Paul's Posts

PS Audio founder and CEO, Paul McGowan, writes a daily blog: short, informative, fun, often controversial, but always interesting. Subjects range from personal stories, how to setup your system, news of the day, streaming, vinyl, tubes, transistors, loudspeakers, holographic imaging and more. Kind of like the Car Talk of audio. Not much is sacred, and there’s rarely a mention of our own products. Easy to subscribe and even easier to unsubscribe if you wish. Join us.
SUBSCRIBE TO PAUL'S POSTS
Careful on the input

One of the ways we designers make good sounding amplifiers is to lightly limit the input frequency while at the same time extending its high-frequency response. That’s something that might seem counterintuitive but it works. For example, at the input of a power amplifier, I like to form a light low pass filter of around…

Read More
Out of balance

When something is out of balance we often blame what stands out most. For example, if music sounds overly bright we naturally pin the blame on that area of frequencies. We might be completely wrong. Imagine the treble regions being perfect but the midrange and midbass areas a bit repressed. It’ll sound bright. Over the…

Read More
Sacred cows

In Hinduism and vegetarianism cows are to be treated with respect, not eaten. In our everyday lexicon, the term sacred cows refer more to ideas and concepts we hold near and dear. Are we good with our long-held convictions? Do some materials sound better than others? Do we believe we can hear the difference between…

Read More
Added spice

Regardless of circumstance, I am going out on a limb suggesting each of us is lucky. Lucky to lead rich and fruitful lives. Sure, we’ve all had our go-rounds with tough situations, loss, wrong turns, and major hiccups. But my guess is if you’re a long time reader of these posts you’ve had more good…

Read More
Sunlight

High in the beautiful southern Colorado Rocky Mountains lie two side-by-side peaks. Windom and Sunlight. They stand together like gods enjoying the view. When we update our DirectStream and DirectStream Junior DACs, we name them after these monumental Colorado peaks. Fourteeners, as they are known locally, are a challenge to climb. Terri and I have…

Read More
One sided arguments

It is said that with age comes wisdom. I am not convinced that is entirely true. Wisdom implies better judgment in the decision making department and I’ve seen scant evidence of us older people making better decisions. I make just as many wrong turns today as I did in the past. I just don’t repeat…

Read More
The power of song

Terri and I were recently watching a YouTube documentary on old Route 66. Boy, did that bring back some memories. As a lad, my grandmother Elsie packed me and my two sisters into her 1952 Chevrolet and drove us from Southern California to Saint Louis Missouri, and back again along Route 66: Burma Shave signs,…

Read More
Linearity

The term linearity as it applies to amplification suggests a ruler-flat straight line. That is, for a given input voltage we expect a mathematical relationship with the output voltage that can be graphically expressed as a straight line. So, for example, with an amplifier designed with a gain of 10, for 1 volt in, we…

Read More
Parallel vs. series

There is a fundamental difference between projects worked in parallel or in series yet both have their merits. In the former, multiple tasks and projects are tackled at the same time while with the latter, every step follows the next. Each of us operates at different levels with respect to how we handle projects. Some…

Read More
Capturing vs. permeating

There is a fundamental sonic difference between perfectly capturing the sound of a distorted guitar versus allowing the guitar to distort the recording. Many recording engineers do not understand the difference. One good example might be found in the difference between amplifying a square wave and creating a square wave. In the average amplifier, if…

Read More
Tingle meter

I am convinced that the majority of McIntosh owners were attracted more to the big and cool front panel metering systems than they were sound quality. And, to be clear, I am not implying anything negative about the great sound quality of McIntosh gear. And I get it. They are wicked cool. The techno-junkie part…

Read More
Truth or preference?

In our search for sonic truth, there comes a point where the systems get so good their “truth” is more about our personal preference. In fact, personal preferences often trump truth. We know we’ve gotten closer to the truth when it matches what we believe to be the musical truth. Of course, no one knows…

Read More
More than what’s obvious

In yesterday’s post, I made the point that regardless of the delivery method—transport or streaming—identical digital audio bits received at the DAC should sound the same. They do not. Why? Let me first start with a little story. When we had the opportunity to listen to the PerfectWave SACD Transport (PST) for the first time,…

Read More
Streaming vs. discs

The controversy over streaming vs. physical disc seems endless. On the one hand, we know that all things being equal, there’s no difference to the DAC how it gets its digital audio data. It can come from as close as three feet away via cable or can stream from thousands of miles away via the…

Read More
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…

Read More
Headphones vs. speakers

I’ve never understood the rift between headphone and speaker advocates. Chat rooms, forums, and blog posts by the hundreds are rife with strong opinions why one’s superior to the other. It is constantly pointed out that headphones are more full range, lower distortion, generally have only one driver, are easy to drive, and so on….

Read More
A place of honor

If you’re an important person invited to dinner, tradition suggests you be given the place of honor, perhaps the seat next to the host. But places of honor aren’t reserved for just the dinner table. In our home, the first thing you notice upon entering the living room is our beloved HiFi system. You notice…

Read More
Live end dead end

As we move forward building the new Octave Recording studio we’re learning a great deal from both Gus Skinas and J.I. Agnew. Most of you know Gus, the mastering engineer of some note (you name the artist and it’s likely Gus has mastered something of theirs), and Copper Magazine readers know of J.I. from his…

Read More
Who’s on first?

Making a decision as to which model of amplifier, phono stage, or preamplifier can be daunting. There are more brands than one can count and, within those brands, many models. In the days of dealers, we relied upon their curation skills to narrow the field. The only problem with that model is that most times…

Read More
Auditioning speakers

If you go to a big box store, or even a medium-sized store, you’re likely to encounter a switch box approach to speaker selling. Multiple pairs of speakers are lined up as if in a forest and the salesperson can play any of the many speaker models at the push of a button. This same…

Read More
External power supplies

On the periphery of exotic upgrades is the external power supply. Sometimes this supply is bigger and more powerful than what’s standard inside products, but more often than not it’s simply the only means of powering a product. A wall wart is a great example. In my experience, the first use of an external power…

Read More
Syrup on pancakes

In the 1990s, the idea of an AC power conditioner feeding a stereo system was about the same as adding syrup to pancakes: a nice but unnecessary sweetener. Few people thought of power conditioners, and later AC regenerators, as being essential elements in a high-end chain. In fact, even as late as the early 2000s,…

Read More
Who’s it for?

Ok, I’ll admit it. I am a Trekkie. My current favorite Star Trek spinoff is Discovery. In second place is Picard (though it started off so slow I had to skip forward multiple episodes to get going). Still working my way through Season Two of Discovery, I ran across an episode whose “previously on Discovery”…

Read More
Temples of sound

For a small handful, it is possible to build temples of sound—a dedicated purpose-built room. They are rare. More of us convert existing space into dedicated listening areas that we revere as our sound temples, but the vast majority simply plop down our systems in the living room or den and do what we can…

Read More
Janszen

In yesterday’s post, I reminisced about my first experience with a subwoofer. And boy, not just any subwoofer. Lucky for me, I got a taste of the mighty Cerwin-Vega 18s, then the biggest, baddest subwoofer yet made. In fact, even today there aren’t many that can match what those beasts were capable of producing. What…

Read More
Subwoofer history

In one of my Ask Paul video questions, I was asked how far back subwoofers go in 2-channel audio. The community member had only become aware of subs as they related to home theater. Of course, many readers of Paul’s Post know subs date back much further than home theater. From Wikipedia: In September 1964,…

Read More
1 2 3 139
Stop by for a tour:
Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5pm MST

4865 Sterling Dr.
Boulder, CO 80301
1-800-PSAUDIO

Join the hi-fi family

Stop by for a tour:
4865 Sterling Dr.
Boulder, CO 80301

Join the hi-fi family

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram