audioXpress May 2013: Special Focus on Tubes

As always, audiophiles around the world are eagerly awaiting the yearly “Glass Audio” special edition of audioXpress magazine. This year’s issue won’t disappoint, and we’d like to preview it here for you.

In addition to the regular columns and features, the May 2013 issue will feature a special section comprising interesting and informative tube-specific content. That’s right, we’re packing in an extra 16 pages for the glass audio enthusiasts out there!

The content slated for publication includes articles on the following topics:

  • An article by Bruce Heran about his “Poddwatt” Series II stereo integrated valve amplifier
  • An article by Pierre Touzelet about the “SC-OPT,” which is a self-compensated output power transformer for valve amps
  • Richard Honeycutt’s “Hollow State Electronics” glass audio column
  • An article by B. Kainka about an FET amp with valve sound
  • And more!

Want to get involved? Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are still available. Find out more by contacting Peter Wostrel at Strategic Media Marketing at 978-281-7708 (ext. 100) or peter@smmarketing.us. Inquire about editorial opportunities by contacting the editorial department.

Audio Design Workshop

Oxford Digital and Prism Sound, in conjunction with the AES, LOUDSOFT and TTid, invite you to join our audio engineering masterclass. This is a unique opportunity to meet with some of the most experienced engineers in the industry, and to hear about their practical experiences in analogue and digital audio design. See the latest developments in technology, and learn from the many decades of collective experience of our panel of presenters.

LOUDSOFT will educate us on how the loudspeaker development process can be greatly streamlined with modern CAD tools. Oxford Digital will show us how the application of DSP techniques can maximise compact loudspeaker performance for a given budget and footprint. Prism Sound will teach us how modern digital audio analysis techniques can provide far greater and more rapid insight into system performance.

For more information, and to register, click here

Industry Watch: February

Gornik to Leave Thiel Audio

Thiel Audio has been acquired by a private equity firm based in Nashville, TN. New Thiel CEO Bill Thomas has indicated that the brand focus will continue to be on premium-quality phase and time-coherent loudspeakers, with longtime Thiel employees Brad Paulsen, Gary Dayton, Lana Ruth, and Rob Gillum all remaining on board. As a result, Thiel president/CEO Kathy Gornik is leaving the company, which she co-founded in 1976, according to a company spokesperson.

The brand will continue to focus on premium phase- and time-coherent speakers; however, Thiel also plans to explore new product categories. An immediate priority is an expansion of the architectural series, which will further establish the brand as a premium distributed audio solutions supplier. The entire factory team and existing reps and dealers will remain on board. Thiel’s R&D and manufacturing facility in Lexington, KY, will remain and continue to operate at full capacity.

In 2009, Jim Thiel, co-founder and co-owner of Thiel Audio, passed away at the age of 61. Thiel, who was the company’s product design engineer, co-founded the company that bears his name in 1976 with Gornik. Thiel did not disclose the equity company’s name or Thomas’s experience but said that information would be forthcoming.


Meridian Audio Opens First U.S. Retail Store

Ultra-premium A/V manufacturer Meridian Audio announced plans to open its first U.S. retail store. The showroom will be the manufacturer’s 14th shop worldwide. Like its sister boutiques, the new Fort Lauderdale, FL, location was created to provide “a unique retail environment” to showcase the company’s product line and present “a full Meridian experience,” the UK-based manufacturer said. That experience includes a state-of-the-art home theater featuring the company’s distributed media systems, DSP digital active loudspeakers, and a Reference-series line of music and video players. Other dedicated “zones” include The Gallery, which displays Meridian’s compact products and recounts its history, and The Concierge Reception, a lounge where clients can discuss system and installation details.

The showroom itself utilizes natural materials (e.g., hardwoods, leather, and fabrics) in combination with accents of fine metals and architectural glass to present the premium line within a luxury setting. The showroom is owned and operated by Nicholas Ehr and Tim Ralph, childhood friends who have been in the residential custom install and commercial IT business since 2003. The duo is already forging partnerships with other local business, including Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale.

Based in Cambridgeshire, UK, Meridian Audio was founded in 1977 by psychoacoustics expert Bob Stuart and design engineer Allen Boothroyd. The company is credited with developing the first audiophile CD player, the first consumer digital surround controller, and the MLP lossless packing system included in Blu-ray discs.


Krell Enters Car Audio Market

The 2014 Acura RLX now comes with a Krell-branded sound system.

High-end home-audio supplier Krell Industries entered the car audio market with the launch of a Krell-branded sound system in the 2014 Acura RLX. The luxury car’s premium OEM system, developed in collaboration with Krell, put in an appearance at the Los Angeles, CA, Auto Show. The sound system’s main amplifier channels use the same bipolar power transistors appearing in Krell’s home amps to deliver a third less distortion than a “leading competitor’s flagship luxury car amplifier,” according to Krell.

The system’s tweeters feature lightweight magnesium cones to deliver extraordinary musical detail and extended high frequencies without any trace of harshness, according to Krell. Metal grilles were used because their strength enables them to have more open area to enhance sonic transparency. Metal grilles also vibrate less than plastic grilles, again, according to Krell. The system’s six mid-bass drivers are made from rigid Zylon fiber, which responds quickly to musical input and stops moving when the input signal stops, delivering cleaner more detailed sound than polypropylene cones that continue moving “well after” the music stops. The system also includes a carbon-fiber composite subwoofer and dedicated 100-W subwoofer amp. Visit www.krellonline.com for more information.


Audiomobile to Offer New Subwoofer Line

Audiomobile’s new logo

Audiomobile, which targets 12-V specialists, has begun shipping a trio of car subwoofers that include a model designed for both small-box sealed and vented enclosures. The products are the brand’s first in about a decade. The three low-profile models in the Elite 2200 series are the 2212, 2210, and 2208 offered at suggested retail prices of $399, $329, and $279, respectively. The 12” 2212, designed for flexible enclosure installs, features a mid-Q rating said to be ideal for either small vented (bass-reflex) or small sealed enclosures of less than 1 ft3. The mounting depth is only 5.8,” which is less than that required by many high-performance 10” subwoofers while offering more power handling at 600 W RMS, the company said.

The other two models are optimized for sealed or free-air (infinite-baffle) applications. The 8” Elite 2208 is just 4.25” deep, handles 400 W RMS, and delivers 12.5 mm of one-way linear excursion, said by the company to be on par with many high-performance 12” subwoofers.

The brand privately presented its first new products at the 2011 CES after it was purchased by AMG, a Nevada-based investment group that acquired rights to brand in 2010. The brand is focused on high-profit, high-technology speakers and subwoofers at high-value price points through disciplined channel management, according to Audiomobile. Audiomobile’s history goes back decades. In the 1980s, radar-detector supplier K40 bought Audiomobile but closed it down a few years later. The Audiomobile brand was revived in 2000 as an online-only, consumer-direct company, but the company closed early in the decade. For more information, visit www.audiomobileonline.com.


Sonus Faber Upgrades Its Image

Sonus Faber now offers six models in the Venere series, including this floor-standing speaker.

Sonus Faber is adopting a “more youthful and aggressive appearance” in its latest series of home speakers, which also bring the brand to new price points.

Six models in the Venere series, priced up to $3,498 a pair for a three-way floor-standing speaker, feature double curved sides, a tapered shape, and a sculpted top embellished with tempered glass. The shape delivers structural strength and controls resonances to deliver undistorted sound, and it reduces visual mass and promotes versatility of room positioning.

All models are available in high-gloss black or white piano lacquer finishes. The Venere series ranges in price from $1,200 to $3,500 a pair, while the previous entry-level family, called the Liuto Collection, ranges in price from $2,500 to $5,500 a pair. The Venere family includes two floor-standing models, two bookshelf models with optional floor stands, a wall-mount speaker, and a center channel. The Model 2.5 2.5-way floor standing speaker, released in October 2012 at $2,498 a pair, features a 7” woofer, a 7” midwoofer, and a 1” soft-dome silk tweeter. The Model 3.0 3.5-way floor-standing speaker, released in December 2012 at $3,498 a pair, features two 7” woofers, a 6” midrange, and a 1” soft-dome silk tweeter. The Model 1.5 two-way bookshelf, released in October 2012 at $1,198 a pair, features a 6” mid-woofer and a 1” soft-dome tweeter. Optional floor stands cost $398 a pair. The Model 2.0 two-way bookshelf, released in December 2012 at $1,698 a pair, features a 7” mid-woofer and a 1” soft-dome silk tweeter. Optional floor stands cost $398 a pair. The Venere Wall two-way speaker, released in December 2012 at $698 each, comes with an adjustable wall-mount angle bracket, a 6” midwoofer, a 6” passive radiator, and a 1” soft-dome silk tweeter. The Venere Center two-way center channel, released in October 2012 at $798 each, features an adjustable angle plinth base, two 6” mid-woofers, and a 1” soft-dome silk tweeter.


Holophone and Q5X Announce Technology Partnership

Holophone, originators of multi-channel surround sound microphones, and Quantum5X, creators of leading-edge professional broadcast-quality wireless audio solutions, joined forces to develop a new standard in handheld wireless microphone systems.

The NAMM Show 2013, hosted by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), January 24–27, 2013, in Anaheim, CA, marked the debut of the first of three upcoming single-channel wireless systems, featuring Holophone’s new customizable handheld Super C supercardioid condenser mic.

Holophone’s new single-channel microphones feature the same proprietary capsule design used in the company’s acclaimed surround sound mics, including the award-winning H2-PRO, the world-class standard for concert sound, broadcast, film, and music recording.

Q5X is the preeminent manufacturer of professional broadcast-quality wireless systems designed for demanding sports and live event productions. The new wireless systems will integrate Holophone’s cutting-edge line of high-quality, customizable handheld microphones with Q5X’s acclaimed broadcast-quality radio-frequency technologies to create a state-of-the art, audiophile-quality wireless system delivering unparalleled sound, performance, and show-stopping looks.

Holophone and Q5X plan to inroduce a series of remote control wireless microphone systems at April’s NAB Show, which is sponsered by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in Las Vegas, NV. For more product information, visit www.holophone.com


AES to Host the 49th International Conference on Audio for Games

The Audio Engineering Society (AES) 49th International Conference on Audio for Games on February 6–8, 2013, is prepping for a memorable foray into the art of real-time interactive sound. The conference will be held at 2 Carlton House Terrace in the heart of London, UK, next door to the 2009 conference location.

Conference keynote speaker Robin Rimbaud (aka, Scanner) is an artist, writer, and composer working in London. His work traverses the experimental terrain between sound, space, image and form, connecting a diverse array of genres (e.g., sound design, film scores, computer music, digital avant-garde, contemporary composition, large-scale multimedia performances, product design, architecture, fashion design, rock music, and jazz).

He scored the hit musical comedy Kirikou & Karaba (2007), wrote Europa 25, a new National Anthem for Europe in 2005, premiered his 6-h show Of Air and Ear (2008) at the Royal Opera House in London, and designed the sound for the new Philips Wake-Up Light (2009). He also worked on the national cinema campaign for Sprint USA (2012) Chanel’s Fall-Winter collection (2012) and music for the Olympic Ceremony in London in 2012. For additional information, visit www.audioforgames.net

Member Profile: Ethan Winer

Ethan Winer

Location: New Milford, CT

Education: Two years college for music

Occupation: Audio engineer, technical author, professional musician, and co-owner of RealTraps, a popular acoustic treatment manufacturer

Member Status: He has subscribed to audioXpress for approximately seven years.

Affiliations: Ethan does not currently hold official memberships with any audio organizations.

Audio Interests: Ethan is interested in all aspects of audio and music, but especially acoustics, and how fidelity is defined.

Most Recent Purchase: A Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 USB sound card

Current Audio Projects: Ethan has just completed creating a 2.5 hour music theory video course, “Basic Music Theory.” (The course is available for free on YouTube )

Dream System: He said he has his dream systems. Yes, plural. Ethan has two systems: A large home recording studio (two channel), and a 5.1 home theater in his living room. He said the key to excellence with both systems is more in the acoustic treatment of the rooms than the specific gear.

Q&A: Charlie Hughes

Charlie Hughes

SHANNON BECKER: Tell us a little about your background and where you live.

CHARLIE HUGHES: I’ve been involved with designing loudspeaker systems professionally for about 25 years. Prior to that, I worked mixing and recording live music in high school and a little bit in college. I earned a Physics degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. I was very fortunate to have studied under Dr. Eugene Patronis while I was there. I currently live in Gastonia, NC, about 20 minutes from Charlotte.

SHANNON: How did you become interested in audio electronics?

CHARLIE: My interest isn’t so much electronics as it is loudspeakers. Of course, I have an interest in amplifiers, DSP, mixers, and the like. However, this is secondary to loudspeakers, how to measure their performance, and how to design them to sound good.

SHANNON: Describe your career as a loudspeaker design engineer. What are some of the highlights?

CHARLIE: I started working at Peavey Electronics in Meridian, MS, right after graduating from Georgia Tech. I was there for almost 14 years. After I left Peavey, I spent a short time at Altec Lansing in Milford, PA, as the chief engineer for its pro audio division, which the company was trying to resurrect. In late 2004, when I left Altec, I started Excelsior Audio, a consulting and loudspeaker design and measurement company working primarily with loudspeaker manufacturers.

I did a lot of horn design at Peavey, being the primary horn guy while I was there. I received my first patent (6,059,069) for a horn design concept. Having that patent issued was really cool. I also presented my first Audio Engineering Society (AES) paper on this type of horn design. I remember seeing Don Keele and Earl Geddes in the audience as I began my presentation. That was a bit intimidating at the time, although I had worked with both of them previously.

In 2000, I was asked to be an instructor at a TEF Level II workshop along with Don Eger and Russ Berger. That was a thrill because those guys are acoustical heavyweights! I knew a lot about the TEF platform and time delay spectrometry (TDS) measurement as applied to loudspeaker systems, so I guess I was able to hold my own.

Around the same time, I was programming MATLAB code to help optimize the crossover design for loudspeaker systems. This was mainly done in an effort to make the directivity response more consistent through the crossover region and to reduce the time in doing so by eliminating lots of repeated polar measurements. The resulting program, PolarSum, was very useful in this regard.

More recently I was asked to join the Ahnert Feistel Media Group (AFMG) based in Berlin, Germany, to consult on its software and help with advanced tech support and product training globally. This is the company responsible for the acoustical modeling program EASE. It also produces a couple of measurement programs, EASERA and SysTune. One of its other programs is SpeakerLab. This is an amazing program that, while doing some of the same things as PolarSum, takes loudspeaker modeling and design far beyond what anyone else I am aware of is doing in terms of directivity response.

Being asked to speak as a panelist for two State of the Art of Live Sound Loudspeaker Design seminars at AES conventions in 2008 and 2009 with Tom Danley (Danley Sound Labs), Dave Gunness (Fulcrum Acoustic), Aleš Dravinec (ADR Audio), and Pete Soper (Meyer Sound Labs) was a thrill. In 2010, I was asked to speak at an AES convention workshop with Floyd Toole and Peter Mapp about audio system coverage. To be included in the same company with all these gentlemen was indeed a great honor.

Beginning in 2004, I became the chairman of a CEA standards committee working group, CEA R3-WG1. I’m also active on several AES standards committees.

SHANNON: While working at Peavey Electronics you were responsible for the design and development of many commercially successful products for the musical instrument, cinema, PA, studio monitor, and professional/install markets. Can you share some of the challenges involved with a couple of the most well-known designs? Are they still used today?

CHARLIE: At Peavey, some of the most popular loudspeakers are probably the SP series (e.g., SP-2, SP-3, etc.). I worked on several iterations of a couple of the models in this line. For these, there always seemed to be the issue of improving performance, maintaining reliability, and keeping the cost where it needed to be. Of course, this is probably no different than the challenges facing design engineers at many other companies. There was one instance when it was decided that the horn in the SP line needed updating. I think many of the models were using the older CH-2 at the time. I was tasked with the new horn design (what became the CH-941). Since it would be used across the board on the SP line, I wanted to make sure it was as good as I could make it at the time. There were some challenges to getting the directivity control as consistent as I wanted just above the low end cut-off of the horn. There was some narrowing of the coverage pattern in the midrange. I had to go back and study some of Don Keele’s AES papers as well as the work of Cliff Henricksen and Mark Ureda. Getting the secondary flare angles correct near the horn mouth helped with this.

The Q Wave series (later the QW series) was another line where a new horn design was used. This time it was one of the new Quadratic Throat horns. The same horn was used on several of the models in this line. It worked very well. I was to design a three-way system for the line. This required a new MF horn along with a new HF horn that would use a smaller compression driver. The MF horn required a closed-back 6.5” MF driver. It was difficult getting the right driver for this system. I know I had to have made Tom James (Eminence Speakers) crazy with all of the back and forth to get this driver dialed in to get the right performance, low frequency extension, and power handling. He did it though, and it is the heart of that loudspeaker system.

SHANNON: What made you venture out on your own and start Excelsior Audio?

CHARLIE: The truth is my wife had a lot to do with it. She had been kicking me in the backside for quite some time to start my own business. She had more faith in me than I did! When I left Altec Lansing in 2004 it seemed like the right time to give it a shot.

SHANNON: Can you discuss your best experience thus far?

CHARLIE: That’s a tough one because I’ve been blessed to have so many. If I had to pick one thing, I would have to say it would be getting involved with Synergetic Audio Concepts (SynAudCon). This is an education consortium started by Don and Carolyn Davis to help raise the level of knowledge in the audio industry. When Don and Carolyn retired it was taken over by Pat and Brenda Brown.

I have learned so much from other SynAudCon members: guys like Jay Mitchell, Dave Gunness, Tom Danley, Bruce Olson, Jim Brown, Peter Mapp, Ray Rayburn, Bill Whitlock, and so many others. Without the knowledge, contacts, and friendships I have made stemming from SynAudCon there is no way I would be where I am today.

SHANNON: What was your first personal project? Is it still in use?

CHARLIE: Wow, time to go way back. I think the first personal project I did was the loudspeaker system I designed and built for my senior design project at Georgia Tech. A rather substantial project was required to graduate. Mine was a three-way loudspeaker system. I thought they sounded fairly good at the time, but they looked atrocious! Woodworking was not one of my accomplished skills at the time, nor is it now. I like to think I design them a lot better than I can build them.

I had these and used them from 1987 until about 2001. I made some major changes (complete redesign and rebuild) to the passive crossovers around 1995 that greatly improved the sound. Several years later, the drivers became too deteriorated and they were not worth trying to salvage.

SHANNON: You wrote an article, “Subwoofer Alignment with a Full-Range System” (audioXpress, January 2012). Did you create this project for your personal system? Do you still use the system?

CHARLIE: Not really. This was the result of some work from 2002. I was at a SynAudCon workshop about loudspeaker and acoustical testing and measurement. A question was asked of the instructors regarding the alignment of subs and full-range systems. This sparked a, shall we say, enthusiastic discussion amongst a couple of the instructors. However, the question never really did seem to get answered. I spent a lot of time thinking about this topic and what the right answer should be. By investigating the behavior of individual low-pass and high-pass filters, as well as their summation, I think I found the answer.

I think this is really only an issue when the distance between the subwoofer and full-range system is quite large acoustically (i.e., in excess of one-quarter wavelength in the crossover region). Otherwise, there is not enough phase difference to adversely affect system performance (home systems). In large concert PA systems this distance can be quite large and the cause of substantial problems. I’m hopeful that more people will implement my method and find it to be a useful solution. A video of a talk I gave on this can be found on YouTube and a PDF of the slides downloaded from my website.

SHANNON: Are you currently working on any audio projects? If so, could you tell us a little about them?

Charlie recently finished designing a speaker for SoundTube. The speaker features a line-array point source (LAPS) design.

CHARLIE: Yes, I finished the design work not too long ago for a project I did for SoundTube. This was a three-way fixed, single-box line array with an add-on low frequency directivity extension (LFDE) box. One of the interesting things I was able to do with this design is to frequency shade each pass band (except the HF) to maintain fairly constant vertical directivity control (with respect to frequency) as well as have a fairly short extent of the near-field across the entire operating range of the loudspeaker. Neither of these useful performance aspects is typically embodied in a line array. It is essentially a line array that performs as a point source. Thus, we dubbed the design methodology LAPS (line-array point source).

Charlie recently designed three two-way loudspeakers for Bag End. Each has a 10”, 12”, and 15” woofer.

Another project that is nearing completion for Bag End is a line of three two-way loudspeakers, each with a 10”, 12”, and 15” woofer, respectively. I designed the high-frequency horn, the vented enclosure for each, as well as the internal passive crossovers. We employed a passive all-pass filter in these crossovers to help time align the output from the LF and HF pass bands. I’ve also developed DSP filtering for use as front-end EQ as well as for driving the loudspeakers in a biamp configuration.

An interesting aspect of the EQ used for these loudspeakers is that it is based on the frequency response at multiple listening positions, both on- and off-axis. By post-processing many off-axis measurements we were able to better determine what frequency regions would benefit the best from EQ and which ones to leave alone. Equalizing a loudspeaker based solely on a single frequency-response measurement typically will not yield results as good as this method.

There are some other projects currently in the works but they’re not close enough to completion to be able to discuss them.

SHANNON: What do you see as some of the greatest audio innovations of your time?

CHARLIE: I think the TDS measurement method by Richard Heyser was a great innovation for loudspeaker measurement and analysis. There are others methods, such as dual-channel FFT using a log-swept sine stimulus (Angelo Farina) that are also useful.

The realization that the “sound” of a loudspeaker has more to do with its off-axis radiation than the on-axis frequency response is an unassailable truth when listening to loudspeakers in rooms, but it is amazing how many people still don’t get it.

The use of FIR filtering in the DSP available today to make loudspeakers more accurate in terms of the reproduction of the input signal to the system is also a great advance.

SHANNON: Do you have any advice for audioXpress readers who are thinking of building their own sound systems?

CHARLIE: Read Floyd Toole’s book Sound Reproduction, Loudspeakers and Rooms, (Elsevier, 2008). Pay just as much attention to the off-axis response of loudspeakers as the on-axis response. Get the directivity response of the system as consistent as possible across as wide of a frequency range as possible. Avoid abrupt changes in the directivity response. These are most likely to occur through the crossover region. Also, get it right in the time domain. I think that, audibly, this is more important than the frequency domain.

And, have fun! If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, it’s time to find something else to do. aX

 

February New Products

New Wireless Speaker Takes Pocket-Portable Sound to the Next Level

Soundmatters, a leader in high-quality, portable speakers, announced its entry-level aptX Bluetooth-equipped model, the foxLv2 aptX. Based on the foxLv2, the gold standard in hi-fi portable speakers (Time Magazine’s “Top Ten Gadget of the Year”) the foxLv2 aptX takes go-anywhere music to a new level with CSR aptX’s advanced streamed Bluetooth technology for wireless CD-quality music and improved sound/picture sync for movies and gaming available with aptX-equipped devices (e.g., the latest Samsung smartphones, tablets, and Apple computers). The foxLv2 aptX entry-level model joins Soundmatters’s high-end aptX-equipped foxLv2 PLATINUM, named 2012 Best of CES Finalist by the International Bluetooth Consortium.

Soundmatters releases its new entry-level aptX Bluetooth-equipped model, the foxLv2 aptX

The foxLv2 aptX costs $199 (the same price as the foxLv2 Bluetooth model). It is small at 5.6” wide × 2.2” high × 1.4” deep, with up to 12 h (or more) of rechargeable battery-time. It features a full range of audio output, from 80 Hz to 20 kHz with real bass, which is great for Bluetooth music streaming.

The model comes with the portable speaker, a rechargeable built-in woofer/battery, a universal AC power charger, four international charger adapters (for US, Japan, Europe/China, UK/HK, and AU/NZ), a USB computer charging cable, a stereo 3.5-mm audio cable, a wrist strap, a travel pouch, an anti-slip mat, and a manual. Soundmatters also provides a wired version of foxLv2 for $149. Visit www.soundmatters.com for more information.


New Kit updates Power Amplifier Assemblies

Updatemydynaco now offers kits that make the Stereo 120 power amp and PAT-4 preamp better than new for Dynaco’s solid-state audiophiles.

Updatemydynaco offers kits to upgrade two Dynaco solid-state power amplifier assemblies

For the Stereo 120, Updatemydynaco makes low-noise, low-distortion replacement kits for the original power amplifier assemblies. It also makes a power supply replacement module that has lower output impedance, lower noise, and a more accurate output voltage. Super heatsinks are available to increase the power the amp can deliver. Replacement capacitors for the power supply and speaker coupling completes the electrical side of the Stereo 120 renewal. In addition, it offers mechanical parts, input connectors, and mounting feet that drop right in.

For the PAT-4 preamp, Updatemy-dynaco offers a distortion reduction kit that reduces high-level stage distortion by a factor of 10, and a tone-control-defeat kit that replaces the high-cut filter. The current offering is rounded out by the Blue Light Kit, a novel array of blue LEDs that drops into the space of an NE-2 lamp, changing the power indicator illumination from orange to blue. Visit www.updatemydynaco.com for more information.


The Verb Deluxe – Reverb Pedal Kit

MODTM kits enable musicians to build their own amps and effects pedals

The Verb Deluxe kit, new from MODTM Kits DIY, is built around the Belton Digi-Log Mini Module. Its features include both Dwell and Mix controls, enabling the dry signal to be blended with the processed signal from just a hint of reverb to deep, cavernous echoes. The Dwell control adds extra flexibility, providing a full palette of reverb sound.

MODTM Kits are designed to give novice and experienced musicians the opportunity to build their own amps and effects pedals. All kits come with easy-to-follow instructions and use point-to-point wiring. A pre-drilled enclosure and all necessary parts are included. All you need to provide are hand tools, a soldering iron, and solder. The effect pedal operates on a 9-V battery. For a longer lasting option, a 9-V adapter can be purchased separately. For a complete listing of MODTM Kits’s DIY kits, visit www.modkitsdiy.com.


Wolfson Microelectronics Offers New DAC and Audio Transceiver

Wolfson Microelectronics releases its new DAC and audio transceiver

Wolfson Microelectronics announced that its WM8740 high-performance digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and its WM8804 S/PDIF audio transceiver provide outstanding hi-fi audio for Iriver’s best-selling Astell & Kern AK100 portable audio system, which delivers the ultimate portable hi-fi audio experience.