Tag Archives: stereo electronics

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.

Besides stereo electronics and loudspeakers, PS Audio is now making LP’s. Quite a company!!!

Vinyl’s here

It’s been a long slog getting here but, at Octave, we’re finally launching vinyl LP’s. I am over the top excited.

As some of you may know, there are only a couple of excellent vinyl pressing plants in the world and of the one or two of the best, they are back-ordered beyond anything I would have imagined. Lead times of 6 months or more are commonplace.

We waited for the best.

Being patient is not one of my few virtues despite the sage words: “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet”.

Part of the deal with vinyl is we’re running a single groove-coated stamper so the run will all be identical (though small). These high-performance 180-gram virgin vinyl stampers are limited to about 500 pressings so that’s what we’ve limited them to. They are also individually numbered so you know where in the batch your copy comes from. If you’re interested in reading about the whole vinyl process, go to either of the two releases and click on the vinyl details page just below the samples of the music.

We sent an announcement out the day before yesterday and nearly half of the run was spoken for, another hundred or so are gone as of yesterday.

The vinyl sound so magical….I mean…wow.

The two we have still available are Gabriel Mervine’s Say Somethin’ and Don Grusin’s Out of Thin Air.

These collector’s item gems won’t be around long.

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

Room, speaker, recording, amp?

One of the great mysteries to me has been compression of peaks on big orchestral pieces. The louder the orchestra plays the more the character of the music changes to where it seems to stop expanding before bunching up. When I attend a live orchestral performance that never happens. The scale of loudness seems linear—the louder they play the bigger the image before me. It’s just right.

Is it the recording? The room? The loudspeakers? The stereo electronics? All of them?

For the longest time, I thought it to be a combination of all four—and that likely is still the case to some extent. What’s been changing my mind a bit has been living with the IRSV. For the most part, this bunched up compression happens far less on these speakers than at any time in the past (before their introduction). In my last reference setup, I had the Magneplanar system. The Maggies absolutely had the bunching compression.

When I first replaced the Maggies with the IRSV it was in the same room, the same equipment and the same recordings. The compression artifact was, for the most part, gone. Thus, at the time, I concluded the obvious: it must have been the speakers.

In the ensuing years, I begin to notice that same compression in electronics, especially in power amplifiers. Some amps seem to compress while others soar.

The issue is still unclear. Though it’s worth discussing how others experience it as well.


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.

Another stereo book!!

The Audiophile’s Guide

I have been making steady progress in writing The Audiophile’s Guide. This will be a new series of books, the first of which is The Stereo.

The Stereo will be a step-by-step guide to assembling, tuning, and working with your speaker and room setup so your system sonically disappears and in its place appears a holographic soundstage where the musicians perform. There will be an optional CD to aid in setup.

I am quite excited about this work—something I have been planning to do for decades. I believe there will be few in our HiFi Family that would not benefit from its guidance. A weekend spent with the setup procedure outlined in The Stereo will net big gains in sound quality without spending a dime.

As I near completion I wanted to engage our community for a bit of help. Below I have listed the major subjects covered in the guide. Did I cover everything? Is there something you’d like to see in this first book in The Audiophile’s Guide series?

If you have a moment to drop me a note, I would be very appreciative.

Here’s what I’ll cover in The Stereo. Again, the book’s goal is to help with setting up and tuning the system.

  • Introduction
  • The history of 2-channel audio
  • What to expect for budget
  • Choosing the right loudspeakers
  • Choosing the right stereo electronics
  • The room
  • Basic setup
    • Placing the speakers
    • Placing the electronics
    • Placing the listening seat
  • Basic tuning
    • Making the speakers disappear
    • The grid system
    • Paul’s secret formula
  • Advanced tuning
  • Advanced room acoustics
  • Subwoofers
  • The importance of connection
  • The importance of power
  • Digital room and speaker correction

Of course, I didn’t include all the subchapters. But, this gives you a basic idea of what’s there.  Let me know if it’s complete enough and what else you might want to see.