We changed the game, and then changed it again.
New for the Red Wolf 2
Hand matched components, custom silicon
Updated external Linear power supply
Ultimate shielding and case prep
Audience copper throughout
The Red Wolf 2 is changing the game – again. We took stock of our advances and discoveries in sound reproduction since the release of the original Red Wolf and realized that they didn’t just add up to an incremental step, we had a whole new product on our hands. This isn’t just a seriously powerful machine, it is a true evolution of our art form that will leave other system builders playing catch up for a while. Making its debut at AXPONA 2018 in Chicago, the Red Wolf 2 is in a class all its own, and the results (and the press) speak for themselves… this is a machine to be reckoned with, and a system that you are going to want to have for yourself. As we said with the original, 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. We’ve done it again, upping the power, the silence, the inky black sound-stage, and a sonic precision that we have chased for the past five years. The Red Wolf 2 platform is the innovator of the year and we are rightfully proud. Welcome to the new 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 power user 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 to a raging beast at a moments notice. 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, and it simply serves it everywhere we want it to be. If you haven’t started down the path of automation or whole home audio, the Red Wolf 2 is a perfect (and very substantial) way to get started. The Red Wolf 2 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.
“I’ve done three shows with the Red Wolf, so I had high expectations for the Red Wolf 2. I was right, Wolf knocked it out of the park with this one! I don’t know or understand digital audio very well, but I know sound, and you guys have it!”
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, linear power was king. 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.
Attention to detail
We’ve worked on securing every point of potential EMI/RFI entry and exit point and put some control and dampening in place. Using some of the highest rated shielding materials available, and now a great new material we’ll be discussing in the coming weeks, the system is fully protected – even in some of the densest equipment racks around.
Silence is golden
No moving parts
Static heat dispersal systems (no fans) and Solid State drives are a must in Hi-Fi audio server systems. Fans create electrical noise in the system that no filter can fully remove. 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. Through intelligent design, Wolf avoids the sonic pitfalls that would otherwise make our job a lot easier. The result is a immediate difference from what you’ll hear elsewhere
The evolution of an apex predator
It is tough coming up with the next product iteration, and we started thinking about what the Red Wolf 2 would look like the day we released the original Red Wolf. “How can we top this?” we thought, and at the time we weren’t sure. But time went on and as we heard the Red Wolf drive in more and more systems, we came away with new ideas. 18 months later, we have taken and refined those ideas. We have incorporated techniques and suggestions from friends in the wider audio industry and implemented some of our own custom silicon: a FANTASTIC SPDIF output section specifically for our customers who have an affinity for AES-EBU and BNC connections.
We spend more than twice the time building the Red Wolf 2 than any other system. 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. The Red Wolf 2 is at home amongst some of the most exotic hardware you’ll find. We went to Audience again and created a umbilical using their highest end copper from their SX line and revamped the power delivery chain even further. We tested and implemented an advanced material that absorbs frequencies so well that it can be easily overdone.
An unexpected, but very great benefit of all the research and development that went into creating a true audio component, is that these optimizations also benefit video. Now that Oppo is out of the HiFi market, what will the people who enjoyed BluRay audio do? Buy a Wolf. The Red Wolf 2 is the first machine on the market with true 4k 60p video every bit as high quality as the Oppo 205, but a Wolf has so many more features it can hardly be compared. It’s just more. Six cores, enough to dedicate several to audio, several to video, and the rest for the OS makes the Red Wolf 2 a very powerful machine that will run your room with aplomb for years.
- Hand crafted everything. Wolf spends more time building the Red Wolf 2 than any other system, carefully matching parts and shielding the internals (and with a new material!) 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, and upgraded the umbilical to another level of high-end
- More RAM. The Red Wolf 2 starts with 16GB of DDR4 RAM that is carefully matched and timed for ultimate sonic performance
- Linear Power Supply. An upgraded, highly tuned, 275W linear power supply with optional Audience SX umbilical cabled drop the noise floor and kills excessive digital noise
- Perfected user interface and visual experience. The Red Wolf 2 effortlessly drives a 4k TV and a 1080p touchscreen monitor at the same time. Whether you are using your TV, Monitor or tablet to drive your Wolf, it will function and look better than anything you’ve seen before. Use them all at once, or singly, depending on your mood.
- IR Remote for pure listening. Point, Click, Play. Put the screens and peripherals away when you just want to listen. Program advanced commands and integrate the Wolf with Home Automation platforms
- Special shielding materials . Wolf is using new materials to absorb errant frequencies and shielding system cables to reduce RFI and electrical interference
- This is the server that gets reviewers excited. They will be shipping out to you soon!
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 audio 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 to an already inky background… 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 just made 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, 24 or 32 Bits, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 384, 768kHz
Native DSD or DoP (DSD over PCM), 2.8, 5.6, 11.2 or 22.5792MHz)
256GB System Drive, 2TB Music Drive (Upgrades available for both)
2 shielded USB ports, AES-EBU, BNC, Toslink, and Digital SPDIF (RCA)
Dual Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11/n/ac
Touchscreen, 4k TV, Tablet – in whatever combination suits
iOS & Android Apps, Web Browser control. keyboard and mouse, IR Remote, Automation Platforms
8th Gen, six-core Core i7 Processor (12 with Hyper Threading)
16GB DDR4 RAM
MASS STORAGE CONNECTORS
4 USB type A, 1 USB 3.1 Type C
Ethernet (RJ45), IR In, USB-A, USB 3 .1 Type C
100VAC, 115VAC, or 230VAC