Amarra, Decibel, and Pure Music Contacts

Sidebar: Contacts

Amarra, Sonic Studio, 330 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Suite A, San Anselmo, CA 94960-2552. Tel: (415) 460-1201. Web:
Ayre Acoustics, Inc., 2300-B Central Avenue, Boulder, CO 80301. Tel: (303) 442-7300. Fax: (303) 442-7301. Web:
Decibel, Stephen F. Booth. Web:
Pure Music, Channel D. Tel: (609) 393-3600. Web:

Vigna ILaria's picture

I use BitPerfect (Mac platform only), $4:99 on the App store.  It uses iTunes to do all the grunt work, and steps in only to handle playback.  It does it without muss or fuss.  It smoothly handles HiRes formats.  But that would all be for naught if it didn't sound good.  In fact, it is the best sounding player I have ever heard.  Some, especially Audirvana Plus, come close.  In fact there are times when I'm darned if I can tell any difference between the two.  But Audirvana Plus is more clumsy to use and costs more.  Everything, of course, IMHO.

Some observations to throw out there.  (i) OS/X always sounds better than Windows, even on the same Mac hardware configured to dual-boot.  (ii) Integer Mode sounds better than Floating Point mode (to my knowlege, only OS/X offers Integer mode).  (iii) If you run OS/X, don't, don't DON'T *upgrade* to Lion.  Stick with Snow Leopard.  64-bit is better.  Lion has abandoned support for Integer Mode.  Audiophile Apples are getting frustrated.

I have communicated with guys who think the ultimate (i.e. best sounding) computer audio platform is the Mac Mini.  Apparently, different brands of *MEMORY* sound different.  As do different hard disks - well, I can see how that might be.  You can even buy an audiophile-approved power supply for a Mac Mini, which costs more than a Mac Mini...

Finally, my head was screwed with seriously when I auditioned a Nordost Blue Haven USB cable.  I bought the darned thing.  Paid nearly 300 bucks for it.

Computer Audio is going to be a tweaker's paradise.  And your mileage may differ...

JimH's picture

Ayre also lists JRiver Media Center (our software).

JIMV's picture

"Consider the successful QB-9 USB D-to-A converter, which Ayre Acoustics introduced two years ago for the moderate sum of $2500"

One should not indulge in wacky weed while writing. $2.5K is only 'moderate' when one makes new Mercedes every year sort of money.


Michael Lavorgna's picture

...if you look at the list of 24/192 capable DACs for example, you'll see that the average price is over $4,500 which makes $2,500 a relatively moderate sum - within that context. Which is how I read what Art wrote since in general terms a "moderate sum" is a subjective value.

Or to look at it another way, you could very well say that $150 for an ounce of "wacky weed" is a moderate amount to pay seeing as the average price is upwards of $400/ounce (source: Of course this price disparity does not take quality into account and for someone who does not indulge in 'wacky weed', $150/ounce for something that literally goes up in smoke probably seems like an extravagance.

nunh's picture

I absolutely love Art Dudley's and Sam Tellig's writing, humor and knowledge (unrelated and relating to audio). Now I can add Michael Lavorgna to that list as well. I laugh (copied from Sam and mocked by Art) my evil laugh (with no help from wacky weed - it's been years)!