FREE New Edition of iHi-Fi Audio Setup Guide

An example upgraded image from iASG's new edition, discussed below.

Get your FREE copy of the new, revised Kindle Edition of iHi-Fi Audio Setup Guide (iASG) on  It's free on "Black Sunday," 11/29, and on Cyber Monday, 11/30.  The new edition was substantially improved by editing the images and increasing the image count.  Several key additions, corrections, and clarifications in the text also improved the e-book's already unique value.  Also, the formatting was totally upgraded from "excellent" to "stellar."

If you don't have your free iASG copy yet, please take advantage of this promotion.  The iHi-Fi Audio Setup Guide sets a new standard for books about Hi-Fi audio system setup.  Technically current ideas illustrate a value-forward, yet uncompromising way to think about Hi-Fi audio at the system level to squeeze out all the best musical performance possible from any audio system -- even the one you already have.  

Before you spend for one or more costly new audio components, why not learn how to maximize the music you are getting, or will get, from any Hi-Fi system you ever own?  Setup is easy and fun, and the potential musical gains are large, compared to the cost and effort required.  Why not make your music sound more like original performances?

If you already have the old, superseded version of iASG, don't feel left out.  Amazon does not automatically push a new edition to your reader device.  However, book owners can upgrade to the new edition free.  

Simply go to your Kindle management settings on and prompt the giant retailer to "Deliver" the book to you again.  The new edition will be provided instantly to your selected reading devices.  One caution, though -- any existing bookmarks, settings, or annotations may be affected.  You may want to copy out and save them.

When I did the upgrade delivery myself, the old and new editions remained separate and intact but the folks at Kindle Direct Publishing specifically warned me about possible annotation losses when I asked them to push the new edition to all Readers who have acquired the book.  I predict virtually any reader who already has the book will gladly risk losing a few notes and bookmarks to get the gorgeous new illustrations like the ones shown in this article.

Enjoy your new iASG book from Kindle. While you're at it, please check out the value-laden sale on, for select Audioengine products (the first such sale in history.)  It's my way of saying thanks for your support.  Not only can you get deals on gear, you can also enjoy our streaming HD music promotion if you get ANY Audioengine item during the sale period, which ends at midnight on Cyber Monday.  So don't dawdle.

Get iHi-Fi's 90-day High Fidelity music streaming subscription, a $60 value, for free with a purchase that meets the conditions.

Get iHi-Fi's 90-day High Fidelity music streaming subscription, a $60 value, for free with a purchase that meets the conditions.

The high resolution premium music stream sounds absolutely fabulous.  It blurs any perceived gap with other forms of music source like vinyl LPs, CDs, and locally-stored digital files.  When up-sampled in the Audioengine D2 24-bit DAC, TIDAL High Fidelity music sounds indistinguishable from performances on my Audioengine-based "Test System" described in the iASG.

See for yourself with zero risk. Enjoy your improved music.

-- Joseph Riden, Author of iHi-Fi Audio Setup Guide



Update: Kindle E-book -- iHi-Fi Audio Setup Guide

just the facts about how to get the best sound that any audio system can play.

just the facts about how to get the best sound that any audio system can play.

New Update Posted 10/10/15

Now # 10 on Amazon

This new Kindle book about audio system tuning has reached a popularity rank of #10 in its primary category on Amazon.  Being number ten may not seem so great until you consider where it started at number gazillion, right at the bottom, 2 weeks ago.  Audience acceptance is clearly excellent considering the star rating is hovering around 4.5.

Get your copy now and begin to experience how great the Hi-Fi system you already have can sound when you set up your system per audio best practices.  System performance tuning is highly rewarding when you know exactly what to do and how to avoid many common errors.

If you have been wishing there was a paperback, your wait is nearly over.  The paperback format with enhanced images is in process and will be released and announced here soon.  To get automatic notifications, why not subscribe to this website using the SUBSCRIBE link in the blue navigation bar below the big image at the top of each page?

Thanks to all who have helped to make this publication a success.  Enjoy your enhanced music!

New Update Posted 10/2/2015

After over 50 free downloads and 3 sales, all in 3 days, this new Kindle book is doing well.  Five reviews exist and the average is over 4.5 stars out of five.  If you'd like to learn about how you can easily and affordably make the audio system you already have sound as good as it can, grab a copy and dig in.  It's less than 100 pages including images so it's a quick read but you'll gain much more than it costs you in time and cash.  

Only $2.99 on Amazon or borrow it out of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library free.

If you have been waiting for the print version, it won't be long now until that is ready.  Print book formatting is in progress so the paper edition's launch is imminent.  I'll announce again when it's ready.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to all who have reviewed this book.  If you secured one of the free copies, please remember to post your review on the book's Kindle page when you are ready.  Even a one-liner will do.

I hope you enjoy your upgraded music,


Update posted on 9/22/2015

This free Kindle e-book offer has gone live on Amazon.  For the next 3 days (today, 9/22 through the day after tomorrow, 9/24) anyone can get this title for zero cost by logging into Amazon and finding it under Books.  The ASIN is B014TULXXO or you can search by title.  When you land on the book's Amazon page, note the price is $0.00 during the promotion period.  Simply follow through with a no-cost "purchase" and you'll get the Kindle edition FREE.

Amazon offers free apps that enable you to read a Kindle e-book an any computer, phone, or tablet.  Click the link on the book's page to get the app for your device.

If your friends would like a copy as well, please send them an email with a link to this post or to the Amazon book page for this title.

When you have read enough to gauge the reading experience, please leave an honest review on Amazon.  Your review will help spread the word and help me get this book out to the audio community.  Thanks in advance for your interest and for your feedback.  If you have questions, comments, or concerns, by all means please email me using the Contact form on this website.

Happy reading and system tuning!

Joseph Riden

My new Kindle book about audio system setup is chock full of details that reward a listener far beyond the effort and cash required to implement them.  It will soon launch on Amazon.  It's about doing things that help achieve the best-sounding music any given Hi-Fi system can play.  I've realized iHi-Fi's niche in the audio business naturally includes focus on system level audio performance tuning.  That's how my recent focus on specialty audio furniture design fits in.

The book launch will happen exclusively on KDP Select when the secret date arrives.  Right now, I'm looking for a few interested souls who would like to receive a free copy of the Kindle version in exchange for an honest review posted on Amazon.  If you email me I'll put you on the distribution list.  Please use the Contact page on this website and mention you want a free copy of the book.  I'll send you a link to an page to get a free copy when the advance distribution begins.  Your review can be as short or as extensive as you prefer.

You don't have to use a Kindle reader.  Amazon has made sure that if you have a device, they have a free app that enables you to read Kindle books.  All free downloads, in case you haven't heard.  I got the Kindle app for iPad.  It works well.

The free copy will be available as part of a promotion I'll be running.  This book will be available exclusively on Amazon as a KDP Select Edition.  When the promotion date is set, I will send you a link and you can download the book FREE for a limited time.

This book presents tried-and true, tested and proven setup methods that many listeners have confirmed are very worthwhile.  Eventually, it will also come out in paperback but the content is the same in Kindle.  The table of contents includes ten sections about focus areas where attention to details, and possibly some investment of time and a little cash, achieve wonders with any audio system that has true Hi-Fi capability.  Without good setup, no audio system will ever make the best music it can. Yet you can do a lot without spending much.  Some tips are free to implement.

A few other books about audio setup are out there but I made sure my focus gives you better value.  For one thing, I don't offer advertising for gear I don't carry on iHi-Fi, so I don’t constantly try to get you excited about spending big money on new audio components.  My purpose is to help you get the best sound possible from whatever system you have.

Also, this book lays out as much detail as possible in one volume rather than splitting audio setup into fragments so you have to buy several books to get all the information you need.  This book doesn't dive deep into scientific theory or heavy jargon and there's no math in it.  It's simply the facts about what works well to get best sound and how to do it.

I'd surely appreciate an honest review, so let me know by email and I send you a copy.  The form is available on the Contact page HERE.

This is a limited offer.  It will expire when my window closes for offering the book FREE on Amazon.  If you've been thinking you'd like better sound from your system, don't dawdle.  It only takes one email.

Thanks in advance for helping and I hope you enjoy the book.

Superb Tube Buffer from iFi Audio

The Micro itube buffer / preamp from ifi Audio is highly recommended. photo by ihi-fi.

The Micro itube buffer / preamp from ifi Audio is highly recommended. photo by ihi-fi.

I recently added the iFi Micro iTube Preamp/Tube Buffer to my computer audio setup with exciting results.  Every aspect of audio performance improved with addition of this device.  In particular --

  • Soundstage became wider and deeper.  Now it escapes the bounds of speaker placement.
  • Instrument and voice separation, placement, detail, and clarity all improved for a better illusion of the performance.
  •  Speed -- (attack, decay, and sustain of musical notes) are more accurate.
  • Complex instrument timbres became even more lifelike with cello, piano, guitar, and assorted percussion instruments.

These aspects of music are what high fidelity to the original performance is all about. I've used tube buffers before with good effect but this one is "the kind."  Critical listening began without allowing a break-in period. It's possible further improvement may become noticeable over the next few days.

I heard things in familiar recordings that did not notice before.  This is a benchmark experience and so welcome each time it happens yet again.  When I feel compelled to go back and listen to test music to assure what I am hearing, I know I'm into something special.  Not surprising, though, for a new venture of world-class AMR.

Incidentally, there is no connection whatsoever between iFi Audio, a British company, and my US venture, iHi-Fi, despite some phonic coincidence in our names.

This little tube buffer (dimensions: 6.9" x 2.6" x 1.1") is made with exceptional build quality.  Fit and finish are superb.  You'll feel proud to display one in your system. The metallic look resembles Apple's metal-case computers. The entire iFi Micro and Nano lines matches across all components with standardized packaging -- a smart move.

However, the real news is about musical functionality.  The iTube brings more improvement to computer audio than its cost would imply. I'm a tube nut from way back and pleased to configure a system with a dual triode where it matters most and doesn't detract from bass performance -- at the preamp stage.  The General Electric 5670 is new to me but it delivers the goods like a full-sized tube preamp stage.

Test System Setup


Audioengine D2 DAC includes Sender and receiver.  Highly recommended, up-samples to 24/96 and breaks any ground connection with your computer to eliminate digital grunge.

Audioengine D2 DAC includes Sender and receiver.  Highly recommended, up-samples to 24/96 and breaks any ground connection with your computer to eliminate digital grunge.

Computer: MacBook Pro Late 2011
DAC: Audioengine D2 (up-samples to 24/96) connected via standard USB 2.0 cable.
Tube Buffer: iFi Audio Micro iTube set to Buffer mode, zero gain, no volume control.
Amp/Speakers: Audioengine A5+ Bamboo and S8 Subwoofer, both self-amplified.
Anti-vibration Damping: Herbie's Audio dB neutralizer pucks under all speakers and the iTube.  Experimental damping sheets under the D2 DAC Sender and Receiver.  The four stick-on silicone feet that come with the iTube were not used.
Room Acoustic Treatment: Acoustic System International Sugar Cubes & Diffuser, Silver and Basic (copper) Resonators, and 4-piece Phase Corrector Array


Audioengine A5+ Bamboo speakers have plenty of power to drive even a large room, are very well reviewed, and highly recommended for cost/performance value.

Audioengine A5+ Bamboo speakers have plenty of power to drive even a large room, are very well reviewed, and highly recommended for cost/performance value.

Music and Source

Streaming from (Ogg Vorbis file format.)  I selected known excellent recordings of masterful performances that are familiar and timbrally complex --

  • Adam Hurst, Cellist, Elegy
  • Dustin O'Halloran, Piano Solos, Vol. 1 & 2
  • Niklas Aman, mostly acoustic guitar, The Meeting and Light and Water
  • John De Kadt, complex percussion, Rhythms of the Infinite
  • Mo Foster, bassist, Bass Themes

. . . and many others.  If you have not heard Spotify streaming music through a quality up-sampling DAC and a great pair of powered speakers, you may be pleasantly surprised by how great that combo can sound.

Summary Results

I believed I had maxed-out the Audioengine A5+ speakers' performance.  Happily, to sound even better, all they needed was a dose of "tube magic" on the front end.  The iTube in buffer mode makes beautiful music.  It's an incredible value (at $329 on Music Direct) for those who truly love music, have trained their ears, and want their computer audio to sound as much as possible like original performances.   

I experienced sound quality at least equal to any high end system I have owned or heard.  Especially notable were soundstage and timbres for astonishing realism -- truly holographic music.  Thanks, iFi, you hit the ball out of the park with this component.

In my system, the "Digital Antidote" feature seems to have little effect.  What it addresses is ground loop digital noise carried into the analog section via the USB connection.  This is a good problem to not have, probably made moot by the D2, which is a two-piece radio DAC running DLNA -- similar to typical home Wi-Fi.  The radio link between the Sender and Receiver breaks any ground connection between my laptop and the audio analog section.

Audioengine S8 Powered Subwoofer fills in the lower bass beautifully and is another great speaker value for building a complete computer audio hi-fi setup.

Audioengine S8 Powered Subwoofer fills in the lower bass beautifully and is another great speaker value for building a complete computer audio hi-fi setup.

I'll end with a teaser.  My readers are aware I have ventured into specialty audio furniture design as shown in several recent posts on this blog.  The main reason I acquired an iTube unit is for fit-check and mechanical verification of a new design -- the iHi-Fi Originals MicroVybra Audio Rack, made specifically to house, integrate, and enhance performance of all the iFi Micro and Nano components.

To me, the iFi plastic-shelved iRack -- with rubber O-rings, loose metal parts, and spikes-and-cups -- is a disappointing, atavistic design that leaves room for improvement.  Apparently AMR's "trickle-down" technology does not include advanced vibration damping and other mechanical tech, given the spikes, rubber, and plastic shelves that, for me, spoil the brew.  

The iHi-Fi Originals MicroVybra Audio Rack takes a whole different approach with real wood shelves of Birch and Maple (frequently chosen to panel concert halls;) molecular-engineered, purpose-formulated vibration-dampers; improved mass grounding; and resonance suppression.  Each iFi component is isolated and so is the entire rack as a whole.  The iHi-Fi MicroVybra Audio Rack design is complete and moving into production and possibly a crowdfunding effort.  

Even pocket-sized components benefit from a properly designed audio rack.  This design phase includes the NanoVybra, probably the world's smallest audio rack, made specifically for iFi Nano components. The NanoVybra is compact enough to be portable.  It affords battery powered, headphone listeners opportunity to listen with all the benefits of iHi-Fi Originals acoustic technologies.

The physical prototypes will arrive soon.  After final design verification comes product release.  I anticipate re-listening to the iTube Buffer when it's properly isolated and receiving benefits of iHi-Fi technologies.  Even higher levels of audio perfection should be reached as iHi-Fi MicroVybra and NanoVybra Racks make it possible for iFi's superb audio gear to reach it's highest potentials.

When the new iHi-Fi Audio Racks are ready to pre-order, I'll post more about them here.  In the meantime, enjoy your listening and look forward to even better-sounding music.