Our path was not an easy one. Where classic tales of well-funded business plans and successful entrepreneurs might describe a lot of companies, it sure didn’t reflect our own.

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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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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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. […]

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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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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Audio language

Paul McGowan writes: When we talk about sound, what do adjectives like, dark, wooly, bright, spacious, or edgy sound like on our stereo systems? Hard to say, because words build pictures in our heads that have no literal equivalent in sound. “Wooly”  forms an image of “thick”, but how can sound be thick? Just today I was trying to describe the […]

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How much loss can you hear? Much depends on two factors: who you ask and how much is lost.

Paul McGowan writes: Computer audio can be hard to understand. I know this because I get so many questions from our customers. The (seemingly) most misunderstood terms are lossy and lossless, compressed and uncompressed. For starters, how many of us get an uncomfortable feeling when we hear our music’s been compressed? It’s like hearing your food was […]

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Next time you’re evaluating something new in the system take a break and let a day go by before you revisit your decision.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you’re focusing so hard on a minute details that you miss the elephant in the room?  Happens to me all the time. A commenter to these posts mentioned an AB test he witnessed between two amps and after multiple A/B back and forth tests someone suggested the channels between […]

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One of my readers is known as the Polarity Pundit – writes Paul McGowan

Paul McGowan writes: There are many great mysteries in the world: how the pyramids were built, the Easter Island Moai, why whatever hair I lose on my head seems to pop up somewhere else, and I am sure there are plenty more. There are two great mysteries in audio that are currently bugging me and, […]

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Technologies need time to mature. To settle in. Breathing room to do their work until the market’s ready to appreciate their benefits.

Paul McGowan writes: The transition from one format to another, say vinyl to CD, CD to streaming audio, PCM to DSD, embodies the future directions music reproduction is taking. Inevitably the first transition period has both major benefits and drawbacks as well. We should not judge a format at the time of its transition. The […]

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Recordings I have relegated to my secondary and tertiary shelves have now been elevated up or have gone further down – most up in pecking order”

Originally published 2015 Paul McGowan writes: Now that the Infinity IRS system is installed and I am listening to it I thought I might give you an update as to how things are going. First I’ll describe the audio chain being used.  It’s right now about as simple as it can be.  For a source […]

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I like to learn and I love different viewpoints. But is it proof?

Paul McGowan:  In our comments section, in response to my post FOMO, there is a good and healthy debate going on about the differences in sound quality between DSD and PCM. In one of the comments a fellow manufacturer’s online rant “proving” that PCM is as good as DSD is cited. The article includes a […]

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