Tag Archives: Sonos

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 gift of learning

My oldest son, Lon, set up a fine little system in his office: a Sonos Connect, Sprout100, an optical cable, and a pair of Focal Chorus 706 bookshelf speakers. I think the whole affair would have set him back about $1600 (except he got a “deal” on Sprout). 🙂

He controls the system through his iPad, streams Tidal, Apple Music, and Spotify. The world of music is at his fingertips and, you know what? It sounds good. Damned good. The Focals are impressive speakers, to say the least, exhibiting none of the brittleness of the tweeter their bigger parents can sometimes present. It’s a system that’s resolving enough to easily hear the difference between the Sonos built-in DAC (dreadful beyond imagination) and Sprout’s (hence the necessity of the optical cable).

This is not a system I would have ever dreamed of or recommended to anyone. It’s so far off my radar that I wasn’t even aware of Focal’s bookshelf offering nor had the notion of pairing a Sonos Connect with Sprout crossed my mind either.

The gift of learning is a worthy one indeed.

If we’re open to new ideas we can grow.

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.

Crappy little systems

I have a crappy little music system in our home. Its purpose is the playback of background music to entertain us when we cook or as subtle musical fill for the empty space. Usually jazz. This system is on my list of things to improve in 2018 but spousal requirements of invisibility make it hard.

I am not whining. Much.

I am writing about my crappy little system because I’ve noticed something interesting. A window into what it’s like not hearing differences in equipment, something I apparently share with the vast majority of humans in the first world.

How silly our claims of differences heard with cables, speakers, amplifiers, and CD players must be to everyone on the planet but us. I switched out the nasty Sonos built-in power amplifier for PS Audio’s and the improvement was noticeable, but only, I suspect, because I was paying attention. And even that difference was limited. Had the swap been done in the dead of night without my knowing it…

It’s the speakers, you see. The crappy little speakers.

There’s a certain qualification level of system resolution needed to appreciate subtle differences. And, an even bigger divide if those differences are to be significant.

I want to riff on this tomorrow.