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.

I use some pro audio gear, specifically Urei Equalizers, but agree that audio equipment for the home is and should be different than pro audio stuff.

Pro vs. home

Our knee-jerk reaction to pro vs. home is that the former is better than the latter. After all, the pros make their living using equipment and we amateurs don’t.  Ergo, a pro drill must be better than a Black and Decker, a chef’s knife superior to a Popiel offering.

Of course, not all pro gear is better than home gear and for a good reason. They are often intended for different tasks. Take professional loudspeakers and subwoofers  vs. home versions: neither would work well in the other’s application.

Pro speakers intended for concerts and public events focus on loud and efficient at the expense of frequency extremes and performance qualities precious to an audiophile. Home speakers are the opposite. A home subwoofer, for example, will try and plumb subterranean depths while a pro version is intentionally rolled off at 40Hz to 50Hz. There’s no need to go lower in a crowded live setting and doing so requires a ton of amplifier power.

A pro tool might better suit a carpenter but it’s unlikely pro audio gear will ever sound as good in our homes as simple “amateur” products do.

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.

Adding sparkle

The finishing touch to a several hour’s long meal preparation might be the setting of the table. The last little bit of work capping off hours of preparation.

When I roll my sleeves up to muscle loudspeakers around a listening room, swap audio and AC cables, restack audio equipment, and rough tune a system the last step is the finishing touches. Tidying up, making sure the eye candy on the front wall is perfectly centered, ensuring visual symmetry qualify as the last bits to get everything just so.

Those finishing touches are important. I’ve witnessed poor reactions to system setup at a show when those touches have yet to be applied. When we’re in the middle of setup at a consumer show the room is generally in chaos with packing materials, poorly dressed cables, and chairs scattered helter-skelter. Walk-in listeners have trouble separating the clutter from the beauty of sound. They quickly leave promising to return after we get the system dialed in. What they miss is the system was dialed in, though without the finishing touches.

Often, it’s those last bits of polish that create the sparkle.