Pursuing the Ultimate Music Experiences

Audio Federation High-Fidelity Audio Blog

Acapella Audio Arts – The Audio One music server

Acapella has recently come out with a music server. You’ve seen it at shows, but it is now in production and we’ve been using it here on both the big and small systems for a month or two now.

On the big system we run it into the Audio Note “Fifth Element” DAC at 24×96 and it sounds very good. Not as good as the very expensive Audio Note CDT-Five transport, but sometimes the laziness bug strikes and one just wants to set it and forget it.

On the smaller system we use the Audio One’s on-board DAC [which we also use on the big system sometimes when we want to experiment – it is VERY competitive (or better) with everything we’ve heard at the price].

The unit perfectly complements the rest of the gear in this system, which are honestly some of my personal favorites of all time and which I could happily live with forever (AN SORO integrated, AN/E Spe HE speakers, TT2), which are all in the $6K to $10K range.

We’re not giving up on CDs just yet [but if YOU are, let us give you our address and instead of just throwing them away… :-)], but their days are numbered and some are getting harder to find and more expensive – and some are now 50 cents.

Audio One music server, Price: $6875.00 USD




Audio Note U.K. level-5 volume controls

Volume controls? Yep. Volume controls.

Audio Note’s more expensive pre-amplifiers have high-performance and awesome-looking volume controls. Hand soldered resisters are used for discrete levels of attenuation – arranged in a couple of different geometries that are pleasing to the eye [well, MY eyes anyway!] as well as the ear.

The red, square-looking one in the photos has more “steps” and allows for finer control of the volume between soft and loud. AN believes in high-gain preamps and so do we, but we wanted a little more control over the playback and recently had Nick at True Sound install the red volume control in our M9 Phono preamp.

We are liking the change. 🙂

It is taking  us both awhile to get used to setting the volume 5  clicks in and still being able to hear ourselves talk [which can be a good thing and a bad thing ;-)].

OK. Enough with the spouse-humor [sorry Neli :-)]. We also upgraded the M9’s umbilical cord between its power supply and control unit a few months ago, a major improvement.

Audio Note U.K. doesn’t stay still and keeps improving things. Which is good. Because after some amount of time, I am always ready for something that brings me closer to the epiphanies of hope and beauty that music can deliver to world-weary tired souls – like mine. And maybe like yours too.

HRS M3X2 platform cutaway

An awesome diagram of all the pieces and parts of an Harmonic Resolution Systems M3X2 Isolation Base. These platforms are used many places in a HRS-based setup: as amplifier stands, as shelves in equipment racks, as turntable bases.

Audio Note M9 RIAA Signature Phono Stage

Going through old directories finding tons of photos that never made it to the blog. Here is just a couple of them.

The M9 RIAA is a two box phono stage from Audio Note U.K. which is by far the best phone stage we have heard with respect to revealing [aka letting through. aka not stepping all over] the parts of the music that make music sound like music. What more could one ask for? [a serious question. Can’t think of anything!]

This now lives in Fred Crowder‘s system [M9 RIAA reviewed at DAGOGO].


Giving some lovin’ to our Audio Note SOOTTO power cords….

Audio Note has a long history of making power cords. We haven’t always been fans but the statement SOOTTO power cables ($11k-ish for 1.5 meters) and the affordable ISIS power cables ($450-ish for 1.5 meters) have made our ears very, very happy.

[don’t know about you, but if I can at least make my ears happy, it helps me to solider on to the next sucky tomorrow]

The SOOTTO is comparable to other cables in this price range (e.g. Nordost Odin 1) but is less aggressive and more emotional. Extreme detail but not etched detail like some other cables, which lets through the subtle variations in harmonics and dynamics that are needed to understand and appreciate what is the fantastical adventure happening in each note of each song we want to listen to.

The Audio Note ISIS power cord is an all-around performer in the vein of the SOOTTO [and is just slightly smaller in diameter] and we use them freely when we do not have enough SOOTTO on hand to power a system out. Sounds better than power cords at 5-times the price and we have [and sell!] a LOT of these.


Splicit Reel Audio Products

[We still haven’t entered the world of reel-to-reel tape yet, but these people seem nice and have a wealth of accessories for when we do]

Splicit Reel Audio Products “Splicit Reel Audio Products is the nation’s innovative supplier of analog audio tape and accessories carrying a full-line of reel to reel products including Capture Audio Tape and PYRAL/RMGI, splicing block and kits, leader tape, splicing tape, reverse foil tape, NAB aluminum reels, 7″ plastic reels, demagnetizers and setup boxes and more.”

Finally getting around to updating the website

After a few public service announcements we will be back to our regularly scheduled program – lots of things happening here.

Did finally get to all the maintenance the website needed. Updating Ubuntu, PHP, WordPress, the theme and a host of plugins.

Not what I consider fun, and in fact kinda stressful. Let it go too long for it to be easy…

Let me know if something is still out-of-wack.

I mean with the website, of course.

The rest of the planet? Here’s some silly good-natured advice about THAT :-/