Why write symphonies?

‘I would like to think we might now be in a phase when composers no longer seek merely to impress with complexity’ Why write symphonies? People often ask me this. They are probably mindful that I’ve spent most of my active life composing for the media. First it was TV commercials – including my music […]

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How good is old?

Paul McGowan writes: Good memories sweeten with time. My first experience with a pair of exceptional loudspeakers was in the home of radio station engineer Jim Mussel in 1973. He and I worked for the same FM rock and roll radio station, KXFM in Santa Maria, California. We were both interested in good sound but […]

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Sad News. Dick Shahinian RIP

I am sorry to pass on the news that Dick Shahinian passed away on Saturday the 26th of November. He was an inspirational and maverick designer of speakers for many years. The speakers have stood the test of time with some of his earliest designs still impressing after receiving upgrades as the technology and implementation […]

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In the beginning

Paul McGowan writes: Stan Warren and I started PS Audio more than 40 years ago. Two enterprising young guys hell-bent to change the world. Stan moved on to other pastures. I’ve been at it ever since. I think what has always driven the PS team remains the same: using technology in clever ways to move […]

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What is high end audio?

Paul McGowan writes: I had mentioned on our forums that there were several companies I did not believe aspired to produce high end audio products: McIntosh and B&O among them. Ok, ok, I can see the fur flying already. Take a deep breath. This is not a put down. For the record, I admire both of […]

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Bit banging

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 […]

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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, […]

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T’ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do, a book about blues women – by Rhetta Akamatsu

In the past, they were the Queens, strong women who took an unconventional path. They were the Blues Women, and they changed the face of music. To understand their history is to understand not only a great deal about black history but about the history of the country as a whole. Today, blues women still […]

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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 […]

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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. Vacuum […]

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Are cables BS?

Paul McGowan writes: There must not be enough worms crawling around so I figure I’ll just go ahead and open a fresh can. Keeps it fun that way. Why is it we’re convinced we can hear changes in polarity, or MQA vs. non MQA, or the difference between CD and vinyl—but find it hard to accept […]

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Ideas to companies

Paul McGowan writes: Turning a good idea into a company is not easy. The devil, they say, is in the details; something Stan and I found to be true. In this video, Part II of the History of PS Audio, we learn how two wild-eyed hippie audiophiles turned a phono preamplifier into a business that today […]

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ELMORE JAMES: A very useful mini-biography

Not my words, but …….. “No two ways about it, the most influential slide guitarist of the postwar period was Elmore James, hands down. Although his early demise from heart failure kept him from enjoying the fruits of the ’60s blues revival as his contemporaries Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf did, James left a ……..” […]

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Using what we have

Paul McGowan writes …. Most real world home stereo systems are placed in rooms where circumstances permit, not necessarily where they sound best. The last system I had in a home the speakers were on either side of a long couch, their distance determined by the length of the furniture rather than achieving perfect tonal balance. […]

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Voicing to old ears

Paul McGowan writes …. Many of today’s audio equipment designers are getting on in years. I am a good example as I creep towards 70. Hard to imagine because in my mind I am still about in my mid-30s. Only the occasional look in the mirror proves that thought incorrect. As we age our hearing […]

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How important are dynamics?

Paul McGowan writes …. My very first pair of high-performance loudspeakers were Magneplanars but the marriage didn’t last long. I soon found myself enamored with a different kind of panel speaker, an electrostat which was so much more revealing than the planar that I made the switch. This added window-like clarity was a result of […]

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Graphene circuit’s wireless promise – by Paul Rincon

The promise of faster, cheaper and more efficient wireless devices has moved a step closer. Researchers at IBM have demonstrated the most advanced integrated circuit made of wafer-scale graphene – often touted as a “wonder material” that could revolutionise electronics. Graphene circuits could allow mobile devices to transmit data loads in a much speedier manner. […]

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JAZZ: How to appreciate it

  “Do you listen to that oh-so-beloved jazz music and never quite understand why people adore it? Do you have one of those “Well, its okay” feelings? With a little love in your heart, you can listen to that rap-tapping beat in jazz.” MORE ===//=== Hi. I’m Tony Andrews and I am Contributing Editor / […]

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Funny how daily life can many times mirror the circuitry that runs our high-end systems.

First published November 2015 Paul McGowan writes: There appears to be an increasing customer frustration level in all sectors of business towards errors in products and services, reported through customer feedback, and the company’s response time to fix those errors. Customer expectation levels for faster error correction, perhaps even elimination of errors, appear to be […]

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While not as overall full and harmonically rich as some …..

Originally published October 2015 Paul McGowan writes: There’s perhaps nothing more important to the success of a hi fi system than the synergy of its parts. We’ve been discussing how the addition of some preamps help the sound of some DACs; a perfect example of the synergistic quality of parts within a system. The speakers […]

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