December, 2016

Brrrrr

Man! I don’t know about where you live but here in Boulder winter came thundering in with a vengeance. Pipes frozen, people slipping, lots of snow shoveling. Old man winter blew in from the north as temperatures dropped well below zero.

On Saturday the thermometer didn’t rise above 2˚F. It was so cold my battery operated snow blower motor crapped out after about five minutes of service, requiring me to hike it back to the garage for heat. Fifteen minutes later I could make one more attempt at blowing the snow from the driveway so the car could move.

Hope you and yours are warm this weekend and happy holidays from all of us at PS Audio!!

DMPs ship

Wow. The DirectStream Memory Player is one of the most personally gratifying product launches I’ve been privileged to participate in. The kudos and accolades for performance from owners are just amazing. One of the things that keep me going—to know all the hard work, voicing, plans, engineering, sweat and effort paid off in bringing music into the world.

What a treat!

If you’ve not been in the loop, the DMP is a universal transport that really brings out what few of us even knew existed on good old CDs. And, as an added benefit, unlocks the pure master level DSD layer on SACDs when connected to our DACs. For those that have had a chance to hear this locked layer on a real DAC it is truly a revelation.

Perhaps my favorite quote comes from our good friend, Bascom H. King, designer of some of the best audio gear in the world (including his own signature line).

“I keep playing CDs and dropping my jaw as I keep hearing more musicality and revelation of detail with it. Forget comparisons. I haven’t got around to comparing particular CDs to that playing from the PWT or optical disc input to my IBM laptop server through the LanRover and into the DS DAC. Somehow, listening to the music on DMP keeps me from getting to that.”

Indeed. If you’re lucky enough to be near a dealer or a friend that’s gotten theirs, grab a listen. You’ll be surprised how much you’ve been missing.

Learn more



Volume controls

Who knew? Paul’s Post has been covering the many variations of the single most critical element in a preamplifier, the volume control. These run from simple pots, light dependent resistors, stepped attenuators, transformer controls to our own unique Gain Cell.

I had no clue people were so interested in the ins and outs and problems of designing a good sounding volume control. What most people don’t realize is just how big a role these controls play in passing music without degradation. None are perfect, all detract to some extent.

The first part of this series, which explains in detail how these various controls work, starts here.

Wanna to stay up to date with the latest news and info? Click on the link to sign up for Paul’s Daily posts.

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Copper Magazine

Copper Magazine’s enjoying quite the following. There’s even a Facebook page to share with your friends. With no axes to grind or products to sell, Copper’s there for the fun of it. It’s free, too.

Issue 21. A case of jitters, Snake Bit!, Waiting for the Black Cadillac, build your own Moving Magnet phono stage, Roamin’ in the Gloamin’: John Hammond, Understanding the analog obsession.

Issue 22. Take a tour of Shinola Audio and see their new turntable, Purer, more perfect sound, Why do we do what we do?, It’s a lonely world, Berlioz for Christmas.

Copper cost-free, ad-free, popup-free, and committed to nothing more than great articles without an attitude.

Sign up for Copper today and enjoy a whole different type of magazine.

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Vinyl sales again hit new record

Not to make a pun…but in Britain, vinyl sales ($3.02 million) — those petroleum-based discs that you hold gingerly by the edges — eclipsed digital music downloads ($2.6 million) for week 48 of this year.

The news came from Britain’s Entertainment Retailers Association, suggesting the surge could be due to the Christmas shopping season and a growing number of British retailers making shelf space for vinyl.

Read the article
 

File compression formats rob emotions

A small team of researchers with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has found that compressing recorded music into the MP3 format results in the loss of emotional tones, leaving the result with less depth. In their paper published in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, the researchers describe their study of the impact of compressing recordings of musical instruments and which instruments suffer the most degradation.

Most people who listen to music saved as an MP3 file know that the  is lower than that of a CD or a vinyl album. But what is lost and by how much has not really been investigated. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn which types of musical sounds lose the most emotional quality when a file is converted to MP3 and by how much.

Read the article

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