Last week, IBM announced a new device that it says will allow mobile users to add an extra 10 gigabytes (GB) of hard-drive capacity to their notebook PCs. Why is this important to audio fans? IBM is intending the new drive, called the Travelstar E, to primarily appeal to those wanting to take extended music libraries with them on the road.
Audioquest is known to the general public as a cable manufacturer and also to audiophiles for their phono cartridges. They will soon jump into the DAC market starting with the Dragonfly USB to miniplug DAC.
Steve Silberman was on hand to provide a demo of the new product in raw circuit board form, and I was able to grab an artist rendering of the finished product from his laptop as seen above. The light on the back of the dragonfly changes color depending on what sampling rate is being detected.
The asynch 24/96 USB DAC will be about the size of a finger and its electronics have been designed by Gordon Rankin. Price is estimated at around $300 and it should be available in April.
Register to win an AudioQuest DragonFly USB Digital-Audio Converter and Sydney Interconnect (MSRP $478) we are giving away.
DragonFly is an affordable and easy-to-use device that delivers far superior sound by bypassing the poor quality sound card that is built into your computer. DragonFly is a sleek, flash drive sized Digital-Audio Converter that connects to a USB jack on a Mac or Windows PC, turning any computer into a true high- fidelity music source.
The VEGA is another DAC employing a femto clock for extremely low jitter and retails for $3,500 (a low price point for the femto feature) . It handles PCM streams up to 32/384 as well as DSD, DXD and 2xDSD. The VEGA can also function as a digital preamp and includes a remote that can control the output level. Inputs include AES/EBU, 2xSPDIF, Toslink and "ActiveUSB". Analog outputs are both balanced and unbalanced and the front panel sports a very easy to read display.
Famed audio designer/engineer Demian Martin, known for his work with Spectral Audio, Constellation and others, is also part of Auraliti, who were displaying their wares at T.H.E Show in the Flamingo.
Shown above is the heart of their new product line, the L1000 File Player, which is controlled by either a wireless iPhone/iPad type device or networked web browser and runs Linux. The company says there are no moving parts in the L1000 which boots from a Solid State Drive and has an AES/EBU output for connecting to your DAC. The L1000 Outputs up to 24 bit/192kHz and can handle FLAC, WAF and AIFF files. Price is around $3,000.
Auriliti revealed their new 24/192 digital music file player, the L1000-USB which the company's Ray Burnham described it to me as "an all-out assault on the high end". Featuring an external power supply, SSD boot drive and AES output, the L1000-USB uses the NTFS file system to sort your networked NAS drive which is all controlled via an iPad running MPaD or any other MPD server compatible app. Available in March for $3,500.
We always keep an ear out for new and interesting audio developments each time we attend the annual CES show in Las Vegas. This year, one company that garnered repeated buzz around the Alexis Park, and even at the main convention center was Australia's Halcro. As we reported from the show, Halcro builds gorgeous-looking power amplifers shaped in the form of an "H" that range in price from $10,000 for its dm 33 three-channel amplifer up to $30,000 for a pair of the dm 68 225W monoblocks.
A local body shop owner explained to me recently how the center brake light that began showing up on the rear deck of cars a few years ago killed business for him and his pals. Seems that all of a sudden, folks weren't rear-ending each other as often.
Register to win an autographed Pat Metheny The Orchestrion Project Blu-ray disc (MSRP $24.98) we are giving away.
"The Blu-ray features amazing Dolby TrueHD with advanced 96k Upsampling and 7.1 surround sound, immersing you in the concert and taking full advantage of Blu-ray disc capabilities for optimal play in home theaters. In addition, Dolby conducted a special interview with the star of The Orchestrion Project, Pat Metheny."