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Mayerthaler AG ǀ Im Grund 15 ǀ 5405 Dättwil ǀ Switzerland



Country of origin: Switzerland

Text: Daniel Mayerthaler
Photographs: Daniel Mayerthaler ǀ Wojciech Pacuła (nr 1)

Published: 1. July 2012, No. 98

Open your mind – The synergy of high-end analogue electronics and open computer power

The author is the owner of the DANIEL MAYERTHALER ASSEMBLY company – Ed.

BBranches like the music or media industries are radically changing because of modern communication technologies. Traditional systems and also ways of distributions are called into questions. Physical media like CD or DVD for the transfer of digital content are not necessary anymore. The reason for all these changes is the digitalization in combination with the internet. This way we can save a lot of resources and of course also costs.
We are not seeing such evolutions for the first time. In the IT industries for example, everything that can be moved from the hardware to the software world becomes virtualized for efficiency and profitability. Thanks to such developments we can benefit from very powerful, inexpensive operating systems and software for the high end audio and multimedia rendering.

The computer based music industry is second nature for „digital natives“, who have grown up with new computer technologies. But for many music lovers it is too abstract to use a whole computer system for just listening to music. Today, there exists a lot of closed streaming systems for digital music playback. Even if the manufacturers of such solutions are trying to hide the IT technology which is built-in, the technical confrontation with networking and other IT maintenance can’t be avoided. In contrast to closed and proprietary streaming solutions, an open computer system can be used as a modular, extensible and economic high-end audio and multimedia rendering system. Because open computer systems can benefit from the extremely fast and powerful software development of the technology giants like Microsoft, Apple or Adobe, such systems are assured of a good future. Even for audiophiles there is, since “Windows Vista”, a professional high-end audio subsystem, called WASAPI (Windows Audio Session API), which is built-in to the operating system from Microsoft. But why is it necessary, that Microsoft needs to reinvent a high quality audio subsystem? Are the already approved and professional audio streaming protocols like ASIO (Audio Stream Input/Output) from Steinberg not enough?
Microsoft was not just focusing on audio. They build over more than one decade the “cloud ready” .NET infrastructure, containing modules for audio rendering, video rendering, 2D and 3D animation/presentation (WPF & Silverlight), document printing (XPS), digital security mechanisms, communication mechanisms (WCF) and even the „Windows Color System“ (WCS) for true color image and video rendering. Important: All those modules have to work hand in hand with lowest possible latency, for an awesome multimedia experience. “Windows 8” will be available soon, so we can automatically profit from new functions and technologies. Why don’t catch the train and get onboard of the mainstream power like “Windows” for high-end audio and multimedia rendering? Additionally to the Microsoft technology, the open “Windows” platform can be used and expanded with other technologies like “HTML5/MPEG-4“, “Apple QuickTime”, ”Java” or “Adobe Flash”. This way the consumer is not depending on just one technology or media provider and can benefit from a big variety of online stores for high-end music or also platforms with high-resolution video on demand like, www.Zune.NET from Microsoft and the “iTunes Store” from Apple. Much more interesting like the giants are the small independent stores with complete new ways of distribution, like with the motto "we are not evil". The variety of the new ways of distribution is still young but thanks to digitalization, very fast growing.
To realize an ultimate audiophile experience with a computer based solution, high-class electronics for the digital analogue conversion, for the signal amplification and the final sound transduction is obligatory. The goal is the perfect synergy of high-end analogue electronics and the digital mainstream power. Therefor the company DANIEL MAYERTHALER ASSEMBLY is offering the DMA hardware solution:

DMA 03 High-End Sound Module

DMA 03 is the audiophile core component of a computer-based high-end audio system. DMA 03 combines the best in cutting-edge D/A converter technology based on ASUS and Burr-Brown (PCM1792A 192kHz/24Bit) with a specially designed analog pre-amplifier of highest quality, normally used in the professional audio industry for recording and mastering. This way also existing PCs can be fine-tuned easily to audiophile high-end systems. With the PCI-Express interface the audio playback software gets easily direct memory access via the “WASAPI exclusive mode” for native rendering without any compromising re-sampling or up-sampling and guaranties the lowest possible latency for high-end multimedia with synchronized music and video track. No more additional external D/A converter is needed. DMA 03 can be connected by the shortest possible analogue signal path to an amplifier, active speaker or headphone. In addition, the completely modular design of a computer-based system offers an easy way to update the hardware and software at any time, making the system particularly future-oriented and able to benefit from the latest multimedia technologies.

DMA 04 High-End Transformer

The special external and passive transformer DMA 04 is available as an optional accessory. The DMA 04 transformer allows the conversion of the unbalanced RCA output from the DMA 03 High-End Sound Module to a high-quality balanced XLR output with galvanic isolation.

Also the transformation from RCA to RCA is possible with an adapter. The galvanic isolation of a source device like DMA 03 and an output device like a power amplifier avoids hum and buzz ground loop problems and enables also long signal cables with high-end quality. DMA 04 is also characterized by a very special filter property. This is removing very effectively the unwanted high-frequency noise, generated inside a computer system and passed onto the analogue signal path. Because of this particular filter characteristic, exclusively the “clean” audio signals are transmitted to the subsequent amplifier or active speaker and this is resulting in a significant improved sound quality.

DMA 05 High-End Audio and Multimedia-Processor

DMA 05 is the esthetic and open computer solution from DANIEL MAYERTHALER ASSEMBLY, designed especially for the high-end audio and multimedia operation. The DMA 05 system contains latest hardware components and just non-wearing “solid state” technology. This results in a practically inaudible operating noise as well as in an extremely trouble-free and fast operation over a long period. The exclusive housing is available in any RAL color. For the setup, update or the individual customer-specific configuration of the DMA solutions we offer technical remote support on demand via internet.
The enabler for an open, computer-based solution is the knowhow!
Like all other powerful tools which have to support a wide range of functionality, the "Windows" operating system needs the correct equipment and setup to output uncompromising audio quality. For the required knowhow you can ask “Dr. Google” (time-consuming but cost-free) or contact the expert for an efficient technical remote support via internet (for example: The company DANIEL MAYERTHALER ASSEMBLY offers additionally also seminars for computer-based high-end audio and multimedia.

Another way of audiophile pleasure: Desktop high-end in the office

The audio near-field system on an office desktop offers optimal acoustic output, using the smallest possible surface without negative room influence. Professional studio active speakers combined with DMA 03 / DMA 04 and a PC are creating an extremely dimensional, crystal clear sound image. The stress free advantages of a near-field system in compare to a headphone are: no overheated ears and no “in head” effect. Additionally there is no plague to the people in other rooms when enjoying the near-field in an excessive sort of way. Computer-based high-end in the living room

Today we can find a big variation of computer based audio and multimedia solutions on the market with unique techniques and also designs. Also an open PC system can be integrated on an aesthetic or invisible way into the living room. The comfortable remote control by a smart phone or a tablet computer is assured. At the end the most important stays the high-quality audio content, which has to be rendered as accurate and authentic as possible.

My final recommendation:
Benefit of the perfect synergy of high end analogue electronics and the digital mainstream power. The today’s technology and the right knowhow is the enabler for the ultimate audiophile experience. Daniel Mayerthaler

Who is who? - Daniel Mayerthaler
Age 40, married,
living and working in Baden/Switzerland,
electronic and software producer,
High-End audio and Microsoft enthusiast,
owner of the companies