Steve Hoffman

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I write much about Audiophiles, high-end audio and music on these posts. It’s what we’re into at PS and happiest when we’re engaged in these activities.

Once in a great while we venture outside the realm of high-end audio to the somewhat unfamiliar world of the recording and mastering studios. Cookie Marenco’s Blue Coast label as well as Gus Skinas at the SACD Mastering Labs are two good examples that I’ve written extensively about. Both Cookie and Gus further the art of music and recording and we’re grateful for their contributions.

Our good friend Bill Leebens asked that we send a PerfectWave Transport and DirectStream DAC to another luminary in the mastering field, Steve Hoffman. I’ve known Steve Hoffman’s name and listened to his work for years, most of us have, and I’ve admired his thoughts on mastering as well. Steve’s one of the rare few that actually believes in good sound. In a recent interview about mastering Steve wrote:

“Most music today is mastered too loud. The engineers and producers are so concerned with their release being as loud as possible they forget that in order for something to actually sound loud it has to have some quiet parts in it! “All loud all the time” basically has the effect of making everything sound quiet.”

Boy, who wouldn’t agree with that? I went to Steve’s Forum to read about his experience with the equipment we loaned him and almost fell out of my chair.

“I use my cheap-o HENRY MANCINI CD that I always talk about here, his 24 minute “Pure Gold” disk that you can find used for two bucks. Many of the songs have great bleed, you can hear the studio, the chorus, etc. in a real space. Playing some of the songs on that (like Charade, Baby Elephant Walk and others) will really work if you want to judge which CD playback gives you the most realistic 3D imaging.

Happy to report that the PS Audio duo delivers. Like I said, the illusion of life is amazing with this set up. It’s truly the best in this regard I’ve heard in my house. The sound is effortless, natural, dynamic, has the best ambiance retrieval I’ve experienced here. I had no idea that CD’s could have this much stuff missing on most other digital front ends. The PS Audio digs up the missing chunks of time and space to complete the illusion of real musicians in a real space.”

Tooting our own horn?

You bet. Thanks Steve.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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