What is the MusicKube?
The MusicKube is a high resolution digital music server being developed by SGR Audio. Music servers let you play digital files stored on a hard drive. It's even possible to use the MusicKube to play files that equal SACD or DVDA in sound quality and resolution. These files originate from one of two sources:
- They can be "ripped" from an existing CD. The MusicKube allows users to easily perform this task to capture guaranteed CD quality digital files.
- They can be purchased and download from online stores including:
- HD Tracks
The MusicKube will be available in a number of configurations to match any system setup. A base model will be available that will replace a traditional CD Transport in a HiFi system with a high quality digital output. This option is perfect for integrating with a user's favourite existing DAC. Alternatively, the MusicKube will also be available with an advanced inbuilt DAC powered by combined MSB Technology and SGR Audio circuitry. The DAC equipped MusicKube model will allow a one product source solution to match performance requirements for any possible system.
Advantages of running a MusicKube?
The MusicKube offers a number of advantages over traditional CD Players. These benefits come in three major categories: added convenience, greater functionality, and increased sound quality.
The inbuilt storage (1TB) of the MusicKube provides enough room for more than 2,500 CDs stored at full quality. This provides MusicKube user's with unparalleled convenience, allowing them to easily browse and play from their massive music collections all without ever leaving their listening chair. MusicKube user's can expect to:
- Never get up to change a CD
- Never worry about scratching their fragile CD's
- Have their music collection at their fingertips. It's quick and easy to browse through the MusicKube's impeccably presented and perfectly catalogued collection of a user's music. This makes finding the right music for the moment a breeze.
- Be able to build playlists with any individual song from their thousands of stored albums. This is great for parties and entertaining or just for creating a playlist of favourite tunes or something unique to match the mood.
Equipped with the proprietary Orakle Ripping Engine the MusicKube can quickly generate bit perfect copies of a user's entire CD collection. That's technical speak for creating exact replicas of every single 1 and 0 on a CD. Not only does this provide users with access to their existing CD libraries, but it also lets them create archival reference copies of their rare and precious albums. This is then augmented by the Orakle Audio Engine that guarantees bit perfect output for all resolutions up to 192kHz / 24 bit. The MusicKube therefore perfectly delivers every single bit of data on a CD from the reading process straight through to the digital output free from the read errors and skipping which can occur in even the most high end CD transports.
So what makes the MusicKube different to other music servers?
The MusicKube was conceived based on the realisation of the potential benefits in both user experience and absolute sound quality that music servers offer. While the benefits of music servers are widely acknowledged, canvassing the existing products in the market, SGR found a few barriers that still prevented the majority of music fans from trading in their CD Players. These barriers related to a poor user experience due to a heavy reliance on computer knowledge to both setup and use the devices. To help more music fans enjoy the benefits of music servers, the MusicKube was thusly created with the following goal:
"To create a fully featured music server that is as easy to use as a CD player"
The first step to achieving this goal was to consult the expertise of a number of early music server adopters using a range of existing products. With their help the MusicKube requirements were populated with a list of best of and must have features to match the performance of existing products. This was further augmented by a list of new desirable features unavailable on other products that thsese users had been eager to see. During this requirements gathering stage, careful attention was placed on the pain points that made some of these features difficult to operate on existing products. SGR then took these requirements and consulted usability and interface design experts (see smaple screenshots above).
This lengthy and thorough design process has led to a MusicKube design that offers the following:
- Plug and Play capability. The MusicKube is ready to go straight out of the box, just put in your first CD and away you go.
- Excellent usability thanks to the intuitive interface and 9.7" high quality capacitive touchscreen.
- The ability to control the MusicKube through a number of means:
- Using the provided touchscreen
- Using the provided remote
- Using a universal remote
- Using an iPhone or Android phone application
- Using a web browser on any computer connected to your network
- Feature rich toolset that allows users to easily:
- Build playlists on the fly.
- See extended information about their music collection including lyrics, reviews, and liner notes.
- Get recommended new music based on their favourite artists.
- Stream internet radio.
- An unparalleled music browsing system that allows user to browse by a number of categories and criteria. For example:
- Show all Progressive Rock albums sorted by the date they were added to the MusicKube's collection? Check!
- Show a user's most played songs that were released in the 1970's? Check!
- Show all album's that have yet to be played? Check!
- Show all Jazz albums from 2010? Check!
- Show a user's top rated and favourite artist's? Check!
- And this is just scratching the surface of what's possible!
SGR is dedicated to the ongoing development of the MusicKube. To this end the following will be offered to all MusicKube users:
- A strong user community focus
- MusicKube owners will be able to suggest and vote for their favourite new features to be added
- Ongoing, automatic, and free upgrades to your MusicKube. This ensures your MusicKube
- Is future-proof for new music formats
- Is always increasing in functionality with new features constantly added (as suggested and voted for by the users!)
- Always provides cutting edge sound quality
Last but not least, the MusicKube is also equipped to produce high fidelity audio. The following components and architectures are used to ensure this goal:
- High quality power supplies for increased sonics through clean power delivery. Noisy switching power supplies used in many music servers and computer based products have been avoided.
- MSB Technology and SGR Audio joint developed DAC circuitry (optional upgrade)
- High Quality Volume Control. This leaves buyers with more budget to spend on other components as well as reduces and simplifies the number of components needed in a system. Two volume control options are available:
- Smart Digital Volume control with minimal resolution loss and rounding errors (base model)
- Active analogue volume control (optional extra on all DAC equipped models)