What price compromise?

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Life's a compromise. So too, our music systems. And the question we need to ask ourselves is what set of compromises are acceptable to us.

Take loudspeakers as an example. Electrostats and planars have quick, window-like transparency, yet compromised dynamic range and lack of bass. Horns have dynamic range solved, but their tonal balance is sacrificed in the process. Dynamic drivers enjoy reduced power compression, but are heavy and sluggish relative to lighter membranes with quick transient response.

Or vinyl vs. CD: MOSFET vs. bipolar, silver vs. copper, or the convenience of a computer vs. the degradation of USB.

As music lovers we're forced to focus on what's important to us and tolerate the compromises of that choice. When I finally gave up the stunning clarity and speed of electrostats, it was to gain the magnificent dynamics of dynamic drivers and ribbons.

But with a clear understanding of the nature of compromise, we can learn to augment our choices–because we do not live in a vacuum. Electrostats can have subwoofers added. USB can have a Jitterbug or Uptone regen added.

We can learn to tolerate compromise, or we can embrace it as an opportunity to create something unique. It's our choice.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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