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.

Consistent errors

When I am working on a project and find myself consistently making mistakes I get angry and frustrated.

Fortunately, consistent errors are the easiest to fix. Repeatedly doing the same thing incorrectly is a pattern and patterns can be more easily dealt with than their sporadic counterparts.

Take for example an analog or digital circuit. If we find a consistent pattern of unacceptable performance it becomes easier to assign a fix to it: feedback, frequency compensation, even protection circuits.

It is the wild card, the maverick, the occasional gremlin that causes hair loss.

No, if we have to endure and then fix problems, give me the consistent variety.

Tracking down an occasional glitch is maddening.

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 get away with unshielded interconnect stereo cables for most home audio applications, as long as lengths aren’t more than, say, 6 feet, but analog cables from a turntable to a phono amplifier is a different story, as Paul covers here.

The frailty of analog

There is nothing in our audio systems more frail than analog.

The impacts to analog by brute force tactics like amplification, equalization, and storage seem rather obvious.

Perhaps less obvious is that even passing it through a wire impacts its sound quality.

Truth be told, there’s not much you can do to analog that doesn’t have a negative sonic contribution.

The sooner we can correctly convert analog into the more stable digital format the sooner we can work with it without much harm.

Sure, digital too is prone to insults like jitter and noise but those injuries pale in the face of analog’s frailty.

As audiophiles, our challenge is to guard the purity of our analog signals. To be the protector of their safety and accuracy.

Whatever effort you contribute to the sanctity of analog will be paid back in loads of wonderful m

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 pictures in our head

When we critically listen to music on our high-end stereo systems we are constantly comparing the sound we hear with the pictures in our head.

We all have a very well defined “picture” (model) of how the human voice sounds. When we hear a recorded version of that voice we mentally compare notes to figure out if it is accurate.

The pictures in my head are unique.

Developed over a lifetime.

I am certain most of you can figure out where this is going.

If each of us has a slightly different picture of what’s real and what’s not then, when it comes to judging the recorded audio qualities of music, we will all have a slightly different opinion.

Which is exactly what I find to be true. Yes, we can all agree on the big picture of a particular work, but when it comes down to the details we’re mostly in disarray.

And that’s the way it must be.

To each of us we’re right.

The pictures in our head tell the story.