Category Archives: Audiophile Sound

PS Audio Power Regenerators

PS Audio Power Regenerators

PS Audio is a leader in AC power regeneration, making it a top choice among audiophiles. Earlier this year, the company released a new line of power regenerators designed to provide squeaky clean AC. Power Conditioners vs Power Regenerators There is a big difference between


OPPO Discontinues its Award-Winning Audiophile Disc Player

The OPPO 205 is the best CD/DVD/Blu Ray player on the market with a high-end DAC chip. Unfortunately, OPPO Digital is discontinuing its line of high-end Blu-ray players and headphones. The OPPO UDP-205 Ultra HD is an audiophile’s dream machine, having received numerous great reviews and

No Thumbnail

Reviewing the DJM Electronics GigaFOILv4 Inline Filter

The engineers at DJM Electronics did it again! The GigaFOILv4 inline filter for Ethernet noise dramatically improves upon the original GigaFOIL and delivers a lower noise floor for digital music transmitted through an ethernet cable that anyone, even the staunchest of anti-tweakers and the hearing

Audiophiles Flock to Expanded AXPONA Show

Audiophiles Flock to Expanded AXPONA Show

AXPONA continues to be the “go to” event for audiophiles. The largest high-end audio show in North America, was held April 13-15, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois. Every year, the show has expanded due to demand, and 2018 was the largest AXPONA


What is the Best Surge Protector?

There is a difference between a power strip and a surge protector.  A power strip operates like an extension cord, while a surge protector protects your equipment from sudden spikes in the power coming from the street. If all you need is an extension cord,

Chord Hugo 2

Chord Hugo 2 Improves on Greatness

No cell phone has a Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) that is very good.  To get any good sound out of a cell phone or an iPad you need a third-party DAC.  The Chord Hugo 2, like the original Hugo and the Mojo is a

New Power Cords

Audience Introduces New Power Cords

Audience recently announced three new AC power cords — the Au24 SX powerChord, Au24 SE-i power Chord, and powerChord SE-i. Incorporating its latest advancements in materials and engineering, Audience promises to again revolutionize high-performance audio systems. Audiophiles who understand the difference that power cords make in a high-end

The Who “My Generation” CD Box Set Review by Donald Scarinci

The Who “My Generation” CD Box Set

The Who marked the 50th anniversary of their debut album, My Generation, by releasing a new massive box set. The five-disc box set features a remastered edition of the album in mono and many never-before-released tracks. While it is a great way to commemorate a first album by


The Three Best Power Cords for Audiophile Sound

After selecting the right speaker for your room and picking good components to deliver optimum sound quality there are still four often overlooked items—connecting cables–that can make a big improvement on the sound performance of a mid-level audio system.  They are the power cords, analog


Apple’s New AirPods Are Not Audiophile Quality But Work Great

Don’t expect audiophile sound quality from the new Apple wireless earbuds, officially called AirPods.  However, they are extremely comfortable and the technology behind the new earphones are impressive. When Apple announced that it was eliminating the headphone jack from its iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, there

DirectStream Memory Player

Direct Stream Memory Player Is a Game-Changer

Always count on PS Audio to do it first and do it better than anyone else.  The DirectStream Memory Player allows the high resolution layer of an SACD to play back through a DAC.  For audiophiles with the best DAC’s, the SACD is finally free

AudioQuest JitterBug

UpTone Audio USB REGEN vs. AudioQuest JitterBug

People have started to figure out that the reason digital music does not sound as good as vinyl has less to do with the studio mix burned digitally as 1’s and 0’s, and more to do with the “timing” of the playback of those 1’s

Audiophiles Gather at AXPONA in Chicago

Audiophiles Gather at AXPONA in Chicago

AXPONA (Audio Expo North America), the high-end consumer audio show held last weekend at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont, Il, is one of the best events of the year for audiophiles. While this is only one of about a dozen national high end audio shows,

Grounding Block

Synergistic Research Grounding Block

Synergistic Research has become a market leader of innovative audiophile products.  While teaks of all kinds find no shortage of skeptics, the Grounding Block from Synergistic Research is a tweak based on solid science and it works. It has always been known that a well-grounded

Ethernet EMI Filter

Ethernet EMI Filter for Better Digital Audio

DJM electronics has made the first Ethernet noise filter that might be helpful for an audio signal.  It is called the GigaFOILv3 Ethernet Filter and it is currently priced at $1,000.   It is commonly accepted that EMI causes Noise in power cables.  When that

Steven Wilson has delivered a clean, very musical remix of this classic progressive rock album, which in a short time has become the “final word” on the album. There can be little doubt that this remix is far superior to anything that has been done before it and that in our lifetime the Steven Wilson remix of Octopus will be the one to buy. It is un-improvable.

Gentle Giant’s Octopus in 5.1 Surround Sound

Steven Wilson has delivered a clean, very musical remix of this classic progressive rock album,  which in a short time has become the “final word” on the album.  There can be little doubt that this remix is far superior to anything that has been done

Shunyata King Cobra

New Shunyata Power Cables Are Not Always Better

When it comes to high-end power cables, Shunyata is the king. So every time Shunyata replaces their top of the line cable with a new model, “attention must be paid.” In 2009, the King Cobra CX by Shunyata was their flagship power cable. Priced at

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency

Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II Steps Up

Bose is one of the best in the business when it comes to speakers, so it’s hard to ignore the hype surrounding its SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II. After taking a listen, the praise is well deserved. The SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II connects wirelessly


The Chord Hugo DAC Delivers

The Chord Hugo is simply the best portable amplifier/DAC on the market. Whether you use it with your computer or with a portable transport to carry when you are out and about, the Hugo has no equal. Perhaps the $2,500 retail price is steep for

The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing recently announced the creation of a series of Hi-Res Audio Production Guidelines.

Recording Academy Establishes Hi-Res Audio Guidelines

The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing recently announced the creation of a series of Hi-Res Audio Production Guidelines. The new guidelines are a key step to ensuring that real high-resolution music is produced and sold to the public. While the Recording Academy Producers &

There are almost as many choices for connecting audio cables and power cables as there are for components and speakers. Here are some thoughts about picking the right ones for your system.

What Audio Cables Should I Upgrade?

There are almost as many choices for connecting cables and power cables as there are for components and speakers. Here are some thoughts about picking the right ones for your system. Let’s assume that you are currently using the stock cables that came with your

The Koss 330 Headphones are the best small headphone available at any price.

Koss 330 Headphones Deliver Great Sound at Low Price

The Koss 330 Headphones are the best small headphone available at any price. The Koss 330 Headphones are just under $100, these headphones are one of the best values in high end audio headphones. One listen will make you look in the mirror to verify

Bob Dylan – The Original Mono Recordings (MONO-88697761051) recreates the first eight Dylan albums as they were intended to be heard.

Bob Dylan Mono Box Set Must Buy

Bob Dylan – The Original Mono Recordings (MONO-88697761051) recreates the first eight Dylan albums as they were intended to be heard. Even the album cover and labels look like the originals and recreate the feel of opening the album as it was the first time.


PS Audio Proves Sound Quality is Metaphysics

No review disputes that the PS Audio DirectStream DAC (DSD) is musical bliss. Some reviewers have called it the component of the year for 2014. Where reviewers get edgy on PS Audio is not about the fact that it so amazing but about the science

In order to make a noticeable improvement in sound quality with a power cord you should expect to pay not less than $500 for a 1 meter cord.

How To Pick A Power Cable For Your Audio System

In order to make a noticeable improvement in sound quality with a power cord you should expect to pay not less than $500 for a 1 meter cord. Cords to consider at this price point are the Audioquest NRG 10, Audience PowerCord SE or a

Find a high resolution copy of John Lennon's Imagine on Amazon.com

Imagine in High Resolution Blu-ray

It is not always the case that a high resolution 96kHz/24bit sounds better than a CD at 44mHz/16bit. More often than not, the remastering matters more than the bit rate. This is one of those times. The high resolution Blu-ray and, presumably, the digital download

link to buy close to the edge on amazon

Yes, Close to the Edge, in 5.1 Surround Sound

Billed as the “Definitive Edition CD,” Steve Wilson’s remaster of Close to the Edge,” by Yes is exactly that. It is perfection—the final version of a classic album. Many people who were listening to music in the 1970s own more than one copy of Close

Hard Day's Night Blu-Ray Amazon

A Hard Day’s Night and Help Blu-Ray Reviews

Even though the Beatle’s A Hard Days Night was produced before Help, the new 5-1 mix of the earlier film has the better surround mix. The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night was reissued on Blu-ray and DVD last summer. It marks the 50th anniversary of the

Donald Scarinci, Scarinci Hollenbeck, DirectStream DAC

Can PS Audio’s DirectStream DAC Make 0 + 1 = 2?

The PS Audio DirectStream DAC (digital to analog converter) is a Stereophile Magazine product of the year for 2014. Many audiophiles who have compared it with other DAC’s have called it a “game changer.” For non-audiophiles, a DAC replaces the sound card in your computer

VPI Nomad

Three Reasons to Buy A VPI Nomad

The VPI Nomad may do as much to bring music listeners back to vinyl as the iPod did to bring listeners to the MP3 digital download. The Nomad is VPI’s new entry level turntable. It includes an Ortofon needle, a built in phono pre-amp and

The YES ALBUM Gets Refreshed in 5.1 Stereo Sound

The Yes Album proves that music can sound better decades after its original release. The progressive band’s breakthrough album was recently released in 5.1 surround sound. The Yes Album was first released in the United Kingdom on February 19, 1971 (CAT# 2400 101) and eventually

High Definition Audio Playback

Apple Toward High Definition Audio Playback

Recent rumors about the new Apple operating system appear to be true. Apple’s iOS 8 will allow for high definition audio playback (HRA). This certainly explains why Apple has acquired Beats Electronics to upgrade their in-ear earphones. Apple has announced that they will offer high-fidelity

passion play

A Passion Play by Jethro Tull Stands the Test of Time

In his notes on the 2014 remix, Steve Wilson said, “I think that A Passion Play is a historically underrated work of art that deserves to be reevaluated.” Thanks to his remix in 5.1 Surround Sound to celebrate the album’s 40th anniversary, Jethro Tull’s masterpiece

The Who, Quadraphenia

The Who’s, Quadrophenia in 5.1 Surround Sound

Forty years after its initial release, the 5.1 Surround Sound Blue-ray audio re-master of The Who’s, Quadrophenia, may well be considered the definitive final version of this rock classic. After giving this disc a listen you will conclude that it is un-improvable. By the end

High Resolution Audio

Sources For High Resolution Audio Defined

In addition to a standard definition of high resolution audio (HRA), in June, 2014, the music industry also agreed on standard labels they will use so music lovers can identify the source of the high resolution digital recording they are buying. As previously reported in

Behind the Buzz: What Is High-Resolution Audio?

From records and reel-to-reel tapes to cassettes to eight-track tapes to CD’s to SACD and DVD-audio, the next generation of music delivery is digital. The standard for High Resolution Audio, the best quality digital sound available, has finally been set. After a long period of

psb Speakers Enter Headphone Market On Top

I realized in the taxi to JFK en route to a 7 AM flight to Chicago to attend the AXPONA audio show that I had left my Bose QC3 noise cancelling headphones at home.  After only one cup of coffee I had to endure the

Axpona 2014: From Turntable to Hi Res Audio

At a show dominated by the excitement of High Resolution (HR) audio and the delivery systems that are becoming available to play it, VPI introduced a high quality but affordable consumer turntable which might be considered the first of its kind in the post CD

Digital Cables

Do Digital Cables make a difference?

While there are still a few holdouts who say that power cords and analog connector cables don’t make a difference with sound or video quality, they are now a minority. However, the debate remains active about digital cables. Digital cable Naysayers point out that the

Are Headphone Cables and Speaker Cables Overrated?

Conventional wisdom amongst audiophile beginners is that the biggest improvement you could make to the sound of your home stereo is with good speakers connected to an amplifier by even better connecting cables that could equal the price of the speakers. Testing this wisdom on

IsoNodes and Vibrapods for Component Separation

Audio components on a rack pick up sonic vibration carried by the air in the room where the music is played. They also carry actual vibration from their own electrical movement and from the other components in the rack, which ultimately affects sound quality. Manufacturers

Digital Cables Make Little Difference in Sound Quality

High end digital cable connectors probably provide the least noticeable improvement in sound quality, but to my surprise, there was a “subtle” (as defined in previous articles) difference. I tested the Audioquest Diamond USB mini to USB .75mm connection on my headphone mini system. The

Savant is Bad News for Audiophile Sound

Savant Systems has won many awards as a smart home operating system but it will never win an award in any audiophile sound publication. If you care at all about the quality of the sound coming from your audio system then do not use Savant

Clean up your Power with a PS Audio Power Plant

Whether you should buy a power conditioner or a good surge protector depends on how bad the line power is that feeds your audio system. However, if you have thrown away the power cords that came with your audio components and replaced them with good

Dirty Power Makes Dirty Music

If upgrading power cords makes a significantly noticeable improvement in sound quality, then imagine the improvement that a clean power source could make! There are power conditioners and power re-conditioners that work wonderfully for music. They double as power strips and surge protectors as well.

Upgrade Power Cords for Better Sound (Part 2)

A good power cord makes a big difference in sound quality,  but how good is good enough? Once I picked the Audience Power Cord E for my HiFiMan EF5 amplifier and my HiFiman HE-500 headphone microsystem, I was ready to see whether a more expensive

HD Tracks is the Future of the Music Industry

From record album to tape player to CD and SACD or DVD audio, the future of recorded music is high definition and the future of music playback formats is the digital download. The leader in high definition music downloads is HD Tracks (www.hdtracks.com). For a

Play Back Digital Audio with J. River or Amarra

iTunes was great for small portable digital audio device playback, but if you want to hear digital music that has an analog warmth and quality then you need to download third party software from companies like Amarra for Mac and J.River for Windows. iTunes just

A Headphone Amp Does More Than Blow Your Eardrums

An amplifier just increases the volume and does not affect the quality of the sound coming out of your speakers or headphones, right?  That is what I used to think, but that is WRONG! The thought that headphone amp is not a sound neutral device

For Better Sound Choose Good Headphones

Throw away your earbuds! The single most important thing you can do to improve the quality of your digital sound is to buy a pair of good headphones. The variety of headphones to choose from in every price range is daunting to a first time

12 Tweaks to Improve Digital Sound Quality

As the demand for portable digital music continues to outpace demand for other high fidelity options, many people are now looking to improve digital sound quality. There are twelve simple tweaks available to those who are tired of listening to poor quality iTunes downloads. It

The Truth about Burn in for Audio Components

By Donald Scarinci: Many high end audiophile products such as amplifiers, speakers, headphones and even connection cords and power conditioners are sold with the advice that they will produce better sound when they are used.  Many manufacturers recommend burn in for audio components before the