Scandinavian Sound

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Scandinavian Sound is what we call sound in its original, natural, purest form. That can only mean live music, unobstructed and unamplified; but if we want to enjoy music in our homes whenever we like, that living sound has to be recorded and played back. What we try to achieve with an amplifier is to bring sound back to life from a recording in a way that is as true to the original as possible. It’s an ongoing journey, because there is always something to improve as we continue our pursuit of true Scandinavian Sound.

Getting as close as we do today is a fine balance of art and science – old and new. We’ve learned through research and decades of personal experience that old technology is not always obsolete, and new technology does not always deliver pure musical results.

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Purity is essential. Research has shown that slight impurities in reproduced music – what scientists call gray sound – irritate the mind and cause stress and fatigue. Using unbalanced circuits or less-than-linear amplification devices is where gray sound begins.

Gray sound is the Transient Inter Modulation distortion (TIM) of negative feedback, and we were determined to eliminate it. The best way to do that is to design a balanced circuit with a linear construction. All the components are then carefully selected to support this linear process, like our silver-plated wiring and solder. We use zero negative feedback (and therefore zero TIM distortion) in our amplifiers, and listeners often tell us that there is an instinctive rightness to our sound.

Scandinavian Design

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Scandinavian design is honest and dedicated to the people who interact with it. It is quietly proud of its functional purpose and feels no need to compensate with superficial elements. It is modest and forms a natural harmony with its environment and its users.

Our approach to design is very much a Scandinavian approach, and this philosophy goes hand-in-hand with our sound. Just as our sound is an honest reproduction of the record, without impurities, the look and feel of our amplifiers is the same: pure and simple with nothing added that doesn’t need to be. We look for a balance whereby the product is naked and raw, yet doesn’t feel incomplete.

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What makes our amplifiers unique is that we want them to look and feel like musical instruments, rather than tech gadgets. A classic acoustic guitar is a fine balance of functionality and aesthetic beauty; it needs to be held a certain way, played a certain way and sound a certain way. Yet despite – or perhaps because of – these functional imperatives it still looks aesthetically pleasing. There is a rightness and harmony to it, as if nature intended for it to look that way. This is the thinking that has driven the design for all Engström products so far and continues to do so.