Formal evaluation testing is a critical part of our product Research and Development. R&D is a continuous process, so in some respects a product is rarely considered ‘finished’, we regularly evaluate materials and construction methods with the objective of not only improving sound quality but facilitating more consistent production.
Our New Product Introduction process starts with a well defined set of design objectives, we then overlay the improvements we wish to make (or the problems we wish to resolve). With these two goals set out we then start to break the project elements down into manageable parts, establishing key requirements before embarking on an Analytical Phase (e.g. technical evaluation, market analysis)
The final part of development we define as the final Correction Process phase, where numerous product prototypes are measured and evaluated.
Our R&D framework lets us differentiate between a decent idea and a demonstrably repeatable- and marketable – design. Whilst Research (R) may involve material science, academic/technical papers and blue sky thinking, Development (D) involves iterative prototyping, production and sound quality consistency evaluation.
Not every product we prototype necessarily makes it to market, but ideas tried out in pre-production frequently find their way into other products, sometimes in unexpected fashion – our McCallum Isolators for example use the dense African Blackwood we originally experimented with while creating our Ultra RCA connectors. Similarly we rejected using a solid core conductor for analogue interconnects, but discovered it offered distinct benefits in USB cables.
In the final Correction Phase our prototypes undergo extensive listening tests in numerous system configurations, initially in our custom-built factory listening room.
Further listening tests will typically be carried out by our team in their home systems, as well as gathering dealer feedback to pre-production samples. These listening sessions mean we build up knowledge and an understanding of how the product performs in real-life applications. Any performance or sound quality issues identified are correlated with our test measurements and engineered out.
Our team follow a defined set of rules for listening tests: