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.
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Unlocking secrets

There are literally thousands of books claiming to unlock secrets: how to lose weight, read faster, become a better person, sharpen the memory, improve your stereo system. And to one extent or another all of them no doubt have value. So one must ask themselves a basic question. If there’s so much knowledge available, why…

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Preconception

What an interesting idea. To preconceive of something. See the future in your mind’s eye. Imagine how something is going to sound. When one of our engineers like, Darren, Bob, Chris, or Chet come to me with their grand vision of how a proposed new product is going to sound or a new design is…

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Loud and inexperience

Have you ever noticed how often the loudest voices seem to come from those with the least experience? I posted a YouTube video on the benefits of braiding power cables and why it matters. The responses were, as expected, quite angry and negative. First, I don’t understand the anger. Second, it seems like those with…

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The last ten percent

I find most of us are in two major camps. Those who are starting from scratch building their system in the hopes of getting the first 90% right, and the rest of us striving to get the last 10% nailed down. Both are equally difficult challenges though they each require different disciplines. For group one…

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Levelland

December’s Octave release is a wonderful piece of music from two talented artists, Bonnie and Taylor Sims. The work is a lovely collection of country music recorded and mastered in pure DSD by our own Gus Skinas. I’ve been enjoying the honesty and openness of this heartfelt music on the new FR30s in Music Room…

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The FR30s in Music Room 2

Sometimes, despite our worst fears, life shines its happy light on us. And we should be thankful for those times that it does. Making the decision to swap the IRSV room with that of the FR30 was frightening to me. Both speakers were working great in their environments. The thought they could each benefit from…

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The final result

Now that you’ve watched the process we used to move and setup the Infinity IRSV speakers in Music Room Three, you’re likely wondering what the results are. Better. A LOT better. First and foremost the bass is better. In MR2 we had some pretty severe cancellations in the low end. Cancellations so severe we couldn’t…

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Making moves

After yesterday’s disconnection work of the PS Audio reference loudspeaker system, the IRSV, it is now time to make the big move from Music Room Two to the larger Music Room Three. Physically, this is an incredibly difficult move, one where we risk damage to these classic beauties from the 80s. Or, worse, one of…

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Tearing apart an old friend

PS Audio’s reference loudspeakers, the Infinity IRSV, have lived with us for many years. Interestingly enough, the original installation of the IRSV happened 8 years ago to the day. We officially announced their completion on December 14th, 2013. If you’re interested, here a link to a video that shows them in that original room. I…

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The last day of the IRSV

As mentioned in my post on the FR30 vs. the IRSV, it is terribly difficult to separate the differences in what we hear when the rooms are so very different. As promised, I rolled up our sleeves, got three of the strongest guys in our shipping department, disconnected everything in MR2 and we proceeded to…

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Apple carts

I am not certain where the term upsetting the apple cart came from but I can only imagine the hassle of cleaning up an overturned cart full of apples. Now that the FR30 has been dialed in to Music Room 3 something I never thought would happen has happened. To my ears and everyone that…

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Launch of the FR30

*I am pretty sure most of you have gotten an email from my son, Scott, about the launch of the FR30. So, please consider this a brief follow-up. Just in case you didn’t know, we officially launched PS Audio’s first loudspeaker, the aspen FR30, on Monday of this week. You can go here to watch…

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Flip Flop

To many reading the headline of today’s post the term Flip Flop brings visions of the beach. But to engineering nerds like me, it brings memories of the very first digital circuits. A flip flop is the basis of all computing. Without the lowly flip flop, none of what we have come to take for…

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Honest music

I was asked the other day how it is we think Octave Records is going to produce music with a wide appeal. How do we select musicians and performers that people will like? After all, it is just one person’s opinion out of many. I think one of the answers to the question is our…

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What price effortlesness?

An often overlooked aspect of music reproduction is effortlessness. One of the first qualities of what listeners to the IRSV notice is how relaxed and effortless the sound even on the loudest passages of music. And it’s easy to see why when the output is divided amongst 108 drivers. When we set out to design…

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Location recording

Seem like one of the more glamorous jobs in the recording industry might be location recording—going to the live event with the best seat in the house and access to the backstage. And sometimes it is. A few nights ago, Terri and I were treated to front row seats for a live jazz show with…

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Dagwood

How many of us can recall the Blondie cartoon strip with one of my all-time favorites, Dagwood Bumstead, and his enormous over-the-top sandwich? To this day I do my best to pile on as high as possible the ingredients to my sandwich. Over-the-top. Which reminds me of how we as audiophiles are often over-the-top about…

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Additive vs. subtractive

When we use our very expensive Audio Precision system to measure distortion levels what we’re looking for is additive—harmonics that are generated in response to an input signal. The simple explanation of how this works is the AP generates a remarkably clean sinewave. It’s pure to many zeros (you check by running a distortion analysis…

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Dynamic contrast

Dynamics are defined as the difference between loud and soft. That the greater the dynamic range the greater the magnitude of differences between the loudest and softest. At least that’s the official definition. In reality, we rarely come close to using anywhere near what is possible. For example, the maximum dynamic range of a vinyl…

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The timeless dimension

When we finish with an Octave release we upload the digital masters to a server owned by Sony that is located in Austria. The upload takes between 20 minutes and an hour depending on traffic. Regardless of how long the upload takes the data will be identical because our medium exists in a timeless dimension….

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Dealing with the ordinary

Newspapers and media don’t report what’s ordinary and every day. That’s not news! And neither do the audio reviewers. They want to bring you the latest, greatest, and whatever it is that will attract your attention. Ordinary does not attract our attention. Yet, it is the ordinary that makes up the majority of our lives….

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Tough choices

When do we make the decision to compromise? To choose convenience over quality of experience. It is far more convenient to stream music than play it from a disc. And yet, discs of the exact same music still outperform by a noticeable degree music streamed by even the best systems. Being basically lazy I tend…

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The traveler

We can download a digital file from anywhere in the world and it will sound the same regardless of where it came from or how it got to us. Yet, once it safely arrives, delivering it even a few feet through different cables sounds different. How could that be? Is it possible that there’s more…

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The asymmetrical room

Customers often send me drawings of their rooms. One of their biggest worries seems to be when the room is not symmetrical. And their greatest angst seems to occur if one side of the room opens wide into another part of the home. Because one side of the room opens into another, the question becomes…

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Impedance differences

If you double the input impedance of your power amplifier from, say, 30kΩ to 60kΩ you’re not going to hear a difference. Yet, double the input impedance of your phono amplifier and you’ll hear a change. What’s different between the two? In the first case of doubling the amp’s input impedance, we won’t hear any…

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DXD

DXD is a digital audio format that has a lot of people excited. From Wikipedia: “Digital eXtreme Definition (DXD) is a digital audio format that originally was developed by Philips and Merging Technologies for editing high-resolution recordings recorded in Direct Stream Digital (DSD), the audio standard used on Super Audio CD (SACD). As the 1-bit…

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4865 Sterling Dr.
Boulder, CO 80301

Join the hi-fi family

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