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Paul’s Posts

PS Audio founder and CEO, Paul McGowan, writes a daily blog: short, informative, fun, often controversial, but always interesting. Subjects range from personal stories, how to setup your system, news of the day, streaming, vinyl, tubes, transistors, loudspeakers, holographic imaging and more. Kind of like the Car Talk of audio. Not much is sacred, and there’s rarely a mention of our own products. Easy to subscribe and even easier to unsubscribe if you wish. Join us.

More music from Paul 11

Posted 5 hours ago

As promised, here’s more of my list of tracks I regularly use to evaluate electronics and speakers. Wood by Brian Bromberg. This guy’s amazing. One of the best bass players I know of (no disrespect meant for Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten, or Dan Schwartz). This particular album is an older one available on CD and […]
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A pointed discussion 31

Posted 1 day ago

In yesterday’s post, I shared some common wisdom about spikes that turns out to be wrong. Thanks to my attentive and generous readers, I stand corrected. The original thought process behind spiking speakers was not to isolate, as I had assumed, but the opposite—anchor the cabinets to the floor and transfer some of the excess […]
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The spike dilemma 46

Posted 2 days ago

Audiophiles spike their speakers for better sound. Debate rages as to spike’s efficacy, but I don’t intend to address that in this post. Instead, I want to examine the decision to use them in the first place. Spikes are supposed to provide a degree of isolation. The thought goes something like this. Coupling a loudspeaker to […]
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Small is better 31

Posted 3 days ago

Yeah, I know, the joke opportunities abound. Humor aside, I remember the very first time Arnie Nudell demonstrated the massive Infinity IRS III to me. His choice of music was a surprise. Standing in front of these gargantuan 7.5′ tall behemoths, the first thing you’re thinking is the 1812 Overture, Pink Floyd, or Hans Zimmer’s […]
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The problem with headphones 32

Posted 4 days ago

I like headphones. Readers of this blog know that I went through a whole period of not liking them, then being introduced to the wonderful Audeze products, which changed my mind. Long history there. I learned. Headphones have many great traits and advantages. They are not colored by the room. They can get really good […]
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Getting closer to analog 73

Posted 5 days ago

What an odd goal. Building modern hifi equipment that matches the performance of vinyl or tape. Is that what we really mean? sounding-vinyl-like? I certainly don’t. What I mean when I use that term is achieving sound like what you would hear if the musician was in the room. Vinyl and tape are analog processes, not reference standards. […]
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Are you an audiophile? 58

Posted 6 days ago

I’ve noticed something interesting over the years. Many of us are uncomfortable referring to ourselves as audiophiles. Not amongst each other, but to the world—the great unwashed who don’t know what an audiophile is. Up until recently, I’ve been in that same camp. For some, it’s no big deal. Others won’t admit to it.  When […]
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Describing sound 16

Posted 1 week ago

We can’t accurately relay what we see, hear, or feel without a flurry of descriptive terms—and even then—the words only offer pale facsimiles. Imagine sharing the power of Beethoven’s 9th symphony with only words. The same is true when we attempt to share our experiences with sensory rich products like wine, or audio equipment. A […]
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Thirsty? 20

Posted 1 week ago

No problem, turn on the tap and quench that thirst. In my home, the water tastes a little funny so I installed a filter that is said to remove 99.9% of impurities. Water tastes better. Stay hydrated. It’s important to your health. We don’t think much about clean water. At least I don’t. I take […]
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Sound walls 30

Posted 1 week ago

One correction to yesterday’s post before we get rolling. I recommended Bridge owners use MConnect Player ($6) when in fact you want instead the free version called MConnect Control. Sorry about that. MConnect Control for Apple. MConnect Control for Android. In the app go to Browser/Tidal/Setup menu (three slashes at the top of the screen), […]
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Early Christmas 35

Posted 1 week ago

The process of getting MQA and Tidal onto the Bridge took so long I turned another year older. More gray hair. Fewer brain cells. Patience has never been one of my virtues. But, here we are. All Bridge II owners can now update to the latest Bridge OS for free and get full MQA unfolding […]
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Reference standards 36

Posted 1 week ago

We built DMP, a reference standard disc player, at a time when interest in the medium is said to be waning. Why do that? Why not march forward with products that many believe represent the future? There are two reasons. The world needs a reference standard, a benchmark from which to judge all future products. […]
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Designing for everyone 41

Posted 1 week ago

We don’t design products for everyone. Never have. Probably never will. Just like we don’t cook food that everyone likes. That kind of meal has to be bland enough to delight no one. The greater the level of delight, the higher the risk of offense. And more often than not, we design products that we […]
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Hi-fi furniture 52

Posted 1 week ago

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned a term many are unfamiliar with. Hi-fi furniture. Don’t feel bad. I made that term up, but not out of thin air. I have often wondered why no one is making high-end audio furniture. Sure, I’ve seen the cool stuff with built-in turntables, retro systems, a few tubes, even a […]
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I wonder… 30

Posted 2 weeks ago

My long-term goal for the company has never veered off course. Bring high-end audio to as many people around the world as possible. That’s quite a challenge, especially at a time when industry consensus is we’re shrinking and interest is waning. I don’t buy it. I don’t see it, either—and I am uncertain where those […]
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How many engineers… 12

Posted 2 weeks ago

There’s got to be a joke with a light bulb in here somewhere. But the fact of the matter is it takes a good number of engineers to make a product today. It wasn’t always that way. Years ago things were simpler, though I am convinced not necessarily better. Like the older cars where everything […]
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Last of the list 20

Posted 2 weeks ago

Over the last two days, I’ve shared with you some of my favorite tracks so you can not only see what it is I use for audio testing, but why. You probably have a few of these, but if not, it might help to grab a few. We continue today. Beethoven Violin Sonata #7 in […]
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More music 34

Posted 2 weeks ago

In yesterday’s post, I shared with you some of my playlist I use to design and verify equipment performance. That list continues today. San Jacinto, Peter Gabriel, New Blood. It’s Peter Gabriel and it’s a great recording. Not a lot more need be shared. Haydn Sonata 49, Lois Shapiro. Good luck finding this gem. I’ve […]
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My music 22

Posted 2 weeks ago

I suppose we all have our favorite music selections. The ones we show off our system with, those we cherish for the performance, the others we treasure for their sonic splendor. In my case, the list is long for a reason. When designing or upgrading a product Music Room One has to serve as the […]
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The new subwoofer 11

Posted 2 weeks ago

Wow. Thank you for all the kind letters and words of encouragement on the upcoming book Confessions of an Audiophile. It’ll be a few months before it’s available to read. Several have asked for one more story before moving on. I couldn’t resist the one about my father, Don, and the new subwoofer that my […]
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The Bedinis 30

Posted 2 weeks ago

In yesterday’s post, I shared part one of a story about the Bedini Brothers, John, and Gary. Their company made some great sounding equipment over the years and they were talented individuals, though a little off kilter when it came to the spreading of audiophile manure. I am sharing a few stories from my upcoming […]
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My crazy past 20

Posted 3 weeks ago

Several of my readers know I’ve written a book called Confessions of an Audiophile. It’s a project I’ve been laboring over for a bit now and I am excited to finally have it in the editing stage. The forthcoming book is a memoir of sorts—my crazy life starting in the mid-60s through today. Plenty of […]
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It all matters 41

Posted 3 weeks ago

Of course, the question we’ve been wrestling with—which matters most, source or output—is the same as the age-old chicken and egg conundrum. On the one hand, great speakers can magnify the inadequacies of lousy sources, and great sources cannot be appreciated through low resolving speakers. In the end it all matters. Yet, I lose sleep at night […]
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The lonely preamp 65

Posted 3 weeks ago

Pity the preamp. It sits alone neither a source nor an output. Its status is elevated beyond a power amplifier because we interact with it. Its very existence comes into question when others are available to do the same job. Yet, a great preamp is essential. Its contribution to overall sound quality cannot be ignored. […]
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Viewpoints 41

Posted 3 weeks ago

The problem with picking apart something is we leave out the meaning from the whole. For example, leave out the salad dressing and you have little more than raw lettuce. Concluding that salad dressing is a salad’s most critical element would be a mistake. The best dressing on wilted, tasteless, iceberg lettuce (a crime in itself) […]
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