Novice to expert

December 23, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

When I write these posts I am attempting to communicate with both novices and experts.

That’s a tough challenge. If I lean too hard in any one direction I risk losing the others. And yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Truly, it is an honor to be able to reach out day after day to this wonderful community.

And sometimes I just want to say how much I appreciate the opportunity to do so. To educate, to learn, to communicate, to connect.

It’s not often I get to say thanks to each and every one of you, so let me do it as best I can.

Thank you. Thanks for being here. Thanks for the kindness and generosity each of you bring to the table.

And thank you for the humor. The jabs. The opinions.

It’s what makes us family.

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51 comments on “Novice to expert”

  1. I can’t speak for anyone else here Paul but I (we) have to also thank YOU for the wealth of personal experience that you provide to all & not only always about home audio, for being such a good sport when we pile on you & challenge some of your (questionable) opinions, for your infectious passion for what we all share here, for being so generous with your time & for your goofy sense of humour.
    But mostly just for you being YOU & sharing the love of audio with all who come here to your ‘Ask Paul’ & ‘Paul’s Posts’ sites….ah-oh, I think I’m gonna hurl…. 😉

    I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish all who come here, the regulars & the not so regulars, including all at PS Audio & Octave Records & Blue Coast (Hi Cookie) a relaxing & regenerative Christmas break AND a healthy (CoViD-19 free) & sinquisetous 2022…yes, even you ‘CtA’.

    Best regards to all,

    ps. I can’t wait for boxing day 😀

      1. I’m ‘piling on’ Martin’s comment and MikeK’s second including Martin’s Hurling as long as he can’t reach from Australia to Colorado.

        I’d like to add to Martin’s comment that you Paul have a great understanding of the meaning of ‘gratitude’ and it’s not just at this time of year. There’s truly a steady hand at the helm of PSA.

        Wishing the entire PS Audio team, Frank Doris for his Herculean ability to get Copper Magazine published every two weeks, our incredible community and especially Paul, his family and friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.


  2. In a bit of a different way, when I was selling audio gear I was dealing with customers who were complete novices as well as those who were full on audioholics.
    So you had to be careful not to scare of the novice with tech talk and be well informed on your product to answer all the questions from the experienced buyer.

    FR – On Boxing Day I am taking my daughter, her husband and 2 grandsons to the airport at stupid o’clock to get to Melbourne so they can make the start of the test.
    Hope the original Stephen can cope.

  3. For the benefit of Paul’s education, in Australia Christmas and New Year are organised around the cricket calendar. Just to spite the English, the first of these two traditional matches (the 3rd and 4th in the series) starts at midnight between Christmas Day and Boxing Day, which ruins both days due to anticipation and tiredness after staying up all night. I am doubly punished as Boxing Day is my wedding anniversary. The French have neither Boxing Day nor “le cricket”, more fool them, but they have some pretty bling stereo. My education for 2022 will hopefully include being able to understand the difference between Country, Western and Americana, not to be confused with Americano, which is an expresso ruined by a load of hot water. 2022 will be exciting, with the emergence of a server, a speaker (the plucky little aspen, didn’t know Paul was a Monty Python fan) and an amplifier with the carbon footprint of a small Caribbean island.

    1. Hilarious Steven; as always.
      I have particularly enjoyed your dry sense of humour & acerbic wit throughout this year.
      I makes reading your daily, & incessant, posts about the benefits of plug ‘n play vs the big-boy-blocks of high-end home audio gear, bearable.
      ps. my ‘M6si500’ integrated amplifier has a maximum consumption of 2,000watts & so I’m thinking of moving back to Barbados.

      1. Honestly, you need more than a sense of humour to be an England red ball cricket fan these days. Spend most of the time behind the sofa. Did you hear Barbados is no longer part of the Empire? Another thing we’ve dropped this winter. Which of course means Rihanna is no longer a servant of the Queen, although to her credit she is a massive cricket fan.

        By the end of next year I’ll have Paul playing Ed Sheehan out of an all-in-one Dolby Atmos ceiling system powered by a mains conditioner, mark my words (as Sir Geoffrey used to say).

        1. From memory, I was only six years old, I seem to recall that Barbados got it’s independence in 1966, so I was bewildered when last month, or the month before, I heard that Barbados had/was now no longer a colony.
          Obviously I missed something :-/

    2. Indeed. Steven is an amazing writer and and always welcome addition. Thanks for putting a smile on my face. And a serious Monty Python fan.

      Though many years ago I did invest nearly two hours of my life in a Singapore hotel room watching televised cricket matches with a conviction I would figure out what the hell even the object of the game was, but failed.

      1. The object of the game is to unite the nations of the world and bring peace to mankind. It is written into the Laws, on page 5, and is a pretty good guide as to how to conduct your life generally. What actually goes on during a game is indeed a mystery to many.

  4. Paul,

    The thank-you’s are a two way street. You make the time to do this daily and give all a chance to respond.

    The humor – the jabs – the opinions – and the occasional verbal brawl are all fun.

    To you and all at PSA and Octave Records enjoy the holiday season.

    ✌️ 😎

    This should roll a few eyes (◔_◔) 😉

      1. Thx jb4
        Got my 3rd jab a month or so ago. Mixed it up with one brand for the 1st 2 pokes & a different one for the 3rd. We’ll see what happens.

        Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

  5. I had been an “audio novice” ten years ago. I was running old gear my father used to listen to (from old GDR times). Over time I started to buy second hand quality hifi gear. For about three years it’s getting serious (the point when you feel it’s okay to spend 1000€ for a new turntable without cartridge;) ).

    But that’s not the point. The way that I listen to music changed (thanks Paul for all the advices how to setup speakers und hol to come with room acoustics – your book is great!). I’m not an audio-pro, but I’m very interested and am glad to learn everyday something new.

    Thank you Paul, for all the insights. Thank you all others for commenting these.

    Yes, it’s funny to read all that (even though I have no clou about cricket) 😀

    Best regards from Germany.

    1. That was a beautiful Christmas tribute Barsley.

      There’s only one voice in the world that sounds like that I’ve ever heard and it’s unmistakable and always heartfelt. Merry Christmas to you and yours and JT if you’re reading this a Merry Christmas to you and your family.

      1. On the multi-channel SACD of October Road’s rendition of this tune, Harry Allen plays his tenor sax adding an addition 30 seconds or so to this tune’s mix. It is truly a joy of a listen. Happy Holiday’s to you and yours as well.

  6. Paul,
    Hopefully you and yours all have a safe and happy holiday season!

    I know that you take a lot of crap from the keyboard jockeys but know that your presence, posts, knowledge and feedback are thoroughly welcomed and completely unexpected from a company CEO.

    Keep up the great work

    Vern V.

  7. “I have no clou about cricket”
    Don’t worry, Baster, About 95% of all the nations in the world don’t have a clue about cricket.
    So let the Brits and Australians have their own little party, in the meantime we care about relevant stuff, like for instance audio.

    1. jb4,
      You left out the South African’s (plus a few other countries in southern Africa), the New Zealander’s, the West Indian’s, the Sri Lankan’s, the Pakistanis, the Indians (from India, not America), the Irish, the Afghans, etc.
      There are close to 2 billion people on this planet who are avid fans of (are deeply invested in) the game of Cricket; a hell of a lot more than are avid fans of, or are deeply invested in, high-end home audio…I’m just sayin’ 😉

  8. Paul, Thank you for your daily post. Audio is a big part of my life and I really appreciate what you are doing for audio both here and in the products you make.

  9. As been said, so many times and in so many ways, Thank You, your staff and all who participate sharing knowledge, experience and expertise in this wonderful art of music and audio playback!

    Be Safe and Enjoy the Sounds…A Very Merry Christmas to You and Yours!!! 🙂

  10. My thanks to Paul and all the PS Audio staff for the help with all things audio related, like ask Paul copper magazine and of course Paul’s post the day would not be right without it.
    I wish you all a happy Christmas.

  11. I wish to Paul, his hard working entourage and you all, everything expressed by Elvis, Ives, Bing, Durante, Garland, The Chipmunks, Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Brenda Lee, Jose Feliciano, Bobby Helms, Andy Williams, Dean Martin, Nat, Guaraldi, Autry, Ella, The Ronettes, Otis, Buble and EVEN Kevin Bloody Wilson.

    But not Mariah. Cause if I hear that song ONE MORE TIME…SOMBODY is gonna be singing:
    “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!” 😉

    Happy holidays & cheers from Vancouver Island,
    Jeff & the 5 pound hound.

    PS – driving to work today, I passed this guy riding his bicycle down my road – about a 22 degree slope, minus 3 degrees, (26 deg F) leaving a fairly meandering 2-tire track on the heavily frost covered shoulder, doing about 30kph, (20mph) and as I passed him I see he has a smoke in his mouth and BOTH hands in his pockets!
    Now THAT is the youthful wild abandonment world owning invincible what could POSSIBLY go wrong I got this attitude that I miss…

    I’m totally giving up drinking until Christmas and New Years are over.
    CRAP – forgot the punctuation!
    I’m totally giving up; drinking until Christmas and New Years are over.

  12. A cool yule to all the contributors. I so love the dirty audio talk, the banter, the comments and particularly the cricket.
    If only you guys were Citroenists as well, my world would be complete.
    Paul, raise a glass for us, because we’ll certainly do the same for you.
    Novice to Expert Paul – I’m getting there.
    Best wishes,

  13. Thank you, Apostle Paul, for your daily epistles, encouraging the flock, inspiring us to fight the good fight, correcting our misbehaviors when we go astray, leading us toward audio heaven. And thanks to you, we don’t have to be circumcised to be part of the family.

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