In 1974, PS co-founder, Stan Warren, and I launched a phono preamplifier for $59.95 that challenged the status quo. The ridicule we were subjected to really stung at first, and then it became somewhat a badge of honor.

We were pushing people out of their comfort zones to consider whether a product so dramatically lower priced than their image of what normal was that it upset them (at the same time it thrilled others).

I remember one standout letter from a well meaning audiophile who lambasted us for “poking our disruptive noses” into a long-established hierarchy that was “better off left alone”. To this person, there was a beauty to the way things were. That our pittling efforts to unseat what others had spent years establishing was not only a disgrace but a pox upon the landscape.

Why couldn’t we leave well enough alone?

I think that was a valid question.

The fight against well enough is at its core our very human need to better ourselves and our surroundings. It’s why we wish for our kids to exceed our own efforts. Why we learn new ways of bettering our own lives, pray for guidance, hope for less suffering in our community and the world.

Over all these many years of being a disruptor, I’ve come to a comfortable place with the inevitable ridicule that follows rethinking and questioning of what’s accepted as normal and right.

I’ve gotten there because finally, I understand their harsh words are not personal. They are protective shields from those asked to leave their comfort zones.

And that’s about as normal and human as it gets.

Paul McGowan / PS AUDIO

Leave a Reply