Versus Audio Digital Transport

Versus Audio Digital TransportVersus Audio Digital Transport is a Music Player created with a single purpose – provide an accurate and high-quality playback of digital audio files. This is achieved through special Linux-based software, finely tuned to work in perfect harmony.

Build

The player is housed in a massive aluminium chassis, which has been modified to accommodate our specific components. The massive heat sinks guarantee ample and, more importantly, passive cooling for the motherboard and power supply. There is not a single cooling fan inside and additional vibration control is provided by the use of SoundCare SuperSpikes fitted to the base of the housing.

Motherboard

The motherboard by DFI uses an Atom 3800 processor and fully supports all 64-bit operating systems. Some of the options on the board were custom-built for us by the manufacturer. We are using a well-proven industrial board because it guarantees quality parts in the power supply and other areas.

The motherboard, as well as the USB output board, is fed by a separate linear power supply, which was again designed for Versus Audio MP. The player uses a quality input filter by Furutech and Oyaide provides all wiring in the power supply. The filter greatly reduces noise from the mains, which benefits immensely the audio quality of the system.

Digital

Versus Audio Digital TransportThe digital signal is fed to an external DAC or USB converter through USB, utilizing a special audiophile SOtM tX-USBexp output board which has a separate Linear power supply.

Versus Audio MP, digital transport uses a custom Linux-based software and MPD software audio player. This fully supports the majority of today’s audio formats. All components have been fine-tuned to achieve maximum audio quality and the software is running from a USB key.

This key is plugged directly into the motherboard. Versus Audio MP, supports most existing audio file formats up to 24 bit/ 352 kHz as well as DSD stream. This is provided your external DAC supports DSD stream natively. Otherwise, it will be converted to 24 bit/ 192 kHz PCM.

Transport

output

The transport, can playback files from external USB drives. These can be either flash or HDD/SSD. An Optional internal 2.5-inch storage may also be installed. This can be either HDD up to 2 Tb or SSD up to 1 Tb. If the internal storage is used then it is recommended to minimize any possible noise generated by a SATA filter by SOtM. (Storage and filter are optional).

A socket for one hard drive is already pre-fitted and a second one may be installed upon request. Any hard drives installed in Versus Audio MP will work as internal storage accessible from your network for uploading and editing audio files.

Operation

Audio content may be streamed from another PC or NAS server with a shared folder. This is provided that it is connected to the same local network as the transport. This method of streaming should be preferred from the audio quality point of view. This is because the storage will be better decoupled when used through Ethernet.

Versus Audio MP can only be controlled and set up via a network. This can be wireless from an Android or iOS tablet, or smartphone or from a Windows PC or a Mac. The settings can be changed through an interface and audio content can be managed through standard MPD clients. These clients are MPaD for iPad, MPoD for iPhone, MPDroid for Android devices, GMPC or Cantata for PC and Cantata for Mac. There are, of course, other applications but these are the most popular.

Besides the MPD player, the transport’s software features Squeezelite for playing audio files. These can be switched on in the system settings menu. However, to be able to use, you will have to install the Logitech Media Server (LMS) on a different computer or NAS server. These have to be connected to the same network as Versus Audio MP.

You will be able to control playback through the LMS interface or iPeng application for iPad. You will now have easier access to different audio streams on the internet including Internet radio. Also with LMS, you can now, even access the popular TIDAL HI-FI service.

Streaming

Another important feature is the UPnP renderer, which is an MPD front end. This allows streaming audio files from UPnP servers in a network. We suggest using Twonky UPnP server (preferably not higher than 4.1.18) and UPnP Asset by the power amp.

The best-suited control apps are Lumin and PlugPlayer for iPad and Bubble UPnP for Android. For Apple and iTunes aficionados we offer Airplay compatibility. Using Airplay on iPad / iPhone / iPod and Macs you will be able to use such services as Apple Music, Tidal Hi-Fi and Spotify through our transport.

Listening

testing player

This photograph was taken by myself in March 2014 and this was the first listening and testing of the prototype music player.

The past two years have been spent refining and making improvements to the player. I think that if a person wishes to playback audiophiles with the best quality available than this is a perfect choice.

Versus Audio Digital Transport
  • Digital transport for playback of audio files
  • Hardware: Custom designed industrial DFI motherboard
  • Operating system: Linux
  • Software players: MPD and Squeezelite
  • Playback: Direct playback via MPD, playback via Logitech Media Server by Squeezelite, playback via UPnP server through UPnP renderer, Airplay.
  • Supported formats: FLAC, ALAC, WAV, MP3, AAC, APE, Ogg Vorbis, Musepack, DSDiff, DSF and many other FFMpeg supported formats
  • Playback from external USB Flash and hard disk drives, internal 2.5″ storage and external server, and NAS via Ethernet.
  • Online services: Internet radio through Cantata and LMS, other services through Airplay, Tidal Hi-Fi through clickstream in LMS
  • Control apps: MPaD for iPad, MPoD for iPhone/iPod, MPDroid for Android, GMPC, Cantata for PC, Cantata for Mac.
  • System setup is done via Versus Audio Center with a web browser and an IP
  • Connection to the router through Ethernet, DHCP or a permanent IP
  • Audio digital out: USB only, SOtM tX-USBexp output board (if your DAC has no USB, you will need a USB-S/PDIF converter)
  • Supported sampling rates: PCM up to 24 bit/ 352 kHz, DSD up to DSD 128
  • Power supply: two discrete linear power supplies separate from USB output board and motherboard
  • Dimensions: 459 х 319 х 100 mm
  • Weight: 10.0 kg (without internal optional storage)
  • Transport is supplied with a power cord and a SATA socket for an internal HDD or SSD storage.
PRICE: 2,690 Euro plus VAT

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