At AXPONA 2019 An Encounter With P.S. Audio Electronics Designer Darren Myers

Electronics engineer Darren Myers is responsible for designing many recent P.S. Audio products. He's finishing up the new P.S. Audio Stellar phono preamp. At AXPONA 2019 AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer sat down with Mr. Myers to discuss the new phono preamp. He also learned that Myers was influenced years ago by an email exchange with Fremer that helped set him on a positive career path. More very soon from AXPONA 2019.

redchaser's picture

Michael, I enjoyed the interview but was disappointed that Darren got side tracked and didn’t finish the thought about what his “test records” are. In lieu of that, can you tell us what yours are? My primary one is Steely Dan AJA

rdh79730's picture

I used to live in Boulder. I went to PS Audio to get one of their power filters repaired. They offered to let me wait in the listening room. Their VP of sales couldn't make their system work. Then another VP came in and didn't know how to operate their equipment. Then they couldn't find my power filter. Then it was more than the cost of the filter to get it repaired. I left with a broken power filter. That company is a joke riding on Paul McGowen's name and history. I also used to have one of their amps. It would go into fault mode and Paul himself just shrugged and said, "sorry, I don't know what to tell you."

Eskisi's picture

“The only catch is it would be a blind test and the listener won’t know which op amp is which.” Oh, no, that is a cardinal sin — You just took away the subjective audio reviewer’s only claim to fame. Even though hi-fi was invented by scientists and blind testing has been the only way ever that science progressed, when it comes to audio reviews we are faced with “easily stressed out” individuals who just lose their wits if they cannot take a peek at brands, name plates, prices and op-amp labels.

Tom L's picture

How is that a "catch"?

ChrisS's picture

Marie Curie and Einstein did blind testing? The good folks that brought you OxyContin did blind testing?

Who in the entire audio industry does blind testing?

Your idea of "hi-fi", "science" and "progress" does not appear to based on reality.

Eskisi's picture

Allow me to address these one at a time.

Marie Curie and Einstein were discovering completely new, groundbreaking concepts, not comparing available alternatives in something hackneyed like, well, hi-fi. Plus they took and relied on measurements: if isotope A emitted more alpha rays than B, that is what it was. They did not say, “It may measure that way but my golden ears — tumor? — tell me B emits more. When Einstein wanted to prove light being bent by gravity, he set up an exact, controlled “experiment” benefitting from a fortuitous solar eclipse. He did not say, “It looks bent to me!”

Regarding opioids, cigarettes, addiction, cancer...yes, sadly there is such a thing as bad science. It is the “science” of people who set up fake or poorly documented experiments to cover up the truth, to promote commercial gains. That is what Big Tobacco did, “Oh yea, we did run tests...cigarettes are harmless. The findings are somewhere, just trust us.” But similarly the editor of this site claims he was the only person who could tell apart power amplifiers in an alleged “blind test,” a test of which there is no record and from which he was allegedly disqualified “because I was an outlier. Trust me and my ears.”

The vast majority of science is a lot better than that. For every celebrity quack selling supplements on TV there are thousands of doctors and scientists doing honest experiments and often proving themselves wrong and publishing their failures as well as the occasional success.

ChrisS's picture

Blind testing applied inappropriately or poorly is also bad science.

If Michael Fremer can tell the difference amongst several amplifiers under blind listening conditions, then he has very good ears and very good evaluative skills.

If you are unable to discern any differences amongst these same amplifiers under the same listening conditions, what can be concluded?

Actually, nothing.

You want the audio industry (retail consumerism) to do science instead of marketing...?

Not going to happen no matter how much you plead. No one in the audio industry does blind testing.

Michael Fremer's picture
Look Bozo (Eskisi), I've taken plenty of blind tests and repeatedly done extremely well. Your comment shows just how ill-informed and ignorant you are. Your comment smears all observational reviewers and observational reviewing.

Blind testing has its place but it is not dispositive. Every recording you have ever listened to was mixed by someone who used his sonic judgement and NOT "blind testing" to produce the mix both in terms of amplitude and spectral balance. Using your "thinking", to be valid, every move would have to be blind tested. Yours is a truly foolish perspective.

When blind tests "prove" that all vodkas taste identical and that student violins are sonically indistinguishable from Stradivarius violins, it "proves" that blind testing can produce stupid results, particularly with inexperienced test takers.

You are a foolish individual more interested in insulting and smearing than in engaging in useful conversation. Yes, I am doing likewise in response to your repeated nonsensical and insulting posts. You have nothing positive to contribute here.

Please take your shit show elsewhere. I can't be more explicit about how unwelcome you are here.

Glotz's picture

No one listens to your bias, nor your bullshit. Please cease your negativity and leave.

Eskisi's picture

Do they? Blind test after blind test actually proves the opposite, that vodkas can actually be reliably identified:

There is a good reason for that. Vodka is made by "traditional" methods, meaning that at best a mid-90s % alcohol purity can be obtained by distillation. It is of course later diluted with water down to something around 45-50% alcohol. The composition of that original 4-8% impurity (and possibly the added water) bestows different if subtle flavors to vodkas. And yes a chemist can actually identify and measure what those impurities are. They always include trace amounts of methanol which would be poisonous except for the fact that the antidote for methanol is ethanol. Still some vodkas cause worse hangovers. So there is a good scientific reason why vodkas are actually different from each other.

Conversely, there is no scientific or measurable difference between cables and of course they cannot be identified in blind tests.

Michael Fremer's picture
Here's a blind test "proving" Stradivarius and student violins can't be distinguished from one another. IT'S A STUPID RESULT!

all violins sound the same

This website posted a blind test of tone arm cables. Two files were posted and readers were asked were they both the same file or different files and if different how did they sound different and most people said "different" and heard the same differences (though some preferred one over the other).

Then a butthole like you came along and said he measured the speed of the turntable used to produce the files and the two files were .0001% different and so of course one file was brighter, so he corrected the speed and said 'now no one can hear any differences'.


You are a CLOWN!

Agegaregian's picture

Eskisi, I beg to differ with your erroneous conclusion that there is "no scientific or measurable difference between cables". All cables present a load or impedance to the component that Is driving them. The impedance is composed of three components, resistance, capacitance, and inductance. I own an RCL meter and can assure you that these components are indeed measurable, and audible. It is a common practice to fine tune a system with the proper choice of cable, it’s not black magic, it is pure science.

ChrisS's picture

...between vodkas or speakers by blind testing!

I want to know "how/what" each vodka tastes or each speaker sounds.

Blind testing does not give that information.

If you cannot identify the differences between cables in a (single) blind test, then the differences between the tested cables are of no consequence or you need to check your hearing or the design of your test.

Michael Fremer's picture
with that imbecile
ChrisS's picture

...don't know what they are talking about...

Sometimes they learn the proper and appropriate use of blind testing, if they do some research.

Otherwise, they'll just have to realize, it ain't going to happen.