Turntable Basics will get you there quickly.
How to set up and use a Music Server that can hold your entire music collection.
How to get started building your Stereo or Home Theater system
or Re-tube Your Music System?
When it comes to our computers, we upgrade regularly, changing to the latest operating system or a faster model with a sexy touch-screen display. We update software and hardware to improve the speed of our machines. We do such upgrades routinely, yet many of us never need the speed we are buying. Sending emails, viewing pictures, surfing the Web, and, even running a music server, do not need ultra speed and power.
If we think historically about video, for many years we knew some TVs were better than others, and we would move up to a better one, but only after many years of owning and watching our older model. The only big change was the advent of color, but it still took many, many years before most users made that change. It wasn't until the dramatic introduction of flat screens, high-definition and 3D displays, and, eventually, ultra-HD that we constantly wanted to keep up by repeatedly buying a better model. Ironically, however, in many cases, the source material quality was not yet up to the level of the hardware.
Then came home theater with first 5 and then 7 loudspeakers to surround the listener with audio to go with the video. This time the technology grew and changed pretty quickly because constant improvements were necessary to get the sound quality to a respectable level. Many people upgraded as the genre advanced from Dolby Prologic to Dolby Digital and, finally, to the Dolby True HD available on current Blu-ray players.
All of those technologies are worthy of upgrades, but many forget about one of the most important, Audio / Stereo. That is the listening experience that transports us to the musical event and puts us in the room with the artist vs. just hearing a radio or low-end stereo. This genre has been improving very dramatically as well, even though it's not quite as visible as the above "gee-whiz" areas of electronics. Both long-term and recent developments have greatly contributed to improvements in both the sound quality and the convenience of audio reproduction, and they are changes that almost everyone can appreciate.
Some people, for a variety of reasons (chief among them probably being nostalgia), have warm and fuzzy feelings about their old and outdated equipment. We get accustomed to what we have been listening to for many years. Then, something of higher quality that is new and different sounding, despite being much more accurate, musical, and revealing, does not sound right to our ears at the first superficial audition. It may take several days or even weeks of immersion in the new sound before our ears can get past what we've been accustomed to and start appreciating the advantages of the new gear. Improvements are made every day in audio. The good companies are far exceeding the sound quality levels of equipment made 10, 15, or 20 years ago. If you are keeping old equipment mainly for sentimental reasons, it is probably time for an upgrade. Many times in our store's history, customers have come in to replace an old component that they loved but which finally wore out and could not be repaired. Almost without exception, their reaction upon hearing and getting used to their new purchase, is that they hadn't realized what they were missing and that they wished the old component had died years ago!
Lately, turntables and vinyl have been at the top of people's want list, more than ever than in the last 15 years. Much of the interest has come from teenagers and young adults who had been told for years how good MP3 files played on iPods and other portable players were. When they finally got a chance to hear a vinyl record or even a quality digital music system / music server playing those MP3 as well as high-definition music files, they were blown away by the sound. Some continue to listen to the same old music files in addition to new and higher quality sources, even though, in some cases, these old files are technically sub-standard recordings. However, they hear what quality in an audio system can do to improve the enjoyment of their music, both high- and mid-fi sources, and they like it a lot.
As mentioned above, turntables are new to some people. Many others, however, still have the Dual, Technics, or Fisher turntable they bought in college and think it's fine. If push comes to shove, their first thought is to put a new cartridge on that old turntable. Often that is throwing good money after bad. Turntable design has made such significant advances in the last couple of decades that those old models are as outdated as a Model T automobile is to a 21st-century car hot off of the assembly line. When you think about it, playing a record requires you to run a hard, sharp, diamond stylus over a record made of very vulnerable plastic with tiny, precise grooves meticulously cut into it. Today we realize this is a very delicate matter, and the turntables are made to handle records and the sounds they make in the best way possible for the price. Furthermore, the advanced materials and design concepts used for resonance control and vibration isolation simply were unknown when those old turntables were manufactured. Be it a $500 or $4000 turntable, modern designs handle the records better and produce better sound with more musicality, feeling, and gutsiness than those older turntables ever could. The result is better sound while your records last much longer. If you are dealing with one of those old turntables, you can have a warm, fuzzy feeling for your old records, but it is time to upgrade that turntable and cartridge. If your turntable is of more recent vintage but has an old cartridge, it's time to upgrade that cartridge. This is not just to improve the sound. The stylus does have a limited lifetime, even if not used often, and may damage your records if not replaced. If the cartridge is more than 5 years old, it needs to be replaced.
So what about the other people out there? Well, many classify themselves as “non-audiophiles” who “can't hear the difference between a good system and a poor one”. We have found, time and again, that "audiophile" or not, 99% of people can easily hear the difference. You should never buy what doesn't make a difference to you, but when, for the sake of $100, $200, or even $500, you hear music that makes you happy, serene, and/or just plain excited, it is certainly worth investigating. If you hear that difference, it is surely time to upgrade.
Gerry relates a story about how his cousin was at Gerry's house about a year ago listening to music. With the stereo on, playing mostly background music, his cousin commented that he could hear the position of each player of a particular group, that the music was smooth, and that he could hear depth in the soundstage. He has been involved with music as a disk jockey in a major market since about 1970, yet this was a revelation to him. He was fascinated by it and loved it because he really likes music, and this was “amazingly enjoyable”. That is what a proper system can do for both Gerry's cousin and for you.
Finally, if you own some of that wonderful-sounding tube equipment, there's the question of when you should re-tube. Tubes have a lifetime based upon hours used, type of tube, circuit, environment, etc. Some last three years and others up to 10 years. A quick and dirty answer is this. If you hear background noise from your speakers that you didn't hear before, it is probably time to re-tube. If it has been three to five years since the tubes were new, it may very well be time to re-tube, depending upon the hours you've put on your equipment. Tubes can be tested, and we can do that for you. You can also, buy a set of new tubes when your equipment is three years old. Then put the new tubes in, and, if you hear no difference, put the old ones back and re-check in six months or a year. New and/or better tubes can make a significant difference.
In summary, if your equipment is over 10 years old, it probably, at least in part, would benefit from an upgrade. Think of why you aren't listening as much or enjoying as much. Is it really time and a hectic lifestyle limiting you, or is it that you can't play your stereo at a low enough volume while the kids are sleeping and still have your music sound involving and musical? Is it simply that at any volume it doesn't really sound better then your car stereo? Do you no longer get excited by your music because what you are listening through is not doing justice to the actual sound track? If you aren't enjoying your music as much as you should, then it is most likely time for an upgrade. Stop in and we will help you decide if an upgrade that is within your budget will make the type of change that will have you thrilling to the music with a big grin on your face. In this crazy world, a big grin is always welcome, and we regularly hear about having put that grin on the faces of our customers.
a PS Audio Dealer
What if you could power your audio or home theater system with absolutely pure, undistorted, well-regulated, and low source impedance 60 Hz AC current instead of the unregulated, high source impedance, distorted and noisy AC power that currently (no pun intended) comes out of your wall outlets? Do you think that might improve your system's performance?
You'd better believe it would!
Line conditioners have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to provide cleaner AC for your system by filtering out radio frequency noise and other forms of contamination, but PS Audio has a better way to do this with their three Power Plant models, the P3, P5, and P10.
These products are not classic line conditioners but rather are power regenerators. They take the poor quality AC that comes out of your wall outlet and immediately convert it to DC. Since DC is, by definition, zero Hz, it cannot contain any distortion or high frequency contamination, and all such spurious contamination is completely gone. The pure DC is then used by the amplification circuitry contained within the Power Plant to produce, right in your listening room, the highest possible quality AC, 60 Hz, high-current power needed to run your system. This freshly-generated, pure power is made available to your system via the power outlets on the back of the unit.
The P10 ($4995) is PS Audio's most advanced model and provides up to 1500 watts of regenerated power to 10 outlets in 5 isolated zones. With your system powered directly from the pure output of the P10, dynamics and openness are breathtaking. New voices, new harmonics and a renewed sense of musicality are yours the moment the P10 starts up.
The P5 ($3495), PS Audio's most popular model, provides up to 1250 watts of regenerated power into 4 isolated zones and 8 outlets. Its performance is very similar to the P10, and it is more than adequate for any but the largest systems.
Both models have a built-in oscilloscope, distortion analyzer, and full color touch screen on the front panel to give you the ultimate in control. You can view both the incoming and outgoing AC wave forms to see how much distortion is being reduced. You can control various aspects of each zone such as how and when a zone powers up, and you can even control the power plant via the Internet and a web browser.
Their newest and most affordable model is the P3 ($2495) which provides up to 750 watts of regenerated power into three zones of 6 outlets. In addition, there is a fourth pair of filtered (but not regenerated) outlets for very large power amplifiers. The P3 can power most small and medium size systems using only the 6 regenerated outlets but also allows the user to employ very large power amplifiers or subwoofers. These can be plugged into the filtered outlets without overloading the regeneration circuitry. While the P3 does not feature a touch screen it does have the exact same feature set as the P5 and P10 using its built in web access portal.
Here's what one of our best customers, Jack Foley, said after installing his new P5:
While waxing enthusiastic about the Power Plants, we shouldn't forget to mention that PS Audio also produces several other high-end and very respected audio components. These include the GCPH phono preamplifier ($1000), the PWT Perfect Wave CD Transport ($3995), and two USB Digital-to-Analog Converters (USB DACs), the Digital Link III ($800) and the PWD II Perfect Wave DAC ($3995). You can read more about these excellent products on the PS Audio website.
Totem Acoustic Dealer
Hear are a few of the factors that contribute to the performance of Totem Acoustic products:
If all of this is starting to make you think that Totem Acoustic loudspeakers are something very special, then you're beginning to get the idea. The quantity of involving sound that comes out of these slim, compact, and elegant designs must be heard. We welcome everyone in for an audition and a very enjoyable experience!
For complete descriptions of all of the Totem Acoustic models, please visit their website at:
Totem Acoustic loudspeakers start at a modest $525 per pair. You can find pricing information for all of their models on our website by going to the Loudspeakers page.
at Audio Nexus
Ever wondered how much improvement new interconnects, speaker cables, or power cords would really make in your system? Ever been told that audiophile cables really don't matter? Now it's time to learn the truth for yourself.
To help you answer these questions, we have started a special, limited time cable loan program, in cooperation with Kimber kable. We have obtained a wide selection of loaner cables you can try at home with absolutely no obligation to buy. We want you to take these cables home and listen at leisure, in your own system, to see just how much difference truly excellent cables can make. If you like what you hear and want to own the cables for your self, we'll order brand new ones for you. If not, just bring them back, no questions asked.
If you don't live close enough to come in, we'll be glad to ship the loaners to you. All you have to do is cover the shipping charges.
Call us or come in to reserve your home audition cables today. If you need more information on the various Kimber kable models, just give us a call or come into the store.
a PrimaLuna Partner/Dealer
One of the hardest and yet most important tasks we undertake at Audio Nexus is our continual search for affordably-priced products that offer true, audiophile performance. Beyond that, of course, we want these products to look good and be reliable. Those of you who follow the audiophile press have probably noticed that one such brand, PrimaLuna, has been garnering effusive praise and a plethora of astonishing reviews all over the world for the last few years. There have also been numerous awards such as "Product of the Year for 2006" from The Absolute Sound for the ProLogue Six mono-block power amplifiers and "Class B Recommended Component" from Stereophile for the ProLogue One integrated amplifier, the ProLogue 3 preamplifier, and the ProLogue 7 mono-block amplifiers.
Recently, PrimaLuna has decided to add to its distribution by forming partnerships with a very limited number of U. S. dealers so that customers will have the opportunity to audition and purchase these magnificent products from a local dealer. It is our great pleasure to announce that, after over a year of negotiation, we have been named the exclusive dealer for PrimaLuna sales in New Jersey!
The driving force behind PrimaLuna, a Dutch company, is Herman van den Dungen. He has created a line of preamplifiers, integrated amplifiers, and power amplifiers that sound terrific, are amazingly reliable, and are built to a quality standard that is rarely matched by even some of the most expensive components out there. To top all of this, the PrimaLuna products are surpassingly attractive. They have neat, clean lines, superb fit and finish, and are decked out with a high gloss finish consisting of 5 coats of hand-polished lacquer. They are very pretty pieces! There are four integrated amplifiers (ProLogue One, ProLogue Two, DiaLogue One, DiaLogue Two), a preamplifier (ProLogue Three), four stereo power amplifiers (ProLogue Four, ProLogue Five, DiaLogue Four, DiaLogue Five), four sets of mono-block power amplifiers (ProLogue Six, ProLogue Seven, DiaLogue Six, DiaLogue Seven), and a tube CD player (ProLogue Eight). In addition, any of the integrated amplifiers or the preamplifier can be fitted with a built-in phono preamplifier. Please visit our Products page for pricing information.
Here are some of the seminal features incorporated into the PrimaLuna line:
Here's what one of our customers wrote to us two days after picking up his brand new PrimaLuna ProLogue Two:
I just want to let you know that the Prima Luna Prologue 2 has far exceeded my expectations. Not just mine but also my wife's. It is as if filters and coloration have been removed and the full 'bandwidth' and nuance of the music are now flowing out of the speakers in an effortless sort of way. There are voices behind voices, harmonies underneath harmonies, sub tones and whispers that just were not part of our listening experience before. There is an uncanny sense of dimension, clarity and balance. All of this is amazing since it is experienced with my existing low-budget DVD player and record player, and the amp is not yet broken in. I never thought that a good quality amp would offer such an immediate and profound improvement. A friend of mine who has a good system came for a listen and was blown away - he actually called me yesterday to tell me that he is now depressed when he listens to his system. Any, way, I thought that I would share this with you and thank you for making this wonderful component available.--L. S., Teaneck, NJ
The point is that you get all of this construction quality and all of that great sound in products ranging from only $1375 to $3150. Please come down to audition these remarkable products, and we think you'll be as impressed as we are. For more information, please visit:
To view the massive list of exceptional PrimaLuna reviews, please go to:
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