CAD - Computer Audio Design

New product launch! The CAD Audio Transport (CAT) is now available.

The new CAT is our highly advanced source component. It has been carefully designed to complement our award-winning 1543 DAC, combining exceptional sound quality with ease of use to provide a high-quality one-box solution for music storage and playback. Each CAT is built by hand to order here in the UK and is tailored to suit your home music set-up: either as a stand-alone two-channel system, or for integration into home networks.
What the CAT can do:
• Automated CD ripping: simply pop in a CD and the CAT will automatically rip it to memory and then eject the disc.
• Store your music: we install memory capacity to your requirements and can supply the CAT without music storage for external music storage solutions (NAS).
• Playback: connect the CAT’s customised USB output to the 1543 DAC or any USB DAC, using our brand new CAD cable, for completely synergistic music.
• Remote management: control the CAT using apps on handheld devices, both iOS and Android.
• Operate as an audiophile NAS ripper. We can install an Ethernet card modified for audio use instead of the USB interface. Use the CAT with your streamer and you will be amazed at the improvement in sound quality!
The CAT is individually crafted to fit your music needs. Scott Berry, designer of the acclaimed 1543 DAC, has skilfully employed the technology that he developed during three years of research, to create an exceptional audiophile-grade digital transport.
What’s makes the CAT sound so good?
• Separate, linear power supply with 4 independent voltage rails.
• Custom BIOS written for motherboard to optimize sound quality.
• CAD highly modifies motherboard for audio use.
• Operating System is stored on separate SSD that is manufactured for CAD to our specifications.
• Music storage drive(s) are separate from the Operating System SSD.
• Windows Operating system is highly modified. Over 3 years work in optimizing Windows for audio use. Type “CAD audio optimization” into Google to see some of the work CAD has done for modifying Windows.
• A highly modified USB interface designed for optimum sound quality.
• All internal cabling is audio quality and SATA interconnects are handmade and we feel the finest quality available.
• Fan-less cooling.
• Extensive mechanical vibration isolation.
• Extensive EMI & RFI reduction.

A special version of the CAD USB Cable is available to purchasers of the CAT, optimized to work specifically with the CAT and 1543 DAC.

Software:  CAD is a UK manufacturer of superb-quality hi-fi. We are not trying to be a software company — there are plenty of very good ones already developing music streaming and playback applications — instead, we exhaustively audition the finest products, so we can set up systems with the best-sounding, most robust software available today. Plus, as the world of digital audio evolves, we can quickly adapt as new products become available.

Delivery time is within one month.The CAT can be fitted with SSD internal music storage which we feel gives the best sound quality.  Network Attached Storage (NAS) can also be used of course. Due to the price variation of memory, we will install whatever you require, at our cost price.  CAD, nor our distributors or resellers make any money on music storage drives.
Every CAT comes with a recommended package of third-party software. We will discuss with you how you want to set up your system at home and then install the right software, all, of course, passed on at just cost price – there are no ‘hidden’ charges. This approach means:
• You can make changes in the future if something comes along that works better for you
• You can add applications as they become available – like new high-resolution streaming, for example.

What Scott Berry says about the CAT:

“Many of our customers love the 1543 DAC, but I quickly realised that the biggest problem in computer audio is the computer! Having worked hard to improve sound quality using software, I wanted also to implement the discoveries made during the development of the 1543 DAC in the computer itself. The CAT combines exceptional sound quality with ease of use. It is also a device that can adapt as the digital music world evolves with the renewed focus on sound quality.”
Recommended standard software package:

• The CAT runs on a customised Microsoft Windows Operating System. This includes CAD’s proprietary modifications, aimed at creating the best possible sound quality, without compromising networking and remote access. This provides a robust, easy-to-use and widely supported operating system that can be slotted into home networks easily. The CAT can run all streaming apps like Spotify, Tidal, etc. If it runs on Windows, it will work on the CAT.
• Custom BIOS. CAD has worked with our motherboard manufacturer to develop a custom version of BIOS made to our specifications, again designed to optimise sound performance.
• Ripping software. We have a customised version of dBPoweramp, which rips in ‘secure mode’, automatically downloading metadata if the CAT is connected to the internet. Files are automatically stored where you want them — internal solid-state memory, or your existing external NAS drive.
• We use JRiver for the Music library, which is probably the most widely used Windows-based music server software. You can easily view and search your collection, see artwork and sleeve notes, and create playlists. Playback is managed by JPlay.
• Streaming services can be included if the CAT is to be connected to the internet. For example, maybe you have a TIDAL HiFi account, or have subscribed to one of the new high-resolution streaming services. Or, maybe you’re still trying out new things; digital music services are rapidly evolving, as long as there is an app for Windows, you’ll be able to run it on your CAT.

• Remote control is via Kazoo installed on your iPad or BubbleDS Next for Android handheld device (the current recommended setup). This is simply a remote control: we don’t believe wireless music transmission can provide appropriate sound quality. You can also access the Windows operating system in the CAT via your handheld device using Windows Remote Desktop application – A screen, keyboard & mouse are not necessary. This is often referred to as running headless.
• Alternatively, if you don’t like Wi-Fi networks in your listening room, you can control the CAT using a monitor and mouse, or using your television via HDMI.