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Yesterday we released Yale Final for DirectStream owners, available on our Downloads page. As always, it's a free update. Yale Beta was a shock to many, so much better than its predecessor Pikes, and Yale Final is that much better again. Thanks to Ted Smith for his miracle work on the FPGA, he apparently rewrote half the code to give us this sonic upgrade (and the first go 'round took him 7 years to write... ), and to Arnie Nudell for wading through the multitudes of versions to select just the right one. We release firmware upgrades for the same reasons computer companies upgrade operating systems: fix bugs and make improvements reflecting our greater experience and knowledge. And yet... we are sometimes accused of fraud. Yes, fraud! There is one very vocal fellow on our forums as well as the Computer Audiophile Forums that believes we are the devil incarnate for putting a bright dress, makeup and shiny shoes on upgrades. This person is not alone believing we are devious in applying lipstick to a pig and misleading people. These people are incredulous of our happy face when, instead, we should be bowing our heads, scraping our feet, apologizing for our lack of perfection and admitting "we had a few bugs and now they're better, here's an upgrade." I am fascinated by this side of my fellow humans. Wasn't it Arthur Schlesinger Jr. that said "self righteousness in retrospect is both easy and cheap?" I think perhaps there's a misunderstanding of our motives. As audio nuts we always want better, we're obsessive. When we first launched DirectStream we had several firmware upgrades that fixed problems and we said so. Firmware was released to make the product better but something odd happened. We discovered once again that everything matters in audio. Changes made to code were reflected in the sound, some intended, others a surprise. It was scientist Ted Smith that scratched his head and remembered what Ben Franklin was famous for saying, "Out of adversity comes opportunity." So we took the ball and ran one way, creating an opportunity to make continuing improvements to an already great sounding device, then giving it away for free so others could have a new DAC every few months, furthering the state of the art. Others, skeptical of our motivations, see it as an evil plot to hide mistakes and coverup skeletons long rattling in closets. It's an interesting point of view and I must remind myself that it took over a century for skeptics to either die off or agree the earth indeed circles the sun, never once admitting they were wrong, just misguided as to the question at hand.
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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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