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The personality of equipment 9

Posted 6 years ago

Have you ever noticed that many dogs resemble their owners? I think the same is true for equipment and the personality of the designs. In our hand-crafted industry of the high-end many designs bear the sonic signature of the designer. You can always tell how Ray Kimber’s kables sound in the same way Dave Wilson’s […]
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How do you describe truffle fries? 1

Posted 6 years ago

The language an artist uses to describe her work is by necessity vague and intentionally non-specific. How else could she describe the feeling of the work? The language a programmer uses to describe her work is by necessity specific and intentionally non-vague. How else could she describe exact processes and logic? A product visionary needs […]
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In the garden of Eden 10

Posted 6 years ago

In the late 1960’s the way music was played over the airwaves was going through a major shift, much like it is today. For many years only songs of less than about 4 minutes were ever played on commercial radio and between songs we had fast talking DJ’s (of which I was one). Then along […]
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Pots in a box 1

Posted 6 years ago

In the early 70’s Stan (The “S” in PS) and I only made phono preamplifiers. They had no controls, just a turntable input and a set of RCA outputs. Designed to go into the auxiliary inputs of the user’s preamplifier. But that was never how we used it. It was impossible for us to design […]
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How to explain the high-end 4

Posted 6 years ago

“The justification for a great music system is the same as for a great instrument: It makes possible a musical experience that cannot be duplicated by lesser means” My friend Jim McCullough who owns the Cello brand sent me that quote which reflect the philosophy his company and its products are based on. To date […]
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Should we support hoarding? 8

Posted 6 years ago

Yahoo is suing Facebook for violating some of its patents for technologies it both uses and doesn’t use. Yahoo waited years to take this action and it wasn’t until Facebook announced its IPO that they went “live” with their lawsuit. That seems predatory on the surface but I don’t know enough to make a judgement […]
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It's obvious 7

Posted 6 years ago

Ever notice how something is obvious only after someone points it out to you? In our post on Software Jitter I got several emails from folks telling me “that’s an obvious distortion path”. True enough but it sure wasn’t before we found it. Fact is we’ve been struggling with trying to figure out why small […]
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The death of the album? 13

Posted 6 years ago

Dave Paananen, our director of engineering, asked “Isn’t it obvious the need for an album or CD is rapidly becoming unnecessary?” At first I dismissed the thought, so ingrained is the notion of an artist creating a package around a body of work, but then I realized he is right. The medium itself has always […]
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Software jitter 7

Posted 6 years ago

Just when we thought we had it all figured out along comes a new form of distortion to tackle: software jitter. The culprit here is, unfortunately, a very necessary component in the chain of digital audio – the CPU (central processing unit) itself. We first noticed this problem when we started releasing different versions of […]
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When it's just good enough 9

Posted 6 years ago

Alan Sircom, writing in the April issue of Hi Fi Plus magazine, suggests that the problem with getting newcomers into the high-end is they already find their means of reproducing music “good enough” – so why spend more time and money getting something better? There’s some truth to what he writes. I would put forth […]
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It's gotta happen in 3 minutes! 12

Posted 6 years ago

We wanted to be able to explain how a Power Plant regenerator works in less than 3 minutes to people who had zero technical knowledge. I didn’t want an ad or a fluff piece, but something fun, interesting and most important – informative. The challenge, it turns out, is quite hard. In fact, I have […]
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Why everything matters in today's high-end systems 4

Posted 6 years ago

In 1973 when we first started PS Audio everything mattered to the sound quality path: types of capacitors, types of transistors, resistors, circuit topology, connectors, power supplies, chassis builds and so on. Then we moved to digital audio and the pundits of the day proclaimed that bits are bits it wouldn’t matter what we did […]
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Here's what Apple is going to do next 11

Posted 6 years ago

Fundamentally change the form factor of their mobile devices from backlit LCD to see-through OLED. How do I know that? Because it’s the obvious thing to do to solve a basic irritation. Let me give you a little background. In yesterday’s post I dropped an idea on you about creating a paper thin OLED touch […]
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The problem with good ideas 1

Posted 6 years ago

There are just too many. I have lots of them especially when it comes to new products and new directions for our industry – and I am sure many of you reading this post have them as well. They are like an itch that cannot be scratched. Perhaps the most difficult lesson I am still […]
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Enjoying it all 7

Posted 6 years ago

In response to our little series on purity and musical truth one of our Australian readers posted this comment: “It’s all about enjoyment. I have listened to a number of systems that are very detailed and analytical and I hear things that I don’t hear on my system but they are cold and emotionless and […]
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Opening up an age old debate 6

Posted 6 years ago

Several of you have written me suggesting the issue we’ve been discussing on purity has more to do with the playback equipment than the way it was recorded. I think it’s more complicated than that. There was a time when we could accurately say that most all digital was inferior to most all analog – […]
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How to prove a point 12

Posted 6 years ago

I am convinced Bob Carver is a crazy genius. He’s given more to our industry than most and always surprises and delights with his innovative approach. His tiny cube amplifier, his miniature room shaking subwoofers and to the point of this post, his amplifier shootout. I remember back to 1985 when several reviewer challenged Carver […]
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Is purity a myth? 14

Posted 6 years ago

In yesterday’s post Are vinyl records filtersI think we struck a nerve. In that post I pointed out that many of us find vinyl records to sound more musical than a digital recording – yet most of todays vinyl records started out as digital recordings – an obvious problem if you believe vinyl gets you […]
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Are vinyl records filters? 21

Posted 6 years ago

Have you ever pondered the fact that many new vinyl releases today actually are recorded, mixed and mastered digitally before being transferred to vinyl? Because many studios today are digital based it’s easier for musicians to record digitally and then master the results onto both CD and vinyl if they care about sound quality enough […]
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The Hi Fi season 5

Posted 6 years ago

As spring hits and summers is nearing hi fi manufacturers and dealers have to start figuring out how they will make it though the long hot summer of the hi fi season. Sales of hi fi equipment drop of sharply sometime in May and don’t really pickup again until October. The theory I operate under […]
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If it's not personal is it high-end? 7

Posted 6 years ago

Most high-end audio systems are very personal because they are hand assembled by the owner. Rarely are any two alike and that’s kind of what makes this sport fun. But if dealers sold pre-assembled “cookie cutter” systems that the owner did not personalize, would they still be high-end? I believe so. I believe high-end has […]
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What's wrong with the two magazines? 7

Posted 6 years ago

In yesterday’s post Separating the wheat from the chaff, I mentioned that the retailer is the perfect sorting house – choosing and selling only those products that perfectly reflect the dealer’s brand promise and makes it easy for customers, especially new customers, to make easy choices getting involved with high-end audio. Several of you asked […]
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How to separate wheat from chaff 0

Posted 6 years ago

For those non-farmers out there (like me) the wheat is the good part and the chaff is the throw away not worthy of eating. So if we were ever to set up some certification standards for 3D Stereo products, as mentioned a few weeks ago in this post, wouldn’t every product in the high-end qualify […]
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To see or not to see 0

Posted 6 years ago

…that is the question from a great article just published on our magazine PS Tracks. Lawrence Schenbeck, our resident musicologist and fellow Audiophile, writes a wonderful thought piece about Blu Ray opening up the possibility of watching AND enjoying high-resolution audio. To see or not to seeis a great piece of literature that’s worth your […]
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Why should I have to pay? 5

Posted 6 years ago

On the PS Community Forums we’ve been discussing a new product to serve music and how that product gained some features that not everyone agrees with: specifically a headphone amplifier. The question asked is “why should I be required to pay for a feature I don’t want?” This is an age old question and one […]
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