Calibrating our references

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Calibrating our references

We learn by experience.

You can read hundreds of accounts of a roller coaster ride or what it's like to crest Mount Everest, but until you've experienced it you really don't have a reference.

The same is true for high-end audio. In my book, The Stereo, I spend quite a few words describing in detail how speakers should disappear, where the soundstage should appear, and how to get your system to generate a true three dimensional image.

But until you actually hear for yourself what that sounds like you're only imagining.

You have no reference.

There are only so many ways of experiencing a true three dimensional soundstage: hearing one in person at a friends, a dealers, a HiFi show, or a trip to PS Audio. Or, you can follow the instructions in a book like mine (or others) and get closer or maybe even strike gold. 

But, how would you know when you got there?

Years ago, after eating some of the best sourdough bread on the planet I endeavored to make my own. How hard could it be? After all, there's only three ingredients: flour, water, and salt. 20 years and a lot of loaves later, I threw in the towel. I didn't have the same equipment and certainly didn't have the skill.

Fortunately for us audiophiles, we do have access to the equipment and the skills needed to reach a world-class system in our homes.

We just have to know how high the bar is.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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