Tough work

Paul McGowan wrote a while back ….. I am heading out this morning to visit a reviewer who agreed to listen to the BHK monoblock amplifiers. It’s exciting and I like to be there when reviewers have a chance to listen; there are always questions best asked and answered in real time. And no, I […]

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Palpability

Paul McGowan writes: I thought today I’d touch on the term Palpability for a couple of reasons: I use it to describe certain aspects of what we hear in our stereo systems and more pertinent – I have just been exposed to a greater degree of it than ever before. I was going to title […]

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THE SONIC SWEET-SPOT: “Have you ever been leery of turning up the volume control too high because you don’t want to push the system too hard?”

Paul McGowan writes: Have you ever been leery of turning up the volume control too high because you don’t want to push the system too hard?  I don’t mean in terms of volume level but stressing out the preamp by getting too close to its limits?  If that’s happened to you, you’re not alone. It’s […]

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PS AUDIO: The thing about skeptics

Paul McGowan writes: I wrote that I had an out-of-the-box idea to share with you.  This is just for fun and stimulation – and no, it is not a precursor to a new product.  The idea revolves around the notion that it is wrong-headed to use digital room correction of the loudspeakers themselves (above 150Hz […]

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SMPS: Perhaps the single biggest reason to use a switch mode power supply (SMPS) on a power amplifier is that

Paul McGowan writes: Perhaps the single biggest reason to use a switch mode power supply (SMPS) on a power amplifier is that the output of a properly designed one is more like perfect DC than that of a conventional supply; and not just by a little bit. Conventional supplies switch back and fourth between plus […]

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How to get the midbass right?

Paul McGowan …… AGB’s latest column has been uploaded and for those of you interested to see what the Audio Hitman has to say about EQ’ing your system and frequency response in general, go here to read the article.  For the faint of heart, I recommend abstaining. As I worked through the setup of the […]

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Whatever happened to tone controls?

Paul McGowan writes: So, whatever happened to tone controls?  You know, the bass and treble boost/cut controls that used to adorn just about every 1950 and 1960′s era preamplifier? They fell out of fashion in the 1970′s because purists didn’t want them.  The analog audio path must be absolutely pure. They fell back into fashion […]

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SPECIALIST RETAILERS: A point of view

Paul McGowan writes: We’ve been spending a lot of time posting about the state of high-end retailers.  I want to let this subject rest for a while and percolate through everyone’s minds.  I will leave you with this thought and model. I hope I am not speaking out of school when I tell you that […]

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Getting intimately familiar

Paul McGowan writes: I mentioned that the first step in setting any system up is to get to know your music well.  This can serve you in many ways: including bringing your collection of music to an audio show to hear what it sounds like.  This only really works if you’re intimately familiar with a […]

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PS AUDIO: “Of the two types of power supplies found on class D amps, linear or switch mode, the latter is taking over and the former is moving down in popularity”

Paul McGowan writes: Of the two types of power supplies found on class D amps, linear or switch mode, the latter is taking over and the former is moving down in popularity.  It’s a natural progression as combining a giant power transformer and capacitor bank supply with a small and lightweight power amplifier doesn’t make […]

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PS AUDIO: The Amygdala

Paul McGowan writes: Music is an emotional experience. Our emotions are centered in an ancient part of our brains called the Amygdala.  My friend Seth refers to this as the “Lizard Brain”. Some music and some high-end systems give us an emotional experience so strong we remember it to this day; others never get past […]

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TWEAKS: The cheapest effective one

Paul McGowan writes: David Pogue, one of my readers, suggested to me “the cheapest tweak” that he’s ever tried and I thought it might be interesting, this fine Sunday morning, to give this tweak a try if you’re looking for something to do. The tweak concerns extreme toe in of the loudspeakers – toe in […]

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Storage tanks? Yes, storage tanks!

Paul McGowan writes: In my previous post Jittered, we used a water flow analogy to further our understanding of jitter and how to make it go away. You’ll remember that jitter is all about timing and making sure that the digital audio bits arrive on schedule without any slow downs or speed ups to their […]

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PS AUDIO: A fool’s errand

Paul McGowan writes as follows: Perhaps the best audio experience you could have would be to drag your stereo system to the original concert hall where a particular recording was made, setup on the same stage and play the recording back.  You would be sitting in your favorite seat in the concert hall and the […]

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Getting what you bargained for

Paul McGowan writes: In our comments section of PS Tracks magazine I mentioned how we in the high-end got what we bargained for when we chose the lowest price over service and advice.  I thought it would make a good post on its own. Dealers have always discounted.  Even back in the days of famous […]

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PS AUDIO: Do machines have souls?

Forgive me for using the term “soul” because I don’t mean it in a disrespectful or religious manner  – but for lack of a better term – I mean a life of its own. I think we all agree machines have personalities and they invoke feelings and emotions in us and for many they can […]

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$100K turntables – circus act or what?

Paul McGowan …… Does the mere fact there are $100K plus turntables and $250K plus power amplifiers available as serious products, featured and reviewed by the magazines, hurt or help the high-end? Of course an argument can be made for both sides – mine would be it hurts the high-end. Why?  Because it turns many […]

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Observations almost always trump measurements.

Paul McGowan writes: Just because you can’t measure something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Just because you observe something doesn’t mean you understand how to measure and repeat it. We get confused a lot between the observations we make, the measurements we use to try and quantify those observations and the conclusions we draw from […]

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PS AUDIO: The problem with headphones

  Paul McGowan writes: I am often asked what headphones I recommend and the answer for me is simple: I don’t.  While I certainly recognize the popularity of headphones and appreciate what they can do, I am personally not a fan for several reasons: I miss the visceral feel of the music as well as […]

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