SETUP: Matters

Paul McGowan writes: There are very few pieces of hifi kit that won’t benefit from a great deal of care and attention. But one benefits far more than anything else I can think of. The turntable. Vinyl’s playback is almost entirely dependent on proper setup. Getting the arm and cartridge combination playing nice together is […]

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BUT IS IT PROOF: I like to learn and I love different viewpoints … but is it proof?

Paul McGowan:  In our comments section, in response to my post FOMO, there is a good and healthy debate going on about the differences in sound quality between DSD and PCM. In one of the comments a fellow manufacturer’s online rant “proving” that PCM is as good as DSD is cited. The article includes a […]

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Open baffle vs. closed box. Most loudspeakers are trapped inside sealed boxes where the woofer’s rear wave cannot interfere with its front wave. But, there is another type of speaker called an open baffle that has no box. Find out what Paul thinks of open baffle loudspeakers. Watch Now

Paul McGowan writes: Most loudspeakers are trapped inside sealed boxes where the woofer’s rear wave cannot interfere with its front wave. But, there is another type of speaker called an open baffle that has no box. Find out what Paul thinks of open baffle loudspeakers. Watch Now

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A new route to market for beleaguered and/or greedy audio makers? Part #3 of 3

So now you know my views. Are they interesting views? How do you feel about them? While you are pondering this, given that I’m far from infallible it’s worth considering that although I might be right I could also be wrong: The direct marketing strategy has already worked in the case of Eastern Electric in […]

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The Owen Bennet Magic Box

Paul McGowan: I wrote about a product that appeared to work but unfortunately had an explanation that was so riddled with BS that it was a turn off. That story reminded me of the opposite: a product that worked like magic and had a great explanation.  The Owen Bennet Magic Box. In the 1970′s Stan […]

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DESIGN MATURITY. Needs time to settle in … breathing room to do their work until the market’s ready to appreciate their benefits

Paul McGowan writes: The transition from one format to another, say vinyl to CD, CD to streaming audio, PCM to DSD, embodies the future directions music reproduction is taking. Inevitably the first transition period has both major benefits and drawbacks as well. We should not judge a format at the time of its transition. The […]

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If it quacks like a duck…

Paul McGowan writes: Daniel von Recklinghausen, the renowned audio engineer at EAD and KLH is famous for this old chestnut: “If it measures good and sounds bad, — it is bad. If it sounds good and measures bad, — you’ve measured the wrong thing.” Hard to argue with the man’s logic. One of the ways […]

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POSSIBLY: Could it be that it is the machine itself is the culprit?

Paul McGowan: One of our readers commented on my post Ripping it up with a very insightful observation I found particularly stimulating this morning. “Perception ignores anything that is constant (like neighbors ignoring the roar of Niagara Falls) and focuses on minute changes. We can even hear echoes and noises that are 10dB or more […]

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SERVO WOOFERS: Are they BS?

Paul McGowan writes: There are very few servo controlled woofer systems on the market today. They have long been touted as the best woofer performance in the world. Is it true or hokum? And, if true, why don’t more woofer systems employ servos? Paul explains how they work and why they perform the way they […]

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How good is old?

Paul McGowan writes: Good memories sweeten with time. My first experience with a pair of exceptional loudspeakers was in the home of radio station engineer Jim Mussel in 1973. He and I worked for the same FM rock and roll radio station, KXFM in Santa Maria, California. We were both interested in good sound but […]

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There simply aren’t any good places to go to find pre-packaged entry or mid level high-end audio products

Paul McGowan: I’ve posted about this before: there simply aren’t any good places to go to find pre-packaged entry or mid level high-end audio products.  That’s a mistake. If we’ve gone to all the trouble to create a brand for the high-end, then certified products as true high-end audio products that live up to the […]

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Amperage alchemy

Paul McGowan writes ….. We’ve briefly discussed getting the digital audio stream into the DAC and then decoding those bits back into a form of analog that gets us a lot closer to being able to play it on our systems. At the output of the DAC chip we have a series of current steps […]

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Of course nothing could be further from the truth

Paul McGowan:  I just finished reading a great and insightful book, Dogfight, by Fred Vogelstein. The book chronicles the fight for dominance in the mobile computing market between Apple and Google. It’s extremely well written and a good page turner. What interested me most about this book was the level of chaos the two companies […]

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How to get the midbass right?

Paul McGowan …… AGB’s latest column has been uploaded and for those of you interested to see what the Audio Hitman has to say about EQ’ing your system and frequency response in general, go here to read the article.  For the faint of heart, I recommend abstaining. As I worked through the setup of the […]

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Next time you’re evaluating something new in the system take a break and let a day go by before you revisit your decision.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you’re focusing so hard on a minute details that you miss the elephant in the room?  Happens to me all the time. A commenter to these posts mentioned an AB test he witnessed between two amps and after multiple A/B back and forth tests someone suggested the channels between […]

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Audio language

Paul McGowan writes: When we talk about sound, what do adjectives like, dark, wooly, bright, spacious, or edgy sound like on our stereo systems? Hard to say, because words build pictures in our heads that have no literal equivalent in sound. “Wooly”  forms an image of “thick”, but how can sound be thick? Just today I was trying to describe the […]

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” … if you have to accept distortion products, might as well make them pleasing.”

Paul McGowan writes ….. Every device type we might choose to design an output stage or an amplifier of any kind has inherent distortion products.  These distortions are different in a current amplifying device (like a bipolar transistor) than they are in a voltage amplifying device (like a FET or tube). The differences are in […]

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