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The thief 75

Posted 3 weeks ago

From my upcoming memoir now titled 99% True. I couldn’t have been more than ten years old and I was making a habit of collecting a few quarters, dimes, and nickels from Dad’s dresser—money I’d spend stuffing my face full of gum and candy. This criminal behavior went on for months until my father decided […]
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How emotions impact sound 23

Posted 3 weeks ago

We listen with our ears but hear with our emotions. Every sense we possess runs through the lens of our emotions and that lens can pretty easily warp our feelings. Take for example spit. Imagine spitting saliva into a cup then drinking it again. Gross, right? Logically we know that emotion is absurd. The saliva […]
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Gross violations 26

Posted 3 weeks ago

I write a lot about how little measurements matter, but that isn’t always the case. In early designs of amplifiers as well as CD players, many of the measurements were downright awful. Like the low frequency response of transformer coupled tube amplifiers or the square wave response of early CD players. Take a look at […]
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The impersonal internet 35

Posted 4 weeks ago

I spend a great deal of time on the forums and comments section of our channels: Ask Paul, Ohms Law, Paul’s Post, PS Forums, YouTube, Copper Magazine, Facebook. I do this because the internet can be an impersonal place if you let it. Just look at some of the more untended channels and you’ll see they’ve […]
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Munich 2018 21

Posted 4 weeks ago

Our own Bill Leebens, editor of Copper Magazine among a hundred other tasks at PS, has posted his own video of the 2018 Munich High-End show. You can go here to watch it. Bill’s perspective is different than my own when he films. Sure, there are lots of snippets of equipment to see, but for […]
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If it looks like a… 33

Posted 1 month ago

We can’t judge a book by its cover any more than we can a piece of high end stereo equipment by its case. And yet we do, time and time again. It’s just human nature. The outer appearance should define the inner workings but often misses the mark. Remember the old Corvair? It looked like […]
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A simple system 40

Posted 1 month ago

One of my favorite PS Audio products is Sprout. The little integrated that could. And does. My son Scott, along with our engineering team and in particular, Darren Myers, have been working for the last two years on building an even better Sprout. It’s called Sprout100—cleverly named because it now sports a 100 watt per […]
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DSP and bass 52

Posted 1 month ago

One objection many of us harbor towards DSP (Digital Signal Processing) is the necessity to convert analog to digital then back again. While I have nothing against digital—my system is pretty much all digital—I am still a purist at heart. The idea of working as hard as we do to get perfect analog out of the […]
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If it’s good for the goose… 89

Posted 1 month ago

Boy. Yesterday’s post sure kicked up a lot of dust. Good. Recording studio quality isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse. As half-baked home studios proliferate, the few excellent studios like Cookie’s Blue Coast and a handful of others struggle. And when quality recordings become fewer, there are fewer new juicy cuts of music to enjoy. […]
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How we struggle to keep bad sound 65

Posted 1 month ago

I would suggest that well over three quarters of the discs in my physical library suck. Yup. Bad recordings all. Sure, some great music, but when it comes to recording quality not many live up to high standards and even fewer are exemplary. Isn’t it odd then, given all the poor recordings, that we struggle […]
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The comings and goings of audio 65

Posted 1 month ago

Remember when we thought the best way to get pure live sound from our hi-fi systems was to artificially make them better? Dynamic range expanders, click and pop eliminators, aural exciters, holographic generators, stereo dimensional arrays. Even something as unexciting as an external active crossover was crafted to better serve up music. It wasn’t good enough […]
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Expressing ourselves 94

Posted 1 month ago

I am continually impressed with the generous people expressing themselves in the comments section of our media outreach channels. Most are supportive or have questions; some are put off; others are delighted; a few are horrified. It’s the horrified that gets me scratching my head. Each of us crafts a personal worldview: A story that explains just […]
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Dedicated power lines 33

Posted 1 month ago

If you’re serious about building a high-performance audio system you have to pay attention to the AC power. It’s a constant theme with me because power is the foundation of our systems. There aren’t many great structures standing on weak foundations. Power Plants solve many problems but they need a head start. One of the […]
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The little things 32

Posted 1 month ago

We just officially launched the new Power Plants P20, P15, and P12. These are the culmination of seven years of learning and polishing and the hard work of engineers Bob Stadtherr, Darren Myers, and Tyera Eulberg. After fielding the inevitable barrage of questions two little things come to my attention because they both have huge implications. […]
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Lowering impedance 34

Posted 1 month ago

The lower the AC impedance feeding high-end audio equipment the better each piece sounds. And when the entire system is fed with low impedance power the results can often be breathtakingly better. But, how do engineers lower impedance? That question’s not simple to answer but I am going to try. Basically, we need a few things: […]
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Wiggle room 23

Posted 1 month ago

When we wish to measure a Power Plant’s output impedance we’re looking to see how much it wiggles. In a perfect world where the impedance is zero (and it never is) a Power Plant’s output voltage would not change (wiggle) with a load. Plug in a monster amplifier to a Power Plant’s output and the […]
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Taking a stand 11

Posted 1 month ago

One of the hallmark indicators of low impedance is a firm stand. External forces have little sway over a device with low output impedance. This can be seen in a high damping factor amp and speaker combination where the amp exerts control over the speaker, yet the speaker cannot do the same to the amp. […]
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Driving coils 9

Posted 1 month ago

Powering a dynamic loudspeaker’s not much different than a preamp or CD player because their inputs all have something in common. A coil of wire. In a speaker that is called the voice coil. In a piece of electronics, it is the power transformer. Power transformers are not much more than two pieces of coiled […]
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The power of impedance 19

Posted 1 month ago

I am not sure if the headline of today’s post is entirely accurate but I just loved the way it read. I am not a poet but I am taking license. Over the last two days, we’ve been discussing output impedance as it applies to power amps and loudspeakers. It’s time to move the impedance […]
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Controlling generators 20

Posted 1 month ago

In yesterday’s post, I covered damping factor: how it’s calculated, how it impacts woofers, and why we want it to be as high as possible. A high damping factor is a result of the low impedance of an amplifier and connecting cable. The lower the combined impedances the higher the damping factor and the greater the control […]
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Amp damp 38

Posted 1 month ago

Ok, I admit it. I couldn’t resist the allure of “amp damp” when what I mean is the more mundane amplifier damping factor. I still get asked what damping factor means and because I am also going to start talking about the differences in the new Power Plants and the older ones I thought this might be […]
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Noble experiment 38

Posted 1 month ago

I’ve been noodling a lot lately on my “live” experience at the airport. I’ve even awakened in the middle of the night with an aha! but then fallen back to sleep with a no, can’t be that. But it’s something. Several of you have suggested it is the recording process where the damage happens. This […]
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Emotional measurements 34

Posted 1 month ago

It must drive objectivists crazy that we measure the performance of our stereo systems through internal equipment called emotions. A foot tap, a smile, a chill up the spine to register good sounds, a grimace, scrunched eyebrows, or squinting eyes to rate those objectionable qualities to music. And what’s perhaps even more frustrating must be that […]
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Transducers 24

Posted 1 month ago

Every recording is squeezed through the lens of a transducer. Microphones for acoustic instruments, magnetic pickups for electrified string instruments, and even DIs for electronic keyboards. And as we know, each interface or transducer has a sound to it, an insulator from the sonic thumbprint of the instrument or voice. It’s not much different than the […]
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Tree blossoms 13

Posted 1 month ago

The blossoms are budding on the apple trees of our neighbor. Last year it didn’t happen. This year we expect a fine crop of crunchy reds. Blossoms also mean spring and that time of year has a tradition for me. Cleaning. Yeah, I know, the spring cleaning thing where you might want to avoid being […]
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