Antelope Audio Displays Zodiac Platinum DSD DAC and Rubicon Preamplifier

AntelopeAntelope Audio displayed its new Zodiac Platinum direct-stream digital (DSD) DAC and Rubicon A/D D/A Preamplifier at CES International 2014 in Las Vegas. The demonstrations explored Antelope’s upsampling innovations and the role that superior clocking plays in an audiophile digital listening environment.

The Zodiac Platinum brings the digital-audio listening experience to a new level with its unique 256x DSD upsampling mode, which enables users to upsample DSD64 and DSD128 files to DSD256—unleashing the true potential of DSD.

In addition to the Zodiac Platinum, Antelope Audio showed its CES 2013 Innovations Award-winning Rubicon Atomic A/D D/A preamplifier—a DSD128, 24-bit, 384-kHz converter, phono stage preamplifier, and headphone amplifier with an integrated atomic clock. During the presentations at CES, the Zodiac Platinum and the Rubicon were connected to a pair of ATC SM100-AMT studio reference loudspeakers and there were A/B listening comparisons between analog source material and digital recordings using Antelope Audio playback systems.

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 ( 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

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.

Member Profile: Bruce Heran

Bruce Heran

Bruce Heran

Member Name: Bruce Heran

Location: Sierra Vista, AZ

Education: Bruce has a BS in Biology and he has taken some master’s levels courses.

Member Status: He has been reading audioXpress for a number of years.

Occupation: Bruce co-owns and is vice president of design for Oddwatt Audio. The company specializes in high-quality audio kits (mostly valve designs). Prior to that, he was a project manager for a government defense contractor.

Audio Interests: Bruce is a fan of anything analog. He enjoys designing high-end valve equipment and listening to music on vinyl.

Most Recent Purchase: Because he is willing to design and build almost anything, Bruce never knows what he might buy. However, his most recent purchase was an Audio Technica AT-33PTG/II phonographic cartridge.

Bruce Heran's workshop

Bruce Heran’s workshop

Current Audio Projects: Bruce is working on a digital remote control integrated valve preamplifier with a valve phono stage. It also has a solid-state phono preamplifier and an economy integrated valve stereo amplifier.

Dream System: Bruce’s dream system contains Martin Logan Montis speakers (he currently owns the Vistas); a pair of Martin Logan Grotto or Depth subwoofers; KT120 mono block power amplifiers of his own design (he already has them); a remote-control preamplifier of his own design with phono stage (he already has this, too); an OPPO BDP105 Blu-ray player (to replace his OPPO 83SE); a Sota Millennium Turntable (to replace the Sota Moonbeam he currently owns); and several phonograph cartridges.

Member Profile: Dennis Green

Member Name: Dennis L. Green

Location: Farmington Hills, MI

Education: BSEE

Occupation: Retired

Member Status: Dennis has been a subscriber since the first issues of Audio Amateur and Speaker Builder. He switched to audioXpress after their demise, mostly for the component ads and the solid-state and speaker projects.

Affiliations: Dennis is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Audio Engineering Society (AES), and Southeastern Michigan Woofer and Tweeter Marching Society (SMWTMS).

Audio Interests: His primary audio interests focus on homebrew audio and field recording.

Most Recent Purchase: Dennis recently added an Apex Jr. subwoofer amp to his audio lineup.

Current Audio Projects: He is currently working on an optical sensor-based servo control upgrade for the Kilmanas Rabco tonearm featured in an Audio Amateur article in March 1976.

Dennis recently moved and has a temporary setup for his vast sound system.

Dennis recently moved and has a temporary setup for his vast sound system.

Dream System: Dennis said his dream system includes a home theater using Quad ESLs in a custom room. However, Dennis said he is “not at all unhappy” with his present system.” His current system includes: Swan IV satellites built from an April 1988 Speaker Builder article, four Peerless 8” midrange woofers (each side in concentric Sonotubes with sand damping in the space), and a Cerwin-Vega 189E  driver (salvaged from the movie Earthquake Sensurround system) in an enclosure that formerly contained a Jolly Giant system. The Jolly Giant system used a Hartly 24-inch “tweeter” and was also built using a Speaker Builder article. (Dennis intended some sarcasm here since that speaker radiated more energy at 20 kHz than at 20 Hz.) His present system measures ±1 dB from 60 to 16 Hz and –10 dB at 12 Hz.

Dennis also has a Swan crossover modified with Linkwitz-Riley stage for a subwoofer (his design) and a Lampton preamp built from an Audio Amateur schematic. However, his design added switching and a rack-mount enclosure. He restored Quad 303 and Dyna Stereo 120 power amps and a Leach Low TIM amp (built from plans in Audio magazine) that are temporarily driving the subwoofer (a new amp will be installed soon). He said his system is not very presentable since he has moved to a new home and remodeling projects have taken priority.

Digigram Researcher to Discuss New Automatic Gain Control Methodology at AES

AES135DigigramSturmelWebFrench company Digigram announced that its research project manager, Dr. Nicolas Sturmel, will present a paper and poster at the 135th AES Convention in New York City on Saturday, October 19, from 5:00 to 6:30 PM. The paper, “Automatic Analog Preamp Gain Control Using Digital Command,” addresses the problem of designing an automatic gain control (AGC) in the absence of dedicated hardware (e.g., voltage-controlled amplifiers).

Dr. Sturmel will discuss how Digigram overcame the challenges of fixed-gain steps and variable delay of the gain command to arrive at a proposed solution: a simple yet high-quality, digitally controlled automatic gain using only 10 MIPS of processing power from Digigram’s CANCUN high-end USB sound card, plus the built-in, high-end, digitally controlled mic preamplifier.

Dr. Sturmel is in charge of advanced research at Digigram. He holds a PhD in signal processing and was a postdoctoral fellow at Institut Langevin ESPCI in Paris and GIPSA-lab Grenoble. To learn more, visit

Lawo Introduces RAVENNA-Based Commentary Solution for Standard IP Networks

Lawo LCU_SetupWebLawo’s cost-efficient and flexible Commentary Unit (LCU) was developed in close cooperation with Host Broadcast Services (HBS), a Swiss company specializing in producing multilateral video and audio feeds for TV and radio from world-class international sports events. The fully digital system is based on RAVENNA, a real-time audio-over-IP networking technology that enables the use of standard IP networks to interconnect venues and devices, which provides savings in cabling while increasing the system’s flexibility.

“Good commentary plays a key role in the success of global events. The Lawo Commentary solution was developed in the very best interest of the Rights Holding Broadcasters of these events”, says Jörg Sander, CTO at HBS.

The LCU is designed to be easy-to-use for commentators, freeing them to focus on their tasks rather than managing the technology. It provides an intuitive user interface for up to three commentators per LCU. Lawo quality mic pre-amps and uncompressed real-time audio-over-IP (24 bit/48 kHz) ensure audio quality. All activity is indicated in a backlit LCD, indicating each control’s label and current setting. The unit also features three coordination lines, again with individual volume and pan settings. A Help key completes the user interface, giving commentators fast access to a support engineer. For emergency operation, the device provides an analog Mix Out and an analog input to feed the phones’ monitor mix. The Aux In can also be used to feed external sources (e.g., audio recorders) locally to the LCU.

The LCU is complemented by the Lawo Commentary Control Software, which replaces the commentary control units usually associated with two-part commentary systems, providing an integrated user interface to operate a complete commentary installation. The software is optimized for touchscreen operation, offering easy and efficient support for up to 20 commentators per screen. It shows the real-time status of all connected devices and manages all LCUs within the network, as well as the system’s DALLIS frame, which is Lawo’s modular I/O system for interfacing the commentary installation to the outside world. The software also enables a support engineer to listen to any signal of any LCU. Its remote-control facilities mean that most help requests can be resolved with a mouse click. To learn more, visit

Linear Systems Offers New Dual JFETs

Linear Integrated Sytems now offers the LSK 489, a new monolithic dual JFET.

Linear Integrated Sytems now offers the LSK 489, a new monolithic dual JFET.

Linear Integrated Systems, a full-service manufacturer of specialty linear semiconductors, now offers the LSK 489, a 1.8-nV at 1-kHz, low-capacitance, N-channel monolithic dual JFET. The LSK 489 is part of a family of ultra-low-noise, dual JFETs specifically designed to provide users with less expensive solutions for obtaining tighter drain-source saturation current (IDSS) matching and better thermal tracking.

Available in surface-mount and ROHS-compliant versions, the LSK 489 is an improved, functional replacement for JFETs that have similar noise characteristics but greater gate-to-drain capacitance. The LSK 489 SOT-23 and SOIC packages are ideal for space-limited circuits in audio and instrumentation applications. LSK 489 available packages are: TO-71; SOT-23-6L, SOIC-8L. The LSK 489 combines a noise level nearly as low as the LSK 389 with lower gate-to-drain capacitance, 4 pF vs. 25 pF.

The LSK 389 and the LSK 489 feature unique monolithic dual-design construction, interleaving both JFETs on the same silicon piece to provide thermal tracking and a low-noise profile. Lead-free, ROHS-compliant versions are available. Linear Integrated Systems’s in-house fabrication and domestic factory stock guarantee short lead times, ensuring no disruption in production schedules.

The LSK 489 can be used in several applications (e.g., microphone amplifiers, phono preamplifiers, audio amplifiers and preamps, discrete low-noise op-amps, battery-operated audio preamps, audio mixer consoles, acoustic sensors, sonic imaging, instrumentation amplifiers, wideband differential amplifiers, high-speed comparators, and impedance converters.

For more information, visit

Member Profile: Costas Sarris

Costas Sarris

Costas Sarris

Member Name: Costas Sarris

Location: Thessaloniki / Greece

Education: B Sc, Business Computers

Occupation: Medical Engineer at Biolab Lp Diagnostics

Member Status (how long you have been subscribing to audioXpress): -

Affiliations: Monolith Magnetics audio transformers tester / Mythos Audio ( Hi End speaker Manufacturer ) / Member in most popular Hi Fi forums /

Audio Interests: Hand made Tube Audio projects. Power Tube Amps / Tube Pre-amps / Guitar amps

Most Recent Purchase: a pair of NOS 12AX7 tubes

Current Audio Projects: 2A3 Single Ended Tube Amp / 300B SE Power Tube amp / Single Ended Guitar Tube Amp based on 6L6GC power tube

Dream System: Speakers : Altec Model 19 Circa / Power Amp : Audio Note Ongaku / audio research ref 2 preamp

July New Products and News

Photo 1: The D-fend SA300 protects passive loudspeakers from excessive power conditions.

Eminence Speaker recently introduced the D-fend SA300, a fully programmable stand-alone unit designed to protect passive loudspeakers from excessive power conditions. With patent-pending technology, D-fend enables maximum driver performance while ensuring damage-free operation.

D-fend eliminates worries about blown speakers, HF drivers, or crossovers; or even worse, fire caused by excessive heat. D-fend keeps your system safe as well as your venue and audience. You simply set the thresholds and D-fend monitors and limits the amount of input power it passes through to the loudspeaker. It’s USB compatible and can be programmed to your specifications from a desktop or laptop.

Operating from a standard speaker-level signal, the D-fend SA300 requires no auxiliary power unless it is used in low-power applications. D-fend loudspeaker protection is ideal for system installers, PA gear rental companies, OEM manufacturers, and end-users who own passive loudspeakers.

The D-fend SA300 is available to resellers through Eminence’s dealers and distributor networks, and direct to consumers through For more information, visit and

Photo 2: KICKER Cush Talk headphones now provide a lightweight microphone and single multi-function button.

Cush Headphones Receive an Upgrade

KICKER has added more features and conveniences to its Cush Talk headphones. KICKER Cush Talk headphones now provide a lightweight microphone and single multifunction button for listening convenience and to easily transfer sound during phone calls. Cush Talk headphones also come with a protective storage pouch.

Featuring an ultra-lightweight design and thick over-the-ear cushions, Cush headphones provide comfort, detailed acoustics, a lavish fit, and now a microphone. With 54-mm speakers and a 118-dB maximum output, these headphones provide the bass response and tonal accuracy for which KICKER is known.

Cush Talk utilizes a 53”, Kevlar-reinforced, flat cable to provide more freedom for movement. The flat cable is smooth and less prone to tangles. Kevlar, the same material used in military and law enforcement bulletproof vests, enables the KICKER Ultra-Gauge cable to perform under the most strenuous factory testing. The angled “L” plug (0.125”, corrosion-resistant) provides strain relief and connects to any iPod, iPhone, MP3 player, or KICKER Docking System. For more information, visit

Photo 3: The SlimSub 10” aluminum driver is encased in a narrow enclosure with a flat flush-mount grill.

Triad Speakers Offers A Space-Saving Subwoofer

Triad Speakers, a leading custom manufacturer of home reference-quality loudspeakers, now offers the InWall Bronze/4 SlimSub. Measuring 3.938” deep to fit into a standard 4” deep wall cutout, the SlimSub’s flat grill, flush-mount design represents an aesthetic   improvement over the InWall Bronze/4 Sub, which protruded several inches from the wall.

The SlimSub delivers deep bass at high volumes, achieving a 109-dB maximum output from 40–80 Hz with –6-dB bass extension at 25 Hz. This performance rivals the company’s larger, 6” deep InWall Bronze/6 model.

The SlimSub fits into the same cut-out (size “V”) as the company’s other in-wall subwoofers, making it ideal for retrofit opportunities. To blend with a home’s décor, the SlimSub incorporates all three types of Triad’s Acoustimesh grill (wide, narrow, and frameless), which the company can custom paint-match at the factory.

The InWall Bronze/4 SlimSub is paired with Triad’s 350-W rack amplifier and costs $1,400. Dealers can contact Triad Speakers for more information at 800-666-6316 or visit

Photo 4: Updatemydynaco now makes a regulated power supply upgrade kit for the PAT-4 preamplifier.

Kit Updates Classic Dynaco Preamp

DIY and vintage audio upgrades received a boost with Updatemydynaco’s regulated power supply upgrade kit for Dynaco’s PAT-4 Preamplifier.

According to Dan Joffe, of Updatemy dynaco, the regulated power supply circuit board replaces the old silver capacitor can while reusing the same mounting holes.

Updatemydynaco, a product line of Akitika, makes upgrade kits for Dynaco’s classic solid-state audio equipment. A range of enhancements are available for the Stereo 120 power amp and PAT-4 preamplifier. For more information, visit

Photo 5: The Audion Super Sterling 120 is a single-ended KT120 amplifier.

Single-Ended KT120 Amplifier

True Audiophile, an exclusive US importer for Audion Tube Audio, introduced what it describes as the world’s first single-ended KT120 amplifier at T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach, CA (May 31–June 2, 2013). The Audion Super Sterling 120 uses Tungsol KT120 pentode tubes. The amplifier delivers approximately 24 W into an 8-Ω load. The amplifier has been designed to work with lower-efficiency loudspeakers from approximately 86 dB and up. This product marks Audion’s move to less efficient speaker dependency for its amplifiers. Audion designs and manufacturers the transformers and chokes. Even the capacitors are made to Audion’s exact specifications. To ensure quality, the chassis are finished in-house, including the powder coating and electroplating. Every component is hand built, usually point to point. The Super Sterling 120 will also be available in a parallel single-ended 40-W amplifier and a 60-W push-pull amplifier. Both are mono blocks. For more information, visit

Photo 6: B&C’s new DE980TN high-frequency driver shown here is just one of the new models B&C officially launched at the 2013 ProLight + Sound show.

B&C Adds New High-Frequency Drivers

B&C Speakers officially released several new and interesting products at the ProLight + Sound show, held in Frankfurt, Germany (April 10–13, 2013).

The updated range of 75-mm (3”) voice coil high-frequency drivers are particularly noteworthy. These drivers feature a robust titanium diaphragm that incorporates next-generation surround geometry with a new, optimized phase plug. Significant research has yielded a new coil former that solidifies the diaphragm with negligible increase in mass. The result is improved high-frequency linearity and reduced distortion. The 1.4” exit DE90TN (ferrite) and the DE980TN (neodymium) provide a solution for two-way point source enclosures, as well as for mounting a waveguide horn in multi-driver line array systems. The 2” exit DE985TN (neodymium) is also available.

The DE14 and the DE14TN are considered to be the next evolution of the industry standard DE12, a 1” exit ferrite magnet high-frequency driver. The 44-mm (1.7”) diaphragm driver features an optimized phase plug and rear cap that improve frequency response with lower distortion. Finally, the new DE254TN, 44-mm (1.7”) voice coil, titanium diaphragm high-frequency driver offers an excellent value in a 1.4” exit driver.

All new high-frequency driver models are now in production. For more information, visit

Photo 7: The MIGHTY G is a pocket-size D.I. box that plugs directly into most acoustic and electric guitars, basses, and keyboards.

sage ELECTRONICS Introduces a D.I. Box

sage ELECTRONICS now offers a direct input (D.I.) box called the SE-D.I.3 Mighty G. Designed by Quentin Meek of QZIC Engineering, in partnership with sage ELECTRONICS’s founder, Phillip Victor Bova, the MIGHTY G is a palm-size D.I. box featuring new old stock (N.O.S.) vintage germanium transistors.

The MIGHTY G is 3.5” long and 1.5” wide. It is housed in a showroom-finish die-cast enclosure. It fits in your pocket and plugs directly into most acoustic and electric guitars, basses, and keyboards. It has been designed to sound great, look important, and perform flawlessly in live and in-studio settings.

The unit is phantom powered. The input connector is a Switchcraft 0.25” male-switching jack. There is also a female input model (the SE-DI3 F MIGHTY G) for use with instruments with hard-to-get-to output connectors. The truly (not quasi) balanced output jack is an all-metal Switchcraft gold-plated three-pin XLR connector.

The MIGHTY G’s germanium transistors contribute a sonic presence not heard in passive transformer and integrated circuit (IC) direct-box designs.

The MIGHTY G features Class-A active electronics (no ICs) and hand-tested and matched vintage (N.O.S.) germanium transistors. The direct insertion (i.e., plugs directly into your instrument), eliminates signal loss, which lowers hum and interference in both single-coil and humbucking pickups. It is phantom powered (no batteries required), with symmetrically balanced outputs (not quasi balanced). A silent plug built into a 0.25” jack stops hums, squeals, and pops when the plug is removed from jack.

The SE-D.I.3 MIGHTY G costs approximately $300. It is available from the manufacturer. For more information, visit aX