PS AUDIO: “So the loudspeakers are at fault? No, not entirely. Here’s what I suspect. The ear/brain is just sensitive enough to ……. “

Paul McGowan writes: In my post “Through and open window” I mentioned that if I am walking down the street and hear a piano through an open window I know immediately if that’s the sound of a real piano or a recorded one.  Odd that we can do this even from affar and through a […]

Read More

Aha! moments

Paul McGowan writes ….. Few things in life are as satisfying as an aha! moment: the solving of a tough problem, the solution to a puzzle, getting your stereo system dialed in. One of the more common aha! moments for people is when they try easing up on speaker toe in. Most speakers don’t want […]

Read More

Dopamine anyone?

Paul McGowan: My friend Robert sent me a link to a great article on how music affects the brain in the New York Times.  It’s well worth the read should you be as interested in the subject as I am. What it shows is the same mechanisms at work we use for figuring out all […]

Read More

PS AUDIO: Do you treat the room or the system? The cause or the effect? The illness or the symptoms?

Our quick response to these questions would be to treat the cause rather than the symptoms – we’ve seen many examples of this in our lives and intuitively the answer seems obvious – but does it apply to our rooms? Should we be running digital correction, processors, equalizers to force our systems to work within […]

Read More

Horn loudspeakers: “The next track was a female vocalist. I was equally stunned because this sounded so unnatural as to be unnerving.”

A lot of people love the sound of horns.  I am not one of them.I do love some of the qualities they present: high efficiency, terrific dynamic range, dynamic contrasts and great transient speed. I do not love their tonal characteristics.  Cup your hands around your mouth and speak – this is what horns do […]

Read More

If you have to ask …..

We’re discussing audio blocking capacitors; elements in the signal path that our music has to run through to get to our ears.  These capacitors block DC and let AC pass through – AC being the essential element of music – DC is needed for things to work but we do not want it in our […]

Read More

Most of us are familiar with the concept of mechanically isolating our equipment from vibrations; but do you know why it’s important?

Microphonics.  Certainly not the only reason, but clearly the most important.  Microphonics is the tendency of something to act like a microphone; picking up and reproducing sounds it “hears”. The sound producer is, of course, our loudspeakers – which is why headphones and their associated equipment are far less sensitive and needful of vibration dampers. […]

Read More

PS AUDIO: A rose is a rose ……..

Paul McGowan writes: There’s increasing evidence that rhymes, poems, meter and cadence in stories were created not because they are beautiful but because they helped us keep the words straight before the advent of written language.  It is how our civilization kept important lessons, histories, messages and stories intact without writing anything down. Imagine any […]

Read More

PS Audio BHK Signature 300 Mono Amplifiers test review

Patrick Dillon writes: If you have followed the audiophile press over the last couple of years, you have no doubt read a fair bit about PS Audio and their new product releases. While most of the attention has been on their award-winning digital players and DACs, the company that seemingly never sleeps has also launched […]

Read More

I wonder how many concepts we take for granted were born out of this very same process?

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 rising exponentially. Here’s the interesting thing: all […]

Read More

THD less than audibility. Now there’s a spec I can live with

Zero calories? Went to cook some scrambled eggs this morning and first sprayed the pan with one of those spray oils. Always conscious of my weight I checked the calorie content: zero.  Zero?  Really?  It is, after all, oil and oil is NOT zero calories. Turns out the agency that regulates the measurement standards has […]

Read More

Hard to imagine that a piece of plastic has a personality but if you play vinyl records, each is an individual separate and distinct from all others.

Paul McGowan: Vinyl personalities depend on the pressing, the number of times its been played, the environment, the particulars of the stylus plying the grooves of the record and any number of unique circumstances of play and usage. The individual personalities of vinyl add a unique dimension to this analog medium – but the personality […]

Read More

“Every dime I spend on the casework is a dime I cannot put into making it sound better “

Paul McGowan: Looking at an issue of Hi Fi Plus, one of my favorite UK magazines, the cover shows a picture of the beautifully executed Constellation Audio products. These super expensive high-end audio pieces are beautiful on the inside and the outside and cost a small fortune to own.  Much of that fortune is spent […]

Read More

Designing high end audio is, after all, an art form

Paul McGowan: Many of you have written me asking not to back off while others want more – I think perhaps an increased effort on my part to balance the topics and posts would probably be appropriate.  One comment really resonated with me “where else would I ever read about the audio designer’s perspective?”  I […]

Read More

Audiophile commodities

Paul McGowan: I was thumbing through a stereo catalog recently and came across a full page presentation for Infinity loudspeakers on the left page and Klipsch loudspeakers on the right page.  The designers of the catalog used photos showing their entire lineup from small to large loudspeaker in a line.  I am sure you know […]

Read More