I love my music playback setup that consists of a couple of Squeezebox V3 players in different rooms so I can listen to music in lossless format wherever I am in the apartment. With the iPeng HD app on my iPad, I have a nice interface for controlling the players with album art and other nice features. But the best part is that I can playback high resolution audio directly on my iPad using the Camera Kit USB adapter and an HRT HeadStreamer DAC portable USB headphone amplifier. But I wanted a small, cheap and eco-friendly server for hosting my music files and wondered if I could use the Raspberry Pi. And here’s my findings.
Lenn-Art Tang Band W8-740C subwoofers
Last time I ordered some speaker elements from Germany I ordered some extra Tang Band W8-740C subwoofer elements for a later build. I’ve been oogling this design to go with my home-built?ProAc 2.5 clones. Micke, a friend will make the boxes for me, provided I sent him the drawings. What an exellent excuse to try to learn Solidworks. Amazing program. I have designed my own version of the venerable GainClone amplifier with a beefed up power supply and will use two subwoofers in stereo. Nice to not have to build the boxes. Last time when I built the clones the apartment was filled with MDF dust for months.
Mods and upgrades on a Pioneer PD S-505 for better audio quality part 1
Part two of this series is now up. Read on how to install a better clock in your Pioneer PD S-505 CD player.
Mods your Pioneer PD S-505 CD Player for better sound quality
So I bought this Pioneer PD S-505 for $40 to test how good audio quality I’m able to squeeze out by modifying it. But It will not be just the standard subjective judgment of improvement but also measurements. Back in 2000, you had to pay about $400 for it. It uses the stable platter which means you have to put the CD in upside down. So let’s get going.
Spotify is going to kick some ass
After using Spotify for a couple of days, I must say that they almost nailed it. And I have never seen as much entusiasm about a new service among people of so different age groups. The Mac client is really nice (and fast!) This is something the music business should have come up with a long time ago. I think I bought about five songs on iTunes total. I like the idea of “owning” my music, or at least own the piece of plastic it comes on. But the chear joy of being able to just search and ad a shitload of music and start listening is exhilarating. But I have a couple of gripes…
Hopefully they will increase the bitrate. There is a market for people that want the highest possible quality and are prepared to pay for it. Here’s a possibility to actually get better quality than CD without having to resort to half-assed attempts like SACD. Yeah, I know you need a lot of bandwidth, but I live in Sweden and have had 100mbit connection for years.
ProAc Response 2.5 clones plays real music
So finally my new ProAc Response 2.5 clone playing music. And how they play! I got myself a new Class-A amplifier to have something nice to drive them with. At first they sounded a bit short on the bass side, but now after about 20 hours of listening, the bass starts to improve. I’ve never believed in the “burn-in” of speakers, but I have to say I’ve been mistaken.
I invited some friends over for a music listening party. A lot of records and an even larger amount of beer made for a beautiful evening.
At the same time I ordered my new amplifier, I also ordered a new DVD player with DVD-Audio and SACD playing capability. So I rush out to get my hands on a SACD record, but the only one I could find was the slightly overplayed Dark side of the moon by Pink Floyd. But it was a good test record because I have two different mastering versions on cd, so comparing was easy. And to my surprise the CD (actually Flac played through my Squeezebox) sounded better than the SACD one! So I had to check that the player didn’t play the normal cd layer, but no, it played the SACD layer. The singing voices on the SACD sounded muffled compared to the Japanese pressing of the CD. Also the pinpointing of instrument placements in the stereo image was not as good an coherent from the SACD. The player a Pioneer 696 is a low budget player so it could be it. But I’ll crank up the manual and check so I haven’t done something stupid with the settings.
More testing tomorrow…