The Hour of Power

PS Audio's Paul McGowan is a man with a mission: He wants to teach audiophiles about AC power, from the creation of the universe to its final destination in our contemporary electronics components. Toward that end, McGowan wrote, produced, and narrated a one-hour documentary DVD called From Coal to Coltrane, which provides a lively look at a subject many of us take for granted.

He covers the Edison/Tesla current war, takes viewers into the bowels of Hoover Dam, and visits the world's first AC generating plant in Telluride, CO. Along the way, he drops in on recording engineers, musicians, and audio reviewers, including Stereophile's Michael Fremer and Wes Phillips, who bloviate about the power of music.

From Coal to Coltrane has high production values, complete with 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. It's entertaining and, yes, educational (Telluride was first?). It's true, when a manufacturer goes to the trouble that PS Audio has gone to in producing From Coal to Coltrane, you just know that it's hoping you'll turn a kindly eye toward its products, but PS Audio is pretty subtle about it—not to mention pretty up-front about its participation in this history of AC. We doubt you'll be corrupted.

From Coal to Coltrane is free at PS Audio.

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