0 Items
Select Page

The iBasso DX150 Interfaceview

Cowon Plenue D2 MK2view

Fall in love with music again by cutting back and upgrading your digital format. You will be amazed at what happens when you listen to a higher resolution format, the sounds come alive, the snare drum clicks like a whip.

Step up the Digital Audio Player, its a game changer!!

Remember when music sounded great? Before we started making computer music files (digital formats) that had so much compression that sounds just started disappearing and music lost that toe tapping feeling.

Recorded music was never meant to be compressed like this, and as technology advanced and left formats like vinyl, tape and even compact discs behind we all suffered for the “future of Music”. It just doesn’t sound as good on your mobile phone, squashed into a flat MP3, with no amplifier or proper digital audio converter aka a DAC.

Many younger Millennial’s & Centennial’s have never even experienced music properly with nice home systems, or on vinyl or CD, it’s just not convenient anymore. It’s like if you grew up only on Wendys and that’s all you knew, that’s what has happened with recorded music.

I too started to fall victim to convenience, and slowly but steadily my vinyl and CD home system was slowly transitioning to download music. My vinyl was only used for nostalgic reference and my CDs sold or put into boxes in the back room. Then after all that the infamous iPods got better, then iPhone and then we got Spotify & Apple music to replace the MP3s on my phone.Sadly, all the quality sound and emotion was left behind in the dirt and a threat of nearly zero return.


About 4 years ago I hit a wall where I simply became overwhelmed with too much music available, it was just impossible to keep up with new music and newly released albums. Then one day I had a thought and dug out my vinyl again and with the help of my trusted classic Thorens turntable something clicked. Not only was there too much music and an overwhelming abundance of downloadable MP3s, the comparison to vinyl just seriously sucked

Listening to the warmth of vinyl, and all the details of analog started me off on a mission to find better ways to listen to music when not at home and travelling about.

Overnight I became a digital player convert, the sound was truly AMAZING!!

Below is our guide to help you achieve a high level of superb toe tapping music that is available in your pocket, on the bus, the train or lying on the grass on a sunny day with your favourite headphones on.


Please don’t get me wrong they can sound OK, but unless you have a DAC (digital to analog converter) and an amplifier on your phone and some insanely good headphones, it’s still just OK nothing special.

So I started to research the basics and found that FLAC and Apple’s Lossless format ALAC are the best bet for mobile due to their smaller file sizes and they recreate CD quality sound… excellent!!

You can also go with DSD files for the super high-quality formats, but these files are large, and only necessary if you are a true audiophile, so generally flac is very very good with the right player. Then started the epic chore of digging out some old CDs and ripping them. Ripping is a term for copying a CD into a computer file, and as I added the CDs to my computer, I then deleted the MP3 versions.

Why in the hell did I not rip “copy” them as FLAC files, to begin with? Idiot!

Cowon Plenue Lview


I’m in the audio AV industry by trade, so this was a difficult task. I had to separate myself from that and think like a music fan again and not judge the music on a technical level. I started looking through my records, my CD’s, my MP3’s, etc. to filter the music that I loved vs. the filler that seemed to creep into every digital crevice and crack.

I started to delete things I would never listen to again, got rid of the mediocre stuff and began a long process of cleaning the musical cupboard which is still in progress (I have thousands of albums).

Cayin Audio N8 Brass Blackview


When I pop on music via Spotify it’s often just background music (especially at work), I had started to become a passive listener and stopped being in the “here and now” for the music.

This is why I started listening to vinyl again, there is a gripping, binding hold and participation that brings you into the experience, and this is a game changer. You start to hear your music in all its incredible detail again and you again adore the albums, and you don’t just passively scan through singles and playlists.

This process forges a more intimate experience with the music; it moves you much more deeply when you are paying attention. I know that sounds like common sense, but just try it and you will see what I mean.

FiiO M9 Portable High-Resolution Audio Playerview


These devices not only significantly elevate your music experience it goes right along with the steps of becoming a pocket music lover.

Most have streaming services available on them or you can become a pure audiophile by listening properly to music stored on their memory and SD cards. The onboard DAC, huge memory, beautiful touch screen and simple controls force you to be more involved, captured in the whole process. You can take so much music with you on this device, and all of it great quality music!

I recommend you try one, like me, the true music, I am hooked!!

Creating An Outdoor Soundscape At Your Place

All the hard work is done, sit back and take a look around. If you’ve got a nice backyard, a beautiful deck, or a stunning bach, then creating an effective outdoor soundscape can maximize what you can do with that space.

Chasing the ultimate listening experience & the elusive perfect speaker position!

The idea of an ultimate placement was the end game position, but I surmised to be a myth, a process that I believed as audio con artistry… follow our journey to placement nirvana.

You can have big sound in a little room or have a reference HiFi system in your pocket!

Our guide to help you achieve a high level of superb toe tapping music that is available in your pocket while on the bus, the train or lying on the grass on a sunny day with your favourite headphones on.

DAP or DAC? What Should You use for Portable Head-Fi

There are 2 common options for portable head-fi. You can either get a dedicated DAP (digital audio player) or external DAC (digital to analogue converter) to work with your smartphone. Both are excellent options with varying benefits. We explain each option, their...

HiFi considerations for Gaming

Whether you are a console or PC gamer, competitive or casual gamer. A good gaming set up deserves good sound. With amplifiers that have all the bells and whistles, not all of them have features that are crucial for gaming. We will go over these features, types of...

Home Theatre and HiFi Considerations for Building a Home

As spring is here, recently we have been getting a lot of people coming to us discussing their home theatre and audio plans for new home builds. It can be an exciting and daunting task at the same time. However, very satisfying when you finally get the keys and start...

Spotify vs TIDAL and The Best Streamers to Use

  Here at Rapallo we use both music streaming services to use on various HiFi components and speakers. We are fan of both services for many reasons. Using both for a few years now, we thought we would put forward the pros and cons, our favourite features of each,...

What’s New with Valve Amplifiers?

PrimaLuna just released their Evolution series of vacuum tube amplifiers and components. Including a brand new tube-powered stand alone DAC. We want to write-up a refresher on tube amps, why audiophiles love them, and how they work. We had a question last week from...

HiFi Presents to get for Father’s Day

Father's Day is less then 2 weeks away here in New Zealand. We thought we would give some suggestions on what to get for that special father-figure in your life. If you are a Father here are some great items to add the 'wish list' or do you have a person in your life...

Benefits of a Power Amplifier

We often write blogs tailored towards 1 side of the home audio groups: The audiophile, 2 channel type person, and The home cinema buff, surround sound and big screen type of person. This blog is actually going to interest both parties by talking about power...
Visit Us

Rapallo Ltd.
11A Allens Road
East Tamaki
Auckland 2013
Monday to Friday
Saturday 10AM-2PM
By appointment:
After business hours

Follow us here
Contact Us

Call us on 09 2744515 or email us on sales@rapalloav.co.nz

Copyright © 2019 Rapallo | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy

SIGN-UP FOR INSIGHTS & TECH TIPSReceive professional product, design, build, & installation advice for your audio visual spaces every two weeks.