Ever hear about manufacturers who use "premium components", "metal film resistors", "audiophile approved film capacitors" and who "used years of listening tests to find out the best piece of wire from point a to point b? Well, I'm not much into this lore. Metal film resistors happen to be the cheapest and common resistor type, film caps are audiophile quality even if they don't have some fancy print on them. I do not use years of listening tests. I'll rather use the time to _productive_ design. It means (and I have the guts to say it), that Knif pro audio gear is really engineering oriented. I'm so sorry to demystify things, but inflated and esoteric marketing jargon just blows my head off.
But, I do have some points which fall partially to the unexplored. Let's call it intuition or superstition. What ever. Maybe it does have a point, maybe not. I'm simplicity fanatic. KISS. I follow the path of five noble principles:
1) Simple is better.
2) Do not sacrifice simplicity for a marginal and unaudible improvement in some measurement specs.
3) Do not accept audible problems in the quest fo simplicity. Every Knif product is able to interface with everything, has a lot of headroom and has reasonably low distortion and excellent bandwidth.
4) The quest for simplicity applies also to every adjustment, feature and ergonomics. Every unnecessary feature either lowers the quality or raises the price.
5) Listen the customers, not the gear. Use their ears, they sit in the studio all day long. I don't.
Tube color is not the "thing". Why would the most linear amplifying device have a color? Tubes don't suffer from capacitance nonlinearities etc, which make the design of simple but equally well performing solid state gear impossible. The color MUST mainly be in the transformers. I use only Lundahl transformers, and they are the best you can get in pro audio. The colorations caused by them are very subtle and will not make your track or mix ever sound colored or muddy.
Every equipment is always connected to a system. Those were the days when every gear had an input and output impedance of 600 Ohms and the nominal level was +4dBu. Today you never know. It is a pity, because nowadays every output stage potentially wastes a lot of energy just because it has to able to drive +24 dBu into 600 Ohms just for the very rare occasions when it is actually needed to do so. This not only wastes energy in class A stages, but it can also force some compromises to be made. I tend to avoid them. The result is somewhat of an overkill in most situations.
Updated Mon Mar 2 23:15:49 2009