I have been using music servers for almost eight years, mainly for compiling my CD compilations; for reference playback, I used an SACD player such as the AudioAero La Source or Luxman D-08 (remarkable SACD playback). It was only at CES 2013, that I demonstrated to the public for the first time, a simple music server using an Apple Macbook, running Audirvana, that allows me to play both native DSD as well as FLAC files. The results were shocking; finally (in my opinion) we have reference quality playback from a computer. Capable of delivering not only the resolution but also the emotional content, that is essential to connect with the listener.
As you know I have a decent record collection and last year bought a KORG MR2000 DSD recorder and a Metric Halo Lio 8 for recording vinyl 2 24/192; I have been experimenting the past months trying to come to grips between DSD & PCM; how best to do it, then record some of the choice vinyl cuts to digital. Well, after many months listening to both formats, I will admit that I have come to the conclusion that DSD is the way to go; it’s the more analogue sounding. There is no digital glare nor hardness. Now I will be the first to admit, that the digital file does not hold a candle to the record been played in real time, but with the vinyl drops, I can bring many, many records with me to a music event at a dealer’s showroom and enthrall everyone with the remarkable vinyl playback that we derive from Brinkmann’s finest turntables.
Luxman took one of their SACD players (D-06), removed the transport, wrote some new software that utilized the hardware capabilities of the processor & DAC and so are now offering compatibility with PCM up to 32 bit 384 kHz and DSD up to 2 x DSD. The stand-alone DAC (D-06) is 50% cheaper that the SACD player that it originated from, retail $6,000.
This is a ground breaking product! But don’t take my word for it, visit your local dealer from mid June onwards, when the units will become available. Enjoy!