Having enough juice

Paul McGowan writes ….. One of the hotly debated issues amongst designers is current capabilities of an output stage on a DAC or preamplifier.  It’s number 8 on our list of the duties of an output stage.  On the one hand it can be argued that modern interconnects placed between the DAC and the preamplifier […]

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PS Audio Parallel filters

Paul McGowan writes: One of the least intrusive, yet least effective type of filter for the AC line is the parallel filter.  There are a number of different types but these filters generally consist of a single or group of capacitors across the hot and neutral.  Placing a capacitor across the hot and neutral does […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: Music math

Paul McGowan: Thanks to reader John McRee for suggesting the title of today’s post.  Yesterday we learned we need 8 times more power to reproduce speech than we do sine waves – which may then surprise people that loudspeaker manufacturers continue to use sine waves as a basis for their efficiency measurements.  It certainly surprises […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: Crest Factor and how it applies to headroom in an amplifier

Paul McGowan writes: I promised yesterday we’d start to learn what Crest Factor is and how it applies to headroom in an amplifier. While understanding this concept isn’t all that important to making your amplifier power decision, getting a basic understanding of how it all works and why is probably useful for most of us […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: 192kHz?

Paul McGowan writes: Have you ever wondered why there are so many different sample rates and why? The compact disc samples at 44.1kHz/16 bits. But then there’s these other rates like 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz. Wow, that’s a lot and the spacing doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. How did we get […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: Getting it right

Paul McGowan writes: Getting the midbass right in a system is something many of us overlook in loudspeaker setup, focusing instead on the low bass. I have seen this time and time again and the reason we do this is two fold: rooms are tough on the low bass levels requiring a lot of speaker […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: Congested

Paul McGowan writes: Now here’s an interesting term. Congested would normally apply to a health issue one might have but in audio terms it describes the way something might sound when it gets bunched up. It’s funny how we use some health terms like congested or constipated to describe the way something sounds. Stiff, unmoving, […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: Passion

Paul McGowan writes: The word passion has a number of definitions but the one I like the best comes from the Urban Dictionary: “Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: Levels of Fi

Paul McGowan writes: My friend Seth writes: “Mid-Fi is what we call a system that’s more reliable than the very high-end, closer to the juiciest part of the price/performance curve and sounds fabulous. Mid-Fi owners understand that swapping out anything to go to the next level means that they will be either giving up reliability […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: Starting small

Paul McGowan writes: I would imagine the canon shots on Tchaikovsky’s 1812 might sound more like the banging of pots on a B&W Zepplin, or a pair of bookshelf speakers. Big music should be honored by full range gear. Conversely, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, or Red Norvo sound right at home on small kit. If […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: Building the foundations

Paul McGowan writes ….. I have never understood the purpose of speaker stands for small two-way loudspeakers. If you’re not going to use them on a shelf, as intended, what sense do they make? A small speaker box struggles with bass—it’s just physics. Sacrificing music’s full range for a small box only makes sense in […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: Great and free

Paul McGowan writes ….. Just about everything Google does is free. Google search, Docs, Gmail, maps, Earth, and so on. In fact, one of the coolest apps I have ever used is Google Translate. And it’s free. Dining at an Italian, French, or Chinese restaurant and can’t read the menu? Open the app, click on […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: Rolling it off

Paul McGowan writes ….. Recently I explained the real problem in using a direct coupled product like a power amp or preamp is not the DC they produce, which is minimal at best, but how these products handle DC from OTHER products.  If the designer has built the classic “DC to light” amplifier,  you risk […]

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