More than a Black Box

Instead of using conventional CD playback technology, the Rockport room featured the DC-powered Black Box Audiophile PC from Blue Smoke Entertainment Systems of Chicago. (Preliminary pricing, expected to lower before the unit reaches the market, is $7999.) With no moving parts in the box into which one inserts a CD, the DSP-based system reclocks the data after reading the CD, basically eliminating jitter. It copies the audio data from a CD onto a hard drive, reading the CD multiple times if necessary to eliminate data-reading errors. It is said to be far more accurate my own conventional stick it in the iMac and burn it in iTunes setup. The unit can process data up to 24/192. Lordie did it sound good.

Ron Lapporte's picture

We now have a website (under construction) with more information about The Black

Dan's picture

"With no moving parts in the box into which one inserts a CD, the DSP-based system reclocks the data after reading the CD, basically eliminating jitter. It copies the audio data from a CD onto a hard drive"News Flash- a CD drive and hard drive have movingparts.

jj's picture

Dan - maybe they meant solid state drive. And processor might be some fanless VIA-type cpu. Still, I'd like to know what is so expensive in that box.. you could build a via system with great sound card fraction of that cost

Computer Audiophile's picture

I was thinking the same thing as both of you. I can't find any information about this company or system on the Internet and I missed their room at T.H.E. Show when I was there.

Geoff's picture

Some information on the box - I was there.They said it was in "Pre-Release" and only there as Rockport wanted to use it as their front-end. It did sound GREAT - far better than any other "Music Server" I have heard.They did mention that the pricing was Preliminary and that it was for everything. They did also mention SSD storage as one reason for the cost, but thought that by the time of release it would be much cheaper. It is already much cheaper than almost all of the packaged solutions out there and these guys seemed to be interested in keeping it small and intimate for the moment.All I can tell you is that I gave them my information so I can keep in touch when they release (and actually announce with a web-site or something) later this year. It truly sounded analog to me.

CharlyD's picture

What a strange market this is. The Black Box Audiophile PC looks to be little more than a battery operated PC (a laptop) with something akin to Exact Audio Copy software (DSP software???) for ripping CD's and a solid state drive. The posting doesn't mention a DAC, but I'm assuming the DAC is included as the posting claims support for "24/192". All this with "preliminary pricing" of $7999! While SSD drives are currently expensive (I found a 32 GB SSD drive on NewEgg for $399), unless they've included a large SSD drive in the box, it's hard to see how they could remotely justify that price.

Stephen Weiner's picture

I heard this thing at the show and it sounded amazing. This 'black box' removes everything but the music stream from cd's and stores them to a server. Upon playback, the data comes off the server, is pumped through a d/a converter and into the preamp, amp, speakers. It is by far the best sounding system with a digital front end I have ever heard. I was absolutely floored by how analog it sounded.

Ron Lapporte's picture

Blue Smoke Entertainment Systems demonstrated The Black Box as the digital front-end in pre-release form with Rockport Technologies at THE Show. The Black Box is the result of over a year of development and testing of various components, systems, software loads, D/As, DSPs, power supplies, etc. in order to achieve the best possible sound from a digital source. The unit as demonstrated at THE show is not yet available as a commercial product

Ron Lapporte's picture

...Contact Blue Smoke Entertainment Systems at (847) 977-0220, or

Kevin Aranyi's picture

This truly innovative disc playback system combined with State of the Art speakers and electronics, delivered simply the Best Sound at THE SHOW !!