*Chapter 27 of Resurrection is now available to read here.
Serendipity means the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. I love this word because for those open to change, grabbing hold of chance encounters is often the key to success.
I remember back to the earliest days of PS Audio as Stan and I labored to build a phono stage as good as the Audio Research SP3. The obvious first step would be to dissect what they had done, figure out what made their design better, then apply that knowledge to our own version. Which is exactly what we did, only we couldn’t get past third base. Determined as we were not to use vacuum tubes, we ran into hurdle after hurdle duplicating their design of a feedback-based RIAA curve that didn’t overload on the high output cartridges of the day. When finally we realized it was the vacuum tube’s high voltage that made their design possible, we were faced with a decision: abandon our path, do what they did, or chart an entirely new course.
With our meager funds nearly exhausted, we chose to stick to our guns and figured out a plan B—one born of necessity on the chance that there must be another way. Turns out there was—a passive approach to the RIAA using two gain stages—a novel, better sounding approach we would never have thought of without the serendipitous problems we couldn’t overcome.
Had we doggedly stuck to our original goal of doing what they do only differently, we would never have gotten our fledgling company off the ground, and would not have helped popularize the passive RIAA curve so many designers rely upon.
Chance favors those open to change.