Tag Archives: stereo system

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.

Circus stereos

Is your stereo system setup a circus or a naked exhibition? I’ve certainly seen both.

By circus I mean a cluster of well-intentioned objects intended to enhance the room’s sonic performance. You’ve seen these sometimes magnificent temples: two speakers, a disparate equipment stack, a forest of traps, wall hangings, pucks, dots, and carefully placed shapes designed to reflect, reduce, and distract the sound from those speakers. For the most part, these are terrific sounding rooms, especially given all the effort that’s gone into them. Perhaps this describes your room.

Then there’s the minimalist’s approach. The mostly empty room that sports a pair of speakers and a neat collection of gear. It is bereft of anything resembling sound modifiers. It relies instead on furniture, precise placement, and a lot of luck.

Finally, there’s the middle ground like my system and perhaps yours: A decently dimensioned room with a few diffusers and a smattering of accouterments to coax out the best possible sound.

What’s lovely about what we do is the variety in the mix. The amazing efforts we each go through and the many different paths to get where we hope to go.

Only passionate people care enough to work at making things great.

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.

By plug and play, Paul is referring to an audio component that replaces computers in our music systems. One that can rip music, store music, stream music and give us a way to control it. Maybe add a DAC and even an amplifier, like the UK stalwart, Naim Audio is doing now. Maybe incorporate a turntable  and speakers!!

Plug and play

What a great idea someone came up with when they first coined the term plug-and-play. Easy peezy, right? Plug the device in and it just works.

If you own a Mac you already know what this feels like. Windows 10 owners finally get a taste, but most people on the planet never really get to experience this miracle of technology.

Wouldn’t it be something if someone managed to figure out a small stereo system that would fit that bill? Plug it in, it auto corrects for the room, knows your musical preference, begins to play music you already have approved.

As Buck Rogers as this sounds, I predict within the next decade this will happen. How you ask? Through the miracle of complexity: building blocks stacked over time.

Our meager minds can only understand small snippets of complex structures. We can visualize how a computer system does math and we understand the language it uses, but more than that and we’re lost. Try visualizing the path required for you to read these words on a screen from a device in your pocket. I am sitting in my basement office in Boulder, Colorado, typing. Tomorrow my thoughts spread around the globe. To us, it’s magic because no one person understands how it all works.

Imagine other complex systems. You are a perfect example. We can figure out down to a molecular level how small systems within us work but not the whole.

Once a system exceeds a certain level of complexity it becomes unknowable by any one person. This means that with each layer of added complexity we can only build with ever-increasing complex blocks—never knowing the whole. Block-upon-block until it all seems like magic. A miracle.

Which is why I predict the miracle of a plug-and-play system is within our horizon. How exciting is that?