Rebel designs

Paul McGowan writes: Modern analog designs leverage common circuit ideas. Few are original. Complimentary outputs, vbe multipliers, diff pairs, current sources, current mirrors, etc., were all original designs that became commonplace. One of the most talented, creative, and radical designers of all time is Bob Widlar.  Widlar invented the basic building blocks of linear ICs. […]

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Who knew?

Paul McGowan writes: For the past few days, I’ve been in Japan visiting dealers, riding the Bullet Train (200 mph), and enjoying this wonderful culture and its incredible people. Yesterday I was in the country’s second largest city, Osaka. The day before, the far north. What a treat. I will definitely put together a short […]

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Biggest bang for the buck

Paul McGowan writes: Buying decisions are tough enough even if money’s no object, but when you’re on a limited budget—as many of us are—how do you make the tough choices of where to put your hard earned funds? The side of our personalities that want immediate gratification looks for the biggest bang for the buck. […]

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SUGDEN: Luxman, Croft, Sonneteer and DACs with Harbeth?

The thread starts ….. “I recently sold off my full Naim system (DAC/282/250/Hicap/NAPSC) and I have been enjoying the simplicity of my temp solution of the Nait 1 with Harbeth P3ESR, fed by the Mac Mini and Meridian Explorer DAC. Simple, lively, detailed, agile.. and only one hifi box with one plug in the wall! […]

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Two subwoofers?

Paul McGowan writes: We have two channel systems with dedicated left and right speakers, yet often we’re told it’s just fine to use a single subwoofer in mono. I’d like to suggest this attitude is wrong. The single-sub advocate’s logic goes something like this. “Low frequencies are essentially non-directional so it shouldn’t matter if the […]

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Is no DAC the best DAC?

Paul McGowan writes: I’ve been answering a lot of great customer questions on Ask Paul. One of them was a simple misunderstanding, but it sparks good dialog. On the DIY forums, a poster suggested he was converting digital audio to analog without the benefit of a DAC and the question posed to me was, “Is […]

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Built in head amp?

Paul McGowan writes: Head amps are devices used to separately amplify moving coil cartridges to the same level as moving magnets. They can be built from active electronics with power supplies or simple step-up transformers. They are needed because moving coil cartridges typically have outputs thirty times lower than their moving magnet brethren. Why they […]

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McINTOSH: McIntosh vs. Accuphase (39 opinions)

The thread starts ….. I’ve heard more than once that Accuphase was Japan’s McIntosh and was wondering if someone that has had experience with both brands would like to give their opinions on any differences and likeness these makes share sonically from top to bottom? More specifically the McIntosh MC252, MC352 amps vs like wattage […]

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Power supply madness

Paul McGowan writes: The story behind PS Audio introducing the high-end world to the oversized external power supply is a good one that I cover in this video. But that was more than 40 years ago. Is power supply “overkill” still a factor after four decades? Indeed it is. And for good reason. In the […]

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Land of the rising sun

Paul McGowan writes: Not more than a few weeks ago I returned from a great trip to Japan where I toured multiple cities and high-end audio dealers. I put together a ten-minute video you might enjoy. Click here to play it. We know the high-end audio industry is in a state of flux—many suggest it’s […]

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Demanding more bass

Paul McGowan writes: I was in the process of posting today’s Ask Paul video on the difficulty of designing power amplifiers when I was reminded of the lengths some speaker designers were willing to go for bass. I was thinking of Arnie Nudell’s Infinity Kappa series, the terror of solid state amplifier manufacturers the world […]

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From the tiniest beginnings

Paul McGowan writes: Of all the questions we are asked by customers, finding and fixing hum is perhaps number one. Ground loops would be our first suspect, but a close second is hum and noise from turntables. Ground loops occur when two pieces of interconnected equipment find themselves grounded at different levels (one slightly higher […]

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What do you say?

Paul McGowan writes: Let me set the scene for you. You’re at a dinner party, the folks that invited you have worked their hearts out to make a lovely meal, but it’s not to your liking. And then your worst fears come true. “How was your food?” She asks so nicely, filled with expectations (and hope). […]

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Change of pace

Paul McGowan writes: Not all of us are fortunate enough to have turned our passions into a lifestyle—but a few have—and it seems quite prevalent in the high-end audio field. If you have a chance to visit this week’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver, keep an eye out for the passion and excitement you find […]

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The best way to connect a sub

Paul McGowan writes: Years ago, there were mostly passive subs, but over time this changed. Modern subwoofers are internally amplified. So it might seem intuitive to connect them as you would any power amplifier, with an interconnect to the preamp or DAC. This works, but would not be my first choice. The problem with cables and […]

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Battling our preconceptions

Paul McGowan writes: Do you fall into the trap of judging things based on a preconception? Do you buy into stereotypes? I do. All the time. I think it’s in our nature as humans to categorize life’s complexities based on our experiences: cables make a difference/cables can’t make a difference. Electrostats are transparent sounding/electrostats require […]

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TANNOY: Vintage ones; what’s all the fuss about?

The thread starts ….. I am getting fed up reading about vintage Tannoys, as a person who has never had the pleasure to hear a pair, can any AOSers please educate me as to why they seem to have such a cult following- and do l need to listen to a pair? http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?32756-What-is-so-special-about-vintage-Tannoys ===//=== Please […]

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