February, 2020





Two new products

New products from PS Audio are always an exciting time for us and our Hi-Fi Family, but when there’s two, nearly at the same time, well, it’s almost a party!

March and April are the months we will be beta testing two new Stellar products: the 1.2kw monoblock monster amplifier, the M1200 and the super exciting all in one Strata.



Beta testing doesn’t mean they are yet available to purchase. We first beta test production ready units to find if there are any small problems we might have missed after our exhaustive testing procedures. Once we get our beta tester’s feedback, make whatever small tweaks are needed (usually software based), we’re ready to launch production units.

Stellar M1200 monoblock beta tests in March and will be available for preorder in April, then delivered in May. Stellar Strata should follow close behind on a similar schedule.

These are two of our finest products and we’re just as proud as we could be to give you a sneak peek. Enjoy.



Vinyl tragedy

Just after 8 am on Thursday, February 6th, clouds of black smoke erupted from a warehouse in Banning California. That smoke signaled the start of one of the most tragic events imaginable for vinyl lovers and prompted the following message on the website of Appolo Masters:

“To all our wonderful customers. It is with great sadness we report the Apollo Masters manufacturing and storage facility had a devastating fire and suffered catastrophic damage. The best news is all of our employees are safe. We are uncertain of our future at this point and are evaluating options as we try to work through this difficult time. Thank you for all of the support over the years and the notes of encouragement and support we have received from you all.”

David Read, a vinyl production and sales coordinator at Duplication, said that the fire “will directly affect all vinyl plants, bands/labels, mastering engineers, plating facilities etc., anyone who used lacquers as part of their vinyl production.” Read added optimistically, “In my almost 40 years experience the vinyl industry as a whole is incredibly resilient, and filled with talented professionals who will, and already are, teaming together to find a way out of this current problem.”

We’re saddened by this loss. It’ll definitely put a kink in vinyl record production for some time to come.

Read the article



Confessions of an Audiophile

When I started to write my memoir, 99% True, it’s original working title was Confessions of an Audiophile. I figured it’d be a tell-all book about the HiFi industry and its people. It’s certainly that, but as it progressed through the year-long process of writing it became far more—thus, the title change to 99% True.

The original print run of personally signed hardback copies is just about exhausted. There’s a hundred or so hardback copies left in our inventory and when they’re gone, I’ve no plans to print more.

If you’re interested in getting one of the last copies of my memoir in its personally signed hardback form, go here and grab one. If you would prefer the Kindle, paperback, our audiobook version, these can be purchased here.

To grab one of the last signed copies before they are gone, go here.

Grab one of the last copies


Copper Magazine

Wendell Diller, one of the guiding lights behind speaker company Magnepan, gives us a thought-provoking guest piece asking: are audio dealers in trouble?

Anne E. Johnson covers country and bluegrass star Alison Krauss, and jazz drumming legend Gene Krupa. Jay Jay French turns the Tice Clock back to look at the evolution of his audio systems. WL Woodward drops Part Three of his series on Grateful Dead sonic mastermind Owsley “Bear” Stanley. Ivan Berger remembers the groundbreaking AR XA turntable. Professor Larry Schenbeck does the Happy Dance over Joshua Redman’s Sun on Sand.

J.I. Agnew delves further into the Secrets of the Phono Cartridge. Rich Isaacs gives a comprehensive look into American progressive rock bands. Radioman Bob Wood has WBEN there and ROCK 102’d that.

Copper is cost-free, ad-free, and committed to great articles without an attitude.

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Do cables matter?

At the Grammy Awards of 2012, recording engineer Mike Shipley won the Best Engineered Album for his joint work on Paper Airplane (April 2011), by Alison Krauss and Union Station. Shipley’s been one of the most respected audio engineers of all times until his untimely death in 2013.

Before Mike passed he recorded a video interview about, of all things, the value of cables. What’s fascinating about this video is in part the incredulous looks and comments by the interviewers, but also Shipley’s obvious careful AB comparisons between different types of cables. This, from a pro in the audio world, is quite illuminating to say the least.

Watch the interview



The loudness wars

As long as we’re on the subject of what recording and mastering engineers have to say, let’s jump into one of our favorite subjects, the loudness wars. I have long railed against this trend to make everything louder but thought high-end streaming services were immune from such Tom Foolery. Imagine my surprise when watching this expert explain how volume leveling works and is applied today.

In this presentation, GRAMMY-nominated mastering engineer Alan Silverman shows how music streaming services have turned the world of mastering for loudness upside down.  It’s kind of depressing, but The Future Of Mastering is certainly worth a watch.

Thanks to LD Blake for bringing this video to my attention.

Watch the video