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 learning funnel

My post about mavens got me to thinking about how our learning curve funnels from the big to the small. We start with a big idea or project and over time narrow down to the nitty-gritty.

Working with the new PS Audio AN3 loudspeakers has been a challenge made easier because of our ready access to Arnie Nudell’s reference speaker system. Both systems are in the new Music Room One and it’s pretty easy to compare the same cut of music on both. But that’s a lot to take in especially if the differences are big.

If one sounds significantly different than the other how do you narrow the learning funnel down to simple enough elements to get to the problem?

We start with the grand idea of designing the new system to sound as close as possible to the reference but the differences between the two quickly surface: The new system is based on improved drivers, more advanced servo systems, DSP bass, an entirely different cabinet, and a price point target of 1/3 what Arnie’s speakers would have cost. These are big differences. No wonder the task is not an easy one.

The trick to solving complex problems is to strip the myriad problems down to a single quotient.

I like to think of this as a learning funnel: big complex ideas and concepts narrow through the funnel until a clear and simple task plops through the other side. Solve that simple task and move on to the next.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the first set of problems we tackled.

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