Sound quality


  • My (factory) trip to (the) MOON by Simaudio

    I love meeting the top designers at an audiophile-catering audio company because they’re always so passionate about what they do. Why else would they be involved in perfectionist audio, if not to fulfill a burning nerdy-esque desire to create an audio product people will hopefully love? Dominique Poupart, Product Manager at MOON by Simaudio, is…

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  • “I have the best system in the world!” A 50-year Journey in Audiophilia

    It’s often been said that we should avoid discussing politics or religion in polite company. These are touchy subjects on which people have strong ideas and beliefs that may conflict. These conversations can, on a dime, turn into trench wars, polite company notwithstanding. Among audiophiles, one could easily replace politics or religion with best audio brand,…

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  • A conversation with my younger self—an audio fable

    Much younger, I used to listen to music without ever thinking about sound quality. It simply didn’t dawn on me that a better sound quality could translate into more elevated musical experiences. My younger self was purely a music lover and unaware of the importance of sound quality. As they say, you don’t know what…

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  • Why vinyl is better than digital (and it has nothing to do with the sound)

    Which one is superior, analog or digital? That’s a loaded question. But if the answer is based on more than sound quality, I think it’s possible to make a case for vinyl’s superiority over digital without upsetting anyone. I should know — I’m making the case for vinyl and I almost never listen to it.…

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  • T.H.E Show 2021

    First impressions All prices listed in USD My wife is not an audiophile. But as a classically trained pianist and a professional musician, she has ears for sound quality. It’s why I sometimes seek her opinion after changing something in my audio system. This year’s T.H.E. Show, held in Long Beach, was her first audio…

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  • No more cds?

    Has the whole world abandoned the spinning digital disc? It can sure feel like it!

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  • Music streaming — are we at the beginning of the end?

    The shifting of the Earth’s tectonic plates often causes disturbances or, in worse case scenarios, natural disasters like tsunamis or volcanic eruptions. In my first column, I mentioned that the digital world is changing rapidly, well, until now I didn’t know to what extent. Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon recently announced their commitment to gradually…

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  • Digitizing our music? “It is useless to resist!”

    As music lovers, we strive for the best possible sound quality.  They say all roads lead to Rome, but we still need to contend with our needs, our path, our budget, and the time available to us to get there. Across my next columns, like a travel guide, I will try to recommend memorable places for…

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  • Uncensored secrets of my audio feet fetish

    I’ve been pursuing good sound quality for decades. Along the journey, I learned about various elements that make up a good audio system. And one important lesson I learned is this: Sometimes, those small, seemingly less important elements turn out to be game changers. In an audio system, we pay most of our attention to…

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  • Jazz isn’t noise. It’s special. Here’s why.

    I have a friend who listened only to classical music. One day I had him listen to the music of John Coltrane, a jazz giant. And in honor of the saxophonist’s Giant status, the track I had my friend listen to was “Giant Steps”. As he was listening, I was trying to decide what I…

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  • Pimping your system (on the cheap)

    Whoever said “the best things in life are free” obviously never dabbled in high end audio. That’s not to say you can’t improve the sound of the system you already have with some judicious tweaking.

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  • Hitting the right (audio) balance

    The human voice is an amazing thing. I can think of no other instrument that moves our emotions and soul as powerfully. The examples are endless: Freddie Mercury, Beyoncé, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby McFerrin, Luciano Pavarotti, Ariana Grande… Just take your pick. And it’s not just singers’ voices that we respond strongly to. How about the…

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  • Measurements can suck

         As a youngster in the late sixties, I was keenly interested in music. Virtually every day, I came home from school, and after doing my homework, spent my afternoons hanging out at the family’s Philco stereo console spinning LPs. My family’s relatively meager collection of albums consisted mainly of Mom’s selection of easy listening…

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  • Stop, Hey, What’s That Sound? Part 1

    Just as listening to bad music is no fun, it’s no fun listening to bad audio, so knowing what to listen for when auditioning a component is important. “Stop, Hey, What’s That Sound?” is a series dedicated to recognizing aspects of good and bad sound reproduction. Once you’ve settled on what features you want your…

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  • My Audio Revelation

    I’ve always loved listening to music on a sound system, even going as far back as when all I had access to was my parents’ outdated, low-fi stereo system. It was in my college’s music library, where I worked, that I was introduced to quality sound, although at the time I had no idea what…

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