Channel D and Joseph Draw Them In

The first time I tried to get into the Channel D room, the sound of the company’s Pure Music ($129) and Pure Vinyl ($279) software, along with their associated electronics, had drawn such a crowd that I gave up. Returning early enough on Saturday to beat the throngs of admirers, I was finally able to enjoy Stereophile’s 2010 Computer Audio Product of the Year.

Admiring the beautiful grace of presentation, as well as its spaciousness, I asked Channel D Rob Robinson what was going on. “I take RIAA out of the phono stage and put it into the software,” is more or less what he replied. He must be doing something very right, because a file of Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey” was exceedingly lovely, open and clear.

Credit, of course, is also due the Joseph Audio Pulsar loudspeakers ($7000/pair), which I thought a bit too far apart for such nearfield listening; Lynx Hilo mastering quality USB ADC/DAC ($2499), Channel D Seta Model Plus (Special Edition) phono preamplifier with analog RIAA module ($6998), Channel D Seta DAC Buffer / Transimpedance amplifier ($3499), AMG Viella V12 turntable with AMG tonearm, Zu Audio Denon DL103 Prime 2 cartridge, and Merrill Audio Veritas mono block amplifiers ($12,000/pair).

remlab's picture

If RIAA is already added during the mastering process, wouldn't it get a double dose?

John Atkinson's picture

remlab wrote:
If RIAA is already added during the mastering process, wouldn't it get a double dose?

It's a complementary process. When the record is cut, the HF is boosted and the LF cut ; in playback, the bass is boosted and the highs cut to give a flat response. Pure Vinyl does the latter in the digital domain.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

remlab's picture

...researched what the entire "pure vinyl" process was to begin with. Now it makes total sense. Thanks for the explanation.

goofytwoshoes's picture

I like the idea of software that does the RIAA compensation, but would like to do it without investing in big buck electronics.  What's needed is an affordable (under $250) preamp, without RIAA circuitry, capable of boosting the signal level from one's cartridge to a level that is acceptable for feeding to an ADC.  Channel D's phono pre will do it, but at a cost that is beyond my budget. I suspect that many more of us would archive our vinyl with Channel D's software if we could buy such a piece of equipment.


burnspbesq's picture

... is defeatable.  I use Pure Vinyl with my existing, decidedly mid-fi vinyl rig (Rega P3/Sumiko Blackbird/Whest Two), and get great results ripping at 192/24 with the Lynx Hilo shown in the picture as my A/D converter.