April 2014

 

New website launches

The new PS Audio website launched a few days ago.  It has a slick new interface, it’s a lot easier to navigate and find out about products, services, news and information.

We updated because we had previously been supporting 3 separate websites and now they’re combined into one.  If you look at the front page you’ll see the carousel of products that you can scroll through and click on whatever interests you.  When you have a moment, head here and check it out.

We need your help

Part of the reason we updated the website is to help our customers manage their products, easily get updates, drivers, service issues and whatever needs our many users have.

The login and registration for products on the old site got corrupted by a whole lot of spammers doing whatever spammers do (I’ve never figured that one out).  So the good news is we were able to save many of your registrations.  The bad news is the passwords were not carried over.  We’d appreciate it if you would take a minute and update your registration and login.  Just click on the link in the top right hand corner of the site, enter your email address and click the Forgot Password link.  Then look in your email for a new password.  It will be sent out immediately.  If you don’t get it, check in your junk mail.

I apologize for the hassle.

Product registrations

The new website has also caused some confusion about warranty and product registrations and I wanted to touch on these two topics briefly.  First, our warranty period.

Our products all come with a 3-year transferable warranty from the factory.  The tricky part of this warranty is timing.  When we build a new unit we register that product’s unique ID and date of manufacture in our database.  When you purchase the new product, you register it with us on the website.  Simple!

But here’s the rub: the warranty starts from the date of first purchase IF you register it.  So maybe it sat on the dealer’s shelf for a few months before you bought it.  No problem.  But if you fail to register the unit with us, we automatically default to the manufacturing date.  We have nothing else to go on.

So when you visit your registered products area, once you log into the new site, you may not see your product if it is out of warranty.  Because we understand you still want to see your product in your My Registered products area, even if it is not under warranty, we made it possible to go ahead and register any of your older products.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

DirectStream ships

As promised our new DSD DAC, DirectStream, is starting to ship even as I write this.  We should be able to get out 100 DirectStreams and 50 DirectStream Kits this month.

Our thanks to all of you who preordered from your dealer, distributor or directly from us.  This product is an amazing piece of work and after nearly 7 years of effort, it is finally shipping.  I am personally listen testing each and every one of the first 100 DS to ship.

I am a busy boy this month.  Between listening to all 100, launching the new website, building a new music server (see below), demonstrating DirectStream this Friday and Saturday at Axpona in Chicago, I am also getting ready to head over to the big Munich show.

DirectStream’s designer, Ted Smith, will be speaking at the Newport Show coming up shortly.  We must all have been wicked at some point in our lives to have no rest!  But we love it.

Building a music server

As I mentioned, I have been busy.  Really busy.  But having the time of my life.  I am grateful for the opportunity to have so many fun things to tackle.

Because I have been traveling a lot showing DirectStream to audio clubs, dealers, reviewers and audio shows, I really felt it was time to build a portable music server I could travel with and be good enough to work in Music Room One.

There’s plenty of options out there, but my focus was on quality of sound, ease of use, ease of transport.

To build this server I chose a Mac Mini, Bit Perfect software and an iPad Mini to control it.  I also detailed my step by step journey to build this server and shared with my readers of Paul’s Daily Posts.

If you’d like to follow along, as many have, and perhaps even build your own, it’s a fun experience.  You can start with the first post I wrote by clicking here.  If you do build one, drop me a note and let me know how it worked out.

Do recordings kill music?

“The whole of people’s listening lives is built around records if I understand it right. But it’s all endgame—it introduces the endgame to something that is for me primarily not about endgame … The point of a record is that you can play it again. It’ll all eventually become mood music, right?” Derek Bailey, guitarist

In a wonderfully refreshing book called Records ruin the landscape, by David Grubbs, who is reviewed in the New Yorker magazine by writer Sasha Frere-Jones, gives us some interesting thoughts on our recorded music.  You can read it in this article.

Well worth the read if you have the time.

Will we ever run out of music?

The Gracenote catalog, that huge database in the sky containing most all the names and covers for the music we listen to, has over 150 millions songs listed.  That’s a lot of songs.  And let’s face it, there aren’t that many notes in a musical scale.  Yet song after new song continues to be released.

Will we ever run out of new music?  Are we simply recycling and freshening up the music that’s been around for a good long time?

YouTube blogger Vsauce has some interesting insights into this question and if you have 11 minutes, you’ll enjoy watching his video by clicking here.

Unfaithfully yours

Why would a world renowned composer and pianist play music he didn’t write?  When the question applies to Franz Liszt, the answer may be surprising.

“He wanted his audiences to hear this music. For folks in the hinterlands where Liszt gave concerts—and he was always on the road, always giving a concert somewhere—this would be their only chance to hear some of the most important works of their time or (more often) of the previous generation. The music of Beethoven and Schubert was foundational to the Romantic movement: Liszt was carrying a torch for his forebears, educating the audience.”

Laurence Schenbeck, our resident professor of music, writes a great piece on composers and artists and why they felt it important to share the works of other composers that they admired.  Click here.

The Manhattan Transfer

If you like jazz, and I sure do, then you’re no doubt familiar with the Manhattan Transfer, one of the best harmonizing, vocal jazz groups in many years.

The name originates from the John Dos Passos 1925 novel Manhattan Transfer and refers to the group’s New York origins.  But it’s their music that makes them so special.

Our resident jazz expert, Keith Copeland, writes a wonderful piece on this great group and the article is filled with plenty of music through YouTube videos.  Head to our Music Section to check out all the great music articles we post.

To hear and see the Manhattan Transfer, just click here.

Till May

Lots of new stories, information, updates and interesting information will be part of next month’s newsletter and as always, thanks for reading, thanks for sharing and drop me a note about what you think of the new site.

Paul McGowan