From a Former Skeptic
I have turned a corner on my rejection of PC-based audio systems. An indication of how far would be the sale of my beloved Marantz SA11 SACD player.
The Burwen Bobcat gave me better sound on Redbook and was slightly better than SACD with a little more focus and form to images and sound. It had
more of an ethereal sound all the way around. I have not regretted selling the Marantz.
I have just recently received some headphones I had on special order. I plugged them into the Burwen Bobcat and had sound that was spectacular.
While I was listening, I turned on the tubed-output CD player to warm it up. I was looking forward to the heavenly sound that this player provides on
headphones. I was listening to a Mapleshade CD, and when I was done, placed it into the CD player. I adjusted the output near to what I thought was
close to the Burwen Bobcat and that was CRANKED. At first, the sound was sterile so I gave it a little more volume and when the song's refrain was
played, I pulled off the headphones because it was so distressing. It almost hurt. What the hell? I tried it again and gave up. It wasn't worth the pain.
Hearing conventional digital after the Burwen Bobcat conjurs up a comparison of how sheer torque and horsepower in a car without a properly tuned
chassis set-up is worthless and just plain scary. You can't do anything with it. I like my music loud and I have been able to accomplish that using the
Burwen Bobcat without any discomfort at all.
I compared a CD player sync'd to the laptop running the Burwen Bobcat. After hearing the comparison, it leaves a feeling of having been tricked all these
years. My friend and I were both shocked.
I am writing this letter in recognition of the outstanding job that has been done in creating the Bobcat software and that I could not be more pleased with
the quality and resonance that this software has relayed!
I am extremely impressed with the enormous effort in creating this high fidelity audio product. The resonance that this software produces makes not only
today's but even historic recording sound fresh, humane and open. The sound that this application emits is of an extremely high quality and it takes the art
of music appreciation to a completely new level.
Everyone who cares about sound needs and good tones should try this software. It takes audio recording to new height. For the perfectionist who wants
to accurately match the original sound this is the perfect application.
It would be an understatement to simply say that I am pleased with the Bobcat software. I highly recommend Bobcat for an outstanding sound experience.
Laurence Curtis Ward
It is my pleasure to be part of the Beta testing group for the new software program Burwen Bobcat. For the past month, I used the program for my
listening (approximately one hour per day). As I will detail below, my experience has been overwhelmingly positive.
Mark Levinson introduced me to Burwen Bobcat in December 2004 and installed it on a Hewlett-Packard laptop PC in early January. At the time, I was
intrigued by the concept of using a small PC as a music library of MP3 files instead of the laborious process of setting up a CD jukebox or changing CDs
individually. I remained, however, somewhat pessimistic about the quality of the reproduction. While CD sound is not ideal, it is the best readily available
and affordable media today.
When I first played music using ripped CD files (MP3) from my laptop, I was unimpressed with the quality. I used the Windows Media Player (WMP) and
iTunes (by Apple for my IPod). Both lacked the vivaciousness I expect from my amplifier and speakers. The music had little depth in the vocals or the
bass tracks. The sounds lacked the crisp, clean sound I love.
I then employed the Burwen Bobcat program on the laptop PC as a plug-in file for WMP. At once (on the most basic setting) the speakers sprung to life.
Snare drums emerged from what was before a murky abyss of sounds bleeding across each other. Distinct voices could be heard in duet. The difference
was remarkable to both my ear and the untrained ear (my fiance).
But was what I heard merely outstanding in comparison to the WMP or iTunes, or was it truly outstanding in its own right? To test I pulled the same CD
that I had ripped to MP3 earlier (Enya Paint the Sky with Stars) and used my best CD player. I expected to find that the MP3 copy (even with Burwen
Bobcat) was lacking in comparison to the original. Once again, I was struck by the unexpected. At first, I thought I had the inputs on the amplifier wrong!
I was awestruck that an MP3 file actually sounded better, than the original source. Burwen Bobcat added a dynamic that my CD player (Denon SACD
player) could not.
In my experimentation, I moved to classic rock (Led Zepplin), classical (Segovia and Holst), and Pop music (U2, The Police, and Metallica). For more
classic rock and Jazz I found myself straying to the Jazz 1 and 3 settings, preferring 1 at louder volumes). For the modern Pop, the Pop setting number 3
emerged as my favorite. For classical I mainly employed Classical setting number 3. For the Enya and Opera, I preferred the Vocal settings.
My primary listening took place on a high-end stereo that many potential customers will not have in their homes. But I also experimented briefly using the
laptop built in 'speakers' with Burwen Bobcat. Even using the cheap speakers installed by the factory on a laptop PC, it is easy to discern the difference.
I tried to create a controlled environment where the variables were few in order to lend credibility to the findings. The result was undeniable. Burwen
Bobcat made my music sound better.
L.C. Ward works as a successful trader in the NY financial markets, is a music lover and enjoys audio, video, and computers.
After hearing what a good improvement Burwen Bobcat makes to old recordings, I am really impressed! It makes the quality so much more beautiful. This
will be a wonderful enhancement to historic recordings that people will enjoy so much more as a result of your work. We are so delighted with what you
have accomplished with this marvelous new program. We hope that it will be broadly available to the public very soon.
Geoffrey Fushi is a partner in the firm Bein & Fushi, the worlds largest dealer in rare violins by makes such as Stradivari and Guarneri del Jesu. He
has extensive experience recording in analog, PCM digital, and DSD digital, and is associated with Dr. Yamasaki, inventor of DSD (the format of
SACD). He founded the Stradivari Society to enable young artists to receive valuable instruments on loan, and has helped Midori, Sarah Chang, and
many others build their careers.
To my ears, MP3 formatted music sounds condensed, digital, limited, compressed, cramped, and clamouring to break out of the box!
Burwen Bobcat has created a software program that somehow manages to convert this same format (with no addition to the file size on your computer)
into a new sound that is instantly preferable. The music now breathes, the music is warmer, rounded, fresher. There is now 'space' around the sound,
whether you are listening to a digitally-recorded 21st century symphony orchestra or a primitively recorded blues pianist from the 1920s.
I listened to recordings of Beethoven string quartets, Miles Davis, Tower of Power, Meade Lux Lewis and my own recent disc for Sony, that I had
converted from compact disc to MP3 on my computer. Regardless of the quality of the original compact disc recording, the Burwen Bobcat software gave
each piece an incredible new lease on life; although the format is still digital, the sound is very natural and, most important of all, very comfortable to the
I truly believe that this software is nothing short of revolutionary in the way we should now be listening to recorded music.
Simon Mulligan is a highly regarded concert pianist. He accompaniedf violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, recording artist, composer and arranger, (who
played the sound track for the film, The Red Violin),
Please accept my apologies for the delay in reviewing the Burwen Bobcat. I'll be honest, in addition to my busy schedule, I was skeptical that a software
program could overcome the deficiencies of the CD format.
I had an extended listening session today. My system consisted of Red Rose Affirmation amplification and Red Rose Nocturne speakers for all sessions. I
compared SACDs played though a Sony SCD-1 SACD player to the Burwen Bobcat on a Dell laptop playing redbook CDs.
I was astonished by the Bobcat.
On Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks", the vocals were incredibly realistic. Many "Audiophile" magazines describe vocals as being "forward" as positive.
On this CD, Mr Dylan was actually presented by the Bobcat as a ways away, just as he would be live. The guitar voice was resonant in a manner rarely
The Quartetto Italiano doing Hayden String Quartets was more as they are live than I've ever heard over CD.
On the Rolling Stones' "Get Yer Ya' Ya's Out", the band was more raw and *there* than I have ever heard.
The Skatellites' best captured the old-style recordings in a way that current CD's never do. Overall, CDs played with the Burwen Bobcat were
phenomenal. They also exceeded my expectations in a manner hardly describable. As a lifelong vinyl (and lately SACD) fan, I never expected to approve
of a PC-based CD format. I stand corrected. CDs through the Bobcat are the closest thing to LPs I have heard. Ever.
In short, having owned systems with components from Linn, Krell, Wilson, and a host of other high-end manufacturers, I can confidently say that the
Burwen Bobcat is the most cost-effective and best performance upgrade an audiophile could try.
Please feel free to use any or all of this letter as you feel fit.
I have emailed you previously about your Burwen Bobcat, and yesterday I finally was able to download the software. To say that it has made an
immediate change in my ability to enjoy digital music would be an understatement. From the very first track that I played, using Big Bobcat 1 setting, the
difference was amazing, stunning, fantastic. I realized that I was able to relax and really listen to the music. I haven't been able to do that since before my
turntable broke down and I couldn't listen to my vinyl LPs anymore...Thank you from the bottom of my heart - you have truly brought back the music!
Thomas A. Gilliam
The Bobcat sound is so good, even addictive, that I am now downloading all my CDs to hard disc and buying more CDs than ever. CD ''digititis'' has been
cured, thanks to the Bobcat. It's as though I've turned my CDs into SACDs or better! And good Internet radio stations also sound wonderful. Please
accept my sincere thanks for adding so much to my enjoyment of music.
Your assistance when needed has been outstanding.
Ali Rashid, ACCA
I have now used your software for 2 days and listened very carefully to it. For those reading this, I am not employed by Dick, I work for an investment
bank in the city of London. I have spent a lot of money trying to get digital music to sound like ... music. The last time I enjoyed music was at live concerts
and hearing LP's. No matter which equipment I listened to, I just wasn't satisfied. One CD player came somewhat close, but it cost as much as a brand
new BMW. Now when I purchased this software, this is without exageration the most satisfying source I have heard, and it comes as close to Vinyl as I
have ever heard. How does it do it? It improves and processes the signal. No voodoo or trickery. It adds musical information. Ah but that is not
high-fidelity you say. Well advances in chipsets like Pentium 4 do make this possible. 20 years ago there was no internet, and now there is. And so this
invention is in that league. I work in the investment banking sector so I wouldn't say this lightly. If kids heard music processed through this software, they
just might be too busy enjoying the music to try other crazy stunts. It makes digital sound like analog by processing it.
When music which is an analog waveform gets converted to PCM digital for CD - it loses its vitality and emotion in the process. What the Burwen software
does, it processes this altered and inferior digital waveform to put back what it lost in the first place i.e. vitality, air, emotion. You don't exactly get the
original analog waveform back with the software but a waveform that contains most of the elements of analog music, emotion being the main one. And it is
this emotion which makes you enjoy music for hours and hours - this magic which you get listening to vinyl and live concerts"
Try it, you won't regret it. I didn't. Now I must get back to rock and roll.
Thank you Dick, you are a true Musical Albert Einstein.
Ali Rashid, ACCA
I have started buying CD's again today - (gave up CD's) and using digital to cure digital is an achievement.
If kids started listening to music again, not just noise that PCM makes, then the world would be a safer place. When I grew up on Bon Jovi, Richard Marx,
Frankie goes to hollywood, Bruce springsteen, Def Leppard, Billy Idol, Michael Jackson, Prince and Madonna, I was way too busy in my free time enjoying
music (after doing all my homework). Kids today haven't even heard what vinyl/analog sounds like !!! I have compared vinyl and CD versions of the same
album and CD sounds so inferior. But with your software it's back to that familiar analog/vinyl sound. What a miracle ! Using digital to cure digital !
Dick, you really need to get this in the hands of kids - this is one thing your software and genius will do to make the world a better place.
Keep up the good work
I have been listening for a few weeks now from a Toshiba laptop, with Vista, into a Grace M902 USB Dac, into an old Audio Note 300B amp or a
Transcendent Sound Se OTL, into Avantgarde Horns. My beloved Sony 777ES SACD player is no longer switched on. I use Bobcat basic 3 setting. I
play a bit with the Windows Media graphic equaliser. Without Bobcat 3 the laptop music is as good as the Sony. With Bobcat turned on it is really
interesting - like the first time I heard my favourite old albums years ago. I am a 50 yr old hobbyist who loves his music and sound systems. Bobcat has
brought back the thrill. Thank you!
I decided to install Bobcat on my Macbook (using bootcamp). No problems. Its running great and I have to say that I am enjoying the new software.
99% of my music collection are MP3's mainly for convenience. With some regret I converted everything (except vinyl) a couple of years ago. I've done
some tests A/B-ing with the Bobcat software on some reference CD's I saved as original WAV files, lossless WMA files, and processed MP3's. I have to
say I cannot tell the difference listening to Burwen MP3's and Burwen WAV files. The Burwen MP3's sound better than the original unprocessed files.
Nice Job. Finally music that sounds great on my Martin Logans.