Category Archives: Released in 2011

Allman Bros must-have gone HD

Allman Brothers Band At Fillmore East One of [if not just] the finest live recordings of all time has been released in 24-bit/96KHz Flac. In 1971 Allman Brothers shook the Fillmore East church of rock ’n’ roll good and presented the world with a massive energy outburst combined with one of those moments where everything seems to just collide into super natural wonderfulness dwarfing even the CERN LHC… I’m getting carried away here. The fact of the matter is that this mandatory piece of music history has been released in high definition. Do go and get it.

Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30

Sonata NP30 Cambridge Audio have been lurking in the streamer business for years but have been hard pressed show any appearance on the shop shelves. Now it looks as if they are finally getting to a shop near me with their recently announced Sonata NP30 Network Music Player. The apparatus is neatly designed yet slightly on the conservative side of the front panel fence.

On the spec side the player offers 24-bit/96KHz playback of Flac and other formats through its Wolfson DAC, streaming from a variety of sources – wired and not.

As with everything else on this planet, the device can be remote controlled from the ever present iPad/iPod/iPhone.

Head-Direct HifiMan HM-602

HifiMan HM-602 Last year audiophile Fang Bian released a first shot at a true high-fidelity portable audio player (we can’t go around calling it an MP3 player now, can we – let alone a walkman!?) with a slightly bulky exterior boasting some really impressive specs. It even had a detachable amplifier section. Now he has gone and done it again, releasing a somewhat smaller but definitely not less impressively spec’d player. The HM-602 uses a Philips TDA-1543 dual DAC to support 24bit/96KHz Flac files as well as Ogg Vorbis. When you are not out there jogging in a crystal clear soundscape, the HM-602 can be used as a USB DAC feeding off of your computer stocked music.

It may not run Angry Birds or remote control your garden sprinkler, but at a price somewhat lower than your average iPod, this is quite an interesting piece of hi-fi equipment that does one thing and one thing only: Deliver sound.

lydtapet4This is a service announcement for our Danish speaking audience. In March Danish record producer and music aficionado Morten Nissen of Trechoma Records and fellow enthusiast Jens Christensen, launched an ambitious music critique site called – Danish for sound tapestry. A site so directly targeting reviews paired with background information is rather unusual in itself. Even more unusual is the fact that the site’s auteurs have proven themselves eloquent and reflecting writers covering a surprising gamut of genres. One and a half month old, it appears is here to stay. Congratulations guys. We are pleased.

Devialet D-Premier

Conditionnement DevialetThis Fritz Langian breathe-on-it-and-it-tranfers-your-brain digital amplifier and world-domination-in-a-chrome-box, is simply the most awe inspiring piece of hi-fi equipment I have seen in a long time. Inside a sleek chrome box, it harbors 240 watts of weird class A and D combinatrix, 24-bit/192KHz DAC, SD card reader, wifi connectivity and streaming over network. And that is not all… look at that remote. I know a remote has fairly little to do with soundstage and transparency; but look at it! Is that cool or what?!

Outputs include XLR and HDMI, and they are routable (!). On the input side it goes novel even more by including a programmable phono stage to satisfy most, if not all but the most pernickety, vinyl lovers. What can I say? I want one!

Happy 70th to Hugo Rasmussen

© BOGT Danish jazz bassist Hugo Rasmussen turned 70 today. Although he is the quintessence of all things analogue, congratulations from this site of digital should be in order all the same… og når han hjem fra skole går, Hurra! Hurra! Hurra! etc… og et stort tillykke herfra!

Rolling Stones goes hi-def

HD Tracks are now offering a couple of Rolling Stones albums in HD. Their self named first LP and a number of compilation albums. The original master tapes have been digitised using a combination of original Ampex equipment and modern ADC. It appears that the originals have been left unmodified, which is good, thus the digitalisation has become a matter of eliminating sub par sound equipment between the raw material and the humble speakers of yours truly. Tracks will be available in Flac at 24-bit resolution in both 176KHz and 88.2KHz sample rates.

One might argue that the selection is a bit meagre, but hey! They have to start somewhere.

Apple to release 24-bit tracks in iTunes?

Apple iTunesAudio blogs and magasines around the world are flowing over today with rumors that Apple may be offering 24-bit audio in iTunes in some yet to be specified future. Note the question mark in the title. We are talking rumors. This doesn’t make it less interesting, though, for many device vendors are dismissing the need for 24-bit audio referring to lack of material (are you listening Sonos?).

Whether you like iTunes or not, it is indisputably one of the major music platforms and when they do something, the others will have to follow to keep their place in the market. That is why I am tickled silly here; if Apple jumps on the wagon and their users can get HD content from iTunes this will force a change upon some of the more conservative hardware vendors. Not only that. It will force a change of their own hardware.

Truth be told, it is not Apple that spawned the rumor but record label chairman Jimmy Iovine who said this to CNN…

“We’ve gone back now at Universal, and we’re changing our pipes to 24 bit. And Apple has been great,” Iovine said. “We’re working with them and other digital services — download services — to change to 24 bit. And some of their electronic devices are going to be changed as well. So we have a long road ahead of us.”

So not directly from the horse’s mouth but a bell ringing for – oooh, the future – the future.

High Resolution Blu-ray The Easy Way

Computer AudiophileChris Connaker of Computer Audiophile just published an extremely interesting article on ripping Blue-ray audio discs for streaming on HD capable players. Mildly put the task of ripping HD audio has hitherto been a daunting one and rarely successful. German MSM Studios have conjured up a method that involves special software on the disc allowing networked Blue-ray players or computer based drives to copy the tracks off the disc in HD. But ‘nuff paraphrasing. Get yourself over to Computer Audiophile and have the best read so far this year…

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