ASHEVILLE, HENDERSONVILLE, BREVARD, BLACK MOUNTAIN, WALNUT COVE, BILTMORE FORREST AND WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA’S AUDIO AND HOME THEATER SPECIALISTS PRESENT CANE CREEK AV AND PAUL MCGOWAN – PS AUDIO, INTL.


Feature sets

One of the most difficult, as well as enriching, tasks faced by manufacturers is deciding what features to add or not add to new product. Do you throw in the kitchen sink or just offer the basics? A Swiss Army knife or a P38 can opener?

I know in our case we gather in groups to cuss and discuss this very subject and the conversation always comes back to two things: what features and functions are actually required to operate the gear and what cool things can it do? Of course, the list of cool things a product can do is an opportunity for people’s imaginations to soar, but sometimes, the realities of physics or budgets can squash some of those wild visions. Yet, those that survive often define a product in the customer’s eye.

When I dream of a new audio product it’s always as a user. I picture the entire process of operating the new gear, how I would interact with it, what the results would be, and how it would make me feel. As I am imagining using the new gear features naturally appear in my mind, like easy access to the vacuum tubes in BHK products, or a mute button on the remote. As simple or obvious as some of these features might seem, they came from imagining the use of equipment in my head.

Our designers all practice this imaginary use case. They dream of how it will be to fire up their new creations and play music. And it’s a good thing too.

It’s a heck of a lot easier to add or subtract imagined features than adding or removing them from a physical prototype.

ASHEVILLE, HENDERSONVILLE, BREVARD, BLACK MOUNTAIN, WALNUT COVE, BILTMORE FORREST AND WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA’S AUDIO AND HOME THEATER SPECIALISTS PRESENT CANE CREEK AV AND PAUL MCGOWAN – PS AUDIO, INTL.


Swan song

“Music is so powerful that it can even avert death” is an ancient notion popularized by the Greeks in legends and fairy tales centered around the swan.In Aesop’s, The Swan and the Goose, a beautiful swan, mistaken by its owner for a goose, was saved from the chopping block by its song. Turns out geese don’t sing but nearing death, swans do. Well, they really don’t, but it’s a good story anyway and where the term Swan Song comes from.

Two days ago I played Music Roon One’s swan song, the Mahler Third. Many of you wrote to me with great suggestions for that final track but in the end, I chose the Mahler for two reasons: it was the speaker designer’s favorite and its performance will be easy for me to remember.

That track, the Tillson Thomas San Francisco Symphony version, is quite well recorded and will serve as my beginning reference once the system is set up in its new home. While tonal qualities can be tweaked until the instruments sound like themselves, attaining the incredible depth and width of soundstage is another matter. That’s not easy to get right and moving the IRS around the room is no light matter (pun intended).

Soundstage is an illusion that cannot be measured by anything other than memory. Before it fades, I must have the new system up and running.

I made a swan song video of these last moments in Music Room One and included the story of when I first heard those magnificent speakers.

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