A computer as ultimate source for your high-end audio setup
Play your music in the best possible sound quality, WITHOUT costing a fortune
Easy to use, EVEN if you don't know anything about computers
Cost-no-object or price conscious? ALWAYS the best components
Everybody can achieve this. 🙂
…Problems with conventional digital playback
If you play your music with a standard computer, laptop or streamer your music will never sound optimal.
And the reason is simple: a standard computer or laptop is not made to use in a high-end audio setup, or for audiophile music reproduction.
Also when you play your music with a fancy streamer, there's a big chance it does not perform optimal. (even lots of expensive high-end audio brands have their limitations)
Here are some of the problems that a normal computer (and many brands streamers) have, and that you should eliminate when high-end music reproduction is your goal:
EMI/RFI in PC
High jitter values
High noise floor
Inferior power supply
Basic (internal) cables
Noise from CPU fan & spinning HDD's (= hard drive)
Hardware not optimal for high-end audio
No optimization of BIOS
No optimization of operating system
No optimization of playback software
Reduced sound quality
Sound wise these problems will give you:
A certain harshness in the sound
Music has rough edges
There is a restlessness in the sound
There is less focus in the stereo image
There is more smearing
Music does not sound "analog"
An inferior source is no compliment for your hard earned audio setup. 🙁
HOW CAN YOU MAKE IT RIGHT?
With a high-end audio PC of course! 🙂
Thanks to a computer it is much easier and cheaper to improve the internal components, and optimize all aspects that are necessary for ultimate high-end audio playback.
You are at the forefront of digital evolution, with optimal sound as your goal.
What can be achieved with computer audio at the moment, is something famous brands will only apply years from now, or maybe never at all.
A good example is the Coffee Lake music server by Paul Pang that I sell in my webshop.
Currently no other manufacturer uses such profound optimizations in the design of a streamer or music server. Not even the very expensive high-end audio models that cost a tenfold.
I also apply profound optimizations in my own designs, such as:
Audiophile OCXO clock
Optimal internal power supply
High quality external lineair power supply
Audiophile internal cables
Case with passive cooling
Optimization of BIOS
Optimization of operating system
Optimization of software
OPTIMAL DIGITAL SOURCE
Thanks to a high-quality linear power supply and (amongst other things) an optimization of the operating system, you will get a much lower noise floor.
By using a case with passive cooling and a Solid State Drive (SSD), the music server is dead quiet. Noise is no longer a limiting factor when critical listening is required.
Thanks to optimized audiophile hardware such as an OCXO clock, a high-end USB output, or decently shielded audiophile cables signal transfer is optimal. Jitter & timing errors are minimized to values below measurement.
The best possible signal is sent to your external DAC (or digital amp/receiver)
Results of these optimizations:
A black background
No more smearing
More micro details
Smooth & analog sounding
In short: a reproduction of your favorite music in the best possible quality that sounds better than most expensive ready-made solutions of the famous high-end audio brands (and you can do this for less money!).
My playground as a kid
As a kid I already built my first computers. My father had his own business in electronics & software. His work space was my playground. I have very fond memories of this.
Some "highlights" from my childhood:
- Experimenting with commands in the DOS prompt
- With an empty case and separate components building my own PC
- Receiving my first color screen as a gift and weeping for joy
- Setting up a LAN with 2 computers and play games with my friends
- Modify those games when I got tired of them
- The first kid in school with his own website
Blessed times!! 🙂
MY BIGGEST PASSION... MUSIC!
My whole life music has been part of it:
At the age of 8 I started playing clarinet. Since then I was musically educated, playing with an orchestra in top division, and playing international contests.
Later I also learnt jazz, taught myself to play the piano, experimented with synthesizers, with electronic music, with music production software, composed my own music, and played in some experimental bands in Antwerp.
Since the age of 16 I started collecting music. Because my collection was getting very large I started DJ'ing. I organized "Flower Power" (sixties & seventies) parties and played festivals in Belgium and abroad.
Because I had so many music, I wanted to reproduce my gems in the best possible way.
My journey into high-end audio could begin. I still remember the very first time I entered a high-end audio store. I was literally blown away. Could music sound THAT good? Waw!
My music collection expanded further. Because my audio setup was getting better, I also focused on the quality of the recording.
In those days I met dealers, manufacturers, cable designers, and loudspeaker developers.
I had several friends who where becoming active as sound engineer in a studio environment, or became professional musicians.
In that period my father (who is a technical engineer) made his own active reference system as a living room setup.
All these people shared their knowledge with me.
Crucial information about the sector, about the technical aspects of audio reproduction, about recording techniques, acoustics, and so on.
Birth of Hifi-opinions.com
I gathered so many valuable knowledge and information. I could not keep all this knowledge for myself.
I wanted to share my passion, and give other passionates decent and honest advice.
That's why I started hifi-opinions.com, a website where I reviewed high-end audio componentswebsite & wrote general articles about music & reproduction. I did this in my spare time, as a volunteer without any financial compensation or influence of manufacturers, to be able to obtain objectivity.
Unfortunately this was a very time consuming activity. Because I did not get payed for my work, I had to continue my former job.
In the end I could not publish enough articles and I did a regular job against my will.
It had to change…
I was thirty, and I felt like I did not accomplish anything in my life. Every day I went to work, came home, slept and went to work again. Was this it?
No, it wasn't. I was quite sure of that. But then, what was my purpose in life?
I worked as a social assistant in a local governmental facility.
I was confronted on a daily basis with the biggest problems imaginable: people in poverty, debts, addiction, psychical problems, suicide, aggression, evictions, seizure of wages, debt collections, and so on.
Because of the financial crisis there was a constant increase in workload. And no money for extra staff. We received more clients, with bigger problems.
Because of this workload, and because of my dissatisfaction with my current life at the time, I had a burn-out.
Afterwards this burn-out seemed like a gift from the heavens. I had the time to reflect, and after a period of rest I could see a new horizon, more beautiful than ever before, and with new possibilities...
And then something magical happened. I pressed the reset button. In that difficult period I met my current girlfriend. We went to the countryside to start our life together. Far away from my birth place, far away from my former job. Together we built a cozy nest and became parents of the sweetest son in the world, Tristan.
Because of this "sabbatical" I could spend a lot of time with my son, and soon it became obvious what I had to do:
Make my passion my profession! 🙂
I was active as a webdesigner for many years, I had a large network in the audio sector, I had a lot of knowledge about music and reproduction that I wanted to share with others, I liked to write articles, and I made "killer audio-PC"s for years.
So why not combine all this things?
Afterwards this seemed like the most logical step that I ever took in my life. But it was also the most difficult to realize myself.
MY BIG DREAM
That's why I started building audioPC.shop & audioPC.info.
A webshop & an informative channel.
Thanks to the internet it is easier than ever to realize my dream.
Because of the internet I can reach customers all over the world. Many of those people I would never welcome in a local showroom.
So thank you internet! 🙂
All components to build it yourself
When I first built an "audiophile PC" many years ago, it was not easy to find all necessary components.
There was not a single place on the internet that sold all components on one website. I think I had to place an order on 8 different sites, at least.
In my online shop all components can be found in one place.
All necessary components to build the ultimate audio PC, organized in one website.
These components are the best that is currently available. That's why I use them myself as well.
Don't want to build it yourself?
No problem. In my webshop you can also buy "ready-made" audiophile music servers.
I offer a "top class" component in every price range. I also sell my own designs.
If you want, I can build custom, to your specifications.
And in the future I will add even more products.
On my information channel you can find all the knowledge I gained throughout the years.
For the moment I give you this knowledge in the form of "tips & advice".
New articles will appear on a regular basis.
Behind the scene I am busy making an online workshop & online courses to learn & build the ultimate audio-PC yourself.
This will be quite unique. Nowhere in the world this information will be available on one website.
Finally I can start sharing my knowledge with fellow passionates.
Knowledge about every heartfelt interest of mine.
And the future?
Maybe one day a cozy real showroom, where audiophiles can feel at "home".
But first I'll make sure you can easily find your way on this website.
And that you can the best possible digitale source for your high-end audio setup, with the best possible technology currently available. 😉
Do you have a question, or maybe a suggestion?
Then please don't hesitate to contact me.
I am open to feedback 🙂
Dries Van Hooydonck