structure. If you were to strike a person harder, he would probably cry out not only more loudly, but also at a higher pitch of protesting yowl. A real piano does the same thing, and Siegfried, by accurately revealing this change in piano string sound, more realistically portrays a piano's huge dynamic range. Siegfried already has superb dynamics, and this revealing realism further enhances the great dynamic range you can perceive and appreciate from Siegfried.
It's instructive to contrast Siegfried's sound with that from Halcro's highly praised dm 58/68 (its largest amplifiers), which we have auditioned several times driving revealing loudspeakers such as the Wilson Grand Slamm. Halcro's premium amplifiers are also very clean, transparent, and wide range (and incidentally sound much better than the smaller Halcro dm38 stereo amplifier). This Halcro reveals a lot of information about music. But the Halcro does not reveal music. Its output does not sound like the real thing, like live acoustic music actually sounds. Without going into our usual detailed analysis, the Halcro's sound can be summarized as being artificially electric, illuminating the music in a too bright artificial light at too high a color temperature, thereby rendering the musical information with some artificial hardness and glare. Siegfried is far removed from this sin, and Siegfried's rendition is in a much higher league of musical naturalness, while still being accurate and fully illuminating.
Siegfried incorporates a rich array of automatic controls, including a staged slow turn-on sequence and auto-biasing of all tubes. There are 12 volt trigger and RS-232 remote controls, so Siegfried is ready to take its place in an ultimate surround sound or home theater system. A simple push of a button allows you to change Siegfried's output stage from higher powered (800 watt) beam power tetrode operation to lower powered (400 watt) triode operation, and the changeover is accomplished automatically (with automatic power down and sequenced power up).
We directly compared the sound of Siegfried's triode mode to its tetrode mode. With every other amplifier where we have made this comparison, the triode mode has won, being more musically natural, more dynamic, and more open and airy (which then gave you the hard choice between higher power or better quality sound). But, interestingly, with Siegfried the tetrode mode sounds clearly better in every way, especially being more dynamic (with better bass impact) and more transparent (the triode mode seems too smoothed down by comparison). This means that Siegfried gives you the best of worlds, and does not force you to make the hard choice between higher power or better quality sound. With Siegfried you can have your cake and eat it too.
As you might expect, Siegfried works wonders with all good quality stereo recordings. Siegfried reveals musical nuances from all your classic vinyl discs that you have never heard before. But Siegfried is also especially well suited to surround sound and home theater. As we've extensively discussed in other IAR articles, surround imaging makes even higher demands upon perfectionist high end sonic performance than stereo imaging does, if it is to be truly believable, so it can give you the magic experience of being aurally transported out of your listening room and into an alternative venue. Siegfried's superb transparency and superb spatial imaging pays huge dividends in convincingly re-creating a true surround image, both for surround music and for surround film soundtracks. Moreover, even with the sonic compromises inherent in most film soundtracks, Siegfried's superior revelation of detail without artifice can still be clearly heard and appreciated. Thus, your ultimate high power surround sound and home theater system would employ seven or eight Siegfried towers. You only live once.
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