PS AUDIO: High voltage and linearity

In a recent post we covered the fundamental differences between tubes and transistors and one of those we’re interested in is linearity. Tubes and transistors are only partially linear devices – which means they will not always faithfully reproduce a larger version of the input signal on their outputs. In our example yesterday we placed […]

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POWER LINES: The dedicated ones

Paul McGowan: If you’re serious about building a high-performance audio system you have to pay attention to the AC power. It’s a constant theme with me because power is the foundation of our systems. There aren’t many great structures standing on weak foundations. Power Plants solve many problems but they need a head start. One […]

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PS AUDIO: Truth or preference?

In our search for sonic truth, there comes a point where the systems get so good their “truth” is more about our personal preference. In fact, personal preferences often trump truth. We know we’ve gotten closer to the truth when it matches what we believe to be the musical truth. Of course, no one knows what musical truth is. […]

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PS AUDIO: The additional linear region of a tube is wasted once you pass over a certain level. Wasted, that is, on linear performance – but valuable on another front – headroom in an amp

 Most tube power amps have an advantage over most solid state amps: high voltage.  If we look at a typical tube vs. solid state design, that tube design might have up to ten times more voltage than the solid state design – at least in a preamplifier.  The tubes need the high voltage to operate […]

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PS AUDIO: “…… but, as always with any new fangled connection scheme, there’s a whole bunch of “gottcha’s” to go along with it.”

This’ll be the first of a few posts where we delve into networking and computer audio systems.  In prior posts we looked at what I would refer to as a closed system: a single computer with a DAC attached to it.  This works fine but has a number of drawbacks, many of which are not […]

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PS AUDIO: Good stories are worth repeating; and I think this one qualifies in light of our most recent posts on the oil of snakes and cables

Paul McGowan writes: The summer of 1977 found my partner Stan and I looking to increase our sales of phono stages and we thought we would try and entice a few dealers to carry the product.  Up until this day we were 100% direct-to-customer, something you see more of today in high-end audio, but back […]

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PS AUDIO: Sample rates

Paul McGowan writes … There sure is a lot of confusion over sample rates. We hear about CD-quality sample rates at 44.1kHz (and its multiples), or another common sample rate, 48kHz (and its multiples), and then there are multiple higher sample rates (176kHz, 192kHz as examples) and of course DSD. Lots of numbers. All very […]

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PSA: Distance affirmation

Paul McGowan: One of the more satisfying affirmations happens when two or more unrelated people make the same sonic observation. We send out an update and emailed observations roll in. “What happened to the bottom end?” Or, “The top end just opened up.” For better or for worse, it is fascinating that so many unrelated […]

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PS AUDIO: How does one measure the differences between amplifiers when they clearly sound different?

How does one measure the differences between amplifiers when they clearly sound different? The first and simplest measurements are frequency response and noise levels: frequency response shows us that everything we put in makes it through to the output and noise levels are an obvious thing to measure so we don’t have hiss. Fancier measurements […]

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PS AUDIO: 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: Tailoring the sound

Paul McGowan … 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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PS AUDIO: Image size

Paul McGowan … All stereo systems produce a sonic image—some better than others. But, regardless of the image quality, there’s one thing we can say they have in common: a size to that image. If you turn the level of the stereo down to a whisper there’s a tiny image trapped between the speakers. Crank […]

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