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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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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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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Ignorance and confidence

When we set our sights far in the future the world looks nice and rosy. Imagine that new pair of speakers gracing your living room, the new amplifier, the rebuilt room. According to Mark Twain imagining the future takes a combination of things. “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind […]

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” … if you have to accept distortion products, might as well make them pleasing.”

Paul McGowan writes ….. Every device type we might choose to design an output stage or an amplifier of any kind has inherent distortion products.  These distortions are different in a current amplifying device (like a bipolar transistor) than they are in a voltage amplifying device (like a FET or tube). The differences are in […]

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Amperage alchemy

Paul McGowan writes ….. We’ve briefly discussed getting the digital audio stream into the DAC and then decoding those bits back into a form of analog that gets us a lot closer to being able to play it on our systems. At the output of the DAC chip we have a series of current steps […]

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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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Are servo woofers BS?

Paul McGowan writes: There are very few servo controlled woofer systems on the market today. They have long been touted as the best woofer performance in the world. Is it true or hokum? And, if true, why don’t more woofer systems employ servos? Paul explains how they work and why they perform the way they […]

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This is the same technique used by a magician trying to trick you

Originally published 2016 Paul McGowan ….. In a recent post I apparently gave out a bad link to this fellow’s video so here’s another.   In the video, when you get a chance to watch it, you’ll probably pickup quite a few valuable tidbits of information and get a good view of how an engineer might […]

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The death of hand wiring

Paul McGowan writes: Printed circuit boards, those thin copper strips laminated to fiberglass, paper, or ceramic plates routing complex electrical signals are common today. It wasn’t always so. PCBs, as they are known, poked their collective heads out of infancy in the late 1950s after being invented by an Australian engineer, Paul Eisler, in 1936. […]

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If it quacks like a duck…

Paul McGowan writes: Daniel von Recklinghausen, the renowned audio engineer at EAD and KLH is famous for this old chestnut: “If it measures good and sounds bad, — it is bad. If it sounds good and measures bad, — you’ve measured the wrong thing.” Hard to argue with the man’s logic. One of the ways […]

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Open baffle vs. closed box. Most loudspeakers are trapped inside sealed boxes where the woofer’s rear wave cannot interfere with its front wave. But, there is another type of speaker called an open baffle that has no box. Find out what Paul thinks of open baffle loudspeakers. Watch Now

Paul McGowan writes: Most loudspeakers are trapped inside sealed boxes where the woofer’s rear wave cannot interfere with its front wave. But, there is another type of speaker called an open baffle that has no box. Find out what Paul thinks of open baffle loudspeakers. Watch Now

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Setup matters

Paul McGowan writes: There are very few pieces of hifi kit that won’t benefit from a great deal of care and attention. But one benefits far more than anything else I can think of. The turntable. Vinyl’s playback is almost entirely dependent on proper setup. Getting the arm and cartridge combination playing nice together is […]

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“Did you notice the extended highs?” In fact, I did not, but now that ……..

Paul McGowan writes: Our brains edit what we see and hear like a film director’s viewfinder. You’re probably familiar with this concept every time you take a picture of a distant mountain, seascape, or harvest moon and are disappointed with the outcome. What your vision records is entirely different than what the camera sees. Our brains […]

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