My friend and fellow audio designer Jeff Rowland came by to say hi the other day. Jeff's always a welcome guest as he and I manage to nearly always be on parallel paths when it comes to product designs. I found Jeff and friend Tim Jerome in our listening room playing music on the new amp we're working on developing. I've written before that this new amplifier is a stunning breakthrough in audio reproduction and to date I haven't heard anything close.
The amp technology I am referring to is, as many of you guessed, based on the new Hypex class D technology and sure to form Jeff had independently made the same decision and was on a parallel path to building his own version.
I bring this to your attention because I want to illustrate a point about where we are in the scope of things. To both Jeff and I this new amplifier technology represents a stunning achievement - one that is immediately obvious in its benefits to the listener - one that single handedly blows away all the years of work we've lavished on polishing our analog amp designs. And yet, it moves us closer to live sound in our homes not by miles but by inches.
It's easy to get excited about incremental changes within a flawed system while simultaneously ignoring the elephant in the room.
I am excited about our latest amplifier technology and the positive impact it will have on our systems - but it is important to remember that we are only a little closer in our quest to bring live music into the home. I think we have the middle of the chain under pretty good control it's the outer edges we have to focus on if we're ever to get truly closer to live music.
Separating giant leaps of fundamental improvement from giant leaps of incremental improvement is often hard. Since I have nothing to offer in terms of improving the outer edges of the reproduction process I will continue to push the boundaries of what works in the middle of the reproduction chain. And that's a good thing.
Tomorrow I will offer you a mental puzzle that will help explain some of my thinking.