musicandaudioguide
  • Digital to Analog Converter

    by Published on 05-23-2015 02:29 AM  Number of Views: 6492 
    1. Categories:
    2. High-Resolution Audio,
    3. Digital to Analog Converter,
    4. Editorial
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    The discussion over at CA also included a great deal of push back on the DSD vs. PCM debate. One of the writers presented numerous lengthy comments about how modern ADC and DAC converters operate. Recall that the title of the post was "Mark Waldrep is claiming that PCM 24/96 is superior to DSD".
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    by Published on 12-10-2014 01:55 AM  Number of Views: 2749 
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital to Analog Converter
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    The new MQA technology announced by Meridian last week (see previous posts) has the potential to shake things up in the world of high-resolution digital streaming and downloading. But to enjoy the benefits of MQA (Music Quality Authenticated), the entire signal path has to include the encoding and decoding of the MQA audio. And consumers will have to have equipment capable of decoding the encoded streams. ...
    by Published on 09-05-2014 10:55 AM  Number of Views: 3095 
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital to Analog Converter
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    I admit to being a bit of a hoarder. No, not the obsessive type found on the reality TV shows that can't make it through their home or apartment because of all of the garbage and stuff. But I do recognize that I tend to hang on to equipment and stuff longer than I should. ...
    by Published on 08-18-2014 04:44 PM  Number of Views: 3279 
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital to Analog Converter
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    I just finished going through the stack of emails that needed my attention and responded to a bunch of comments on some recent posts. The 16-bits vs. 24-bits debate continues to draw comments. I'm planning on going through the John Siau article in detail with illustrations and possibly even some animations to reinforce the concepts that he so skillfully wrote about. It's proven to be a difficult subject to explain and for many to grasp...stay tuned.
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    by Published on 05-21-2014 03:34 PM  Number of Views: 4398 
    1. Categories:
    2. High-Resolution Audio,
    3. Digital to Analog Converter,
    4. Audiophilia
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    The Oppo HA-1 Headphone Amplifier is solidly built, easy to operate and features connectivity and flexibility far beyond its intended job of amplifying music for headphones. Yesterday's lengthy post revealed all of the physical, electrical and operational workings of the HA-1. Today, I would like to continue with some specifications, a discussion of formats and express my opinion on the "sound" of the piece...using some of my high-resolution, stereo files.

    Specifications and Formats

    The HA-1 is built around the same design philosophy that has made the Oppo line of optical disc players the "must have" machines among budget...and sound conscious...purchasers. Central to this philosophy is that build quality, flexibility, reliability and fidelity are company priorities...with state-of-the-art technology at reasonable prices. The HA-1 features the ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC. This is same 32-bit DAC that is used in the BDP-95 and BDP-105 machines and many other first rate DACs. It delivers uncolored, neutral-sounding, decoded digital audio from both PCM sources and DSD, as well.
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    by Published on 05-20-2014 05:49 PM  Number of Views: 6121 
    1. Categories:
    2. High-Resolution Audio,
    3. Digital to Analog Converter,
    4. Audiophilia
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    I've had the new Oppo HA-1 headphones amplifier for a few weeks now. It's silver, substantial and sounds amazing. But is it really a "headphone amplifier" or something more? I promised to write a full review of this latest Oppo piece as soon as I'd had a chance to get acquainted with it AND to have some extended listening sessions using my Oppo PM-1 headphones. I'm ready to give you the full story.

    The folks at Oppo do a great job of packaging their products. They are protected from damage in shipping with heavy-duty foam holding the unit inside. The HA-1 comes with a small remote control, a Bluetooth antenna, heavy gauge power cord and mini to quarter inch adapter.
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    by Published on 05-19-2014 11:18 AM  Number of Views: 3187 
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital to Analog Converter,
    3. Audiophilia,
    4. Editorial
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    It's coming. Yes, the definition and "best practices" documents will be made public sometime around the third week of June...during the CE Week in New York. I wish I could tell that these past 6 months of discussions have produced a clear and concise document, but they haven't. There has been progress. Consumers will get more information about the provenance of purchased tracks than they've ever had before, but it won't be accurate. And there's probably no way that it ever will be.

    As many of you already know, I'm on several boards that are dealing with the emergence of high-resolution audio. There's the CEA, the AES and the NARAS Producers and Engineers Wing. They all have a slightly different position on HRA given that their goals and focus are different. The AES deals with the hardware and science of audio and appeals to the gear heads. The P&E Wing of the Grammy organization is in touch with the producers and engineers AND artists that make commercial hit records. Finally, the CEA caters to companies that make hardware for the mass consumer. They don't really know or care about what happens upstream from them. If it helps their members sell more hardware, they love it.
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    by Published on 05-18-2014 04:06 PM  Number of Views: 3144 
    1. Categories:
    2. Digital to Analog Converter,
    3. Audiophilia
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    You want to put together a "computer music" server? There are lots of ways to do it at lots of different cost levels. Today, I'm going to set up a simple high-resolution music server based on a Mac Mini and a Benchmark DAC2 HGC converter and headphones amplifier (it's really an audiophile standard preamplifier). It will be able to play high-resolution stereo files into an external DAC and then into headphones or speakers.

    This is only one way to go of many. I've spent most of the morning installing the Digibit "Aria" server card and power supply into my Oppo BDP-105. I'm planning on putting together a video tutorial on the process but I can tell you that it's a pretty simple procedure and gives you the amazing SonataDB and user interface that makes the Aria server unique. Of course, you can always use the Oppo all by itself as a music server.
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