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.

Full size

There was a time in PS Audio’s history where we only made little boxes.

Our first product, the phono preamplifier, was about half the size of a pack of English muffins. We followed that with something closer to the traditional 19″ rack mount stereo equipment of yore, only ours were half sized.

Our very first full size 19″ rack mount product was a preamplifier called the PS IV. It heralded a major departure from small and cute boxes. It was an immediate best seller and before we knew it, we’d built our first 1,000 of them (a new landmark for the company at that time).

On the day we rolled out the first of the PS IVs, sometime in 1979, we decided to celebrate with a pizza party for the crew.

As lovers of new we didn’t want just any pizza, but only the latest in pies. That meant Chuck E. Cheese.

The pizza chain Chuck E. Cheese was started in 1977 by video game company Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell. Atari was famous for Pong, among others, and Bushnell was an innovator. For all I know he might have been an audiophile.

We greased a few palms and guess who showed up at our door to launch the PS IV preamplifier.

 

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.

Drawing the line

One of the most difficult problems audio designers face is where to draw the line between vision and desire.

A designer’s product vision starts out as a pure set of lofty goals imagined together in perfect harmony.

Then, desire clouds vision. The gotta haves; wish it coulds; maybe it cans; creep in. Before you know it, the clean lines and pure purpose have dissolved into a cluttered amalgam of compromise and add ons. One look at the jumbled back panel of a modern receiver will give you a clue.

It is human to want it all, to over spice food, to fill the basket more than needed, to heep the plate at the all you can eat higher than we need or want.

As we move down the road imagining, building, and offering new products to our Hi-Fi Family it is often humbling to offer new devices that do not appeal to everyone.

The trade-off is between making a smaller group ecstatic vs. a larger group just happy.

I suppose that’s one of the reasons our industry is known as Specialty Audio.