no doubt that there is wonderful convienience
features in our Personal Computers and iPods.
Nearly everyone uses a Computer or iPod at some
point to listen to music. Programs like iTunes
allow flexibility to store one’s entire
music collection on the hard drive of a where
the entire musical library can be organized
and easily played. But, if you put your computer
into your main listening system (after you use
a cheap mini-plug to RCA cable of course), the
performance, timing, pitch, accuracy isn't quite
there. The music doesn't match up to our CD
player in performance... much like how our CD
player didn't match up to our turntables a few
decades ago. So, are we doomed to lose performance
with every technological advancement, eventually
until we are listening the musical equivalent
of YouTube videos compared to HDTV? No.
the new Digital to Analog Converters by Ayre
and Wavelength Audio. These DACS both use USB
Inputs from your computer. The DAC then converts
the Digital signal to Analog, and outputs analog
audio outputs (RCA and XLR on the Ayre QB9)
to your preamplifier or receiver.
you plug your computer into your high performance
music system, you are using the computer as
the master audio clock The D/A converter must
lock onto the signal coming from the computer
and reconstruct a new master clock using a variable-frequency
oscillator, which will result in: jitter. Many
USB DACS use D/A converters that can produce
good sounding music, but result in high levels
of jitter. The solution comes from the TAS1020B
chip created by J. Gordon Rankin of Wavelength
Audio. The TAS1020B reduces jitter, while
still using the USB "adaptive" transfer
mode. But this wasn't enough. By using "asynchronous
USB transmission, allows the audio clock in
the D/A Converter does not need to be synchronized
with any of the computer clocks. The result
is the external D/A converter's jitter is as
low as a single-loader CD Player! This configuration
is used in Wavelength Audio DACS and the new
Ayre QB-9 uses Wavelength Audio’s new
“asynchronous” USB technology called
Streamlength software. The Ayre QB-9 is such
a great performer because it is an external
D/A converter box that has the critical master
audio clock right next to the D/A chip itself,
without resorting to a non-standard interface.
The QB-9 works great with both Macintosh and
PC systems, and all kinds of standard playback
programs like iTunes, WinAmp, Windows Media
Player and more. The Ayre QB-9 offers many other
features that make it worthy of the multi-award
winning Ayre name. Fully Balanced analog circuitry,
zero-feedback for a natural sound with the correct
pace and timing cover the performance of Ayre.
The USB receiver section is isolated from the
rest of the audio circuitry, keeping noise-generating
switching power supply isolated from the music
system. “MP” minimum-phase digital
filters for tonal accuracy and musicality finish
up the complete package for the Ayre QB-9.
Audio also has a series of USB DACS that offer
serious performance for computer based systems.
The Wavelengh units can communicate bit sizes
(i.e. 16 or 24 bits) and sample rates (i.e.
44.1K, 48K, 88.2K and 96K) to and from the computer.
Like the Ayre, all of the Wavelength units use
asynchronous USB mode. Wavelength (local to
Cincinnati) offers the models Transcendental,
Numerator, Denominator, Crimson, Cosecant and
our most poplualr: Brick. Brick was given a
Class A rating by Stereophile.The Wavelength
Brick uses custom code to support USB ASYNC
mode. The Brick has a very low jitter central
clock that runs the entire audio section.
in and see the Brick by Wavelength and The QB-9
by Ayre in our store. These items are two of
our very exciting new products. We will be glad
to demonstrate the stunning performance that
these DACS offer.
Wavelength Audio Brick
for additional questions.