“This System is a game changer!..”
The Red Wolf
Hand matched, high end componentry
External Linear power supply
Ultimate shielding and case prep
Audience copper throughout
The Red Wolf is a seriously powerful machine that has audiophiles around the world pretty excited. Within the industry, the performance of this system has made us a lot of friends at audio shows from D.C. and New York to Denver and Chicago, and soon, overseas. Our customers now have options they’d never had before, on a server system equal to all their other top-end gear in the rack. The Red Wolf platform is one of constant innovation and our methods and the sonic improvements we achieve form the basis for what is considered state of the art.
We have spent more than three years customizing the OS and Media Center and now ROON to virtually eliminate the manual task of configuring and integrating the Red Wolf into your system. Based on our customers’ use cases, we’ve needed to get pretty creative in how and what the Wolf can do. We continue that work every day through software development and automation technologies. Our destination is pretty fantastic, but the journey is just as cool. We could write pages of details about the many things we do to every build, but suffice it to say that it is a lot, and ever evolving.
Stereo audio and multichannel audio travel different paths on their way to your speakers. We create the custom configurations that automate the switching process. The Red Wolf platform takes the best of the Alpha 2 and improves in many of the areas and disciplines already well known to audiophile manufacturing, and some that are entirely new concepts for HiFi. The Red Wolf is stronger and more capable, it takes longer to build, and has a big power supply driving it. Based on your listening preferences, we adapt the output methods and sources to the appropriate zones, and when paired with a smart remote, the process becomes even easier, switching your hardware to the settings as needed. We are actively working with several Universal Remote technologies to integrate their platforms with the Alpha II to truly integrate into your home. Because while our focus is two channel audio, the sheer strength and extensibility of a Wolf system cannot be overstated. Two Channel audio is where it starts, where else it goes is up to you.
The Red Wolf sits at the pinnacle of computing power in the home and small office market. To build something more powerful would mean entering the datacenter sector, and while that is in the cards for Wolf, we took the time to take the enthusiast platform as far as we could. We carefully designed the Red Wolf and its’ power supply with some headroom in order to ensure that our users could go bigger – by adding on hardware and asking a bit more of the server than a normal user might. Whether that fits your designs or not, the fact remains – sometimes, you want the Ferrari, even if you’ll never take it on the track. The quality is there, ever present, ready to go from beautiful component into a raging beast of excitement. It is not unheard for us to sit in the stereo room critically listening while sending a BluRay concert to the TV room while the kids watch a Cartoon on their tablets. All of the data lives on the Red Wolf, it simply serves it everywhere we want it to be. listening while also sending audio to other places in the home over the network, and the result is as we hoped: no impact to the sound quality. If you haven’t started down the path of automation or whole home audio, the Alpha II is a perfect (and very substantial) way to get started. The Alpha II can serve as the central hub for your whole home, delivering audio and video anywhere in the house (and outside it, over the internet.) The system currently ships running Windows 10 Pro, though we are always testing new OS’s in the search for the best sound and experience. In a few words, Windows 10 is the gold standard OS for modern audio, and our choice for maximum reliability, convenience, features and experience.
” The sound of the Red Wolf was, in a word, scrumptious. There were no artifacts of digital processing evident, and the server worked without a hitch, transitioning between tracks and interfaces such as JRiver or Roon seamlessly.”
Linear Power Supply
We've designed a completely new outboard linear power supply for the red wolf
Power has a massive effect on the performance of any audio component and the incorporation of our own 275 watt linear supply in a stacked external case proves it.
Before switch mode power supplies were brought to market, there was only linear power. Switch mode power supplies are lighter and less expensive in high current applications, but when working with things of a highly sensitive nature, like medical equipment keeping you alive, or your stereo, there is a reason why linear power will always be found on the highest end products out there: noise. Switch mode power is noisy, but linear power supplies regulate the output voltage by dropping excess voltage in a series dissipative component. They use a moderately complex regulator circuit to achieve very low load and line regulation. Linear regulated power supplies also have very little ripple and very little output noise.
We looked at the available products out there on the market and quickly disqualified each one. It was almost immediately apparent that for an application like the Wolf – a system that uses 5 different rails of various voltages, we’d need to crack open the books and search out some pretty bright guys in the field of power regulation. Suffice it to say, we found them, and our work continues… the results however, speak for themselves.
Still want to know more? Visit our Linear Power Supply page.
Attention to detail
We’ve worked on securing every point of potential EMI/RF entry point and put some safeguards in place. Using some of the highest rated shielding braid available, the system is fully protected, even in some of the densest equipment racks around.
No moving parts
Solid State drives are a must in Hi-Fi audio systems. Normal mechanical hard drives can spin up to a pound of metal at 7200RPM, wreaking havoc inside a system that is meant to be especially sensitive and quiet for audio purposes. SSD’s have no moving parts, and are over 5x faster than traditional hard drives.
The evolution of an apex predator
As we were building the Alpha 2 series, there were a number of processes and technologies that were developed but did not make the cut. As we sat down to plan the next system, we identified which of these advancements provided the best sonic improvement for the cost, and the Red Wolf began to take shape. While the external linear power supply jumps out as one of the most apparent additions, there is a lot going on under the hood of the Red Wolf – technical advancements and good, old fashioned audiophile manufacturing methodologies that you aren’t going to find in modern streamers, or even other servers.
We spend more than twice the time building the Red Wolf than the Alpha 2. Our experience has proven the importance of matching parts, CPU and RAM binning, and preparing the silicon as well as the case before installation to construct an utterly silent and bomb-proof server that is at home amongst some of the most exotic hardware you’ll find. We went to Audience – one of the top US cable makers, told them our hopes and dreams and came back with a revamped power delivery chain that even NASA would envy. We talked to industry greats to learn more about shielding EMI/RFI and further improved the system, finding and implementing new anti-vibration materials to mitigate subsonic interference.
We’ve put a lot of work into the Red Wolf, and continue to improve it. And given the results of recent shoot-outs we have had with other servers and streamers, we are pretty damn proud, and confident that you will be too.
- Hand crafted everything. we spend more time building the Red Wolf than any other system, carefully matching parts and shielding the internals to ensure this is the best system you will hear
- Better cabling. We’ve partnered with Audience AV to source the best copper made to supply power inside the machine
- More RAM. The Red Wolf ups its RAM to 16GB of carefully matched and timed modules
- Linear Power Supply. We have developed a highly tuned, 275W linear power supply that sounds fantastic, and is the single biggest jump in sound quality we’ve ever heard
- Perfected user interface and visual experience. We’ve pulled out all the stops with the Red Wolf. Whether you are using your TV, a Monitor or tablet to drive your Wolf, it will function and look better than anything you’ve seen before.
- IR Remote comes standard. Point, Click, Play. Put the keyboard away when you just want to listen.
- Specially shielded cables. We further shielded system cables to reduce RFI and electrical interference
- This is the server that gets reviewers excited. Seriously guys, it’s about time to get the demo systems back home!
Yes, there is a difference...
We sat back with our awesome new power supply and, being audiophiles, said, “What else can we do to it?” We’d just become acquainted with John and Co of Audience, and had thought about trying our hand at cable making. We quickly realized that that art was best left to more practiced hands, but saw an opportunity to attempt a thing no-one had yet thought of in the server world.
DC resistance and dubiously sourced copper are mainstay boogiemen of the computer world… and with our new understanding of the part that Ohno copper plays in the transmission of power and signal, rewiring the supply with the best copper we could find seemed like a great idea. And we weren’t wrong. The difference was instantaneous, the sound better articulated, smoother, more natural sounding. The fatigue inducing highs receded even further… and we are already talking about differences between one linear power supply to another. It was a pronounced enough difference that we decided that Audience Ohno XPLE copper should always be present in our top tier models.
So, from within the supply on to the Umbilical, and on into the case, the transmission structures are all handmade with Audience copper, ensuring a level of quality that we will stand behind: we make the best power supply out there, and we are working out how to make it better.
“Those who believe a cable is just a cable now know not all cables are created equally.”
“Wow, you have done very nice work on this server! The longer I listen the more powerful and erudite it sounds. The data retrieval is amazing, far, far beyond CD players I have used. It is quite an accomplishment! ”Seasoned Reviewer— DD, WI
“No sooner did I get the Alpha 2 dialed in, then Mitch called and told me he pulled the trigger on the Red Wolf. I wont let him bring it over because I just don't want to know. We are loving this system and have to fight the kids over who plays what. That has never happened in my room before! The sound blows me away every time. Just an awesome, awesome product. Thanks guys!”— Kevin S. , Hilton HeadThe Beach Bum
“"Guys, it has been said before, but it is worth repeating... these systems are game changers. We've thrown HQPlayer and Fidelizer on the Alpha 2, and there is no discernible difference to what you've done natively. You've got something going on, and it is fantastic!”Steve M. , FloridaMaster Tinkerer
“Every time I have managed to f*** the Wolf up, you get it back in working order in no time. If you were local, I'd have you support the whole house! Seriously guys, I am loving this server and I can't tell you just how much I am enjoying it. It's a whole new side of music I never knew I could have, just sheer bliss.”— Jason, NYThe Potty Mouth
“Just when I thought audio couldn't get much better, I had to go to the New York Audio Show and find out that I was wrong. I am familiar with servers, a few of my friends have them. However, your system is so much more elegant and simple to use that I couldn't resist. I don't want to fiddle with things, I want to sit down and listen to music, and the Wolf does that, and a hell of a lot more! Bluray audio disks are a whole new level of audiophile listening, and has me thinking about multichannel audio for the first time. I can see putting the Cub in the TV room and linking the systems together. That would be awesome!”Ben, NJThe Titan of Industry
“Words can't desribe how much more I am appreciating my stereo system with the Wolf server. If digital audio had lead with a product like this, there wouldn't be any arguments. The server sounds fantastic and is a heck of a lot more fun to use than anything digital that spins. I am glad you talked me into the touchscreen, I love it, the wife loves it, just a great time and investment all around.”Jace, ArizonaThe Vinyl Guru
PCM SAMPLE RATES/BIT DEPTH
16 – 32 Bits, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, or 384kHz
Native DSD or DoP (DSD over PCM), 2.8, 5.6, or 11.2MHz)
256GB System Drive, 2TB Music Drive
2 shielded USB ports, 1 optical (Toslink)
Dual Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11/n/ac
iOS, Android, web browser. keyboard and mouse
Core i7 Processor with Hyper Threading
16GB DDR4 RAM
MASS STORAGE CONNECTORS
4 USB type A
Ethernet (RJ45), IR In, USB-A, USB 3 .1 Type C
100VAC, 115VAC, or 230VAC, factory set