The folks over at Light Harmonic are at it again, this time crowdfunding their latest desktop DAC and headphone amplifier the Geek Pulse over on Indiegogo. If you followed their last Kickstarter campaign, you'll recall that they raised a whopping $303,000 and change for the little Geek. The Pulse is the desktop version and offers a host of inputs including 2x Coax S/PDIF, 1x Toslink, and 1x USB capable of handling up to 32/384, DXD, DSD64 and DSD128 (natively). Outputs include a pair of RCAs and a 1/4" headphone jack.
Reader Rich Davis asked in reference to the Meridian Explorer:
Is it possible to post measurement test results? I'm interested in knowing the dynamic range, jitter, etc. etc. for each bit rate. Just so I can compare [with] other DACs?
16 bit sounds great, but I have [downloaded] some 24/96 and 24/192 of the same recordings (only they were mastered at later dates and most likely with different equipment) and the 24 bit recordings sound incredible. I HIGHLY suggest going to places like [HDtracks] and obtaining later remastered versions of any recordings you already have.
Some of the recordings are just wonderful sounding on this DAC at 24 bit.
We are currently not equipped to provide measurements at AudioStream but this is something we may consider in the future. Part of the reason for this decision is budgetary, part logistic, and part pragmatic. It seemed to make sense to start with subjective reviews since its through listening that we determine the real value of a piece of hi-hi gear. But let me try to flesh out this position in more detail since this question of measurements and subjective reviews has come up before.
I think that should be spelled Soul[ey]man. Syrian-born Souleyman's latest album, Wenu Wenu is his first to be produced by Kieran Hebden (of Four Tet) in Brooklyn for Domino's Ribbon label. While some have commented that Hebden cleaned up Souleyman's typical lo-fi/over-driven sound too much, I sure don't think so. There's more flavor here than you can swallow in one gulp and if you dig incessant, intense, and soul[ey]ful music, get this.
Onkyo has come out with an app for the iOS devices that allows playback of PCM files at rates up to 24/192 and DSD (DSD files are converted to PCM prior to playback or sent as DoP):
Users seeking the ultimate in high-resolution audio performance can make an in-app HF Player Pack purchase (US$9.99) to enable FLAC, DSD, WAV, and AIFF playback of up to 192 kHz with 24-bit sampling (these files are loaded via a simple drag-and-drop operation on an iTunes-equipped PC prior to synchronization). This in-app purchase also enables selectable upsampling from 44.1 kHz to a possible 192 kHz, and an HD phase-linear equalizer with an incredible 20,000 bands of adjustment in 64-bit mode.
the SOtM sMS-1000U Music Server atop the prototype Linear Power Supply
SOtM "Soul Of the Music" Server
A music server is a computer. I know you already knew that but I figured I'd state the obvious anyway as a lead in to the most important criteria for any computer destined to act as a music server. Among these criteria I count ease of use as being paramount to worth. If there's anything at all cumbersome when it comes to operation, I'd say that pretty much disqualifies said server as a contender. After all, using a Mac or PC as a music server can be pretty simple. Next on the list of important items is sound quality. Again, if said server doesn't outperform a regular old computer, what use is it? Thankfully the folks at SOtM seem to think along these same lines.
2013 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest Introduction
The Synergistic Research High Frequency Transducer (HFT) and Frequency Equalizer (FEQ) are two new products that were recently introduced at the 2013 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver (see show report). Synergistic Research decided to make a not-so-subtle point by using a Bose Wave Radio placed on a Tranquility Base to demonstrate these new products. Ted Denny III, Lead Designer at Synergistic Research, wanted no confusion that might occur using a high end audio system. Ted felt that if his new products could transform the sound of a Bose Wave Radio, a true high end audio system would experience even greater benefits from these products.
Newcomer Bluesound held a press event yesterday at 60 Thompson Hotel in Soho (nice!). Along with other members of the press, John Banks, Bluesound's Chief Brand Officer, and Tony Williamson, Product Support Manager, introduced us to the Bluesound brand and products. For some sense of their place within the world of hi-fi, Bluesound is owned by the same parent company, Lenbrook Industries Limited, that owns NAD and PSB and they've leveraged this family of businesses in the design of their products.
Beautiful music seems to constantly recede. Just when you've found a piece, the next time you grab for it its gone. Or so it seems to go most often, familiarity breeds loss, or something along those lines. Tim Hecker's newest, Virgins just released on the Kranky label, houses layers of beauty. Virgins was available on NPR's First Listen and I streamed the crap out of it right up until they shut it down when the record was released. So I bought it.