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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READERS’ LETTERS: Switch mode versus traditional power supplies

A member writes: My new Class D GaNFET amp (Starkrimson Ultra) has dual mono SMPS that are deadly quiet (very black backgrounds), provide tremendous headroom (1000wpc clean peak power-4 ohms), and produce sonic realism and presentations that are jaw-dropping Live…all with a Total package weight of just 18#! 😉 —//— A member writes: Almost every […]

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READERS’ LETTERS: Does the CD layer of an SACD sound better?

A member writes: I think in order to store a DSD recording onto a disk it has to be stored on a SACD disk and played back on an SACD capable player otherwise if played on a standard CD player you would only hear the standard pressing and not DSD. —//— A member writes: SACD […]

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READERS’ LETTERS: Understanding series and parallel speaker connections

A member writes: Damping Factor(DF) is equal to the impedance of the load divided by the out put impedance of the amp. For example if an amp has an output impedance of say0.1 ohms and the speaker is 8 ohms the DF is 80. If you have 2 8 ohm speakers in series the total […]

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AUDIO INSIDER

THE PERFECT SPOT: Your seating position IS compromised

Paul McGowan … If you’ve done your system setup homework your chair sits at a comfortable distance from the loudspeakers. With the precision of a ruler, you’ve tweaked and adjusted the speaker’s position for best imaging. Though we call it the sweet spot, it’s certainly not the perfect spot. Within the boundaries of most rooms, the perfect […]

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AUDIO INSIDER

EXTERNAL vs INTERNAL / Is it better to have the loudspeaker crossover inside or outside the loudspeaker?

PAUL McGOWAN / PS AUDIO I was recently asked an interesting question. Is it better to have the loudspeaker crossover inside or outside the loudspeaker? At first, the answer seemed rather simple. Inside, of course. Shorter wires, fewer binding posts, etc. Yet, in thinking about it, I can see at least one advantage to an […]

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AUDIO INSIDER

UNDERSTANDING: Image height

PS AUDIO: It is not difficult to imagine left, right, and center imaging on a stereo system. It’s also likely not too much of a stretch to understand depth. After all, a proper stereo recording reproduces depth as a measure of how far away from the recording microphones the instruments or performers are. Harder for […]

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VINTAGE AND / OR JUST NOSTALGIA: Do modern speakers sound better than vintage?

CF writes: On balance, I’d say yes. But it’s not an easy question to answer because it depends on so many factors. Which speakers are we comparing? Are we taking the used price of old speakers against what can be bought new for the same amount, or are we inflation adjusting the old price for […]

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UNDERSTANDING: Room calculations

PAUL McGOWAN Our rooms are as important as our equipment yet only a scarce few of us have the luxury of choosing our room dimensions. Typically we take what we can get within our home and make the best out of it. With our new building in process, we’re heavy into the architectural tasks of […]

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SUBWOOFERS: An unnecessary luxury … fact or fiction?

The very term luxury defines whatever it is added to as unnecessary. Air and water are necessities. Love and affection are luxuries. But while many would argue it’s the luxuries that make life worth living, I would extend that to subwoofers make stereos worth listening. Ok, that’s a stretch. Clearly, stereos are worth listening even […]

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AUDIO INSIDER

DOUBLE DUTY: For those that have receivers or integrateds with dedicated RCA subwoofer outputs, this post may have some interest.

For the most part, a dedicated subwoofer output on a receiver or integrated exists because of old-school habits. Long ago, at the beginning of the subwoofer era, there were no built-in crossovers. Subs came in two flavors: an unpowered or powered woofer in a box. If the first the user had to supply a power […]

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TO BE … OR NOT: Bi-amping?

PAUL MCGOWAN … There once was a day when power amplifiers struggled. The mainstays, tube amplifiers, couldn’t handle low frequencies well but had immaculate highs. The newcomers, solid state amps, produced prodigious bass but struggled with the high notes. None handled both. That’s when some bright person decided to combine the best of both worlds. […]

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SPEAKERS: Anchor or isolate?

PAUL MCGOWAN … Audiophile wisdom is rife with both good and bad advice. It’s a good idea to pay attention to the electronic chain’s component quality while it’s a bad idea to spend so much on tweaks you ignore the fundamentals. Sometimes this common wisdom finds itself in the middle of a great philosophical divide. […]

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SPEAKER PLACEMENT: Tilt ‘er back

Paul McGowan … If you’re looking for a quick and easy fine-tuning technique, try tilting the speakers forward or backward relative to the listening position. This is a time-honored tweak that not everyone’s familiar with, but it sure works great. The easiest way to do this is by using a CD jewel case under the […]

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