To Jeff Fritz,
You've endorsed the Boulder products, specifically the 1060 and 2060 amplifiers, in the past. I've not seen you comment on any of the current products, but I'm wondering if you know if there is any specification improvement from the older amps to the newer ones. I am trying to discern why the 2100 series might, or might not, sound better than what the company produced in past years. Thank you for your insight.
I have no experience with the newer Boulder 2100 Series components, so I forwarded your question to Rich Maez, Boulder's director of sales and marketing for North America and South America. Below is his response:
First and foremost, the components in the 2000 Series were at least 17 years old -- if you think about it, that's five generations of some other companies' products. Many, many things changed over the years, including better parts, better understanding of what we were doing, plus the refinement and introduction of changes to our core design ideas. Everything is now implemented with surface-mount technology, meaning that we have much better control of the layout of each board, including our new 99H2 gain stages that also feature other technical improvements. New grounding and planing has been implemented to reduce noise. In the preamp, the volume control is now balanced instead of operating as a summing point. Input switching circuits are quieter. The amp gain stages run at a higher voltage for improved signal-to-noise ratio and have better bias injection. Plus, all protection circuitry has been improved.
From a sonic standpoint, the overall neutrality or transparency of our stuff is the same, though maybe it's a little more so -- listening to the 2000 vs. 2100, the 2000 sounds a little on the dark side. Resolution and transient/dynamic speed are vastly improved with the new stuff. It's just faster and clearer. Soundstaging has spread out and images are better separated. Low-frequency response is surprisingly different. There's just as much power and weight in the bass response, but it's much tighter and faster than it was in the previous gen. Tightening things up hasn't made it cold or sterile, but it's much better at resolving low-frequency melody or, for lack of a better way to put it, it delineates a bunch of different bass notes better. It's cleaner in the lows, much better damped, so it not only separates the notes, but provides texture rather than just tone.
Hope that helps. . . . Jeff Fritz