What’s wrong with the status quo?

Paul McGowan My recent post suggested the perceived shift away from high-end audio was not what it appears.  That, in fact, it is a shift away from spending family resources on isolating the audio system – not the lack of desire for high-performance. We now have entire generations of music lovers who want music throughout […]

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PS Audio: Having your cake

Paul McGowan writes: For those of you following the trail of the Music Room construction and the installation of the Infinity Reference Standard loudspeakers, the latest chapter, part 6 is up and ready for viewing.  Part 7 will probably follow quickly as the IRS system is, as of this morning, setup in the room! Yesterday’s […]

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PS AUDIO: The Man Cave

Paul McGowan: A fellow manufacturer dropped me a note recently in response to one of my posts regarding the declining acceptance of high-end audio in the home. He writes: “Audio-as-a-destination-activity is the enemy of the rest of the household. It takes both money and the listener away from the family. Home Theater is a friend […]

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From the archives: Ribbon drivers

Ribbon transducer manufacturing has traditionally been a specialized craft, even when part of a larger speaker manufacturing operation. The wisdom and perception for permanent installations was that the expense and temperamental aspects of ribbon diaphragm assemblies, their limited dynamic range, and the larger surface radiating area required for adequate low-end response limited their market acceptance. […]

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If I had to think of the worst thing I might add to a power amplifier, an output transformer would be right up there – yet the vast majority of tube power amplifiers sport them

Paul McGowan writes:  If I had to think of the worst thing I might add to a power amplifier, an output transformer would be right up there – yet the vast majority of tube power amplifiers sport them. Tube amps interface their output stage with your loudspeakers through a matching transformer, not because it sounds […]

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Speakers or amp; which upgrade should come first in this system?

A little advice from you guys please. I used to be happy with the set up I had, which consisted of Micromega CD player, Micromega A60 amplifier, Project Debut Mk3 turntable, Canton LE207 floorstanders and Chord cables. This was all linked into a moderate surround-sound set up for my DVDs including Monitor Audio Radius rears and […]

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PC audio second rate quality?

OK, so I’ve replaced the CD player with a PS audio DAC and using the Pioneer Blu-ray as a transport and the improvement in sound is a lot better than expected, my attention is now drawn to the sound quality from my PC. It’s generally very good but the Pioneer/PS audio combo leaves it behind. […]

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Ripping it up

Originally published in 2015 Paul McGowan: In one of my earlier posts Taking things for granted I mentioned being confounded by the results of making a CD copy, which turned out better than the original. I understand some of the ideas here: copying to a hard drive and then back again to lower jitter, cleaning […]

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When people ask me now I try and be as gentle as possible and focus more on being supportive without being cruel or dismissive.

Paul McGowan writes: Let me set the scene for you. You’re at a dinner party, the folks that invited you have worked their hearts out to make a lovely meal, but it’s not to your liking. And then your worst fears come true. “How was your food?” She asks so nicely, filled with expectations (and hope). […]

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‘I found out something about myself’

I recently found out something about myself, and I think it informs some of the questions and debates that audiophiles have. When I started down this path some years ago, I thought I was a “they are here” music lover; that is, I was seeking to bring, say, the Berlin Philharmonic into my listening room. […]

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“God I’m sick of hifi”

All the boxes, all the cables, all the crap… So all I have is up for sale, and is already replaced with bluetooth, active speaker, idevice and, for old times sake, an LP12 running a bluetooth preamp. Yes, that is speaker singular, an omnidirectional beoplay device. Yes, I have a suddenly busy life, and yes, […]

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Battling our preconceptions

Paul McGowan writes: Do you fall into the trap of judging things based on a preconception? Do you buy into stereotypes? I do. All the time. I think it’s in our nature as humans to categorize life’s complexities based on our experiences: cables make a difference/cables can’t make a difference. Electrostats are transparent sounding/electrostats require […]

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