Tag Archives: electronics

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

Importance is relative

We strive to handle important issues first to make way for follow up problems later. Like choosing the right blend of audio equipment vs. connecting it together. The first trumps the second, though both are important.

Figuring out where to best place your energies can often be challenging. For example, the best speakers in the world won’t sound good without proper setup. Imagine placing a pair of Magneplanars hard up against the front wall. The sound would be dreadful.

One rule of thumb I have come to live by is to separate our importance focus into two categories: electronics and speakers.

In choosing electronics we should narrow our focus to synergy. It is far more important to have a synergistic group of products than a hodgepodge of excellent kit that does not play well together.

Loudspeaker choices have more to do with setup and room than the actual model. The weakest and strongest speaker models can suffer or benefit from setup.

These two extremes have to be taken with grains of salt. If you’re too literal with this advice you’ll wind up with a well setup boom box driven by pleasing electronic crap.

But, taken in the common sense spirit this advice was intended, it’s a good rule of thumb for future system building.

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.

A quiet revolution

My father Don was one of the few in our neighborhood that had an actual sound system. It was a cobbled together group of separates: Rek-O-Kut turntable, Stromberg Carlson electronics, homemade speakers. The few neighbors that had sound systems relied upon the classic all-in-one console, while everyone else got music through a simple radio.

All that changed in the late 1960s with a quiet revolution. Japanese receivers, speakers, and turntables began infiltrating American homes—not through stereo stores at first, but through the military. It was the height of the war in Vietnam, NATO troop buildups in Europe, and cleanup activities in Korea. The US military was everywhere and so too were the audio stores and PX where low cost Japanese (and eventually American) hifi equipment found their way home to America. Entire systems could be had for hundreds of dollars and GIs in search of bargains, their pockets filled with cash, flooded the stereo outlets.

By the mid 1970s, when the Baby Boomers were taking over, the stereo situation had completely changed. Now, there were almost no homes, dorms, apartments, or condos without the minimum requirements of a turntable, receiver, and pair of speakers. It was the heyday of the music revolution.

When I think back on these days it occurs to me there was a perfect storm of simultaneous revolution going on: the British music invasion, Woodstock, vinyl LPs, FM stereo radio, folk music, protest music, Motown, and what today we refer to as Classic Rock.

Without many taking notice we went from radios and the occasional console stereo to a near complete penetration of sound systems in every home—and it wasn’t just America. All over the world people plugged in, played music, and changed the world.