THE ART OF BALANCING PARAMETERS TO ACHIEVE UNCOMPROMISING RESULTS
Our philosophy in developing our monitors can be summed up in one rather lengthy sentence. At first glance, it doesn’t seem to be anything spectacular. And yet, as any physicist, electrical engineer or acoustician will gladly confirm, it describes something unattainable. Our maxim is: “Every monitor loudspeaker should fill the room with uniform energy across the entire frequency range, especially in the listening position. In the process, it must interact flexibly with the room, the style of construction, installation and the monitoring environment without any loss of precision.” The groundedness of this claim is well suited to the history of Neumann – and its aim matches our passion for precise results.
We even go a step further. In terms of development, our goal is not less inherent noise, less harmonic distortion, less intermodulation, or less resonance – but none at all. Zero. We are very much aware that this goal will remain unachievable, since we cannot repeal certain basic laws of physics. But: This goal affects our way of working, our point of view and our approach. Aiming to reduce a disruptive factor is one thing. People often content themselves with existing solutions, new materials or slightly improved measurement values. Instead, we try to eliminate all such disruptive factors. This way of thinking opens up possibilities, other ways of doing things. It forces us to pursue a different kind of reasoning and consider solutions outside the box.
What may initially sound like an uncompromising approach, actually demands the exact opposite in practice: The boldness to make informed compromises. For example, we could reduce the low frequency extension down to impressively low values. However, other acoustic parameters such as maximum SPL and distortion would suffer as a result. Every time. Because a good loudspeaker is not comprised of single values, rather it is a complex, interdependent composite system. That is why we don’t look at single values, but rather at the overall structure. And that is also why we put enormous simulation efforts for this – with software that we are developing ourselves along the way. This data helps us to prioritize, since we are looking for the optimum ratio of acoustic excellence and parasitic effects. This is about finding the right balance of all parameters, in order to achieve an optimum effortless signal conversion for the application scenarios of our KH series.
The result is audible.
With our goal to eliminate distortions and other undesirable artifacts, we developed our own simulation and calculation software to acoustically optimize every component, chassis and circuit. The result is recognizable in the frequency response of our KH series, (which we also publish for each loudspeaker rather than keeping it a secret). The response is as flat and balanced as possible with today's technology. We are well aware that some minor non-linear distortion is perceived as being "warm". But,we strongly believe: It is the expert’s decision at the mixing desk if something is supposed to sound warm - it is not for the monitoring system to make it warm.
Our philosophy includes further demands: Minimal intermodulation distortion, low group delays, no latency, no resonances, no rattling elements, a well-defined dispersion and a mechanically robust implementation. Guaranteed sound pressure levels that fit the respective application. Versatile protective mechanisms against signal peaks, so that every product is secure against inadvertent failures. Every one of our models must prove itself with a 1,000 hour test at full load. And last but not least: All features must correspond to the respective application and satisfy the associated requirements.
We don't see this philosophy as arrogance, but as humility towards the people who rely on our tools. Expecting the impossible leads us down new, and sometimes surprising, paths to new solutions and new possibilities. This can be heard in the Neumann KH studio monitor series because it is built on a rich heritage.