Dan Worth takes a listen to the catchily named x-odos – xo|one CD Ripping Streamer costing £7500 and hailing from Germany.  More »

For nearly 20 years, EVGA has built powerful graphics cards and motherboards and efficient power supplies to power your system. Now, EVGA has partnered with Audio Note (UK), Ltd. to provide what they say is: “the most immersive audio and lifelike gaming experienced on a PC” with the new EVGA NU Audio Card. More »

Melco has launched Melco music HD, a free iOS control point App for its digital music libraries. The new App, which is available now from the Apple App Store, has been designed to offer intuitive control and simple navigation when a Melco digital music library is connected to a USB DAC. More »

“Network connection an important path for the CAS streaming system and the switch is like the kind of the gatekeeper”, says Clones Audio’s most recent press release.

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The N1A/2 from Melco is intended to improve on the originals sonic performance, particularly for those using USB DACs. It can store a whole library of your music on its on-board drives and costs £2099 as tested. Dan Worth plugs it into his network and assesses its attributes.  More »

It seems that you can barely browse the internet these days without coming across another new Kickstarter audio product. Many of these get announced and then never see the light of day, so it’s nice to hear from one that has actually made it into production. More »

Auralic refer to the Aries as a “bridge”; basically a digital device which refers to a networked music library from the likes of a NAS drive, or by use of an external USB hard drive, connected directly to the Aries. What we have come to know more lovingly as a streamer – although you could argue that they are usually an all in one device, often with an on-board hard drive and with analogue outputs from it’s on-board DAC. Dan Worth takes this £1495 box of tricks for a whirl.  More »

Dan Worth takes a look at the Innuos Zenith MK2 an all in one streamer, CD ripper and SSD storage unit costing from £2299 depending on storage capacity chosen.   More »

JCAT has introduced NET Card FEMTO, which they say is the first high-end ethernet adapter for noiseless and jitterless data transfer from your PC media server. More »

Midland Audio Exchange will be hosting an open day with Scott Berry and Isabel Whitley of Computer Audio Design. More »

Audirvana Plus, the desktop music player for macOS, has released the latest version of its software which now integrates MQA audio technology.  The MQA Core decoder, contained within the new Audirvana Plus 3 player, enables the first origami ‘unfold’ and also authenticates the file using a blue or green light to confirm that the sound is identical to that of the source material. More »

As we featured in our Bristol Sound and Vision coverage, Melco have updated their original N1 series with their new MkII range which reflects both technical improvements and feedback from owners, with the aim to further improve sound quality and also to add ‘innovative new functionality previously not possible with this type of Audiophile Source Component’. More »

The SOtM sMS 200 streamer is an unassuming little unit costing $450 plus taxes. John Scott puts it to the test.  More »

roksponsmallMUTEC, German manufacturer of professional and audiophile consumer audio equipment, is proud to release a utility app for firmware updates of the MC-3+ Smart Clock USB on Apple Macs. Since the release of the Windows update utility in July MUTEC say they have received “a tremendous positive response from customers who have eagerly updated their devices”. More »

Merging Technologies will display a pre-production version of the Merging+NADAC Player at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. The result of a dynamic partnership with Roon Labs, On a Higher Note, Merging’s US distributor will be demonstrating the product in Long Peaks on the Mezzanine floor of the Denver Marriott Tech Center. The concept of Roon’s ground breaking player program being offered in integrated solutions is not new; there being many existing partners with products available, but this will be the first time that the focus will shift to a complete turnkey and networked solution offering stereo as well as multichannel capability up to DSD256 and DXD.merging_tech_rocky_mountain

The Merging+NADAC player was shown as a concept at the 2016 HIGH END Munich event and was welcomed by the attendees. The ‘single box’ solution with the software and the server combined with a DAC removes the need to have a computer in the living room. The ease with which the whole system can be controlled by your favorite tablet or smart phone enhances the user experience significantly. Integration details such as direct control of the NADAC volume and mute from the Roon user interface, also adds to the overall ergonomics by simplifying the control of the entire system from one single page on one single tablet. The NADAC Player requires only to be connected to the home network to access the remote control tablet through Wifi and stream from NAS servers storing music. When connected on the network any computer can still also stream music to NADAC using Merging Ravenna/AES67 drivers for Windows or Mac, while the NADAC Player enjoys a brand new Merging Linux/ALSA driver. Optional USB drives containing music may be connected directly on the back plate of the NADAC Player.

Merging also announced that this solution can be retrofitted to all Merging NADAC units already in the field and to any units shipping from now on, meaning that early adopters can take advantage of the upgrade if they wish. The Merging+NADAC Player is planned to be shipping in time for CES in January.  Prices will show a small increase from the existing DAC despite the huge increase in functionality and convenience.

Roon’s CEO, Enno Vandermeer commented; “We are sure that this combination of the very best audio reproduction and the ultimate user experience, is going to bring back the enjoyment of listening to music in the home.” On Merging’s behalf, Head of Software Engineering and NADAC Product Manager, Dominique Brulhart stated; “The feedback we have had from customers, dealers and distributors over the past few months has convinced us that the market wants an elegant solution in a neater package. The Merging+NADAC Roon player is just that.”

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John Scott takes a listen to the Hana Lab Sakura music server and DAC hailing from Croatia and costing £500
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Hydra Z from Audiobyte is a USB audio playback bridge and clock generator whilst the Hydra ZPM is its matching Ultra linear audio power supply. Dan Worth is already a user of the company’s previous model Hydra X+ and most definitely a digital audiophile, so who better to put to put this £1050 combo through their paces.  More »

MUTEC, German manufacturer of professional and audiophile consumer audio equipment, say they are excited to introduce the firmware V1.10 for their MC-3+ Smart Clock USB. The new firmware V1.10 will not only introduce several functional improvements, it also presents a significant step-up for the already exceptional sound performance of the MC-3+USB say the company. Furthermore, the update will be free to all users and is ready to be installed on their own at home or at the studio.mutec_MC-3+ Smart Clock USB_mutec_firmware_update_news

KEY FEATURES:

  • Free, user-executable update
  • Painstakingly optimized re-clocking algorithm
    Improving the already exceptional sound quality to achieve even more clarity, resolution, and presence
  • PCM/DSD auto-detection
    Enjoy music via USB up to 192 kHz PCM and DSD/DoP streams (up to DSD256 and DoP128 respectively) without the need for manual switching
  • Bugfixes and functional improvements

Windows only at the moment, but Mac update coming soon 

One of the most significant functional improvements and most requested feature of the firmware V1.10 is the automatic detection of DSD and PCM streams when using the MC-3+USB for audiophile computer audio playback via USB. MUTEC CEO Christian Peters comments: “Convenience is key for our high-end consumer audio customers and having to switch modes depending on the source file when playing back a mixed format playlist for example was a major nuisance.” From now on, the user simply has to select the USB input from the reference menu (all top three LEDs now illuminate) and the MC-3+USB will automatically adapt to PCM streams with up to 192 kHz sampling rate and DSD/DoP (DSD256 and DoP128 respectively).

Christian continues: “Our development engineers have painstakingly tweaked the DDS algorithms under the hood yielding a new level of sound quality. This is an achievement we’re particularly proud of and that all users will benefit from.”.

The firmware release package will contain several update files and a comprehensive guide taking the user through the process step by step. The update will be made available via MUTEC’s website as a zip-archive download. At the moment, the update is limited to Windows users only, but a Mac version of the update is expected to follow soon.

Expect a review of this the MC-3+USB on Hifi Pig soon.

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