Respected audio guru Wes Phillips reviews the Linn Klimax DS network music player in the current March Stereophile magazine. It streams 124KHz 24 bit music to a hardwired home music network. If you can afford the $20,000 price tag (even money, no $19,999.99 bait-and-switch here) then you can probably also afford to hire an outside shop to rip your entire CD library to proprietary FLAC digital audio files, which you can then route through the whole house on a state of the art proprietary software platform.
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When we turn on the FM radio and leave it on a favorite station, we can get music all day. I like the Bay Area’s KDFC (102.1 Classical FM). Their announcing and classical programming rarely disappoint. After a few months, though, the ads get a little irritating. Stations are forced to accept ads from car dealers who insist on doing their own pitches, and trendy retailers (“Food Max”) whose hair-curling, low-life jingles make me cringe. Gone are the days when tasteful stations could dictate standards to their advertisers.
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The Silverstone project is more or less complete. I’ve been playing music in the living room for several hours without once changing a CD – or, for that matter, loading one.
iTunes is happily cranking out WAV files on the 300GB hard drive. The acid test, I knew all along, was going to be: but how good does all this sound through the big front and rear living room speakers? It sounds great! Despite surprises and setbacks you may have followed on my “Silverstone Project”, the project was very worhwhile. I am happy and satisfied.
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Stereo Audio Reproduction
In 1998 we posted an article, Home Sound Studio, in which we promoted the benefits of going the extra mile to hook your audio card up to a first-rate home sound system. We discussed the connectivity and switching, but didn’t really get into the nuts and bolts of it. It seems apparent that makers of PC speakers, including legendary names like Altec and Klipsch, have confused consumers about what kinds of speakers can really be used with a Mac or PC. With all the talk of “digital sound”, it would be easy to conclude that the audio output of a PC is an entirely different kind of signal than used by our home stereo and AV receivers and entertainment centers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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You may already have a home sound studio in your desktop computer, and not know it.
Newer machines generally support 44kHz audio sampling rates at 16 or 32 bits, which is CD-Quality sound. If your machine was manufactured in the last two or three years, and it has (or you bought) a CD-ROM player, you probably already know you can play audio CD’s. You can also play audio files, such as MIDI, WAV or the Mac .snd sound files. If these files were recorded to CD audio standards, they are very large files (about ten megabytes per minute of play time), but they can contain stereo sound of truly awesome theater quality.
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