Solid state vacuum tubes?

Paul McGowan writes: Most of us like the sound of vacuum tubes on an amplifier’s input: sweet, rich, full-bodied, musical. An equal number aren’t too happy about their downsides: heat, microphonics, size, and the 300-pound gorilla—their ephemeral lifespan. Which is why most customers rejoiced when we began to leverage a solid state equivalent, the FET. […]

Read More

Armchair critics

Paul McGowan writes: It’s easy to ignore–often criticize–the hard won victories of creative people designing leading edge technology. In fact, it’s one of the double edged swords of our abundantly-connected society that empowers readers with just enough information to miss the bigger picture. And this is part of the problem I find in helping unravel the […]

Read More

Can’t get no…

Paul McGowan writes: Satisfaction? Don’t feel badly, the Stones apparently couldn’t either. But is satisfaction the end game? And what happens after you achieve it? Are you ready for more? Something better? I don’t know about you, but I tend to categorize my achievements into three groups. The first is short, repetitive tasks with known outcomes, […]

Read More

I think the answer is that the data, if identical, cannot be different. Therefore, we are looking in the wrong place for our answers.

Paul McGowan writes: My friend Andy sent me this link to the new Samsung 2TB solid state drive that’s smaller than a business card, launched this morning at CES. That’s amazing. A sold state drive capable of storing well over 2000 complete albums–and it’s smaller than a business card. Bit banging. It’s a term used […]

Read More

It might not seem like anything special but that’s because it’s one of those little things

Paul McGowan writes: Sometimes it’s the little things that make something special. A smile, just at the right moment, or perhaps a helping hand when one wasn’t expected. When I think about what makes a piece of audio equipment special it’s often the little unnoticed touches that, together, make a product worth owning. Take for […]

Read More

DAC priorities

Paul McGowan writes: All DACs are not equal yet many of today’s most popular digital to analog converters are based on the same off-the-shelf chipset like those from ESS, Cirrus Logic, or Analog Devices. Yet those DACs using identical chips often sound as if cut from very different cloth. What makes them different? We might get […]

Read More

A real head scratcher

Paul McGowan writes: it still baffles me why long balanced interconnects seemed to sound better than long speaker cables. I previously shared with you my experience at HP’s home with an Audio Research preamp. That demonstrated just the opposite. So one conclusion we can make is the equipment you’re using has a lot to do […]

Read More