Asheville Home Theater and Audio presents Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

For experts only

Went skiing at our local resort west of Boulder for the first time yesterday.  It was the first day of skiing for the year as well.  Beautiful Colorado sunshine and blue sky day.  Perfect.  When we go to the top of the lift I looked over at their Experts Only area and saw this sign which I could not resist taking a picture of.


I guess the skull and crossbones were the best part of this warning.

You know me.  The very first thing I started thinking about was relating this sign to hi fi.

It occurs to me that like skiing, we make stereo systems in different skill levels as well: expert, novice, every-person.

An expert system would be one that is technically sophisticated and appeals to someone who knows what they want or was chosen by someone who knows what works well in any given situation.  I would suggest, as an example, our PerfectWave products fit into the expert’s category.

Novice might be a budget system that is made from an integrated, or perhaps a simple pair of bookshelf loudspeakers.  I am not thinking price here, no I am thinking plug and play qualities without much in the way of associated gear and knowledge to make it work.  On an expensive side we might see a Devialet and a pair of loudspeakers: not cheap, but just about anyone could grab and go.

And then there’s the every-person system.  A Sonos or perhaps a receiver or even something as simple as a table radio.

The funny thing about these classes of stereo: it wasn’t always this way.  Years ago, when most stereo systems were purchased through a dealer in your city, the dealer would likely just fill your system with his best judgment of what’s going to bring you the best sound for the budget you’ve given him.  In this case, the dealer was the expert.  He could offer an expert, novice or every-person system and you’d not have given it a second thought.  You didn’t need to know much back then.  Today I think the dynamics have changed.

Maybe we’ll refer to the levels of systems as double diamond, blue and green.  Seems to work in skiing.

Speaking of sports, I am writing this on Sunday and the Broncos are playing.  See you tomorrow.

Go Broncos!

Asheville Home Theater and Audio presents Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.


My friend Doug keeps on me about getting involved with digital EQ.  I keep resisting.  I am really not sure why.  I think I have a stubborn streak in me.  Or maybe I am just scared.  I do know that once I latch onto something I can’t let it go.  So often times I avoid getting involved.  Kind of like an ostrich putting its head into the sand.

I have projects I want to start, but I don’t for fear of not having the time.  But intellectually I know that’s silly.

Part of my hesitation with digital EQ in the listening room harkens back to my years as a wanna be fine art photographer.  The model of a fine art photographer was one of lugging around an 8×10 view camera and carefully composing and recording each shot.  Since landscapes were my thing, I tromped all over the woods with a 50lb pack full of photo gear.  And once I had my film back it was hit or miss.  No Photoshop manipulation.  I was a purist.  Photoshop takes the original and “digitally EQ’s” it.  What you get is not pure.  It may be better, but it’s not pure.

I finally broke the ice in photography.  I am now a lot happier and doing my very best work ever.  I am no longer pure.

As an Audiophile I am definitely a purist.  I wonder what it will take for me to follow the same pattern I did as a photographer?