Meridian Audio has announced that its Media Core 200 Digital Media System now offers extra storage capacity and improved audio performance. In combination with Meridian’s Core Control App for iPad the Media Core 200 forms a complete, digital media system with sufficient capacity to store entire music collections.
Media Core 200 is a compact and virtually silent system that requires only the user’s choice of controller to perform. It can be operated by any of the network-based control systems available, including Meridian’s Core Control App for the iPad or iPhone, a computer running the Control PC or Control Mac application, or a Meridian controller such as the Control 15.
At the heart of the Media Core 200 is a new 1TB hard drive (increased from 500GB), storing around 2,000 CD albums in lossless quality for graphical and touch-screen access via the award-winning Meridian interface.
UK Price is £2000.
California based NuForce have introduced a direct-digital integrated amplifier that they claim marks a new juncture in digital sound. The new design converts the digital audio signal into analogue form at the last possible stage—the PWM amplifier output. “The DDA-100′s low distortion and noise floor remain in the digital domain from beginning to end, to give a wide dynamic range.”
The DDA-100 doesn’t require a DAC stage, rather, its PWM power amplifier stage is modulated directly by the incoming signal, and the digital-to-analogue conversion takes place at the speaker outputs. In effect, the PWM power amplifier stage operates as a power DAC.
It accepts four digital sources via one USB and with the included remote control, you can control inputs and volume from your listening chair.
The DDA-100 will drive your loudspeakers via a robust 75-Watt RMS and 250-watt peak capability per channel for “superb dynamics and transparency.”
The NuForce DDA-100 is available worldwide for a suggested retail price of US $549.00 and will be shipping Aug 1, 2012.
A quick search on any established hifi forum will confirm that enthusiasts have been long been arguing about the role, importance and perceived effect of different digital transports on sound quality. This subject has provoked involved debate pretty much since Arcam first unleashed the ‘Black Box’ standalone digital to analogue converter on consumers in 1989 and now has new legs as more audiophiles make the switch from silver to hard disk to store the bits to fire at their DAC chip of choice.
It’s arguably a discussion with more relevance today than before. Even the most basic compact disc spinners are designed with that specific job in mind. These ears hear far smaller differences between two CD transports built for the task in hand than between differing implementations of PC audio where a quiet, vibration free dedicated digital transfer just wasn’t part of the original design brief. I know this at my cost – I’m sure we’ve all found that it’s pretty easy to get crap sound from a laptop. Advances in technology and the demand for a purpose built solution has given rise to the file streamer, but while Sonos play Pepsi to Squeezeboxes Coca Cola in a lifestyle tussle for your front room, cynics grumble about switching power supplies and low rent components. I can relate to this. I’m a huge fan of the convenience of my Sonos box, but it’s not uncommon for me to lower the ‘CD is dead’ flag and reach for a jewel case when I really want to hear what my system is doing. More »
Regular readers will be aware of my thoughts on using computers in home hifi installations and that my experiences have been less than satisfying for me. To be fair the problems have centred on interface issues and me simply not “gelling” with listening to music using computers.
Never let it be said that I’m not willing to revisit things though – I like to think I have an open mind and, as with most things in life, I like to run with the “If you didn’t like it then try it again…you might like it” philosophy. It’s a philosophy that has served me well in life so far…in most things.
So it was with a great deal of reticence that this time last week I took delivery of a Squeezebox Touch. For those of you who have been living in a cave for the last few years, the Squeezebox is a nifty little device made by Logitech that connects to your home network and allows you to stream music stored on your hard drive to your hifi. The last one I had really infuriated me and didn’t last very long at all before it was sold on to a chap in Poland. More »
Now don’t get me wrong I do like computers. I use a computer daily. I’m even using one now to write this article. Computers have enabled me to work from home, do that away from the UK and even allows me communicate in real time with folks all over the world at the push of a mouse button. I get computers and I use one daily despite my sausage fingers and one fingered typing style!
Computers allow me to take photographs, edit them and see them almost immediately – no more trudging down the chemists with my roll of film and waiting a week before it comes back from the processing laboratory to view my snaps – No siree. I can catch up on the day’s news, share a joke with friends and even read the latest audiophile news and reviews on Hifi Pig (shameless plug). I can stream videos to my desktop and watch the latest antics of LOL Cats should the drudgery of work become all too much for me to take. More »