RMAF 2018: Wavelength Audio

photo credit: Wavelength Audio

What on Earth is an Ethernet Spacelator? I have some experience with the controversy that the notion of noise in mixed signal systems causes, especially among ‘network engineers’ whose experience stops short of analog. Regardless, there are people who cannot comprehend how noise can be an issue when dealing with digital (hint: we’re also dealing with analog, thus a mixed signal system).

Wavelength Cosecant DAC

Here’s Gordon on “What is an Ethernet Spacelator (ES)”:

The input side of the circuit goes to a really high quality reclocker, this is then converted to a digital parallel interface that is optically coupled in both directions to the clean side reclocker. A low jitter (0.1ps) oscillator is used on the clean side (output) and then fed to the input side of the circuit through an optical isolator. So the input and the output are not only isolated by the magnetics of the Ethernet connector, but also completely isolated by optics.

A dual linear power supply and a total of five low noise regulators are used to filter out any noise from the mains and separately power each side of the ES. A mains line filter accepts the 115/230 switchable power at the IEC.

The ES is best used between the rest of your network and your NetDAC or your Music Streamer (Ethernet to USB or SPDIF). This would keep the noise from getting into your DAC or analog section as well as make sure the signal received over Ethernet is the best it can be.

So your network modem with your NAS and computers would sit on the input side of the ES and your audio system would sit on the output side of the ES. All that noise pollution caused by switching power supplies and switching digital garbage would be removed as well as the dirty Ethernet signal getting a full cleaning.

The sound in the Wavelength room, which featured the Vaughn Loudspeakers Plasma Signature Speakers was warm and inviting and natural as all get-out. By natural, I mean to suggest that music sounded like music and not like a poor facsimile thereof.

Each year, Gordon Rankin provides a USB drive with photos and details of the equipment used. Bravo! to that seeing as some exhibitors don’t even have a rate sheet so we’re left to our scribbles to accurately represent what was in a given room (bad idea).

Here’s some of the information provided by Gordon:

Computer Audio Setup: MacBook Pro Retina 15 16G/480GSSD Thunderbolt to a 4T Drobo SSD 4T RAID array library and Qnap 4T SSD NAS

USB DACS: Crimson 71A ($9000 msrp) or Cosecant HS3x Quotient FPGA DoP/PCM DAC module ($3500 msrp) connected using the Curious USB cable and the AudioQuest Diamond.

Preamplifier: AudioQuest Sky analog cables from the Crimson output to the Sine v6 directly heated triode line preamplifier, fully tube regulated. Showing with all silver transformers ($7500 copper, silver as shown $15,000 msrp).

Amplifiers: From the output of the Sine we use the AudioQuest Sky interconnects to the new limited edition all silver Napoleon Ag Silver $35,000 pair (or the new Duet v5 stereo 300B amplifier $5000 standard, deluxe wood front with inlay as show $5500). These are connected via the AudioQuest K2 speaker cables.

Speakers: The Plasma Signature use the historic Dukane Plasma tweeters with a Fostex Dipole midrange and powered subwoofers rolling in under 60Hz. $20,000 pair. Extra subwoofer $3000. MJ Acoustic Kennington dual 10” Subwoofer with IOS Bluetooth remote with presets $3995.

Power by AudioQuest Niagara 7000 and Niagara 1000.

Guitar by Dennis Fano Novo Guitars, Wavelength Tone Bank amp and Celestion 10”.

Wavelength Audio new product announcements:

Duetto v5 Stereo 300B amplifier 8W

Cosecant HS3x 32/384 DoP/DSD64/128 ES9038 USB DAC

Crimson HS3x 32/384 DoP/DSD64/128 ES9038 USB DAC

Brick N2 Hybrid NOS latter 24/96 USB DAC

Ethernet Spacelator Ethernet active triple isolated reclocker

Gordon also makes a line guitar amps which are by bands including the Barenaked Ladies.