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struts
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I can't wait...

...for this.  A completely new approach to creating a digital source component based on a compelling rationale.  If the theroy holds this could be the most disruptive technology to hit digital playback for a good while.  Hope you've keeping an eye on this JA!

jazzfan
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Similar?

HI Struts and welcome back!

I read through the information on the link and I can't help but think that the LessLoss Laminar Streamer seems very similar to the Bryston BDP-1 Digital Player (http://bryston.com/products/digital_audio/BDP-1.html) which can playback files from a USB flash drive. And the Squeezebox Touch can also play files from flash drives and SD cards. Plus both the Touch and the BDP-1 can be used as stand alone players, i.e. no computer or server required.

struts
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Hi there jf!

Many thanks for the warm welcome, means a lot!

Regarding the comparisons between the LLS and the Touch/Bryston I think, with the greatest respect, that you may be missing the point.  Both the Bryston and the Touch are music players rather than general purpose computing devices, granted.  Both can replay music stored in solid state storage with no need to spin optical or magnetic drives, granted.  But that's pretty much where the similarity ends.  

The Bryston and the Touch are actually both general purpose Linux computers pared down (more-or-less) to what is needed to support audio, whereas the LLS is built from the ground up to support only high fidelity audio playback.  Consider this list of enhancements that can be made to the Touch by turning off unncecessary services, and consider that this is probably the tip of the iceberg.  Linux runs of the order of 1,000 different services to support normal operation, turning off even 100 merely  scratching the surface.  Then consider the RFI that the 533 MHz Freescale general purpose ARM processor is chugging out (not to mention the other support chips that are performing duties not directly related to audio playback such as supporting the touch screen, remote, USB interface, ethernet, wifi, etc. etc.)  Then consider the LLS, a completely dedicated OS of a few hundred kilobytes, running at the frequency of the sampling clock, with only one purpose - namely unpacking the PCM samples and sending them to the output interface.  The difference is certainly of the same order of magnitude as that between a PC and a CD player - if not greater!

I know you're a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic and a dyed-in-the-wool Squeezebox fan (and so am I, as I think you know) but this is something VERY different.  I respect your skepticism, you are almost certain to be right more often that me(!) but all I will say is keep an eye on this one.  This is not just old wine in new bottles..

jazzfan
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You have a point

While I do agree with you about the differences between the Bryston/Touch and the LLS in that the Touch does many other things besides playing music but I don't necessarily agree that the modification made by the Touch Toolbox result in improved fidelity. I personally think that must of them fall into the same category as the improvements made by expensive USB cables. All expensive USB cables do is improve the bank accounts of the manufacturers. But at least the Touch Toolbox modifications are free and if someone feels that they provide an improvement in the sound of their Touch, well good for them.

Most of these so called improvements are based on a complete misunderstanding of digital audio and more specifically on a misunderstanding of the major differences between how digital and analog signals are transmitted. This is not to stay that digital transmission is perfect but rather that the shortcomings of digital are very different from the shortcoming of analog and what works to improve analog most likely will offer little or no improvement when applied to digital, such as RF interference. And the whole jitter thing has been blown way out of proportion by manufacturers looking to make some easy money.

struts
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I disagree
jazzfan wrote:

While I do agree with you about the differences between the Bryston/Touch and the LLS in that the Touch does many other things besides playing music but I don't necessarily agree that the modification made by the Touch Toolbox result in improved fidelity. I personally think that must of them fall into the same category as the improvements made by expensive USB cables. All expensive USB cables do is improve the bank accounts of the manufacturers. But at least the Touch Toolbox modifications are free and if someone feels that they provide an improvement in the sound of their Touch, well good for them.

Not quite sure where you're going with that argument jf, they're free, but yet they fall into the same category as tweaks whose only effect is to improve the bank balance of their manufacturers?

jazzfan wrote:

Most of these so called improvements are based on a complete misunderstanding of digital audio and more specifically on a misunderstanding of the major differences between how digital and analog signals are transmitted. This is not to stay that digital transmission is perfect but rather that the shortcomings of digital are very different from the shortcoming of analog and what works to improve analog most likely will offer little or no improvement when applied to digital, such as RF interference. And the whole jitter thing has been blown way out of proportion by manufacturers looking to make some easy money.

I respectfully disagree.  Admittedly my real time circuits theory is a bit rusty, but the engineering principles behind the Touch Toolkbox and the LLS are perfectly sound in my opinion.  In what way do you feel they apply analog transmission principles to digital?  RFI is a demonstrable source of jitter, as are modulation via ground plane and power rails.  One may argue that the effects of jitter are blown out of all proportion but since they are one of the principal sources of distortion digital audio I hardly feel it is advised to dismiss them completely?

struts
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Update

Received an update from Lessloss this morning.  The Laminar Streamer is now getting close to production and will be shown for the first time at the New York Audio Show April 12-14.  So soon we'll be able to judge for ourselves.

Updated info on the LessLoss website.

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