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.

Inside looking out

There’s a very important picture within each of us, one we believe represents our persona.

It’s almost always wrong.

It’s wrong because of the constant conflict within our heads: I am good at this—well, maybe not so much. I am really bad at that—well, I’ve been better in the past. I’ve heard much better sound out of cheap speakers!—well, maybe not. This doesn’t make sense!—well, enough people say it does so I am probably missing something. I am sure this sounds right!—well, the others don’t agree.

On an on, round and round it goes. Self-confidence battling self-doubt. New information erases or modifies what once was fact: corner horns are the ultimate, detachable power cords violate the wishes of the designer, one big woofer is better than multiple smaller ones.

Often the noise in our heads can overwhelm us to the point of searching out third-party opinions to hide behind. It’s sure easier to make a decision based on an expert’s opinion than to bravely step out on the ledge and take credit or blame for your own thoughts.

But then we always have to come back to reality when all the noise in our heads goes to sleep. In the quiet hours, we can relax and examine the fruits of our decisions: does the system really achieve what we had hoped for? Is there a nagging sense that it might make someone happy, just not us?

It’s hard to find what really works for us, to be brave enough to say “it’s right for me”.

When we take a stand we risk the judgment of others.

But, when we’re confident enough to make ourselves happy that’s the point of greatest joy.

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.

List of ingredients

Prepackaged foods list their ingredients so consumers know what they’re putting into their bodies.

My rule of thumb is not to eat anything I cannot pronounce or if the list sounds more like a Gilbert Chemistry set than food.

Stereo equipment manufacturers have no such rules though many tout the good stuff (and generally keep quiet about the ho-hum parts).

The more organic the parts the more likely a manufacturer is to list their ingredients: vacuum tubes, film capacitors, MOSFETS, JFETS, GaN FETs, FPGAs, precious metal connectors, high purity wires.

Other than food, automobiles, furniture, clothing, and high-end stereo equipment I can’t think of many other products that care to list their primary ingredients. Perhaps this is because consumers don’t care?

More likely it’s because it’s not important. I don’t really care what this computer is made of nor do I give a rat’s ass what type of rubber or plastic goes into the tires on my car.

I do care what the ingredients are in my speakers and electronics because I believe their composition plays a major role in the quality of music I am expecting to enjoy.

Not every FET, tube, or carbon fiber cone sounds best but it certainly is a good starting point from which to form an opinion.