Originally Posted by slybasil
Any news on the pre-amp? Photos, features, availability...?
After a couple of hours in tomorrow morning (if I can stay away from the phone for that amount of time), I will have all the revisions compete for the preamp boards. We have opted for several features that we didn’t initially intend on. It’s really nice to finally see the final unit come together.
The unit will offer a VFD display, optical rotary encoder, and a remote control. It will offer 2 sets of XLR inputs and outputs, 3 sets of RCA inputs, 2 sets of RCA outputs, DC trigger input, and 2 DC trigger outputs. Through the software, any of the inputs can be set to an HT bypass input, and the volume will be automatically set to -0db when selected. We have also added an absolute phase inversion, and input offset adjustment which will be controlled through software as well.
The unit will be completely balanced input to output, and direct coupled. Only when you select an RCA input will the phase inverter be switched in so the balanced outputs will still be intact. The preamp will be a buffered, passive preamp all the way up to -0db, and then will switch in the line stage at any levels higher than that. This will offer optimum sonics for up to unity gain which is normally loud enough for most systems, then keep going with the line stage should you need more volume.
Our volume control is made discretely with relays and Dale resistors, that’s right no volume chips. Most companies take the easy street and use a volume chip to attenuate, but this causes the audio to become more constrained, and congested. Basically there are 8 different attenuators that offer a total of 128db of attenuation in 256, 0.5db steps if so desired.
We have opted to not offer a built-in DAC option due to the complexity. We’re trying to keep this preamp reasonably priced (not sure how much yet), so it had to go. As a result, we will be offering our DAC as a standalone, and with additional analog inputs. The DAC will use nothing but the finest, the ESS Sabre DAC, which offers the best sonics available from any chip to date.
2009 will be a busy, but productive year for us. We plan to have the preamp available in early to mid Jan. We will start working on the integrated next week, and plan to have those available in Feb-March. We plan to start on the DAC at the same time, and have it ready for Feb-March as well.
Oh yeah, if customs would ever release our modules for the Mini MC, we can start building those. It turns out that they were sent without proper paperwork, and they aren’t being very helpful. I don’t think the holidays are helping the issue much either. If they weren’t so hard to get or so expensive, we could’ve ordered another pallet weeks ago. For those of you interested, please hang in there, it will all work out for the best in the end.
Sorry, no pics just yet.
Thank you for asking,