New Ideon Audio absolute Stream music server

IDEON Audio writes: "How to design and engineer the best commercial Music Server/Streamer today? The Ideon Audio absolute Stream production has started... The “absolute Stream” is an audiophile music server. In other words, it is a hi-performance device which will play all your musical libraries whether they are on an external hard-disk or NAS… Just as importantly, the absolute Stream will play audio from internet sources, i.e. radio and web services such as Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, etc. When we set out to design the absolute Stream, we aimed at achieving extraordinary sound to complement the absolute DAC. This quality target led us to conceive the absolute Stream as an audio device dedicated to music playback, rather than as a computer tweaked to play music.

It is this conceptual difference that led us to design, from the ground up, the device that is probably one of the best-sounding players available today.

At the outset, we knew designing a top-line streamer wouldn’t be child’s play—but we were not quite prepared for the complexity of the task! We expected the software itself to be the hinge factor with hardware playing a secondary role. We couldn’t have been more mistaken!

Whereas we know, particularly for analogue devices, how much sound is affected by power, we were surprised at the extent of difference this made on a streamer. We discovered the benefits of providing independent power lines to address different areas of the circuit. We implemented parallel regulators which reduce noise dramatically and, thereby, help the absolute Stream output one of the cleanest signals.

Capacitors affect the sound. Nevertheless, we were surprised to discover how greatly they affected performance within a data-processing environment. Even same-specs capacitors, but differing models, affected the sound. The effects were non-negligible; we opted for the best low-esr silk-filled units.

When we installed a power transformer with excessively large capacity, replacing the excellent audio-grade component used until then, the sonic improvements were stunning.

We decided to push the envelope until the absolute Stream attained a performance level surpassing the best commercially available streamers.

• Real-time core playback;
• Works as Roon bridge rendering your music into the a-Stream’s CPU; Internet streaming services ready (Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, internet radio, etc)
• Proprietary, femto clock re-clocking circuit on an upgradable platform;
• Very large main capacitors power bank (low esr, audiophile silk caps), and hand-made audiophile transformer; 
• Proprietary, zero-noise rectification bridge eliminates diode-rectification noise; 
• Ultra-low-noise, linear power supplies, across all board voltage points;
• Proprietary, ultra-low esr special bypass power filter improving the transient current for the CPU (spectacular sound improvement!);
• Simplified, bare-bones operation avoids internal noise-inducing circuits;
• Audiophile design & solid aluminium construction;

Compromises in the quality of the original file entering your music reproduction chain can hardly be corrected later.

The absolute Stream is the device in your system from which the signal originates and, so being, is critical to the overall sonic result. It was designed to extract, read, and transfer the digital signal in its purest form."