Tag Archives: audiophiles

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.

Cable elevators

Over lunch with engineer Darren Meyers we got to talking about systems and when it’s time to turn to cable elevators for improvements. Cable elevators get the speaker cables off the floor and improve sound quality: they are ultra-tweaks. Your system needs to be at a certain point of perfection before they matter.

Some audiophiles dress their systems to the nines without ever going through the step-by-step audition process to find if any of their efforts actually help—kind of like automatically adding spice without tasting. Others get everything as right as rain and then start the process of ultra-tweaking, listening along the way.

I find myself in both camps at different times. If I’m hustling through a setup for a show or helping someone with theirs, then we dress everything in the system as best we can and cross our fingers for best results. But when the system is part of our long term project it’s best if we tweak a little at a time, listening along the way.

My best systems have come about because I take what I like to call the ladder approach—each change happens in step-by-step order.

The careful grooming of a system generates more than just great sound. You gain knowledge as well.

 

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 art of illusion

Following the threads of the last few day’s posts, it’s become clear to me how much we’re invested in building a palpable 3-d illusion with our high-end audio systems.

We’ve known for some time that turning the lights on low, closing our eyes, and tapping our foot to the music not only gets us in the groove but helps build this imaginary world where orchestras play in our living rooms, Diana Krall serenades us with her ivory tickles, and Art Pepper romances us with his horn.

When we audition new gear it’s not just for tonal accuracy, full frequency range, or increased clarity. Those are important attributes, to be sure, but I’ve yet to meet an audiophile that isn’t like me in wishing for that 3d illusion (I am certain someone will pipe up in the comments section of these posts – I can count on it).

Audiophiles and high-end stereo systems are in the business of crafting illusion, and my oh my, what a fine illusion we can build. Just turn the lights on low, close your eyes, and be transported to the recording (or vice-versa as we haven’t yet figured that one out).