At first glance, Channel D‘s Dr Rob Robinson was demo’ing the same system that he’s shown at the last several shows. There was a pair of $7,500 Joseph Audio Pulsars were paired with $2,795 Lynx Studio Hilo converter. A $6,000 Hegel H20 amplifier, fronted by the $2,795 Channel D Seta DAC Buffer/Active Attenuator handled the speakers. On the other end of the chain, a $5,499 Channel D Seta L MC preamplifier handled the vinyl. Yes, vinyl. I mean, well, sort of. This is Channel D after all.
And that’s where things got different.
If you don’t know, here’s the quick view: Channel D makes software for the Mac that allows you to optimize your playback of audio. They also make a suite of products designed to enable your computer to be a state-of-the-art vinyl playback engine. Yes, really. You use their phono preamp and your computer to create some of the most stunning and convincing vinyl playback you’ve ever heard — and yes, it fully competes with “traditional” analog vinyl playback systems many multiples of its price.
Channel D chose AXPONA to launch a major upgrade to their flagship software product, Pure Vinyl. Now in Version 4, the new version includes a couple-dozen new features.
- New free-form Track Name / Track Time entry window
- Simplified Recording Setup user interface
- New Album List shows all recorded albums
- New Seek to Preset Side and Track when a recording is opened
- New Time Remaining feature assists recording: alerts to stylus reaching end of album side
- New Sound Looping for easier, faster fine-tuning of track marker locations
- New, super fast automated track creation using the Auto Track Finder and Track Name and timings entered during recording
- New Snap Stylus To Track feature for easier track editing
- New Tidy Tail feature automatically trims silence at ends of tracks
- New Render Each Album Side as Single Track option
- New Normalize Using Per-Track Peak Levels
Price is $299. Upgrades are available for $139.
The long-awaited Version 2.0 upgrade to the more streamlined, playback-only, software package called Pure Music did not make AXPONA, sadly. But that is imminent. Stay tuned.
As for the sound in this room — my tour through sounded excellent. Warm, detailed, and exceedingly powerful. There’s just no reason I can think of as to why those little stand-mount speaker can generate that much bass and do so so competently, but whatever. These are the mysteries that I’m all too happy to wallow around in. The fact that this was a mighty fine audio chain was not lost on me. Very well done!