The December 2013 Edition of audioXpress is Now Available Online

In this month’s issue, you can read our review of the elysia xfilter 500, an extraordinary equalizer “Made in Germany” in a 500-series format that offers a precise stereo image based on computer-selected, stepped potentiometers and low-tolerance film capacitors. In our Standards Review column, we address the new Audiobus and Apple’s Inter-App Audio technologies for iOS platforms. The T&M series offers the second part of the excellent “Designing for Ultra-Low THD+N” article by Bruce Hofer. Read more about reinventing low-frequency devices to fit compact sizes in the Mike Klasco and Steve Tatarunis series, “The Lowdown on Woofers, Subwoofers, and Bass Shakers.” And don’t forget our monthly Sound Control article series in which Richard Honeycutt discusses absorption and why it is considered “The Oldest Tool in the Modern Acoustician’s Toolbox.”

In this issue, Shannon Becker interviews Ken Heng Gin Loo and learns why DIY audio projects appeal to this applications engineer.

In our project-oriented section, you can read about The Cathedrals speaker system designed by Ken Bird and read our second serving on “Tips to Resurrect a Classic Speaker or Design a New System” by Thomas Perazella. Also, find out how to “Build a Sound Level Meter and Spectrum Analyzer” in another great project article by Ron Tipton.

Check it out at www.gotomyxpress.com

Visit audioxpress.com/subscriptions for information on how you can receive a monthly magazine copy wherever you go.

Ardán Audio Focusing on “Audio Elevation Enhancement” Products

ARDANArdán Audio is an Irish company that focuses on the design and sale of Audio Elevation Enhancement products to the professional, studio, home recording, home cinema, and other related markets. Audio Elevation? Yes, Ardán designs and manufactures the most innovative monitor support stands we have seen. Not only do they enable you to detach the speaker from other surfaces, but they also provide vibration isolation, rotation, and tilt “aiming.”

Ardán (pronounced Ar-dawn) is the Gaelic word for “platform,” “high place,” or “stage.” Its Elevation Pro EVP-M1 Speaker Stands were introduced in 2011 and have slowly been building a strong reputation among its users.

Ardán was founded by Brent Finlayson Smith and John Gallen, who stated, “Since mechanical vibration and surface coloration have a significant effect on the sonic performance heard out front, our starting point is the desire to enhance and elevate a user’s existing speaker investment in their own environment, so that they truly hear the underlying quality that is already there but not being fully exploited.”

Ardán Audio says they have now another 20 additional products in the works, which are all manufactured to high specifications in Italy and shipped from Dublin, Ireland.

Ardán Audio
www.ardanaudio.com

SSL Live Console Ships to Customers and Sales Partners

Solid State Logic (SSL) has been a dominant console designer and manufacturer for music, broadcast, and post production for more than 35 years. However, SSL had never produced a product specifically designed for live audio production, until now. SSL’s reputation and business was built on visionary operational design and benchmark-quality standards in audio reproduction and manufacturing so expectations were high.

SSLLiveFrankfurt The early response to the SSL Live from front of house (FOH) and monitor engineers has been extremely positive. The more operators who see it, the more the excitement surrounding the console grows. The console’s operational flexibility, sonic performance, and the sensation of “finger painting with audio” via the gestural touchscreen are among the highlights. The on-board effects and channel processing toolkit and the SSL Blacklight system, which simplifies running audio and control between console and stageboxes, delivers a surprising amount of power at a compelling price.

The first three consoles shipped to UK-based Britannia Row, a global tour production company, for use on Peter Gabriel’s European “Back to Front” tour. Another two shipped to SGroup in France. Console manufacturing production for 2013 has been sold out since July. Details of the new commercial partner network for SSL Live are available on the SSL website.

SSL’s CEO Antony David said, “The on-schedule completion of the new Live console is an important milestone for SSL. This has been one of the biggest developments we have undertaken for some time and marks the first application of our new Tempest digital platform. We have been very encouraged by the response from mix engineers, rental companies and our channel partners since we presented the console in April this year. Demand has substantially outstripped our initial production plans, but we will return to reasonable lead times by early 2014.”

SSL-UK-HQ-Staff-CelebrationSince April, SSL has expanded its Live product team with key hires that include Jason Kelly as Live Consoles Product Manager based in the UK office and Jay Easley as Vice President of Live Consoles to lead SSL’s live sector sales operation in North America. Certified training courses have also commenced, with a focus on commercial partners and initial purchasers. A training program for the wider operator community is scheduled to begin in January 2014.

The SSL Live will be exhibited at ISE in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) in February 2014 and at Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt (Germany) in March 2014. In June 2014, the company will also exhibit at InfoComm (Las Vegas, NV).

Solid State Logic
www.solidstatelogic.com

New Intelligent Amplifiers for the Install Market

Lab.gruppen, a pioneer in the DSP integration concept and amplifier control, recently introduced the new localized utility compact intelligent amplification (LUCIA) decentralized installation amplifier range.

Putting power and audio processing where it is required, Lab.gruppen’s LUCIA is a compact, two-channel, Energy-Star compliant, Class-D amplifier platform. Designed with installation speed and easy configuration in mind, LUCIA combines cutting edge low-impedance amplifier electronics with advanced DSP into the smallest amplifier the company has produced.

LabGruppenRS7866_LUCIALUCIA is designed for small-scale AV applications where high-quality audio is required, without the complication and additional cost of a distributed system with centralized rack-mounted amplification, matrixing, and processing. LUCIA also offers system designers a logical and cost-efficient solution that is ideally suited for corporate boardrooms, classrooms, small lecture theaters, museum multimedia areas, and retail units.

The company offers four models with two power configurations—2 × 60 W and 2 × 120 W—each available with either a four-in, four-out matrix-mixer and configurable DSP features (LUCIA 120/2M, LUCIA 240/2M) or in a basic two-in, two-out configuration (LUCIA 120/2 and LUCIA 240/2). While all the models are equipped with DSP pre-configured “out of the box” for operation in typical applications, the Matrix variants also facilitate easy setup via USB connection (with Windows and Mac LUCIA configuration software) to meet specific system requirements.

Its new Enhanced Bass Profile, a DSP feature, delivers improved low-frequency performance from standard full-range in-ceiling or surface-mount loudspeakers, which may negate the need for a separate subwoofer.

These amplifiers also offer an Auto Load Sense feature, in which the device automatically measures a connected loudspeaker load’s impedance and adjusts itself to deliver full power at all impedances (2 to 8 Ω).

All LUCIA models also come with intelligent fan control for silent operation at low volumes and low noise even at high output when the fan is operational.

Each LUCIA model could conceivably drive up to 16 speakers on a localized low-impedance system (eight per channel if the loudspeakers were 16 Ω).

Lab.gruppen
www.labgruppen.com

Mackie Adds The MRmk3 Series

MackieMRmk3SeriesThe new MRmk3 Series Studio Monitors were among the highlights when Mackie recently refreshed the line. The MRmk3 Series includes three affordable, professional monitors with optimized electronics and custom-matched amplifiers/drivers, complemented by a powerful subwoofer (MR10Smk3). Featuring custom-tuned ports and rugged all-wood MDF cabinets packed with acoustic absorption material, the new Mackie MRmk3 full-range monitors include the 5.25” MR5mk3, the 6.5” MR6mk3, and the 8” MR8mk3.

The Mackie MRmk3 are active monitors specifically designed to reveal the full frequency range in music recording and mixing, optimized with a minimum-diffraction waveguide system and different sized polypropylene woofers together with a 1” silk dome tweeter and Class-A/B amplifiers rated from 50 to 120 WRMS.

All the units feature high- and low-frequency level adjustments with 100-Hz and 3.25-kHz shelving in the rear panels, featuring XLR, TRS, and RCA input connectors.

Mackie
www.mackie.com

High-Resolution Audio at the 2014 International CES

CES2014LasVegasAudioWebThe Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announces an increased focus on next-generation high-resolution audio (HRA) technology in response to growing market demand. To address the topic, CEA has planned a new TechZone, the Hi-Res Audio Experience, and several conferences at the upcoming 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Produced by CEA, the Hi-Res Audio Experience will showcase the latest high-resolution audio content coming to market and the latest technologies that will give consumers the highest quality listening experience. The 2014 International CES, will showcase the latest high-resolution audio content coming to market and the latest technologies that will give consumers the highest quality listening experience. The show will take place January 7-10, 2014, in Las Vegas, NV.

“Market trends indicate that consumers are poised to embrace high-resolution audio, creating tremendous new opportunities for CE manufacturers and the music industry,” says Karen Chupka, senior vice president, International CES and corporate business strategy, CEA. “With recent HRA announcements from a number of music labels, digital retailers and CE companies, we’ve created this new TechZone to help drive category growth and give our attendees the opportunity to explore the game-changing quality of high-resolution audio. Visitors also will meet leading creatives from across the industry.”

Located in The Venetian’s Bellini Ballroom, the Hi-Res Audio Experience is anchored by HD Tracks, a high-resolution digital download pioneer and industry leader .The TechZone also features companies including Acoustic Sounds’ Super HiRez Store, Blue Coast Music, Mytek Digital, and Native DSD.

A variety of high-resolution audio products also will be demonstrated or on display and several manufacturers will have products on display in their rooms in the Venetian Tower and at their booths across the CES show floor.

“For the past 25 years, my brother and I have dedicated our lives and our company to pushing the envelope in sound quality and we apply this same passion to music downloads,” said David Chesky, co-founder and CEO of HD Tracks. “Now we are pleased to join with a number of other artists, music stores, and electronic companies at CES to take high-fidelity music reproduction to a new level that was never before even imaginable.”

In addition to cutting edge exhibits, the Hi-Res Audio Experience will feature its own conference track at the 2014 International CES:

  • Welcome to the Hi-Res Music World, 1:00–2:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 7, 2014: Top executives from major and independent labels, along with their digital retail partners, will discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with licensing and distributing high-resolution music.
  • Meet the Hi-Res Music Creators, 3:00–4:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 7, 2014: Explore several topics including the key advantages to working in high-resolution formats, the availability of recording tools, and the importance of metadata to enhance the overall listening experience.
  • Hi-Res Audio for Every Lifestyle, 1:00–2:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 8, 2014: Examine the variety of high-resolution devices that are available today and the challenges related to marketing and promoting them.

CEA research shows consumers are ready to embrace high-resolution audio. The research indicates the appeal of high-quality audio electronics extends beyond enthusiasts and that the appeal of high-resolution audio extends far beyond higher quality audio devices. CEA found 4:10 (39%) of consumers with a moderate interest in audio indicate they are willing to pay more for high-quality audio electronics devices and that nearly 6:10 (60%) of consumers with a moderate interest in audio are willing to pay more for higher-quality digital music. Nine in 10 consumers say sound quality is the most important component of a quality audio experience.

Companies interested in exhibiting in the new Hi-Res Audio Experience should contact Kristen Nafziger at knafziger@ce.org or 703-907-7648. For more information, visit CESweb.org.

Light, Sound, and Wireless Magic from AwoX

Building on the success of its Awox StriimLIGHT Bluetooth light bulb, AwoX launched the AwoX StriimLIGHT Wi-Fi LED bulb, which is equipped with a 10-W speaker

Building on the success of its Awox StriimLIGHT Bluetooth light bulb, AwoX launched the AwoX StriimLIGHT Wi-Fi LED bulb, which is equipped with a 10-W speaker

After causing a market sensation earlier in 2013, French-based AwoX has expanded its AwoX StriimLIGHT range of innovative “musical light bulbs.” The company designed the world’s first LED light bulb with a built-in 10-W speaker. This revolutionary device enables users to play music from their smartphones, tablets, and computers via a Bluetooth connection.

Following the device’s market success, AwoX introduced two new musical light bulbs: the AwoX StriimLIGHT mini and the AwoX StriimLIGHT Wi-Fi. The latter has a much greater range than the Bluetooth version and supports a dimming function, enabling finer control of lighting and mood. With the device’s audio synchronization capability, users will also be able to add as many bulbs as they wish, creating a congenial multiroom solution with powerful sound.

On the lighting side, AwoX StriimLIGHT Wi-Fi has a dimmer switch to control the ambience. AwoX has also announced the launch of the AwoX StriimLIGHT mini to fit an E14 socket, which shares the same characteristics as the Awox StriimLIGHT Bluetooth. Equipped with a 3-W speaker, AwoX StriimLIGHT mini is easy to install.

The company is currently selling its products in Europe and plans to make its three products available in the US and Canada.

striimLIGHT_mini_1146

AwoX is a board member of the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), the audio/video interconnection standards organization, and holds several major international patents for its connected technologies and multimedia products.

AwoX
www.awox.com

Audio Engineering Society (AES) Welcomes New President, Dr. Sean Olive

The 135th Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention, held Thursday, October 17, through Sunday, October 20, 2013, at the Javits Center in New York City, was hailed as one of the AES’s biggest successes in recent memory. Now, the AES prepares to welcome Dr. Sean Olive as its new president, taking over from outgoing President Frank Wells. Currently serving as Director, Acoustic Research for HARMAN International, Olive is based in Northridge, CA. His location is ideal since the 137th AES Convention will take place in Los Angeles in the fall of 2014.

Dr. Sean Olive

Dr. Sean Olive

Olive’s experience is wide-ranging. His education includes a B. Mus. from University of Toronto, a M. Mus. in sound recording from McGill University and a PhD in sound reproduction from McGill. He served as an audio research scientist for the National Research Council of Canada for several years, before joining the HARMAN team in 1993. He has stayed active in academia, teaching classes at UCLA on occasion, and has been involved in various aspects of the AES’s technical committees and research initiatives. He displays an unwavering passion for audio and the AES organization, and his unique perspective as a musician, educator, recording engineer/producer, audio researcher and consumer places him in an ideal position to guide the course of the society through the next year and help plot that course for coming years.

Among Olive’s goals is to continue diversifying AES’s scope and its membership. Olive said, “The recording industry has been at times resistant to change, and we are still feeling the effects of the failure to fully embrace digital technology. The ways that consumers are experiencing music are evolving at a rapid rate, with audio as a mobile experience now being much more common than a living room with a hi-fi system. Headphone sales are through the roof, and the AES has a chance to help improve the consistency and quality of the mobile experience. As our membership continues to move toward this world, along with the worlds of film, sound contracting, live sound, automotive audio and gaming, we need to further explore these avenues to better serve our members. There is also huge room for AES member expansion into the so-called ‘BRIC’ countries – Brazil, Russia, India, and China – and we plan to increase our outreach in those regions. The AES has a tremendous leadership role and a strong membership base, and I look forward to leveraging these assets to assist in the ongoing transition to the AES of the 21st century.”

For more information on the Audio Engineering Society and upcoming events, visit http://www.aes.org/.

Q&A: Daniel Weiss – Audio Engineer Focuses on the “Masters”

Daniel Weiss founded Weiss Engineering in 1985. The company designs and manufactures digital audio equipment for mastering studios.

Daniel Weiss founded Weiss Engineering in 1985. The company designs and manufactures digital audio equipment for mastering studios.

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

DANIEL WEISS: I live in Uster, a small city close to Zurich in Switzerland. In the 1970s and 1980s, I played music in a band, first as a violin player and later as the bass guitarist, which seemed preferable to the other band members. I also built various synthesizers, amplifiers, and speakers. I did a four-year apprenticeship as an electronics technician and during that time two friends and I formed a company called “White Amplifiers.” We built amplifiers and speakers for musicians in our spare time. After the apprenticeship, I studied electronics engineering and eventually graduated with a BSEE.

SHANNON: In 1979, you joined Studer-Revox as an electronics engineer working in the digital audio lab. Can you share details regarding your work on the sampling frequency converter design?

DANIEL: In 1979, Willi Studer decided to enter the digital audio era and established the “PCM laboratory” with almost all the lab members being newly recruited engineers and technicians. We were kind of an isolated group as the other labs were slightly suspicious of digital audio technology. We also had a hard time (at least it seemed to me) defining digital audio products that would make sense in a mainly analog world.

There were several digital audio recorders around at the beginning of the 1980s (e.g., Sony, 3M, Soundstream, JVC, Mitsubishi, etc.). There wasn’t much standardization back then so the sampling rates and interface formats greatly varied. Thus, it made sense to create a universal sampling rate converter with custom wired interfaces. This became the SFC16, and I did most of the hardware design. It was a 6HU/19” unit with digital filters built in so-called distributed arithmetic. It is a very clever architecture that avoids the need for DSP or multiplier chips. For most of the units sold—I think 30 of them were manufactured—I also did custom interfaces.

One of the largest setups of a 102 Series system was used at Sony Music in New York in the form of the IBIS digital mixing console.

One of the largest setups of a 102 Series system was used at Sony Music in New York in the form of the IBIS digital mixing console.

SHANNON: What other types of audio products did you design? Can you share some of the challenges involved with the design(s)?

DANIEL: My colleagues at the PCM lab pursued various other projects, such as A/D and D/A design, analog reconstruction filter design (I also was involved), research in de-noising, and a preview unit for the delay required in vinyl cutting. This resulted in a A/D and D/A 6HU box, with enough memory to do the delay. It was not a simple task back then.

As Studer was mainly a tape recorder company, the design of a digital tape recorder was inevitable. The first model was an eight-channel unit using the newly established Digital Audio Stationary Head (DASH) format, which enabled you to interchange tapes with ones recorded on other DASH recorders. I did the audio processing unit for that eight-channel recorder, which was required for interpolation in case the data read from the tape could not be reconstructed via the error correction scheme employed.

Those were interesting times at Studer, as we were pioneers in the pulse code modulation (PCM) audio field. We did many side projects, such as a digital sine generator for measuring purposes (Audio Precision did not exist back then) or a study on TIM measurements with a new approach or a PWM-based analog track on the digital tape and so forth.

SHANNON: In 1985 you founded your own company, Weiss Engineering (www.weiss.ch). Initially, your company focused solely on designing and manufacturing digital audio equipment for mastering studios. How and why did you select that specific market niche?

DANIEL: One day in 1984, when I still was at Studer, a customer came to our lab and asked for an interface between a Sony F1 portable digital audio recorder and a Sony 1610 digital audio recorder. The F1 did not have any digital I/O, so it had to be a custom made interface box. Studer does not do such custom work, so I made that interface for the customer in my spare time. The customer was Ben Bernfeld, a recording and mastering engineer from Harmonia Mundi Acustica in Germany. He knew exactly what was required in terms of equipment for CD mastering (or pre-mastering to be exact). So we decided to build a modular digital audio system to interface and process digital audio. I did the design and manufacturing while he organized the sales. CD pre-mastering was popular in the US mainly, so we concentrated on that market.

SHANNON: Tell us about Weiss’s first product. Is it still being sold today?

The potential of a Weiss Engineering Mastering Studio “Mastering Mansion Madrid” uses  Weiss Gambit Series equipment, which are the white faceplate units on the left.

The potential of a Weiss Engineering Mastering Studio “Mastering Mansion Madrid” uses Weiss Gambit Series equipment, which are the white faceplate units on the left.

DANIEL: The first system became the Harmonia Mundi Acustica BW-102 unit, starting with modules for F1, 1610 interfacing, a digital high-pass filter for DC offset elimination, a digital de-emphasis and a digital level control module.

Over the years, dozens of modules were added. We even did digital mixing consoles based on the BW-102. The largest one was a 32-channel console with four auxiliary buses. Another one was a 24-channel configuration with GML fader automation used by Sony Classical in New York. Those consoles were a bit awkward in terms of hardware requirements, because the BW-102 initially was designed for two-channel applications. Later, we also upgraded most of the modules to handle 96 kHz. Quite a few customers still use the BW-102, we even occasionally sell modules. Technically it is still up-to-date with 96/24 capability and 32-bit floating point processing.

After the BW-102, we started the Gambit Series with 19” units (e.g., analog to digital, digital to analog, parametric equalizer, dynamics processor, de-noiser/de-clicker, sampling rate converter, and more).

SHANNON: In 2000, Weiss entered the high-end consumer audio market with a new product line. What was the impetus behind that decision?

DANIEL: We thought that our DAC1 DAC could find a market within the high-end community. So we built the Medea DAC, based on the DAC1, to test the waters. The Medea became a huge success and it did not take long for customers to ask for more. So we built the Jason CD transport to complement the Medea. Other high-end products followed, up to the latest one, the MAN301 network player.

SHANNON: With the two separate aspects of your company—professional equipment for mastering studios and high-end consumer products—you are in the unique position of controlling, in part, the “production” of the masters and their reproductions. Do you think there is a direct correlation between the two “worlds?”

The Weiss 102 Series consists of digital audio processing modules suited for CD mastering, mixing, and digital audio signal processing. You can configure a system according to your requirements.

The Weiss 102 Series consists of digital audio processing modules suited for CD mastering, mixing, and digital audio signal processing. You can configure a system according to your requirements.

DANIEL: Correlation maybe in that both mastering engineers and audiophiles are interested in getting topnotch sonic quality and ergonomics. We can use our design philosophy—with the utmost transparency—with both markets. But in the end, we simply supply tools. The mastering engineer needs to know how to use them properly.

SHANNON: To what do you attribute your company’s continuing success?

DANIEL: At first, it was the fact that we built the right product at the right time (i.e., when the CD took off there was a huge demand for decent audio processing in the digital domain). In the consumer market, I think our customers like our “no bull” approach. I don’t hold back with my opinions about $1,000 mains cords, gold-plated fuses, small wood blocks for acoustics treatment, or CD demagnetizing, and so forth. I wrote some white papers firmly based on the laws of physics on various audio topics in an attempt to fight the snake oil with facts. This is something I like about the pro audio people, they are down-to-earth guys.

SHANNON: Tell us about your favorite high-end consumer product? What makes it different from other products on the market today?

DANIEL: One of my favorites is the MAN301 network player—from our product line, of course. It is an incredibly versatile unit for CD playback and ripping, and metadata tagging/artwork. It uses the Gracenote database and this is hardly seen on any other high-end network player. It also includes file playback (including DSD), DAC, preamplifier functions, and so forth. I use one at home and enjoy it every day. We continue to develop additional software for the MAN301 (e.g., for room equalization, creative equalization, vinyl simulation, and so on).

I also like to listen to as many different speakers as possible to explore the various philosophies and designs. I think the speaker/room system has, by far, the greatest potential for improvement of the whole audio chain. Audiophiles should acknowledge that and stop messing around with mains cords. The industry still has a long way to go when it comes to speaker/room optimization.

SHANNON: Could you share your opinion on mastering for digital file distribution and, in particular, the mastering for iTunes initiative?

DANIEL: If it is mastering for an uncompressed format, then the procedure should not be different from a standard CD mastering—except maybe if the format is at a higher sampling rate and/or word length than for a CD.

Mastering for iTunes is different, as it means mastering for a lossy format (for the time being at least). But I think the best thing about that initiative is Apple imposes specific criteria on the technical quality of the supplied music, in particular that the music must not be clipped. There are also a number of recommendations available at http://images.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/docs/mastered_for_itunes.pdf.

The Weiss-designed MAN301 network player’s front boasts a sleek design. It is a versatile unit that uses the Gracenote database.

The Weiss-designed MAN301 network player’s front boasts a sleek design. It is a versatile unit that uses the Gracenote database.

SHANNON: Where do you see the audio market headed in the next five years? Do you think we will eventually evolve to “high-end” streaming audio services rather than downloading files?

DANIEL: There always will be both variants. Many people like to “own” the music so they can play it anytime and anywhere. And, I think the emotional relationship to the music is different if you’ve got it “on file” and not just via a stream.

Streaming services are great to check out new music. They should have a “buy” button on their websites though. Streaming during travel can get expensive and/or can be annoying when the stream gets disrupted in the tunnel or because of too many people try to get streams on a train, for instance.

Also it seems that for artists streaming services are far from lucrative. That could be changed maybe if they would simplify the buying process right from the streaming site.

In any case, the majority of high-end playback systems will use computer-based playback devices because it is so much more convenient and easily enables people to discover new music from streaming services or even in their own libraries.

Drawmer Ships Its MC2.1 Monitor Controller

Drawmer MC2.1 Monitor Controller

Drawmer MC2.1 Monitor Controller

The new Drawmer MC2.1 Monitor Controller combines the complexity of several mix-checking features with the fidelity and transparency of the highest quality monitoring circuit. This versatile and intuitive unit offers multiple inputs and outputs, including a dedicated mono output, speaker-level matching, two headphone amplifiers, mix-checking controls, and talkback, resulting in a complete studio tool.

The MC2.1 uses an ultra-low noise and transparent circuit design with a linear power supply, low-hum toroidal transformer, and internal voltage selector switch with timed relay protection on all three stereo-balanced speaker outputs. It also offers a dedicated mono speaker/subwoofer output, to prevent power up/down bangs. The unit features comprehensive mix-checking facilities including Left/Right Cut, Phase Reverse, Mono, Dim, and Mute. The controller provides paralleled custom quad potentiometers on main and headphone level controls for excellent channel matching and a smooth feel.

The four inputs use balanced Neutrik XLR connectors, with a balanced Neutrik XLR/jack combination input and shared auxiliary phono or 3.5-mm jack. The unit is packaged in a rugged steel 2U chassis with a stylish brushed aluminum cover.

Drawmer is Yorkshire-UK-based company, founded in the 1980s by Ivor Drawmer, whose passion was designing audio circuits.

Drawmer Electronics, Ltd.
www.drawmer.com