Dealer Spotlight: Xact Audio

  By Amy Hansen

What does Steve Dobbins, owner of Xact Audio, do for fun?  Why, work of course, which includes listening to and sharing his love of music. Nestled amongst striking scenery in Boise, Idaho, the showroom at Xact Audio is as impressive as the stunning views of the mountains surrounding this fast-growing community.

Steve’s love of music across many genres is evident by his extensive record collection and his passion for serving it on a silver platter to anyone who wants to listen.  I was one of those lucky and willing guests treated to a goosebump inducing music performance, not quite like any other I’ve heard.

With Rockport Speakers, top of the line CH Precision electronics, a Kodo turntable with Schröder Linear-Tracking Tonearm (much more on these two below), and Nordost’s Odin 2 cabling, this world class showroom has all the right ingredients for experiencing music at its best…but these are all just components.  The key element is not something you can purchase.  It takes a passionate and knowledgeable master like Steve to know how to best marry them all together with a tweak here and a tweak there to achieve the best sound.

From design to construction, Steve also crafts his very own Kodo “The Beat” turntables and Schröder Linear-Tracking Tonearm.  Steve’s unique design philosophy for these two products is the result of knowledge that he started accumulating as early as 6 years old, when he received his first record player. Reviews have been nothing but glowing— one of which can be found HERE.

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To most people’s ears, his system would seem to have no room for improvement, and yet Steve is always looking for ways to incorporate new components or make adjustments towards reaching perfection.  Maybe that is why so many of his customers from all over the country value his dedication to them when they ask him to set up their own systems.

Steve is far from a one-dimensional man.  Aside from the high art of music and its accurate reproduction, he has an array of other interests.  He and his wife Polly enjoy touring on their Harley all over the West. He also restores classic cars, and has been fascinated with anything powered by a motor since before Van Halen was cool. To quote Steve, “I’d hotrod a sewing machine if asked.”

If you’re looking for the best components money can buy, along with unmatched knowledge and service in putting together your own audio system, look no further than Steve Dobbins at Xact Audio.

You can learn more about Steve here:  More about Steve Dobbins in his own words.

Stereonet UK Reviews the Blue Heaven Tonearm Cable

We are pleased to share a great review that was posted last month on Stereonet UK Edition. Jay Garrett’s review is a comprehensive and detailed look at Nordost’s Blue Heaven Tonearm Cable. Once again, our Leif family does not disappoint! Upgrading the tonearm cable is the easiest way to ensure that you are getting the best possible performance from your turntable. See what the Blue Heaven Tonearm Cable can do for your analog rig today!

“The Nordost Leif Blue Heaven Tonearm Cable has made a noticeable difference to the sound quality we’re getting from our turntable. We didn’t think that our VPI Prime could sound much better, but the Nordost cabling has proved us wrong…” — Jay Garrett 

You can now read Jay’s full review here: NORDOST LEIF BLUE HEAVEN TONEARM CABLE

You can find this review and more great Nordost reviews on our Reviews Page.

Nordost Playlist – August 2019

Nordost is lucky to have a wonderful team of representatives and product trainers who travel around the world educating and demonstrating the effects of Nordost’s products. As part of these demonstrations, it is our job to find an interesting and diverse selection of music to showcase our cables, power devices, sort system and accessories. Whether at shows, visiting our dealers and distributors or even in our own listening room in our headquarters in Holliston, we are constantly getting asked what music we are playing (or if our audience is not so bold to ask, we can see their Shazams working overtime). So we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share our favorite songs of the moment. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your taste, but one thing is for sure …it’s all great music.

Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this August.


You can now listen to our monthly playlist here:  TIDAL  |  SPOTIFY


  1. Summer Girl—HAIM—Summer Girl
  2. One Day I’ll Fly Away—Keith Jarrett, Charlie Haden—Jasmine
  3. All Mirrors—Angel Olsen—All Mirrors
  4. Infinite Trees—Nick Mulvey—Wake Up Now
  5. Like Sugar—Chaka Khan—Hello Happiness
  6. Take It Away (feat. Tarriona Tank Ball)—Norah Jones, Tarriona ‘Tank Ball’—Take It Away
  7. Come Rain or Come Shine—Ray Charles—The Atlantic Hits
  8. Alewife—Clairo—Immunity
  9. Gun—Mas Ysa—Seraph
  10. Dave’s Song—Whitney—Light Upon the Lake