January, 2019





Antarctica

One of the hallmarks of PS Audio is our community. Call it our Hi-Fi Family if you’d like.

That family extends from the 50 people that we work with every day to the thousands of audiophiles around the world. We’re all family—lovers of music and great sound.

On occasion, we’ll feature one of our family members in these pages so we can better know each other.

Keenan Haga is PS Audio’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and manages everything in the financial world for us. It’s a tough job and one critical to any company’s success. But while Keenan is keeping track of all the financial beans from Monday to Friday, weekends find him jetting off to run marathons. Yes, marathons: 26 miles up hills and down dales, through rain, snow, and broiling sun, our CFO has run a marathon race in every state twice and is now tackling every continent on Earth as well.

Keenan was recently among a group of elite runners that qualified to participate in a very rare event: The 50K Ultra Marathon in the South Pole. This is roughing it in the extreme. Check out their “first class” accommodations:

Not only were their sleeping quarters basic, but consider there are no toilet, waste, or washing facilities allowed in Antarctica. What you bring in you take back with you. All of it.

Keenan filmed a short minute and a half video of his stroll through the frozen wastes of Earth’s southernmost pole.

Congratulations to our own Keenan Haga! (He finished 2nd)

Watch the video



Can we hear differences?

Setting up a listening test to compare various types of files, cables, or equipment is not easy.  You need the right equipment and a trusted set of files to start, but it is possible.

The objective of any of these tests is to determine differences in formats, cables, devices, conversion tools, etc.  You don’t need to like the music.  The question is “do you hear a difference”.  That difference might be insignificant, but if it repeatedly appears, then there is a difference.  Differences may be covered and only appear in certain sections of the music, so it’s important to do the test with different music and repeat the test.

Does it matter that these differences exist?  Certainly, it does to the listener.

Blue Coast Recordings owner and chief recordist Cookie Marenco has put together a short but effective set of instructions on how to set up a listening test to hear differences. It is certainly worth the time to try this if you’re in doubt.

How to make a comparative listening test


ARP Synthesizer founder passes

In my younger days before starting PS Audio with co-founder Stan Warren, I was immersed in synthesizers. I started my own company to build the world’s first polyphonic synth. It was called Infinitizer (and is detailed in my upcoming book 99% True). Synths were my life before stereos took over.

The big guys in synths during the 1970s were narrowed down to only two: Moog and ARP. I lusted after owning either, but never had the financial wherewithal to buy one.

Synths changed the face of music forever. Following the passing of Robert Moog in 2005, the only man left standing was Alan R. Pearlman, founder of ARP. Sadly, Pearlman passed this month at the age of 93: the last of the synth giants who changed music for time immemorial.



Copper Magazine

“Born in 1941 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, with heritage from the West Indies and the Blackfoot tribe, Richie Havens always loved to sing. He had a neighborhood doo-wop group and joined a gospel choir as a kid. But he thought of himself as a poet first and a musician second. That won’t be a surprise to anyone who knows his songs. They always have a message.

In his teens and twenties, he prowled Beatnik-soaked Greenwich Village, reading his poetry and sketching people’s portraits. Once he did start writing songs, he was an immediate draw in the folk clubs. People were ready for what he had to offer. Soon he signed with Bob Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman. Not too shabby.

Read the story of Richie Havens.

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

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Paul’s Picks

We all have our favorites: a curated group of music that we share with friends or stash away for those special moments. But, when you have a stereo system like ours in Music Room Two—a system enjoyed by visitors from all over the world—it would make sense to have a hand-selected body of music that showed that system off.

Over the years, I’ve accumulated a wonderful collection of great sounding music that not only shows off the system but is fun to listen to as well. Reader Serge Libotte was kind enough to take my entire playlist and make it available for the public on Tidal, the streaming music service. As well, reader Jose Sifontes created a Spotify Playlist too.

Now, anyone with a Tidal or Spotify account can have a listen to these great tracks. Spotify is lossy, so if you’d like to see how your system stacks up to the mighty Infinity IRS V, definitely try the Tidal version. Every one of these picks stands out as a real wonder on the IRS and they are now yours to enjoy. If you don’t yet have a Tidal account, click on the link below and Tidal offers you a free one month trial to see if you like it.

Have fun!

Listen to my picks on Tidal
Listen to my picks on Spotify



Streaming differences?

Music streaming services are the new frontier in an all-out tech industry war.

A big factor in choosing a service is sound quality. In particular, high-fidelity lossless streaming services, including Tidal (which I just mentioned), Deezer, and Quboz are now competing against companies like Spotify, GoogleApple, and Amazon, which offer lossy sound quality in their streaming products.

The Hi-Fi “experts” at CNBC wanted to find out if the lossless streaming services were any different than the standard lower resolution versions. These are tests I have done myself and I find the differences immediately obvious. But what about the folks at CNBC?

Find out what they thought