipping) But it was worth it. I was hearing details that had me gobsmacked. And I discovered 24/176 and 24/192! The naysayers will say our ears can only hear '16 bit/44.1 Redbook SBE standard' CD quality. And furthermore, you cannot hear any difference between a MP3 at 192 (high) and 320 (insanely high) sample rates, they will add with confidence as they plug the stock earplugs, that came with his phone in their ears and smiles. To continue with the metaphor of the reading a book, the Modi2 was finding the Library ,where with a small key tag, you could check out up to 10 music CDs and rip them into lossless FLAC files and build your own digital music library. You could also download freely-traded Grateful Dead soundboard recordings in FLAC files using bit-torrent technology, developed in part by the same Deadheads that designed FLAC, and built the Internet in the first place...but I digress. Today, arrived the iFi nano iDSD LE and I am listening to every recording for THE FIRST TIME. Now we have had my head exploding. ~The Music is Magical. You understand that for the past 40 years, you have listened to these songs, but until this very moment, you had never HEARD them. At $129, this device is a MUST HAVE addition to any "Computer Audiophile on the Cheap*" home stereo system. *-"Computer Audiophile on the Cheap" is a philosophy. Make the Stereo you have sound as well as possible. We extol Vintage Electronics, legendary Loudspeakers, and some in-expensive tweaks that will give you the SQ (Sound Quality) of a system that costs others Thousands of Dollars to best. It is also my Thread and my blog on ComputerAudiophile.com.
  17. "At iFi we believe that high-quality sound is a way of life. The nano iOne was created for both audiophiles and those who yearn for better sound quality from their existing home systems. The iOne is neither a one-trick pony nor is it a jack-of-all-trades. It is simply incredibly versatile and offers cutting-edge technology, with each separate function designed and implemented with as much care and dedication as they would receive in a single function device from iFi Audio." Bluetooth connectivity. In two words, that is what makes the iFi nano iOne different from any other external DAC in the marketplace. The postman dropped off a unit today for my review and recommendation. It is a very remarkable device and we here at "Computer Audiophile on the Cheap" are putting this to the test. At an MSRP of $199, it certainly fits into our price range. It can become part of your home audio system, and set-up is almost too easy. "The Burr-Brown True Native chipset is a MultiBit DAC which represents the ‘best of the best’ chipset design. This chipset handles PCM and DSD natively, so the music signal stays in its original format all the way through." There is a difference between the DAC chipset in the nano iOne, and the Schiit Modi 2, which is the standard reference in my system. I reviewed the iFi iDSD nano LE, which is a DAC/headphone amplifier. I felt that the amplification stage for headphones had an adverse effect on the line output through the RCA connectors. I liked the sound that it produced, but I found that too many pots spoiled the soup. There were issues when the signal was amplified in the DAC, and then the volume could also be adjusted by the receiver or pre-amp. Call me crazy but in a head to head competition, my lament was the iFi didn't sound as "musical" as the Schiit. I thought at that time, that it was a shame that the RCA line out was running through the amplifier stage. It affected the Sound Quality, and not in a good way. My contact at iFi offered to loan me the Black Label version of the nano LE, but in its current ideation, it is strictly a headphone DAC/Amplifier. Now I love headphones for my Smartphone, and when I want to really hear my music, even if nobody else likes it. I wanted to review the iOne mainly because it is a "pure DAC" with RCA output. There is no amplification stage, which suits me just fine. My man at iFi emphasized the "Bluetooth connectivity" as the selling point for the iOne. I was thinking, "Yeah, right" because my CAOTC system is computer-based, and with a Denon AVR-2805 to provide all the amplification I need to drive my Advents--the Bluetooth was a nice feature, but I hardly doubted if I would be doing much with it. Man, was I wrong? It was so simple to set-up. and the sound quality was remarkable. The files on my Moto G3 are all MP3 @ 192, hardly "Hi-Res Audio" but when the Moto was paired via Bluetooth, the SQ was still remarkable. I am using open-source VLC as my media player-- so playing FLAC Hi-Res files would not be a problem. My only consideration would be the file sizes--meaning I might need a 32 Gb SD Micro card for the phone instead of the little 16 Gb card, filled with MP3s. But streaming DSD files--which is basically the best source material in our current technology would be a breeze with iOne and the Bluetooth. (Sure I could stream through the computer, which is on my Internet connection-- but that is hardly a 'portable' option) How does the iOne stand up against the Schiit Modi 2? That is apples and oranges. My Schiit sells for $99 and is NOT Multibit. The Multibit version of Schiit Modi will cost you $249. The iFi nano iOne is a Multibit DAC which can play DSD natively. It sounds incredible. Does this mean that I can no longer use the Modi 2? Absolutely not. It will replace the Dragonfly by Audioquest (Version 1.2) on my second system in the bedroom. That will give me 24/192 resolution back there, instead of the 24/96 from the Dragonfly. But on the big rig-- my main listening system with the Denon and the $4,000 Nordost Valhalla speaker ribbon cables--the iFi nano iOne is the new Sheriff in town. I just finished listening to Thomas Dolby's "Aliens Ate My Buick"-- a very well engineered but not that popular recording that even Dolby himself said was a bit over the top. You know Dolby for his "She Blinded Me with Science" off his debut "The Golden Age of Wireless" album. I am playing that now, and it is crisp, clear, and accurate reproduction without any coloration. In the audiophile world, 'coloration' can be an attribute or a detriment. I prefer "pure" reproduction. I want to hear what the Engineer heard through their headphones when they were making the mix-down in the recording studio. I want to be able to listen at a moderate level and want for nothing more. I don't want any point in the signal path to be adding "warmth" or some other buzz word that describes what some say "makes digital sound like an album". If I wanted to replace my entire music library with 180 gram Virgin Vinyl LPs and all the accoutrement of that--then I would not be a "Computer Audiophile" and I would be hearing clicks and pops, not to mention having to get up from my sweet spot to flip the disc over every 15 minutes. No, Thank you! In my former life, as a photojournalist, I remember people asking me if Digital was "as good" as the film. From my practical considerations as a wire-service photojournalist, I had to admit the convenience of no wet processing made digital my preference. But those were the days of less than 5-megapixel files from my Nikon D2H. Once I moved up to a 16 Mp sensor on my Sony, I could honestly tell people that Digital was Better than film. Without question, the film was a nostalgic, albeit troublesome choice. Kodachrome had long since been discontinued, and if the reference was ISO 800 Fujicolor negative film--a 16 Mp file blew film off the map. In audiophile world, there is a traditionalist snobbery associated with spinning vinyl. And since the roof has been blown off the high-end turntables, cartridges, and record-cleaning machines--I have to put all my effort into digital as my source. If you want to defend analog (LP records) you need to find someone else to argue with. I am a Modern consumer, I have no use for Tubes or LP records. I will take an HDTracks 24/192 file and enjoy the Hell out of the listening experience for hours on end with no record flipping, no pops, and cracks, no scratches, period. Two albums into this testing session and iFi have convinced me that this is the Modern Solution to digital music reproduction. Now I am listening to a playlist of 24 bit 192 recordings. One word...Spectacular! The Brown-Burr chipset is awesome with Hi-Res Audio recordings from Linn, on their 40th Anniversary Collection sampler. There is NO noise floor, it is gone. What is coming out of these 40-year-old loudspeakers is a sound that Henry Koss could have never imagined when he designed these speakers. The iFi Nano iOne is an obvious "Must Buy" when you are ready to upgrade your music system. Back to the Apples and Oranges-- the Schiit is a good DAC for $99, but the iFi with Bluetooth Connectivity is a steal at $199, and well worth an extra C-note. Recommended by the Computer Audiophile on the Cheap! That is my highest accolade. Computer Audiophile on the Cheap Magazine Chat (26)
  18. This is a video about a guy who is audiophile and mainly sample his fanaticism for "record and make sounds" Just put your Headphones and enjoy! <span id="Dst[0][107:113:100:106]" _mstsrc="0_107:113" _mstdst="0_100:106">
  19. Indian Summer Sale at Sound Liaison and a generous Blue Coast offer Sound Liaison has started their sale with 33% off on all files and BlueCoast has a 50% off offer if one spends more than 40$. The 2 labels have a number of highly recommendable files.... https://www.soundliaison.com/ http://store.bluecoastmusic.com/
  20. The following was taken from this article on Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop. It is from the end of the article that lists eight steps to selling snake oil. I changed a small number of words. Any of it sound familiar? https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/07/defense-of-gwyneth-paltrows-goop-offers-case-study-on-how-to-sell-snake-oil/ No hate for Gwyneth Paltrow here. She is a fine actress though perhaps a bit misguided on some products she promotes. Step 1. Assure the customer that you are there for them and can care for them—especially when no one else is or can, including the heartless, mainstream audio engineering community. As Great sound puts it: Our primary place is in addressing people, audiophiles in particular, who are tired of hearing less-than-great sound, who are looking for solutions—these audiophiles are not imagining what they hear, and they should not be dismissed or marginalized. 2. Explain that you just have more answers than those stuffy evidence-based doctors because you look at things from a fresh, holistic perspective. We are drawn to doctors, engineers, and designers who are interested in both Western and Eastern modalities and incorporate the best from both, as they generally believe that, while traditional sound reproduction can be really good at meeting spec, enjoyable music goals are more adept at tackling issues that are chronic. 3. Gently caution that you might not have all the answers—because, duh!, nobody does. So, it’s understandable that not all of your remedies will work. The thing about science and sound is that it evolves all the time. Studies and beliefs that we held sacred even in the last decade have since been proven to be unequivocally false and sometimes even harmful. Meanwhile, other advances in science and sound continue to change and enrich lives. It is not a perfect system; it is a human system. 4. But stress that you are the real deal. You have degrees, badges, and an open mind. The doctors we regularly feature on Great Sound: doctors who publish in peer-reviewed journals; doctors who trained at the best institutions; engineers who are repeatedly at the forefront of quality music reproduction; engineers and scientists who persistently and aggressively maintain an open mind. 5. And you are definitely not crazy at all!!! We would never suggest that someone skip all measurements, design solely by ear, that they refuse to take advantage of modern materials, that they not use the latest technical advancements. There is much in Western science to marvel at. 6. At this point, note that you are the victim of Meany McCriticFaces, who don’t know what they’re talking about and are just trying to sell stuff and promote their own brands, unlike you, who have the customers’ backs (see step 1). There are third parties who critique Great Sound to leverage that interest and bring attention to themselves. Encouraging discussion of new ideas is certainly one of our goals, but indiscriminate attacks that question the motivation and integrity of the doctors, engineers, and designers who contribute to the site is not. 7. Twist the facts to suggest that any critics of you are actually critics of the customer. You’re in this together! Some of the coverage that Great Sound receives suggests that audiophiles are lemmings, ready to jump off a cliff whenever one of our designers discusses using special cable, or improving a power supply, or dampening a chassis—or, heaven forbid, take a walk barefoot. As audiophiles, we chafe at the idea that we are not intelligent enough to read reviews and take what serves us, and leave what does not. We simply want information; we want autonomy over our musical lives. 8. End by turning the table on those who dare to criticize evidence-free, nonsensical audiophile remedies that may be ineffective. Declare that it is those critics that are in fact ineffective, not you, who are open and compassionate. It is unfortunate that there are some who seem to believe that they already know it all, who pre-judge information before they’ve even taken the time to read or understand it, who believe that there is actually nothing left to learn, who believe that they, singularly, own the truth. That is troubling, and that is dangerous. Here’s to an open and honest dialogue, to open minds and open hearts.
  21. Nelson Wright is an outstanding singer/songwriter and is offering his latest album, Orphans & Relics, in high-res at 96-24. Full disclosure: I know Nelson, and while I have no involvement at all in the album itself I may have played a small part in convincing him to offer a high-res version. I'm happy to say it came out quite well. I've listened to both the regular CD and high-res versions on my system. The high-res version sounds great and is clearly superior. More air between players/instruments, deep three-dimensional soundstage, free-flowing, natural even liquid sound. The 96-24 version deserves the audiophile label. Orphans & Relics is Americana, with subgenre styles ranging from folk to jazz to blues. I don't think there's a weak track on the album. Decide for yourself. You can preview the album and buy the high-res version here (and as far as I know, the high-res version is only here): Nelson Wright - Music Downloads If you like it, support him. I wish all independent musicians would offer new music in high-res versions as good as this.
  22. I've been listening to the Blu Ray of this incredible album over the last week - it is truly magnificent! Steven Wilson hired Alan Parsons to be the engineer for this album and the sound quality is really outstanding - it is one of the best sounding albums in my collection Amazon.com: Raven That Refused To Sing (Steven Wilson) [blu-ray Audio]: Steven Wilson, not listed: Movies & TV Contents: - Album in 5.1 LPCM 24 bits, 96 Khz - Album in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround - Album in 2.0 stereo, 24 bit, 96Khz - Instrumental album in 2.0 stereo, 24 bit, 96Khz - Documentary on the making of the album I ripped the 24/96 songs from the Blue Ray, and I've also been listening to the album through my new Meridian Explorer DAC - it sounds heavenly! The album allegedly was recorded and produced with no compression and with a very wide dynamic range. It certainly sounds like it - but I'm wondering if anybody has done the spectral analysis to confirm from a technical point of view? If true - this is the way all music should be recorded and made available for us audiophiles to enjoy! Highly recommended album!
  23. Hi All, I believe this is my first post, so please excuse any apparent ignorance. Can the community here suggest 'the best' computer-based playback device(s) currently available. I am looking for a system that does the following: -digitize incoming analog sources, preferably on-the-fly, and includes options for applying vinyl RIAA curves, etc -can accept DSD, SACD, HDCD and DVD-A signals -can analysize audio data files, optimize and/or make corrections to those files -can apply room and/or speaker corrections -has EQ with preset memory -can manage a song library -has a regulated power supply -components are of good build, properly isolated and appropriate for low-noise audio playback I would greatly appreciate your feed back. Many Thanks!
  24. Hi Folks I wonder if there is interest in a customized, multilanguage Windows 8 Pro x64 Version, tuned and tweaked for audio use and installable like every other "normal" windows version... Since there is absolutely no interest in violating any Copyrights, a legal Windows 8 Pro Key would be needed to install this version of Windows 8 and activate it later on. The Focus of this Windows Version is just Playing Music an the best level possible and beeing a Network Client for NAS Systems (SMB/DLNA/...) The System would be completely stripped down as far as possible without loosing network services, JRiver MediaCenter 18 (Trial) and Foobar2000 already pre-installed. Foobar with the needed Plugins, etc.. There are many possibilities far beyond from what i have read so far on many sites in the net. - Stripping Down all Windows Services etc. (standard... ) - General System tuning for performance - Div. Tuning for SSD use - Div. Tuning for NTFS - Div. Tuning for Audio use - and lot's more... This windows version would be highly customizable, there are almost no limits. and it would be available as regular ISO File to burn it on CD or create a bootable USB Stick. Compatible with all hardware a normal windows 8 installation would be.... It won't get easier than that guys ...so what do you think, would the work be appreciated? Cheerio, John Doe
  25. Most of us are probably aware that the attempts have been made to modify human embryos' DNA. In fact we could see first genetically modified humans quite soon. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/03/15/first-genetically-modified-humans-could-exist-within-two-years/ And while everybody reflecting on this thinks about such possibilities as preventing diseases or increasing some abilities (like IQ) that DNA modifying could give us, I just came with a different idea. What if we could increase our hearing ability due to such a modification.? The simple idea is to increase our low frequency hearing range to let's say an elephant level and the high frequency one to let's say - a bottlenose dolphin or porpoise. Could improving the dynamics and stereo imaging be possible too.? If so - the new type of an audiophile would appear on the planet - (let's call him) the Superaudiophile. How many of us would like our kids to be like that? How would this influence the audio market? How the rest of (unmodified) us would feel while talking about sound quality with a guy like that..?! BTW I am aware I've just entered Philip K. Dick territory.. Someone ready to let his imagination run free.?
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