Complex trade-offs

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Life and engineering are quite the same when it comes to trade-offs. We make our best choices from among the imperfect and execute to the extent of our abilities.

Take for example separates vs. integrateds. The list of positive attributes for separates is impressive: individual power supplies, isolated chassis, high current output drives, gobs of attention lavished upon one function.

Different yet no less impressive accolades apply to integrateds: no connecting cables, subsystem performance optimized for known components, the same designer’s skills applied across the board.

We could even go so far as to suggest a scrum of separates integrated together might be the best of both worlds. But even this would be a series of trade-offs including big and clunky.

Everything encompasses some form of compromise. Our job as music lovers is to identify which are the least objectionable and bring the greatest degree of pleasure.

Perfection’s not possible. Ecstacy is.