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: The stories we tell ourselves

Paul McGowan writes: A good friend of many years is in town for a few days and we’ve been discussing high-end audio, products, the marketplace, etc. He’s been spending time in our facilities and sees the extraordinary effort that goes into designing some of our products: the months of hard work it takes to get […]

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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: The ultimate point source

Paul McGowan writes: Several of you asked me why I was so interested in a 20+ year old pair of loudspeakers that I would sell everything in the listening room to get it and what makes this speaker so special? This giant loudspeaker has a number of charms but perhaps the biggest for me is […]

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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: Do measurements matter?

Paul McGowan: No, I wasn’t thinking of starting a riot or fueling controversy with that headline. My goal is simple enough. Let’s start looking at what we know matters and what we suspect does not. For example, does THD matter? The answer is not a simple one. Books could be written on the subject. But, […]

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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: Where’s the music supposed to be?

Paul McGowan writes ….. Visiting audio clubs, dealers, trade shows and people’s homes is illuminating to me.  I am always learning.  Recently I sat in front of a dealer’s high-end demo system and was amazed at how wrong the image was. The entire presentation of the music was between my seating position and the loudspeakers: […]

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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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A POINT OF VIEW: Keeping machines happy

Paul McGowan writes ….. When upsampling programs add bits to digital audio our machines are happier, but there’s no new information to hear, no increase in dynamics to be had. It’s tempting to think otherwise. When you read that an analog tape or vinyl album has been recorded with 24 bits rather than 16, you’re […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: The cable puzzle

Paul McGowan writes …… For many years I let logic override my listening abilities. Instead of making every decision in the stereo system by careful A/B testing, some decisions were made with logic, others common sense. There are frankly too many variables to listen to them all. Engineering logic suggests power amplifiers have the easiest […]

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A POINT OF VIEW: Committed

Paul McGowan writes ….. I’ve been called stubborn a lot. Mostly by my family, but often by my employees. Once I get committed to an idea, a concept, it’s hard to move me off the dime. I had been convinced for many years that long speaker cables were the way to go. That notion was […]

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