3Guide to Disc Players, DACs, and Music Servers
elcome to this special Buyers’ Guide to Disc Players, DACs, and Music Servers presented by
The Absolute Sound
. Inside you’ll find everything you need to know about choosing, setting up, and enjoyingthe latest digital-audio technologies. We’ve packed this special guide with select equipment reviews of the bestdisc players, digital-to-analog converters (DACs), integrated amplifiers with DACs, and music servers. These reviews run thegamut from the amazing $99 NuForce Icon USB DAC to the $22,000 dCS Puccini/U-Clock—with lots of stops in between.Whatever your budget, this special Buyers’ Guide will hook you up with the very best sounding gear.
Today, options for acquiring, storing, and accessing music have neverbeen greater. Many disc players include a host of features unimaginable just a few years ago. The traditional system architecture of a CD player,amplifier, and speakers has been overthrown by new technologies thatblur the lines between product categories, such as music servers—aterm that describes everything from an iPod, to a turnkey systemsuch as Sooloos, to a PC that’s been converted into a digital jukebox.To help you sort out all these new options, we’ve included severalcomprehensive, in-depth feature articles that cover everything fromservers to how to transfer your LPs to digital.This revolution in digital audio technology not only expands our abilityto easily access our music, it also offers an unprecedented opportunityfor greatly improved sound quality. I’m talking about high-resolutiondigital audio, which is a significant step up from what you’ll hear fromCD. The combination of music servers (actually, file-based audio asopposed to physical-format-based audio) and the Internet allows us toleapfrog the technical and economic hurdles of introducing a new high-res disc format. We can simply log onto our favorite high-res music siteand download our music with far greater fidelity than that of even thebest-quality CD. When done right, high-resolution digital audio (definedas 88.2kHz/20-bit or higher) is spectacularly good—something everymusic lover should hear for himself or herself. We’ll show you how to goabout experiencing high-res audio in our feature articles, and guide youtoward the best-sounding gear in the equipment reviews.There’s never been a more exciting time for music lovers andaudiophiles, and this special Buyers’ Guide to Disc Players, DACs, andMusic Servers will point you in the right direction to put together yourown high-performance digital music system.
Cl ic k h e r e t o t u r n t h e p a g e.