Tag Archives: tubes

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.

With my Daedalus Ulysses loudspeakers that weigh around 120 lbs with their custom bases and tube amplifiers that weigh 100 lbs each, and racks full of heavy stuff, I’m not moving anything. However, unplugging audio cables and cleaning contacts might be worthwhile. Otherwise, an exercise like this sure isn’t for me.

However, if you feel the need, this certainly won’t hurt, except the disconnecting from the wall part, and here’s Pauls recommendations.

Spring has sprung

Terri and I make a point of walking three times per day: morning, noon, and evening. We traipse around our neighborhood or, if the weekend and the sun’s being cooperative, on the few trails we can access. Fellow walkers are increasingly respectful of keeping their distance as are we. And, we wave and smile at each passerby, thanking them for their courtesy. We may have to keep our physical distance, but we’re determined not to get divorced from connecting as people.

A smile can be powerful medicine.

While outside it’s hard to miss that spring weather is encouraging a hint of green and budding trees.

Spring also means it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to rearranging and rejuvenating your stereo system.

A major teardown and rebuild of the system is cathartic—tension relieving—because when you’re in the thick of it the rest of the world isn’t pressing in on you.

Here are the steps I recommend:

  • Shut the entire system down by powering off all equipment from the mains.
  • Remove all interconnects and power cables, stacking them neatly away from the main system.
  • Use a piece of tape to mark exactly where your speakers are on the floor.
  • Pull all equipment off the shelves, rack, stands, etc.
  • Grab a bottle of Windex glass cleaner and go to town. Get down not just on the rack or shelves, but then clean every inch of the equipment itself. If you have tube gear pull out the tubes, make sure the insides of the gear is clean, and reinsert them. (When’s the last time you replaced those tubes?)
  • Reassess the symmetry of your setup. Using a tape measure, get the rack and stands straight and orderly. Recheck the speaker placement.
  • Grab the vacuum cleaner and with its hose detached from the head, get every corner and crevice of the room cleaned, then mow down the balance.
  • Carefully reassemble your system ensuring symmetrical placement of each piece of kit (for me, at least, ensuring symmetry helps imaging – probably because I can relax more).
  • If you’re into DeoxITKontak, or other potions to improve connectivity, go to town. Me, I stay away from them figuring the in and out disconnect and connect are enough.
  • Turn back on everything and play a setup recording to make sure you have left and right channels correct and then the proper phase between channels.

Finally, turn the light on low, play your favorite tracks of music, and enjoy a renewed connection with what brings you pleasure.

Your HiFi 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.

Audiophile wisdom

Part of knowing our HiFi Family so well is understanding what I like to think of as Audiophile Wisdom, the collective agreement of what we believe. For example, audiophiles pretty much agree that vacuum tubes sound one way, solid-state devices quite another. Or, LP’s and vinyl has its sound and digital something different.

Every interest group on Planet Earth has its share of collective wisdom. That’s certainly nothing new, but when it comes to audio I have yet to find any other passion-driven endeavor to be so rich and vocal when it comes to our beliefs.

Some might refer to the common wisdom as myths while others would consider much to be gospel. Whatever your viewpoint on the audiophile’s wisdom, it’s helpful to recognize some of the more popular tropes. Separating the things we believe from facts can be very helpful when attempting to untangle often complicated subjects.

One of the main goals of the Ask Paul video series is unraveling some of the conventional audiophile wisdom and helping people understand the origins of the stories and beliefs. Often, I have to check myself to make sure what I am saying isn’t simply a regurgitation—hard when you’ve been so immersed in the culture for such a long time.

I think it’s always helpful to share our collective wisdom with others. It’s also important to check your sources. Most audiophile wisdom is based in old history that may or may not be true anymore.

Be careful your accumulated wisdom doesn’t send you down the wrong road.