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In harm’s way 26

Posted 3 weeks ago

We have a pretty versatile warehouse at PS Audio. Where normally we’d be moving inventory in and out on a daily basis, the main warehouse has other uses too. In yesterday’s post, I showed how our engineers take over to make polar measurements of the new AN3 loudspeaker. Today I’ll show you quite another use. […]
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Warehouse sounds 33

Posted 3 weeks ago

Long ago, in the prehistoric days of HiFi, there was the first HiFi mail order catalog I knew of called Warehouse Sounds. They sold all kinds of stereo gear across the nation and even had “head cleaning kits” which consisted of a roach clip and pack of rolling papers. (Hey, it was the 70s). But […]
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Old words 13

Posted 3 weeks ago

I drive an electric car yet I still step on the gas. I play music through modern transducers that cling to their original monicker from the 1800s: a loud speaker. It’s natural we use words having lost their original meaning, but sometimes it might be helpful to consider adding a few new ones to keep […]
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The curse of new 27

Posted 4 weeks ago

No sooner do I get a new ache or pain than my mind gravitates to the worst possible scenario. “No doubt it’s cancer.” When a new product has a hiccup or fails to meet expectations we often jump to a worst-case conclusion that it’s defective or broken. We rarely allow for learning curves. New gear […]
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Weird to wonderful 28

Posted 4 weeks ago

Bringing new ideas, concepts, and radical change to an established way of doing things requires great effort—moving from weird to wonderful. Imagine just a few of the major shifts within our lifetimes: tubes to solid-state, vinyl to CD, records to streaming. Each and every shift began life as the weird and only over time moved […]
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Do opinions matter? 32

Posted 1 month ago

Opinions. We’ve all got them and most of us are eager to share. Do opinions matter? I suppose the answer is where in the pecking order they come from. The opinion of a company’s president matters more than that of the shipping clerk. Or does it? Why do we value one opinion or idea over […]
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Big little changes 34

Posted 1 month ago

I find it fascinating to watch myself getting older. Day by day nothing seems to change, yet somehow the mirror doesn’t reflect the picture of a younger me I harbor in my head. We can’t see long term aging as it happens any more than we can view a tree growing, yet we know that […]
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Functional vs. aesthetic 32

Posted 1 month ago

One of the challenges facing any designer or engineer is the quandary of form vs. function. On the one hand, function is a requisite for any sensible design. If it isn’t easy or useful the product doesn’t have a long life in store for it. But form and aesthetics? If a product doesn’t appeal to […]
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Building beasts 52

Posted 1 month ago

Building speakers is way different than electronics. For one thing, loudspeakers can be handcrafted and designed from scratch, where electronics require cobbling together off-the-shelf parts. No one in our industry is likely to invent new semiconductor physics and apply it to hand made transistors. The opportunity to design and fabricate every single bit of a […]
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In search of miracles 22

Posted 1 month ago

I am constantly on the hunt for miracles. I don’t want just improvements or brighter polish when it comes to my audio system. No, in fact, it’s miracles I am after though they do seem rather far and few between. The most recent miracle to cross my path is the new Stellar Phono. After nearly […]
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Shiver me timbers 22

Posted 1 month ago

Perhaps the greatest compliment a piece of audio gear can get is a shiver down a spine—exactly what Calord experienced on his first listen to the new Steller Phono Preamplifier. Read all his comments here. You’d think designers would get most excited when the magazines launch a great review, or when an official set of […]
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Converts 15

Posted 1 month ago

One of the joys we share is the moment of the great awakening: when a music lover decides it’s no longer acceptable to sully music’s beauty with poor quality reproduction. I know many of us older audiophiles worry that the younger generation of music lovers will never come to enjoy the sound quality we treasure, […]
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Setting levels 40

Posted 1 month ago

Where we set our system-level can make a tremendous amount of difference. One of the problems I often see in digital audio is people hell-bent on setting the volume level in the app they are streaming from. In almost every case, this is exactly the wrong thing to do. Changing the playback level at the […]
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Audiophile wisdom 24

Posted 1 month ago

Part of knowing our HiFi Family so well is understanding what I like to think of as Audiophile Wisdom, the collective agreement of what we believe. For example, audiophiles pretty much agree that tubes sound one way, solid-state devices quite another. Or, vinyl has its sound and digital something different. Every interest group on Planet […]
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Generalizations 18

Posted 1 month ago

We make sense of a complicated world by neatly organizing products, ideas, and concepts into tidy little boxes. Unfortunately, there are consequences to generalizing because we ignore edge cases. It is out in the fringes where the exceptional products and services live. Take for example class D power amplifiers. Most of us have mentally cataloged […]
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Reaching consensus 18

Posted 1 month ago

Is it possible to reach consensus among dissenting views? I suspect it’s pretty rare. I think one of the classic problems with communication is how we present differing viewpoints as “evidence” to support our cases. If I hope to help a measurementist see the world from my viewpoint, it probably isn’t a good idea to […]
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Why work at training? 15

Posted 1 month ago

When I first got involved in high-end audio I was not a good listener. Sure, I loved music and always have, but I struggled with discerning small differences in the reproduction of music—a skill I would have to acquire if I were to spend the rest of my adult life making stereo equipment that mattered. […]
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Uncovering gems 19

Posted 1 month ago

“There’s buried treasure in them thar speakers! I feels it in me bones.” Sometimes I do feel like a pirate in search of buried treasure when I go to listen. Working on new technologies, new firmware, new components is really exciting—not just for the discovery of underlying new sonic delights, but because it is a […]
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When measurements take a backseat 23

Posted 1 month ago

As engineers, we always start a new design with the best of intentions. We’re hell-bent on making sure our new creations perform to their best. One of the ways we do that is by measurement which always precedes listening. When PS Audio’s analog engineer Daren Myers set out to design the new Stellar Phono Preamplifier […]
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Setting a high bar 28

Posted 1 month ago

We work so hard achieving sonic purity that it’s easy to forget just how flawed some of our tools are. Microphones and loudspeakers, for example, are so far away from neutral that we accept their colorations as normal. I am not sure that’s a very high bar from which to set standards. My friend Dan […]
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The art of procrastination 19

Posted 1 month ago

I don’t know anyone as good at procrastination as I am. I’ll spend countless hours checking, organizing, thinking, preparing, and…well…procrastinating until I finally make the commitment. Or not. Mostly not. “I can’t handle another project.” “I don’t have the time.” “What’s wrong with the way it is?” “Why do I need this new piece of […]

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Homebrew 29

Posted 1 month ago

Most of us don’t brew our own beer because it’s easier and probably tastier to let the experts do it for us. In that same vein, we rarely design our own audio gear. But that’s not true for a really fun splinter group, the DIY folks. Reader Ted Williams sent me a link to pictures […]
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Gauging the absurd 23

Posted 1 month ago

I had to laugh. This morning I received an email asking if I get too much SPAM in my inbox and might I be interested in reducing the types of email they are sending. The ad campaign was just cheeky enough to make me laugh but I suspect that wasn’t their intent. Rather, I believe […]
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The sound of components 18

Posted 1 month ago

Every component in a circuit has a sound to it. Altogether, the hundreds (or thousands) of parts that make our HiFi systems work contribute a mash of sonic qualities that we end of listening through. It’s rather a dose of hubris to think we can ever get perfection out of all the various flavors and […]
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The great mystery 44

Posted 1 month ago

I write and speak a great deal about subwoofers because I believe they are the missing element in almost every system I encounter. And that’s always been a mystery to me. My guess is that a good 90% of systems haven’t the advantages of greater presence, air, low extension, and life a subwoofer brings and […]
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