Tag Archives: DAC’s

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.

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.