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.

PS Audio has been working on a new speaker system that Arnie Nudell was helping Paul design.  Unfortunately, Arnie recently passed away, so Paul is now on his own, although he has an excellent team to support his efforts, so the future of the project seems bright. Here is what he is thinking.

Live music

Before Infinity Speaker founder Arnie Nudell’s unfortunate passing, he and I were working on a new concept in loudspeakers, one based on the idea that it just might be possible to get closer to live orchestral sound levels than we have in the past.

A full orchestra can hit peak levels as high as 120dB. That exceeds the point of hearing damage, which of course was never our intent. And it is not hearing damage we get when in row one of an orchestra because peaks of this magnitude are both brief and rare. Arnie and I had become convinced this was the one quality still missing in speakers.

A few horn-type speakers can manage these extremes but none I know of without colorations (maybe the giant Magicos with their multiple horns? and extremely high price). Might it be possible to achieve these peak extremes without distortion, coloration, mega-amplifiers and bankruptcy court?

That is our challenge. Before his passing, he had made some good progress in a prototype he referred to as the IRS Killer. And it was. What we lacked to complete the design was a midrange driver of a very special kind. And that is now being worked on. It may yet be possible to complete the dream.

If you want to see what Arnie’s last prototype speaker system looks like, you can watch this video here. The midrange driver in this amazing reference design is a Bohlender Graebener creation no longer available, but that’s ok because it was the prototype’s’ one shortcoming.

 

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.

Can modern music be high-end?

If our definition of high-end audio is lifted from The Absolute Sound Magazine’s tenet: “the sound of unamplified instruments and/or voices as heard in a natural, acoustic performance space” then does it make sense that modern electronic or multitracked music can ever be considered high-end?

I believe it can, but not before broadening our definition. Perhaps it makes more sense to say “the natural, lossless, uncolored, reproduction of recorded music.” Probably too wordy and in need of editing, but I think this quick stab at defining that which we strive to achieve might make more sense than the flag waived by TAS founder, HP.

I remember asking Harry this very question and found his answer illuminating. Though I do not recall his exact words I do remember their essence. He suggested that any system capable of “the sound of unamplified instruments and/or voices as heard in a natural, acoustic performance space” would accurately render any recording without loss or coloration, even recordings that did not fit the definition of live. It was HP, after all, that played for me on his reference system Kraftwerk’s Autobahn, a track most definitely not live, certainly not unamplified, and most definitely not heard in a natural, acoustic space.

So yes, I believe modern music can be considered high-end. I’ve put together a short video on the subject if you’re interested. You can watch it here (as well as watch me get the crap scared out when I fire up the Tesla coil).