Beyond material aspects it’s important to understand a product’s design philosophy. Over the years folks hearing NORMA products asked what our secret was. As direct expressions of our perception and thinking, we though them simple and devoid of secrets. But over time we concluded that as often happens, what’s really important isn’t obvious to outsiders. What’s the secret to the Stradivarius sound? After exploring all possible combinations of wood, aging and lacquer, we still don’t know. Perhaps the real secret was the designer’s sensitivity, taste and love which intuitively or strategically guided very specific choices. In the absence of such intense desire, none of the available materials and processes would have ended up being shaped as they were.
The elements of audio electronics which influence sound span circuit type/topology, parts quality, mechanical engineering, power supply and more all of it interdependent. It’s imperative to have the broadest possible understanding to properly gauge how particular choices interact. To design a winning Formula 1 car everything must be perfectly integrated and of the highest quality, from the engine to the chassis, suspension, tires, driver, pit team and more. During our 7-year R&D project we attempted to investigate the totality of factors influencing hifi sound and how they interrelate.
It’s maybe easier to realize a good electronic than to describe its sound using words. Even if the listening experience is unitary, as everything around us, it is an attitude of our minds to try and break it up in single factors. This way, the we are also partly going to follow, presents a great limit: as by describing a human body by sectioning its organs, you deprive it of its life, by trying to describe the listening experience by dividing it into many separate components you risk not to convey the emotive impact that, most of the time, is more than the sum of the single parts.