PS AUDIO: “It’s a shame my favorite live recording comes from the 1950′s and that there aren’t …. “

Paul McGowan writes:  As Audiophiles we constantly search for what we consider the holy grail; reproducing the sound of live music in our homes. Yet is it even possible given that most recordings don’t actually contain enough live information that helps us identify the recording space?  We can have the very best equipment in our […]

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PS AUDIO: The ins and outs of battery powered source gear

Paul McGowan writes: For a long while there was a trend towards battery powered source gear.  Advantages were many: lower noise, no cords to deal with, better isolation.  But in general they did not succeed because they sounded worse.  Why?  Because of what made them special, the batteries themselves. EDITORIAL NOTE: The opinions expressed in […]

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Wipe the slate clean and ….. see what you get!

Paul McGowan:  How the sound of clapping can be so hard for an amplifier to properly reproduce when music should be ultimate challenge. And equally hard to imagine how the noise between FM radio stations can help us design better amplifiers and cables; yet I am reminded it can. This whole notion of designer’s improving […]

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I can’t think another engineered product category other than audio that makes people so nuts when it comes to design by use

It’s hard to imagine cooking a fine meal without ever tasting the food, or designing a speaker without listening to the final product. That sort of arms-length-design is more a crapshoot than a surefire success. Yet, when we talk about PS Audio’s design process for electronics that spends more time on voicing than measurement, eyes […]

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Speakers should disappear, which seems impossible. The drivers are pointing straight at us!

Paul McGowan writes ….. Much to my surprise this fact, along with another—the soundstage should come from behind the loudspeaker—continually baffles people. I am at the Japan Audio show today and watched as two setup guys had the right combination of disappearing source and rear presentation, only to change placement to pinpoint the source and […]

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PS AUDIO: “I am not in the mood to sit by and idly hope they might get around to sharing their wisdom and knowledge with us in some compiled form”

Paul McGowan writes: These recent nostalgic posts got me to thinking about the remaining luminaries of High-End’s glory period.  People like Mike Kay, Arnie Nudell and Harry Pearson (HP) who helped define the High-End at its peak. The knowledge, experience and wisdom locked up in their heads will be lost when they’re gone and we’ll […]

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PS AUDIO: ” ……. if it sounds real, how can it get better than real?”

Paul McGowan writes: You’ve just finished polishing your system and settling down to enjoy it.  But how do you know it’s right? The short answer is: when it’s real. Imaging, tonal balance, toe in, toe out all matter to achieve only one thing: reality in your living room. Does that singer sound like she is […]

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“Speakers always sound different when spiked, not necessarily always better”

Paul McGowan writes: In yesterday’s post, I shared some common wisdom about spikes that turns out to be wrong. Thanks to my attentive and generous readers, I stand corrected. The original thought process behind spiking speakers was not to isolate, as I had assumed, but the opposite—anchor the cabinets to the floor and transfer some […]

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Taming the top end

Perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions is how to tame an aggressive top end. The culprits are almost always dome tweeter offering greater detailto the music. And that’s the catchphrase to be wary of. It’s not that I have something against domes. I’ve heard a number of fine examples over the years. It’s just […]

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Delayed audio

Paul McGowan writes: Here’s an interesting fact. If we play our stereo system outdoors we’d have no room problems, yet not much would sound right. Rooms are somewhat of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, their hard boundaries enable our speakers to fill the room with sound. (Imagine your stereo system trying to fill Yankee Stadium). […]

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The significance of the folding transmission line in a loudspeaker?

What is the significance of the folding transmission line in a loudspeaker? My guess is that not many of you have heard of a folding transmission line in a loudspeaker, much less ever heard one working.  The late Bud Fried, from Fried Audio (pronounced “freed” as opposed to what one might do with eggs), was […]

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PS AUDIO: Building a reference level sound room is no small task and, while a fun project, it’s …

Paul McGowan writes:  I promised a series that included a video of the setup for our new reference system in the PS Listening room – and I will deliver on that promise for those of you interested in following along. Building a reference level sound room is no small task and, while a fun project, […]

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Older audio equipment is very much like our memories. Always different than they really were.

We tend to remember the emotional highlights of events—both good and bad. The sordid details and problems fade into the background but jump right back to the forefront once re-experienced. One of my first loves was the Audio Research SP3 preamplifier. Big, warm, sweet and slobbery like those Cinnabons you know you shouldn’t eat. Musical? […]

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Tailoring the sound

Paul McGowan writes: TAS reviewer Michael Fremer has an extraordinary music system—the best vinyl setup I’ve ever heard. And it makes sense that he does. Mike’s spent a lifetime learning about vinyl audio reproduction and hand selected the best equipment in the world. His digital setup played through that same setup doesn’t quite match my […]

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