When you download onto your local hard drive an Octave Records release the copy you store is bit-for-bit identical to the one sitting on the master hard drive at Octave Records.
It doesn’t matter that data traveled through millions of switches, miles of cable, fiber, satellite, coaxial, WiFi, and so on. Once downloaded what sits on your hard drive is absolutely identical to what sits on the master hard drive.
Yet, when I playback that file in Octave’s state-of-the-art mix room it will not sound the same as when you play it back on your system.
The files are identical but the systems are not.
But now imagine how close the two could sound if your system were the same as Octave’s mixroom: FR30 loudspeakers, BHK300 monoblocks, BHK preamp, DirectStream MK1 DAC.
If we imagine this setup then the biggest factors determining sound quality are narrowed down to room, setup, cables, and how the data gets into the DAC.
In my experience, it’s that last one that really matters. Most of us can adjust to differences in the room and set up to hear what’s on the recording. Getting data into the DAC turns out to be a very big differentiator—something one of our newest products will soon solve.
Like the Digital Lens, its ground-breaking predecessor, the soon-to-be-released AirLens gathers all the digital data sent to it by our computers either via Ethernet or WiFi, stores that data in a buffer, then outputs it in perfect order via a fixed low jitter clock.
This is exactly what the original Digital Lens did but the AirLens adds the finishing touch: galvanic isolation between the AirLens and the receiving DAC. This separation of grounds, power supplies, or any physical/electrical connection between the noisy incoming digital data and the sensitive DAC is the key to perfecting the magic wrought by the Digital Lens.
Once connected via the AirLens, your DAC will think it is in noise-free heaven.
We’ll have more information about this exciting new product in late October to early November.