The poet Robert Frost wrote, “good fences make good neighbors”. If you’d never read his poem, Mending Wall, you might think he liked fences. You would be wrong. The poem is actually about the opposite.
One of the dichotomies of product design is about fences. It’s a problem faced by companies as big as Microsoft and Apple (Apple likes fences, Microsoft not so much), and as small as PS Audio (we’re on the fence about it to make a pun).
Interface fences are needed. Boundaries and standards are set to ensure the proper interface of equipment with the outside world. As in any neighborhood, we all have to agree on some level or sources would not interface with preamps and amps.
One of my readers cried out when I suggested an end-to-end system approach to building our new loudspeakers. “But I like to mix and match equipment. It’s part of the fun of our hobby.” Indeed, our customers run the gamut from tear-the-walls-down tweakers to folks who like their fences.
There’s no way to keep everyone happy. This we know. I think the secret to great products lies in the notion of maintaining outside accessibility of equipment while, at the same time, offering a PS-specific connection scheme. It’s an idea that’s been bubbling in me for some time. Not fully formed yet, but slowly creeping in.
Good fences make good neighbors as long as they aren’t impenetrable walls.