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Oatmeal’s for kids 39

Posted 3 weeks ago

If I mistakenly turn the television channel to a standard definition broadcast I am instantly aware of the low-resolution picture and switch to the HD version—which has now become standard for me. That same degree of difference is not so obvious in audio. CDs sound so good these days that I am hard pressed to […]
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The Do Over 16

Posted 3 weeks ago

We’ve all made mistakes and I’ve made many. In fact, I’ve made so many I am getting proficient at fixing them, covering up their trail of destruction and moving forward in the hopes of not repeating them. One thing I’ve learned from my mistakes is the Do Over. That sometimes it’s not good enough to […]
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Net positive 16

Posted 3 weeks ago

Distortion is a net zero in the same way poison is. The less you have of it the better. On the other side of the coin, there’s the net positive, like exercise. The more you do the better you feel and the stronger you get. Or thinking, absorbing knowledge, or helping others. Some audio systems—the […]
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Is simple better? 22

Posted 4 weeks ago

Forty-something years ago we believed with all our hearts that simple was better. That a single potentiometer in the signal path was the cleanest, purest, best sounding preamplifier anyone could build. Today, we’ve come to understand it was close, yet no cigar. Rarely are things as simple as we would like them to be. We’re happiest […]
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Starting from scratch 49

Posted 4 weeks ago

We’re moving PS Audio to a new home. Thankfully, it isn’t far away. In fact, we’re moving across the street. Literally. Our current facility is too small for our growing company and our new home is nearly three times the size. And, it’s a cool building. In keeping with our desire to be as environmentally […]
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Elton John 11

Posted 1 month ago

In 1972 Elton John and Bernie Taupin released the song Rocket Man on John’s 1972 album Honky Château. The track became a hit single, rising to No. 2 in the UK and No. 6 in the US. The world premiere for Rocket Man was played on Armed Forces Network on my radio program called Underground. I […]
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If you ain’t got that rhythm 58

Posted 1 month ago

We judge our stereo system’s performance by a long list of criteria. There’s tonal balance, imaging, dynamics (both micro and macro), soundstaging, top end, bottom end, midrange bloom, noise levels, and of course pacing and rhythm. When I first got involved in high-end audio no one spoke of pacing and rhythm as a measure of quality, let […]
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Kindness 16

Posted 1 month ago

Tim, our warehouse manager, walked into my office loaded with an opened box. “Check this out,” he demanded. Inside were multiple Nipper collection pieces: three 1913 style delivery truck Nipper banks, Nipper serving trays, a Nipper parts bag, etc. There was also a note from the sender, Richard Wiecker, who had just received his BHK […]
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Judging bass 20

Posted 1 month ago

When you look at the mighty IRSV and its self-amplified subwoofer system you might think it’s not a great speaker to judge bass performance of the main power amp. You would be wrong. Few systems I have owned have been so revealing of bass performance than the IRSV. Bass performance begins well before the lowest […]
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Change is hard 9

Posted 1 month ago

We sure like our routines. We take the same route to work, eat our favorite foods, listen to familiar music, hand select entertainment we’re pretty sure we’ll like. It’s safer that way. Change is hard because it’s risky. We might get rewarded, but we also might get disappointed. That’s the nature of risk. What I enjoy […]
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Silicon stereo 33

Posted 1 month ago

Digital has been quite a revolution for me. I remember the first time I heard the term email. What was the E in front of mail for? Electronic mail? That’d never go anywhere I thought. If instant communication was email’s goal what was wrong with the telephone? I shook my head and went back to pounding […]
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Savor 17

Posted 1 month ago

We savor a moment, a taste, an experience. It’s a special instant in time where something extraordinary has occurred: a musical performance, a child’s smile, a learning moment. When they occur we want to revel in them and never leave, savoring all aspects and nuance. Each of us searches for golden moments worth savoring. Mine’s often […]
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Winning 15

Posted 1 month ago

To some, winning is everything. It was that way with my mentor, and former business partner, Arnie Nudell. Arnie hated losing. Which is likely why he had so many wins, like building the biggest loudspeaker company in the world, Infinity. One of my fondest memories centers around a ping-pong table. Arnie and I both loved […]
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Purist controls 22

Posted 1 month ago

We’re purists, right? We seek to clear the clutter, end the distortion, cut through the haze, and get to the musical truth. It’s why we don’t like tone controls or, for that matter, anything not focused on purity—except when the unpure is packaged as perfectionist. I remember when Mark Levinson’s second company Cello launched the […]
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Harvey 23

Posted 1 month ago

What if you had just received your brand new P20 Power Plant, opened its packing box with high expectations of seeing your beautiful new product, but instead found something else: A small package you are asked to open first. Before you unseal the mysterious letter-sized envelope you notice there’s something lumpy inside and now your […]
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Focusing on one at the expense of another 13

Posted 1 month ago

AC power is a complicated subject if quality is to be considered. The number of problems needing attention includes regulation, removal of noise, guarding against surges and spikes, lowering impedance, isolation, restoring missing energy, attaining the correct level, uncontaminated grounds, ensuring there is enough current (both dynamic and steady state) for the job. What possible […]
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Taming the top end 30

Posted 1 month ago

Perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions is how to tame an aggressive top end. The culprits are almost always dome tweeters offering greater detail to the music. And that’s the catchphrase to be wary of. It’s not that I have something against domes. I’ve heard a number of fine examples over the years. It’s […]
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Older audio 38

Posted 1 month ago

Older audio equipment is very much like our memories. Always different than they really were. We tend to remember the emotional highlights of events—both good and bad. The sordid details and problems fade into the background but jump right back to the forefront once re-experienced. One of my first loves was the Audio Research SP3 […]
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Wouldn’t you just know it? 19

Posted 1 month ago

Our engineering director, Matt, has been working for the past few months on new code for the DirectStream Memory Player. DMP. He came to me with an interim version that works quite well. Perfect? No, it has some ways to go. Still, we thought it appropriate to share with DMP owners. I announced the DMP […]
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Cat Stevens 34

Posted 1 month ago

In the early 70s I was serving my time in the Army as a disc jockey in Munich Germany. It sounds like an idyllic situation and it would have been if voluntary. But there were perks. One of the best parts of my job was interviewing rock stars like Elton John, Frank Zappa, Mick Fleetwood, […]
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Developing critical listening skills 29

Posted 1 month ago

When Alon Sagee was a wet behind the ears audiophile he spent his days hanging around stereo shops. Today he is the president of the San Francisco Audiophile Society. “At 20, I bought my first audiophile gear at HiFi Haven, a high-end audio dealer in my college neighborhood in New Jersey. This was definitely not a […]
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Through the ground glass 28

Posted 1 month ago

When I peer into my camera’s ground glass I am intent on one thing. Sharp focus. When I check the clock for my 9:45 meeting I focus on the second hand and ignore the hour. I can tell you if I am late or early but not what time it is. When we narrow our […]
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Through other ears 25

Posted 1 month ago

Wouldn’t it be great if you could hear the IRSV in Music Room One? Multiple weekly visitors get the chance, but the many thousands of readers of this blog have to just guess. Or do they? Stereophile editor John Atkinson spent time with us and posted two parts of his three-part factory tour and interview […]
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Getting out of the box 27

Posted 1 month ago

When I first got interested in high-end audio in the prehistoric early 70s I was told I didn’t have an ear. I struggled to hear differences obvious to others and so I placed myself in a box with a label that read, “not a good listener”. Because I hadn’t an ear I relied upon those […]
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Adding voice to equipment 23

Posted 1 month ago

It’s hard to imagine cooking a fine meal without ever tasting the food, or designing a speaker without listening to the final product. That sort of arms-length-design is more a crapshoot than a surefire success. Yet, when we talk about PS Audio’s design process for electronics that spends more time on voicing than measurement, eyes […]
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