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Srajan Ebaen
Financial Interests: click here
Source: 2TB iMac 27" quad-core with 16GB of RAM (AIFF) running OSX 10.8.2 and PureMusic
2.02 in hybrid memory play with pre-allocated RAM, Audirvana 1.5.10 in direct/integer mode 1, Metrum Hex, SOtM dX-USB HD with Super-clock upgrade & mBPS-d2s, AURALiC Vega, Aqua Hifi La Voce S2, Apple iPod Classic 160 AIFF-loaded, Cambridge Audio iD100, Pure i20, Pro-Ject Dock Box S Digital, RWA-modifed Astell&Kern AK100, Nagra HD DAC with MPS [on review]
Preamplifier: Nagra Jazz, Bent, Audio Tap-X, Esoteric C-03
Power & integrated amplifiers: FirstWatt S1 monos, SIT2
, F6; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2, Bakoon AMP-12R, Goldmund/Job 225, Gato DIA-250, Aura Note Premier, AURALiC Merak [on loan]
Loudspeakers: Albedo Audio Aptica, soundkaos Wave 40, Boenicke Audio W5se, German Physiks HRS-120, Zu Audio Submission
Cables: Complete Zu Event loom; KingRex uArt, Zu Event and Light Harmonic LightSpeed split USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; Van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fiber Toslink, Arkana Research XLR/RCA and sp
eaker cables [on loan]
Powerline conditioning: GigaWatt PF-2 on amps,
Vibex Granada
on all components
Equipment rack:
Artesania Exoteryc double-wide three tier with optional glass shelf, Rajasthani hardwood rack for amps
Sundry accessories: Extensive use of Acoustic System Resonators, noise filters and phase inverters
Desktop system: iPod/AK100 digital transports, Wyred4Sound minT,
Aura Vita, Gallo Strada II + TR-3D
Room size:
Irregularly shaped 9.5 x 10m open floor plan combines the living/listening room, kitchen and office. Added to this space the speakers see the air volume of the entry hall and a long corridor plus the 2nd-storey 6 x 9.5m loft. Wood-panel ceiling slopes up to the loft. Parquet flooring. Lots of non-parallel surfaces ('vertical gable' windows, twin-angle ceiling, spiral staircase enclosure, fireplace enclosure). For a pictorial tour, see here.
Review component retail: €3'200 [€2'800 for drive-less musicbook:10 version]

All job applications involve invariably a CV. To assess any hopeful applicant's merit, one wants to know about their past accomplishments. Lindemann Audio's story begins in 1993 with the AMP1 and BOX1 integrated amplifier and loudspeakers. But it seems fair to say that their big splash on the international scene occurred in 2002 with the launch of the D680 Super Audio CD Player. Yes, there was a time when DSD was actual news. Except then we called it SACD. Having a small German specialty firm propose a no-holds-barred flagship deck for an upstart new disc format took the hifi community by surprise.

The reviews were superlative. Lindemann Audio had arrived by demonstrating shockingly mature engineering chops in a component category that until then had been pursued only by big corporate. That the years 1998/98 prior had seen the introduction of the Venice and Spain loudspeakers had registered far more quietly. Which remains true to this day. At large, Lindemann audiotechnik are not known for their boxes. Somehow the D680 and its 820 successor have dominated our perception. It's focused us on the company's electronics, particularly their source components.

In 2013, the Lindemänner under master mind Norbert Lindemann launched a compact range of components to focus on high-performance lifestyle'd kit. Today there are five* so-called musicbooks: two each USB DACs and network players distinguished only by the addition of a disc drive for the dearer versions; and one Hypex uCD-based 80wpc class D stereo amp. Without the above CV, this gear and its maker could seem like a Johnny-come-lately. With it and against the present catalogue of upscale full-size components and three speaker models, one feels rather more inclined to view it as a distillation and culmination of two decades worth of true high-end experience. Despite very smart decorator-proof industrial designs and mid-level stickers, one now expects far more than just clever packaging of run-of-the-mill circuits. And such expectations prove spot on.

Readers of our pages already know. The recent fairaudio musicbook:25/50 review told the tale if you were a networking wifi-streamin' listener. For standard USB DACists whose library's GUI is a Mac or Windows computer, today's report on the musicbook:15 becomes the relevant tell instead. True, our sort no longer spins CDs. The musicbook:10 is all we need. But I deliberately signed up for the 15 to perform a true and instant apples-to-apples comparison between CD and USB. And because of this kit's styling and size, I also asked for the matching stereo amp for an ambitious desktop report even though our German colleague already covered the 50 brilliantly. Readers love second opinions. So do reviewers making them, especially with a somewhat different sonic take on class D as promised by Jochen Reinecke.
musicbook:20/25 streamer with wireless antenna

* The €2'800 musicbook:55 launching by mid October 2014 as the sixth entrant to the range will deliver 240wpc or 450 watts in bridged mono again based on uCD tech.

To avoid redundancies, my review will skip musicbook:50 tech talk to only cover its sound. That segues straight into tech for the musicbook:15. It's a multi-tasking 4-in-1 deck, i.e. a legacy CD player; a 32/384PCM/DSD128 USB DAC; a class A preamp with analog inputs and analog volume; and a class A headphone amp. To top it off, there's a USB-rechargeable comprehensive metal remote with acrylic glass cover and lithium ion battery whose state can be called up in the menu.