DAC priorities

Paul McGowan writes: All DACs are not equal yet many of today’s most popular digital to analog converters are based on the same off-the-shelf chipset like those from ESS, Cirrus Logic, or Analog Devices. Yet those DACs using identical chips often sound as if cut from very different cloth. What makes them different? We might get […]

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It might not seem like anything special but that’s because it’s one of those little things

Paul McGowan writes: Sometimes it’s the little things that make something special. A smile, just at the right moment, or perhaps a helping hand when one wasn’t expected. When I think about what makes a piece of audio equipment special it’s often the little unnoticed touches that, together, make a product worth owning. Take for […]

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I think the answer is that the data, if identical, cannot be different. Therefore, we are looking in the wrong place for our answers.

Paul McGowan writes: My friend Andy sent me this link to the new Samsung 2TB solid state drive that’s smaller than a business card, launched this morning at CES. That’s amazing. A sold state drive capable of storing well over 2000 complete albums–and it’s smaller than a business card. Bit banging. It’s a term used […]

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Can’t get no…

Paul McGowan writes: Satisfaction? Don’t feel badly, the Stones apparently couldn’t either. But is satisfaction the end game? And what happens after you achieve it? Are you ready for more? Something better? I don’t know about you, but I tend to categorize my achievements into three groups. The first is short, repetitive tasks with known outcomes, […]

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Armchair critics

Paul McGowan writes: It’s easy to ignore–often criticize–the hard won victories of creative people designing leading edge technology. In fact, it’s one of the double edged swords of our abundantly-connected society that empowers readers with just enough information to miss the bigger picture. And this is part of the problem I find in helping unravel the […]

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Are cables BS?

Paul McGowan writes: There must not be enough worms crawling around so I figure I’ll just go ahead and open a fresh can. Keeps it fun that way. Why is it we’re convinced we can hear changes in polarity, or MQA vs. non MQA, or the difference between CD and vinyl—but find it hard to accept […]

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Our path was not an easy one. Where classic tales of well-funded business plans and successful entrepreneurs might describe a lot of companies, it sure didn’t reflect our own.

Paul McGowan writes: Turning a good idea into a company is not easy. The devil, they say, is in the details; something Stan and I found to be true. In this video, Part II of the History of PS Audio, we learn how two wild-eyed hippie audiophiles turned a phono preamplifier into a business that today […]

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One of my readers is known as the Polarity Pundit – writes Paul McGowan

Paul McGowan writes: There are many great mysteries in the world: how the pyramids were built, the Easter Island Moai, why whatever hair I lose on my head seems to pop up somewhere else, and I am sure there are plenty more. There are two great mysteries in audio that are currently bugging me and, […]

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Recordings I have relegated to my secondary and tertiary shelves have now been elevated up or have gone further down – most up in pecking order”

Originally published 2015 Paul McGowan writes: Now that the Infinity IRS system is installed and I am listening to it I thought I might give you an update as to how things are going. First I’ll describe the audio chain being used.  It’s right now about as simple as it can be.  For a source […]

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Taking it personally

Paul McGowan writes: Most of us take our systems personally. We’re proud of our achievements. We’ve worked hard learning, listening, and setting up. It’s the rare music lover that doesn’t feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. I think that’s awesome, and I’ll be the first to bust my buttons over the performance of Music […]

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Line sources

Kevin in Wappinger Falls New York (wherever that is) asked me an interesting question recently. “Arnie Nudell popularized the line source loudspeaker design and many of his most revered speakers such as the Quantum Line Source, the IRS 1B, the IRS V, and the Genesis 1 (and apparently at least the two larger members of your […]

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Building the foundations

Paul McGowan writes ….. I have never understood the purpose of speaker stands for small two-way loudspeakers. If you’re not going to use them on a shelf, as intended, what sense do they make? A small speaker box struggles with bass—it’s just physics. Sacrificing music’s full range for a small box only makes sense in […]

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“Did you notice the extended highs?” In fact, I did not, but now that ……..

Paul McGowan writes: Our brains edit what we see and hear like a film director’s viewfinder. You’re probably familiar with this concept every time you take a picture of a distant mountain, seascape, or harvest moon and are disappointed with the outcome. What your vision records is entirely different than what the camera sees. Our brains […]

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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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