Definitive Audio’s Kevin Scott.
It all began with a love of music.
Founder Kevin Scott is quizzed on how that brings us to today’s Definitive Audio.
The seed was planted in the late 1980s when a group of like-minded friends, who shared the thrill of music, came together. We became an ‘audio family’ with a kinship and common vision, although we each had an individual area of special interest and pursued our own ideas and objectives. For some it was designing turntables, for others, it was about designing amplifiers or loudspeakers. For me, it was about music.
My interest was in corralling all of these individual specialities into one coherent whole – a system that was greater than the sum of the parts. I established Definitive Audio in 1987, and at that time the biggest bottleneck in system performance was the prevailing paradigm in loudspeaker design. Efficiencies were in the low 80s and there was an obsession with measured performance over subjective performance. I wanted to change this by championing high sensitivity and wide dynamic range, something that makes reproduced music more naturally alive and engaging.
It was this that stimulated me to become a loudspeaker designer and hence the birth of Living Voice.
We have grown enormously since those early days, yet we retains the same aspirations and values. I consider it a privilege to call many of our life-long clients’ friends; we have shared a common journey together and these enduring relationships continue to focus my gaze and raised my game. There is always something new to learn and there are always other valid perspectives to consider. It’s also about seeing the bigger picture.
This continuous evolution is the Definitive Audio journey; one that satisfies not only my own musical requirements but others too.
We have a vision of how music can be revealed in all of its glory and we choose our components to that end. We have collated a portfolio of equipment that is the most appropriate across a variety of budgets and also takes into account ‘real-world’ domestic considerations.
The first thing to consider is the room because 50% of what you hear is the room. Its dimensions, materials, and furnishings all affect the reverberant field, which in turn influences the choice of loudspeakers and their positioning, as well as the driving electronics.
Building a system from scratch is a teriffic advantage allowing all the latitude in the world for system optimization. Not everyone has this luxury however and in these cases we provide advice and guidance on improving the performance of people’s existing systems. In this regard there is no substitute for 30 years of experience.
A hi-fi system has three main parts: the source, the amplification, and the loudspeakers. However, there are three other very often overlooked items which are of equal importance: the equipment supports, the cabling, and the set-up. The thing to remember is that it isn’t about ‘best,’ it is about the most appropriate for the situation.
For the most ambitious systems we specify a regulated global battery-based power supply for the whole system. You will be relieved to know that this does not have to live in the same room.
There are so many specialties involved in setting up a complete system and they all require individual attention. Because the musical performance is of first and foremost importance it is the focus of our attention and requires a full spectrum of understanding when organising it into a functioning whole.
It is a Definitive Audio maxim that it’s not what you’ve got that counts, it’s what you do with it that really matters.
Good components don’t necessarily make a great hifi system but a great system definitely contains great components. This is the distinction that needs to be emphasised. It is all about using the right ingredients in the right proportion at the right time, taking these selected components and combining them into one harmonious whole thus making for an engaging, compelling, musical result.