Every audio designer has his or her own taste and perspective. It is not surprising that audio equipment can be very different in sound and even more different in musical feeling. But the K Works sound has broad appeal for the very simple reason that Igor skillfully addresses certain fundamental factors. We will mention three of them: (1) noise floor, (2) dynamics, and (3) extension.
First the noise floor. Reducing the noise floor brings benefits across all musical styles and listener preferences because it is so basic to how we hear sound. A low noise floor is the “black background” that audiophiles seek.
What is “noise”? All audio equipment produces unwanted sound in addition to the music, whether that comes from random thermal fluctuations, upstream equipment, radio frequency interference, or distortions of the music signal.
When the noise is very high, it can be heard like static. But the effects of some sources of noise are heard more as a loss of resolution, refinement, and dynamics. Or noise can be heard as a jangly, dissonant background in loud music.
When the noise floor goes down and that black background appears, something pretty cool happens. The music sounds better in a way that transcends listening styles and tastes. Everyone will find their own words to describe the improvement—one person will say the sound is more detailed, another will say it’s more musical, another will say it’s more toe-tapping, yet another will mention the “jump factor.”
In our personal experience, K Works equipment has the blackest background that we have ever heard. This comes from several factors—cables, power conditioning, vibration isolation, and circuit designs.
Second, we will address dynamic resolution and ease. Can the equipment render big dynamic changes with power? Can it render very small dynamic changes with clarity?
It’s not hard to tell if the music is getting louder or softer. But we have found the critical question is: do we feel the dynamics, more in our emotions and our body? Are the dynamics musically expressive?
K Works equipment has the best dynamics we have ever heard. The musical involvement of micro-dynamics is palpable. Big dynamic changes happen with ease.
Dynamics is one of these factors common to many listening tastes and styles because better dynamics help everything, whether it’s orchestral music or electronic music. Once you hear the difference between good and poor dynamics, it’s fairly easy to listen to new equipment and quickly evaluate its dynamic resolution. Dynamics is the single biggest factor in creating the sense that you are right there with the music; poor dynamics will break the illusion.
Finally, extension. We refer here both to top-end extension (the highs) and bottom-end extension (the bass).
When the top-end extension is good, the highs take on greater resolution. Without top-end extension the music sounds rolled-off. But top-end extension is not the same as “brightness.” Top-end extension doesn’t make the music brighter; it just fills in the top octave.
K Works provides that top octave in a way that is widely useful, because it does so without changing the tonal balance (i.e., without making the sound brighter).
And finally, low-end extension. If you haven’t heard K Works bass, you are in for a treat! It might seem that good bass might be about the low frequencies, but think of this another way. We don’t want “the bass” to sound good–we want bass instruments to sound good. And bass instruments produce sound across the entire spectrum. Their harmonics extend very high, and as a matter of fact the harmonics of bass instruments are particularly close together and require high resolution across the spectrum to be portrayed accurately.
K Works bass has wonderful slam, impact, and pitch clarity, because of the resolution across the whole spectrum.
It’s important to keep top and bottom extension in balance in order to avoid altering the tonal balance.
In short, these three factors (noise floor, dynamics, and extension) provide widely useful benefits. You will enjoy discovering these merits of the K Works sound.