I made afford to read more of Mike Malinowski article – another two pages. I reached the place where Mike said the following:
“The Tenors bring a remarkable top-to-bottom continuity, which I've often called the Kharma effect (the speaker, not the moral law of cause and effect) in tribute to what I believe is the most coherent, disappearing, seamless loudspeaker ever made.”
I did not read anything further as after that comment in my mind Mike Malinowski has settled down in my awareness as stupid idiot whose own views and judgment should be discarded. However, before I read that Kharma comment I read something that I was actually semi-looking:
“I've spoken in the past of a transparent sound field that balloons out into the room, immersing the listener into the music and yes, the Tenors have this in spades. However, with the Tenors you get the ability to hear the inner structure and delicate overtones not present in the initial attack but buried far more deeply. Subtle layers within the soundstage float effortlessly and naturally in reverberant space. Ask François about this or almost any question concerning their design goals -- transparency, dynamics or the tonal purity -- and his answer always comes back to HSI (Harmonic Structural Integrity). It is their fundamental building block. It is the uniqueness of the Tenor sound and the result of Michel Vanden Broeck's lifelong research and development. It is also clouded in a cloak of proprietary secrecy, hence you're stuck with my layman's explanation.
Every note from every instrument contains both a primary note and secondary harmonics that in essence define the characteristic sound and timbre of that instrument. Why do reed instruments sound differently from each other? It's these fundamental, secondary and tertiary harmonics interweaving in a complex tapestry that define real music in real space and separate the tone, color and timbre of one instrument from another. Harmonics are a series of related simultaneous notes produced by a musical instrument. The nature of the initial vibration and the type of enclosure among other things determine the nature of the harmonics. The human hearing apparatus internally sums the initial attack along with the multiple harmonics into the single color or timbre recognized as the instrument or voice. The sum of the harmonics in some instruments produce a purer sound like a flute while others produce more complex sounds, such as a saxophone.
According to Tenor, typical manufacturers tend to measure their components statically - a specific music snapshot with the corresponding harmonics and distortions measured and analyzed. This is where Tenor differs. They claim that one secret to their sonic success is the ability to reproduce the dynamic nature of the instrument and its harmonic structure. Imagine a specific instrument reproducing a specific frequency and visualize a graph of the fundamental note and its various harmonics. It's an instant in time but not real music. As the music changes, the volume changes, the frequency changes, the tempo changes, the fundamental note and harmonics change dynamically to the next state and the process continues seamlessly. How well the component can track the dynamic changes from one note and instant to the next is key. The ability of the amp to react to a continuously changing set of harmonic structures is what Tenor believes to be the holy grail of amplification. The key to this dynamic behavior is locked in the brilliance of Michel Vanden Broeck's mind who combines theoretical analysis, unique circuit designs and specific measurements using Fast Fourier Transform Spectral Analysis. I asked François if he would share the underlying nature of the design and measurements relative to HSI. The answer was a polite but firm "No." Michel did say, "It is not possible to directly measure this [HSI] because you must measure it in real time and no equipment exists that can actually do this."
At first I wondered whether HSI was just another marketing catchphrase - one of those feel-good sets of buzzwords to get audiophiles excited and nodding with approval. Yet after meeting the owners and employees of Tenor and listening to their internal discussions, Harmonic Structural Integrity is not a buzzword for an advertising brochure; it is the fundamental premise of their design work. They profoundly believe that if you nail the purity of the original note with its harmonics, then dynamically and instantaneously track the changes and do it over a wide band, you've achieved greatness. They contend that in the real world the true sonic measure of an amplifier is not a static reading occurring at point 'A' or point 'B' but the combination of these two readings plus the amplifier's ability to move from point 'A' to point 'B'.”
This is already quite serious and incredibly interesting. I have seen 3 manufactures why made the same, virtually identical claim – good for them and it is very good that somebody have guts to look at the issue. I do not know how much in Tenor’s claim truth is. It is possible that it is juts marketing BS. It is possible that Tenor’s people get grip on something “interesting”, something that they not completely get (and to get it is VERY complex) and then they decided to wrap that “interesting something” into the marketable theory. It is possible that Tenor’s people get grip of some harmonics algorithms but filed to implement them as they should be. It is also possible that Tenor’s people get all that necessary understanding and implemented everything as it should be. The truth most likely will not be known. Tenor people are not divulging what they do and Tenors users will not decipherer what is going on as they mostly will be idiots. In a few years, if Tenor still be in business, Tenor people will learn that their cretin-customers do not need dynamic harmonic integrity and they remove the amp-compliance to their HSI and … not one will notice any difference….
Anyhow, the HSI is just a marketing phrase but the idea behind it, if there is anything behind it on the Tenor side is very fruitful direction to look. If the Tenor does do anything with HSI then if will be a Tenor near me I would not mind to hear it. Only who the hell need 350W of A/B? I wonder when Tenor will look at the 5-15W single-ended hybrids operating is pure class A?Rgs, Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche