Tag Archives: High End Audio

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.

Purpose built

Why do we build some things while not others? A sleek red car with a big and powerful engine’s probably not what you’d design for mom to take to the market just as a lumbering minivan might not win the Daytona 500.

We design with purpose to satisfy a need or a desire. The strength of any product depends on how close to filling those needs or desires we get.

Take the PS Audio P20 Power Plant as an example. It was purpose-built to fit a very narrow need: clean, tightly regulated, AC power for high-end audio systems. It’s big. It’s expensive. It’s likely not something you’d ever find in an industrial equipment catalog. Yet, it is so purpose-built that it prompted Tone Audio publisher Jeff Dorgay to comment: “I’m gonna violate the prime directive and tell you to get one. You won’t be able to un-hear it, and you won’t be able to live without it.”

The first step in the design process has to be intent. Who’s the product intended for and what does it hope to accomplish. Take our new Sprout Speaker we’re developing as another example. It’s a 2-way under $1,000 pair of speakers in a small enclosure designed to fill an entire room with uncompromised sound. That’s a pretty tall order for a pair of 18″ tall boxes that are generally targeted for small rooms, desktops, and bookshelves.

Traditional manufacturers of 2-way “bookshelf” speakers aim for a broad general purpose audience and find themselves swimming in a sea of competition.

The more narrow the targeted use the better chance designers have for success. The downside to this approach, of course, is missing the mark.

There’s much more power in a single bullet only if it hits its mark.

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.

I think music does more than help with mental health.

Music as medicine

In my upcoming book 99% True, the long talked about memoir, I refer to high-end audio as a well kept secret and I believe that to be true. After all, the vast majority of humans on this planet have never heard of an audiophile much less met one in person.

All of us participating in the connected world have heard reproduced music. Few on Earth have heard it reproduced as we do. Or, for that matter, are even aware there is another level of listening pleasure available to them.

Some of us don’t share our secret with friends and family for fear of ridicule or misunderstanding. Others don’t share it because it can be an expensive endeavor and perhaps we’re a little embarrassed. Still others shout out their passion from the highest rooftops only to have their words fall on deaf ears.

And the secretive nature is a shame because music can heal the troubled soul.

I wonder what would happen if knowledge of our world became well known. Some, I suspect, would be delighted. Others might be bothered by the invasion. I, for one, would be thrilled. Not because I’d sell more products but because I believe better sound benefits the world in the same way better food makes us healthier. I’ve watched hardened people melt in the presence of beautifully reproduced music.

What we love most may be the best medicine for mental health.