THANKS TO STEVEN STONE, AN AUDIOPHILE MAKES THE LEAP INTO THE DIGITAL AGE AND BECOMES A MUSIC LOVER AGAIN
I had wanted to curb my enthusiasm a little before writing to Absolute Sound to congratulate Steven Stone. But after reading reader Lawrence Devoe's "WOW" comments, I decided that I must also write to thank Steven for the excellent article on Squeezebox and Apple TV. By the way, I went the Squeezebox route, my son went the Apple TV route.
I have been an audiophile for more than four decades. This is the first time, I have been this excited about a magazine article. And I have been reading the Absolute Sound and Stereophile long before they changed their size, format, editors, etc. (Those old copies are still stored in my library.) Steven performed a real service to those of us who were trying to make the leap into the digital age. And this is from a guy who has nearly 10,000 LPs, some of which are still played through either a Basis or a Clearaudio turntable. Because of Steven, I am now trying to convert my relatives and friends.
The Logitech Squeezebox Duet is dirt cheap and a joy to use. Whether it is Rhapsody or some other internet music server or even iTunes, it is just a terrific device. After reading Steven's article, I bought a new Apple modem as well as the Airport Express to go with the Squeezebox. I have been comparing the sound of Rhapsody streams against my trusty Accuphase CD player, adjusted for volume levels and playing the same music. Frankly, the sound of the Duet is excellent. I have to add that I am now investigating a number of DACs, after buying an entry-level unit. So far I have not had time to take the Duet down to my dedicated music room to play against my relatively new Ayre 5 that feeds Audio Research amps that drive my big Dunlavy speakers. For now, it makes wonderful music through my office system that includes Audio Research, Krell and Mirage, etc.
My recommendation to all music lovers: Listen to Steven, buy the Duet (or Sonos or a similar device) and enter the digital age and enjoy the music. I have played more music in the last two weeks than in the last several months!
I am enjoying my lossless files in my iTunes library as well as the internet music source called Rhapsody. I suspect that my McIntosh tuner will not be used much anymore. The internet radio and music services trump my local public radio station, both in convenience and in the variety of classical music. However, it does not matter what your tastes are. There are many choices on the internet, from Jazz and country to rock and back,
Once set up, the convenience and ease of use of this little toy is simply amazing. However, there are some initial issues while hooking up the Duet to a PC. The Microsoft Vista does not like non-Microsoft software!!! There are a lot of comments on the internet about this problem. I had to rely on my computer guru engineer son to fix my problem. Perhaps the Mac does not have as many hook up issues.
In any case, the remote is just wonderful. To see the album cover while the music is playing is thrilling. A note: The Squeezebox should really give us a manual. The box comes only with a "Quick Start Guide." It is not very helpful. You have to go online to find answers to your basic questions. Listen Logitech: Just add another $10 to the initial price but include a useful manual.
Again, many thanks Steven Stone.
Erol Caglarcan, Ph.D.