Tag Archives: preamps

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.

Good fences

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.

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.

That’s what remotes are for

I can’t think of a track in my library I play at the same volume level as another, though that seems too out there to be true. Regardless, let’s say with some certainty that I change the volume level to match the musical track nearly every time I listen.

This occurs because every piece of music has a specific level it is perfect when reproduced. Too loud and voices and instruments become too big. Too soft and tonal balance, as well as musical life, suffer.

What this means is I keep my preamp remote control at the ready. It’s just part of what I do to offer me and others the perfect listening experience.

Why hasn’t someone come up with the means to fix this problem? I don’t mean volume leveling, where the actual file is changed to reduce level variability. No, I mean a way to record the level as chosen by the listener and then the means to automatically adjust the preamp’s gain in the exact same way a remote is used.

I think this is definitely something we need to do.