New reference test disc and how-to book provide a sonic reference, and details on getting the most out of a stereo audio system
PS Audio’s Octave Records label announces its latest release, The Audiophile Reference Disc, created to help listeners get the best out of their stereo systems by providing reference-quality music and test tracks. The release of the disc coincides with the debut of the book Audiophile’s Guide: The Stereo, a comprehensive guide to system setup by PS Audio CEO Paul McGowan, and a companion to the disc.
The Audiophile Reference Disc is playable on any CD, DVD, or Blu-ray player. It also has a high-resolution DSD layer that is accessible only using a PS Audio SACD transport, or by copying the DSD tracks on the included DVD data discs. In addition, the master DSD and PCM files are available for purchase and download from psaudio.com.
The Audiophile Reference Disc begins with a series of tracks for basic system setup, including left, right and phantom center channel identification, and checking for correct phase (polarity). Subsequent tracks facilitate more sophisticated evaluations like in-room bass response, soundstage width and depth, system resolution and more.
The Audiophile Reference Disc was designed to be used in conjunction with The Audiophile’s Guide book. The Guide details each step in the stereo setup instructional process, and a corresponding reference audio track is designated to check and verify the results. The disc and book go over every aspect of getting the most out of stereo system reproduction, from a single voice to the most complex and dynamic musical passages.
Recorded and mastered using Octave Records’ exclusive DSDDirect Mastered 192kHz/24-bit process and 96kHz/24-bit and 44.1kHz/16-bit PCM, The Audiophile Reference Disc was produced using state-of-the-art high-resolution audio technology, with no effort spared to ensure its use as a true reference-quality system-evaluation tool.
Audiophile’s Guide: The Stereo Book is subtitled “Unlock the Secrets to Great Sound” and the book explains exactly how to do it. The Guide begins with a history of stereophonic sound and moves into chapters on what to listen for and how to achieve the best from an audio system, covering topics like establishing a budget, what to buy and what not to, analog vs. digital, tubes vs. solid-state, achieving a spacious “3-D” sound from loudspeakers, tuning the system to the listening room, system tweaking and fine-tuning and much more. The book can be read as a standalone reference, or used in conjunction with The Audiophile Reference Disc.