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jazzfan
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More computer based digital audio coverage, PLEASE

With the first post about the October 2010 issue coming on September 11th we have now over 10 days for additional threads to be started about the semi-annual "Recommended Components" issue, which always seems to be a popular one, and yet no threads or posts have appeared other than those posted in the thread about the $300 Squeezebox Touch.

So let's see:

500 Recommended Components

4 full reviews

4 reviews contained within monthly columns

7 follow up reviews

That makes comments or reviews about 515 pieces of audio equipment in the October issue but so far the only comments have been about the inexpensive Touch.

Seems to me that there is plenty of interest in computer based digital audio, in fact enough interest for Stereophile to consider adding some regular coverage of this exciting and growing subject. No? What are my fellow forum members and Stereophile readers opinions on this.

Drtrey3
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Re: More computer based digital audio coverage, PLEASE

Jazzfan, I would love that kind of column. But I am not willing to lose any that I already enjoy or look forward to in Stephen's case.

Trey

jazzfan
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Re: More computer based digital audio coverage, PLEASE


Quote:
Jazzfan, I would love that kind of column. But I am not willing to lose any that I already enjoy or look forward to in Stephen's case.

Trey

True and if space within the magazine is limited or already accounted for then perhaps either a blog or section/guide can be added to the Stereophile website. After all we are speaking about a "computer based" subject so a web based coverage would not be that far fetched.

CharlyD
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Re: More computer based digital audio coverage, PLEASE

I feel that the whole model for how music entertainment content is accessed and played has fundamentally changed. The model currently espoused by Stereophile of physical media played on dedicated boxes to a pair of speakers driven by a preamp/amp chain will soon be an anachronism. In that great diatribe by Dan from Detroit a few weeks ago, he says:

Quote:
I just want a computer and speakers. I don't think anyone can say they want to deal with more than the source and the output to get their music.


The ultimate system in this model would be some number of active speakers (at least 2) arranged around the listening room and connected to a network. The control interface to select and play content to these speakers would be through a browser. There would be no cd players/turntables/preamps/amps/cables involved. The content will come from a server in the closet or from the cloud.

This model isn't that far away, and Stereophile would do well to heed the feedback from Dan.

jazzfan
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Re: More computer based digital audio coverage, PLEASE


Quote:
I feel that the whole model for how music entertainment content is accessed and played has fundamentally changed. The model currently espoused by Stereophile of physical media played on dedicated boxes to a pair of speakers driven by a preamp/amp chain will soon be an anachronism. In that great diatribe by Dan from Detroit a few weeks ago, he says:

Quote:
I just want a computer and speakers. I don't think anyone can say they want to deal with more than the source and the output to get their music.


The ultimate system in this model would be some number of active speakers (at least 2) arranged around the listening room and connected to a network. The control interface to select and play content to these speakers would be through a browser. There would be no cd players/turntables/preamps/amps/cables involved. The content will come from a server in the closet or from the cloud.

This model isn't that far away, and Stereophile would do well to heed the feedback from Dan.

The wireless entertainment system of the future that you're proposing would have many advantages and a few disadvantages.

The advantages would of course be ease of use (provided that there is a simple to use and learn user interface), ease of set up (provided that all the wireless connections are managed automatically), multi-functionality (stereo or surround sound for both audio only and video) and ease of placement.

The biggest disadvantage from an audiophile perspective would be the comprised analog audio components within the system. Think about it - there would be multiple powered speakers each with its own network hardware, DAC and analog amp. In order to hold costs down some of these items would have to be chosen based on cost rather than sound quality. Sure the megabuck systems wouldn't have to make these compromises but most real world priced systems would.

Nonetheless just about all future systems will use some type networked component along with a computer or server for access to and storage of media. I would take your basic idea and use it with a system consisting of turntable (as much as I love my hard disk based music library, I'm not ready to give up that glorious pure analog sound that only vinyl and analog tape can provide), multi-channel DAC, multi-channel preamp, multi-channel amp and speakers all with cables and wires.

So I guess there will many different types of systems out there from completely wireless to mixed wireless/wired to fully wired but I really do like your idea and it would be really nice if Stereophile could get in front of this issue. The needs of audiophiles should not be left behind as these new technologies develop.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: More computer based digital audio coverage, PLEASE

Jazzfan,

When our other review choices are 2 $18,000 PREAMPS, how could the Squeezebox not be the item of greatest interest? Often times when I read reviews here it is just a reminder of where I am actually residing in the food chain of life. That is the price of cars that I may buy, not only a part of an audio system.

The price of the Squeezebox is the price of car stereos I bought 20+ years ago. You got it 1st, Dr. Kal gets it, as do many readers of this magazine now.

Do not think that I am criticizing Stereophile for reviewing this gear, because I think that they should. I enjoy the writing and reading the reviews, but I will bet that shortly Logitech is going into backorder mode with all the press. And it is as it should be. What else can anyone buy that could provide that level of music for $299, other than for someone like me wanting a pair of new microphones. But, that is an entirely different issue.

The truth is that other companies are put to shame for offering so much less than the Squeezebox does. That also in the eyes of the beholder. Even JA remarked about all it does for such a low price.

jazzfan
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Re: More computer based digital audio coverage, PLEASE


Quote:
Do not think that I am criticizing Sterophile for reviewing this gear, because I think that they should. I enjoy the writing and reading the reviews, but I will bet that shortly Logitech is going into backorder mode with all the press. And it is as it should be. What else can anyone buy that could provide that level of music for $299, other than for someone like me wanting a pair of new microphones. But, that is an entirely different issue.

First, as you correctly predicted, The Touch is already on backorder when one tries to order it from the Logitech web site (the only place where it is presently being sold in the US). I know this to be the case because I ordered a second Touch today using the following Logitech trade-in for 20% off offer:

Logitech 20% off trade-in program

Works great - no questions asked, the discount is available immediately and it works for almost all old Logitech products. I used an old Logitech mouse I had stashed in a draw. With the 20% off code and free shipping, the grand total come to $240 - such a deal! But hurry since the offer is only good for 30 days but I don't know what the start was.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: More computer based digital audio coverage, PLEASE

OK, already. I had a Logitech keyboard in a drawer. I am looking at my coupon.

What did De Niro say to Billy Crystal in Analyze This, "You're good, Doc, no, no, you're good!"

Grosse Fatigue
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Re: More computer based digital audio coverage, PLEASE

Go to

www.avsforum.com

home theater computers

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