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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.

Updating subs 17

Posted 5 hours ago

*Chapter 7 of my upcoming novel, Resurrection, is posted here. Terri and I are watching more movies in our home theater these days. And we’re listening to more music on our little home system too. There’s no better time to upgrade and lavish attention on what brings us joy at home. When I learned of […]
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Winners and losers 28

Posted 1 day ago

*Chapter 6 of my upcoming novel, Resurrection, is posted here. Evaluating audio equipment by ear can sometimes be challenging, while other times it’s as obvious as the nose on your face. I’m always happiest when I know what an amplifier has to say for itself within the first 30 seconds of listening: yikes! this needs […]
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Normal 14

Posted 2 days ago

*Chapter 5 of my upcoming novel, Resurrection, is posted here. The dictionary defines normal as conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. We’re nearly always happier when things are normal. This is normally how I listen This sounds normal Normally, I hear the soundstage trapped between the speaker’s boundaries Is it normal to have […]
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Hesitation 29

Posted 3 days ago

*Chapter 4 of my upcoming novel, Resurrection, is posted here. I wonder what causes us hesitation. Caution? Fear? Good sense? Common sense? No sense? As children we learn the hard way to hesitate before stepping out in the street, touching unknowns, jumping to conclusions. Wading in can sometimes be dangerous. As adults, we’re on our […]
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The abyss 4

Posted 4 days ago

*Chapter 3 of my upcoming novel, Resurrection, is posted here. When faced with big decisions like building a high-performance audio system from scratch, it can sometimes feel as if we’re staring into a dark abyss. It’s then we move back from the edge, afraid of the darkness. For many, a much better strategy for building […]
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Quality vs. quantity 25

Posted 5 days ago

*Chapter 2 of my upcoming novel, Resurrection, is posted here. One of the mistakes we make as an industry is measuring quantity vs. quality. We talk of the T in THD as if it really mattered when it doesn’t. Total Harmonic Distortion (THD), when below a percent, is far less meaningful than what kind of […]
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Resurrection 17

Posted 6 days ago

Many of us are staying at home being safe. That’s great. While at home, we’re upgrading our stereo systems, repositioning the speakers for best sound, enjoying music. All the things we didn’t have time to do before this. It’s what it is and I am encouraging us all to enjoy the moment and make the […]
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Touchy feely 72

Posted 1 week ago

Working from home has its challenges. I remember when, in 1997, I left the daily life of Genesis Technologies to reform PS Audio. Back then, the new PS Audio was me and Terri working out of our home. At first, it was maddening. Instead of connecting with Genesis’ many employees, my world had narrowed to […]
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We are special 23

Posted 1 week ago

Indeed. Audiophiles and music lovers, we’re different, special. We take care of each other, we are a community. A family. For those watchers of my daily YouTube videos you may have noticed I haven’t mentioned much at all about how life has changed so rapidly. There’s a good reason for that, most of those videos […]
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Whacky ideas 25

Posted 1 week ago

If you want to send a spacecraft to another star you’re going to have to wait a long time. Our nearest neighbor, Alpha Centauri, is 4.3 light-years away. Today’s spacecraft could reach the star in 81,000 years. It would then take an additional 4.3 years for pictures to reach us. Let’s call it 85,000 years. […]
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Home systems 48

Posted 1 week ago

With the closings of restaurants, bars, and public meeting places to help stop the spread of the virus, many of us are wisely spending more time at home. Home is where the music is. Last night over dinner, Terri cranked up our home system: KEF LS-50s, REL 10, Rega Planar 3, Sprout. She chose one […]
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Shutter speed 41

Posted 1 week ago

Moving picture film appears continuous when running at 24 or 36 frames per second, just like digital audio sounds continuous when sampled at 44 thousand times a second. Yet, slowed down we understand the magic trick. As long as the choppy images or audio are faster than what we can perceive as changing, we agree […]
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Laughter 34

Posted 1 week ago

When things seem their worst we look for a way out. I have found two: music and laughter. There’s no denying things feel tough right now. But there’s zero advantage to panic, anxiousness, or doom and gloom thinking. Does that mean we throw caution to the wind? Hell no. Keep your distance, wash your hands, […]
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The term tangle 27

Posted 1 week ago

I am often asked if the upcoming FR-30 loudspeakers are a “line source” or a “point source”. When I explain they are neither I get some crossed eyes. A true line source is by definition floor to ceiling. So if a manufacturer is claiming this or that speaker’s a “line source” then it’s easy to […]
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Getting too close 37

Posted 2 weeks ago

One of our readers emailed me asking about proximity to his speakers. It was an interesting question. “As I move around the room I find the sweet spot to be 2 feet in front of my 8 foot separated speakers. Am I too close?” First, let me say I admire the heck out of anyone […]
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Blind acceptance 43

Posted 2 weeks ago

In 1897 a former patient of Dr. John Kellogg, Charles “C.W.” Post, mixed a batter of wheat and barley together then baked it in his oven. What came out was a hard brown sheet of material with a slightly sweet and nutty taste. Post then broke apart the sheet and ran the pieces through a […]
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Tradeshow no-show 52

Posted 2 weeks ago

As some will no doubt know, the Munich High-End show has been canceled and Chicago’s Axpona High-End show has been rescheduled. Originally, the Chicago consumer audio show was set to host visitors in mid-April, but because of all the concerns with Covid 19, the organizers wisely rescheduled for August. While we fully support the organizer’s […]
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Recognizing vs. caring 35

Posted 2 weeks ago

I have yet to meet anyone that hasn’t been able to hear the benefits of playing music on a high-end audio system like that in Music Room II. Time and again, people unaware of what high-end audio has to offer are jaw-dropping surprised at how much better a proper high-end system sounds than what they […]
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Interaural crosstalk 41

Posted 2 weeks ago

It’s amazing that stereo speakers work at all. Two different sound sources spaced apart by a few feet attempting to maintain separation. One has left channel-only information while the other produces right channel-only info. Problem is, as soon as they make sound in the room the channels are no longer separated. Your left ear hears […]
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Likely outcomes 69

Posted 2 weeks ago

Engineers are like doctors. They mostly spout facts and figures and answer specific questions with specific answers—helpful if that’s what you are looking for, but rarely do they give you the big picture. For example, if we’re in a discussion about designing a practical woofer system and I say, “It seems this driver is really […]
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Seeing through new eyes 31

Posted 3 weeks ago

With every piece of new information I receive, I see the world in a slightly different light, as if through new eyes. I assume we’re all the same. When we read a review, hear a new piece of music, or figure out how to make something better, then our interaction with the world changes—even if […]
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Music lovers and audiophiles 47

Posted 3 weeks ago

If audiophiles are music lovers, how come most music lovers aren’t audiophiles? I guess a love of music doesn’t somehow automatically equate to a love of listening to it over high quality home reproduction equipment. But, why? Maybe the same question, applied to a different set of observations, might help illuminate the answer. For example, […]
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Does distortion matter? 49

Posted 3 weeks ago

If we have two amplifiers under consideration, and one has twice the THD as the other, does that matter? Would we choose one over the other because of its distortion spec? I can recall years ago when Halcro trotted out their vanishingly low distortion power amplifier, setting the world back on its heels with triple […]
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Parts matter 25

Posted 3 weeks ago

Of all the things we do at PS Audio, perhaps what drives some people crazy more than anything is our insistence that parts matter to sound quality. No one would argue that the difference between a precision value resistor or a matched tube or transistor in a critical area isn’t important. We can easily measure […]
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Simple and natural 36

Posted 3 weeks ago

There are literally millions of tracks we can use to evaluate our stereo system setups, yet most wouldn’t be of much help. Without some form of acoustic reference material, it’s nearly impossible to know when it is right or wrong. What’s the proper sound of a fuzz tone guitar? Unless you had attended a Jimmy […]
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