Call Us: 1-800-PSAUDIO

Paul’s Posts

PS Audio founder and CEO, Paul McGowan, writes a daily blog: short, informative, fun, often controversial, but always interesting. Subjects range from personal stories, how to setup your system, news of the day, streaming, vinyl, tubes, transistors, loudspeakers, holographic imaging and more. Kind of like the Car Talk of audio. Not much is sacred, and there’s rarely a mention of our own products. Easy to subscribe and even easier to unsubscribe if you wish. Join us.

Knowing when it’s right 7

Posted sometime

A few days ago I was upstairs in the home of Octave Records listening to a new recording Gus Skinas had made. It was a beautiful piano piece by local musician Chris Jones on his freshly tuned Bösendorfer, recorded with a one-of-a-kind single point stereo AKG microphone (on loan from musician Dan Schwartz) on the […]
Read More

Untangling webs 43

Posted 21 hours ago

My friend, Cookie Marenco of Blue Coast records, makes some awfully good recordings. I wouldn’t be exaggerating to suggest that both she and Gus Skinas are some our industry’s finest examples of great recording and mastering engineers unwilling to compromise sound quality. They are among a rare handful of essentials preserving the sanctity of the […]
Read More

Touring PS Audio 20

Posted 1 day ago

One of the great joys of summers in Boulder is the influx of visitors to our facilities. People on the road for vacation or summer adventures in the Rockies increasingly show up at our doorstep requesting a tour. Visitors are welcomed with open arms. Tours last between 30 minutes to several hours depending on the […]
Read More

Deciding where to draw the line 17

Posted 2 days ago

Drawing lines in the proverbial sand is a common practice. We’ll go this far but cross that line and it’s not in our interest to go further. Setting these imaginary boundaries can be quite helpful. We can limit our spending, weight, time, interest, or tolerance. But drawing lines can also be self-limiting. Just one more […]
Read More

Earplugs 21

Posted 3 days ago

It might seem counter-intuitive that I write about blocking the sound entering your ears. After all, I have always advocated keeping them clean and clear so we might enjoy all that our systems have to offer. Which is why I am also a staunch proponent of protecting them. Whenever my ears are subjected to loud […]
Read More

If it ain’t broke 10

Posted 4 days ago

What’s that old saying? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” I just love old sayings. They tie neat little bows around common sense wisdom offering a truth of sorts. Only, sometimes it helps to look beyond the sayings. Your system doesn’t have to be officially broken to fix things. For example, I have long […]
Read More

The power of a dead end 23

Posted 5 days ago

Few of us like landing at the end of the road with only a U-turn back to the beginning as a reward. And yet, dead-end streets are often the circuitous path we must take to open doors. Had I not spent two years heading down multiple dead ends designing the next generation of power amplifier […]
Read More

Concert tickets 24

Posted 6 days ago

Is your home audio system good enough to charge admission? We don’t flinch shelling out hard earned cash for a live performance, even when that venue likely has much worse sound than our home rig, yet the idea of charging admission to our living room would ruffle most feathers. I am not actually proposing you […]
Read More

Kill the caps 25

Posted 1 week ago

Before the advent and popularization of transistors, vacuum tubes and coupling capacitors ruled the day. And what a good sounding day it was. Vacuum tube preamplifiers, with their requisite signal coupling capacitors, represented the sound of music reproduced in the home. Sweet and lush with a touch of floppy wooliness—topped off with a flabby bottom […]
Read More

Digging deeper 28

Posted 1 week ago

The percentage of music lovers tapping into the wealth of artist information is minuscule compared to those simply listening. We know enough of the artists we love to refer to them, to seek out their work, but do we really get as invested in knowing bands as we once did in the days of physical […]
Read More

A passing in the Hi-Fi Family 29

Posted 1 week ago

On January 9, 2001, Universal Records dusted off the 25th-anniversary edition of “Frampton Comes Alive” as well as a deluxe edition of the one and only record by one of rock’s first supergroups – Blind Faith, and released them on CD. Something else happened to music on that same January day as Apple CEO Steve […]
Read More

Music of the spheres 13

Posted 1 week ago

Musica Universalis, also called Music of the spheres, is an ancient philosophical concept suggesting the movements of celestial bodies—the Sun, Moon, and planets—are forms of music, a kind of definable “hum” that affects everything in life. Ancient philosophers concluded music didn’t just mimic the motions of celestial bodies, it was the result of their motions. […]
Read More

The language of sound 7

Posted 1 week ago

We spend so many words describing sound it’s a shame we cannot easily demonstrate it instead. When I hear something new like better openness or increased depth of soundstage in a fresh design, it is instantly recognized. I don’t need more than a brief moment to hear those differences any more than the time it […]
Read More

Audio personality 24

Posted 1 week ago

Each of our systems has its own, unique, personality. Mine is big, open, spacious, and revealing. Others might be described as delicate, faithful, and impressive. Adjectives aside, I wonder how much our own personalities match those of our systems? We’ve all seen the photos of dogs and owners looking alike. I know for a fact […]
Read More

The mono world 23

Posted 1 week ago

Our sources are all monophonic. Single point sources of sound without any directional cues whatsoever. A violin, voice, horn, or any acoustic instrument I can imagine is mono, yet our systems require two channels to properly reproduce that monophonic source. The difference, of course, is positional. Where in the soundscape does that monophonic instrument reside? […]
Read More

Discretes vs. ICs 24

Posted 2 weeks ago

As we near early August’s beta launch of Darren Myer’s labor of love, the new Stellar Phono Stage, it might be helpful to touch upon a few points that make it the extraordinary performer that it is. Perhaps one of the biggest deviations from the norm is Darren’s use of all discrete components rather than […]
Read More

Preconceptions 22

Posted 2 weeks ago

We envision the future all the time. We picture how things are likely to look, react, and in particular, sound. Even before the music starts I can predict the need for earplugs when I see a giant array of PA speakers at a live event. Prediction is innate. It helped us plan our hunting and […]
Read More

Reconnecting with your system 36

Posted 2 weeks ago

When spring hits I like to disconnect the entire stereo system, clean up a winter’s worth of clutter, put it all back together again and enjoy a renewed sound. Like most years spring has already come and gone. Now were in the first few days of summer. Enough procrastination! Time to dedicate a Saturday or […]
Read More

The conditions of best 23

Posted 2 weeks ago

“I’ve got the best DAC in the world.” Yes, we believe that’s probably true for a given circumstance because “best” is such a relative term. “I am on my best behavior,” is likely true for that moment as well. I’ll bet most people who have generously donated their system’s picture here have put their best foot […]
Read More

Speed traps 27

Posted 2 weeks ago

One thing I hope we can all agree on is our diversity. We’re all different, especially when it comes to how we build our systems. Some are like the proverbial tortoise: slow, steady, reasoned, without guesswork and filled with plenty of research. Others, like me, are more Hare-like: quick, jerky, willing to experiment, with plenty […]
Read More

The emotion trap 22

Posted 2 weeks ago

What an interesting challenge to capture emotions and passions with semiconductors, vacuum tubes, wires, and solder. Imagine describing that task to an engineering student fresh out of school. It might seem more like madness than science. Yet, that is our everyday workload. Today we might be struggling to wring every ounce of emotional connection from […]
Read More

Stubborn values 23

Posted 2 weeks ago

Before the 1970s, there were almost no detachable line cords. In those days, every stereo component had a fixed line cord held into the chassis by what we call a strain relief, a small black plastic 2-piece clamp held together by a thin strip of material. Here’s a picture of one.   There was even […]
Read More

The forever problem 26

Posted 3 weeks ago

It seems like we’ve been living with our reference system forever. The mighty Infinity IRSVs have dominated our lives, determined our sonic course, helped sort out performance standards for what seems like an eternity. Yet, forever has only been 6 years. 6 years ago, it seemed like we had lived with our Magneplanar reference system […]
Read More

The full experience 32

Posted 3 weeks ago

Ok, I’ll admit it. I can’t stand the smell of roses. They’re really pretty flowers, but the smell! For all the other flowers, it’s a real treat to soak in their color, inhale their lovely scent, view them from every angle. It’s the full experience I really like, narrowing my attention to that single point […]
Read More

Trading vitriol for views 34

Posted 3 weeks ago

No, I am not going to mention any websites nor point any fingers. I don’t need to because you already know what I am talking about. Angry forums with millions of views. If you build a platform for angry voices they will rush to spew their ill temper. One such site, by a famous person […]
Read More