Silver bullets

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Silver bullets

We all like the idea of a silver bullet. You can kill werewolves with one. Fix what ails you. Make your system sound better instantly. Some actually work. Others don't.

I remember when I got my first car. I was 16 years old, wanted a '56 Chevy 2-door with a Hurst 4-speed on the floor so badly I could taste it, but didn't have the funds to get what I wanted. I settled on a '56 Ford station wagon: red, 4-door with a "three on the tree" stick shift. It wasn't cool. And that is why I could afford to buy it. Within a week of ownership I neglected to latch the hood solidly and it flew up against the windshield at 65 mph on the Riverside Freeway; and promptly fell completely off as soon as I pulled to a stop on the side of the road. Without the hood, the car was taking shape as a cool vehicle. The very next day I bought, at great expense from the Pep Boys, a chrome air cleaner. This was my silver bullet.

I had been convinced from my friend who knew everything there was to know about cars that a chrome air cleaner would help my car go faster. The logic was increased air flow to the carburetor due to the smoothness of the chrome. Less resistance. Made perfect sense. I swear that car went faster after the air cleaner was installed. And besides, as I drove down the street it was the single point of pride in that car I could look at. My claim to cool. My silver bullet. It worked.

In audio I too look for silver bullets and they are as valuable as icing is to a cake. The finishing touches. But they are not the cake. They cannot stand on their own.

At times I reach a point of dissatisfactionwith the overall sound of my system. Changing the icing on the system won't help. Time to remove the bullets and start fresh with the fundamentals of good system setup.

All the fancy cables, tweaks and surefire miracles can't take the place of a good, solid restructuring of the listening room or the system within that room.

Make sure you've gotten your fundamentals in place before you start icing that cake.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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