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Where did the idea of separates come from? Planned or piecemeal?

We started with all in ones: radios with speakers, consoles with turntables, complete systems. And then along came the separates, tearing apart the integrateds.

The first separate I was aware of came from my father's system. He had a separate tuner, turntable, amplifier and preamplifier. He was the first mix and match person I had met and I remember him telling me the components were cobbled together with the idea of best in each field; it caused me pause then as now. Did these specialist companies, like H.H. Scott, who made separate tuners in the 1950's, form by master plan to build only tuners and later extend into full lines of products as an afterthought?

My curiosity extends to how separates developed and then morphed into full line offerings. In our own case, PS Audio, we first ventured into making separate phono preamplifiers because we could, there were no alternatives, and we felt we had something of value to offer. What followed those phono preamplifiers evolved from what we knew best. My guess is few companies like ours had sights set on complete systems from the beginning. Separates that grow into systems came not so much by calculated design, but piecemeal on an evolutionary timetable.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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