Thursday, August 29, 2013

Where does a digital source really start?

True Audiophile does digital justice

We get so many customers who are confused about digital audio or for many, computer audio. This topic goes from deeply technical to overly complex to voodoo.

First your whole system depends on the source. We touched on the base source of power ie the electricity and its importance. Next is your signal source. Everything starts there. If your source isn't right then the signal going down the chain into the speaker will never be right. Obvious and simple yet with new tech people are reinventing the concept.

Clean power also need clean signal. If your digital audio is feeding a dac from a device that has loads of jitter your entire playback is compromised. Many, many customers have something like a squeezebox or other popular units which are great for background music. Not for critical listening. Putting a good DAC behind one is futile because the SB or the like is dumping so much noise into the DAC you will never hear its potential.

Everyone knows the buzzword jitter. It simply means noise. There are hundreds of types of jitter and they come from many places within the digital signal path. Reduce the noise and you'll be astonished. We have many customers with Audio Note DAC's and they love how musical they are. But these DACs cannot reduce jitter and are as susceptible as any DAC. Once one of these customers buy a Human Audio Tabla or bel canto link they'ree floored how their beloved DAC has been reborn. Here's a customer quote that is like everyone who buys a good converter from us. The tabla’s amazing -- I’ve never heard my system sound so good before.  Especially on jazz or symphonic music.  Highly, highly recommend the tabla and looking forward to spending more time with it.  Thank you for talking with me yesterday and today.

Its not just older DACs although we can guarantee you never heard your older dac without a good converter that reduces jitter.

Just as you wouldn't buy a smokin' turntable and put a $10 cartridge on it the same is true with your digital. Get the best source you can that offers the lowest jitter between your server and your DAC. We recommend a Mac Mini as a music server that is optimized for audio and goes out to a good converter into a good DAC using Revelation Audio cabling. You will be astonished. Yes, someday someone will invent a great music server but that day is not today. They are overpriced and still complex.

Once you have a proper music server that is exactly what it is. Its no longer a computer. Its your music server. Leave it alone. Don't update it. Don't monkey with it once its optimized for audio. Its just your new source.

You can control it with your phone or tablet or another computer wirelessly. Wireless control is fine because the unit itself is hardwired. Wireless playback also creates jitter so relegate those devices to whole house music not your critical listening.

Customers of True Audiophile get the wealth of our digital knowledge. There are many times we had to bring the entire source to a customer so they could hear what they were really listening to previously. We've never had a single customer that wasn't amazed.

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