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On the subject of which, Digibit's new compact server had my undivided low-rent attention. Photographing the chromed show model exceeded my grasp however.

See what I mean? It's what hid behind the vertical iPad with Digibit's proprietary Sonata music-library software above. Might this have been the end of my lengthy chase for an iMac-as-server replacement? Not yet. You see, like all others of its ilk, this device still relies on headache-inducing health-robbing WiFi for the comm protocol between onboard music storage and tablet remote. Sadly Apple hamstring the iPad's multi-pin socket to not serve the bidirectional comm protocol needed. Otherwise you could simply dock the iPad on this elegant Aria Mini server, place the works next to your listening chair and access all of its contents via the iPad's touch screen whilst a USB cable underneath your carpet fed digits to your DAC of choice. That's what I want. Until someone figures out how to do it, I'll stick with my 27" iMac's screen and its Magic Mouse.

Digibit also have a user-installable mod for the popular Oppo BD105 Blu-ray deck which converts it into a streamer.

Add their power supply and small mother board and presto. Viva Italia!

PS Audio sprouted their new Flout - er, flouted their new Sprout. That's the clever name this new compact and nicely styled all-in-one goes by.

Here's a glance at its assets. Without wanting the long green, they've done a bang-up job on the cosmetics I think.

Questyle showed their CMA-800R current-mode headphone amp in dual-mono fully balanced operation. This obviously requires two units and—here it gets quasi funky—twirling two continuous volume controls for a hopefully precisely matched fix. Designer Alden Zhao wants me to review this mode. I agreed since he'd let me hold on to the original loaner for said purpose but also impressed upon him that a/ I didn't own any balanced cable, b/ wasn't interested in a cable comparison to involve one of the usual after-market providers, c/ wanted to use my Audeze LCD-2 and Sennheiser HD800, and d/ to eliminate cable difference from the equation, would need otherwise identical single-ended and balanced wire harnesses for both.

I left the burden on delivery of the requisite wires on his shoulders. For now here's a photo of his 150i integrated amp which I'd not seen before but which like Asian competitor Audio G-d relies on current-mode circuity.

Last year I'd missed not the glory but guts of ReQuest's The Beast whose touch-screen display is shown below.

This all-out Swiss server with the hefty tag relies on solid-state storage and MSB-sourced conversion technology and is built like the proverbial brick outhouse.

Whilst there is a fan for eventualities, ReQuest's man on the floor assured me that it never actually kicks on in practice. Because we're both Swiss to support personal delivery with a much-needed and in depth one-on-one presentation of this product and its very extensive functionality, I seem to be on the review list. If so, caramba without Wifi!

I forgot to query Schnerzinger's Michael Schwab on the purpose of this antennae'd box with the many shiny lights. I saw one attendee hunker down right next to it, cell phone at the ready whilst furiously stabbing at virtual commands and looking at some software program's readout. From that I assume this device purports to 'ground' HF energy in a room. If so, it could be a hi-tech antidote to electro smog which I ought to learn everything about to perhaps finally get with the WiFi program everyone else is already subscribed to so very happily.

Franco Serblin's big Ktema speakers held court in the Amati Engineering room.

Soulution of Switzerland again teamed up with Magico as in years gone by.