Vintage test equipment

One side of PS Audio most of our community never gets to see is our test equipment. We share with you the products that came from using test equipment, but rarely the actual pieces that perform the measurements that make our products possible.

Today, all our test equipment is fancy-schmancy ultra-expensive Audio Precision gear. These are state-of-the-art computer-controlled pieces that are truly marvels of engineering and represent the industry standard.

But they are hardly the kinds of equipment we started with—the kinds of equipment that bring fond memories to my heart. For many years as Stan and I (and later) me and our chief engineer, Bob Stadtherr, designed PS Audio's products, we used older purely analog test equipment, like the pictured Hewlett Packard 334 distortion analyzer.

What was great about this gear was its hands-on feel. You felt as one with the equipment, watching the big meter drop lower and lower (if your circuit was performing as you hoped) as distortion levels dropped below audibility.

I miss those days of hands on equipment, of through hole parts I could actually see and feel (as opposed to today's tiny surface mount parts) and, perhaps more importantly, read the values of.

If you're curious or, like me, nostalgic, check out my video on vintage test equipment.

Watch the video

Latest Octave Release

Next week, the first week in May, Octave Records will launch its debut Audiophile Masters disc. This is an amazing compilation of multiple artists and musical genres. Everything from Latin to classical, to the ethereal and just about everything in between, this latest release promises to be a sonic stunner.

Keep your eye open for the official announcement of Audiophile Masters Volume One release. My son, Scott McGowan will send you an email with the full details, a link to listen to the preview tracks, and the information you need to grab yourself a copy of this limited release.

Already one of our most popular Octave Records releases, Don Grusin's Out of Thin Air, is now out of print and available only as a download. That's not bad—the downloads are great—but for those wishing to snag a physical copy of the SACD and DSD data disc, it's the early bird that gets the copy.

So, don't miss out. Watch next week for Scott's email announcement. This is one you surely do not want to miss.

Audiophile's Reference Guide Package

"Hard to imagine that setup alone would have made this much difference. I am shocked. Thank you."

The reviews are in and folks all over the world are finding new magic in their stereo system all for the price of a book and SACD. The Audiophile's Reference Guide has been one of the best tweaks those who want the most out of their stereo systems can easily enjoy.

If you're willing to invest a Saturday afternoon into your stereo system, the Audiophile's Guide can help you achieve all that is possible with two channels of audio.

The book and its companion CD are available together as an easy-to-grab package by going here

Get your copy

Copper Magazine

in this issue: Ray Chelstowski has a heart-to-heart talk with Ann Wilson. Tom Gibbs tells you what you need to know about ripping DSD from SACD (yes, it can be done). Russ Welton interviews guitarist, historian and author Paul Brett, and wraps up his interview with Yamaha UK. WL Woodward gets hit by the Wrecking Crew. J.I. Agnew continues his series on classic tape machines with a look at the Ampex ATR Series. B. Jan Montana tells a tale of camaraderie. Don Lindich encounters the legendary London “Decca” Super Gold phono cartridge.

John Seetoo looks back at the Wild West days of 1980s digital film sound. Ray profiles Deko Entertainment, a company that knows legacy rock artists are still vital. Rudy Radelic begins a series on the jazz side of Henry Mancini. I review a metal record – literally, a DMM dubplate from Stockfisch Records made of copper-plated steel. Anne E. Johnson covers the career of country music pioneer Roy Acuff and picks eight great tracks from saxophone colossus Sonny Rollins. Ken Sander hangs with David Crosby and Jethro Tull. Peter Xeni flies with unconscious power, James Whitworth shreds, Audio Anthropology gets tangled up in 8-track and our Parting Shot has growth potential.

Copper is cost-free, ad-free, and committed to great articles without an attitude.

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When reader Chris Stevens sent me the video you are about to watch I was dumbfounded. How in the heck can multiple separated metronomes synch themselves together?

Here's the rub. In nature, chaos is the norm. Nature doesn't generally support order. In fact, nature is more apt to follow the rules of entropy where it requires an input of energy to maintain any semblance of order.

Being a bit of a science nerd, I found this demonstration of just the opposite to be fascinating.

Watch the video and you tell me what you think. 

If you wish to understand how and why this tends to be the opposite of what we might expect, you can go here and watch a bit more of an in-depth explanation of what's going on.

Ahhh, science. Gotta love it!

Watch the film

Singing Zoom

As the pandemic slowly winds down and more of us have (thankfully) gotten our vaccinations, life returns to a semblance of normal.

We're so used to Zoom meetings and video communications that often we take,e for granted the miracle that the internet brings in keeping us together. Heck, I spend an hour or two a day staying connected with the PS Audio engineering, Octave, and administration teams through Zoom and don't know what I would do without it.

Interestingly enough, clever folks have managed to turn Zoom into a musical treasure. Reader Carlos Satlgis kindly sent me a link to a beautifully assembled and performed piece called Why We Sing, by Greg Gilpin. This magnificent piece of music features the Los Angeles-based Los Robles Master Choral singing a wonderfully inspiring work of joyful music.


Watch the video

Keeping Score

Most businesses are profit-centric. Their decision-making process is based on how to best maximize profits.

That does not describe PS Audio.

PS Audio has always been more about affording all the engineering and production resources necessary to build state-of-the-art products that have enough profit in them to sustain and grow the organization so we can do it again.

This is a rather different business model than most.

Proft-focused companies make decisions based solely on how it will impact their bottom line. They succeed when the profit scorecard gets higher.

We, on the other hand, make decisions based on our primary goal, building great products and community so we can grow and do more of it.

We’d never make it on Wall Street.


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