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Not that long ago 24

Posted 3 weeks ago

While looking at a replacement woofer for a friend of mine I noticed its huge magnet and metal encasing shield. Ah yes, I thought, the magnetic shield that was all the rage a few years ago. That shield was needed to protect cathode ray tubes which use magnetic steering to position their controlling electron beams. […]
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The voice of music 41

Posted 3 weeks ago

RCA’s canine mascot, Nipper, was able to recognize his Master’s Voice through a crude phonograph. (The original painting by Francis Barraud was of Nipper sitting atop his master’s casket, the master’s voice back from the dead). We all know the sound of the human voice, yet its exacting reproduction is often a challenge—which is why […]
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Terms and conditions 25

Posted 3 weeks ago

My fancy digital watch just asked if I want to upgrade to the latest operating system. Sure, why not? Maybe it’s better? Maybe it’s worse. I have no way to judge except to try it (knowing full well there’s no going back). First, I need to agree to the Terms and Conditions which I have […]
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Machine love 38

Posted 3 weeks ago

I have loved quite a number of machines in my day: my Austin Healey 3000 (which I wrote about in my book), my Audio Research SP3 preamplifier, my Gaglia espresso machine, my IRS V speakers, my 8×10 view camera, my DirectStream DAC, my P20 Power Plants. We’re all fond of physical things to some degree, […]
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Family time 18

Posted 4 weeks ago

Since our humble beginnings in 1974, we’ve always considered our customers family. There’s never been this odd us/them mentality we see at some companies. To us, our team and extended family are the true strengths of PS Audio, our products and services a distant second. Serving and communicating with our family is why I have […]
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Users vs. listeners 19

Posted 4 weeks ago

Interacting with a front panel has always been important, but rarely how we judge a piece of equipment. Even the klunkiest front panel layouts were tolerated if the unit’s sound quality was up to snuff. The user interface took a distant second to performance. As we rush headlong into the age of the user interface, […]
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The chosen few 31

Posted 1 month ago

It’s worrying to think we audiophiles might be the chosen few, the golden eared bunch endowed with perception powers not shared with the plebiscite. Worrying, but not true. In all my many decades of working with both the cognoscenti and the curious, I have yet to find anyone not able to discern differences in sound […]
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The small room dilemma 29

Posted 1 month ago

Most reviews and written advice seem to revolve around bigger rooms where space is not an issue. What about folks who have small spaces to enjoy music? Where do they go for advice and reviews? Increasingly, I see small room setup as a pressing topic. It’s likely that as more people get involved in the […]
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Finding just the right spot 39

Posted 1 month ago

Most preamplifiers have a zone on their level controls where they sound best; typically higher on their dials. Finding that perfect spot on the dial isn’t too hard, but getting there can be because much depends on the loudness levels of the source and the sensitivity of the speakers. Most sources don’t have level trim […]
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If a tree falls… 20

Posted 1 month ago

…in the forest and there’s no one to witness, does it make a sound? We all know the answer to this question because we understand the mechanism of sound, but the old chestnut gets one to think. How much do hidden sounds impact our world? If your electronics pass all the details in the music […]
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The quiet few 41

Posted 1 month ago

When we proffer an opinion we risk ridicule. It’s probably been that way from before we swung down from the trees to walk on the savannahs. The thought of offering an opinion open for public scrutiny can be immobilizing. Yet, without the brave few offering up their thoughts our levels of communication within the community […]
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Does purity lead to distortion? 25

Posted 1 month ago

When new technologies replace old ones they’re judged on how close they replicate the original. How else would we know if it’s as good as what we’re replacing? Take for example digital photography. The holy grail for digital photography was to duplicate film. Photoshop, the digital photographic program designed to manipulate pixel-based imagery, was originally […]
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Do facts matter? 95

Posted 1 month ago

Opinions are easy enough to accept or ignore. After all, they are just opinions. But facts? No, we believe facts are facts and therefore inviolate. Except we tend to wiggle our way out of those as well, choosing which facts suit us and which do not. Take the atmospheric cancer that is consuming Earth, a […]
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What is knowable? 17

Posted 1 month ago

Spring is in full swing and the pollinators are busy at work, flitting from flower to flower in pursuit of sweet nectar. If you watch bees moving between flowers you might notice something extraordinary. Once a bee has removed a flower’s sweet offerings other bees don’t visit the flower again. How is that possible? Do […]
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Uncovering the music 19

Posted 1 month ago

When we try new software or add a new piece of gear we often discover more in the music. Suddenly, that bit of detail we didn’t know existed pops out of the musical landscape and we’re thrilled. We’ve uncovered missing information. Or have we? Was it ever really missing? Some equipment adds a layer of […]
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If we only knew 26

Posted 1 month ago

There are few things in stereo reproduction as important as setup: how well your speakers are positioned, how accepting your room is, the choices you’ve made in placement. I can’t count the number of times I have been able to wring a higher level of performance from what was thought to be a mediocre group […]
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Warriors, philosophers and evangelists 49

Posted 1 month ago

Ahhh, the cable wars. Have you ever seen such vitriol? Hate? Devotion? Passion? We don’t get as excited about breakfast cereal choices as we do with interconnecting cables or vinyl vs. digital. Why is that? The more fundamental our beliefs, the greater the perceived threat, the more likely we are to defend them. If at […]
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The audiobook is now available 13

Posted 1 month ago

I doubt that anything in my life has gone according to plan (and maybe that’s always been the plan). When we launched my new book, 99% True, Almost a National Best Seller, everything was supposed to go smoothly. There would be the Kindle version, the soft and hardcover versions and, of course, the audiobook. Launch […]
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What, no cannons? 21

Posted 1 month ago

Reader John Vookles sent me this note: “Years ago I was selling a pair of Acoustat 3s so I ran an ad in the paper (this was pre-internet).  A gentleman called and wanted to come listen and I recommended that he bring along a favorite recording. He came with a recording of artillery weapons being […]
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Setting standards 33

Posted 1 month ago

We all have a personal set of standards. These bar-setting rules determine just about everything in our lives from how we dress, eat, interact, advertise ourselves, choose our friends, and listen to music. Especially listen to music. The types and quality of music I listen to must meet a specific standard. Shrill, bangy, loud, and […]
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Today is the day 8

Posted 1 month ago

Have you ever taken a long journey and been just a little disappointed when you finally got to where you were going? I am reminded that often the journey’s more important than the final stop. Today, June 4th, the long two-year journey of writing and publishing my first book has finally come to an end. […]
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The scarcity argument 21

Posted 1 month ago

Everyone’s doing it is a crossroad argument. Some of us embrace the popular while others run as quickly as possible. The same can be said for scarcity: some shy away while others are drawn like moths to the flame. For me, the fact that a technology has yet to be tried is more appealing than […]
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Subjective sound 23

Posted 1 month ago

We’re comfortable suggesting sound is subjective when it comes to our differences in perception, but then uncomfortable when we speak of it in absolute terms. In other words, we believe the source of sound to be absolute. The perception of sound a matter of personal choice. The dictionary describes subjective as a central philosophical concept, related […]
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Is data hidden or lost? 9

Posted 1 month ago

a quick note before we get into today’s subject. If you are interested in securing a signed copy of my book, 99% True, they are now available. There’s only a limited number and I promised I would let you know before they are gone. You can order here while supplies last. The regular editions (at […]
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Chain repair 15

Posted 1 month ago

A generous helping of maple syrup can improve the taste of a bad pancake but it can’t promise perfection. Ridding yourself of a sonic problem by replacing one piece in your system’s chain is a tempting proposition. Sometimes it’s just what the stereo doctor ordered. But, more often than not, we get a bit of […]
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