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Hi-Fi engineer Darren Myers (Parasound) and marketing guy Duncan Taylor (YG Acoustics) discuss all things HiFi audio, covering such audiophile topics as speakers, amplifiers, DACs, preamplifiers, vinyl, cables, music, stereo soundstages, tweaks, adjustments and a whole lot more.
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SCHOOL OF JAZZ

ROBIN HOOD RADIO

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A Weekly journey of classic jazz as curated by the show host Jonathan Horwich. International Phonograph, Inc., is a small independent label that specializes in jazz. The company ... piano playing." - Jonathan Horwich Producer & Engineer
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When someone named Spammy emails you, you have a choice: flag as a phishing threat, or read in entirety? Well, we do get a kick out of seeing the moniker appear in our mailbox, from a listener whose skewering takes leave us chuckling every time. While most emailers use the show email to send questions, Spammy mostly offers witty commentary with no …
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By popular demand, we present the new lost Dunlavy episode. Longtime listeners know that Darren and Duncan originally recorded 10 podcasts before publishing the very first one, as practice. One of those, referenced in early talks about the guys' dearly beloved Dunlavy speakers, was a thorough explanation of how they landed them for free, and insigh…
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With apologies for the delay, and for the audio which was nearly impossible to fix, the guys are back to answer a question from listener Rob Shrode. This episode is about the idea of a special price point threshold in each product category above which one can expect substantial performance improvement compared to below the threshold. As usual, it's…
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The HiFi Podcast is back with a tech-centric take on FM Radio, answering a listener question and delving into why so many audiophiles gravitate toward it as a favorite source. As so many conversations do, this one meanders toward noise and distortion, but Darren's take on the loveliness of the sound of FM may surprise you. Brazilian musician Fabian…
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In this episode, a listener requests a deeper dive into room treatment for optimizing sound in a HiFi listening space, and the fellas oblige. In fact, Darren and Duncan leap at the chance to talk about the curious look of some commercial treatment products, bemoan the high prices of some seemingly cheap-to-develop elements, and generally touch on m…
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Welcome to the new season and new format for The HiFi Podcast. This time, the boys are back and apparently recording under a popular confluence of flight paths, but if you can get past the air traffic noise, this episode is one you don't want to miss. Darren dives deep into the makeup and uses and pros and cons of Gallium-Nitride Field Effect Trans…
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Apologies for the wait. Apologies for the sound glitches and skips in this one - still figuring out the new mobile recording rig. But the boys of The HiFi Podcast are back, and in this pre-season announcement, Darren and Duncan explain the plan for the next chapter of the podcast, which will now be divided into seasons and feature shorter but more …
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Fresh off the heels of AXPONA (and right on the precipice of Munich), Duncan talks about the details involved in planning a show appearance and gives a behind-the-scenes look at the show from a manufacturer's perspective. Questions about capacitors, audio literature, gain balancing and more are answered, and this episode features not one, but two r…
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After a visit to chez Tweak to hear the always-improving desktop system, Darren decided to push Duncan into a project the best way he knew how: by giving him a pair of Seas Excel tweeters and posing the question, "what if you had state-of-the-art soft domes in that thing?" Talking, of course, about Duncan's improbably excellent 2-day speaker projec…
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In this episode, PS Audio design engineer Darren Myers takes us through the process of designing printed circuit boards, which are known as PCBs. It turns out there are tons of considerations in play when selecting the material of a PCB, and determining the position of components and the makeup of the traces. Listener questions about tweaks and cre…
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In this episode, the pros and cons of the integrated amplifier are covered in typical Hifi Podcast style. Darren shares impressions and experience from the perspective of a designer, and both guys try to frame the situations where the integrated approach is either better or... not better. This week's questions share a common theme which takes Dunca…
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In this episode, Darren and Duncan reflect on their experiences with friend and mentor Bascom King, whose recent passing has taken a great mind from the HiFi community. Bascom was an audiophile engineering legend and responsible for many incredible amplification designs over a long career. Hear about how he inspired so many, and learn a little abou…
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In this episode, Darren asks Duncan questions about recording different instruments. Duncan dives into a number of pro audio topics en route to categorizing instruments by their difficulty in recording. A question about powering Dunlavy speakers is answered, and several listener-emailed music recommendations are shared. This week's album is the lat…
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The guys are back in the saddle after a week off, and this time sitting down with the designer of the curious tube monoblocks that are living in Darren's Wilson system at the moment, a local audiophile friend and engineering technician named Jordan Kamper. Jordan describes his thought process behind those and other DIY creations of his that the guy…
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Darren's and Duncan's DIY speaker project from several years back is the topic du jour in this episode of The HiFi Podcast. The guys offer tips and inspiration in describing the DIY journey from beginning to completion, from driver choice to final damping moves. This week's album recommendation is a soothingly simple recording of jazz standards fro…
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PS Audio speaker designer Chris Brunhaver is back this week, and spends some time demystifying the common speaker specifications used to judge speakers. He and the guys share what's been going on with them lately as well, which is has been plenty. This week's album recommendation is a rare electronic album that borders on audiophile, and involves a…
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In this episode, hosts Darren and Duncan reach again into the questions inbox to answer listeners who have emailed in their audio curiosities. Roon compatibility with BluOS devices, how and where to use ferrite cores, eliminating RF from nearby 5G towers and other questions are answered. This week's album recommendation features a rare gaffe, where…
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In this episode of The Hifi Podcast, hosts Darren and Duncan reflect on what motivates each to work in the industry and try their best to bring something new to the scene. Darren talks about his evolution in amplifier design, why he puts effort into discovering unique and new topologies and what motivates him these days after many circuits discover…
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In this episode, a guest with a lot of experience in music streaming and streamer technology joins the podcast. Ari Margolis, a young dad, local audiophile and friend of the guys stops by to chat about Aurender's approaches and technology, and to help answer common questions about the art of high-end streaming for the modern audiophile. Naturally, …
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In this episode, the guys tackle a range of listener questions. Balanced phono inputs are explained, including why they aren't as common in phono preamplifiers. Duncan shares more about his DIY Ripole subwoofer and why he hasn't talked about it lately, CD ripping is discussed, A/B switch devices for gear evaluations are considered, and more. This w…
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In this episode, the guys talk about the sensory focus that comes from listening in the dark, sharing experiences and stories about the practice in the audiophile hobby. Darren's suggestion for new listeners seems like a winner, and both agree that dark listening has a lot to do with our human evolution and deep personal response. A listener questi…
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Darren answers a question that has been in Duncan's mind for a while: What does Bridge Tied Load or BTL mean as it relates to amplifier design? The guys answer a question about properly powering a big set of Dunlavy speakers from a listener who stumbled across a big pair for a great price. The album of the week is only found on Bandcamp, and it fea…
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The show is back after a week break to deal with Duncan's Covid bout and the installation of PS Audio's new speakers at Darren's house. Questions were stacking up, so the guys took this week to pick their favorites and deliver an all-questions episode. After a check-in with a listener suffering from "tweakitis AKA restless audiophile syndrome," the…
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In this episode, Darren and Duncan trade stories related to audio that are either funny, uncomfortable or just plain unexpected. A great listener question about where to go after a component breaks is answered, and the album of the week was chosen in part because Duncan could not get the songs out of his head. This podcast is powered by CommonGroun…
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In this episode of The Hifi Podcast, Darren and Duncan explore what they see as several misconceptions in the audio hobby. Class D amps, recording quality and audiophile cables are included the discussion, which is by no means a comprehensive list but a first pass at the common audiophile subject matter. A few listener questions are also answered, …
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In this episode, the guys explore the reasons behind why some products -- mostly preamplifiers -- invert the signal phase. Darren explains that it's a decent reason behind the practice, and how to adjust to it in your system if you've got a piece of gear that does this. Earlier on, a question about a difficult room setup is fully discussed, offerin…
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After the usual intro segments, this is another hefty episode of listener questions. Topics covered include finding speakers that jibe with a hyperacusis condition, locally served music files versus streamed, updates on Darren's server experience, and more. In the middle of the podcast somewhere, hosts Darren and Duncan point folks who want to cont…
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It's been a hell of a week here in Colorado, and after the fires and the fallout, the idea of how to protect your hifi system from danger and disaster seemed like an appropriate topic for this week's podcast. In this episode, Darren and Duncan discuss inrush currents and voltage spikes associated with some of the problems Mother Nature can throw at…
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Just about a year ago, a listener in Brooklyn, NY reached out with some ideas about building an all-Klipsch-Heritage-based dancehall and party space in the basement of his new house. In the year since, he got right to it, wasting no time and creating a space that his producer friends and he believe puts on some of the best-sounding dance parties in…
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As audiophiles, we listen in many different styles and sizes of rooms. Our spaces to setup well-tuned systems are, more often than not, the only ones we're given to work with. On the other side of the coin, sometimes it's the gear we already have which tells us what kind of space it should be in, and more specifically, how close we should listen. I…
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Welcome back! In this episode, Darren, designer of an amplifier that TAS just named "2021 Product of the Year (huzzah!)," takes us patiently and steadily through a basic concept involving operational amplifiers, or amps-on-a-chip, explaining how feedback is heavily used in many modern op-amps to broaden what, in some cases, is a staggeringly low ba…
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It's beginning to look a lot like winter (finally), the chestnuts- er, questions are piling up, and the guys thought it would be fun to try to answer them all. In this episode, questions about capacitor burn-in, DIY projects, tube noise, outriggers and more are answered, and the album of the week is not one, but TWO lovely albums which share a lot …
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In this episode, hosts Darren and Duncan discuss preamplifiers, starting with the "why" and continuing through the "what" and "how". Some preamplifier makers out there are aiming for a neutral sound... but is that really what we want in a preamplifier? Darren's opinion on this as one of the possible roles of the box in the middle of a system chain …
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The HiFi podcast audience is in for a treat this week, as the guys sit down with their friend and mentor, Paul McGowan, for a wide-ranging discussion about HiFi audio and other things. Paul shares what's going on lately with his recording project, jumps in with the guys to answer a listener question about black backgrounds, and offers a look back a…
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We all started somewhere with this hobby, and we were all beginners at one point. But compare being a beginner now, after decades of the growth of the internet, to learning about the audiophile hobby in the 70s, 80s or 90s. There is almost too much information available now, and too many choices and paths to take. It's no wonder that some beginner …
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In this episode of The Hifi Podcast, the guys deliver a more focused and nuanced set of guidelines for evaluating gear, whether it be components, speakers or cables. The topic comes up on the podcast again and again, because it's the literal backbone of the audiophile hobby. The ability to listen and perceive subtle differences is so important, and…
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This week, a listener question once again prompts the podcast topic, and while the guys don't exactly agree with the premise, its a great excuse to talk about the subject matter: How to optimize and get the best from a low-cost audio system. Questions about intermodulation and power round out the early segment, and this week's album pick features o…
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In a recent episode, hosts Darren and Duncan talked about a system's ability to collect and drain RF interference through the connected enclosures and low-impedance paths to ground. In this show, the guys -- and Darren specifically -- drill down further into high frequency bogey man land. Are modern chassis boxes even good at being faraday cages? H…
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This episode gets a great start thanks to so much goin on in Darren's two systems at home, including the reintroduction and repainting of the Dunlavy IVa system, cables burning in and the planned LPS addition to his reclocker. Also, his parents are in town, which means there are now distinctly fewer electrical components to trip over on the ground.…
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Have you noticed the absolute proliferation of cool digital audio products in the sub-$500 market lately? With so much buzz around new class D modules and affordable R2R DACs and even budget speakers that are "specs monsters", the hosts of The Hifi Podcast believe now is the best time to be a budget audiophile. There are some interesting quirks in …
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No speaker DIYer likes to read a paper about the effects of edge diffraction on speaker baffles AFTER cutting out the driver holes. An inch left or right, and that tweeter could have sounded much better. No DIY amplifier builder wants to miss out on that important forum post where a fellow DIYer discovers an error in a schematic. DIY audio projects…
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"Not all distortion is horrible" is a notion many come to observe at some point along the audiophile journey. Maybe that's not the best way to put it. How about, "some distortions are less horrible than others". In past episodes of The Hifi Podcast, Darren and Duncan have talked about complex versus simple distortions, and the fact that simple circ…
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The owner of a very popular U.S. hifi audio cable maker calls hifi audio "a drug." And he's not wrong at all. Think of the yearning to listen after periods of being away from our systems. Think of the teleportation to a different place when everything's clicking. Think of the times we had to bargain, beg and borrow to upgrade to the next best thing…
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When it comes to wave frequencies, sound waves we can hear live near the absolute bottom of any spectrum you wish to peruse. Sound waves are not electromagnetic or radio waves, but to an RF engineer they might as well be “DC.” And sound waves, though different, can in one way or another be affected by these other guys. Radio frequency and electroma…
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For podcast hosts Darren and Duncan, the hifi audio expo Rocky Mountain Audio Festival was more than their "hometown show." Years before the two worked in the industry, the show represented a connection to the whole world of audio, accessible through a portal just down the road. It was as close to audiophile teleportation as it got for the guys. In…
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As a listener, being restricted by a budget is a form of not getting your lunch for free. A designer might look at a single objective as the highest priority -- and then have to perform all kinds of feats to make that happen. A musician may want more sub bass on a mix than is prudent. And on, and on. There are so many examples of places in audio wh…
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When bringing a vintage piece back to its original glory, whether as a DIY project or with the help of a professional, you have to decide if the restoration is going to attempt to use vintage parts from the same era (if that's even a possibility), or whether newer and better components should be used. This is more of a temptation with speakers, as …
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In this episode, the guys talk about harmonic distortion and the difference in sound between a steel beam hitting a concrete floor and a stack of bamboo hitting the same floor. What does a cheaper Class D amplifier have in common with the steel beam? What is negative second order harmonic? And what's so interesting about square waves for measuring …
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When hifi speaker makers offer more than one "flavor" of speaker, it's typically to satisfy both audiophiles who seek more resolution, and those who want a more "fun" speaker. This is a wise move, as neither camp is likely to be swayed by a middle-of-the-road compromise. One of the joys about the audiophile hobby is that you don't have to compromis…
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This week's episode is spurred from a listener question about how The Hifi Podcast hosts Duncan and Darren actually go about shooting out different pieces of gear in a reference system. Some say you should move quickly between A and B to avoid getting caught in biases and to stay within the "auditory memory window"; others suggest taking things slo…
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