Stack Audio Onset Network Streamer
Stack Audio was founded by Theo Stack who developed his idea for an audiophile grade network bridge (often called a streamer). The result of 3 years of development, the purpose of the Onset was to be the most natural sounding analogue like streamer possible. The Onset was the origin of Stack Audio’s design and engineering philosophy that can be seen today in the SERENE upgrades for the Linn LP12 and the soon-to-be-available new USB streamer. www.stackaudio.co.uk
The new streamer will be an affordable mainstream product; the original Onset is our hi-end flagship and signature design.
The focus of the Onset design was sonic performance. We chose the best streaming module for sonic performance which was more expensive than the alternatives but a very low noise, 8 layer board. Unfortunately, this board does not support Roon and USB output which we recognise limits its appeal. Despite this the streaming module is still used by many other hi-end manufacturers and is updated, supported and very stable. This is the reason why we are happy to supply customers a truly audiophile grade streamer at cost price. This is a one-off chance to buy a very special and unique design for those who don’t need Roon or USB outputs.
Advanced Audio Technologies
Jitter and common mode noise in the audio signal are key challenges in digital audio and all-too-frequent culprits in marring or limiting the listening experience. The Onset features a combination of advanced technologies designed to solve the problem from the outset. First, a unique power supply achieves the perfect audio signal by ensuring that the audio circuitry is never in contact with the mains source, alleviating the need for excessive filtering which can otherwise restrain sound quality. Second, rather than seeking to minimise jitter, the Onset’s advanced asynchronous low-skew clocking system eliminates it from the outset. Its pioneering upgradeable digital processing platform has been custom-designed to extract the best possible performance from the Onset’s two ultra-low phase noise oscillators.
We have 4 Onsets of electronic components remaining to build into a very limited run of this unique streamer. The Onsets will be hand-made to order with the cases made new and anodised in black or silver or other colours such as gold to suit the customer’s preference. If desired, we can add custom engravings.
The Onset is a true high-end product that’s not out of place in the most discerning of systems. Our first customer uses his Onset to feed a dCS Puccini with WAV and FLAC files stored on a NAS drive. A Chord power amplifier and Focal Utopia Diablo speakers complete a system that is stunningly transparent. With the Onset in place, the resulting sound is fluid and dynamic and quite analogue in character.
The Onset’s case is machined from an aerospace grade aluminium billet with completely separate sections for the transformer, power supply and the reference digital processor. The Onset chipset can handle compressed and uncompressed digital files including MP3, AAC, AIFF, WAV, ALAC and FLAC up to PCM 24bit 192khz. It has USB2 and RJ45 inputs; SPDIF dual AES and HDMI outputs and can be connected to an external clock via BNC. It uses a UPnP interface compatible with a variety of Android and iOS control apps.
We are happy to arrange a demonstration of the Onsets capabilities.
Low-noise design enables bit-perfect data transmission and two-channel asynchronous streaming for jitter-free stereo playback.
Supports up to 24bit 192khz PCM as well as DSD over DOP. Future updates will enable playback of DXD 384khz (over dual wire) and native DSF and DFF files.
Ultra-low phase noise oscillators measuring in the low femto seconds.
Supports studio-level clock syncing and dual-wire AES mode used to separate transmission of left and right channels in leading digital-to-analogue converters for ultimate fidelity.
Asynchronous USB to SPDIF converter vastly improves the sound quality from your USB source.
Bespoke ‘Never Connected’ power supply isolates the Onset from the mains, eliminating the adverse effects of mains pollution.
Multi-regulated linear power supply with two separate power rails - one for the sensitive clock circuitry and another for the DSP - to help eliminate ground loops.
Individually machined pockets for the circuit boards and transformer, plus added vibration dampening pads, to isolate both mechanical and EMI interference.
UPNP™ compliant and gapless playback supported.