How to Get the Most from Digital Music

A Computer, Digital to Analog Converter (DAC,) and headphones can get you started But how do you source enough music you really want to hear?

A Computer, Digital to Analog Converter (DAC,) and headphones can get you started But how do you source enough music you really want to hear?

Computer audio delivers easy, low-cost alternatives to obsolete analog music source technologies, offering higher fidelity, greater portability, massive music library capacity, and easy music management, including affordable wireless music throughout your home or business.  Digital music technology keeps thriving and growing despite slow audio market conditions. What we used to call “computer speakers” have evolved into full-fledged Hi-Fi audio systems that achieve a high-end listening experience at all-time-low, affordable costs.  

Computer-based music technology improves your whole listening experience, offering –

  • Music quality that sounds closer to performances
  • Fast and easy music storage, selection, and playback 
  • Affordable music and component costs
  • Playback mobility with speakers or headphones
  • Gigantic streaming libraries with vast selection

 Many early adopters are convinced computer audio has become the best Hi-Fi music technology ever and not just for listening with ear buds from a phone, tablet, or dedicated player.  New digital audio systems bring excitement and some growth in a generally stagnant industry. Geek Audio, Sony, TEAC, NAD, iFi (from AMR,) Audioengine, and other significant brands are introducing new generations of digital components.  Some brands generate entire product lines to test this emerging sub-market and claim a slice of computer audio business. 

Although the audio gear has passed a tipping point, listeners (and sales) are constrained by an archaic music distribution model.  Economical access to high-res recordings lags behind growing demand.  Computer audio obsoletes physical media -- the legacy spinning plastic LPs and CDs. Yet Big Media’s piracy paranoia and profit-hungry price control strategies apply brakes to music sales. Many enthusiasts are challenged to acquire enough digital-format files to keep their audio systems playing despite the variety of excellent audio gear becoming available to this active new market sector.

Music distribution could match newer, more compact audio systems with better, lower-cost access to high quality music files.  That strategy would heat up audio sales and drive increasing vitality throughout the whole audio ecosystem but distributors want to keep music prices high long after production costs and sizable profits are captured.  The lure of making a piece of media once and re-selling it forever has to be hard to resist.

Until music distribution improves, we need a strategy that works.  Many savvy buyers have moved beyond reflexively paying a dollar per song.  You can get streaming access that sounds quite good thanks to the Ogg Vorbis format on Spotify.com, my current favorite streaming site.  This is a great strategy for exploring new music and expanding your library.

Excellent-sounding powered speakers will put real ih-fi in your whole room

Excellent-sounding powered speakers will put real ih-fi in your whole room

The Typical Legal Option

Present legal music choices are limited to tactics like transcribing LPs and “ripping” CDs – converting the music you can access on plastic to digital files.  With good process and technique, nothing is lost in translation.  In fact, digital files can be enhanced during transcription to produce a superior listening experience. 

Collectors who have the stamina and the right gear can acquire LP records and CDs, re-record the music digitally, and then resell the hard media to recover some cost if you can find buyers for the plastic.  In this way, you can generate a growing music file library and acquire some recordings of excellent performances.  But it's hard work.
 
Vinyl LP-sourced music can be enhanced and stabilized so it stops suffering from scratches, dust, dings, an wear.  Quality USB turntables an be found at affordable prices.  Good transcription software removes the surface noise and any need for RIAA equalization during every playback.  Issues with turntables, cartridges, record wear and maintenance, etc., instantly go away.  You can always keep the vinyl and jackets in storage.  A lot of album art is available digitally now and can be added to certain file formats.

Some CD ripping software includes access to “extra” musical data that is usually lopped off by filtering during standard CD playback.  Due to acoustic energy interactions, even sound that is far beyond the human hearing range affects audio playback in any listening room.  So everything recorded is part of the performance whether audible or not. Musical fidelity rises audibly when this hidden music data is up-sampled into 24-bit hi-res formats.  Unfortunately, the "Exact Audio Copy" software only runs on PCs but there is a good (also free) alternative discussed HERE -- called "X Lossless Decoder."

However, CD-ripping, even with format conversion, doesn’t provide access to enough new music to satisfy most listeners.  Transcription is a slow, arduous process in bulk quantities.  When I switched to digital, I started ripping my way through my CD library.  Discovering how much work is involved, I fatigued after a few dozen CD's and started seriously exploring streaming music.  Now some friends own my library of plastic and I listen to digital files exclusively, one way or the other.

More Legal Options

Purchase Digital Music Files – I haven’t discovered any physical retail stores offering digital format music.  Sales seem to happen just online via download.  There are many sources on the web, including Linn Music, HD Tracks, and Qobuz.com.  However, these may be far too pricey for your home audio budget at up to $25 or more per 24-bit digital album.  Lower resolutions cost less and 16-bit may be acceptable for some music.  However, we can stream unlimited music for 2 to 3 months non-stop for the typical cost of a single 24 bit digital album file. The music available in this form is quite limited.

Download Free Files Online – A dedicated, resourceful and skilled web researcher can find many scattered caches of free high-res music files all around the Internet.  A few are listed on iHi-Fi.com.  You may even find you enjoy ferreting out free music files, downloading, and trading with friends to build up your library.

The issues to consider are selection and convenience.  Free music you can find is very limited so this really isn’t shopping.  It’s more like archeology -- collecting discoveries you dig up.  You may experience searching as I do – too frustrating.  You can find a lot of old jazz, folk music, and new indie musicians trying to make it but it's hard to find what you are really looking for, music that matches your tastes and preferences.  I have difficulty settling for less than what I really want to hear. 

Stream Music Instead of Buying – With on-demand streaming, we’re talking stupefying mega-selection and satisfaction for any musical taste at very low cost.  I greatly value the option to save music to my devices for offline play.  You just queue up music you want to hear later and it copies down as you listen to other streaming files.

The greatest advantage of streaming is how it can expand your listening horizons.  Searching for artists or genres usually turns up music you want to hear.  You'll want to add lots of new artists to your favorites.  You won't even scratch the surface of what’s available streaming in many months of daily listening.  

However, the trade-off may often be to lower fidelity, the best common quality being compressed 320 Kbps CBR Mp3.  Such a lossy format produces an audibly inferior listening experience compared to 16-bit/44.1 KHz true CD quality, and above.  However, it exceeds most lossy music downloads presently available at commodity prices.  Some folks find 320 KB Mp3 music passible for casual or background listening.  Tolerating some of this quality can part of the streaming experience.  

On Qobuz.com (from France,) I find more higher-fidelity music. I often locate 16-bit music I can stream or save to my device but I’m often confronted with pressure to buy overpriced files.  Most selections I would like to hear in 24-bit formats are blocked except for file purchase.  In the end, this site is too full of sales traps to be conveniently useful and too annoying to tolerate, long-term.

There are also some radio-style streaming sources that don’t allow music selection beyond genre preferences.  These hold little interest for more serious and adventurous listeners who like to engage deeply and explore for new finds.  For that, you need the advantages of on-demand music streaming and a great suggestion function based on your listening habits.  MOG.com had that previously and now Spotify.com still offers something comparable though it lacks the genre breakdowns that MOG.com had.

So far in my exploring, Spotify.com is the bright spot.  It definitely sounds a cut above on my gear and in my ear.  I maintain a library of selected 24-bit reference quality files in parallel.

Outside the Law

Supplemental Music File Sources – Let’s stay real and admit many listeners feel driven to step outside the law to overcome the general lack of selection in affordable, high resolution, yet convenient music.  Some listeners hold “backup libraries” of their friends’ audio files.  Of course, these caches require “periodic review and validation” via playback.  

While we’re getting honest, let’s also admit many listeners know what "bit torrents" are and some resort to them.  I only support legal listening.  Yet I deplore the distribution industry's inability to step up to the utility and economy of streaming at higher fidelity.  Instead, they use IP rights to hold high-res music we want hostage until we pay a ransom.  I believe this practice does not help the rights owners as much as it holds them back.  There's an underlying fallacy that supporting inflated prices will make more money.  What is really needed is for artists to become more popular.  For that, one must study the strategies of The Grateful Dead.

Big Media’s current policies and archaic business model are causing the music piracy black market to flourish.  Pirate music will lose appeal when affordable, desirable music becomes conveniently available legally. 

A wireless DAC sends music across the room or through the whole house or office

A wireless DAC sends music across the room or through the whole house or office

Summary

What serious listeners really want is simple and obvious – a rich, rewarding, no-hassle experience of music you can afford to indulge in all day.  This musical experience includes variety, choice, convenience, immediacy, quality, discovery, and low cost.

  • Variety – access to all musical genres in a giant database with excellent discovery tools for finding new music
  • Choice – self-determined selection of music files on-demand, with genre-based streaming as a selection but not the only listening mode
  • Convenience – fast and simple music selection and playback, with encrypted file downloading for offline playback
  • Immediacy – a here-and-now streaming experience, not waiting for downloads
  • Quality in music and delivery –
    • Selectable file densities up to 24 bit master file formats
    • Continuous streaming without annoying gaps, noise, dropouts, etc.
    • Accessible through an attractive, intuitive interface
  • Discovery -- technology that suggests more of whatever you like
  • Low Cost – Something like $10 per subscription month satisfies the masses yet enables gigantic profits when a cloud based system implements delivery at scale.  

With transcription, you only get your own library plus any music you can borrow, at the fidelity recorded, or somewhat enhanced.  However, it’s so much continuous work to acquire and transcribe enough music, it’s impractical.  If you already have the players and plastic, the better course may be to go with a hybrid approach combining analog sources for legacy media and digital sources for new library additions.

With purchased music files, you can get superb fidelity, quality, and some selection, but price gouging rules. Downloading delay is also required.  At some affordable price point, buying music starts to make sense but that level is far below current typical asking prices for denser files.  If you're willing to pay and don't mind the hassle, this works for acquiring "reference music."

With free files, some are out there but their provenance is uncertain and downloading is more effort than I’m willing to sustain even when the files are free.  Not to mention you can only get what you happen to find rather than what you want.  If you’re like me, you’ll want to select something wonderful, listen soon, and get it playing with minimal fuss and bother.

Conclusion

Music piracy is the market’s response to present distribution schemes and pricing.  Until music distribution modernizes and gets real about what consumers want to pay and the limited effect of holding price lines, we have limited means available for personal music acquisition, even if we step outside the law.  When and if Big Media learns to out-pirate the music pirates by selling low enough, we’ll have legal sources for all the digital music we want at good prices and with easy access.  It’s probably inevitable but when?

The stupefying variety of streaming music compensates for the shortcomings.  With on-demand streaming, you get the best overall compromise from sites like Spotify.com.  There are many more streaming sites of variable quality.  You can find more options at DreamStreaming.info. The ability to mimic typical music downloads is a big plus -- when you can save encrypted music to your device without paying to own the files.  As long as you are subscribed you can still play saved files.  You just can't copy or re-sell them which seems like a great IP rights-satisfying solution to me.

At present, for all but the most discerning listening, one option still stands out -- online streaming audio.  Spotify is the best streaming experience I've found and quite satisfying for exploration and discovery.  Augment your streaming with a superb, smaller collection of select high-res files and try to get by until a day when the IP rights holders stop hoping Big Media will make them rich despite lacking talent and without doing the touring work to become popular.


Originals Audio Furniture Designs By iHi-Fi

Covet Them For Their Looks . . .
                          Love Them For Their Sound

Do you appreciate audio that sounds very much like original performances?  Our audio furniture adds stellar styling to your listening ambience, as it shows off your taste in electronics, while enabling peak experiences of audio and video. We create iHi-Fi's Acoustic Response Originals in response to crowdsource fans to help you fully savor the best returns from your audio investment.

At iHi-Fi, we design and build timeless fine furniture for music lovers.  Extensive options enable you to easily personalize any standard design to match your preferences.  Our collections include Audio Racks, Consoles, Platforms, Speaker Stands, and Entertainment Centers.  All our Originals designs are continually available.  A few Special Editions are soul mates for specific models of advanced audio gear.  Some pieces may be available from stock, pre-built from time to time. 

The iHi-Fi Masiv Audio Rack with fascias option and matching custom Masiv Speaker Stands

If you choose to customize a piece and have it built-to-order, then our team of metal smiths and master furniture makers get right to work.  Under our watchful eyes, our team makes your pieces just as you want them.  We keep you posted on progress. When your build is complete, you'll enjoy owning a visual and acoustic marvel that you helped create.

Originals display your audio system handsomely as they also achieve a higher purpose.  This Acoustic Response furniture supports the very best music any audio components and speakers can possibly produce, no matter what technologies or features your system includes. Even if you believe your audio system is reaching peak performance, the beauty and versatility of iHi-Fi Originals are reason enough to covet them.  Perhaps you might hear a pleasant surprise.

What's great for music is also good for video.  Originals technology also helps your flat screen TV render a sharper, clearer picture with more vibrant and realistic colors. 

You may think, "How could mere furniture make music and video better?"  The short answer is, "We build-in several beneficial technologies."

Acoustic Response Technologies

Ordinary audio furniture is simply styled for the masses at a given price point.  We style the Originals remarkably as we engineer each design to improve both sound and picture and last through the ages. 

If you have an eye for finely-built furnishings, the Originals' visual impact speaks for itself.  Yet these pieces are so much more than eye candy.  Do you have an ear for music, some great recordings, and a high-fidelity audio system?  Then you may hear your music sound more like live performances than ever before, when you simply move your audio gear to Originals furniture.  The improvement depends on how much your audio was being compromised, pre-Acoustic Response.

Our performance technologies include --

•    Mass grounding 
•    Select, premium materials
•    Resonance suppression
•    Polymeric anti-vibration damping

The Masiv speaker stand design typifies elegance customizable to match your audio system

Originals Amplify Your Listening Pleasure

We don't feel satisfied with a new design until we craft handsome looks and engineer significant performance enhancement.  We crowdsource cream-of-the-crop features to assure we're harvesting the best design solutions from audio lovers.  The following built-in features improve your sound and picture.  You get all these benefits when you wisely select any iHi-Fi Originals design.

~  Mass Grounding -- Ironically, mass-market designs uniformly lack sufficient mass.  Your music suffers when your sensitive electronic components shake, even imperceptibly. Testing proves quality components sound audibly better the more still they remain. We build heavily enough to provide your audio gear inertia to stay firmly anchored all through the storms of vibration it weathers.

Your speakers, in particular, simply generate sound more accurately when moored to a solid base. If speakers have firm ground to push and pull against,  then their mechanical sound transducers more accurately track the amplified recordings' power waveforms, because less sonic information is corrupted or lost due to extra motion.

~  Select Premium Materials -- We build with the right materials to work best for audio and video --

•  Some wood species naturally sound better than most others.  Do you put audio performance first?  Choose from our many beautiful woods to achieve your desired look and better sound simply comes with that.  Our standard construction uses the best-sounding audio wood of all, Birch multi-ply.  For great looks along with peak audio, select Birch-cored construction, then choose outer laminations of your favorite hardwood.  The cross-laminated core is brutally strong and dimensionally stable.  The exposed edge detail displays a trending architectural feature. This material sounds as beautiful as it looks.

•  We offer traditionalists and purists solid wood -- end-blocked, plank, or butcher block construction with that deep, luscious luster of a fine finish on face grain. To make your Originals selection resemble furniture you already have, select your favored species from at least a dozen of the most popular fine-furniture hardwoods. You won't lose much because you still have our other features working for better sound. Wood being a work of nature, expect "matches" to look compatible but not exact.

•  Our acoustic dampers are made from proven silicone polymer formulations, molecular-engineered specifically to suppress vibration efficiently and economically.  These dampers are not especially weight-sensitive.  They are much easier to implement and adjust, more effective, more compact, and virtually invisible, compared to clunky audio spikes or two-dimensional roller blocks.

•  Our silicones are stable. This avoids issues with vinyl-based material, like oozing, staining and weight limits. We hide our dampers inside the furniture's structures but if you look, you can find them.  They do not introduce rogue resonances as rubbery products do. 

•  We build with extruded frame stock made of tempered aluminum alloy (6105-T5).  The artfully revealed metal finish resembles an Apple laptop or a Halliburton briefcase.  Our frames are about as strong as steel but easier to fabricate.  They are rigid, yet hollow -- ready to be filled with loose, granular ballast.

•  We use only the highest quality fittings, stainless hex socket cap screws, and plated, tempered steel machine nuts.

~ Resonance Suppression -- You hear better music if your audio furniture doesn’t “sing along." So we avoid designing-in resonant spaces.  When enclosing space is unavoidable, we fill hollows with materials that prevent rogue resonance.

~ Vibration Damping -- Our proven, polymer-based anti-vibration technology counteracts losses from stray vibration that would mechanically interact with your music's analog waveforms as they are amplified and drive your speakers.  Damping sustains the transduced physical impulses in the shape that more faithfully represents the original recording that generates them.  Hence, better music.

We decouple the entire furniture piece from the floor.  Also, each shelf is isolated from the frame.  This arrangement cuts off structure-borne stray energy flowing between components or coming in from other sources.  Then you enjoy clearer, more authentic-sounding music and sharper video with more natural colors.

The iHi-Fi IsoVybra Audio Rack with Wood Base and matching custom Speaker Stands

Expect Brilliant Results 

Originals technology does not alter your sound or picture.  A veil of interfering rogue energy is simply subtracted. The restored realism transcends ordinary playback as your electronic systems finally achieve all they were meant to do, in the best renditions of recorded performances you’ll enjoy from them.

Results vary, depending on how much your music was compromised and how well listeners hear and see details.  Even untrained listeners sense new things in familiar recordings -- greater detail, better clarity, smoothness, and realism, and richer, better-defined highs, midrange and bass.  What’s good for audio also helps video sharpness and color rendering.

Audio enthusiasts with virtuoso listening skills may perceive a breathtaking elevation of music quality.  Every attribute music aficionados consider meaningful typically improves when fatiguing "audio grunge" is mechanically deleted -- from soundstage, to instrument timbres, to musical speed and accuracy, detail, spatial placement, and presence.  

No electronics are used.  Originals Acoustic Response designs include no boxes or wires.  The magic is built into the furniture, through and through.

The "nude" IsoVybra Audio Rack demonstrates a more technical or Industrial styling achievable sans optional wood trim.

We confidently predict --

•  You'll feel proud to display your audio and A/V systems on gorgeous furnishings of the Originals caliber.

•  You’ll appreciate the premium hardwood-and-metal look, fine furniture finishes, and master craftsmanship that emphasizes any wood’s organic beauty and individual character.

•  You’ll feel astounded and delighted to finally hear how good the system you already have can sound once even subtle rogue resonance and intangible stray vibration are removed to restore musical integrity. 

•  When listening analytically, you’ll sense an enrichment every audio lover yearns for -- music that sounds more faithful to original performances. When you move your gear onto Originals, we suggest two comparisons of your room's sound against high-quality headphone listening.  Use the same music in both trials -- one trial with your old setup and one after setup on your new furniture.  This should help you perceive what is being accomplished.

•    Your new sound will transcend listening fatigue.  You'll be able to listen longer and more often.

•    The better your sound system's quality, the more you'll feast your senses on fabulous music.  You will never again be satisfied with commonplace audio furnishings once you experience your audio and video gear looking fabulous and acting properly decoupled on Originals furniture.  

•    Your friends will be impressed.  If you owned a pyramid, Originals designs would belong inside it one day.  Timelessly styled, and engineered per the laws of sound physics, they never go out of style or become obsolete.  These are heirlooms, the pieces your children will squabble over most.
 
You're invited to indicate interest any time.  Please use the online form -- CLICK HERE.  Simply say what you'd like to start a conversation about the possibilities.  

Or just share what you think so we can keep on getting better.

Click Here to Comment

Intellectual Property Rights Notice

 All iHi-Fi Originals product designs, design documentation, and related marketing materials, including physical parts, assemblies, images, engineering drawings, brand names, identity marks, and website content, are original creative works of Joseph Riden Design.  This intellectual property is protected by US and international copyright and trademark laws.  iHi-Fi Originals design concepts may not be sold, bartered, traded, manufactured, reproduced, transmitted, copied, or stored in a public document retrieval system; nor may derivative works be made, without explicit written permission from the owner. Contact Joseph Riden via iHi-Fi.com to obtain licensing.

On a case by case basis, permission may be granted to an individual to create single instances of requested iHi-Fi Originals designs for their own personal enjoyment, providing they do not transfer their works to any other person or organization, or accept payment or compensation of any kind for their copy.

Improved Contacts Sound Better

  DeoxIT® Gold G100L Brush Applicator, 100% solution, 7.4 mL  

 

DeoxIT® Gold G100L Brush Applicator, 100% solution, 7.4 mL

 

Here we go again -- another simple and cheap improvement that makes all your music sound better, possibly way better, no matter how humble or grandiose your audio gear may be.  I was listening to some piano stylings by Fabrizio Paterlini when I heard this little crackle happening in the higher, softer passages.  What a spoiler when I wanted nothing to intrude on the experience.

I ordered what proves to be a new secret weapon in the war on audio grunge.  I was rearranging my listening room anyway, which meant pulling my system apart. So while I was re-connecting all the wires, I applied this contact enhancer fluid from an established producer who has a great reputation for results.  I felt skeptical but hopeful that it would chase the crackles away.

I brushed a thin film of this golden fluid, which very mildly smells a like an oil of some kind, onto each and every signal and power connection during the re-setup -- digital, analog, DC, AC, every connector contact.  The instructions assured me this product can be used on any and every kind of electrical power or electronic signal connector, emphasizing that it is OK on circuit boards and plastics.

At this moment, I’m replaying the same Paterlini music that had broken up subtly before.  Now it’s crystal clear.  No crackles! Revenge is mine.  However, that’s not the end of this happy-ending story.  I’m going through a lot of different kinds of music now and -- oh, wow.  This is one of those little wonders that suddenly makes everything better.  

And I do mean e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.  Musical timbres, speed, articulation, soundstage, clarity . . . everything I listen for is improved again and not just slightly.  I was dissatisfied with some soft highs in very subtle piano solo passages and the payoff for fixing the little crackles also helps 60’s rock and roll, electronic works, solo guitar. . . The works.

Not long ago, I started listening to Hang artists like Danny Cudd, David Charrier, and Dante Bucci.  What an interesting new instrument they play.  It's kind of a scaled-down, reworked, lap-sized Steel Drum.  It looks like an upside-down wok with dimples in it.  Or maybe a UFO.  It has a most interesting and complex set of timbres.  It blends well with other percussion.  I’m now hearing additional timbral qualities and signature timbral components that have been enabled by the improved signal path all the way through the system from sources to speakers. I'm almost ready to put some of this fluid in my ears.  But no, not quite.

Front row: Ghatam (right) and the first idea of the Hang from November 1999 (left); second row: first generation Hang built 2005 (right), second generation Hang built 2006 (middle), second generation Hang built 2007 (left) Michael Paschko www.hangblog.org

Front row: Ghatam (right) and the first idea of the Hang from November 1999 (left); second row: first generation Hang built 2005 (right), second generation Hang built 2006 (middle), second generation Hang built 2007 (left)

Michael Paschko www.hangblog.org

Sometimes an improvement sounds like more music is getting out of a system.  Like with a amp power increase.  What I’m hearing now may be the result of getting more into the system on the low-voltage front end, which is especially susceptible to restive connector contacts.  I think more music is getting through the system as well.  Bass also sounds faster and more crisp and lively than ever before.  Percussion and symbols sound holographic now.

Adam Hurst, the renowned concert cellist, has become a legend by working the cello’s timbral nuances in his expressions, producing some of the most emotional music I’ve found.  Now I hear more depth and breadth of expression than ever before in Hurst's Elegy, with every part of every note cleanly sounded no matter how he tortures his cello to make it weep.

If you have an audio system that runs on electricity, you might want to consider investing a couple hours in totally disconnecting the wiring and re-connecting it while treating every single connection, from the 30-pin connector on your iPad to the speaker power terminals and wall plugs. 

You’ll love this contact enhancer if you care how music sounds and like big improvements in your music, across the board, cheaply and easily.  It only takes a little extra resistance in audio connections to degrade your music.  Contact enhancement works, yes it does, and it’s quite easy to do. Simply brush it on the contacts sparingly, then cycle the connector few times.  You’ll probably notice connectors plug in more easily, with lighter pressure.

The particular product I use is G Series Deoxit Gold from CAIG labs -- www.caig.com.  Which is not to say that other products don't work. This fluid  is the one that reviewed best among several choices during my web research before ordering. It appears to be "the kind."

I paid $32.95 plus shipping for a small bottle (7.4 ml) of 100% concentrate with a handy brush applicator cap.  At the end of my treatment of 5 audio components and two sets of speakers, I could barely see that any liquid had been taken from the bottle.  I may be able to pass this on to my heirs.

It only takes a little schmutz to make an analog or digital signal contact resistive and spoil your listening experience.  Fortunately, it only takes a little contact enhancer to clear that up for a long time.  What you get for the effort will most likely be far more than your cost and effort.

In case you're wondering, I don't sell this contact enhancer or have any connection with CAIG labs.  I'm just glad I found this great little problem-solver and want to pass on the good news.

Enjoy the Listening.

iHi-Fi.com is your online high-end audio store.  Shop from anywhere in the USA without leaving home.  Receive expert advice and audition whatever you buy with return and refund privileges. All the computer audio gear at iHi-Fi.com delivers exceptional to stunning performance at value prices. Authorized Dealer for Audioengine, Acoustic System International, Bravo Audio, and HighEnd Novum.   Custom Audio Furnishings design, manufacture, distribution and sales.