Best measured values do not guarantee outstanding audio quality in music transmission because the parameters established in audio measurement technology are measured with static measurement signals. Music, however, is a highly complex mixture of frequencies that also changes dynamically over time. The dynamic behavior thus becomes the decisive parameter. The transmission system must reproduce this complex frequency mixture and its rapidly changing, detailed structure with as few system-related changes as possible. This capability distinguishes the application “music transmission” from the requirements for an audio measurement system.
Our designs incorporate three decades of experience in music production, coupled with a scientific approach to audio electronics development. Hence, device designs with characteristics partly clearly off the traditional doctrine result from it.
None of the parameters usually printed and often re-measured by some professional journals provide a reliable statement about the actual quality in terms of music transmission. Instead, parameters are still measured that are already well fulfilled by less ambitious devices today. This is how test reports are written in trade magazines, in which testers themselves are surprised about a clearly different sound, although the compared devices all measure up fantastically. It is difficult to depict the dynamic behavior of the devices in a meaningful, technically verifiable way. Therefore, we limit ourselves to technical data that have a certain relevance for the interaction of components, e.g., input/output impedance and voltage levels.
Some of the key data achieve top values, such as the signal-to-noise ratio of the purely passive ADC or the clock accuracy. At other points, however, the focus on music leads to other design decisions. Thus, our devices will never reach record values in terms of distortion due to the use of transformers. However, distortion values with three zeros after the decimal point are only a pseudo-quality parameter without practical value because they are determined with static signals. On the other hand, transformers offer undisputed advantages in low-interference interaction with the outside world. Conditions in the laboratory and the real world are not the same, and neglected influencing variables tend to lie dormant here. Even amplifier circuits with the best possible dynamic behavior are not necessarily the ones with the lowest noise. But you have to decide whether you want to design an audio measurement system or audio equipment for music transmission.
Of course, the established parameters, such as distortion and noise, are also at a level in our devices, which means that these quantities will never play a perceptible role for you. Beyond that, however, other aspects determine our design decisions. Consequently, for a qualitative evaluation of our products, only your ears and your music perception will help you!
Incidentally, overwhelming recordings can be found mainly in the early days of stereophony from 1958 onwards. With lots of tube amplifiers and tape machines, the equipment used here would be unacceptable by today’s standards. The medium itself, the record, is atrociously bad anyway, from a purely technical point of view. Nevertheless, it achieves listening experiences that are a real challenge even for the most modern equipment.
Moreover, all our converters deliberately do not support DSD for similar reasons (see the article on our website “Applying the sampling theorem correctly!”), and there are no other gimmicks available to the user, such as integrated upsampling, switchable digital filters or the like.