Fiona Joy Hawkins

The Magic Bus to Debut 11.2 DSD (Direct Stream Digital) Playback at Los Angeles Audio Show!

SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 12, 2017 - The world-famous Magic Bus, sponsored by Sony Electronics, will be featured at the Los Angeles Audio Show on June 2-4, 2017. 

The LA Audio Show, hosted in collaboration with The Los Angeles & Orange County Audio Society, is the US West Coast's epicenter for discovering the best and latest audio technologies from leading global manufacturers and dealers.

The Magic Bus features Sony’s RSX-GS9, the industry’s first in-dash Hi-Res music player, which has been specifically designed to withstand the numerous challenges posed by the mobile environment. Until recently, the GS9 has been able to play virtually every file format with unprecedented accuracy and amazing clarity, up to 192 kHz / 24-bit PCM and up to 5.6 MHz DSD.

As a testimony to Sony’s ongoing commitment to state-of-the-art music reproduction, Whitledge Designs is proud to debut North America’s first automotive audio demonstration of 11.2 MHz DSD playback in the Magic Bus! Notably, this upgraded capability was made possible by a downloadable and user-installable firmware update (Version 12), presently offered as a free upgrade to owners of the GS9. 

Because the GS9 employs the highly-acclaimed and audiophile-respected ESS Technology ES9018S digital-to-analog converter, native DSD playback at 11.2 MHz is performed by the GS9, while digital devices such as smartphones, computers, or certain Sony Walkman® products, merely function as the digital file server. When playing 11.2 MHz DSD at the LA Audio Show, the Magic Bus will be using Sony’s Hi-Res Walkman® (as the digital file server) in conjunction with Kimber Kable’s KS2426 Hybrid USB cable plugged into the USB-DAC (microUSB) port on the front panel of the GS9. 

To extract maximum performance from Sony’s RSX-GS9, the Magic Bus has also been upgraded with a state-of-the-art Helix DSP PRO MK2 digital signal processor by AUDIOTECH FISCHER, which employs Asahi Kasei 32-bit signal converters. Gordon Taylor of The Amp Doctor further enhanced the performance of the Helix product with high-performance TEXAS INSTRUMENTS’ OPA1642 operational amplifiers. 

As a special treat, award-winning pianist and composer, Fiona Joy, all the way from Australia, will be celebrating the official release of her new album, Into the Mist; Fiona Joy has released several hi-resolution albums with Blue Coast Records and her popular song Grace was featured on a GRAMMY®-winning album in 2015. All are cordially invited to the album release party at the Magic Bus in front of the Sheraton Gateway Hotel on June 3 from 3-5 p.m. On display will be the same pink dress as shown on her album cover and refreshments will be served. Fiona will be signing copies of her SACD during the festivities, and the Magic Bus will be rendering Into the Mist in native 11.2 DSD!

The Magic Bus’ 4,620-Watt audio system features nine loudspeaker transducers, nine monoblock amplifiers, cutting-edge digital signal processing, pure silver audio signal cables and connections, and a large bank of batteries to power it all. The scientifically designed, and computer-optimized, acoustics inside the Magic Bus are studio quality. To extract maximum performance from the GS9, leading-edge products by Kimber KableWBTHeatshrink.comDynaudioGenesis Car AudioAudiotech FischerCascade Audio EngineeringNeutrikXS Power, and many more, were used. SMc Audio and the Amp Doctor provided system voicing services and amplifier modifications, respectively. For about the last ten years, the 3,300-pound audio system in the Magic Bus is Jon Whitledge’s culmination of ongoing efforts to build the world’s finest mobile music system, and both a labor of love and a rolling laboratory to expand the art of sound.

Notably, the Magic Bus is extensively autographed by Grammy and Emmy award-winning, and otherwise famous and talented musicians. The list includes San Diego’s favorite musicians and others from around the world. To date, over 250 musicians' autographs have been acquired, and more continue to be added. The Magic Bus is a “rolling shrine” and a tribute to the musicians who light up our lives with harmony and sound. 


For more information about, and tickets for, the LA Audio Show, please visit

For more information on the RSX-GS9, please visit

For RSX-GS9 Digital Media Player Firmware Update Version 12, please visit

For more information on Hi-Res Audio, please visit

For more information about Fiona Joy please visit

For more information about Blue Coast Records please visit

For more information about the Magic Bus please visit

For more information about The Amp Doctor please visit

For more information about SMc Audio please visit

For more information about Kimber Kable please visit

For more information about the Magic Bus please visit

For more information about The Amp Doctor please visit

For more information about SMc Audio please visit

For more information about Kimber Kable please visit


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