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.

Sonic signatures

If the goal of a high-end audio system is to have no sonic signature—to be as neutral as possible—then why do we insist on tailoring our systems to our likes and dislikes?

Perhaps the answer lies in a simple truth. There is no such thing possible as a neutral sound when we use non-perfect equipment to reproduce it.

The fact our crude measurement science records significant amplitude, frequency, phase, and timing responses in speakers is enough to put that argument to bed. We’ll ignore our own hearing abilities until such time we can create perfect transducers.

The idea of accepting the inevitability of sonic signatures seems abhorrent to some, a fait accompli to others.

Me? I am in the camp that has accepted the sonic signature that I assume will be with us for the rest of my days.

And once you accept its inevitability you can progress forward.

Always striving for sonic neutrality is a flawed mission. Better to accept the signatures that get you closer to musical truth.

 

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.

Some cables can sound better than others, but mostly overrated and way overpriced ancillaries. Lots of guys/gals making lots of money on this stuff and some of it is incredibly stupid.

If a cable sings in the woods…

I had to smile while reading this comment to a recent video: “I agree with most you say….except about the audiophile wires and power cables….but I still subscribe and like! so there!”

Yes indeed. So there. This issue of audio wires and cables making a difference for some and not for others is one of continual fascination for me. It begs a twist on the age-old question about trees falling in woods without anyone hearing them.

“If I hear cable differences in my system and you are not around to listen, can you make a sweeping edict those differences do not exist?”

Upon questioning cable deniers—their angry eyes ablaze and pitchforks raised high—most admit they’ve never actually tried comparing cables on a resolving system. To them, it just cannot work. There’s no need to actually see for themselves because that would be the height of foolishness—like testing the efficacy of gravity whilst standing atop a ladder.

And so the fallback position is to demand proof before they will consider it.

I am guessing an overwhelming fear of being called out as a fool is the key motivator of cable deniers—understandable as no one wants to wind up in a vulnerable place.

And still, what is true continues to be true despite our beliefs and disbeliefs: trees fall in the woods, rivers run while we sleep, cables matter on resolving systems.