completed . this custom kaimaitron 4 channel mic/instrument amplifier with internal /external source control room or headphone monitor section. built all of beaut fat handmade transistor amps into a 1960s brown leatherete portable case . also features a pretty awesome switchable germanium stage which can be sweet or stinging.
Archive for the 'custom recording equipment' Category
james duncan guitarist creationist-contortionist for dimmer and sjd and punches bort a telefunken V372 module off of ebay and asked me to add a preamping stage to it. so i made a neever preamp with a handmade mic inputting transformer AND a switchable germanium transistor stage as well , the germ amp does a smoothe sweet edge to top end when run at a ‘normal’ kind of level input. and if you boost it’s input to overload it – wow it can really get on fire – a very sustained burnt up kind of distortion. so - a really fat and clean clean sound OR varying degrees of audio assassination badness is available.
after james received the kaimai telefunking amp he quick-as wrote back -
“I hate to speak colloquially but “BRO” I had a crack on it last night and its off the hook. The neever section is just what i was looking for. Thick, warm and big.. I’m so very stoked. The Ger-mania section is crazy and will take a little getting used to, but in all honesty I was a little skeptical at first of the Pultec pre/guitar amp combo. Now its my number one recording guitar amp because of all the tubey tone possibilities. So I’m very much looking forward to finding out how to use it. (ek – not quite sure what james is saying right there – but he’s quite left field so maybe he’s actually fallen off of the field all together) This pre is a total win Greg. Thanks! “
ooh – i get it now. what james was saying was about how he felt a bit skeptical about his pultec MB1 thingy i made for him years ago – and how after getting used to it – that little ex- record player unit has become his go to recording amp. well NOW hes got this new toy and is looking forward to getting to know HIM too. the kaimai telefunken will surprise and amaze just as much only with his different voice which can be like gentle horned diva or mangley bitch with guts hanging loose. blood. yes a buttload of blood.
the cat visconti channel is almost gasp. complete. just waiting now for a final bit of metal worked rear ass covering solution . sounding perfect . it’s made to be a best quality mono recording channel with mic/di/line stages and 4 way eq and filters with processor insertabilty. the output of that can mix (or not) with two stereo line inputs. the listenator function runs either the alone channel or the mixture of the alone channel with the stereo inputs - into one of two selected pairs of speakers. alla fenkner functionality.
all valve amplifiers. the vortex is designed to be used in a control room situation. fed from an aux send and equalizer - either outboard or ITB - so as to tailor the signal that hits the spring . and then the vortex output should feed another eq to feed the reverb back into the mix. with THAT set up u can really get in there and create specific characters for different purposes. you can make a vast and bassey booming atmosphere on a bass guitar or synth or vocal. or you can make a splashey little fat crack under a snare drum. or make a very fantastic-realistic room sound drum and bass section. or add a single magical distortion to a guitar.
the spring tank is mounted out of the chassis. so as to ‘ adjust ‘ it. place bits of soft cloth or sheepskin ontop the springs to damp the reverb time down. then drive the spring a bit harder .. and wow. its pretty much there into lee perry land. some smart tweaking on the send and return eqs . to clean and refine the energies and wow wow its amazing. the kind of depth and delicious fullness of a fat refined reverb can do. yummy experimentation.
the vortex also features a very beaut switched internal speaker. the function is there partly to test the signal that is hitting the spring. check for too much level - distortion - and the signal’s balance. very useful for getting the verb sound clean of noises or too much bottom end. or whatever. the spring is very sensitive to it.
because the speaker and amp is EF86. EL84 A-class hi fi and pretty fat sounding for its size – u can use the vortex as an auxillary mini monitor. it is definitely good enough to be your ‘radio sound’. the speaker has a clear valvey tone that can fill a room. the speaker has a pretty fat bottom end.
price is 1450nz$ . inclusive of gst (in NZ)
there’s an iceypole’s chance in hell - that software emulations can build that organic authentic sound – that feels so alive – like this real electromechanical device.
mind altering breakaway holiday? no freaking way. the wiring is set and a power supply is made and its been running perfectly hot! . after sorting a couple of easy sorted errs. (its kind of difficult thing to photograph cos it lies on it’s side. spooning). really does work well tho. set to try it out in karaoke session with the family over next few days. the mic amp sound is so fat and quiet with mountain ranges of gain. the eq with its new backwards and flipped out order is richer and precise and more equalizer power full. ….. and YEP i have indeed made a most awesome karoke mixer . hooked up my old grampian spring reverb to the cats fx send and return, and wow. so good. theres at least a couple of jammed albums in this rig .
ive been experimenting with a valve mag phono stage for a while and have at last nailed it. the mysterious circuit had suspicious boobitraps and ommisions, pfff. i think by marrying it with the fabulous roger eq one … your record player can now drive a truck! so fat and powerful. u can pop your boat and caravan on there too. i’ll make this one into a beaut thorn mk12 tape recorder cabinet over the summer . that understated grey vinyl covering is a perfect foil for the bright electric valve sound about to be transplanted in.
i’ve been designing a piece of wood today . a big toe to go at the front below the faders of the cat visconti gogo five’s boot shaped sound shaper slash recording monitoring channeling. hope-ing the photos do this project justice. the electronics has been fitted commando style to a frame connected behind to the upright eq/control-room face. cat visconti’s boot will be ready for final assembly and wireing next week after mr anodizer does his magic.
the cat visconti gogo prototype channel is completely rocking. but it looks a bit strange. it is just the test bed of amps so far. even with its all unshielded looopey connecting wires and floating switches, the sound is crystal clear and clean of noises or interferences. the trident tsm 4 way -with filters eq design is turned backwards and inside out. now the H.F has new mojo from coming first on top. the L.F needed utter lobotomy. the old chip band pass sweeping eq is changed out for a simple tough and tight 5 freq shelf eq. (neve 1080) much better bass control with no lumps.
the all transistor channel amplifiers are on this motherboard along with the jensen input and output trafos (ex of other parts of the trident console) . theres two gain controlled amps in series as the mic/line amp. the series gain controlled preamps push the signal so long far forward with no noise – effortless big gain. and then a fader and post fader amp. theres also an amp for the extra input section to feed the extra stereo output buss. so many extras. and then one other dual amp board that creates an isolated clean monitor send for a headphones system and a meter feeder..to . ah. feed the meter. the other mother (r.h)- board is a stereo twin inverting stage buss amp and control room amps and stereo line buffer amps designed to be a recording and monitoring unit for andrew’s loungeroom desktop computer set up. more pictures to come.
here’s a new twin channel rojer eq . a drawing for a new build for an old client . the 2 way valve eq design was inspired by an american rogers hi fi amplifier that i repaired years ago. sounded ahhmazing .. such a really clear sweet hi freq and fat low tight bottom end. and with some ekadek tweaqs and refinements – even better. the size of the sound adjustment is impressive. a vast tone and body control. go subtle and careful with a mix or slash and bash a single sound input to pieces. the output stage is the big pultec MB1 . all in all an eight tube box. kind of extravagant? you betcha squealing piggy banks its extravagant. roger is completely worth the 3500 nz$ – every buck. he can build or bust mountains. sort the trash and make cream buns and make glass shatter . he’ll do the dishes and never answer back. and who doesnt want that in their crew.
the cat visconti trident project. only a couple of 151 fabulous 1970′s TRIDENT TSM consoles have ever washed up on these fine NZ shores. after being circuitry flavour for albums from artists like david bowie, ringo starr, and cat stevens. also metallica, elton john and the beatles (hey jude) many many more - even tony visconti had one in his good earth london studio where he mixed one of my all favourite records . diamond dogs. dam.
well the guts of it is… i just played my copy of diamond dogs thru my experimental cat visconti rig .. and the trident sound is indeed awesome. and rich.I reckon that- in its day – musicians loved that 1. it sounded really good. – BIG – 2. and the eq was wow wow selective. 3. the big consoles had a engineers end 4. a producers end. 5. AND 6. you could switch the switches and use all gazzillion chanels in-a-row for extra massive stereo mix downs. 7. have a real 70s mix down party where 8 or 9 people take on a few instruments and mute buttons each. rehearse some moves over few takes and tokes and then …. to nail yet another iconic mixdown to a two track master tape. fuck. those were the days. anyway – these consoles are huge. and need their own river mounted hydroelectric plant. there are so many chips and the power supply is so huge that they present a real threat to the ecology and power line voltage drop. so my client who has the before mentioned gazzillion channels is needing to cull the desk channel electronics right down to bare sexy bones without any coke snorting steroid add slash hang ons – buffering amps – and non essential chains of integrated circuits. oh . and not to forget the numerous very unglamorous electronic switching. this trident and all the other chip desks of the day are awash with chains of chips. too too much. so ive connected the output of the mic amp directly to the eq and then to the channel fader and output amplifier. and avoided about 30 chips!. (i mite be exagerating there) the eqs need new pots and i dont think the fader boost cut controls were ever quite precise enough. so the next stage is to design and build the prototype high breed cat visconti trident TSM channel version one point one. with all new metalwork and layout and that old fashioned klangenschmitt functionality . i love my job.
the effects feastanator. an fx input and regeneration creation system. i think these are better off to be refined together. so im going to build them into a transportable handled cabinet with clip on front and back covers. the tape echo needs to slide out on a tray (to carefully examine and take care of it’s tape and machinery innards). and to connect the mixer and echo and reverb forever together. i need a dubb switching performance ready effects mixer. which i started there on the left top. each of the six channel inputs of the main mixer will have an aux send level which momentary/on switches thru to one or both of the sound regenerators. spring reverb subtle/disaster and echo dreamy or funky. the big toggle go switch has a spring loaded momentary downwards position or a latching on position upwards. brilliant for tapping morse code or breaking up an echo beat and feedback send. or any manner of creative play-able fx function combinations. it’ll be a hell of a thing. the echo and reverb have capability to regenerate in an on or morsed up state too. quite a bit of work to do but what a substantially insane cool toy at the end.
this EVER READY SKYQUEEN is straight out of the 1950s. shes been (tenderly) gutted and had a beaut pultec MB1 design two tube mic/direct preamp built into her.
the 1/4″ direct input is a tough sounding hiZ instrument amplifier,
super great for direct bass guitar or keyboards.
the microphone input is balanced low Z with switched phantom powering . she uses an american edcor input transformer with custom sheilding. the pultec MB1′s custom output transformer is made from the highest quality japanese grain orientated steel. this improves the low low bottom end signal integrity. xtal clear and solid bottom end gives an amp the big dynamic smack ability.
the stereo 1/4″ input has a left/mixed/right signal switch. - matches from a media player whatsit. ipod or cd payer. sounds awesome – the valve amp gives that signal a very much sweet tweaking.
she also has a tube P.A stage to drive the small but fat sounding internal speaker. or headphones. the p.a amp isnt a powerful one, just 1 or 2 watts of valve radiogram style.
the skyqueen has very desireable looks. with creamy aligator tolex vinyl covering and brassy trim bits. she has a fancy – and so modern perspex handle too. i hope the photos taken in the lovely matamata early evening light do the skyqueen some justice. she really is unique. weve been soak testing skyqueen day and night just playing cds thru her. wow . so good.
been in the lab making a new minifenk today.and first had to fashion a special support ring to fit under the oversize top panel pilot lite hole. so as to capture a magnifier glass up there. so as then looking into the spooky innards of said minifenk and bask in the golden LED glow becomes actually quite trip inducing. these friendly little guys will always playback your sounds most truthfully tho. flat response dc to daylight and very open clearness from the simple best quality honest transistor amplifier.
so far the MB1 amplifier (12ax7 & 6aq5) and the small speaker power output stage (6aq5) are built onto an ugly custom stripped out chassis. its chopped up to fit neatly into the lovely old skyqueen cabinet. it sounds great even with it’s very temp/experimental control wiring. just need to drill and letter stamp up the panel, anodize it.. and finish the build. the ugly chassis looks like many 50′s european radios . those crazy germans made the ugliest most dangerous looking electronics …placed inside beautiful veneered plywood cabinets. u just dont see that stuff being made anymore. if anything has curves - safely assume it is moulded plastic.
famous pultec MB1 design two tube mic /di amp. my ekadek clone of it lovingly built into this 1960s philips portable tape deck. i made this one is 2002 and have used it with great success to sell the design and portable concept over and over again. as well as stereo and 4-8-16 channel rack unit models. clients who borrow philip fall in love with the sound of the thing. its fat and hi-fi – has very low shushed self-noise – no hum - and has a totally valvi-licious tone. his natural warmth and clarity makes for very characterful recordings. build up multitrack layers with philip and a mix becomes super easy. if you are looking for main recording amp good for all microphones / sounds / and instruments – then u just found one. the direct input is especially awesome for bass guitar. so BIG and rich. the amp loves keyboard sources too.
there’s a 150 ohm balanced mic input xlr with phantom power switched and pad. a direct input jack and level adjustable line input jack.
gain control – this alters the negative feedback within the preamp. with a low gain setting (and maximum feedback) the amp is in its most controlled high fidelity state. the higher gain settings cuts out the negative feedback and lets the amp go wild.
then there is a phase switch – self explained. and also an output trim control to fine adjust the balanced floating isolated low low Z xlr output into when u need to. (best left right up actually – to preserve that low Z)
yesterday i picked up the fresh anodized metalwork from tokoroa. marcel from advanced anodizers reckons he and his crew never have any infections from cuts and scratches. the chemicals have fried all the germs. i wanna take a bath in that stuff. cos i have so many cuts and grazes. i also bort some awesome records from the methodist op shop there. linda ronstadt – heart like a wheel. mint, echo and the bunnymen 45rpm the cutter , cat stevens – tea for the tillaman, roxy music – flesh and blood, and john barry – conducting an orchestra playing his most famous film soundtrack themes. fantastic. im always struck by the number of ray coniff.englebert humperdink. james last, accordion party hits, moog meets pop records, and harry freaking seacombe christmas albums . i guess i was too late for the really good old shit. my turntable has worked overtime today. my neices are staying atm . they love saturday nite fever and abba. im glad to oblige cos thats (embarrassing?) is the music of of my teen years. what a old fart.
tomorrow i’ll finish fine wiring the scorpion chopped up and start him up i reckon. ooh , and we bort an old dishwasher today – heaven – in a most beaut schlubbish way. no more wasted hours a day, just another noisy 20th century machine all up the place.
a client got himself a tac scorpion 12 – 8 – 2 . straight out of amek california 1987. these consoles were fairly big and heavy. made solid out of quality materials really. and representing for a heap of bang for your bucks in their day. and actually still now. an assfull were sold back then for only about 6000us$ each. inexpensive because of the ship technology. only to be mothballed thru the nineties as computers and software took over the recording world. along with every other world. im making a 12 chopped channelled racked version of the scorpion for him. the electronics is being rechipped and capped with the newest fangled devices to quicken up to compete for the 21st century. even tho i dont really personally ‘approve’ (old school snob) of full chain integrated circuit designs like this scorpion.. the new compact rack mounted package is an attractive one. a dozen very tight sounding mic amps with powerful good sounding equalizers ready suited to plug straight into any multichannel soundcard. ive just moved to matamata so this job is testing the local industry. i get metal cut and shaped in tauranga. a perfect drive over the kaimai ranges. and anodized in tokaroa. a quick spin down a different highway. my parts coming from sydney and UK were quicker ! than when i was in auckland. theres no traffic lites here. awesome.
the ferralgrapha has passed all the tests and has left the building. wow. he is awesome so so sweet sounding. the mic sound is fat . clean and solid. 50/150/600 mic balanced input types make for very useable tone variations with any mic. the special extra amp stage gets very miles of gain for the ribbon mics. the eq is tight or deliciously wide. very flavour enriched. wow, it sounds so so alive. im hearing my records for the first time again. theres a weird effect with good tube circuits – suddenly the music just really feels like something again. just so big and warm – all the soul regained purified of any digital scurge. and the very back background feeling gets clear. my freakin spine is tingling. thanks alex for letting me build this. man u are going to love it. your stunning microphone collection will love the ferralgrapha too.
a client had purchased a heap of black lion audio gear . he has liked the sound from the units – and reckoned they represented quite good ‘sonic trustworthy’ value — except for the build quality and control component (pots) quality and robustness. dam cheap little things. busted and broken after only a bit of use. i discovered that quite alot of them weren’t even soldered in … like – at all at all- just sitting there ‘plugged’ into the board – no soldering. w.t.f. anyway… after he’d tried my gyrator ten8tor luxury stereo eq (loved it’s sound and quality) he decided to have me turn his dual mono black lion gear into stereo control stuff . wow. i did not see that coming. crazy? yes! dumb? no! so far i’ve stripped the mono parts off the black lion boards. and prepped some metalwork and collected the strange value stereo pots and parts.
ive drilled up the panel and letterstamped it. it’s been bent to fit the cabinet properly and is getting anodized as i type. while it is soaking . i’ll finish and test the tube chassis. 8 tubes . 6 signal transformers. my evolved prototype chassis sounds great – really open feeling microphone sound. the tube amps – the very flavorful equalizing possibilities - and the in/external monitoring functionality make the ferralgrapha a complete one machine for studio or live recording sessions.
zebulon wrote me the day after he picked up his new minifenk control room monitor station.
the fenk sounds great, I listened to music for a couple of hours last night. I
instantly noticed the mid range was not smeary, snare drums sounded tighter & overall
it sounded like there was more space & depth in that range. The low end seems to be
more defined, so frequencies in the upper low range sound less boomy, low lows sound
tight & thick. The high frequencies sound less fatigued & cloudy. In a nutshell, it
sounds like I have removed a kind of hifi emulation in my signal path.
I love this thing, it sounds fantastic, thank you very much. Zeb.
an australian client has ordered this stereo MB1 chassis – versus - my sweet lady tube 2 way EQ . a great combo . he has supplied a beaut old ‘skin’ tolex covered ferrograph tape recorder case for it . so im going to make this stereo mic/di/eq amplifier into that - complete with on board 5 watt tube amp and the original 9X6 inch goodmans monitor speaker. the new dual pultec MB1 tube mic amp will have variable input impedance. 30.150.600 ohms . alex has some real old ribbon mics . and wants extra tonal front end augmentisation capability in general. the big old meter switches between the two preamp outputs. as does the EL84 single ended tube P.A. amp. the 2 way tube equalizer features as the MB1 alternative input source. reverse engineered design from an american roberts (or rogers) stereo system. a unit that i repaired once really impressed me. the eq sound was so fat and deep. a very particular circuit built around the feedback of a single valve amplifier stage. ive added a preamp stage to it to enable an effective rumble filter, and hi/lo frequency switches to the bass and treble stages to complete this massive sounding 2 way eq adjustment scope of this ferral graffa transportable 2 channel studio preamp unit .
David Chechelashvili is one of the tutors at SAE sound recording college branch here in auckland. he spent time at ekadek mastering an album for ‘battle circus’ last year and just recently took a luxury gyrator ten8tor home for a try out. his words.
“This EQ is something very special. It seems to penetrate the sound fundamentally and rebuild it rather than add on top of what’s already there. It never sounds hyped or fake even at extreme settings! I tried it on several instruments like drums, guitars, vocals and bass and it sounded great on all of them. However, I found it to be most effective (amazing really) on richer, pad-like sounds like strings, piano, organ, synth, etc. on these instruments it really shines. Sweeping the hi-mid frequencies while applying generous amounts of gain produces a truly magical result – adding depth and lushness of sound only a top quality analogue EQ can provide. Well done Mr. Ekadek! Another uncompromisingly organic piece of kit. Dave “
thanks dave. ek.
classic set up . 1200s.pioneer mixer. and a monoman running the big mono kick ass speaker stacks.
ruggedtechniques . hal smith stevens has been visiting me for years now. he is always so enthusiastic and charming. and extremely talented. and one day we’ll get to work on a major major project together.
my god man ! dont hurt yourself with that contraption.
it might be a crazy musical technical adventure that is biblical. or it may even be a technical musical product thing that is functional AND biblical.
dont worry kind groom. we are completely trained for all complications.
he got formally hitched to a wonderful girl and threw a very special party at alberton. it was an awesome event for hal and kirsty .
everybody had a great time and of course the good djs were impeccable
wot the blighty chaps . we have sullied this LP record surface with our party antics.
toby muir with his big monoman mono pa system out to play. … sounds rude actually .. but he was very well mannered about it all. the monoman unit contains a valve preamp - 4 system output distribution amplifiers - and a 4 way adjustable speaker amp xover amplifier splitta unit. all transistor circuits . its way expensive so forget about it. it does so much that we dont know what even to call it other than the monoman.
control room stations are one of my favorite things to make. these little guys can be fashioned to be your best friend. with really nice individual character. loyal and hardworking and never complain. they are not just fake arse bells and whistles cheap shit with chips crappy plastic rubbish. (take a pill ek) ….. gear that you always suspect doesnt really give you the real thing.
the folks that have my custom fenkner control room stations all say that they never never have heard so much sound in their music . boom! . seriously tho. the ekadek’s genius kept secrets have made a life changing improvement to the clarity of the sound of their sound. yes .
the transparency of the audio. at all volumes is the most important thing. never cloudy.
the clarity and completely open fatness of our simple sweet transistor driver amp.
utterly flat frequency response. low low impedance output. simple class a transistor tech.
headroom you can drive a truck with.
and quietness. no buzzes. hums. harsh crackly hissing. etc etc.
just a very hushed quiet smooth stable friendly quiet quiet black background.
they really are lovely to control and admire to touch and flick the switches. and they sound like the sexiest voice you ever heard.
now that that is that sorted . another best thing is .. they are so easy and loyal. they dont go on strike. they dont run off with the family silver. they are a decent fair price of only 1200$nz (check your currency calculator for that one) for a beautiful new zealand handmade thing . for a minifenk1 . ( freight to be arranged). gets basic stereo 3 line input 3 output transistor amp active monitor control room dog. with stereo-reverse .stereo-mono. solo left. solo right . knobs and metering and options are available for discuss.
this old tape delay has just entered my world. and will be looking for a new home. he’s all broke up and sad. already ive replaced the incomplete-parts-missing direct drive captain motor with a whole new bastard drive system. the motor is from a radio station cart machine, the flywheel/captain/bearing assembly is from a 1960 grundig tape recorder. a swiss german japanese kind of party. the electronics work and the functionality is there. i need to redesign the speed control circuit of course. the ec-10 has had internet schtick because its replacement model – the first roland 201 space echos – had most all the ec-10 bugs ironed out. therefore they are a better catch ?. i dont think so. im planning on making whatever mods i can to help it get right up hi fi and further. even a new neever mixing equalizing output stage. some record and playback amp fine tuning. a much improved power supply. and some tape path re engineering.
two quick builds this week. small and fat. the akai-ish playback unit now has a line input suitable for ipod or computer plus a hi impedance input so u can jam along with a guitar, keyboard or hi z mike . the 5 watt tube amp and 8 inch speaker has a lovely full clear sound, and can distort like a nasty bitch on demand. the lower box is a two channel all transistor mike/di amplifer - custom built into a beaut old phillips tape recorder box.
this stack of shiny junk is the killer rig to kill all other so-called killer rigs. fat as pultec-ish MB1 stereo mike/di/line preamp. 4 tube chassis. the FAT LADY 5670 stereo limiting amplifier. 8 tube chassis. and the TEN8TOR GYRATOR stereo eq. about two bazillion transistor chassis. the most extreme channel strips you’re ever likely to see. amazing sounding. so gutsy and so quiet!. the sweet sweet clean fat MB1 valve preamp amping up . the totally sexy fat lady gain control freak limiting amplifier holding back . and the sophisticated ten8tor gyrator equalizer being the ultra cool frequencies outputting amp with its devastating signal shaping powers. i’ve been playing everything thru the killer rig last couple of days and am astounded at the improvement-of-everything-isation power of it.
ronan charles lives in the beautiful west australian hills around perth. he rolls with the ekadek klangenschmitt gogo 1 . klangboy 2009.
he’s been busy developing his studio enviroment. and klang had a problem with a switch. it got banged or something. he decided to fix it himself and i had just mailed him to say – hi – how’d it go? . his reply was my monday heart starter. brilliant.
I’m good thanks Eke.
Happy Father’s Day (Klang asked me to pass that along…)
Yes I did manage to get it in, beaded brow like a bomb defuser and full of
admiration for the absolute gazillion of more complicated wirings that you
performed inside this beauty. Attached are a couple of pics of the Klang
desk I built around him. I hope you aren’t too offended but I figured that I
may as well build him his own house and make it nice and sturdy and
permanent-like. Its all built around him like a wooden glove, without
removing any part so he could roll out of there when necessary. You can’t
see it in the murk but there are 2 little holes to get at the headphones
from the front.
It was joyful to finally plug him in again and hear just how outrageously good he
makes everything sound . Phenomenal thing this is.
In a way its been the touchstone of quality – it’s the reason I’m going to
so much care over the building of the place he lives in.
Oh btw: there are 2 black wires coming off the klang. Are they earths? I’ve
got 2 earth wires ready to connect to them if they are.
No problem with noise. I was nervous as hell plugging it in to speakers for
the first time. But its all rock solid. Thanks so much for the electrical advice and
assistance. Really helped me.
At the moment I’ve finished the control room, bass traps and all, and am
currently moved onto finishing of the live room. building a huge 20m2 wall
of diffusers to tame the reflections coming off the brick walls I built in
the big live room… Its gonna look great but will take a few more weeks.
Its been absolutely ages in the works, this place, but I figure I may as
well go gangbusters and head off some of the problems that I know are there
before I start rolling tape again. ahhh… what a dream…
hope everything is going great with you.
Can’t wait till I can bang on your door again for some more ekadek sound
our new eqs will be slutting around a few studios this next few weeks . roundhead (the checks producer loved them) tony’s place (loves them) chris (loves them too) and state of mind stu tore it up. so im looking forward to receiving written blow by blow accounts of their lovin times.
igor spent the day testing and tweaking his filter circuits. 4 eight pole switches controlling 12 active frequency filtering operational amplifiers. an uber complicated device with a few hundred things to potentially get wrong. igors dam good and smart tho and they sound awesome. 4 clean bands. sub- bass- mid- hi with sweepable crossover frequencies. it will no doubt become our new studio mastering sound splitter equaliser. a stereo control version would need 16 pole 5 position switches. woof. and it will eat your computer for breakfast. late last nite i got excited and rough assembled the front panel to see what it was going to look like…. and it looks pretty cool i think. so absolutely unique. but this morning i scuttled our progress totally. after noticing some paint spottiness. well.. it actually looked like someone had spit up on the thing. and we cant have that can we. so its all dismantled now for a few days while that gets redone. gives me time to admin and fix the car and mow the lawns and the dishes.
the ekadek MONOMAN is a mono tube transistor multi crossed over split P.A control unit-anator. as you can tell we dont quite knowly sure what to call it . the input stage is an MB1 two valve amplifier with volume, gain, and an output attenuation/loading circuit . it feeds 4 isolated distribution amplifier level controlled output stages. one of those then feeds a four way four output sweeping cross over frequency balancing amplifier. so as to fine tune the main central 4 way stack of the sound system. sub.bass.mid.top . the other distributed outputs feed the other amplifiers and speakers strapped all together. a big gangbanging strapped up solid P.A machine. and all this happens at the speed of light. the monoman control unit will be housed in a old tape recorder vinyl-led plywood skin and even has its own 2 watt valve phones/spka monitor amplifier. just for those days when the 2000 watt stack of speakers is looking too big for the boot. the cunning stunt of the job is fitting it in the box. 2 valve amps/3 tubes. associated transformers. 8 output amps. 16 filter amps. all transistor. 8 pole 5 position switches. 3 line transformers for phase reversal options. all those xlrs. all that shiny sexiness with black knobs and a fat fat tubed transistor sound.
progress is steady on the luxury stereo model gyrator ten8tor equilizer. so many other things to do. the cabinets and panels are anodized and coated and are ready to assemble and wire and finish . thus the alter of wiring. each little fricking wire has a home. so far ive got the first channel of the first unit installed and working perfectly. next to bring the five other chassis up to that same point… test them all. and then wire the second channels in. quite a mission of preparation. not so hard to make one… doesn’t matter how long it takes. but to make six in a reasonably time efficient organic methodollyology . i.e affordable…it’s a whole other universe.
my want and need for a few days last week was to dissembowel an AUDIMAX 4440A. ive appreciated the quality of the line sound sound of these . they are all transistor. no chips. made well. fat sounding. hi class parts. made expensive for 1980s FM RADIO broadcast mixer insert and transmitter output stages. but the dynamics of the thing doesnt have much to offer a modern studio context. the long hardly changing average level adjusting functionality doesnt fit with any useful requirement that i know of. ok. well just maybe… to keep one thing absolutely the same. huh wtf etc. ( wait a minute. isnt that a whole new music genre?) . anywhoo.. this audimax is kind of made to be an “AVERAGiNATOR” …. ..good for making overall levels incredibly hi quality average. sounds like the eighties to me.
so ive ripped out the “MEMORY UNIT” . this expoxy potted mystery thing contains live electrical memory that judges how ‘loud’ a track is overall and then compares that knowledge with another sensed and evaluated voltage doubled judgement of whether the newly adjusted overall level is moving upwards .. or downwards. brilliant…? it then makes an external transistor and fet act against eachother to make that prepostperceived judgement into an overalled averaged representation - as a dc sucking blowing potential that operates on the balanced patented varilosser signal attenuating circuit . averaging the averaged control signal to make everything extremely average.
so i was saying.. ive ripped this average brain right out of the picture. (and fully intend to gore out the epoxy, plunging into that waxy juicyness)) and have transplaced it with an awesome workaround to recreate these puppies into very good working almost brick wall limiting amps. they are way more like a punchy solid state compressor now. still more experiments to do tho.
all without wasting all that energy that originally went into their 1980 manufacture. just another fine example of how ekadek and its minions works so hard to save the planet. so other news is that IGOR is working up a top secret design for extra sensitive single cycle transient suppression. he wants to bring every dominating inth that computer functionality has …back out of the box and into the sunlight… (cue manic-al laugh)
the build is going well. i got a meal of metalwork till im stuffed full of metalwork to eat until all the metal cabinets/panel fully worked and finished. and then we quickly place the boards and the controls. wire the wires and hey. fat eqs. stereo ready to wear .
in order to eventually switch around the hi lo filter frequencies and bass and treble frequencies in the process of finding more magic, these switches must be pre-made special ready to neatly wire from the front panel of control back a wee bit into the circuit boards. and i couldnt resist making a smiley face from them once this part of the work was finished. ! counting the two switches currently fitted to the prototype chassis - thats 24 x 6 pole-5 position switches all prepared with various coded looms.a total of about 864 (24 switches at 36 connections each) little X$@# freqin wires. zen times are good times of course.
the metalwork will be the next fun thing once the cutting and folding is finished … again. a mistake’s been made and it’s been sent back for a redo.
heres news of the all new ekadek prototype of this luxury equalizer. igor’s been ages eagle designing and stuffing the operational amps and mothers with the pretty components… while ive been gathering all the stock and full function experimenting. we’re making enough boards to be for a pair of mono control units and 4 more units of the full stereo control teneightor gyrator luxury model. full single knob stereo control 6 variable band eq.
the design is a chain of six stages all transistor amplifiers arranged as filters and frequency specific boost cut elements. in circuit order. low.f filter 27hz.47hz.82hz.150hz.270hz - hi.f filter 18khz.12khz.8khz.5k6hz.3k9hz – Hi.F eq is 5 treble frequency shelving/peaking boosting/cutting action 15khz.10khz.6k8hz.4k7hz.3k3hz. first midrange eq is 23 position sweeping type boosting/cutting 70hz thru 1k3hz – second midrange is constant sweeping boosting/cutting gyrator circuit bent with turbo boost switch and resonating hi Q switch. 250hz thru 6khz. finally the bass eq is low frequency shelving/peaking boosting/cutting action 33hz.56hz.100hz.180hz.330hz. you just dont need more than that. the whole thing sounds awesome and fat with seemingly miles of headroom and signal adjustment scope . the top end has that gorgeous expensive clear brittle sound . the bottom end is a bodifull weight and the low low low end is bigbig clean and clear. boost to ridiculous ultra lowness. the two midrange stages are surprising and inspirational with their fine accuracy and schwhooshiness. woof. almost dangerous. all the switching is click/bump free so as to make dubb/dump playing the eq easy and bang free fun. mono units are sold. 2 stereo models are sold. 2 stereo models are for sale.
BBC NEEVER 8 microphone amplifiing machine * 8 separate microphone amplifiers * all transistor two stage blocks* xlr inputs- individual switched 48v phantom – 12db mic pad – phase change – lundahl input transformers – neve 538 preamp stages with feedback gain controls – channel volume level controls – BBC am7/11 output stages. floating balanced xlr outputs.
simple – tough – best quality – and a compact 2 RU size. its been a while in the making this one , as igor and I have been tied to commissioned builds. and our development work on the the new gyrator teneightor five stage equaliser
the ekadek & igor and i have been super enterprising. and have completed all this gear over november – december period . state of mind’s 14/4/2/2/2 mixer for live GOGOmodel3 is off on first NZ summer tour. and the ekatron matrix 16/6 & micro 10/2 auxiliary mixers live in a box for now with the big 16 channel ekatron 32 tube M.B one preamplifier. its their big OE.
young igor has been working hard for his keep. the fruit of his labour will be this eight channel all transistor microphone amp of fine pedigree. each channel comprises phantom power . pad . phase change. 200ohm balanced input (lundahl input txf) and two stage amplifier .neve 538 first stage followed by the bbc am 7/11 line stage with floating balanced output. we are loving the sound of this set up. so fat and luscious. cant wait to hear the 8 with a band plugged in. the bbc rack’s first job was in the broadcast radio&television system built for the christchurch commonwealth games of 1974. and the neve 538 design are of a similar vintage.
this is the latest ekadek commission. a totally fantastic 16 channel tube line amplifier. 32 tube total 20 rack units. this is the 25 kilohm sensitive floating front end destined to output onto the faders of a valve mixing console. my client already has many fine flavoured mike pres and eqs and he needed a hi quality tube stage to steady all the different gains and strengths of that mixture of machines. the 16 channels are all of the pultec MB1 two tube amplifier design negative feedback gain controlled stages for low distortion & high gain. flat out dc to daylight freq response. and perfectly noiseless enough . these drawings are first off ideas that look pretty comic. but they were good renditions to speak about and refine into cnc able artwork. theres actually two chassis of eight channels each and a separate power supply. the metalwork is being made as i type cross fingers.
here’s the newest all transistor no chip off the old ekadek block. just soaking up some studio ambiance before jetting away to sunny canada. it has dual quarto transistor amp feedback/gain controlled stages followed by the super fat super clean neve 535 dual line amplifier. microphone input or an instrument direct input. good for +24dbm. low low noise. phantom power. mic pad. phase reverse. full floating balanced output.
this small chunky control room monitor console is built for extreme flexibility and control and accuracy. it uses a neveish transistor control room amplifier with stereo/reverse/mono/soloL/soloR/spk A.B.C.switch/VU meters with adjustable calibration and a best quality headphone amplifier. fed from a 4 X stereo input listen select switch – mix/daw/aux1/aux2. the ‘mix’ selection to monitor an outboard summing mixer of 4 ( easily eight) stereo inputs fed from a multitrack soundcard. the passive mixer circuit and mix preamp could be housed in an outboard unit along with a power supply and all the input/output terminations . the mixed stereo signal flys back to the fenkner chunk pair of stepped level controls and feeds a neve 535 line output stage and a germanium output stage and mixes the two for double slamming sidechain action . a double power hunk’o'chunk. stop me! the final output signal would feed the mix output sockets as well as the ‘mix’ listen select position. other features are to be switched inserts across the mix preamp and the line outputs for external processors. there’s a pair of mic/di amps in the rack unit too , just to make it a complete studio in a chunk. they have outputs that can be routed permanently to a pair of soundcard inputs as well as having independent level/panned/(or muted) outputs – lets call them mixer inputs 17-18 … punching direct into the multitrack sum for zero-latency monitoring. thus the system is uber functional. the most versatile chunk of gutsy electronics ever. the rack unit is something like this. the bride of chunky.
i’m not kidding. they a complex multisexual beast. does it all. simpler versions can easily be quoted of course. these other two fenkners have control room functions and mic/di amps. valve ones. pultec MB1 style amplifiers.
heres some details of my newest obsession. a pair of old plate reverb frames were to either come to me, or left to rust utterly. they need complete rebuilding. starting with the spring wire tensioner bolt arrangements. they are all rusted and weak. the plate verb sound is all about the plate being tensioned just right. so that the transducers can do their business. ive found some new spring wire and the hardened tags are being made. spring steel needs special tools. guilotines and hi speed diamond drills. i have made new tensioner adjustment bolts myself though. its quite a large project. the plate drivers have to made custom and the pickup devices to be sorted. there are driver amplifiers and pickup amps to make. and i have to work on them to sell now. or i fear they would probable get chucked out in the way-future for whatever dam reason. so my obsessive compulsive gear junkie tweaking and geeking brain gets another good smacking. i will make some sound tests of the plates once they work. in the meantime please enjoy a smidgen of lulus latest number entitled microphone
at last the frame paint is dry enough to soak test this beast. so close to delivery. i’m rapt with the sound of this klangenschmitt. really fat clean bottom end. so powerful with so much headroom. the functionality is extreme with busses and inserts everywhere. 99% integrated circuit-free for that super expanded fabulous unsubdued sound. the small angled rack will be tony’s outboard machine. i actually had made 66% of that rack’o'gear for diogo in portugal. the deal came full back round south – all good for diogo tho. and tony and ekadek. its a dam gutsy processor, with a tube mic amp and tube limiter amp, a transistor 3 way sweeping/filtering eq, a small shure mixer, and a stereo germanium line amplifier.
heres some pictures of a 2003 custom build that came home with a small but annoying intermittant issue. actually worked out to be oxide/fungus between two signal weilding steel tags. just needed a clean and tighten. couldn’t we all just. the guts of this machine was made in the early 1960s. not too bad. of course i completely ‘ruined’ the once perfectly functional 1/4″ full track tape recorder by badbinning the tape transport and hacking into its multitude of preamplifiers with an hammond organ spring tank. the rola pro77 was ideal. the little speaker power amp can dish it to the spring exciter and the tape replay amp can pick up the reverberating reflections of spring steelnes . the line input/mic channel … well is still the line input/mic channel. the old ‘line input / tape replay’ switch becomes a dry/wet function and ive put a ‘dry to mix in’ control into the reverb pickup amp. there’s also a kill switch ‘dead or alive’ .on the reverb spring drive. theres alot going on with all the preamp modifications. all manner of gain changing and tape eq circuit taming . the result is big fat ultra juicey verb. and you can effect the reverb time by dampening and freaking with the spring.at the top there. sugalicks runs this one. i was thinking that any old 3 head tape recorder amplifier channel could do this … so if youve got one spare laying around. get in touch . the tanks themselves are quite cheap and we can talk fair and square about a reasonable mod-freaking-experimenting fee for me and my kids. they kids help alot and need to be compensated.
anyways ….the klangenschmitt gogo2 mixer is almost completely freaking finished . just waiting for some paint to dry. its very cool – sounds amazing and looks utterly mad :/
today i needed to veer off track to prepare final fitment for the new made meter bridge attachmentisation to the control panel. its gone to the painters now for a transformer grey coating. the meters & the spare are old masters instruments sydney vus. seventy mm cut out. fast like bullets. its an awesome looking thing. with just right angles and fatness shape. it looks like a hot rod air scoop. dam expensive.
its the end of a great year. made some beaut gear. and music. and gained a few more good friends and clients. progress has been steady for tony’s new klangenschmitt console. ive been juggling many activities. the wiring from all the panel components is almost all done. just the balancing transformers to fit and wire. and then its circuit board manufacture. and power supply. and vu meter cabinet fitment. and then total galvanised cabinetisation with paint. boooom!
friday i got the new mixer panel back from the painters. last week i’d letter stamped it and now its ready to start building onto. its a 20 input channel – into 4 recording subgroups – into stereo2mix - recording/mixing board with 2 auxiliary sends. 4 input channels have microphone inputs. 8 are instrument or line channels. 4 are simple direct to mix returns. then there are 4 tape monitoring channels. theres an afl system. and control room listening switcher. and a test audio oscillator. there will be a bridge of 6 vu meters in that space provided. a fairly large build actually. next photo will be with all the parts fitted to the panel ready for wiring up.
a client in portugal wanted something completely hot rod. so after many interweb deliberations i/we have designed and made this 11 rack unit audio submarine amplifier. 5 microphone channels – 1 fat lady valve limiter amp – germanium mic amp line amp preamp - silicon transistor mic amp/mixing amp. and a valve mic amp. i made a pretty special rate up for the cousteau diogo hot rod submarine .a heap of bang for not a lot (euro)buck. seeing as i’ve been able to pretty much make these items out of parts in stock. yep … it mite seem to look scruffy but i know hes going to be blown away by how it all sounds. and it is as tidy as it requires to be. any tidier would not sound any better. and i dont mind a messey household sometimes. lifes too short. im up to the final stages now of repainting the rustiest panel – then labelling and fitting some galvanised steel covers.