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Creating a High-Resolution 5.1 Music Server

by John Siau April 21, 2015 6 min read

Blu-ray disks often contain high-resolution audio formats. Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD are two Blu-ray audio encoding formats that support lossless high-resolution audio. These systems support up to 8 channels of 24-bit, 96kHz audio, or up to 6 channels of 24-bit 192 kHz audio.

Blu-ray disks may seem like an ideal solution for the distribution of high-resolution audio, but there are problems. It is not easy to gain access to the high-resolution audio stored on these disks.

Our solution was to set up a PC-based music (and video) server. We used a Blu-ray equipped PC running Windows 7 and the JRiver MediaCenter software.

This application note provides a guide for setting up a music server that can play the lossless high-resolution audio tracks found on DVD and Blu-ray disks.

- John Siau

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The AHB2 - A Radical Approach to Audio Power Amplification

by John Siau July 30, 2014 6 min read


The performance of the AHB2 would not have been achievable without taking a radical approach to power amplification. In many ways, the AHB2 is a complete 180 degree departure from traditional high-end amplifier designs. There is nothing ordinary about the Benchmark AHB2!

Take a look inside this unique audio power amplifier! 

- John Siau

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The CE Mark - A Photo-Tour of Immunity Testing

by John Siau June 25, 2014 3 min read

Testing for Immunity to Interference

Most people have seen the CE mark on electronic equipment, but few have had the opportunity to witness the tests that are required to conform to the CE specifications. This post takes the reader on a behind-the-scenes photo-tour of the CE tests of Benchmark's new AHB2 power amplifier.

- John Siau

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The CE Mark - What Does it Mean, and Why Should I Care?

by John Siau June 17, 2014 4 min read

Why is the CE Mark Important?

Many electronic products have a "CE" mark affixed to the product. This mark is mandatory in European markets, but is not required on products sold elsewhere. Few people understand what this mark means and why it is important. It is often a good idea to look for this mark when purchasing a product. It is also important to understand the differences between professional and consumer audio products (as defined in the CE standards).

- John Siau

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What is High-Resolution Audio? - Part 2

by John Siau April 03, 2014 3 min read

Is there Life Beyond 20 kHz?

High-Resolution Audio systems offer the promise of an extended high-frequency range. High-Resolution digital systems now operate at 2 to 4 times the sample rate of the standard CD. This means that these systems have the capability of extending the playback frequency range well above the 22 kHz limit of the standard CD. Does this added high-frequency range improve our listening experience? How high is high enough?  Do we really need anything over 20 kHz?

If we want to accurately reproduce 20 kHz audio, the frequency response of each component must extend well beyond 20 kHz.

- John Siau

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What is High-Resolution Audio? - Part 1

by John Siau March 27, 2014 3 min read

Eliminate the Noise!

There is a raging debate over the definition of "High-Resolution Audio". The focus of this debate has been misdirected by a lot of marketing hype. High-Resolution Audio will only truly arrive when the sum total of all defects in the audio chain become inaudible. We are not there yet, but we are getting close. The final chapter will not be higher sample rates and more bits. The final chapter will be achieving the necessary improvements to critical components in the signal chain.

If your playback system can't resolve anything better than CD quality, then "High-Resolution Audio" will remain an illusion.

- John Siau

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