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by Jay Garrett

10th January, 2019

2107 readers

The Stack Audio LINK is the British hi-fi company's new audiophile USB music player that adds streaming capabilities to existing two-channel hi-fi systems.

Stack Audio has been researching and developing its streamer platform for five years and passionately believes that a pure source signal is paramount for enjoyable music reproduction, whether analogue or digital.

The new LINK will quickly drop into UPnP, DLNA, Open Home and Roon based management and control systems. Additionally, it supports Apple devices via Shairport-sync and Spotify Connect.

Stack Audio LINK

Connection to sources can be via ethernet cable, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB and the LINK can manage bit-perfect ripping of CDs when connected to a CD drive. Furthermore, it has an HDMI display port so you can display the Link’s Volumio interface on your big-screen telly.

Stack Audio LINK

Stack Audio already has audiophile credentials. It has built up an enthusiastic customer base for its range of SERENE upgrades for the Linn LP12 which are designed to remove unwanted noise, resonances and interference from the phono signal. As the many customer testimonials for SERENE demonstrate, music sounds more real and immersive when it comes from a pure, clean audio signal.

As it is with analogue, the same is true for digital. The LINK has been built to counter noise and interference. Moreover, Stack Audio has spent the last five years investigating the effects of phase noise, working with legendary engineer John Westlake who has extensively researched phase noise and its impact on timing accuracy.

Clean as you go

At the core of the detox system is an ultra-low phase noise USB audio clock circuit. Here, the Ethernet input is synchronised to the audio clock to reduce the small variations in the timing of the digital signals. Then, a dedicated USB audio output buffers the signal to purify it and, finally, EMI filter circuitry removes any remaining interference.

Stack Audio LINK

Powering the LINK is an extremely low noise, multi-stage power circuit. Three independent switching regulators are synchronised to the audio clock to ensure that the fluctuations of the switching circuit are in time with the clock, and so reducing fluctuations and noise. The LINK’s bank of 9 low ESR capacitors and a triple linear regulated circuit further help to ensure the power source is clean.

Finally, protecting the LINK’s sensitive electronics is a high-mass case machined from solid aluminium. Also, it features EMI shielding and is designed to absorb physical vibration.

The LINK is manufactured in the UK sharing production facilities with products for aerospace, medical and military applications.

It is available to pre-order now in silver or black on the Stack Audio website for £695 with a refundable £25 deposit.

First deliveries are expected end Jan/early Feb 2019.


Jay Garrett's avatar

Written by:

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: stack audio