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.

The old saw, there’s no free lunch, has been both a curse and a blessing to me. A curse because I’d rather have 100% benefits without dealing with consequences. A blessing because knowing the flipside helps decide how much cake I can have and eat.

Take for example subwoofers. If you place a subwoofer in the room’s corner you’ll enjoy greater output because the corner acts as an acoustic amplifier. That’s the good news. The bad news is that’s exactly the position that will activate every unwanted room node possible. More gain, more problems.

On the flip side, placing a subwoofer in the center of the wall has the least amount of unwanted room interactions. That’s the good news. The bad news is you’ll lose output and perhaps struggle with getting solid bass at your listening position.

Everywhere else is a compromise for best performance at your listening position.

Like the game Whack a Mole, there’s pretty much nothing you can do in your system’s setup that doesn’t have a consequence elsewhere. The same is true for most things in life where we have to consider the choices and weigh the consequences.

That said, we shouldn’t let the cost of lunch stop us from sitting at the counter. We shouldn’t forego the good because we’re anxious of the bad.

What’s important is understanding the potential consequences of our actions, then making the right choices.

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.

When faced with big decisions like building a high end audio system from scratch, it can sometimes feel as if we’re staring into a dark abyss. It’s then we move back from the edge, afraid of the darkness.

For many, a much better strategy for building a system is tackling it in small gulps: one piece or part at a time. While this approach can be less intimidating, it’s also fraught with its own problems. How does one add the right components to an unknown, undefined whole?

Perhaps it’s helpful to ask yourself a few questions. What do you hope to achieve? Are you replacing an existing system, and if so, what is it you hope to better?

Most people I work with have existing stereo systems. Many are old and tired (the systems, not the people). An ancient receiver or hand me down pair of speakers is perhaps more common than you might imagine.

Dipping your toe in the waters of change can be unnerving or fun, depending on how you begin the process and what resources and guidance help you have available.

I am here. Our forum on upgrading is here. Quick answers are available by email here, and you can always call us at 800PSAUDIO.

Just remember, even though it may look dark, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.