January, 2021





The Audiophile’s Guide

Imagine building or improving your home stereo system in a way that makes your music come alive—like the performers are right in front of you—even on a budget. It’s easier than you think.

In The Audiophile’s Guide book and its companion reference music tracks, I walk beginners and veterans alike through this easy-to-follow step-by-step collection of secrets for creating amazing 3D sound from two speakers.

Whether you’re new to high-end audio or a lifelong veteran, there’s something for everyone in this book and reference audio disc.

To get a system to make sonic magic it’s a given you need good equipment, but the real secret to making the speakers disappear and achieving 3-D sound lies almost entirely in setup.

Setup is a skill that can be mastered by anyone. You just need a guide.

The Audiophile’s Guide system is unique. It’s not a textbook, lecture, or How-To book that leaves you scratching your head or wondering how you did. Instead, the Guide is an easy to follow step-by-step process based on simple instructions and musical examples. Follow each step and then play the appropriate track of music on the companion Reference Music Tracks. The Guide tells you what to expect when playing each track and how to tweak the system to get it right.

The Audiophile’s Guide book and companion SACD (playable on any CD or DVD player) can, with a few hours of effort, make the biggest difference you’ve yet experienced in music’s enjoyment.

Get the book and the Audiophile’s Reference Music Tracks (or download) bundle and transform your system—or just tune it up.

This is one pair of products every audiophile should have in their library.

(The book and reference SACD/download are available from PS Audio. If you prefer the electronic Kindle version of just the book, you can visit Amazon. The Reference Music Disc is available exclusively on PS Audio’s Octave Records)

Get the bundle from PS Audio



M1200 Stereophile review

If you ever lusted after a pair of monoblock amplifiers, we might just have what you’re looking for in the M1200.

“The M1200’s ability to couple with, control, and drive the woofers of my Wilson Alexx loudspeakers matched that of any amplifier I’ve had here, including my reference darTZeel NHB-468 and Boulder’s 2150, both of which are way more costly. I’m not suggesting the bottom end produced by the M1200 is identical to those; I’ve not had the Boulder here in years, and the darTZeel’s bass, while not as grippy on bottom, has a more supple attack and a more generous sustain that works better on acoustic double bass.

But not on electric bass, where the M1200 is a monster. The 2150’s and M1200’s bottom-end performance are more similar to one another than either is to the darTZeel’s.

The lightning-fast, clean transients, top to bottom, were consistently exciting and produced spectacular detail resolution. I remember one evening playing Eno’s high-energy, high-speed “Third Uncle” from Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (Island UK ILPS 9309), an album I’ve been playing since 1974. About a quarter of the way in, I just started laughing. So much detail was unraveled and revealed. “

Read the review



Copper Magazine

In this issue: Don Kaplan offers 21 of his favorite recordings to kick off 2021. Wayne Robins considers the making of Taylor Swift’s folklore. J.I. Agnew looks for a vintage piano. John Seetoo takes us on a virtual tour of the legendary Abbey Road Studios. B. Jan Montana experiments with unconventional speaker placement. Roy Hall goes to school. I interview EveAnna Dauray Manley of Manley Laboratories. Larry Schenbeck listens to serenades. Ken Sander wrestles with rock and roll.

Rich Isaacs gets a once in a lifetime chance to live with a $90,000 pair of speakers. Anne E. Johnson rocks it with the Beastie Boys and Herbie Hancock. Ray Chelstowski interviews flexi disc mega-collector Michael Cumella. Cliff Chenfeld turns us on to some contemporary women artists. Tom Gibbs goes crate digging and finds music from Henry Mancini, Roger Waters and New Order. Our audio/visual department lines up, finds half-price hi-fi, gets interrupted and basks in glorious symmetry.

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

Sign up for COPPER



Galvanic Isolation

PS Audio’s latest transport, the PerfectWave SACD Transport, or PST for short, is more than just a better transport capable of playing SACD. The PST ushers in an entirely new way of delivering digital audio data—whether from a CD or SACD—to your DAC.

Galvanically isolated audio data—pure and noise-free digital audio data without any physical or electrical connection to the transport’s inner workings.

Galvanic isolation happens through our AirGap interface isolating the unit’s internal power supplies and transport mechanism from your connected DAC. PST owners get the isolated benefits regardless of how they connect its output to their DAC: I2S, Coax, AES/EBU.

What’s wonderful about this innovation is we don’t need SACDs to take advantage of it. Good old “perfect sound forever” CDs sound unlike anything you have ever imagined possible.

Yup, just good old CDs shine as never before.

If you want to learn more or experience for yourself the benefits of total isolation for CDs or SACDs, head here.

Check out the PST


Why is high-end audio so subjective?

It seems only high-end audio is based on subjectivity while video performance is more carefully controlled through measurement and science. Is that really true?

In this popular YouTube video, I explain why it feels like video is more measurable and less prone to subjective assessments as in high-end audio.

Watch the video