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August 2015
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

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The Complete Guide to High-End Audio
Fifth Edition by Robert Harley

An excellent reference book for a newbie and seasoned reviewer.
Review By Heather And Steven R. Rochlin


The Complete Guide to High-End Audio Fifth Edition by Robert Harley


Words From An Aspiring Newbie
Steven got this very helpful reference book for me, The Complete Guide to High-End Audio Fifth Edition by Robert Harley, as I slowly learn some of the ins and outs of high-end audio. I am very content listening to the awesome systems both within our home and at shows. Other times, there are great interests in what makes these products excellent, and so I really want to know about the what, why, and especially how these systems achieve their great sound.

I realize there are people out there who actually enjoy reading technical manuals, such as my husband Steven, yet this is not for me.  The Complete Guide to High-End Audio is perfect for me as a reference book. In fact I bring it with me to the many different audio shows we attend just in case there are questions about something. Am a bit timid and don’t want to ask a silly question, so I refer to my awesome new book! For me, and probably all audiophiles both seasoned and aspiring, have found the glossary extremely helpful. There is an incredible amount of information within this book that my every question is answered in one form or another. There is so very much to learn about high-end audio within this impressive reference book as my journey into audio gear flourishes.


A Great Reference Book Even A Pro Can Benefit From
As a fellow reviewer and editor, plus having known Robert Haley’s writing for well over 20 years, it always impresses me when someone can do an excellent job putting pen to paper. The Complete Guide to High-End Audio Fifth Edition by Robert Harley is 556 pages of experience, technical knowledge plus many very useful tips and tricks. The pure engineering geek within me loves both the in-depth information and helpful diagrams. There are so many topics covered in this book that am not sure where to begin my review. Just like my wife Heather, you can pick and choose topics you want to learn, or dig right in and read it cover to cover. Eventually reading it all yet again, or referencing a chapter when needed to improve one’s knowledge or tweak the task at hand. A glossary can help someone to better understand all those seemingly ‘secret’ acronyms and audio jargon plus a handy index so you can find what you’re looking for within this colossal book.


The Complete Guide to High-End Audio Fifth Edition by Robert Harley


The 16 chapters each cover a range of expertise and knowledge. Chapters within this well-written book range from an informative introduction to turntables, preamps, amps, speakers, plus personal audio and so very much more. There is a chapter to help you become a better listener!  While there is quite of bit of extremely important information every audiophile should know, one of my faves is loudspeaker and room acoustics. Getting your speakers optimized within your room is tremendously important and can not be overlooked. All types of rooms, speaker types and even subwoofer placement tips are described in detail within The Complete Guide to High-End Audio Fifth Edition. For those looking to sample this great book, here's a four page PDF about loudspeakers.

Analog lovers rejoice as turntable setup, record care, and more are clearly and concisely explained to achieve the best from your LP playback system. On the other end of the spectrum is multi-channel surround sound / home theater tips and tricks help you better understand the intricacies of setup and fine-tuning many speakers within your room. Once you’re system is setup, there is a great chapter about tuning and tweaking to achieve the very best from your high-end audio investment.

Robert does a brilliant job at carefully enlightening us all about the technical aspects of high-end audio gear. There are many easy to understand diagrams that further aid in learning about the topic at hand. This way both the newbie, such as my wife Heather, and a seasoned pro such as yours truly can grasp the many complexities to produce high quality audio. Enjoy the Music.com’s Rob Selina reviewed the second edition of The Complete Guide to High-End Audio back in October 1999. Within the review, Rob said "Once the book covers the basics of a particular piece of equip, the next section usually describes what to listen to in a good piece. Most of us have to learn this the hard way, but if you can learn vicariously, please do. You can save a lot of money and time by taking this man's advice. Aside from covering product selection, the speaker placement information and tweak sections let you really optimize that well selected system you just bought."

Robert Harley has done an excellent job continually updating this must-have reference manual and I feel every audiophile, hobbyist and music lover can greatly benefit from this masterpiece. The Complete Guide to High-End Audio Fifth Edition by Robert Harley can save you both time, and money, in triumphantly attaining the very beast from your audio gear. Forget the typical reviewer-speak saying "highly recommended"; buy this book right now! As always in the end what really matters is that you...


Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


Value For The Money



Company Information
Acapella Publishing
556 pages
Price: $44.95

Also available as Kindle or Apple eBooks
Order toll-free (800) 888-4741














































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