A POINT OF VIEW: Committed

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Paul McGowan writes .....

I’ve been called stubborn a lot. Mostly by my family, but often by my employees. Once I get committed to an idea, a concept, it’s hard to move me off the dime.

I had been convinced for many years that long speaker cables were the way to go. That notion was inadvertently reinforced by a trip to Sea Cliff New York and the home of Harry Pearson.

Arnie Nudell (the founder of Infinity) and I had travelled to HP’s home to set up a new pair of Genesis loudspeakers we were proud of. We had hoped for a great review in the Absolute Sound—and great reviews from Harry were scarce as hen’s teeth.

HP employed setup men to install new products and get them running. If I remember correctly, the setup man at this time was Scott Markwell. The Genesis speakers were not easy to install. They were big, heavy and bulky. Scott did his best and fired them up. They sounded bad: rolled off, dull, lackluster.

It would fall to Arnie to set them up for Harry’s evaluation, but first Scott and I were charged with getting them close. They were not close. He called me into the room while Harry and Arnie chatted. He played them for me and furrowed his brow at the sound. I had to agree. They sucked.

I had been asked to join HP and Arnie for lunch, but declined, staying behind to find out what was wrong, instead. I won’t bore you with a long drawn out tale, but it turned out the long interconnects between the Audio Research preamplifier and the power amplifier were the cause. The distance was about 20 feet and it sucked the life out of the sound. Tube preamplifiers are not known as good cable drivers, but the equipment choice was not mine to make.

Working with Scott, we moved the room around so we had long speaker cables and shorter interconnects. The speakers suddenly came to life. The sparkle was back and he offered me an apple and a cup of coffee since I missed lunch.

That incident only served to reinforce the notion I clung to with all my heart.

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