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Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Is clean better?

Just because something is cleaner doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. You can certainly clean the paint off something and have it look worse.

One of my first aha! moments with this came from a passive power conditioner. Cleaner, yes, but suddenly the life had been scrubbed off the system. It was a classic one step forward, two steps back moment.

And yet, there are times where we can get both cleaner and better—another aha! moment when I first experimented with the AC regenerator. Cleaner, yet even more alive. Now we’ve taken two steps forward. No need to look back.

I think the take away here isn’t a specific do this and get that, but rather a cautionary note. When we hear an audio improvement in one area, it behooves us to then pull our focus back to the whole and make sure we’ve not traded one problem for another.

When building a serious high-end audio system, it’s incumbent on us to strive for better while making sure we haven’t tripped down the rabbit hole of worse.


Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

I like this one from Paul. Another big blip.

Adjusting to new worlds

I have now been on this planet for 72 years and in that time I have seen some radical shifts: the Cuban missile standoff, the assassination of our president and his brother, men walking on the moon, commercial jet travel, the fall of the Berlin Wall, The Beatles, hippies, Vietnam, Nixon, the internet, home computers, 9-11, the CD, Nelson Mandella, movies on demand, Barack and Michelle Obama, Trump. Each milestone seemed impossible to top in their moment yet, as I look back on them, they were but blips in the wonderfully complex world I have been blessed to be part of.

And now we’re in yet another of those radical moments. Each morning at 10:30 I head to my computer and virtually join our team of 10 in engineering. We chat, we laugh, then we get down to the business at hand. In one respect it’s no different than when that same meeting took place just outside my office, but in another, it’s world’s different and I wonder if it will ever be the same—and then I catch my foolish self. No, of course it will not be the same. It cannot ever be the same.

It’s called change.

On first blush, it seems like this moment might just be crazier than any other, but then I remember thinking that very same thought on so many of my life’s earlier milestones.

I recall thinking my parent’s lives were so much simpler, a time when the world made more sense, but then I recall their own radical shifts of their day: the Korean Conflict, polio, the atomic bomb, World War II, penicillin, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, millions displaced from their homes, moving from animal power to machines. My father remembered the arrival of the first car in the small Nebraska town he grew up in, and how the horses bolted and ran at the sight of it.

In hindsight, I believe this time is yet another of those big blips. That all through each lifetime there are peaks and valleys as high and as low as any other.

We will one day look back on this time and be thankful to have gotten through it to witness the next.


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