HOLISTIC AUDIO SYSTEMS
Highest Resolution Streaming, Computer and
Smartphone Digital Audio Reproduction
An Easy Solution To A Complex Problem
Optimized Holistic HiFi Music Systems
Fewer Parts, Greater Whole
Hi-Res – Low Power – Eco Conscious
VLOT Pro (From $4499)
VLOT Micro (From $2499)
VLOT Freedom (From $1299)
Stand Alone Wireless Amplified Speaker Systems
Complete Systems, Need No Add’l Wires/Cables
(These are U.S. prices, inquire for other locations)
Inquire About Introductory Promo Discount
I am an authorized dealer of iFi Audio, Starke Sound, and SONORE products
“I set up the Pro iDSD exactly as per your earlier instructions so am using the GTO filter & am seeing 45 mHz displayed. There is a depth & definition to the sound that I have not heard previously.
I have mainly been streaming from my iPhone 12 Pro Max via Airplay through TIDAL & have also tried via the Onyko HF player using the Format option on the player to choose DSF files to stream.
Everything is working seamlessly.
As you mentioned, I can change song anywhere in our apartment without any issues which has always been a restriction with Bluetooth. Plus the SQ is unparalleled.“
– Bill K., Dublin Ireland
VLOT PRO and VLOT MICRO are 2 Different DAC w/ Preamp & HP Solution Options fully integrated with VLOT from Starke Sound using only a single RCA cable (provided).
Both systems here are 100% WiFi Enabled.
On photo left in the VLOT Pro System integration using iFi Audio’s Pro iDSD Signature DAC/Preamp/Streamer.
On photo right is the VLOT Micro System integration using Sonore microRendu bundled with the SGC linear power supply and the portable battery backed iFi Audio Diablo iDSD DAC for alternate OTG use.
BOTH VLOT Pro and VLOT Micro systems come with expert guidance for installation and integration with your media and player devices.
These highest quality Hi-Res audio systems are energy efficient supporting off-grid homes. Full audiophile reference audio sounding systems without a bird’s nest of wires and stacked component interconnect issues.
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Brev Series VLOT amplified speakers from Starke Sound, Gardena, California
Pro iDSD Signature and Diablo iDSD DACs from iFi Audio, UK
Streaming solution for VLOT Micro system from Sonore Computer Audio
Remove Bluetooth limitations of obstacles, distance, and possible sound quality incompatibilities.
SE & Balanced Headphone options
WiFi access to AirPlay & Chromecast, DLNA/UPnP, DSD256/512, Full MQA Decoding.
Use your LAN/WiFi router to carry your audio lossless from any Smartphone (iOS/Android), Computer, Tablet, Laptop.
Integrates fully with JRiver and any other DLNA Rendering music players for WiFi or wired delivery of all hi-res DSD and MQA.
Perfect Integration with analog music sources (Vinyl/Turntable, R2R, Any Line/HP Out from another player. I am using both systems in my home studio, I’ve researched and streamlined the integration and setup / ease of use operation.
I can help you achieve incredible sound for the room or through your headphones without you studying the endless books on possibilities.
DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE SIMPLICITY IN APPEARANCE OF VLOT PRO & VLOT MICRO.
THESE ARE HOLISTIC SOLUTIONS OFFERING HIGH END SUPERIOR AUDIO QUALITY IN VERY SMALL PROFILES WITH LOW ENERGY USAGE (THINK OFF GRID). YET THEY COMPETE BEAT TO BEAT WITH AUDIOPHILE GRADE SOUND QUALITY SETUPS THAT MAY BE MORE EXPENSIVE AND MORE EXPANSIVE REQUIRING POWER, CABLES, TIME TO TINKER.
BOTH VLOT PRO AND VLOT MICRO (OTG) OUTPACE ANY OTHER SYSTEM I KNOW FOR FLEXIBILITY SUPPORTING THE WIDEST SPECTRUM OF DIGITAL AUDIO NEEDS AND FORMATS AND ARE BOTH NETWORK STREAMERS USING WIFI TO TRANSPORT LOSSLESS AUDIO.
100% ACCESS TO ALL STREAMING & COMPUTER AUDIO BOTH ON YOUR NETWORK AND IN THE CLOUD (ROON, SPOTIFY, TIDAL MQA, QOBUZ, PANDORA, APPLE MUSIC, YOUTUBE, AUDIRVANA, JRIVER, FOOBAR2000, ALL OTHERS USING WiFi, BLUETOOTH 5.0 OR USB)
CONNECTS WITH SMARTPHONES OR COMPUTER & TABLETS TO CREATE A REMARKABLE ROOM OF SOUND ALL DELIVERED AT THE AUDIOPHILE INDUSTRY’S HIGHSET RESOLUTIONS REGARDLESS OF SOURCE BITRATE OR BIT DEPTH USING DSD1024 REMASTERING WITH OPTIMAL FILTER CHOICES.
SUPPORTS ADDITION OF ANALOG SOURCES INCLUDING VINYL AND R2R TAPE
FLOOR STANDING COLUMNS WITH ROBUST ABS FINISH CAN BE RELOCATED OUTDOORS ON COVERED PATIOS, STAGES, LANAI’S, CANOPY
SETUP & START TO USE FROM SMARTPHONE / TABLET IN 5-MINUTES
SONIC SUPERIORITY, FULLY RESEARCHED & FULLY INTEGRATED BEST IN CLASS AUDIO
ONLY ONE COMPONENT + TWO SPEAKERS + ONE CABLE PROVIDES FULL AUDIOPHILE GRADE SOUND ACROSS ALL MUSIC SOURCES REGARDLESS OF ENCODING RESOLUTION.
EFFICIENT CLEAN LOW POWER USING CLASS D AMPLIFIED SPEAKERS 150W RMS @ 4 Ohms, 108dB SPL @ 1 meter
Plays TIDAL MQA Masters from computers and Smartphones over WiFi.
VLOT Pro Fully supports TOSLINK optical input from Smart TV or other equipment
Support Balanced, Unbalanced and SE Headphones with excellent preamplification and sound quality for your listening loudly or softly.
Worlds Of Research
Welcome to my world of holistic audio systems. Everything here is based on CONVERGENCE. During the past 21+ years I have been steeped in the sonic pleasures of the highest resolution digital audio beginning with the earliest DSD for use in commercial studios.
As both a recording musician and as a trained data and communications software designer and integration expert extending back into the 1980’s I have aligned and continued to hone my love of music with my technical backgrounds and hi-res audio experiences evolving from the earliest analog like Direct Stream Digital (DSD).
Having participated hands on from Silicon Valley in the eruptive Internet and Data Network aspects of the convergence of Voice and Data Networks (VoIP) in the late 90’s, to my mind computer audio including today’s streaming subscription services, now presents itself on its own convergent path with wireless speakers and without audio quality sacrifices common to date.
This integrated wireless (WiFi and wired network) audiophile grade sound quality satisfies the specs and most importantly the ears of any and all music lovers. Equally important to the disruptive qualities of this convergence is the removal of retail price barriers enabling equal access to the hightest sound quality at affordable prices.
In part, this is achieved with an absolute minimal number of components (3 pieces total including 2 speakers, a DAC/Preamp/Streaming Receiver, and a single audio interconnect cable). In today’s energy conscious climate it importantly has low AC power demands and can even run efficiently off-grid on Solar PV.
Equally and I believe decisively important is the simplicity and ease of setup harnessing the sonic benefits of the most advanced audio technologies and delivering sound that any caliber of ears from casual listeners to guarded audiophile critical ears appreciate with vocal exclamations often starting with the word “Holy”….
What I began to realize over a year ago in January 2020 and wrote about on my blog, which was then published at Positive Feedback, was that technology designed to allow full integrations of the superior digital audio being recorded, mastered and remastered had a potentially convergent path with the emergence of sophisticated and efficient audiophile quality wireless network amplified speakers. Please read that again.
What continually bugged me to no end in the past 5+ years has been the music industry’s ongoing reinforcement of a limited distance path that is easily obstructed, easily compressed, and endlessly frustrating use of Bluetooth for home entertainment and studio use. All this Bluetooth when all along the WiFi path to excellent high resolution lossless audio had already been paved and in use in some of the highest caliber recording equipment eschelons and a few proprietary, non-integrated vertical markets for sound systems.
WiFi Ethernet standards 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac are much simpler integrations for user access (computers, Smartphones, servers) than all the evolving Bluetooth standards (v1.x, v2.x, v3.x, v4.x, v5.x, ), profiles (HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP) and sometimes proprietary Codecs (UHQaudio, LDAC, SBC, AAC, aptX).
Bluetooth is a near field standard created to connect devices, not particularly high quality audio devices. In 2019 there were some 6 billion IoT devices using Bluetooth planet wide. Imagine the number today. Bluetooth at its best moves data at 2mbps compared to WiFi typically at 54mbps. Data messages between devices like keyboards and computers are sporadic and short in length. Music is a continuous stream that needs to arrive 100% intact 100% of the time. WiFi and Ethernet in general depend on this data integrity ability with low latency, whereas typically Bluetooth in all its applications does not.
I wanted a way away from cables forever. But I did not want to sacrifice quality of sound nor limit myself to a fictitious and usually erroneous 30 foot limit with no walls to carry Bluetooth signals to a speaker that usually could not receve them lossless anyway. Results, as all of us know only too well, were cramped, compressed sound and tons of yelling at inanimate gear that only glowed back at us.
Cable And Wireless Audio Convergence (CWAC)
Enter the world of cable and wireless audio convergence. I call it CWAC. Convergence here is a hybrid approach to what just a couple years ago wasn’t possible at all in an open non-partisan product market to achieve the highest quality music reproduction levels available anywhere today.
The market I’m addressing is not exclusively for audiophiles, if price is the barometer used to measure quality. These are products in the consumer and prosumer markets readily available to all at a fraction of the cost of traditional top shelf audio classes of products. The point is they can satisfy ears of any genre of listener at affordable prices to all.
In 2021 I made the realization that the right products may in fact exist to accomplish this and I set about to prove it to myself.
What was necessary as requirements were these things to all be supported:
- Full Integration Of Highest Quality Digital Audio With WiFi Connected Computers and Smartphones on Local Area Networks. Support AirPlay and Chromecast to allow any streaming service (Roon, Spotify, TIDAL, Qobuz…) to relay received audio streams reliably and lossless without the restrictions of 30 foot Bluetooth that never works that far away anyway.
- Full Support of all static media storage (SSD, USB Thubmdrive, NAS/UPnP, Cloud Storage, Library Server). This allows computer audio playback of any user library through any of the popular music server and player products such as Roon, JRiver, Audirvana, Amarra, Apple Music.
- Full Support of all Cloud Streaming services including radio, streaming subscriptions (Roon, Spotify, TIDAL…), as well as YouTube (audio), and any other music a Smartphone or computer might want to hear online.
- Full Support of all common digital media transport (Toslink optical, Coaxial, BNC, Ethernet RJ45) to provide audio path connections to other entertainment gear including LED TV’s as needed. Yes these are additional cables, but not required for an unlimited supply of listening pleasure from home and cloud sources.
- Full Support of all digital hi-res formats including the highest DSD256 and DSD512 as well as MQA 24/352.8k and 24/384k with full MQA decoding to allow the DAC alone to accomplish all levels of unfolding as needed.
At the same time what was needed were all these things to be finally free of:
- Full Release From Obligations To Expensive Instrusive Cables With Inherent Signal Loss, Connector Issues And Potential For Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and Phase Distortion. I refer to this as Cable Controversies, Cost and Clutter (CCCC). The entire price of this holistic system could easily be spent on a single speaker cable not more than 3 feet in length. In this system no amplifier speaker cables are required.
- Full Release From Obiligations To Cramped Perimeters imposed by Bluetooth coupled with frequent Stutter, Signal Loss, Signal Compression, Aggravating Device Control
- Full Release From The Model Requiring Module After Module of Audio Gear to be added to accomplish top shelf performance and quality for DAC uses and filtering (all formats including DSD512 and MQA full decoding), Preamp (preferrably analog tube to further support natural sounding results), Network WiFi Streaming (to support Roon, Spotify, TIDAL, Qobuz and all the rest).
- Full Release of congested AC power hungry gangs of components, instead providing an off-grid capable solution to any user in our carbon over-enriched planet. Think cost here, not politics if you prefer, it applies equally to both.
Added to the clutter, incompatibilities, inconsistencies, complex setups and integrations typically required to accomplish these things and their associated high AC power requirements of seeming endless chains of power cables, power strips, and interconnect wires between modules were then endless hours of time over months and years spent perpetually fine tuning the design to best support various flows of digital audio into the system for amplification and speaker delivery.
The ultimate results are usually racks or at least stacks of gear that cannot be moved happily or easily. My goal was to get out of that viscous, expensive, AC power hungry cycle.
In January 2020 I found a single component that artfully and skillfully accomplished all of the digital music conversion to analog tasks with analog preamplification. It also solved the non-Bluetooth wireless (ie, WiFi) requirement for roaming free lossless transmission of any audio source on local network or in the cloud. It is the iFi Audio Pro iDSD Signature I wrote about (Pro iDSD) it on my art-of-listening.com music blog.
I then coupled that discovery of a fully integrated audio media refactoring vending machine (Pro iDSD Signature) with another single idea of:
Full Integration Of Highest Quality Speakers With Amplification in a reasonable size enclosure that was not too heavy to lift and move as needed and was of course aesthetically pleasing to the eye as well. Efficient use of AC power was also required.
I found exactly this in the Starke Sound VLOT series that comes with a few other perfectly integrated features including varied input sources, low frequency reach requiring no subwoofer, something beyond desktop and bookshelf (for entertainment) without being overbearing.
VLOT’s Class D amplifier drives 3 speaker cones per cabinet (2 x 4″, 1 x 1″) at 150W RMS per channel @ 4 ohms. The maximum SPL is 108dB at 1 meter. The control speaker (Left) weighs 25 lbs., the companion (Right) just 20 lbs. At normal to loud listening levels I measured 20W to 30W fluctuations. My loudest tests with driving bass lines used 40W but not higher.
Typical listening in a 20 x 24′ central room with sound heard in adjacent rooms and outside on lanai used about 20W which is a preferred efficient use of my PV Solar generated electricity. Loud music peaked at 91 to 94 dB (1 to 2 meters) with average play between 82 and 85 dB. Wood floors (maple) and peaked ceiling (12 ft.) T&G white pine are warm and spacious to the speaker deliveries positioned center room facing a half wall (sheetrock).
VLOT’s are exactly 3 feet tall and perfectly accomodate being placed on each side of an LED TV (mine is 48″) on a low couch height table. The VLOT enclosure ABS Finish is a hard acrylic with non-removable non-fabric grilles. All this is perfectly suited to the warm to temperate and often very humid climate here in Hawaii even at just over 3000 feet elevation. Mold resistent, well sealed speakers will protect electronics and components, and are seemingly impervious to our normal climate in Hawaii.
I reviewed VLOT from Starke Sound, Gardena, California in my blog here. It is published on Positive Feedback here.
Photo courtesy of Starke Sound
WELCOME TO THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF CABLE AND WIRELESS AUDIO CONVERGENCE
Only one single high quality RCA cable (provided) is required with this properly configured convergent system. One cable, the rest is wireless. The sound is stunning. The scope of music played in the highest resolution with this configuration is literally unlimited in a perpetual online world. And yes, you can add other components that require added cables.
The current VLOT Pro ($4499 US), VLOT Micro ($2499) and VLOT Standalone ($1299/$1599) Systems allow you to keep it very simple with full digital audio support and spectacular sound quality.
This achieves what my well used and well trained ears hear as the very finest complete spectrum of audio I have listened to across a wide universe of media from MP3 to AAC to FLAC to DSD to MQA and originating anywhere (ANYWHERE) on the planet be it from my personal music libaries at home and in the cloud or from other cloud free and subscription services including YouTube (audio).
It is the very finest spectrum of audio because there are incredible (hard to believe until you hear) improvements made on the lowest resolution recordings (MP3-192 or even lower).
At the same time, the system provides the seamless conversion of 1-bit native DSD256 and DSD512 to analog, using an analog tube preamplifier to stage the sound for a set of fully responsive speakers (read my review here) with excellent headroom and low AC power efficiency.
Could anyone find an equal or better sounding integrated audio system at a good price? Of course. But here’s a finished solution that tilts all meters for price and performance and simplicity. It’s a complex problem to solve. I’ve been surrounded by it for a few decades. I solved it in a highly integrated fashion with no trade offs for sound quality. In fact many sound quality barriers are broken and evaporated with this converged solution. It’s simply the best solution to the wide complex problem my ears have heard at prices I can afford.
HOLISTIC: Incorporating the concept of holism, or the idea that the whole is more than merely the sum of its parts, in theory or practice. (Dictionary.com)
~ David Elias, February 2021
Amplified Speakers (Stereo)
Starke Sound – VLOT
15oW RMS/channel @ 4 ohm
108dB SPL @ 1 meter
Bluetooth 5.0, Coax, Toslink
Analog RCA Inputs
Optimal 3 feet high x 6 inches
45Hz bass to 25kHz tweeter
Requires No Subwoofer
Low Power, <5W Sleep
Flat Speaker Wire Provided
iFi Audio – Pro iDSD Signature
Simple RCA Connection to VLOT
Analog Tube / Solid State Preamp
MQA to 24/352k and 24/384k
DXD and DXD x 2 to 768k
WiFi Streaming with DLNA/UPnP
Your DAC + Filters/Preamp/Streamer Headphone amp and DLNA Server All In One
Expert Guidance is Ready
Unbox and begin to listen to extraordinary audio reproduction through the Starke Sound VLOT stereo pair. Relocatable and durable attractive ABS Finish. Supports Lossless Bluetooth from computer/Smartphone.
In addition, simple to follow instructions are provided with Free Support allowing anyone to fully configure the optimzed Pro iDSD Signature DAC / Streamer/ Preamp/ DLNA Server /AirPlay+Chromecast Receiver in merely another 10-15 minutes.
QUESTIONS AND SALES INQUIRIES WELCOME
I’m happy to send you a quote which can include shipping costs. Let me know what you are interested in and how you want to listen to music with a new setup.
Copyright David Elias, All Rights Reserved Worldwide
The Holistic Audio Solution here is provided by the collaboration between 3 Partners:
Visit David Elias Independent Acoustic Music
Visit Starke Sound, Gardena, California
Visit iFi Audio, Southport, UK and Sunnvale, California
“The Window” recorded live studio directly to DSD and then mixed as DSD Wide to stereo and 5.1 multichannel in 2002 was selected in October 2020 by HIFICRITIC as one of the 5 Best DSD Recordings ever made.”
“It could be what DSD was invented for:
with its dynamic range and fine detail
allied to smoothness and musicality, it no
surprise that so many recordings of jazz,
blues and more are available in single
bit audio. Here’s a look at some favourite
recordings, old and new“
– James Parker, HIFICRICITIC, October 2020