SPEAKERS: They 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 […]

Read More

WHY: It’s why so many legitimate reviews of equipment today express an opinion on sound and ignore the details of performance.

And continuing our thought from a recent post, only this time in reverse, isn’t it obvious that just because something has all the right stuff it doesn’t necessarily qualify as great itself? And doesn’t this observation help explain one of the age old mysteries in audio about how something can measure great and sound poor? […]

Read More

CAUTION: This is the same technique used by a magician trying to trick you

Originally published 2016 In a recent post I apparently gave out a bad link to this fellow’s video so here’s another.   In the video, when you get a chance to watch it, you’ll probably pickup quite a few valuable tidbits of information and get a good view of how an engineer might tend to look […]

Read More

Once the homemade power cable was finished I immediately connected it to the preamp. Interesting.

Once the homemade power cable was finished I immediately connected it to the preamp.  Interesting.  The most immediate thing I noticed was an increased openness without brightness that was never in the design before.  Separation of instruments was greater, soundstage deeper, all the good things you’d hope for.  However, there was a tightness to the […]

Read More

NOT AN OXYMORON: Can modern music be high-end?

Paul McGowan: If our definition of high-end is lifted from The Absolute Sound Magazine’s tenet: “the sound of unamplified instruments and/or voices as heard in a natural, acoustic performance space” then does it make sense that modern electronic or multitracked music can ever be considered high-end? I believe it can, but not before broadening our definition. […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

PS AUDIO: I am convinced Bob Carver is a crazy genius.

Paul McGowan writes: He’s given more to our industry than most and always surprises and delights with his innovative approach. His tiny cube amplifier, his miniature room shaking subwoofers and to the point of this post, his amplifier shootout. I remember back to 1985 when several reviewer challenged Carver to build a solid state power […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

SERIOUSLY: Speaker size should match the room

Paul McGowan writes …. This fact or fiction question is an interesting one because the notion of matching speaker size to room dimensions is so ingrained into our culture as to be taken for fact. But, some facts aren’t true no matter how much we want them to be. Here’s the deal. Any size loudspeaker […]

Read More

INTERCONNECT: Balanced vs. unbalanced audio

Which is the better interconnect for home audio systems? Balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA? Paul voices his opinion and explains the differences between the two and their reason for existence. Have a question you’d like Paul to answer for you? Go to https://www.psaudio.com/ask-paul/ and post it. Watch Now Paul McGowan

Read More

PS AUDIO: Turning a fatiguing solid state preamp into a warm tube-like device

Paul McGowan writes Recently I gave an example of how the addition of two one cent resistors turned a fatiguing solid state preamp into a warm tube-like device.  Two resistors!  That’s not much but to figure out where/how these would do the trick took nearly a year of work.  Granted that year of work was […]

Read More

Is no DAC the best DAC?

Paul McGowan writes: I’ve been answering a lot of great customer questions on Ask Paul. One of them was a simple misunderstanding, but it sparks good dialog. On the DIY forums, a poster suggested he was converting digital audio to analog without the benefit of a DAC and the question posed to me was, “Is […]

Read More