Saturday, October 27, 2007

Good Music from Your PC: Vacuum Tube Version

This NY Times article sings the praises of storing your tunes in a lossless format on a PC and then using a USB port DAC (digital-audio converter) instead of your computer's sound card to send the signal to an amplifier. This is actually a great way to get rid of CDs even for your main home stereo system (assuming anyone still has these. In Chez Angus, it takes up one whole wall of the living room).

The article mentions Gordon Rankin, the owner and proprietor of Wavelength Audio, one of the main movers in the vacuum tube revival in the USA. Gordon makes a variety of DACs for PCs that incorporate a vacuum tube stage at the output. His products are well designed, great sounding and simply beautiful. His DAC in the article is called "The Brick" and it looks like one, but here is a lovely 2.5 watt stereo amplifier he made:





Kudos to you Gordon

8 comments:

Shawn said...

...what speakers do you run?

Angus said...

My speaks are homemade. the drivers are 12" coaxials made by PHY (a french company) paper cones, alnico magnets and silver voice coils.

the Box is a hybrid between a back loaded horn and a transmission line made from cherry and maple.

Shawn said...

shoulda guessed it wouldn't be something that would help me as I'm trying to figure out which speakers to buy. :)

Angus said...

paper cones and alnico magnets are magic together. paper cones, alnico magnets and a single ended triode amp are audio nirvana. I'd be happy to share the blueprints for my boxes.

Shawn said...

I got burnt out building/doing my own stereo stuff after about 6 years in car audio...I just want to do the work of handing over the credit card for this.

Thanks for being willing to share, though.

Angus said...

Here are some commercial speaks that use the PHY drivers:

http://www.musicalaffairs.com/prod/grandcrescendo_en.php

http://www.auditorium23.de/Speakers/Solovox.html

Robert S. Porter said...

So wait, I'm supposed to spend thousands of dollars on something that sounds approximately 3% better? What economic model is going to tell me this is a good use of my (very) scarce resources?

Secondly, if I made everything lossless I'd have like 10TB of music. I am accepting donations of hard drives, however.

Shawn said...

robert....allow me to dispense some of my propaganda. You don't need to go lossless...

Public service message about how to get some good sound with mp3's