Getting out of the box

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When I first got interested in high-end audio in the prehistoric early 70s I was told I didn't have an ear. I struggled to hear differences obvious to others and so I placed myself in a box with a label that read, "not a good listener".

Because I hadn't an ear I relied upon those of others, which made designing by ear and meter a real challenge. Then, something funny happened. I began to hear things others did not. I kept those findings to myself at first. Who's interested in the observations of a tin ear? Over time I realized my ear had developed and I was often a better listener than others.

I had learned. I had grown in spite of myself.

The box I had placed Paul in was a self-imposed narrative that held me back. Why would I purposefully restrict my growth?


I placed Paul in safe little boxes to avoid the pain of failure and the ridicule of others.

Once I began realizing the power of these boxes I began opening them and releasing Pauls inside. I didn't do it quickly, but I certainly did it with purpose.

I put myself in fewer boxes these days.

I guess I am claustrophobic.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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