Tag Archives: analog

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.

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.

Radical ideas

Whenever I hear the term “radical new idea” two things happen: my ears perk up and my caution guard goes up too.

I think most of us are both interested and skeptical of radical change. We love the idea of the new, the radical, the brass ring solution that leapfrogs us away from the land of incremental changes. And yet, how many times have we been disappointed? The 200 mpg carburetor, the Bedini Box speaker cables.

Most radical ideas go nowhere but on occasion, they spark improvements in the tried and true. I remember our first discovery that huge oversized transformers improved the audio performance of source equipment and that discovery lead to the creation of the Power Plant AC regenerators.

The cycles between radical shifts in technology seem to be becoming shorter. Vacuum tubes to transistors happened in a 50-year cycle while the move from analog to digital audio was a little more than half that.

With all the work on new materials for generating sound like graphene and the research on beamforming to direct sound to specific locations, I am guessing we’re in for a radical new approach in the field of reproduction by the middle of the next decade. That’s not a lot of time.

I’ll also wager that the new approach, whatever it is, will come out of left field—or certainly a field far from high-end audio.

As I write these words some companies are installing audio beam projectors capable of following individuals in a crowded public area to spam them with advertising—and only the targeted individual will hear it. Applied to a stereo system it means sound could track the individuals within a room perhaps moving the soundstage with the person.

It’s fun to imagine what the future might hold for audiophiles like us.