SOULNOTE Kato's "I want to say everything!"

加藤秀樹  (SOULNOTE) writes: "This time I will briefly write what I said in the Sound demonstration for those who could not attend the Hong Kong HKAVPE2019 show. It's a bit long text because it's like a summary of " The 168 stories " ..... but please read it! (^ ^)

・ Summary of Sound demonstration show @ HKAVPE 2019 

I think everyone knows the word " High-end", but high-end audio does not mean " Super high-priced audio." It means a " movement " advocated by Harry Pearson et al. in the 1970s, " Let's realistically reproduce even the atmosphere of the concert venue and the recording site". 

SOULNOTE means " The sound of soul". Regardless of the price, the policy is " realization of true high-end sound " that even reproduces the soul.

In order to aim for the original high-end sound where high-quality sound fills the listening room, we focus most on " Dynamic performance " (characteristics of time axis) rather than " Static performance" (characteristics of frequency axis). The reasons are explained below.

As you know, specifications measured using sine waves (Static performance) do not link to the actual sound. Also, the static performance itself can not explain the reason why the sound changes with cables etc. But if you adopt the concept of the dynamic performance, you can explain it to some extent.

Further, if you try to pursue better figures on the static performance by sacrificing the dynamic performance, you will feel that the sound shrinks away from the original high-end sound. (Eg, increase phase compensation to increase feedback)

That is why SOULNOTE adopted a design method that prioritizes the dynamic performance over the static performance (specification). 

In another words, our engineering concept is almost the reverse of conventional common sense. " Non-Negative feedback " and " NOS (Non-Oversampling) " are the key technology for the dynamic performance !! 

Now, let's go and see our experiments by comparative audition.

* Comparison between NOS and FIR digital filters

Comparison between NOS that focuses on the beauty of impulse response waveform (the dynamic performance) and digital filter that focuses on the beauty of sine wave (the static performance).

* Comparison between OFF and ON of low pass filter (high cut filter)

Comparison between OFF that considers transient response waveforms (the dynamic performance) to be important and ON that considers reducing noise by cutting the band above 100 KHz which is not audible while it's a sine wave (the static performance) to be important. 

* Putting the weight on the top panel

Parts on PCB will be pressed down by the dumping effect of the closed air inside of the case, which results in especially high frequency being dumped, also the closed air will have resonance. Those factors deteriorate the dynamic performance . 

* With and without cable insulator

The dumping effect caused by the cables touching on the carpet will deteriorate the dynamic performance. 

* The disability of the spike effect

The unfocused fulcrum by spikes will deteriorate the dynamic performance. 


We believe everyone was able to feel that the sound stage has shrunk (the sound was dead) when the "the dynamic performance" gets worse. It has also proven that the products setting this time was almost " full open " so that we can distinguish the difference clearly. For example, if The river flow has been blocked from the beginning, the flow will be still blocked no matter how many blocks are added. 

And such phenomenon in sound stage is the same in circuit design and component selection. If designing or component selection are wrong (worsen the dynamic performance), the sound will die quickly. In a nutshell, the Soulnote's design is " to choose right designing and selection continuously not to kill the sound."

When it comes to the high-end sound, the result of those experiments this time are only contents may overthrow the common-sense that had been considered good to the sound. When considering only the static performance, the sound that reduced noises by the filter should be considered as the right sound, no matter what kind of sound it is. However, if the concept of the dynamic performance has been adopted, we start doubting it and assuming " our ears may feel the deterioration of the transient response and the sound is dead ? " The true high-end sound definitely seems to me to be the dynamic performance -oriented !! 

I wrote this now but ...

It should have been written in advance and given to Yui san, the interpreter.

I was not ready.
I'm sorry

※ On the day of the event, I was impressed by Yui san who wore a SOULNOTE T-shirt.