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Paul’s Posts

PS Audio founder and CEO, Paul McGowan, takes a few hours each day to write to readers of his daily post series. Subjects range from how to setup your system to helping you understand the complex technical issues of streaming, vinyl, tubes, transistors, loudspeakers, holographic imaging and more. Not much is sacred; there’s no hype or sales pitch. Easy to subscribe and even easier to unsubscribe if you wish. Join us.

RAM and music servers 13

Posted 7 hours ago

I let you know in yesterday’s post that my RAM would show up today via FedEx.  Indeed it did but yesterday was a crazy busy day as we work through the new website issues, helping folks get their products registered and launching a new forum.  Plus I gotta get ready to fly to Chicago this afternoon […]
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Listening carefully 19

Posted 1 day ago

Today the extra RAM for my music server arrives and is ready for the install.  My initial impulse is to just grab the server and install it, expecting to go back into the music room and be amazed.  I am not going to do that. No, instead I will take the more boring and patience […]
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Music server madness 3

Posted 2 days ago

During my presentation to the audio society in San Diego last week I had the opportunity to play from the new Mac Mini server I built.  It was its “debut” if we add some unintended importance to it.  I’ll also be using it Friday and Saturday at the Chicago Axpona show as we demonstrate DirectStream. […]
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Sneak peek 21

Posted 3 days ago

If you have a moment today, head here and visit our new website prototype.  I’d like to launch this today or tomorrow so by the time you read this it may already be live. If not, just take a look and let me know your thoughts.  Suggestions for what could be better always welcome.  Let […]
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Apparent dynamics 15

Posted 4 days ago

In yesterday’s post I suggested that hearing greater dynamic range in a vinyl record, than one does on a CD, is an illusion.  While technically accurate it isn’t true to our experiences.  And it is how we experience reproduced music that really matters. Here’s what is accurate.  The technical dynamic range between the two mediums is […]
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The continuous myth 58

Posted 5 days ago

We tend to believe what we see and hear is real when, in fact, many times it just isn’t.  Take for example the myth that analog is continuous and digital is not.  That’s just plain not true, but when you look at the surface evidence it appears to be. When we look at a Harvest […]
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Closing the gap 23

Posted 6 days ago

There’s an old saying “a rising tide raises all boats”.  And when you apply this to a new piece of equipment, it’s kind of what you’d hope for, right?  That new piece of kit makes everything sound better and gain an equal, yet better footing in terms of musicality.  An across the board improvement. But […]
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DSD vs PCM 11

Posted 1 week ago

In the latest issue of TAS Robert Harley touches on an interesting subject: DSD vs PCM.  That’s been on a lot of minds lately.  The approach Robert is taking is a good one: let’s just take our time and see what comes out of a lot of listening. While all of us probably have a […]
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USB heresy 11

Posted 1 week ago

My apologies to the members of the San Diego Music and Audio Guild, whom I mistakenly called by their former name of 22 years ago.  Figures I’d be behind the times.  In any case, this evening at 7pm I will be speaking to the group about all sorts of audio and music related matters and playing […]
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It makes my head hurt 24

Posted 1 week ago

If you are anywhere near the San Diego area tomorrow, Wednesday, come by Stereo Unlimited at 7pm if you’d like to hear DirectStream.  The San Diego Audio Society has invited me to pay them a visit.  I’ll be bringing the Mac Mini server we’ve been writing about building as well as DirectStream.  I hope to […]
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A few listening notes 15

Posted 1 week ago

I finally got a chance to spend some time listening to the new server I just finished building and in this post I’ll share with you some quick observations.  Before I do that I want to touch on something I wrote in yesterday’s post. JRiver was part of the subject yesterday and I partially explained […]
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Getting out of the way 44

Posted 1 week ago

In yesterday’s post I described the balance of what we will need to make our music server: a Mac Mini, a Mac Super Drive, an iPad Mini for the user interface, and software that makes it all sound good.  All in, we’re looking at about $1,000, which was the goal from the start of this project. […]
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User interface 15

Posted 1 week ago

Like anything we want to build, it can always be tweaked to get better.  Case in point, the Mac Mini I am recommending for use as a music server has an internal switching power supply that if removed and replaced with a liner supply, will help the Mini sound far better.  This, among other modifications, […]
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Get over it 50

Posted 1 week ago

Two days into my little DIY project to build a small, easy to use, music server and already a number of you have developed a cross between heart palpitations and outright anger over it.  And why?  Because I am recommending an Apple product as the basis for the platform.  This reaction is something close to […]
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Hardware choices 15

Posted 2 weeks ago

If you had a chance to read yesterday’s post showing the picture of the new music server we are building, you may have noticed an inconsistency in the description I posted: all the wires.  My lovely wife Terri was first to point it out, followed by a blast of mails from the community.  If you […]
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Building blocks 22

Posted 2 weeks ago

In yesterday’s post I started the conversation about my building a music server from scratch.  As one might reasonably expect, there’s a lot to learn about how to build such a product, the level of difficulty depending on how high you set the bar and your goals. Many of you have kindly written to me […]
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Why is it never easy? 31

Posted 2 weeks ago

How many times have you tackled what would seem to be an easy project, only to find it’s anything but that?  Best laid plans and all. Because I travel to shows and clubs demonstrating our products, in particular DirectStream as of late, I just carry a bunch of discs with me, hoping the venue has […]
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The ultimate voicing tool 11

Posted 2 weeks ago

Yesterday’s post of course got a lot of attention and that’s to be expected.  It’s a big announcement and direction change, one I have been avoiding for multiple decades.  I thought perhaps I would explain a bit of why I have avoided using tubes in our designs as well tell you about how we might […]
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I never thought I'd write this 116

Posted 2 weeks ago

Funny how life throws you curve balls.  I just got a curve ball, a left hook and a knockout punch delivered to me in one swell foop.  I can’t believe I am writing this. As some of you may know, after three attempts at designing a power amplifier to beat all other power amplifiers made, […]
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Listening vs. hearing 5

Posted 2 weeks ago

Reader Patrick Callery sent me a note suggesting the ongoing discussion on voicing really can be summed up simply as Listening vs. Hearing.  I think that’s a really good description.  We all hear everything, but not all of us listen. I have said many times it doesn’t take any skill to tell the differences in […]
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Are you good enough? 26

Posted 2 weeks ago

There’s been a lot of debate as of late, stirred up by these posts, concerning our abilities to listen even if our hearing is compromised.  My friend and high-end audio dealer, Galen Carol, sent me this great story about Paul Klipsch, the legendary loudspeaker designer of the Klipschorn speaker. “Great point about one not needing […]
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To voice or not to voice 12

Posted 3 weeks ago

Continuing with our can of worms about voicing we discussed in yesterday’s post, I wanted to start this one out letting you first know we posted another short video of DirectStream’s architect, Ted Smith, explaining what DSD is and what some of the differences are between DSD and PCM.  You can watch it by clicking here. […]
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Taking the middle ground 13

Posted 3 weeks ago

There are those in our industry that believe you can measure anything and everything with respect to how equipment sounds.  Technically they are correct, but the problem is answering the question of what to measure?  We know that simple THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) and IM (Intermodulation Distortion) help us understand how something sounds, but not […]
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Finding your voice 46

Posted 3 weeks ago

Today is April fool’s day and it got me wondering why it’s called that.  I did a little research (well, that means I Googled it) and didn’t find anything satisfying to explain it.  The one thing I did learn is that way back when, “fools” weren’t what we think of them today.  Fools were an […]
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Abby Normal 10

Posted 3 weeks ago

While in Arizona giving a presentation I was asked what I meant by voicing, when speaking about DirectStream.  The simple answer is voicing refers to the work we do achieving a specific sound in our products.  I will go into some depth on this subject, but I should mention the same person asking the question […]
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