We have been waiting a long time for this, and it has finally arrived: new software and firmware for the Simple Audio Roomplayer. It has been announced as completely new and even better than Sonos. Unfortunately, the reality is different. I would even say, do not download and install this junk. My god, what were they thinking??? Who has been working on this? Clearly the developer does not have any feeling with this product, nor does he use it himself on a daily basis, otherwise he would not have ruined it like this.
Inside sources say that Simple Audio will release brand new software for its Roomplayer this summer. All feedback from dealers and customers will be taken into account, so hopefully this will solve the pending problems (see my review some posts below). Together with a native iPad app they claim the Roomplayer will even outperform its competitors. Personally I find this a very bold statement, we will have to wait and see!
This post is just to let you know what I am working on for some time. Today I got the very first version of a new project working. As you probably know the biggest problem with nowadays recordings is compression of the dynamic range. Once started as a loudness war to sound the loudest on the radio, still most new populair recordings and remasters only have limited dynamic range (see Dynamic Range Database). And although the original reason is not valid anymore for a long time (radio stations have their own limiters, which sound the best with dynamic material), our favorite music continues to be crippled.
I got a Simple Audio Roomplayer on loan for 3 months now from a friend of mine who owns the local high-end audio shop. I waited this long with posting this review, because we reported our findings to the importer and hoped for a response or software update to fix the found problems. Unfortunately to date we have heard nothing yet, although we inquired several times for it. In the meantime an update for the desktop software has been released, but not much has been changed judging from the build number that has been increased with only 9 to 20034. The only difference I can spot is a feature that I used has been removed: if you hovered the mouse pointer over the album cover a play button appeared to start playing the album. Now you have to enter the album and start the first track yourself.
Meridian would of course never make such a product, but using their latest product, the Meridian Explorer, we can do it ourselves. It is an async USB DAC (combined with SPDIF digital optical output), one of the hundreds of similar devices available nowadays. According to the information the 6 layer PCB is filled with audiophile grade components and powered by the XMOS L1 chip. There are already several reviews on the net (for instance here) and they all agree that this device sounds great. So what do we need to make the ultimate SqueezeBox? Basically you need a Raspberry Pi as core system, SqueezeLite for the actual work, iPeng to control it and of course the Logitech Media Server running on your NAS (but who hasn’t? 🙂 ). Good luck!
I decided to change the title and tag line of my blog because it was much too restrictive for what I am interested in and things I am busy with. I started the blog to be able to share my work on digital filter analysis and design, but that was then and I have been doing other things lately which I also want to share with you all. I am planning to do more posts on a broader range of topics, but of course all will be related to (new) technology and own analysis, reviews or development in this area.
Maybe this is a bit off-topic for this blog, but it holds my interest and I have done some testing myself lately with these different type of screens. First time I saw 3D in the cinema (Dolby 3D) I thought it worked very well, so I was pretty disappointed when the first active screens arrived at the home. The active shutter glasses have poor contrast, therefor also lots of crosstalk (ghosting) and they are inconvenient because of the batteries, not to mention the flickering.