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Audio System

About Me

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  1. Over the years, I may have been chasing rainbows or dreaming. What I think I have been doing is trying to find is: That Goldilocks Moment! -- The Porridge, the Chair, the Bed. All perfect! I feel there are many of these moments in my audio system journey. At one point, it was an Akai Reel to Reel tape deck and some Koss Pro4AA headphones! Simpler times? Then it was a Phillips GA212 turntable, and Sony integrated amp and B&O speakers. How many times did I spin The Dark Side of the Moon? Today, things are changing faster than ever. But I have found some exciting moments again. The Schiit Yggdrasil DAC was one of them. The Schiit Lyr3 Headphone amp is another. While they are exciting moments, they are not centered well, they sit on the edges of things. At the core of digital music, playback are some fascinating components. Like many others here on AS, there has been much focus on playback software, operating systems, and the associated hardware. I am on the backside of my review of the Allo USBridge Sig hardware. This little box is the beginning of a new Goldilocks moment that is still dropping into place for me. When I got the hardware in place, I knew I had found something special. What I did not know is the journey it is still taking me on. The very first part of that journey was making the music play to see what it did. What a learning experience, JUST WOW! What I am finding is how much care goes into all of this software we are using. Most of my focus has been on X86 hardware, macOS, Windows, AudioLinux, and finally, Euphony. On the X86 platforms, I am sold that the Euphony Stylus software system is a Goldilocks moment. That combination of a fan-less X86 box with Optane storage and a Linear Power supply is Magic! As I have been looking around the computer audio world, there is much focus on small low power computing systems that can sound great. I have had a bunch of them in my systems over time as incremental improvements — the various models of rendu devices or the SMS-200 devices, to name a few. In my systems, time has proven them to be great at improving the sound of my stereo! It was not till the arrival of the Allo USBridge Sig that I am at another Goldilocks Moment. There is more to the story. First, there is software. Oh my is there so much software do deal with, learn, test, listen to, and manage. Out of all of the work, I think I have found a center point to pivot around. First, it is the Linux Music Player Daemon. MPD is the best sounding software I have heard in this space. What is exciting is the MoOdeAudio has an excellent little system built around MPD that helps to create this moment. I have circled the wagons multiple times, and MoOde stands out. I have been using their player software and as either a UPnP endpoint or a Squeezelite endpoint. For local music playback from say a NAS or other local drive, the MoOde player in a web browser works very nicely. It has the bonus of a nice Internet Radio setup. You can also use other software to play to it for streaming services. You can set it up for Airplay or Spotify Connect. The real key here is the renderer software. You can use LMS or Roon to the Squeezelite software or stick with UPnP and use Audirvana+. I cannot wait to try Euphony Stylus to UPnP! Over the last week I have been using Audirvana on a MacMini as the hub of this system for the user interface. I have their A+ app on the devices in the house that play music on the stereo. In the listening, I have done the combination of MoOde Software with the Allo USBridge Sig has become my latest Goldilocks Moment!
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