How I Do It -

It's Mostly About Noise

"Within the structure of music, humanity lives in the shades of silence."

Most people think the noise an audio system makes is what makes the system.  Really, it's about the noise the system doesn't make.


Unlike that beautifully engineered and perfectly tuned sports car in your garage, the components of your home audio system are NOT engineered to work together—they need an expert constructor as well. Trouble is, just like assembling your sports car, it's no simple project.  


Modern audio components are engineered to be quiet devices with low distortion. But no matter how much you pay, your audio system is a disparate collection of equipment. Each piece is isolated. Most equipment designers are so focused on their area of expertise that they ignore the integrated whole.  To equipment designers, AC power, relative location, equipment interaction, microphonics, and room acoustics are, generally speaking, somebody else's problem. I once had an engineer tell me, "it's the other guy's job to keep his noise out of my component." And to a degree, he is correct. We do not have control as to what component makes what kind of noise. But we do have some control over how much noise is created just in how the system gets power and how it is connected as a system.


The interaction between these components is what will make — or more often break — your home audio system. It's not that your components can't function properly. It's that the variables involved will prevent it from doing so. 


Eliminating extra noise and distortion requires an expert understanding of an astonishingly broad range of fundamental concepts. 

The Four-Step Program

"mechanical noise in audio systems"
"electrical noise in audio systems"
"stereo system room acoustics"
"a well optimized home stereo system"