Tag Archives: amplifiers

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.

Personality traits

All amplifiers have personalities—sonic traits that distinguish one from the other.

We choose our power amps first to handle the loads our speakers demand followed closely by how they sound.

Once you’ve settled in with your power amplifier you’ll do what it takes to preserve or enhance the sonic personality you enjoy. This can be anything from choosing the right speaker cables to positioning your speakers to best advantage.

Once we’re locked into our sound perhaps we’d like to stretch our boundaries by adding a subwoofer. That’s a practice I have long preached along with yet another Paul axiom, connecting that sub through the output of your power amplifier. This carries forward the audio personality of your power amplifier so the final presentation is seamless. Which is why the perfect match for your amplifier is when the right amp is built into the subwoofer or loudspeaker.

In the case of our upcoming speaker line, the built-in subwoofer amplifiers we designed to power the speaker’s bottom end have been specifically tailored to get out of the way of the main amp’s personality. This has several advantages: a seamless sound and the ability to focus on one task without affecting the rest of the audio spectrum.

If we were starting from scratch with a new full range amplifier design, we could not equal the performance of a built-in subwoofer amp without sacrificing the rest of the spectrum. By that, I mean a great woofer amp uses gobs of feedback and other techniques to provide slam, pace, and rhythm—all desirable attributes that coincidently detract from the other goals of full range amplifiers such as delicacy and inner detail.

You can’t have it all in one full range amplifier, but what you can focus on is choosing a main amplifier with exactly the personality you’re looking for.

Then it’s up to you to keep that personality intact while enhancing the rest of the spectrum.


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.

Building a new speaker Part 1

Starting today, and going through the next three days, I’ll be detailing the making of the new AN3 speaker. If you’re not interested in learning about the development process I’d skip the next few days of posts.

One of the reasons I wanted to spend time with this subject is its fleeting nature. Once the process is completed: the pain, sweat, angst, triumph, and failures along the way are lost—and to my way of thinking they are all part of a product’s DNA as much as a young person’s upbringing shapes their lives.

As you read this, know that the AN3 prototypes are now bouncing along I-80 in the back of some truck on their way to Chicago for the Axpona show.

The battlefield where engineers Darren Myers, Bob Stadther, and I (ably assisted by Jordan Kamper) devoted our days nights and weekends in service of making great music has been relegated to the inner canister of a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

A look inside Music Room One would offer no clue of what occurred there: the building of a new kind of loudspeaker—a 4-way hybrid of ribbons and cones and analog and amplifiers and servos and DSP capturing the magic of Arnie Nudell’s work and the bounty of music properly reproduced.

I have filmed four videos to go along with each of the four parts of this saga. The first can be viewed here.

In this opening video, I spend the entire 11 minutes explaining Arnie Nudell’s reference system: what it is, why it works, what he tried to achieve and how. If you’re familiar with that system, the one following his triumph of the IRSV and all that came afterward from Genesis Technologies while he was at the helm and me at his side, then wait until tomorrow to watch Part 2.