The A Capella — Roon Ready Network Player
The only 1’s and 0’s I speak are Audio.
Although there are a few ways to playback digital music, we find doing so with an audio signal sounds the best.
Great clocks, proper isolation and pristine audio outputs are what you’ll love about the A Cappella.
Roon is the most engaging, enjoyable way to browse your music.
Together, Roon and Musica Pristina deliver the power, flexibility, and performance benefits of networked audio, with the easiest setup and highest reliability available.
Learn more here: https://roonlabs.com/partners.html
Introducing A Cappella
Musica Pristina’s roots are firmly planted as computer audio pioneers. We’ve been building music servers with computer parts, Windows and linear power supplies for ages. (We never really wanted a printer port in the server, but it’s harder to remove than you’d imagine.)
But, sometimes you have to let something go to grasp something new.
So we left the world of Windows and PC motherboards in favor of System on Chip (SoC) and Linux kernels. We were finally empowered to build the player we always wanted to build, with only the parts and features we wanted it to have. A network player whose sound isn’t shaped by the Windows audio sub-system. A player that doesn’t radiate noise to the rest of your system.
What is A Cappella II?
- I2S Output: The native language spoken by all DAC chips is I2S. So that’s where we started. I2S means audio without translation, and if you haven’t heard it, you haven’t heard digital.
- USB Output: The “U” in USB means universal. Typical Network Streamers / Renderers make you give that up. We give you USB. Often without the need for drivers, and without a Windows PC.
- Roon: The music player for music lovers. Forget everything you know about music players. Music is an experience, and Roon reconnects you with it.
- NAS for Music: We love Network Attached Storage (NAS). Huge libraries, easy backups, error checking and galvanic isolation. Store more music, with better sound, on an external NAS device, and play it on your A Cappella with the Roon interface. (No need for UPnP).
- Linear Power: Underlying everything is DC power. Super clean DC Power. The smoother the road, the smoother the ride.
- Simplicity: Using a playback system should be as much fun as listening to the music it creates. Our interface is pure joy. We built it that way.
So how does it sound?
Words fall entirely too short, although one customer (Bob V.) says this:
You have done an excellent job! As far as the sound, it is excellent. Compared to the Prodigy, it is a more detailed but more liquid sound. I am hearing new things in my recordings. However, this detail is not at the expense of the creation of a harsher and much less listenable sound. In the past some of my equipment that created more detail also was much more fatiguing when listening for more than short periods of time. This is the opposite of what happens with the A Cappella II. The A Cappella II creates a most enjoyable sound with the performers and soundstage fleshed out as I have never heard them before. I have a couple of recordings by Larry Martin who is a friend of mine. His voice on the recordings is just as he sounds in real life.
To really find out, you’ll have to hear it for yourself. Go ahead, you deserve it.
For the true enthusiast looking to extract every ounce of joy from each and every listening session, we offer a purpose-built linear power supply in the A Cappella II. Hundreds of hours of engineering, testing and listening have come together to bring you a truly magical DC power source.
Not all linear supplies are created equal. While typical (think hot and heavy) linear PSUs often report low ripple values (2 mV pp RMS or less), they rarely deliver on audio experience.
Our linear supply, which is a divergence from the ordinary, brings new life to your digital music—one you never imagined possible. Tight accuracy of the bass, holographic realism of the soundstage, incredibly natural vocals and highs. You need only listen to experience all this and more springing forth from the A Cappella II.
A Gigabit Ethernet port brings external data to your A Cappella II. It is highly recommended that you connect your system directly to a network router with copper Ethernet cabling of Cat-5e or Cat-6 specification.
At Musica Pristina, we think USB Audio is a workaround, one that is likely here to stay. The “U” stands for Universal, after all. But when you have access to a DAC with an I2S Input, there’s no other option.
But that doesn’t mean we like it.
So instead of complaining, we set out to do something about it. While there is no IEEE standard for “out-of-chassis” I2S communication, we’ve been working diligently to create one.
I2S is the “native language” spoken by DAC chips. It seems a waste to convert audio data for transmission over USB, then to convert it back to I2S for decoding in the DAC. So we’ve developed hardware send & receive boards (employed in our players and DACs) capable of transmitting the I2S signal (over standard HDMI cables). I2S signals carry the clock and data information needed to reproduce digital audio. And nothing else.
Our I2S output works seamlessly with our Transducer DAC and several other high end DACs on the market. Let us know what DAC you’re using so we can help you determine if our I2S output is compatible.
Network Attached Storage (NAS)
Network Attached Storage (NAS), allows you to decouple library management (which can be done on any machine on your network) from the actual work of playing your music. Fanless, exceedingly clean power, ultra-reliable construction, 12mm aluminum faceplate, EMI/RFI rejection and vibration control combine to produce a mechanically and electrically silent source unit for your digital system. We’ve gone to great lengths to lower the noise floor and raise the realism.
The A Cappella II from Musica Pristina represents the pinnacle of purity. An absolutely silent player with no moving parts, A Cappella has had every component removed that does not directly create the music signal. It plays your music with unswerving, uninterrupted and undivided attention—hence no LCD screen, CD-ROM drive or other adornments. In short, there’s nothing to give you the mistaken impression that anything outside its chassis will have the slightest impression on its performance.
Why Choose A Cappella?
- You want a completely silent player, not one with a really quiet fan. There are no moving parts.
- You want a player that strikes the balance between easy to use and fully featured.
- You want to adorn your audio rack with a piece of equipment that looks like audio gear. Not a piece that looks like, well, something else.
- You want to support products designed and built in the US.
To call any of its incarnations a “base model” would be slander.
A Cappella has been designed from the ground up. Although there is no shortage of decent looking computer chassis on the market, even fanless ones, we wanted something as unique as we are. So we built it. Even our power supply is custom (We’ve done a bit more than stick quality caps behind a typical Linear Power IC.)
Each unit is hand crafted with an eye toward minimalism and an ear toward maximum accuracy and musical impact.