Guiding Principle 6: Build a component from the ground up.

Recently, 3D printers have shone the light on additive manufacturing. In the past, if you wanted to make a thing, you often started with a bigger thing, and cut away all the stuff you didn’t want. That’s not the case with 3D printers. They use only the resources they need to lay down only the component they’re instructed to build.

Many companies take the subtractive approach when creating audio gear. We did when we built PC audio components. We’d start with standard PC motherboards running Windows. (Linux and MAC are not off the hook, here, either). Then we’d kill dozens of services and utilities that were nice for most typical PC uses, but not high-end audio. No need for low-quality S/PDIF from a header on the motherboard, disable it. No need for overclocking the CPU, kill it in the BIOS.

The same goes for chip selection and pre-built boards.

Today, you can find a chip that can perform nearly any function you can create with a discreet circuit. But it often does so at a cost. A little more heat. A little more noise. A little more jitter.

To us, heat, noise and jitter are often too high a price to pay for slightly faster time to market or slightly lower fabrication or R&D costs.

Pre-built boards are violators as well. Many manufacturers of audio chips provide an evaluation board. These eval boards hold the chip in question, plus enough circuity to make it work, usually with a simple voltage input and a standard audio signal. But these eval boards aren’t optimized for sound quality, nor are they optimized for the device into which they’re being installed – and worse, there’s usually no focus on grounding and isolation. They’re optimized for getting to proof-of-concept as easily as possible.

Building from the ground up means we have longer R&D cycles.

But that’s a small price to pay for the gains we earn from a little extra elbow grease, a little better grounding strategy, a little more judicious use of isolation.

The way I see it, more time spent researching and developing at Musica Pristina means more time spent enjoying the music at your place.


Welcome to Musica Pristina. A breathtaking* music experience each time you press Play.