My sentiments entirely

Very interested to read on Amarra’s website and I paraphrase ‘it’s easy to make music sound good on a computer but hard to make it sound fabulous’. I think they have been listening to my conversations.

Next week I’m in Munich for the High End show and by coincidence will be sharing a booth (or to be more exact one of my clients Thorens is sharing a booth themed Sources of the future as it’s vinyl and streaming with Higoto who are Germany’s streaming experts.

The demos will be of Thoren’s new Tri-Balance turntable, the Logitech Transporter and a Macbook running iTunes with the Amarra software into a Weiss DAC.

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ASIO v K Mixer v Kernel Streaming

Computer audio seems to generate emotions when discussing what products to use that really are odd. Ideally one would take a computer, connect a good DAC and play one’s favourite music using one’s favourite app.

If only it were that simple. The more I experiment the more I realise that CA is absolutely similar to analog audio or indeed any audio when taken seriously. Every change is audible.

Of course, just because a change is audible doesn’t mean it matters.

The expression bandied about on forums about Computer Audio is bit transparent. The theory is simple: it’s getting the bits from the Hard Drive out of the computer without them being manipulated/changed in any way.

I’ve tried many music playing apps and they all seem to sound subtly different. Even different releases of iTunes are reported to sort different. Life is far to short to bother to try different releases. As they say tried it once and didn’t like it.

For convenience for quick playback I tend to use VLC www.videolan.org. It seems to play almost everything audio and video and can even stream stuff over my network. It works well for Radio Paradise too.

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Ripping and Computer Audio

The two subjects of CD Ripping and Computer Audio seem to be the most contentious around in the world of audio now. Theory one, is that it’s possible to get good sound from a computer feeding a DAC. The debate tends to be as much around whether a Mac is better than a PC as a source as which DAC is ideal. The general feeling seems to be that a Mac Book with a DAC costing around a £1k is cable of delivering better sound that a serious or very serious CD Player. I agree a Mac and a DAC is cable of delivering a very good sound – but not a great one.

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HDMI cable silences my listening room

The experiment was to move the PC outside my listening room and then to use a 5m Chord HDMI and 5m USB cables to control and monitor the PC.
The worry was running a good monitor at 1920 by 1200 over a 5m HDMI cable. Would the image quality be reduced? The image was absolutely fine and so much so that I temporarily tried a 10 m cable which worked just as well.

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