Isao Kumano

Isao Kumano - PHONON CEO


The software I usually use for mastering has a feature that allows me to bypass the master section, which I like because it has the least sound quality degradation.

Based on my experience with various software, I tried this application without much expectations.

The setup was a Lynx sound card, ASIO, word clock (rubidium) 44.1 kHz, headphone amplifier (PHONON fully discrete prototype), and SMB-01L. I was amazed when I listened to the reference source. The sound stage is wider, and the realism and nuance of each instrument is better understood.

“I would like to see a mastering software that includes this audio engine.”

I listened to a variety of sound sources for verification, but the impression was the same. The observation based on my experience, this improvement in sound quality is not due to equalization or DSP effects, but low degradation in the signal path, I am very pleased with this wonderful and desirable direction.

It is also worth mentioning that the sound quality of mp3 playback is very good even at 192kbps.

Other functionality such as the ability to adjust the volume for DSD playing back is useful. In addtion, the ability to use VST plug-ins is also good and being able to connect to streaming services enhance the listening epxerience too. I hope that TIDAL will become available in Japan.

This application is reasonablely priced and I would recommend it to the readers.