Tag Archives: audio system

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Brevard, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Setting priorities

Our priorities often influence our focus. If we’re intent on setting up an audio system for one specific quality, such as tonal balance, we tend to focus on that area while ignoring others.

It’s rare that my priorities are broad enough to encompass the whole system. More often than not I am laser focused on problematic areas, things that stand out like sore thumbs.

In fact, I would go so far as to suggest the only time my priorities are broad enough to give a fair shake to the whole system is on first setup: roughing in the speaker placement. Once that’s satisfactory I poke and prod in different areas refining and polishing based on that initial setup.

It’s good to remind ourselves to step back from time to time and set our priorities on the broad brush strokes of making music.

Which is why it’s so helpful to engage the ears of first-time visitors to your room. We can get a fresh perspective through their lens.

While it’s not always easy to host newbies to your stereo lair, the next best alternative is to solicit comments and observations through photos, though that’s a brave step for most.

There’s a wonderful thread here on our forums that I would encourage folks to visit and hopefully contribute a picture of your setup.

In fact, I’d make it a priority.

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.

Personal speakers

Speakers are far more personal than electronics because they are far more flawed. Where amps, preamps, and DACs stretch the limits of measurement equipment, speakers challenge the credibility of accurate reproduction.

Whenever someone asks me to make a speaker recommendation the first questions I have to ask are what their goals are. What kinds of music do they listen to? What do they hope to achieve? Without that information, I cannot give a valid suggestion of brand and type.

It probably bears repeating that I believe the process of building a high-end music system starts with the loudspeaker and works its way back through the chain. If your end goal is to perfectly reproduce small chamber ensembles at the expense of massive symphonic splendor you’re likely not going to want an electronic chain that focuses on brute force.

Most of us find ourselves in the position of already having an audio system and trying to do what we can to maximize its performance. But, sometimes it’s best to think long and hard about our speakers and the choices we’ve made. Are they the right ones for what you hope to achieve? Would it be worth rethinking your choice?

Tough questions to ask and even tougher ones to answer.

Speakers are personal.