SPL Story @ Hifistatement

Some time ago, Dirk Sommer of Hifistatement visited us. The outcome is an SPL story you can find online at the netmagazine. Like always, we provide you with a little summary:

“Regular readers of Hifistatement already know that SPL used to develop and build pro audio devices for recording and mastering studios before launching their first Professional Fidelity series about four years ago, causing a sensation amongst the hifi and high end market.”

“The first Phonitor not only was a big success and was highly appreciated by recording engineers, but also by headphone aficionados. Through the growing popularity of headphones and appropriate amplifiers during the last years, SPL became more and more interesting for demanding hifi listeners.”

“In the 90’s, Wolfgang Neumann developed the 120V Technology, which is also featured in every single hifi component, fittingly labeled as VOLTAiR technology. The operating level most commonly used for audio equipment is about ±24 volts. SPL delivers about ±60 volts. This results in terms of dynamic range and headroom. The SPL developer talks about a dynamic increase of 30 decibels compared to other competitors, whose devices operate with ±24 volts. But you can only use this higher voltage if you’re also able to build your own proprietary discrete op-amps.”

“Meanwhile, SPL uses op-amps of the fifth generation, thanks to new components and a high packing density these op-amps can be build much smaller. For sonic reasons, the power supply of these SPL devices, since year one, is internal linear. Not only the op-amps are designed as easily replaceable modules: most of the function groups are on modular cards, so they can be replaced as quickly, cost-effective and as simply as possible. Sascha Flocken mentioned, that all repairs for devices sold in Europe are carried out in Niederkrüchten and that this service still endures for all products SPL ever produced. Talking about sustainability.”

“Like the latest test of the Performer m1000 made very clear, the customer-friendly price/sound ratio is what makes the SPL Professional Fidelity series so special. This also applies for their pro audio products.”

I don’t know if it’s the rather moderate size of the company, the longterm relationship of the key players or the enthusiasm about the same topic of all those involved – recording and music – that at SPL engagement, coolness and a relaxed atmosphere seems to be the perfect mix for the ideal way. I have rarely met such a communicative and inspired team, visiting a company.”

“Of course, SPL is busy working on new products for their Professional Fidelity series: this is why we have planned a review of the Director Mk2 for autumn. And a big stereo power amplifier in the housing of the Performer m1000 is also in progress.”

Find the complete story (in German) online at Hifistatement.