Memory Player vs Dedicated PC-TopUSB Conv and DAC

Has anybody owning the Memory Player compared it to a dedicated PC system using software(such as EAC and Foobar, and by-passing the gremlins of Windows Media ) with a good USB2 to AES/EBU converter, like the Offramp available from Emperical Audio to a top quality DAC.
Is this the future for transports?
You hit the nail on the head. You'll find answers to your question in the "other" MP thread. I've never heard the MP so I can't comment, but I have an observation:

You obviously appreciate that simply connecting a PC to a DAC via AES/coax/toslink doesn't provide an even playing field. The PC should be tweaked to bypass Kmixer, bit-perfect ripping should be used (still waiting for a good answer as to how this is any different than RUR), the player software should not change the bit stream (all software upsamplers and many drivers change it, JRiver DirectSound and ASIO driver do not), a great USB converter (like Empirical Audio's) should be used, and the songs should be played from a RAM drive (i.e., from memory).

The posters did not mention whether they did any of this. IMO, they merely said the MP blew away the PC and that they knew what they were doing. I'm not convinced. I'd like to try it as a transport to find out.

There'll be a shootout at RMAF. Unfortunately, in the shootout, they'll use the internal DACs of the MP and other players. This will tell customers little about how good the players are as transports. Every DAC has a flavor--people will vote for the DAC they like. So, for customers who want to use the MP as a transport with the customer's existing DAC, the shootout won't help.

IMO, it would be great if Steve from Empirical Audio would participate in the shootout. Steve?...
Thanks for explaining it with all the intricacies, as you mentioned no one has gone deep into it and how different is RUR to the EAC software,etc...
And most importantly when should we guys stop investing in a transport? Has this median reached the stage that it betters the performance than the top mechanism/drives from Esoteric.

Your skeptisim is fine, but you should also consider that the Memory Player was not developed in a vacumme.

The MP developers knew about EAC, you have to consider that there is much more to the Memory Player than has been published about it. There are processes going on in the player after RUR which processes the data and helps create the Memory Player's sound.

As per optical transports like the Esoteric, yes they are dead in the water, Memory Play back is indeed better.
There are processes going on in the player after RUR which processes the data and helps create the Memory Player's sound.

What does this mean? Is the bit stream modified? If modifying the data makes the MP sound better than other devices, that's OK - whatever it takes to get the right sound. Some people like the sound of certain components because of the coloration they introduce. Foobar 0.8 and it's resamplers change the bitstream, but a lot of people prefer this sound over other software.

Will be nice when more details are provided.
"it would be great if Steve from Empirical Audio would participate in the shootout. Steve?..."

I will not be attending RMAF this year, or I would definitely do this. With two shows a year and a 33 customer backlog, I cannot afford a week of travel time. Travel time is the biggest problem. I suppose if I could fly in and only carry a few items with me, like Off-Ramps and DAC's, it may be possible, but I would have to partner in a room with another vendor. I tried to arrange this with a vendor that I trust and it didn't work out this year.

I am confident that my USB and wireless solutions will beat the MP, both the transport section and the DAC. They are all bit-perfect now and dont require any ASIO or Kernal streaming etc..

Steve N.
Steve those are big and bold claims. You have produced some very good and well respected products but you are forgetting exactly who you are dealing with. Nova Physics is indeed a new company but the men behind this company are anything but neophytes in the field of audio engineering.

The Memory Player is the first product from two 30+ year veterans of High End Audio, George Bischoff and Mark Porzilli.The Memory Player has only been "on the market" since November, 2006 and has already won 2 awards and
received 5 rave reviews in 3 magazines!

In their 20 year partnership at Melos they accomplished some very big things. Melos was successful in business with over 14,000 satisfied customers and dozens of products which were very highly rated at the time. In its 20 year history, Melos Audio garnered over 200 rave reviews from 30 countries, on six continents. Melos won Stereophile's"Product of the Year" for its legendary SHA-1 Headphone Amplifier and "Editor's Choice" in The Absolute Sound. The original Pipedreams won TAS' "Golden Ear" too.

Melos Audio products stayed on Stereophile's "Recommended Components" for an incredible TEN YEARS. Melos holds copyrights and US Patents for "Filament Drive" (SHA), "G2 Triode Drive" (High Current Triode Amplifiers), "Ultrasonic Noding" and "Cylindric Non-Parallelism" (the Pipedreams Loudspeakers)

Mark designed all of Melos Audio's solid state and vacuum tube products with George Bischoff from 1979-1999. He is also the designer of the original, award winning Pipedreams Loudspeakers.He is the designer of the new Scaena Line Source Loudspeakers as well.

The Pipedreams Loudspeakers received rave reviews from Harry Pearson of The Absolute Sound, and Jonathon Valin , also of TAS. The accomplishment of unifying over 100 drivers into a simple 2-way speaker with no nodes* was literally patentable. After the reviews,The Pipedreams also won the "Golden Ear" from The Absolute Sound.

Since 1979, while designing for Melos Audio and several OEM
products, George and Mark made strenuous efforts to refine the precision of clocks, which ultimately found their way into serving vacuum tubed DACs. Melos had several since the 14bit era, which were well received in both Stereophile and The Absolute Sound magazines.

George Bishoff on his own, after Melos designed the respected Gerorge Mark DAC which received a rave review from Stereotimes magazine before he changed directions to incorporate his DAC designs into the Nova Physics player being designed by his former partner Mark.

With Nova Physics these two man have been reunited to bring forth a new and radical improvement in the art and science of the music CD, Memory Playback,

Through the Memory Player you can compare Hard Drive playback vs playback from Memory and the Memory Playback sounds far superior to reading from the Hard Drive. There are still timing errors introduced by the way a hard drive locates data, and organizes that data for playback, and for that reason the Memory Player does not playback from the Hard Drive but instead loads the data into Memory.

The Memory Player was borne out of years of research and a through understanding of the problems of conventional computer based audio.
This is very interesting!

Has this median reached the stage that it betters the performance than the top mechanism/drives from Esoteric.

The vibration-free VRDS-NEO drive by Esoteric also uses a type of "RUR" and SDRAM memory to read the audio data from. IMO, there are some important advantages the VRDS-NEO transport has over computer based solutions. I am not saying computer audio is bad but I’d take the VRDS-NEO any time. :-)

There are processes going on in the player after RUR which processes the data and helps create the Memory Player's sound.

I thought that the so called audiophile quality is about purity and unaltered audio information reproduced as close to the originally intended way as possible. Isn’t it? I wasn’t aware that audio data processing “helping” creating the sound we want is an option when it comes to the High-End audio industry. Well, now I know! :-)

Just a slightly OT question: how would playback from memory (RAM) in itself be better, as opposed to playback from a hard drive, a flash drive or whatever?

Someone forgets that in order to play _anything_ on a computer, the data must first be transferred to memory. So no matter which media you use, when it comes to actually feeding the PCM to the output device of your choice, it IS being read from RAM.

So, how would a RAM drive help?
He's simply selling his product. All 100+ of his posts deal with either himself or a product he sells.

Ignore him like everybody else does.
Audiooracle- I am not doubting MP's playback levels being superfine. All I want sound comparison between a well built PC with reliable software, good converters such as Emperical's and a fine dac and the MP.
I have heard the former (PC-Emperical-fine Dac) and was amazed at the playback quality on redbook. Hence are people discovering this in an MP and are going rah-rah over it? Or is the MP vastly superior when audiophiles have done a shoot out.
Alex- no disprespect to the Esoteric drives as they are works of engineering skill, an also what you make from them. My 'days of numbered' comment is also based on a cost to performance ratio.
My final request would be a comparison between the MP-PC-and the 2.5
All these components have great merit, but would any stand out way ahead of the others. Otherwise it will come down to personal likes.

Well I just setup my fist PC for AUDIO, the system consists of Intel Board, Core 2 Duo 2.0Ghz and EM-U 1212m soundcard, streaming music to the digital input of my Audio Aero Prestige.

The results have great;
1) The first piece of software that I tried was foobar with ASIO drives @ 44.1 in slave mode (The WORD clock used was of the Audio Aero) with this software I heard the imaging being slightly more stable and a fuller body, when comparing the sound to the transport of the player on the fly, we came to the conclusion the sound was slight more natural on the AA rather than the computer being used as a transport.

Next I tried this new player called XXHighend, installed it on my XP choose engine #1 and hit play......It bettered the AA transport!!! the sound has the ease the natural feel of the AA plus added more resolution, the image was far more stable, also the TONE was right not like in foobar where something felt a miss. From what I understand after reading about this player is that doesn't care about ASIO OR KS..... its proprietary to the way the playback takes place very similar to the Memory player.

First the WAV is read and send to the RAM and from the RAM the stream is sent out of the sound card!

Everyone must give this player a listen, I'm quite certain you will be pleased with what you hear.

Best Regards,

Satyam Bachani.
Very good news Sbfx, I'll check this out.
Audiooracle - I'm sure there are some aspects of the memory player that are novel, however you may not know that I also have a long list of accomplishments over 30-years of engineering design and management. I was a design deam lead on the Pentium at Intel. I also invented the first scalable massively parallel supercomputer. I have 15 patents on this technology. And dont tell me that this is not relevant to audio. The digital design, power delivery, transmission-lines, grounding and shielding experience is extremely relevant. You dont get this kind of experience working for small companies designing audio gear, not to mention 7 years of modding all types of gear from many manufacturers and learning the best components to use for these mods.

The fact that you mention "timing errors" tells me that you dont posses the technical knowledge necessary to analyze these types of products. I hope you dont believe all of the hype that surrounds the marketing.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
>>you dont possess the technical knowledge necessary to analyze these types of products.<<

Good observation

>>I hope you dont believe all of the hype that surrounds the marketing.<<

He believes anything that leads to a sale. Check out the posting history. It speaks for itself.
Sbfx, thanks for the input.
What I heard which floored me (like it did for you) was a USB2 output converted to AES/EBU or S/PdIF via 24/96. I don't think it had the sound card doing much.
If you do get a chance to get 24/96 through your dac, then please let us know your feedback.

Steve that is an impressive background, but you are also discounting the fact that Mark Porzelli has an engineering background similar to yours, he and his father were involved in producing the LASER, and Mark had earned three master level degrees in engineering at age 14! Mark is no slouch in that department triple masters in Physics, Quantum Mechanics, and Chemistry!

Check out his bio he is a very intelligent man and is extrmely talented with audio engineering, just like you.

The best thing would be to do a shootout between your products and his. You may win they might win but one thing is certain you both are on the cutting edge of the new revolution in digital which will be hard drive based.

Audiofeil the fact that you sell on Audiogon makes your comments irrelevant how much experience in this field do you have I have a Memory Player on test currently what do you have? An Esoteric, and AMR? Both of these players no matter how good are not leading the field in what is the future.

I do sell conventional CD players as well, but for people looking for the best sounding digital it is products like Steve's the Memory Player and perhaps the VRS products.

Again Bill please elucidate as to your technical experience.

As per Steve and my understanding of timing errors, the Nova Physics people believe that there are timing errors from reading from the Hard drive and it is the way that the reassemble the data which makes the player work.

I am not the only one who believes in the sonic superiority of the Memory Player so does:

Clement Perry,
Greg Patan
Arnis Baglavis
Dave Clark
Harry Peason

and many others, so my feelings about the qualities of this technology are well documented.
Audiooracle - I welcome a shootout. I already have a request from Arnis, who heard some of my earlier offerings at CES in January. I respect his opinion, so he may be the first to do this comparison.

Steve N.

I started the PC Audio Transport project for one reason only that is for the convenience of cataloging my entire Music collection. All I wanted to achieve was the same SQ of the Audio Aero Prestige player with a external PC transport but now this bettering the current setup this looks very promising, surely I believe now that PC will be the preferred way to play digital audio very soon in the audiophile industry also it has the convince of playing one's full music collection on the fly.

It wont be long before one would have STATE-OF-THE-ART digital playback for a fraction of the price one pays today!!!

Best Regards,

Satyam Bachani.
It's your technical background that's being questioned not mine Sparky.

And you could have had AMR had not the distributor pulled the line from you due to your excessive self promotion.

Selling on Audiogon is irrelevant? Fine. Check my feedback and then yours. Can anybody but you be less than irrelevant?

Nice try "Doc"

Feedback is irrelevant, I do not sell on Audiogon, like you and other than a piece of trade in gear. Maybe I will follow your magnificent lead and create an Audiogon store so I can sell via the internet like you do.

I am surprised that you never chime in to support the lines you import, so you must be one of those importers who do it for the money, because obviously you don't have any passion for your products nor are you a real importer because you have no dealers selling your products other than yourself.

You are the worst kind of player, you import for yourself and don't do the work to legitimize your products by having a real distribution network just like a few others who follow the same practice.

I am a real dealer with four soon to be five sound rooms, $500,000.00 worth of gear on display and we are awaiting a pair of speakers for $44,000.00 so we will be close to $600,000.00 when our video room goes on line.

Do I believe in my products yes I do, what do you believe in?

Again what is your point, go crawl back to your little corner of New York state.
>I am surprised that you never chime in to support the lines you import<

It's called ethics.
No self promotion, no grandstanding, no soapbox.

There is a common thread running through your posts and it involves 3 words.

1. "I"
2. "Me"
3. "Mine"
(credits to George Harrison)

Now my degrees are in business so I cannot authoritively speak to the psychology of it but it seems some professional assistance is in order.

Perhaps an audio doctor.
I guess if there is a disproportionate number of negative and neutral feedbacks as is the case, you might consider feedback irrelevant.

As far as not selling on Audiogon, one need only read your 100+ posts and judge for themselves if that is the truth.

Anything else bothering you today "doc"?
Guys, please take your pissing contest somewhere else.

We only want to read about the equipment that this thread was initially about.

This crap kills the integrity of these forums.

Please, be professionals.

Thank you.
Guys, guys, please calm down. This is not some sort of dispute forum. We are all audiophiles in the first place and our priority is enjoying audio.

I'd rather hear the results of a shoot-out between a Memory Player, Empirical Audio, XXHighEnd and possibly VRS Audio Systems.

This would prove more interesting and educational, plus keep the original topic moving in a better direction.
I too would love to hear from others a comparison of the Memory Player (Transport) V/S a well tweaked computer, at the moment I think Winamp with ASIO plugin + the sound card set at a latency of 2ms is as good or better than XXHighEnd player and most certainly ahead of the TRANSPORT of the AA. This is great as its free.

This project is the most exciting thing in the four years I have been in this hobby.

Best Regards,

Satyam Bachani.
The only thing I've learned so far, is the Memory Player needs better dealers than Audiooracle if they want to be successful.
Thanks for the "nice" comment Kana. The Memory Player will be successful on its own merits, with or without me.

You also don't know me, my abilities, knowledge, or history and incidentally I am willing to bet I know a bit more about high end audio than you do: I have been selling equipment professionally for 20 years while working at Innovative Audio and Sound by Singer, before I opened my own shop.In that time period I have sold and setup hundreds of systems and sold thousands of pieces of gear.

You name is over the years I have played with most of the mega buck gear that is on the market, and those who actually know me, know that I form my opinions only after a lot of listening.

Also as I have stated before I am not the only one who believes in the superiority of the Memory Player so does:

Clemment Perry, Greg Patan, Arnie Barglavis, Dave Clark, and Harry Person and there are many other reviewers who are replacing DCS and Zanden and EMM Labs with the Memory Player so it really can't be too bad a product. I am also willing to bet that at least one of those reviewers have played with other similar systems.

I believe in the product, but I am also open to the comparisons others are interested in.

The Memory Player sounds amazing and I as well as the other two gentleman on this thread who actually own one will attest to that.

My only fault is believing in my products but as I said I am willing to test and validate my products constantly.

And lastly Kana don't you listen to what your mother told you, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it.
I think that a valid point is being raised. Not about Audiooracle as an individual, but about a lack of a dealer network. I would love to audition this player. Where is the Chicago area rep? Why do I have to wait for a shootout at some show, the results of which probably have little relevance to me and my system. Who will take care of it if (or when) it breaks down? I know that these same points could be raised about many other small companies in this industry, but I would hate to invest this kind of money without some assurance that Nova Physics will be in business 2 years from now.