November 2013 PS Audio Newsletter

  • Happy Holidays!
  • Get $200 of Mobile Fidelity records
  • First review of the NPC
  • Vinyl Studio and DSD
  • New firmware for the PWD
  • Detailed review of the DAC and Transport
  • You know you’re an Audiophile if ….
  • She loves you, an analysis
  • Hang in there cupcake
  • New classical
  • Al Di Meola

Happy holidays to you and your families. This is a great time of year as the seasons change, snow starts falling here in Colorado and we get ready for the big festivals and feasts shared all over the world in recognition of the changing year.It’s a great time and we wish you and yours a healthy, happy holiday.Man, we have a lot to go over in this month’s newsletter, so best we get started!

Get $200 in Mobile Fidelity

TheNuWave Phono Converteris the best analog phono stage we’ve ever built in the 40 years we’ve been building them. In fact it may be one of the best analog phono stages at anywhere near the price, from any manufacturer.

It’s also a state of the art Analog to Digital Converter, producing both high res PCM and DSD.

Its performance is so good we wanted to make sure new owners of the NPC had only the very best music to play through it.

Free records

Now, through the end of 2013, if you purchase a new NPD from a participating PS Audio dealer or distributor, anywhere in the world, we’ll give you a certificate for $200 worth of music fromMobile Fidelity.

Here’s your chance to fill your shopping cart up with whatever you wish, from SACD’s and vinyl to accessories, and we’ll cover the cost.

This is an awesome deal on our best phono stage ever. You can call your local participating dealer anywhere in the world and grab your NPC and certificate. As soon as you register the NPC and the certificate on the PS Audio website, we’ll email you the MoFi coupon code within 24 hours and ‘a shopping you can go.

You canclick herefor details on the NPC and the promotion, and purchase directly from us if you’re in the United States or just head straight to your local dealer. Happy shopping!

 

First review of the NPC

John Darko fromDigital Audio Reviewgave us a great review that you might want to take a look at if you get a chance.

Go hereto read the first review of the NuWave Phono Preamplifier, part one.

NuWave Phono owner Greg Timbers writes us: “Thank you again for your new Phono stage. It is simply stunning. I have never had a phono stage that gives bass performance on the level of CD’s while maintaining the smooth and detailed midrange and high frequency performance of high end analog. I haven’t had a chance to make any real recordings yet but I did test the USB connection to my Mac with Audacity and everything works beautifully.

Vinyl Studio and DSD

If you’re going to get the NPC and start ripping either vinyl, tapes or radio broadcasts to your computer you’re going to need a program that will handle this for you.There are free programs, like Audacity, but they are not the simplest to use and take some skill to get them to handle the music in easy, bit perfect fashion, especially if you’re using 24 bit/176kHz or higher. Plus, once you get it working you have to cut up the tracks by hand and it tends to be somewhat of a pain. A much better solution is Vinyl Studio, amongst others.Vinyl Studio makes recording albums easy. As soon as the needle drops the recording starts and when you’re done, it automatically cuts the tracks up for you and even finds the metadata.

And then, there’s DSD

 

While there are other programs for ripping albums like Pure Music, none we’ve tried work as well as Vinyl Studio for DSD. We’ve been working directly with Paul Sanders, the inventor of Vinyl Studio for some time now and Paul’s figured out a cool way to make DSD easy.The main problem with recording DSD is that it’s so different than PCM. Built into Vinyl Studio is a DSD to PCM converter for the monitoring process. This leaves the raw DSD stream untouched, but from a user standpoint, you hear what’s being recorded and it’s easy to find where each track begins and ends.It’s easy to use, bit perfect, handles any sample rate (including double DSD) and loads in both Mac and Windows. If you’d like to sample the program you can go here, download the program and play with it for free.

New firmware for the PWD

The PerfectWave DAC was introduced in May of 2009. Since that product launch we have shipped over 4,000 of these great DACS and more go out to happy customers each day. The PWD remains coveted around the world as one of the best sounding high-end audio DACS out there.In December of 2011 we introduced a new model of the PWD, the Mark II available either as an upgrade or as a new MKII unit.

Recently we announced the latest upgrade, 2.4.3, which I think is a major improvement. While it does fix a few bugs, it also helps the MKII sound its best IMHO. However, I will warn you, not everyone shares my opinion. There’s definitely a contingent of Audiophiles that believe 243 sounds thinner and brighter than the older firmware, but the majority of folks I’ve spoken with agree with our evaluation of better.The upgrade is free and easy to do if you wish. While no firmware upgrade goes 100% smoothly, this one seems pretty good. Go here to read about the upgrade process and see if it’s something you might want to do to your PWD.

 

Detailed review of the PWD and Transport

The PerfectWave DAC and Transport, better known as the PWD and PWT, have been consistently making great music in people’s homes since 2009 as I mentioned before. And now, with the the free MKII firmware upgrade, the PWD sounds even better.

Reviewer Russell Lichter has written what I believe is perhaps the most detailed review yet of these two fine pieces. Russell delves deeply into not only what they do, how they do it, but much of the science of digital audio playback is covered in this well written article.

If you have a chance over the holidays, head here to read the review of the PerfectWave DAC and the PerfectWave Memory Player in Stereo Times. I think you’ll enjoy Russell’s writing.

You know you’re an Audiophile if ….

On the Paul’s Post series, there’s been a ton of new and interesting info. On the entertainment side of things I’ve told about landing in a cockpit of a 747 into one of the most challenging airports in the world, how I nearly got thrown into the brig and my attempt to become Japanese, all written to keep you smiling.

On the more down to earth side I wrote an op ed piece on why I think vinyl, a dynamically restricted medium, might sound better than CD’s: but not for the reasons you might think. My post, When less is more, has generated more controversy that just about any post I’ve yet written.

We’ve also covered what Ethernet cables do correctly, and deepen the mystery of how they sound differently, but perhaps the most interesting to me as of late is the label “Audiophile”.

Why is it so many of us are hesitant to tell people we’re Audiophiles? Sure, we sit in front of big loudspeakers and stare at a blank wall for hours on end, but does that make us weird? I don’t think so and I want to start a dialog with my readers about instilling a sense of pride in being who many of us are. We love music, but we also love the music sounding right in our homes. I would encourage you to join me in the discussions.

If you’d like to receive my daily posts on music and high end audio, click here. Easy to subscribe, even easier to unsubscribe.

She loves you, an analysis

On February 9, 1964, the Beatles were launched as a worldwide phenomenon from the stage of the Ed Sullivan Show. As Sullivan’s introduction faded, John, Paul, George and Ringo broke intoAll My Lovingand established their pop-rock credentials. They followed withTil There Was Youfrom the 1957 Broadway hit “The Music Man”, lulling unsuspecting parents as they displayed their innate musicality. Bizarre as these young men looked, Paul’s sweet rendering of this beautiful Broadway tune was simply disarming. The third song they sang wasShe Loves You.

I remember the world changing before my eyes.”

Contributor Tom Richards writes a very interesting thought piece on why this classic song, She Loves You, by the Beatles, changed not only his world but the world of just about everyone for many generations to come. A really fascinating piece if ever there was one.

This is a truly remarkable piece of writing and you can read it right here.

Hang in there cupcake

Our master of controversy, former TAS reviewer Andrew Benjamin, is at it again.

“I hate to bring this news to you, but really, it’s all over for LPs. You can say you saw it here first. You can also expect it to be denied by the usual suspects. They are the same kind who will deny a plethora of news they don’t like. Be as it may, I was perchance a decade early telling people that DIGITAL SUCKS and they didn’t listen then. Then others noticed that digital sucked. D’oh! Now that I tell them that LP sucks (not wholly as much as digital sucked back then), a similar mindset will not listen today. Let me clarify it: LP’s numerous shortcomings are easily audible on even the very best, no-compromise system. Unless one is stone deaf.”

Read Andrew’s latest think piece by going here. You might be surprised at what you see.

New Classical

“Is there anyone on the planet who hasn’t fallen in love with at least one of Manfred Eicher’s ECM recordings? This venerable German producer has built one of the great boutique labels by hewing to a fiercely independent aesthetic. The look and sound of an ECM recording are unmistakable. You may have to live with some of his discs for a while, but eventually their music gets right into your bones—as with two recent offerings in the ECM New Series.

The one that’s easy to recommend isDobrinka Tabakova: String Paths(ECM 2239). Tabakova, born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 1980, studied in Britain and now works out of London. She has written music for Janine Jansen, Maxim Rysanov, and Kristina Blaumane, all virtuoso string players active there and abroad. This new album presents that music and showcases their talents. Listen, for instance, toInsight,featuring Roman Mints (violin), Rysanov (viola), and Blaumane (cello).”

Lawrence Schenbeck completes part II of his Classical selection recommendations for you.

Al Di Meola

“One thing that the music world is not short of is great acoustic and electric guitarists. However, there aren’t very many who are recognized internationally by their piers as being a virtuoso on both. Al Di Meola is. Al is adept at blending his mastery of fusion, flamenco, tango, Middle Eastern, Brazilian and African music with frightening ease and skill. Al’s major influences are the Beatles, jazz guitarists Tal Farlow and Kenny Burrell.

It was his discovery of guitarist Larry Coryell, whom Al dubbed “The Godfather of Fusion”, and his blending of jazz, blues and rock seamlessly that stopped him in his tracks. “I used to ride the bus from New Jersey to see him play at Greenwich Village. Wherever he was playing, I was there.” The defining moment that would change the course of Al’s career was a gig recording of the band headed by fusion keyboardist.”

Join Keith Copeland in this great piece on a fine jazz guitarist.

Till December

Lots of new stories, information, updates and interesting information will be part of next month’s newsletter and as always, thanks for reading, thanks for sharing and happy holidays.

Paul McGowan

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