Tag Archives: Sony

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.

Anybody remember loudness buttons on their audio receivers? At low volumes,  basically we lose volume in the high and low notes, so the loudness button helped make up for this. It was a very popular function and is in the process of making its way back into today’s higher end audio receivers from companies like Sony and Yamaha. It went away,  as these companies likely thought it compromised overall sound. However, if well implemented, it does no such thing.

I don’t need one at home, but sure could use it in the car, where road noise does the same thing as listening at low volumes.
The world is not flat

Flatness is not even. Our perception of flat frequency response changes with volume, which is why there isn’t as much bass or treble at low listening levels.

The problem with this should be obvious. If our goal is a flat response curve as concerns a meter’s measurement, our system will sound flat only at specific volume levels.

The cause relates to how we process sound. We’re not microphones performing linear conversions. Instead, our ear/brain mechanism perceives sound—which means we interpret what we hear. And what we hear varies with volume level.

Years ago receivers and even preamplifiers had loudness controls that pumped up the bass and treble at lower volumes in order for us to perceive flat response. An interesting paradox; at low volumes we must tilt the sound so it measures flat in our brains.

The world is not flat as much as our measuring equipment would have us believe.


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.

From me…
We recently completed an AV system that was installed by a guy from Charleston, SC, in Lake Toxaway, NC. The system was interesting, but all sorts of questionable design choices, which had served the owner well enough, but with problems and Charleston a long ways away, he turned to us.
We replaced a old Niles amplifier that has been powered on 24/7 for the past 8 years and a pair of outdoor speakers that for some reason were used in this very nicely furnished Guest Living Room.
The homeowner, by the way, is a very nice man and grateful that we would take over the servicing of his AV needs.
This design certainly isn’t the way I would have done it, but we replaced things the way I suggested with a Yamaha Aventage amp, Martin Logan Motion speakers, a new Sony Bu-Ray player for streaming and a new ProControl Universal Touchscreen remote control and it works beautifully. It’s a lot easier to control and also sounds a lot better…A whole lot better.
As an example of what some installers do and what we are faced with when we take over an install we did not do, I have one more story to tell about this install.
In a different location in this large, beautiful home, the owner has an old URC iPod dock which hasn’t been made of many years now.
While simply plugging in a new Blu-Ray player we set up for him, his dock lost power and appeared to be dead. He asked me what I did. I told him not enough to have done something like that. Truth is, I did….
We pulled this iPod dock from the cabinet and plugged it in elsewhere and it powered up fine. We then tested the outlet it was plugged into and sure enough, it was dead. We went to look at the circuit breaker box (twice), but no breakers were tripped, nor were there any GFI’s tripped.
Bryan took a look in the bottom of the cabinet where all his stuff is plugged into and spotted a white two conductor cord, which didn’t match any of the equipment inside the cabinet. He jiggled it and all of a sudden the electrical outlet flashed on an off.
The original installer, should have simply run an extension cord from the iPod dock to the bottom of the cabinets, where his equipment is plugged into the surge suppressor. Easy enough and the correct way to do this..
Instead, because he apparently really likes to hardwire stuff, he cut the end off of some electrical device, like a lamp cord, and connected the bare wire end directly to one end to the electrical outlet and plugged the other end into the surge suppressor. It worked, but the wire he used was two conductor, with a two prong connector, while the outlet was a grounded outlet.
It quit working because the two blades on the plug had become too too flat over the years to continue making contact with the electrical outlet inside the surge protector.
By me simply plugging in one component into the same surge protector that powered the outlet he installed, this was enough to make it quit working. So, considering this out of the scope of our work for the day, we simply widened the two blades to make better contact and it started working again.
Apparently the original installer does million dollar jobs and while I’ve done great work on the opportunities I’ve had, I wish I had a few more of those opportunity like this job here. However, this market is different…Yes…different….
Happy holidays everybody.