Tag Archives: stereo systems

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.


In 2006 John Koenig ran into a few roadblocks while writing poetry. He couldn’t find the right words to describe complex emotions. So he made some words up and added them to his own dictionary. Some of those words eventually came into the general lexicon. Like sonder:

“…the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”

That’s a lot of words to describe a simple concept, yet it points out how difficult it can be to connect us to our emotions.

One of the common traps we audiophiles fall into is describing what we hear and how our emotions connect with that experience. When I say something sounds transparent, for example, I don’t mean it’s invisible or ghostly because we can see through it. I mean that it doesn’t stand in the way of other sounds, that I can “see” around it to what lies hidden on some stereo systems.

There have been lots of attempts in the past at building audio vocabularies we can all agree upon, but mostly they are just repurposed words with meanings relevant only to insiders.

I wonder if we might be better served relating how music played through various equipment makes us feel rather than trying to put a label on the emotional triggers in the music.

It wouldn’t be as specific to tell you that listening to a new amplifier made me feel inspired and brought new meaning to familiar music, but it might get us closer to agreement.



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.

I am always surprised…

…but rarely shocked when overwhelming evidence doesn’t at least spark a modicum of curiosity.

Take the subject of Climate Change. We might dismiss California’s unprecedented droughts and fires as a warning, but when NASA and 18 scientific bodies again shows clear evidence our world is warming, one would think it might raise at least an eyebrow.

Or when 11,400 scientists from around the world warn us about it in yet another report.

And yet…

I am not here to argue either way but I think my readers know my thoughts.

No, I am more interested in how we get to these long-held beliefs and why we cling to them with such tenacity. That’s a subject that fascinates me and applies directly to our beloved stereo systems.

I am understanding of long-held beliefs. I have many (like my stance on going direct with DACs, or short speaker cables vs. long—all thrown out in the face of new evidence). And I understand the desire to cling to them because change requires more than admitting we were wrong. It requires a new thought process, perhaps even a course correction.

But, once changed, new vistas open. It’s freeing.

We work hard building our worldviews, and even harder changing them.

But, change keeps us alive and healthy.