PS AUDIO: Then, something funny happened. I began to hear things others did not

When I first got interested in high-end audio in the prehistoric early 70s I was told I didn’t have an ear. I struggled to hear differences obvious to others and so I placed myself in a box with a label that read, “not a good listener”. Because I hadn’t an ear I relied upon those […]

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Quill

HI-FI TRADE-OFFS: We gain here, lose there, creating tough choices because gains and losses are rarely black and white.

Life is often a series of trade-offs. We gain here, lose there, creating tough choices because gains and losses are rarely black and white. Such is the case with headphones for me. On the one hand, they are wonderfully focused sonic microscopes. They offer privacy and intimacy, and their output seamlessly covers the entire range […]

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ENERGY: The question of what counts really comes down to a matter of practicality. Where to put what energy into making things better.

I think it was Einstein that said “Everything that can be counted doesn’t necessarily count. Everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.” There are so many variables in our stereo systems it’s hard to know which of them matter and which are just there to drive us nuts. For example, every electronic piece we own […]

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READY TO RUMBLE?

In 1974, PS co-founder, Stan Warren, and I launched a phono preamplifier for $59.95 that challenged the status quo. The ridicule we were subjected to really stung at first, and then it became somewhat a badge of honor. We were pushing people out of their comfort zones to consider whether a product so dramatically lower […]

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SHORTENING WIRE LENGTH

In yesterday’s post, we posed the question of what might happen if we were to lower or even eliminate the impedance inherent in the AC power wires feeding our home. The answer is simple. Dramatically better sound. Something we all want! But, how best to eliminate or significantly lower the impedance of hundreds (often thousands) of […]

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I guess my point is we should be careful about the labels we assign products and certainly people.

Labels are necessary for communication yet offered without thought of consequences they can be destructive. There’s no harm in labeling sodium chloride as table salt. In fact, labeling a shaker of white crystals as “salt” is extremely helpful at the dinner table. But what happens when we label audio equipment with opinions? For example, labeling […]

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BI-WIRING: Ask our editor Neil McCauley

Hello Neil. Can you suggest a practical, intelligent and understandable explanation of the pros and cons of biwiring please? Thanks.  AK Happy to help you Mr.K. I sniffed about a bit and below, written by Paul McGowan is the best I have found so far. Just when you thought I had abandoned everything high-end and […]

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When we use our very expensive Audio Precision system to measure distortion levels what we’re looking for is additive—harmonics that are generated in response to an input signal.

The simple explanation of how this works is the AP generates a remarkably clean sinewave. It’s pure to many zeros (you check by running a distortion analysis of the signal itself without inserting the device under test). The idea is that whatever the amplifier under test does to the pure input signal is called distortion […]

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HYBRID SPEAKERS

In yesterday’s post, I riffed on the subject of panel speakers and their lack of bass and dynamics. We all love thin-film drivers like ribbons, planars, and electrostats because of what they do right—effortlessly reproduce sound. That benefit of speed, transparency, and effortlessness can extend down in frequency all the way to 20Hz. Amazing if […]

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