Taking a stand

Paul McGowan: One of the hallmark indicators of low impedance is a firm stand. External forces have little sway over a device with low output impedance. This can be seen in a high damping factor amp and speaker combination where the amp exerts control over the speaker, yet the speaker cannot do the same to […]

Read More

Lowering impedance

Paul McGowan: The lower the AC impedance feeding high-end audio equipment the better each piece sounds. And when the entire system is fed with low impedance power the results can often be breathtakingly better. But, how do engineers lower impedance? That question’s not simple to answer but I am going to try. Basically, we need a […]

Read More

Dedicated power lines

Paul McGowan: If you’re serious about building a high-performance audio system you have to pay attention to the AC power. It’s a constant theme with me because power is the foundation of our systems. There aren’t many great structures standing on weak foundations. Power Plants solve many problems but they need a head start. One […]

Read More

The comings and goings of audio

Paul McGowan: Remember when we thought the best way to get pure live sound from our hi-fi systems was to artificially make them better? Dynamic range expanders, click and pop eliminators, aural exciters, holographic generators, stereo dimensional arrays. Even something as unexciting as an external active crossover was crafted to better serve up music. It wasn’t […]

Read More

DSP and bass

Paul McGowan: One objection many of us harbor towards DSP (Digital Signal Processing) is the necessity to convert analog to digital then back again. While I have nothing against digital—my system is pretty much all digital—I am still a purist at heart. The idea of working as hard as we do to get perfect analog out […]

Read More

The impersonal internet

Paul McGowan: I spend a great deal of time on the forums and comments section of our channels: Ask Paul, Ohms Law, Paul’s Post, PS Forums, YouTube, Copper Magazine, Facebook. I do this because the internet can be an impersonal place if you let it. Just look at some of the more untended channels and you’ll […]

Read More

How emotions impact sound

Paul McGowan: We listen with our ears but hear with our emotions. Every sense we possess runs through the lens of our emotions and that lens can pretty easily warp our feelings. Take for example spit. Imagine spitting saliva into a cup then drinking it again. Gross, right? Logically we know that emotion is absurd. […]

Read More

What makes an amp musical?

Paul McGowan: As design engineers, we all have different rules of thumb design crib sheets. If we want to design a servo-controlled power amplifier we engineer for maximum control and fast step rate. On the other hand, if we want to build a syrupy-sweet sounding amp we’d use a soft-focus input like a JFET or a […]

Read More

When transparency is the goal

Paul McGowan: What we hope for in any piece of hi-fi equipment is sonic transparency. We get there by practicing the Hippocratic oath, “First, do no harm.” And while this is all well and good the facts are unfortunately not in our favor. All electronics affect the signal in some way: robbing or adding. There’s […]

Read More

Impossible ideas

Paul McGowan: We’re on vacation to celebrate my birthday but my mind’s never far from audio. When I am considering a problem I often imagine the impossible in order to explore the possible. This process helps free my mind from rehashing prior art. My impossible thought was to create a speaker where one set of […]

Read More

NEWS: The all new PS Audio Sprout100

We read: Here at PS Audio we’re head-over-heels IN LOVE with Sprout100. And it can be nice to hear what PS Audio thinks. But let’s face it, with all that love to give, we’re a little star-struck. Perhaps even a little biased. Want to hear what the audiophile community is saying? How about some real-time […]

Read More

PS AUDIO: The sound of magnets

Paul McGowan writes: We know that every element in the signal chain imparts a sonic fingerprint: bipolars, tubes, JEFETS, MOSFETS. And let’s not to forget film, foil, beeswax, ceramic, and electrolytic capacitors. One piece of the puzzle has only never been eliminated. Magnetism. Most everything you listen to when reproducing music arrives to you through […]

Read More

PS AUDIO: Just because you can’t measure something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Paul McGowan writes: Just because you observe something doesn’t mean you understand how to measure and repeat it. We get confused a lot between the observations we make, the measurements we use to try and quantify those observations and the conclusions we draw from it all. For example, when a listener observes a change in […]

Read More

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

PS AUDIO: Modulators

  In our ongoing series on class D amps and listener fatigue I made the point (hopefully) that the input stage is a critical path element in the chain – because if you can’t get this part right then everything else that follows only contributes to making things worse. It’s like putting bad gas in […]

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