Tag Archives: Melco

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Apparently PS Audio’s newest DAC is perfect. Imagine that, as perfect doesn not exist.

So, yes computers for music are noisy and one way to get around a noisy computer is to use an audio only server, specifically made with an eye towards noise. That’s what I do with a Melco server and a T+A MP2500R DAC/SCAD player/Streamer, with galvanic isolation.

Works great and the streamer inside the T+A is wonderful sounding and as good as the WAV files I have ripped onto the Melco!

Know your enemy

I get a lot of flack for my dislike of USB as a medium between the computer and DAC.

Truth is, it’s not USB I don’t like. It’s what USB connects with that bothers me.

Noisy computers.

Here’s the deal. We all know computers are vile, noisy affairs that hopefully are as far away from our pristine high-end audio systems as possible.

When we want to extract music from these noise-ridden contraptions what’s the best arm’s-length, noise-free way to do it?

Ethernet—an isolated one-way communication medium.

What’s the worst way to connect?

USB—a two-way connected open-gate flood of data and noise.

Our goal should be to get the data out of our computers with as little noise and connection as possible, which is why Ethernet (or long-ago fiber optics before Toshiba’s TOSLINK format screwed up our chances for high sample rates) or WiFi are the best choices.

I get it. It’s a heck of a lot easier just to fire up a USB cable and be done with it. Ethernet and WiFi are pains in the keester.

But better.

One possible solution is to use a USB reclocker device like the Matrix.

It helps, but it isn’t perfect.

Perfect is a new DirectStream MK2 DAC with 100% galvanic isolation.

With an MK2 in the system, you can use USB and stop worrying about it.

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

While I sell turntables, most of what I sell is pretty expensive.

Yesterday, I saw an ad from a company that makes new lower priced products and they are making turntables in the US!!

Their name is U Turn Audio and here is there website.  You’ll probably need to copy the URL. https://uturnaudio.com/collections/all

I’ve not heard their products, but belt drive and a few reasonable design choices and probably great for most non-audiophiles out there that want to buy record players.

In fact, there are a few different companies that make turntables in the US, including VPI and  Shinola Detroit. VPI has a huge offering of products, mostly or exclusively, sold through dealers and range in price from very reasonable, to extremely expensive.

Shinola Detroit makes turntables, which they are currently sold out of and at $2500!! They also make watches and other mens and womens stuff. Check them out. https://www.shinola.com/supply/audio/runwell-turntable-rose-gold.html

Vinyl is alive and well and I still listen to my turntable a lot, but my Melco digital is pretty damn good too.



Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

I am a user and dealer for Melco’s music servers and it took me years to take the plunge. Is it perfect? No, but it works seamlessly and is a one great sounding one box solution for storing my audio files, some 2200 CD’s ripped in WAV files, as well as playing them back. The custom Melco HD App lets you stream a couple of the Hi Resolution streaming services to it, such as Tidal and Qbuzz. The N1 ZH I use has a 3 TB drive and another 3TB drive inside the machine, so it automatically gives me a back-up drive. Very cool… Melco is distributed by Luxman USA and we are Luxman dealers, as well.

Meta and machines

Three years and thousands of hours into the development of our music server, Octave, and we’re still not finished. (But we’re getting close).

It’s not the hardware that’s hard it’s the software, though perhaps not the software you might be imagining. Octave’s software has been able to pull and play music from any source for several years now. And sound amazing. No, the hard part is teaching a machine to know what you know.

You know that John, Paul, George, and what’s his name are The Beatles and not the Beetles. But who are Beatles, The? Or Fab Four? And how does Billy Preston relate to Beatles? And for that matter, who is Lady Madonna? Is she a singer (there is a Madonna who is a lady) or a song?

Teaching machines how to know what we know is really, really hard. And when a machine gets it wrong we think it’s stupid. But, in reality, it’s neither stupid nor smart.

The real challenges of building a world-class music management system are found in sorting through the millions of bits of data that have been collected on just about every recording made. Matching up the right track with the correct artist is just the beginning. There are no set conventions for how data are organized and no authority to guard over misspellings and inaccuracies as we might expect in something like the Oxford Dictionary (and even this classic isn’t perfect).

We are getting close. Over the past weeks, we have been testing the system and sussing out the quirks: assigning fuzziness to the logic where decisions aren’t black and white and scoring our accuracy against the standards of today (we’re at about 92% which is pretty darned great).

Octave’s getting close.