Just a recommendation for PS Audio

I was listening to my system this morning (enjoying it very much by the way - sounding better than ever), and was wondering to myself “how much better can it sound?” Which got me thinking - what am I even listening for? I know it sounds good, but I lack perspective and greater context.

So I was thinking…wouldn’t it be awesome if you could go somewhere and have someone teach you what to listen for, offer a/b/c and so on comparisons of different set-ups playing the same music, and be able to learn and experience for themselves the various differences in systems. Not just in systems, but for someone to teach you what to listen for and then have it pointed out to them through experience.

Is this something PS Audio has thought of? Is this something PS Audio currently does at its stores? I’ve seen youtube videos where something along these lines seems to be done, but if something like this was offered I’d be there in a heartbeat. It would make me a more informed buyer, and certainly more aware of my systems strengths, limitations, and what I should ultimately look to as a point-of-reference. Plus, I’d know just how good certain pieces of equipment can sound, and what pieces - removed or added to a system - bring it to that point I imagine something like a good 8 hour workshop could capture such a thing.

Again, I imagine this has probably been done before - at a brick-and-mortar hifi store or other hifi manufacturer - but it’d be awesome if PS Audio could conduct such a thing. Even if it was only a few times a year. Thoughts?


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Harman has an app called “How to listen” which is essentially what you are referring to. I installed it on my Windows PC, but it didn’t work well for me over the computer speakers (Audioengine). Was going to try to send to the stereo but needed USB which wouldn’t work for me since the computer is two floors up from the stereo. The app is free so give it a try, maybe it will work for you.

I think this is a great idea. It happens to some extent at shows, but show conditions are often pretty tough. And the better dealers do it. I spent some time at Audio Connection in NJ where, when I was shopping for amps and speakers, they had connected up 3 different amps to the same speakers and the guys sort of put me on the spot a little in terms of letting me listen and try to articulate what I felt were the differences. Had a bit of a lump in my throat b/c I wasn’t as confident as I probably should have been in my own ears, but it turned out that they agreed with what I said i had heard. And then they spent some time with different cables and a few other tweaks/setup changes. Very very instructive. Of course this is time-consuming for dealers to do, and I bet they have to deal with a lot of tire-kickers and people who then go and purchase online. But I think it would be really great if PS Audio can do this in a formal way at some point.

Thanks, I’ll check it out. Though, I was thinking of not only learning what to listen for on my own system, but hearing it through a high-end system, and then having someone show how those same things listened-for sound in a different system played right in front of you. That is, actually knowing what to listen for and then hearing how those things sound different in different set-ups - not just one’s own system. That would provide context and a point-of-reference.

Loss of retail is a tragedy. My most profound experience in HI FI was when I walked into a Macintosh store… they wore white lab coats!!! They guy just said, “Want to listen?”… I didn’t even ask… heck I didn’t know what the heck I was looking at.

He put on C’est La Vie… Emerson Lake and Palmer… holy …ch%t… that was it… I was hooked.

Bruce in Philly

An excellent idea! Dealers used to do this, but those kind of dealers are hard to find. Bob mentioned one of the better ones. Shows have a place too, but the rooms, people, and general conditions of a show make it far from ideal. Of course, you could visit PS Audio once they get their three music rooms done. Not sure how much time you could spend listening, but it would be fun!

That would be fun, and it would be awesome if PS Audio could conduct such a workshop/class. For example, it would be fun to have some material played through the new (even cheapest) AN speakers, and then have some material played through some of their ELAC speakers (or any other number of good quality speakers in the $500 to $2000 range for example) that I believe they have at their stores. Then they could even unplug one of their Power Plants that the systems are undoubtedly running through and then just have the music played directly from a common - say (ahem) Monster Power Strip - to hear those differences.

Or one could hear a system played through a Direct Stream DAC and then have it removed to hear a very basic DAC or even a Stellar GCD. This would offer valuable context and one could undoubtedly hear the differences…offering a very valuable point-of-reference. This would certainly help someone become a more informed buyer and appreciate the differences that various upgrades have to offer.

I know them and John couldn’t be more enthusiastic and accommodating.

Love the idea!

Thinking outside the box…

Back in the 1950s, one of the largest proof-press manufacturers had a traveling bus/van, which would go around different printing houses around the country to show off the latest presses. Some of these small presses weigh 1500 pounds. (Proof-presses are special high-end manual printing presses, usually hand cranked, to take a sample print over a bed of lead typefaces. This was before the invention of photo/film based printing).

Perhaps the same “traveling listening room” busses or trucks could be used for audio gear. Maybe more cost effective than brick-mortar.

I think it’s a great idea and really interesting for those who could afford the best of the test. But if not, if I’d like to sell, I’d never offer the unaffordable for comparison…(except if it’s ridiculously expensive for unrealistic fun)…I’d just offer up to the upper limit for listening.