Channel D/Pure Vinyl & Pure Music

Rob Robinson of Channel D was manning his room at RMAF and I took advantage of the opportunity and Rob's knowledge and generous nature by asking if he could do a quick demo of his Pure Vinyl software ($299) that Michael Fremer very favorably reviewed in Stereophile. And I did so mainly because sometimes things can appear to be daunting until you actually see them done or just do it yourself. And some things can appear to be much more difficult if you try to describe them in writing as opposed to the actual experience. Try explaining in writing how to tie a shoe. Rob ripped a few tracks (we didn't rip the entire LP to save time—ripping LPs occurs in real-time which seems somehow strangely appropriate) of Dire Straits self-titled LP and it was as simple as starting the Pure Music software and cueing up the record.

OK, it's a bit more involved than that but essentially that's what it took to convert Dire Straits from LP to 24 bit / 192 kHz files. The Pure Vinyl software requires some hardware as well in the form of an Analog to Digital converter. Rob was using his own Channel Seta D Model L Ultra Wide Bandwidth 5MHz Phono Stage ($3,800) with the Seta RCM Analog RIAA Correction Module ($1,200) for the task at hand. One important aspect of Pure Vinyl which Michael Fremer talks about in his review is the fact that RIAA equalization is done in the digital domain through Pure Vinyl. Here's one relevant quote, ''…And don't be surprised if that's what happens, particularly if you pay attention to the digital RIAA's finesse and robust attacks—particularly in the bottom octaves—and its unerring tonal neutrality. You know the old audiophile chestnut of the lifting of veils from the music? Listen and that's what you're sure to hear, without an additive penalty in terms of the usual digital edge and etch."

If you continue to read all of these room reports (and if you do - thank you and I'd like you to try a little experiment. Set your stop watch, hit "Go" and try to read every single room report in under 10 seconds. That will give you some idea of what it's like to try to cover a show as large as RMAF in about 20 hours including beer-breaks), you'll see that many manufacturers chose to demo their Mac-based computer audio solutions using Chanel Ds Pure Music software ($129). The rest of the gear that we listened through in the Channel D room included the Apogee Duet 2 192kHz Firewire ADC/DAC ($600), the lovely Frank Schroeder-designed Artemis Labs SA-1 turntable ($8,000) which housed a Kuzma 4Point tonearm ($6,500) and an Ortofon A90 MC cartridge ($4,600). Amplification was handled by a Hegel H21 ($6,500) and while I was in the room a pair of Polk Audio RTiA5 monitors ($350/pair) were in use.

I will also take this opportunity to point you to the Channel D website's excellent Getting Started with Computer Audio page.

slim's picture

... and read each room report slowly and thoroughly (instead I cut down on sleep (and beer) - on this side of the atlantic, the ten seconds on the stopwatch would be over before even the page has fully loaded).

Michael, were you able to spend a few of your precious seconds on listening to the Polk RTiA5s? Something that SM needs to consider for the "entry level"?

Thanks for the great reports,


Michael Lavorgna's picture

Are you crazy?

(I should point out that I am joking and the only reason I was at the bar at all was to provide complete coverage of the venue)

I did spend some time listening but I was much more focused on the Pure Vinyl process than sound quality. One of the issues I encountered in most computer-audio-centric rooms was a lot of talking - people have a lot of questions and they took this opportunity to ask them. Including me.

Definately check the Stereophile site for Stephen's report since he may cover this room. Also, I know I'll be posting more RMAF room reports all day today (and possibly into tomorrow) and I'm sure Stephen will too.

slim's picture

(short of 9 pm this side of the atlantic) ... and looking forward to checking into some more RMAF rooms with your reports.

- will switch over to the Stereophile blog after finishing this one -

Michael Lavorgna's picture

And don't forget Inner Fidelity for all things RMAF & headphones.

slim's picture

 forget innerfidelity; told you i cut down on my sleep - along with Ryan Adams wailing thru the night.

Mycophile's picture




Thanks for taking the time to stop by! We had the Polks connected briefly to show the caliber of sound quality possible on our system even with modestly - priced loudspeakers, and everyone who heard them was impressed, expressing disbelief when told the price. They are really a bargain (see Robert Reina's review in the September 2008 SP). At most other times we were either using the Tidal Amea ($20,000 / pair) or the PMC 20 ($3,550 / pair) loudspeakers. I believe the Haniwa HCTR-01 moving coil cartridge (reviewed by MF in the November 2011 issue of SP) was likely mounted (easy to exchange cartridges with the Kuzma’s interchangeable headshells) on the Kuzma arm during the time you were in the room, and the Seta preamplifier load set to the Haniwa-recommended 4 ohms (with a plug-in resistor). The Seta's RIAA correction module was out of the circuit, because of using Pure Vinyl’s digital RIAA correction. Cheers - Rob Robinson

Michael Lavorgna's picture

especially: one whose hobby is hunting wild edible mushrooms ;-)

I do recall being very content while just listening.

Thank you for the clarification to my hasitly scribbled notes Rob. And thank you for taking the time to show me around Pure Vinyl.