Tag Archives: Audio Equipment

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.

How emotions impact sound

We listen to music with our ears but hear with our emotions. Every sense we possess runs through the lens of our emotions and that lens can pretty easily warp our feelings.

Take for example spit. Imagine spitting saliva into a cup then drinking it again. Gross, right? Logically we know that emotion is absurd. The saliva was just fine a millisecond ago while in your mouth. As soon as it is outside we are repulsed. That’s our emotions clouding our logic.

If we are told a piece of audio equipment has been getting bad reviews or the opposite, we tend to cloud our judgment with these pre-biases. But, we don’t have to.

Understanding the power of emotional bias is often enough to counter it. I know that in my own case if someone asks me to audition a piece of equipment or a new circuit, it’s a lot easier to cut through the emotional baggage if I don’t know what the opinions are. But, even if I do, understanding pre-bias is enough to cut through the lens and get to the truth.

I am sure you already know this, but it bears repeating from time to time.

Your first reaction can be a powerful tool. If it’s been preconditioned, ignore it. If it’s fresh, pay close attention.

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 little things

We just officially launched the new Power Plants P20, P15, and P12. These are the culmination of seven years of learning and polishing and the hard work of engineers Bob Stadtherr, Daren Myers, and Tyera Eulberg.

After fielding the inevitable barrage of questions two little things come to my attention because they both have huge implications.

First, specs. There’s really only one that changed significantly: the impedance is half that of any Power Plant ever made. That may seem inconsequential, something easy to ignore. Yet, that would be a mistake. What that spec doesn’t explain—because specs never do—is what that took to achieve and what it means. Lowering impedance in an amplifier of this caliber required us to redesign it from scratch. That’s a big deal where I come from, not because of the work involved, but because a new topology is a new amplifier and innovation floats my boat.

Boiling an entirely new design down to a single spec doesn’t tell the story. Imagine what a powerful story that is, like the efforts engineers go through doubling a car’s gas mileage, or halving the travel time in an airplane. The seemingly inconsequential number on the spec sheet does not share the grandeur of the task nor the benefits of its completion. And that’s the problem with specs and why I hate to even present them. Half the impedance is A BIG DEAL.

Second, use cases. While we understand low impedance is significant for demanding amplifiers, what about those easy-going digital products or laid back source equipment? How might they benefit? And the answer is, even more than the brutes we call amplifiers.

When we first discovered the benefits of overkill power transformers in audio equipment it was with wimpy source equipment and preamplifiers where the differences were biggest. And the same is now true with the improvements in these new Power Plants. You’ll notice improvements most with DACs, preamps, and sources than with the big amps, though obviously big amps benefit.

It’s sometimes the little things in life that matter most.