Unlock the secret to great sound from a pair of loudspeakers.
Unlock the secret to great sound from a pair of loudspeakers.

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, PS Audio CEO and 45-year audio industry veteran Paul McGowan walks beginners and veterans alike through his easy-to-follow step-by-step 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. Regardless of your system’s configuration—analog or digital, Paul shows you how to make magic happen in your listening room. The Audiophile’s Guide: The Stereo, along with its companion Reference Audio disc, is the ultimate how-to instructional method for turning two-channel home music systems into magical reproduction chains. A must-have for any audiophile or lover of great sound. This instructional guide works for any level of 2-channel audio system, from the most humble to the most aspirational. The Audiophile’s Guide is an essential upgrade.


First-time listeners to PS Audio's Reference System always have the same reaction. "Wow. The speakers just disappear. It's as if they are not in the room." Their wonderment is almost always followed up with a question. "How can I get my system close to this?" Of course, you need good equipment, but the secret to 3-D sound lies almost entirely in setup. Setup is a skill that can be mastered by anyone. The Audiophile's Guide 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 album.

The Guide tells you what to expect when playing each track and how to tweak the system to get it right. Step-by-step, track-by-track. By following the Guide's simple process and verifying the results with the accompanying music track, you can transform your 2-channel audio system into a three-dimensional wonder on a Saturday afternoon. The Audiophile's Guide book and companion SACD (playable in 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 reference SACD (or download) together and transform your system—or just tune it up. This is one pair of products every audiophile should have in their library.

The Audiophile's Guide

The Guide
The Album
The System
The Audiophile's Guide, The Stereo, is more than a setup book. Inside you'll find a rich history of 2-channel audio from its humble beginnings to its modern-day incarnation. For those readers new to high-end audio, the Guide covers what it means to be an Audiophile, how to listen, how to think about budgeting for a new system, and understanding the listening room as both friend and foe before wrapping up with a primer on choosing both electronics and speakers. More advanced audiophiles can skip ahead to the setup section where we learn the secret of getting the bass right, finding our perfect seating position, and then it is on to learning the art of wrangling three-dimensional audio from your 2-channel speakers. Following the basic setup process, the Guide delves deeper into the finer aspects of system tuning: making the speakers disappear, adjusting depth and soundstage, room tuning techniques, setting up a subwoofer, the importance of cables and AC power. The Guide is an essential component in any high-end audio system.
Key to the success of the Guide is its companion Reference Music Tracks. The Guide and its companion SACD (playable on any CD or DVD player) were designed together so that for each step in the instructional process, a reference audio track is designated to check and verify the results. Between the reference disc and the Guide, you can make magic with only a few hours of tweaking invested on a Saturday afternoon. The depth tracks help users attain perfection when it comes to soundstage depth and width. The first center channel track is simple yet essential to getting correct. Once a perfect center image is attained, it's time to move on to the next more complex center channel track. Moving between music tracks and the Guide's easy-to-follow instructions, readers benefit from the system's checks and balances bringing users that much closer to sonic perfection. As an added bonus, there is a specially designed burn-in track that can be used every time you get a new piece of equipment, or if you just want to tune up the sound. And the last three tracks on the Reference Music Disc are alone worth the price of the disc. Sonic fireworks! Whether you want to challenge your system, make certain it's working properly, or spend a few hours tweaking it to perfection, The Audiophile's Reference Music Disc is a must-have companion to the Guide or as a standalone audio reference. This is one direct-to-master recording you don't want to miss out on.
Unique amongst instructional manuals or textbooks of stereo setup, the Audiophile's Guide Book and its companion Reference Audio Tracks SACD (or download) together form the basis of an easy-to-implement system of magic making. Using the Guide and its companion Reference Music Tracks as they were designed—as a system—helps 2-channel audio rigs that sometimes sound more HiFi than live suddenly take on a level of musicality most audiophiles only wish they could achieve. Three dimensional sound—where the speakers disappear and the musicians seem to be in the room with us—can often be an elusive goal. That need no longer be the case. With the Guide and Reference Audio track System, it's easy to wring all the potential hidden in your stereo by simply following the Guide's step-by-step instructions and verifying the audible results in real-time. There are books aplenty on setting up a stereo system, but rarely a complete system of both step-by-step instructions accompanied by specific musical examples. The Audiophile's Guide, The Stereo, combined with Octave Record's Reference Music Tracks is the sure-fire system that we've all been waiting for.


Read what they are saying
Hard to imagine that setup alone would have made this much difference. I am shocked. Thank you.


Hard to imagine

The three depth tracks are worth the price of the entire package. I had no idea my system was capable of moving the soundstage beyond my room's walls.

H. Berry

Highly recommended

So excited to read this book!! I'm a fan of Paul's youtube vids and have gotten a lot of good tips from there. Now, things are about to get serious with regard to my stereo setup and enjoyment.

Ray L.

So excited!

Great read and really helped me tune my system. Also enjoyed some of the historical anecdotes about the industry. Highly recommend if you’re a audiophile nut like me!


Basic but essential

I read a few negative reviews on Amazon because the book was too basic, but for me this was a lifesaver. My system's never sounded this good. Ignore the naysayers and go for it. You won't regret it.

L. Bardeen

Never sounded so good

Octave Records

Honoring the Music and Those Who Make It

Our mission at Octave Records® is simple – respect musicians by paying them fairly, and respect their music by bringing it to life in the highest-quality possible.

Too often, musicians have to absorb the costs of production, leaving them little or any earnings – or even putting them in debt. And the quality of their recordings end up in last place. We at PS Audio and Octave Records are dedicated to correcting these inequities.

To support musicians, Octave™ covers 100% of all studio, mixing, mastering, production, distribution, and marketing expenses so that artists may directly share in retail sales revenues – while retaining ownership of their music.

Octave Records is dedicated to offering the highest-quality recordings in high-resolution formats including pure DSD on SACD , as well as 192kHz PCM. Located in Boulder, Colorado, Octave utilizes the world’s finest studio equipment, based around the acclaimed Sonoma™ DSD recording, mixing, and mastering system. Gus Skinas, our world-renowned mastering engineer, has hundreds of album credits and helped design the Sonoma system.


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Join the hi-fi family

Stop by for a tour:
4865 Sterling Dr.
Boulder, CO 80301

Join the hi-fi family

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