December 2014

 

A 2014 thought

It’s at this time we reflect on the events of the past year. For many cultures, including ours, the year ends in a few days and the new one begins. Every culture I am familiar with has a yearly ending and beginning although the dates may differ. For example, Chinese New Year begins on January 15. Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, has already occurred.

Whatever culture you are part of, may you and yours have a happy, prosperous and healthy new year ahead. 2014 was a wonderful year for the PS Audio family and with any luck, 2015 will be equally good. Thank you for your support, your good wishes and your devotion to music and the reproduction arts. It matters.

Recap of 2014

2014 was a particularly good year for PS Audio and we have you to thank for it. Here’s a brief recap of the important milestones we achieved throughout the year.

Product of the Year

Surely there has never been a product we have made that has received so many accolades as DirectStream DAC. Product of the year in both major US print magazines, as well as praise from countless other publications.

Sprout launched

After our first Kickstarter campaign 897 people signed up to bring Sprout home and share the joy of music. We promised we’d deliver all Sprouts purchased through the campaign, before 2015 and we did. The product’s been a great success and we couldn’t be happier with reactions to our all-in-one integrated music player.

Unveiled the new power amplifier

We demonstrated our first vacuum tube based product, the BHK Signature 250 Amplifier, at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. It’s been nearly a decade since we produced a big amplifier and the BHK 250 makes up a lot of ground. Designed by the legendary analog audio designer, Bascom H. King, this new tube/MOSFET design will ship in 2015.

Announced a new preamplifier
And what’s a new power amplifier without a matching preamplifier? Not as interesting. 2014 saw readers of Paul’s Post get the news that we would also be launching the BHK Signature Preamplifier after we start shipping the BHK 250. Also a vacuum tube design, this beauty will be nothing but pure musical bliss.

Bridge II in beta testing
Readers of Paul’s Posts also learned of the upcoming replacement for Bridge One. The unit’s in beta testing now and won’t be released till later in 2015. Improvements include the ability to play gapless.

We name the new amplifier

Over the past 40 years of building amps, preamps, DACS, phono stages and power products we’ve focused on bringing the greatest value we knew how to build into products.

Two years ago I decided PS Audio should build a power amplifier that had no limits. Yes, it too would feature high value but broke with tradition by challenging all amplifiers without regard to price. It would lead me through a maze of design choices, each with their merits, each with their limitations, none achieving the lofty goal I had set. I finally conceded defeat and turned to one of the top designers in the world, my dear friend and colleague, Bascom H. King, affectionately known as BHK.

Bascom insisted the only way to achieve the performance level I demanded from the amp – to live in the rarified air of the world’s best amplifiers – was to add a vacuum tube to the amp’s front end and MOSFETS to its output. Good grief. That’s a huge leap of change. But once I heard his vision in Music Room One I began to drool uncontrollably

We’ll be launching this beauty in mid 2015. It will be called the Bascom H. King Signature 250 amplifier. And on the front panel we’ll shorten it to what I believe it’ll be affectionately known as, the BHK Signature 250 for the stereo version. 

Post your Sprout photo

Nearly one thousand Sprout owners are enjoying their beautiful integrateds all over the world. More are on the way.

We’ve set up a special gallery where you can both view and post your pictures of Sprout through Instagram. Here’s how it works. If you have the Instagram app on your mobile phone (iPhone or Android) just snap a photo of your Sprout and in the caption, include this text #sprouthifi and it’ll automagically post to the sprout page gallery.

We’re trying to get as many cool lifestyle shots of Sprout in action as we can. People have posted a few already, so we’d appreciate you doing the same. Thanks!

Go Sprout!!

Jeff Tyzik

Not only is Jeff Tyzik a phenomenal trumpet player, he also wears the hats of pops conductor, composer and record producer. And even though he is being presented here in the context of a jazz musician, Jeff ‘s interests and versatility have not confined him to one genre. “There are only two kinds of music in the world: good and bad,” Tyzik said, quoting the late great Duke Ellington. “I have never drawn lines about what I’ll write, play or think about, as long as it’s good. I love every kind of music. Baroque, contemporary, the blues…I’m at home with Copland’s Old American Songs as well as ‘Oye Como Va’ and ‘One O’clock Jump.’ It’s about whatever’s vibrant, exciting and has good energy. To be effective at what I do, I have to be totally wide open. I believe a conductor must have the broadest perspective possible about what’s valid musically.”

Click here to enjoy.

Stocking Stuffers

There’s a feast of symphonic literature waiting for you this holiday season.

Lawrence Schenbeck shares with us his favorites to purchase and enjoy.

“The sleeper in my pile was a delightful Dvořák set from James Gaffigan and the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester (Harmonia Mundi HMC 902188; CD and download). Big news here is the Symphony No. 6, as warm-hearted a pastoral idyll as you’ll find—it calls to mind Beethoven’s 6th or Brahms’ 2nd, the latter of which may have directly inspired it. From its first phrases onward, this music—youthful, dynamic, life-embracing—will lift you.”

You can read the rest of the article by clicking this link.

Until Next Year

I just love telling people “I’ll see you next year!”  Enjoy what’s left of the holidays and indeed, let’s do it again in 2015.

Thanks for reading and sharing and thank you for all you do for our community.

Have fun and see you next month!

Paul McGowan