PS AUDIO: There’s an old saying “the devil you know” resonates well here

Paul McGowan: Most high-end audio systems I see and own are collections of equipment added/subtracted/modified over time. The systems have grown organically as we add the next best thing or eliminate the one we don’t like.  Rarely do we get to sell everything and start fresh with a clean slate. Imagine for a moment what […]

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Parallel filters – all you need to know

Paul McGowan writes: One of the least intrusive, yet least effective type of filter for the AC line is the parallel filter.  There are a number of different types but these filters generally consist of a single or group of capacitors across the hot and neutral.  Placing a capacitor across the hot and neutral does […]

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Conducting ourselves

Paul McGowan writes: Have you ever thought about how many different people you’ve been in your lifetime? The Paul of high school is very different than the one typing this note—even the me of a decade ago isn’t the same as today and there’s every indication tomorrow will bring more changes. It’s a funny thing […]

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Comments invited: How/why do CD lasers fail?

I’m considering various CD transports at present, and these are older models(that’s the only way I can afford one!). Thus I need to make sure of availability of lasers/mechanisms to avoid having an expensive paperweight. Whilst I understand the mechanical failure modes of transports, I’m wondering what causes laser failure? Is it purely a function […]

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Building systems

Paul McGowan writes: We cobble together multiple components to form a stereo system. Speakers, cables, equipment, are all necessary elements to produce music in our homes. The skills needed to assemble a proper stereo are not taught in school and with the single exception of Jim Smith’s excellent work, I’ve yet to see a book explaining […]

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Is it time for active speakers?

Having owned quite a number of speakers and equipment over the years. This isn’t an argument that active speakers are always better, but it’s interesting that they just aren’t more popular in the home, and yet are ubiquitous in the studio. The “BBC monitors” of today are rarely used in hifi. With an increasing number […]

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PS AUDIO: Hogwash

Have you ever noticed that if you have an opinion about something it can easily be dismissed or agreed upon as soon as you know there’s a term or explanation for it? For example I used to reject as distasteful olive oils that were so spicy they burned the back of my throat until I […]

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PS AUDIO: The Audion

Paul McGowan: This is the first post in our series on Tubes vs. Transistors.  I’ll do my best to keep this fun, informative, not uber technical and to the point so we can all have something to look forward to each day. You may have heard the term “Audion” as there is a UK manufacturer […]

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GAMUT: Zodiac loudspeaker

They say ….. If you’re already a fan of Gamut’s superlative RS Series (and let’s face it, if you’ve heard them, you will be), then you’re in for one heck of a treat. The new hot-off-the-press Zodiac is a further development of the pride of the RS Series, the huge RS9. “The Zodiac is basically […]

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How come my little 10 watt SET amplifier works just fine on my speakers?

Paul McGowan: Thanks to reader John McRee for suggesting the title of today’s post.  Yesterday we learned we need 8 times more power to reproduce speech than we do sine waves – which may then surprise people that loudspeaker manufacturers continue to use sine waves as a basis for their efficiency measurements.  It certainly surprises […]

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PS AUDIO: If it’s not personal is it high-end?

Paul McGowan: Most high-end audio systems are very personal because they are hand assembled by the owner.  Rarely are any two alike and that’s kind of what makes this sport fun.  But if dealers sold pre-assembled “cookie cutter” systems that the owner did not personalize, would they still be high-end? I believe so.  I believe […]

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MIYAJIMA: Artisan moving coil cartridges

They tell us ….. Japan-based Miyajima has been making phono cartridges for more than three decades. Although they were only discovered by American and European audiophiles in recent years, they have since received rave reviews all over the world and deservedly so. With several patents under his belt, Noriyuki Miyajima is a passionate music-lover and […]

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The first time

Paul McGowan writes: I remember learning to ride a bicycle. My father, Don, patiently held the bike upright—running alongside me—as I tried to get enough speed and balance to avoid crashing. At one point I felt confident enough to yell “let go!” only to look behind me and realize he had done so several hundred […]

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PS AUDIO: The first 90% of designing a product goes into its design. The second 90% of a product is in the finishing touches.

Paul McGowan: The new power amp I’ve written about is finished and it’s everything I ever hoped for in an amp.  Unfortunately there’s only one in the world at the moment and more won’t appear until this summer.  The process of going from the one to the many is tedious, laborious and so completely necessary […]

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MIYAJIMA: Top-of-range Madake cartridge

They told us ….. Singled out as one of The Absolute Sound’s top three ‘Auspicious Debuts’ at the 2014 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, Miyajima’s newest top-of-the-range stereo cartridge, the Madake, is now available in the UK. The clue about what makes the Madake special lies in its name: Madake is the Japanese term for a […]

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