The Alpha 3

The Alpha 3 is an evolutionary leap from our debut device. It’s perfect for the discerning audiophile who wants to integrate their existing media collection – whether from disc or hard drive – into the next step of audio evolution. It is also perfect for anyone who missed out on Oppo and still needs BluRay capabilities and 4k video worthy of a stereo. And the best part? It sounds even more amazing than the Alpha 2. We took everything we learned over the past two years and incorporated it into an awesome new system that you’ll be ecstatic to have at the top of your HiFi rack.

BluRay and CD Transport

Isolated USB outputs

Expandability (up to 12TB)

“I was immediately impressed when I started to play familiar files. This machine sounds killer. Take notice for certain! It sure seems like what Wolf did with their hardware and software tweaks really paid off.”

-Bascom H. King

Here at Wolf, computer audio has entered its third production generation. As technology evolves, there are new opportunities to take the Alpha platform further than its predecessor. The Alpha 3 has several advancements that positions it as one of the greatest servers for 2018: one of those is power. Intel has upgraded their 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs to 6-Core processors. That gives the system a 50% speed bump over last year’s system. There is an additional NVMe slot for ultra-fast storage, room to add an extra drive that makes today’s SSD’s look like turtles – perfect for DSD512 and 1024. And in another great evolution that even audiophiles will appreciate, the Alpha 3 supports native 4k 60p video. Who might really appreciate a TEAC BluRay transport and 4k and HDR output? Maybe all the people who missed out on the last Oppo’s. Couple these advancements with our brand new SPDIF output stage and new shielding materials we have standardized to silence any erroneous electronic noisee from affecting the signal path and you can begin to see why the guys at Stillpoints and the Bob Carver Corp have chosen the Alpha 3 as the system they take to shows and do mission critical demos on. It is just that good.

We use the Alpha 3 at home, touchscreen to our right and 4k TV in front of us. It handles anything we throw at it, and does so with a native sonic quality that has us fairly excited. Our listening sessions are better than ever, and when we want to watch Concert BluRays, we don’t even miss the Oppo. It sits in the bedroom stereo rack, just a little bit dusty.

We have spent years customizing the OS and Media Center and now ROON to virtually eliminate the manual tasks that scare many people away from Media Servers. Many of our customers are technophobes, or have at best a rudimentary knowledge of computer systems, they can open mail and surf the web… but they can also use the Wolf. We aren’t kidding when we say that grandma has played with this machine. We worked on the interface, the settings, and the flow until she was comfortable. But that doesn’t mean we’ve dumbed things down. We’ve taken the extremely complex and streamlined it, customized it for every possible configuration and then take an extra step you won’t find elsewhere… we share knowledge, we teach, and we support you. What we do to every build could be pages long to explain, but suffice it to say that it is a lot, and ever evolving. The software is upgradeable and if you have apps or utilities that you can’t live without, you bring them along.

There is a reason we’re starting to hear our systems referred to as the Big, Bad Wolf. The beautiful things about a true audio server is their power and their flexibility.

For example, stereo and multichannel audio (or video) travel different paths on their way to your speakers. We create custom configurations that automate the switching process, so that if instead of a DAC the data needs to go to your receiver, it just happens. We learn about your system and listening preferences and then we custom build the Wolf to suit your needs. Rarely is one configuration exactly the same as another. And while our focus is on audio, a wonderful byproduct of work we’ve done to create the best audio device out there has yielded amazing results for video as well… the sheer strength and extensibility of a Wolf system cannot be overstated, it can only be experienced. 2-Channel audio is where it starts, but where you end up is entirely up to you.

Simply put, a Wolf is capable of just about anything. Our current preferred build is Windows 10 Pro, though Server 2016 and even a Linux variant are running in our lab. Windows 10 Pro is quickly becoming the gold standard OS for modern audio and our choice for maximum reliability, convenience, features and experience.

What does that mean for the listener? A few things: a full-blown web browsing experience in the stereo room using either a big screen TV or a monitor beside you. The ability to purchase your music where you play it. The ability to send music or videos to other places in your home while also doing critical listening. The ability to stream, rip, tag, arrange, compare, burn, buy, share, room correct, transcode, upsample, downsample, convert and even create – all with the same system.

We are typing this paragraph on a Wolf. We send our emails from a Wolf. We don’t like spreadsheets, but when we have to do them, we do them with 65” of 4k screen real estate, on a Wolf and while rocking out. And when we want to, we turn out the lights and turn off the screens and just listen to our music with an app on our phone or tablet. With a Wolf, you have options… to take it as far, or use it as simply as you’d like.  The only thing we ask is that you enjoy the music. Oh, and did we mention automation? We are working on that, too. A Wolf can become the central hub of your home. We’ll let you know what your options are.

We developed the first Wolf based on what we didn’t find in so-called servers and streamers. To buy a streamer means also needing to buy a desktop or laptop system to purchase music and move it over to the device. It was all too much for us, much less our technophobic friends, so we focused on bringing high power into HiFi. We wanted to build a system that could do it all, and evolve over the years with technology – and this is where streamers get left behind. We accomplished that, and then some. And then we gave our systems a three-year warranty and a five-year upgrade path. Our customers are very happy. We are here for you, well beyond the point of sale. Just look at some of the testimonials from our customers below.

Our debut device

Updated for 2018

The Alpha 3 is still the perfect system for the audiophile wanting to integrate their existing media collection – whether from CD or hard drive – into the next step of audio evolution. The Alpha 3 takes all the best of digital media storage, playback and delivery components and consolidates all of these disciplines into one system with a ton of built-in capabilities and future-proof hardware that will keep the music playing for years to come. As the audio world evolves, the Alpha 3 evolves with it, expanding its feature sets and growing with you.

What are customers saying?
Internal power

The Alpha 3 comes with an internal, 240W power supply that is compact but very powerful and completely silent. This supply deserves an award! It is an order of magnitude better sounding than regular computer power supplies, and we have made a few changes that underscore its ability to handle HiFi audio duties..

Storage
Storage

Solid State Drives

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 for audio purposes. SSDs have no moving parts and are over 4x faster than traditional hard drives. The speed means faster audio loading and switching and the Alpha 2 is one of the fastest. The drop in cost for SSDs has enabled us to double the storage capacity from 512GB in the Alpha 2 to 1TB. This allows you to hold over 3000 CDs, or 1500 Hi-Res albums. There is still the option to connect your own external hard drives, so you are only limited by your own storage capacity.

The experience
Control

Browser & App Control

You have full playback functionality through Android and iOS applications, as well as a web browser. The Wolf has built in Bluetooth and wireless capabilities, which allows the user to use with wireless keyboard and mouse or simply by using a smartphone or tablet. Our users drive the Alpha 2 with a TV, or touchscreen monitor with the added option of managing and navigating their entire music library through the use of an tablet app when they want to just listen.

  • Control: Android, iOS, Keyboard & Mouse, Web browser
  • HDMI: 4k & Multichannel Audio
  • Best in class galvanically isolated USB audio
  • TV and Monitor support – touchscreen capable
The experience
Home Screen

If you employ a TV or monitor in your listening room, this is where you get started

The experience
Album Information

Browse tracks and play music with ease - no more squinting at the back of a jewel case.

What are customers saying?
Search View

Utilize the built-in Search feature to find Artists, Albums, Tracks, Composers, etc. It doesn't just search song names; it reads through the tags of files and provides one of the most powerful searches we have ever seen! Add your own custom tags to truly personalize your music collection.

What are customers saying?
Managing your music

If you want to customize your system, you can jump to standard view to make edits, change cover art, genre, add date released, etc.

What are the specs?

“The Alpha 3 was arguably the best sound we’ve ever had at any show - here we have the worst room, the smallest room, but everyone is telling us that we have the best sound at the show. See Frank discuss the Wolf below”

Frank M.The Bob Carver Corp

“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

“If you’re a baby boomer like me computer audio can be intimidating. Don’t worry about it if you purchase from Wolf Audio. Their customer service is the best in the business & their products for the performance you get are a steal. When the silver Red Wolf is available I will be upgrading! ”

Larry, MaineOur guy Larry

“We are listening to the Wolf system and it is fantastic! We haven't left the living room in 24Hrs.”

Dr. D is DancingJax, FL

Frank Malitz of the Bob Carver Corp discusses his experience with the Alpha 3 at AXPONA 2018. Frank’s room was out of gas, he had the Amazing Line Stage and their new Crimson 350w amplifiers, a Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ and a MacBook Pro, but no sound. In the video, he explains what happened next, but we’ll do a quick summation: We put an Alpha 3 and a touchscreen in his room, he immediately was able to play music in a way that was much more intuitive and natural to an audiophile, and he wasn’t bent over a keyboard or squinting at a screen all weekend. That’s a big deal, and he knew it. Watch Here (Link starts at 08:02)

Specifications
PCM SAMPLE RATES/BIT DEPTH

16 – 32 Bits, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 384, or 768kHz

DSD

Native DSD or DoP (DSD over PCM), DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, DSD512

INTERNAL STORAGE

256GB System Drive, 2TB Music Drive

DIGITAL OUTPUTS

2 shielded USB ports, AES-EBU, RCA, Toslink and BNC SPDIF Section (Optional)

NETWORK

Dual Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11/n/ac

PROCESSOR

8th Generation Intel Coffee Lake Six-Core technology

MEMORY

8GB DDR4 RAM

MASS STORAGE CONNECTORS

6 USB type A, 1 USB 3,.1 Type C

CONTROL CONNECTORS

(3) Display options, Ethernet (RJ45), IR In, USB-A, USB 3 .1 Type C, WiFi and Bluetooth

MAINS VOLTAGE

100VAC, 115VAC, or 230VAC, factory optimized