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Start at the beginning or the end? 9

Posted 7 years ago

I was going to jump feet first into amps this morning but got blindsided by all the mail I receved on the order of importance when selecting equipment in Tuesday’s postGnats and Whales. It’s probably worthwhile to spend one day on the subject and return to it someday should the need to explore it increase. […]
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Digital amplifiers? 3

Posted 7 years ago

Whenever a conversation comes around to Class D amplifiers, they will inevitably be referred to as digital power amplifiers; a common mistake. They are not digital power amplifiers. They are as analog as class A and Class A/B amplifiers and it’s important to understand the distinction lest they get a bad rap merely by their […]
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Gnats and whales 7

Posted 7 years ago

As we wind up the beta testing on the newest product launch, the PerfectWave PowerBase, I am really pleased to see the positive comments and great reviews. But I am reminded that something like the PowerBase is an essential part of a high end system only if all the major elements have first been addressed. […]
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Fatigue 3

Posted 7 years ago

I am reminded by several of our readers that one of the best means of evaluating equipment is fatigue. Yeah, I know that sounds ominous but I am guessing we’ve all experienced our system’s sounding so good that we could listen for hours. And we do. But the opposite is very telling. Say you try […]
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Music is so much more than sound 9

Posted 7 years ago

One of our readers posted the topic subject in the comments section yesterday and it really struck me as getting to the core of it : lest we lose sight of where we’re going and where we want to be. “The goal for me is access to the creative and communicative force that music is. […]
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That old analog sound 15

Posted 7 years ago

In response to my post on the sound of analogreader John Van Polen from the Netherlands wrote me the following: “It’s a shame people tend to use the word “digital” as an equivalentof “bad” and “analog” as an equivalentof “good”. Well, what is so goodabout the wow, flutter, noise and so on of aless-than-top class […]
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The sound of analog 9

Posted 7 years ago

For those of you that followed along with our series on designing and building the PowerBase I thought I’d share with you a short behind the scenes video you might enjoy watching. You can click on this link to view the video. We’ve been focusing on the Art of Listening for a few days and […]
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Building a pattern 7

Posted 7 years ago

One of the most valuable tools I have in my listening arsenal is a set of favorite recordings I use over and over. Most of you probably have a few favorites as well, but in my case Paul’s Dirty Dozen plays a very critical role in the development of products and new designs. The selections […]
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Comparing notes 6

Posted 7 years ago

Think for a moment how challenging it must be to review a product for one of the publications that do so. You’re sent a new product, perhaps a DAC, and you’re asked to let the world know how it sounds. You replace the DAC you use as a reference and put in the new one. […]
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Emotions on high 3

Posted 7 years ago

I wrote yesterday about the furious battles over double blind ABX testing yesterday and why they don’t work for finding out the truth in listening. I should also mention that it is a shame this happened because adding scientific methodology to high end audio is a good thing, not something to be shunned as many […]
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A or B? 6

Posted 7 years ago

In our ongoing series of the Art of Listening it makes sense to touch on ABX testing, a subject that has caused no end of confusion and mistrust over the years. The affair became public back in the early 1980’s by a fellow named Dave Clark, among others. My memory of the tests and furor […]
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Suspicions confirmed 4

Posted 7 years ago

Yesterday we discovered through our new found listening and relating skills that despite what our meters were telling us, we made a much better sounding phono preamplifier by increasing the headroom beyond anything that made sense. We did that by raising the power supply voltages by double what they were. In later years we’ve learned […]
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First differences 4

Posted 7 years ago

Yesterday I touched on one of the first big learning experiences I had as a designer: trying to sort out what I heard relative to what was happening electronically. It’s a very different discipline to try and relate cause and effect with what we hear vs. just knowing whether you like something or don’t. The […]
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Enjoying or working? 0

Posted 7 years ago

Happy December! I was just watching some silly show last night and was reminded the Mayan calendar says the world ends in 21 days. Let’s make the best of what we have left 🙂 Sorry, I just couldn’t resist. We’ve been focusing on the art of listening and the subjects seems to have generated some […]
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From the heart or the head 8

Posted 7 years ago

Most of us understand that we can connect to music from multiple angles: emotional, analytical, as a student, as a teacher, as a critic or just just casually. However we are connecting wecan easily tell when we like something or we don’t and we don’t need any sort of training for that to occur. Case […]
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Trying too hard 2

Posted 7 years ago

When we first started PS Audio in the mid 1970’s Stan and I were hell bent for leather on getting as close as we could to our reference preamplifier’s sound, the Audio Research SP3A4 which is still a great sounding, musically satisfying design even to this day. We wanted to produce an affordable version of […]
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Court and Spark 3

Posted 7 years ago

Back in the mid 1970’s when Stan and I were first starting PS Audio we both had a lot to learn: Stan electronics, me listening. Stan was the Audiophile while I was the nerd who knew how to design stuff and we both helped each other learn what was missing in our quest to build […]
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The art of listening 5

Posted 7 years ago

One of the best listeners I know is my wife Terri. She can sit down in the listening room and hear a track she likes, listen to the same thing on another piece of equipment and instantly knows which she likes better – and the test can be repeated time and again with the same […]
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PS and DSD 8

Posted 7 years ago

Over the last few days we’ve been discussing the two main technologies in digital audio today: PCM and DSD. In my mind there’s no doubt that DSD is superior to PCM – if for no other reason than the fact it is simply closer to analog than anything I have ever heard. Properly implemented you’re […]
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So how come? 9

Posted 7 years ago

As we end our series on PCM and DSD I have been fielding a lot of questions concerning our products and the lack of a DSD input. A few of you have also asked why we don’t have an SACD player and so on. Let me share with you a few of the issues going […]
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Recording it all 6

Posted 7 years ago

There are about as many opinions on the sound quality of DSD vs. PCM as there are people who have them but the general consensus seems to favor DSD. I know from personal experience with my friend and mentor Gus Skinas, who has personally mastered perhaps a third of all SACDs’, that properly implemented DSD […]
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Errors upon errors 1

Posted 7 years ago

How many errors must a DAC make to get it right? Well, in a classic PCM DAC, the answer is none. 16 bit DACS of long ago relied on a perfect conversion process without any errors to get it right. In fact, the whole idea of PCM audio is extreme accuracy the first time around […]
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Have a happy 9

Posted 7 years ago

To all my readers the world over, have a happy, healthy day today and please don’t forget to give thanks for everything good and great in your life. May we all share in the joy of good music at every opportunity. We’ll continue with Hi Fi stuff tomorrow. I want to spend the day with […]
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Getting it wrong 0

Posted 7 years ago

We’ve been covering how a DSD/SACD converter works and we learned a few days ago that just about all modern DACS, certainly those that advertise 24 bit resolution, use a type of DSD on their outputs. It isn’t exactly 1-bit, but it is DSD-like. So important is this technology and so widespread is its use […]
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Timing is everything 0

Posted 7 years ago

Yesterday we discovered what 1-bit DSD looks like and how it’s fundamentally different from that of the standard CD format, PCM. I am going to spend a few posts helping folks understand a little better detail about DSD but today I wanted to make sure we all understand the importance of timing. Timing is everything […]
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