Gaia Welcomes You Back

A Sound Upgrade is back!

Hello all! This is Albert here, with the version 2.0 of A Sound Upgrade. As you can see the site is visually different, and also functionally different. I have moved the album listings to a new domain at, where as this site is mainly a blog site that retains the articles from the old I also have this site as a way to showcase more of the original [ . . . ]

Gaia Lamenting

One Hi-Res Store Bites The Dust

Over the week, one of the Japanese Hi-Res stores I rarely frequent,, had a new notice that popped up: They would no longer be selling Hi-Res files starting July 1st, although anyone who purchased before that date can still download their files. What does this mean? Are they going out of business, or are they only going to sell mp3s? Is there any other information as to why they [ . . . ]

Reqq Explaining to Gaia

Hi-Res Audio 101: TL;DR Edition

Two weeks ago, after I posted an article on my purchase of the NuPrime uDSD DAC I cross-posted onto my personal Facebook page, and a good friend of mine basically replied that he did not understand half of the terms I described in the article, but was glad I was happy to get an upgrade. That being said I wondered if there are those possible browsing here that knows anime [ . . . ]

Gaia Should Have Waited

A Better Version is Available!?!?

Your favorite TV series out on DVD, coming out on Blu-Ray 6 months later. The S/G/Z/Plus version of your favorite phone. Re-issue of a Disney or Star Wars Original Trilogy from VHS to DVD, then to Blu-Ray. Many have had to agonize over having to buy again media/a work of art simply because the newer one is clearer, has more features, better battery life, looks or sound better. You will [ . . . ]

Gaia and the NuPrime uDSD

An Equipment Upgrade! NuPrime uDSD

Recently I have upgraded my listening equipment with the new NuPrime uDSD portable DAC, the little unit Gaia is holding. Capable of up to 24-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD 256 (11.2MHz) support, this little unit has the ability to play all the current highest-end music available for purchase and download. It came with the uDSD unit, a USB cable, and instruction/disclaimer/company background booklet, in a small, discreet box. Has a volume [ . . . ]

Reqq pressured at a Convention

A Long Exhausting Weekend at a Trade Show

The last weekend, I was working at an audio trade show called T.H.E. Show Newport Beach. I have never been to this particular audiophile show, having only experience at a smaller venue called The California Audio Show, and this year I only went because there was budget enough to run a merchandise booth. I wish I could say that I enjoyed the weekend and took a lot of pictures, but [ . . . ]

Gaia Will Explain Hi-Res Audio

Joys of Explaining Hi-Res Audio

Sorry for the slight late post, as this weekend I was my cousin’s graduation from pharmacy school, where I ventured down to Loma Linda, California to attend the graduation ceremony. Many have asked on what I am working in lately, and I tried explaining what it is I do, which took some effort. The majority of my family work in the medical field and have not even heard of Hi-Res [ . . . ]

Gaia Shocked to Find BOOTH

The Beauty of Self-Publishing Music Sites

Today I discovered another self-publishing site for your music: A sister site to the popular art platform social site Pixiv, this site you can sell albums, manga, cosplay items, illustrations, and other goods that I am still discovering! I was just excited to find Vocaloid, Touhou Project, and other doujin/fanmade albums available for purchase. Although from what I have seen in my preliminary findings is that artists upload usually [ . . . ]

Gaia Can't Buy Albums

The Dread of Region-Lock

Ahh, as many of you have seen on my other site,, as well as on the old version of, there has been many albums given the tag you don’t want to see: JAPAN-ONLY. Unless you have a Japanese credit card, have a friend willing to buy for you, or found a way to circumvent that, you and I are not likely to be able to purchase those albums [ . . . ]

Gaia skeptical on Anime Earphones

Earphones Made For Anime Songs

I first saw these headphones from a newsletter I subscribe to called Tokyo Otaku Mode, and I saw an article about these so-called earphones “made for Anime songs.” This product is TDK’s new neo:n line of headphones. Of course, something like this gimmick is nothing new, like “Made for Hip-Hop” “Mastered for iTunes” and other fancy marketing terms so people would be buy products solely for name, looks, and sense [ . . . ]

Gaia Sound Blaster

A Case For Hi-Res Audio

I have mp3s, ever since the days of Napster, and when I was learning about computers in high-school (currently am 31 as of this writing). I listen extensively to my songs, and still do when I am auditioning from a countless list of anime, video game, vocaloid, pop, rock, classical, the list goes on and on. Mp3’s, aac, ogg, and other lossy music are small, quick to download, and easy [ . . . ]