PS AUDIO: Why haven’t these (switch mode power) supplies been used to better advantage?

Paul McGowan … Perhaps the single biggest reason to use a switch mode power supply (SMPS) on a power amplifier is that the output of a properly designed one is more like perfect DC than that of a conventional supply; and not just by a little bit. Conventional supplies switch back and fourth between plus […]

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MARANTZ / ROWLAND: Classic 9 + Rowland Coherence, hot pins on XLR connectors.

Can I use other tubes than the EL34s on the Marantz 9s? The amps themselves and the manuals are marked with those specific tubes. So I don’t know if tube rolling would create problems. If you feel it’s technically possible and advantageous, what would you recommend in connection with the Quads?  Also, a phase issue […]

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POWER LINES: The dedicated ones

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 […]

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AUDIO INSIDER

SOME MAKERS WILL HATE THIS: How does one measure the differences between amplifiers when they clearly sound different?

How does one measure the differences between amplifiers when they clearly sound different? The first and simplest measurements are frequency response and noise levels: frequency response shows us that everything we put in makes it through to the output and noise levels are an obvious thing to measure so we don’t have hiss. Fancier measurements […]

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SPOTIFY: How does it calculate loudness?

” We currently use ReplayGain, which was the most recognized standard for calculating loudness when Spotify first started. In the future, we plan to use a new standard for calculating loudness, called ITU 1770 (from the International Telecommunication Union). This defines the integrated LUFS (Loudness Units Full Scale) measure, and it’s what we recommend you […]

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AUDIO INSIDER

SPEAKER CROSSOVERS: Active vs. passive

Which is better and why? An active crossover or a passive built-in crossover? And how do each of these two electronic frequency dividing networks actually do their job? Watch Now  

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AUDIO INSIDER

SPECIFICALLY: McIntosh transformers

Paul McGowan:  A recent post covered output transformers on tube power amplifiers and why they were needed.  It also covered the fact that IMHO transformers are the last thing I would add to the output stage of a solid state power amplifier because output transformers like this contribute so much to the sound quality of […]

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STAR EARTHING: What is it and what’s the point?

Hello Howard. Can you ask Colin please what is star earthing and does he / will he using it in his new designs? Ta muchly J.N Peterson {Colin} Dear J.N.Peterson star earthing should be used in all analog designs, that is a single zero or earth for every component on the circuit board and normally […]

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ON or OFF: How often do we have to turn off our equipment?

Dear Colin, power supply question. How often do we have to turn off our equipment such as power amp, pre amp. cd player , power conditioner ……? Can we leave them on for days while listening on and off or do we have to turn them off after every session of listening? As a general […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN / SANSUI: Capacitor replacement in vintage units

Q: I know vintage gear isn’t your business of course but, hey, I trust your expertise and so I wonder if you can help with a component issue please? I’m doing a Sansui restoration and the main caps are Nichicon & Elna. There are many differing capacitor ranges, do you have any specific recommendations? A: […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN: Impedance – match of pre / power amps

Dear Colin, impedance match of preamp and main amp. I am considering mating a McIntosh Mc602 with a Bat Vk 51se. I noticed the input impedance on the Mc602 is 10K. While most Bat amps are much higher. Do you see a problem with this? It seems I remember at Stereophile I used to know […]

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CONVERSATIONS WITH COLIN / TUBES: That elusive sound?

Hello Colin, please be patient with me because although I am an experienced listener I’m not very conversant with the technology that is available today. By this I mean I really just plug in and just listen. However recently I started to think about some of the units I use, In particular a Musical Fidelity […]

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DIY INTERCONNECTS: Using Teflon braided hose

Hi Colin. I love your ‘clinic’. Neil promised that you might be offering education for us novices. So may I ask – have you ever thought about using braided hose to run your interconnects. I am talking about type usually found as brake lines on motorbikes and car braking systems, i was messing around with […]

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BIAMPING: I remember my delight the first time biamping speakers was explained to me

Paul McGowan The notion of using one amplifier perfectly matched to the tweeter and another to the woofer made such elegant sense. Tubes for the top end, solid state grunt for the bottom. Brilliant. That was at a time when the choices in amplifiers were limited. Big, powerful solid state amps sounded pretty poor reproducing […]

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AUDIOPHILE FUSES: Nonsense or what?

Hello experts. I have used audiophile fuses for years in various equipment without problem, generally appreciative of sound quality improvement. Recently, I’ve encountered problems with audiophile fuses blowing in my Coincident Turbo 845SE amplifier. At this point I’ve had two failures of Synergistic Red Quantum 6.3a 250v sloblo fuses in this amp. Recently I discovered […]

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SPOTIFY: Normalization vs dynamic range compression

Have you ever wondered what the ‘Set the same volume level for all tracks’ option in Spotify is really doing?  No probably not, but I have. Googling didn’t help to find an answer to this question because some people say that it works by normalization and others say that it works by reducing the dynamic […]

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PS AUDIO: Balanced is better

Paul McGowan writes … In my mind, there’s no question that between components the best connection is balanced. Balanced cables offer lower noise and better sound. I understand there are single-ended holdouts (wait, we disagree on something in audio?). Perhaps their equipment doesn’t support balanced. Perhaps their cable collection doesn’t include balanced. Or maybe they […]

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