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.

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.

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

Adding voice to audio equipment

It’s hard to imagine cooking a fine meal without ever tasting the food, or designing a loudspeaker without listening to the final product. That sort of arms-length-design is more a crapshoot than a surefire success.

Yet, when we talk about PS Audio’s design process for electronics that spends more time on voicing than measurement, eyes roll.

I can’t think another engineered product category other than audio that makes people so nuts when it comes to design by use. We wouldn’t expect a car company to deliver a vehicle they didn’t test drive or a drug that wasn’t tried on real people. Why the guffaws and snark smiles when it comes to voicing amplifiers, CD players, and DACs?

Do we honestly believe measurements say it all? That in this one tiny piece of the universe all is known and no tasting, listening, experiencing, is necessary?

It hardly seems to make sense.