• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Ethan Winer Builds a Wire Null Tester

jsrtheta

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2018
Messages
124
Likes
73
I know I probably sound like a record with a scratch, but Paul McGowan is an artist when it comes to peddling BS and snake oil, as much as I hate what he is trying to do I have to take my hat off to the way he can carry off that avuncular and eminently reasonable delivery style he has.
About 20 years ago I bought a PS Audio Ultralink II, their totl DAC. I raced home with it from Denver up into the mountains, hooked it up, started a disc and...nothing. No sound at all. I took the top off the thing (like I had any idea what I was looking for), didn't see anything amiss, and put the top back on. It worked perfectly.

A couple of years later, I was in a shop in Boulder, looking at a used PS Audio preamp. I asked to hear it, they wired it up, and - no sound. The salesman was mortified, but I just said, "Try taking the top off and then putting it back on." He looked at me like I was insane, but went ahead, took the top off, and then put it back on. And it worked fine.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
89
Likes
81
Location
Bremerton, WA
I know I probably sound like a record with a scratch, but Paul McGowan is an artist when it comes to peddling BS and snake oil, as much as I hate what he is trying to do I have to take my hat off to the way he can carry off that avuncular and eminently reasonable delivery style he has.
I have to plus one on that. He has the comfortable, conversational, grandfatherly shtick pretty much perfected. Even if you're skeptical to begin with, you get sort of taken in and find yourself following him down the path for a while and being entertained by it all. Only later, when you reflect on what he said, you think to yourself, WTF!

Dave.
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
16,836
Likes
13,190
Location
Seattle Area
Yes, even if a near infallible test was designed and carried out in a near perfect anechoic chamber, he'd still claim it was somehow faulty.
Sure. He has already said the system has to be "resolving enough." Probably the only way to stop him from saying that is to test with his gear.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
28
Likes
11
Sure. He has already said the system has to be "resolving enough." Probably the only way to stop him from saying that is to test with his gear.
I agree with this. He would have to invite Ethan to his place, which will never happen. Although, he says there is an open invitation to come to Boulder.
 

March Audio

Major Contributor
Manufacturer
Patreon Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
2,946
Likes
2,182
Location
Perth Western Australia
I know I probably sound like a record with a scratch, but Paul McGowan is an artist when it comes to peddling BS and snake oil, as much as I hate what he is trying to do I have to take my hat off to the way he can carry off that avuncular and eminently reasonable delivery style he has.
I disagree. :) I think anyone that has the capability to perform the slightest degree of critical thought sees straight through it. Hi arguments are unconvincing even to the technically illiterate.
 

Kal Rubinson

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Mar 23, 2016
Messages
660
Likes
389
Location
NYC/CT
I think anyone that has the capability to perform the slightest degree of critical thought sees straight through it. Hi arguments are unconvincing even to the technically illiterate.
I once saw him speak to a local audio club and completely entrance about 2 dozen guys. I was impressed.
 

Ethan Winer

Active Member
Industry Insider
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
Messages
130
Likes
57
Location
New Milford, CT, USA
Ethan wants to come to our little get together here :cool: I sent him a link to the site - hope ya'll don't mind.
I have seen (and posted to) this thread, but I didn't realize it's still going! Of course I have a few things to offer. Also, Hi Kal, nice to see you again!

(From Paul's website see link above)
If our goal is to understand why we hear a difference then it’s incumbent on us to dig deeper. Our hypothesis didn’t give us the results we were looking for. Our ears detect a difference our meters and methods fail to uncover. The proper conclusion is not to stop there but to march forward until it can be satisfactorily explained.
LOL, yes, what a load of bullshit. Rather than just assess the wires, let's confuse things as much as possible by diluting the test with every other audio device in the chain too. And throw in a microphone, loudspeakers, and of course the room! No surprise that's what the head of a BS wire company would suggest.

[Paul] would have to invite Ethan to his place, which will never happen. Although, he says there is an open invitation to come to Boulder.
I hate to travel so there's little chance I'll go to Paul's place, especially if I have to pay my own way. That's why I challenged Paul to a video debate, which of course he refused:
 

SIY

Major Contributor
Technical Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
1,247
Likes
1,689
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Aww, shucks, Ethan. Weeeeelllll... you see, it’s important that these things be evaluated in the context of a complete sytem. After all, we listen to music, not wires. /avuncular chuckle
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Messages
81
Likes
143
Location
NorCal
Most audiophiles don't fit into that category.
Unfortunately, I'd say that most people don't fit into the critical thought category. I was showing a video debunking some incredible youtube video with millions of views and people convinced it was real to a guy at work and he said "Isn't that just as bad as when the masked magician shows how the tricks are done. It takes all the fun away if you don't think the video is real" Who goes to see a magician and thinks they are really making things appear and disappear? We can't admire a video's special effects work without going "that really is a UFO!"
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
28
Likes
11
I really hope this happens - I think if we spread the word enough - it just may happen. Maybe if we can get another forum on board?
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Messages
81
Likes
143
Location
NorCal
(From Paul's website see link above)
If our goal is to understand why we hear a difference then it’s incumbent on us to dig deeper. Our hypothesis didn’t give us the results we were looking for. Our ears detect a difference our meters and methods fail to uncover. The proper conclusion is not to stop there but to march forward until it can be satisfactorily explained.
This really is genius and is part of the reason he is so popular. He throws words related to scientific experiments into this and ends with a call for quest for knowledge. See, he wants to keep searching for the truth, how much more open minded can he be about this? It makes it so easy to overlook the fact that he is rejecting all the solid proof up to this point. He's dismissing it with a wave of his hand and going "those aren't the facts I want, we will keep looking"

I saw a comment defending his expensive power cables saying that he has shown how shielded power cables don't leak magnetic fields onto nearby cables. To that person it proved that expensive cables are worth it. They jumped right past the fact that you can get a cheap power cable that is shielded to $600 cables being better based on that one small fact.

I've seen him tell a story of when a guy swapped out the fuses in their fancy system and the improvement was immediately noticeable. He said the guy didn't say what he was doing when he went behind the system and he still noticed a difference. A commenter somewhere claimed that he had sold stereo systems and when he'd switch the cables on the demo system at the end the customers always noticed an improvement. I remember when I was a kid reading about how people used to claim they had horses that could do math. They would say "what is 2+1 and the horse would stamp its foot 3 times. If you watched what was happening closely you could see the person doing something like smiling or nodding when the horse got to the right number. The horse picked up on the nearly imperceivable reaction to know when to stop. Which, in my opinion, is what was happening in both of the mentioned situations. If someone stops you from listening and messes with the system, then comes back and with a confident look on their face says "now listen to it" are you going to expect it to be worse, the same or better? Certainly you are going to be expecting an improvement. Why else would they have made a noticeable show about changing something.
When they moved the owner of the horse out of sight the horse could no longer do addition. Which is why Paul dismisses blind testing and says you have to know what you are listening for.
 
Last edited:

JJB70

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
810
Likes
1,236
Location
Milton Keynes, England
If you listen to Paul McGowan's words he is clearly a highly intelligent guy, he is very good at answering a question he wants to answer in response to a completely different one and does it in a way that some people will either fail to notice or applaud him for being some sort of all around nice chap with that splendid delivery he has. The combination of that favourite uncle avuncular delivery (weeeeelllllll, what a great question.........) and words which are at best disingenuous speak of an intelligent guy who knows exactly what he is doing. 0 out of 10 for ethics and integrity, but 10 out of 10 for being a master craftsman of the black art of spin and BS.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2019
Messages
28
Likes
9
Location
The garden of our colony.
About 20 years ago I bought a PS Audio Ultralink II, their totl DAC. I raced home with it from Denver up into the mountains, hooked it up, started a disc and...nothing. No sound at all. I took the top off the thing (like I had any idea what I was looking for), didn't see anything amiss, and put the top back on. It worked perfectly.

A couple of years later, I was in a shop in Boulder, looking at a used PS Audio preamp. I asked to hear it, they wired it up, and - no sound. The salesman was mortified, but I just said, "Try taking the top off and then putting it back on." He looked at me like I was insane, but went ahead, took the top off, and then put it back on. And it worked fine.

Were you playing this, by chance?

 

Similar threads

Top Bottom