The Art of Hi-Fi Volume 02: Soundstage

The Art of Hi-Fi Volume 02: Soundstage


This article first appeared in The Sound Advocate, a HiFi publication that offers “Sound component reviews and commentary For The Discerning Listener!”

The Art of Hi-fi Volume 2: Soundstage is the latest Octave Records demonstration recording being an invaluable reference for setting up loudspeakers to achieve a three-dimensional soundstage.

Prices listed are in US$.

Boulder, Colorado, July 10, 2023 – PS Audio’s Octave Records has released The Art of Hi-Fi Volume 02: Soundstage, the second in its series of reference-quality recordings that showcase a different aspect of high-fidelity audio reproduction. The Art of Hi-Fi Volume 02: Soundstage offers a series of tracks that enable listeners to tell if their loudspeakers and system are set up optimally, to achieve a soundstage that can provide a three-dimensional sound field that has depth, width, and height, and extends beyond the boundaries of the speakers and even the room walls.
The Art of Hi-Fi Volume 02: Soundstage was recorded live at multiple venues as well as at Octave Studios, to present a range of sonic environments from up close and personal to expansive. Paul McGowan, PS Audio CEO, noted, “Ideally, your speakers should ‘disappear’ and the musicians should seem like they’re right there in the room with you, with a distinct presence and in a space that can sound larger than your listening room.”
Volume 02: Soundstage begins and ends with a bang as flamenco dancer Salli Gutierrez, accompanied by Steve Mullins and a large band, dances on an old platform stage on “Sevillanas: A la Puerta de Toledo and Traditional Instrumental Melodies,” and “Alegrias (Excerpts).”

“Diporti di Euterpe, Op. 7 No. 4: Lamento,” performed by Duo Azure, captures the exquisite piano playing of Dr. Jessica Nilles Kressin and the soaring purity of soprano Ekaterina Kotcherguina in the spaciousness of the First Congregational Church UCC in Boulder, Colorado, while Mozart’s String Quartet No. 4 in C Major, K157 was recorded in Octave’s studio in a more intimate sonic space.
Trumpeter Gabriel Mervine plays “Aurora” with his group in a small jazz club, and you’ll feel like you’re having a night out, sitting at a table in front of the band. Jessica Carson’s heartfelt performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” demonstrates how spaciousness can be created in the recording studio, as Jessica sang seven different parts at varying distances from the microphone, with different degrees of reverb. Other tracks feature a bluegrass quartet, jazz combos, and more.
Volume 02: Soundstage was recorded live and in the studio in pure DSD 256 on the Pyramix recording system. The microphones and placement were optimized for each track, to bring out the spaciousness, presence, and dynamics of the original performances.

All tracks were recorded, mixed, and produced by Paul McGowan and Jessica Carson, and mastered by Gus Skinas. Volume 02: Soundstage features Octave’s premium gold disc formulation, and the disc is playable on any SACD, CD, DVD, or Blu-ray player. It also has a high-resolution DSD layer that is accessible by using any SACD player or a PS Audio SACD transport. In addition, the master DSD and PCM files are available for purchase and download, including DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64, and DSDDirect Mastered 352.8 kHz/24-bit, 176.2 kHz/24-bit, 88.2 kHz/24-bit, and 44.1 kHz/24-bit PCM. (SRP: $19 – $39, depending on the format.)

If you would like The Art of Hi-Fi, Volume 02: Soundstage, please contact Frank Doris at or 631-645-5668.

For more, visit The Sound Advocate, a HiFi publication that offers “Sound component reviews and commentary For The Discerning Listener!”

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