Archive for the ‘Tube Amplifiers’ Category

Aston Electronics Becomes A TubeSync Service Point. Guitar Amplifier Repair and Mods and Custom Amplification Services

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Volt Amps

For over 30 years, Geoff Pugh has been providing the musicians’ community with vital repair services. We repair, modify and produce high quality valve amplifiers. Our services extend beyond that of just valve amplifiers and therefore we are highly skilled in repairing and modifying other products such as effects pedals, solid state amplifiers, hi-fi amplifiers, etc.

Aston Electronics is the home of Volt Amplifiers. Volt Amplifiers are a range of high quality hand made amps built on demand. Specific features and requirements can be provide you with the ultimate amp of your choice.

Aston Electronics is also the home of the Darktone pedal series. These high quality hand made pedals provide you with a huge range in tone and depth which can be vital to a players live setup.

We are proud to annouce that Aston Electronis is now an approved installer of TubeSync.

To find out more visit : http://www.voltamps.co.uk

What People Say About TubeSync

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Guitarist Mitch Laddie has been out touring with the product fitted to his Mesa/Boogie F-50, which he said sounds “incredible”. “I had totally fallen out of love with this particular amp before Tubesync was fitted but the difference in sound is more than substantial. The response and tone have been improved ten-fold. Very tight, very fat and all round punchier, especially in the low to mid frequencies.”

Mich_Laddie

“I believe the product is very interesting and definitely nothing like anything I’ve seen or used before. The main advantages of the product are that not only does it give you a valve maintenance feature by displaying a light if a fault is found within a valve, but it manages your valves to run at an equal number of milliamps. This means that each valve is working at an equal rate which in theory gives you optimum amp performance.

“You can also connect the product to a computer and by using the TubeSync software you can dial in the parameters for each valve to your liking. This makes room for a lot of exciting experimentation,” he said.

“You can fit whichever valves you like, no matter which amp you are using with the product fitted and not only can you fit whatever valves you chose but you can mix valves and it will automatically bias them with no issues at all. This also gives room for a lot of exciting experimentation which we are going to get under way when I return from the current tour.”

Orange
Technical director for Orange Amps, Adrian Emsley, plans to launch a new 100W model involving TubeSync at the upcoming Winter NAMM show next year, but didn’t disclose any further details. He did say that he thought the product was “extremely groundbreaking” with regards how it can be incorporated into high end tube guitar, bass and hi-fi amplifiers. “It can keep an amplifier perfectly set up and keep it always sounding great on the road!” he said.

Audio Kitchen Amps, an Acton-based guitar amp manufacturer, has incorporated TubeSync into its bass amps, one of which is currently being used by Kings of Leon. Audio Kitchen’s Steve Crow commented: “It’s pretty cool, that’s for sure. For me the most revolutionary aspect is the show-must-go-on factor; normally if an output valve goes bandy during a gig it’ll take out a fuse on the amp and the player is left playing air-guitar, but TubeSync will shut down the offending valve pairs and the show goes on. Genius.”?Tired Pony, the supergroup featuring Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody and REM’s Peter Buck, have already played their first live gig with the help of an Audio Kitchen Base Chopper amp fitted with TubeSync, at London’s Forum venue in Kentish Town on July 14. According to Crow the band have been “loving it” so far and there are other bands lined up to try it out.

Audio Kitchen
Crow added: “People are scared of the word ‘Bias’, but TubeSync does lots of the thinking for you so it’s possibly a less daunting proposition for the average musician or tech. Also because the valves are individually biased, you don’t necessarily need matched pairs of output valves anymore.”

Hiwatt UK amplifiers, as used by the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay, Killers and The Enemy, is another adopter of the TubeSync. The company plans to install the product on its pro series of guitar amplifiers as standard. Hiwatt’s Mark Lodge said: “Pretty much all of the bands that we deal with will start to add TubeSync to their amplifiers over the next year. We are just actually putting together the wiring practices etc, for our builders to be able to incorporate TubeSync into our UK pro series custom shop amplifiers.” Lodge said the reason they have got behind the product from the start was because it is a “fantastic” piece of kit that solves many problems associated with valve amplifiers.

Hiwatt UK
He added: “We all know that valve amplifiers sound by FAR the best, the only issue is that 99.9% of the time, the valves let the amplifier down. The deteriation can be traced back to when the military ceased to use valves; since then, the quality has gone down and down. TubeSync negates this and actually once more gives builders and performers hope and peace of mind. I think it is a huge step forward for the valve amplifier.”

Wienbrock Amplifiers
Wienbrock Amplifiers owns two 45W production amps that currently use TubeSync, one with overdrive, one without. Rob Wienbrock said: “The TubeSync takes a completely new approach that has many hidden benefits. Its main advantages are significant reduction in power consumed, huge reduction in heat emissions, greatly extended valve and component life and great reduction in maintenance costs.
BREAKING THE BACKLINE MARKET

John Henry’s will be the first backline rental company to test out the TubeSync management system. Said Fallon: “We see the backline rental market as a market for us because they do have problems with amplifiers and they have to maintain the ones they’ve got when they rent them out.
“John Henry took us round his facilities and he has hundreds of amplifiers, one shelf had about 50 marshall amps on, so we realised we needed to give him something quick to install.”
John Henry commneted: “I haven’t managed to see one in action yet but from the brief overview it was a very interesting product, there’s nothing else like it, and if it works we would certainly be interested in having a look and trying it out. Anything that can tell you when a valve is about to pop is a good thing.
“I was a little bit concerned about how you actually fit it without drilling holes and damaging the authenticity of a vintage piece of kit because as it stands it’s based at the valve market. I think they need to make one which is an external fit. So it’s in the early stages and I’d need to get my engineers to test it out, but in theory it looks good.”

John Henrys
KBO Dynamics has been working on an external fit model specifically for the backline rental market. Said Fallon: “At the moment TubeSync is a circuit card that goes in the amp, but we’ve put it into a large circuit board self contained unit. It de-skills the fitting process so the user can easily retro-fit it into an existing guitar amp in around 5-10 minutes. John Henry will be the first one to test this out.”
Added Henry: “We go through thousands of valves a year so for us it would be a great asset as we might not need to replace a set of valves but maybe just one. It has a lot of potential.”

The Scissor Sisters Choose Hiwatt, Hiwatt Choose TubeSync

Friday, October 8th, 2010

The extravagant disco pop group The Scissor Sisters have purchased a Hiwatt amp for recording and live performances. They have just been announced as support to Lady Gaga for the North American leg of her Monsters Ball tour and have a new single “Any Which Way” out now.

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Backline Rental Companies Save Time & Money With TubeSync

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Backline rental companies don’t shell out on big, powerful expensive amps if they’re not going to be used on stage by pro musicians or semi-pro at the very least. That also means that the public shell out to go and see the artists play. Therefore, neither party will be particularly chuffed if an amp tube goes in the middle of a performance. Many travelling pro’s use the services of a backline rental company to take care of their equipment, however many tube guitar amps have problems which cannot be avoided by even the best tech.

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So yes, the pro musician or backliner probably carries a spare amp or three just in case, not to mention a box full of matched tubes!

Peace of Mind

TubeSync gives the backline tech and the musician peace of mind; simple. With TubeSync fitted in the amplifier, it’s a bit like having a dedicated amp tech working full time on that amp from the moment it’s turned on to the moment it’s turned off. Best not to fiddle around too much, then. Better still, let TubeSync do what fiddling there needs to be done. Tubesync sits within the circuitry and ensures that the pairs remain matched throughout, and micro-adjusting the biases when necessary. Four LEDs display the status of each tube, in a 100W head for example, if a failure occurs TubeSync will immediately switch out the affected pair; OK, the amp will be functioning at only half power, but at least it will be working. That’s peace of mind. Knowing that this technology is available but not using it would be a bit like driving really fast whilst wearing welding goggles. Don’t want to worry you or anything.

Crowd at the rock concertWhy Choose TubeSync

•    Performance peace of mind
•    Greater efficiency due to reduced maintenance back at the workshop
•    Can be configured to work with any fixed bias tube amp
•    Logs how the long the amp has been driven with audio
•    Records faults seen by the amp – Gives the tech full diagnostics
•    No need to purchase tubes in matched pairs anymore, TubeSync takes care of the biasing
•    Save money, better tube life / only need to change the defective tube
•    Reduces quiescent power consumption
•    Detects tube failure and prevents catastrophic damage to amp
•    Switches out faulty tubes and runs amps at half power until tube can be changed

and there’s much more….

Bias Runner Software

Improving amplifier biasing methods, servicing and fault diagnostics

Interfacing with Bias Engine hardware, the Bias Runner software has been designed to allow professional amp technicians to interrogate the status of an amplifier, alter bias settings, perform field diagnostics and configure the amp for best performance, further adding value to your services.

Bias Runner

Bias Runner is easy to install, offering full fault diagnostics, enabling tube biasing with and without audio present, either collectively or as individual tubes. It is the perfect tool for warranty provision and servicing, providing a database of hardware serial numbers and storing amplifier parameter settings for full traceability.

Please click here for your free information pack

TubeSync Service Points : Why Should You?

Friday, September 10th, 2010

TubeSync technology

TubeSync streamlines with the amp’s circuitry to constantly test and monitor the amp without altering the fundamental amplification process, tone or sound. It eliminates the need for bias current matching, increases tube life by micro-adjusting the bias on each tube, predicts tube failure and can, in the event of tube failure, even run the amp at half power, preventing catastrophic amp damage. ­­

The result is an amp unhampered by many of the problems associated with conventional tube amplification allowing musicians to enjoy classic tube sound quality without the frustrations.

These are just some of TubeSync’s unique features:

  • Eliminates the need for bias current matching of output tubes
  • Micro-adjusts the bias on each tube to ensure its full potential is realised
  • Assures reliability
  • Maintains optimum performance
  • Increases tube life
  • Reduces quiescent power consumption
  • Sets tubes at their optimum temperature as soon as you power up
  • Detects tube failure and prevents catastrophic damage to amp
  • Switches out faulty tubes and runs amps at half power until tube can be changed

A new industry standard

TubeSync technology has now been incorporated in new amp designs from some of the world’s most prominent amp manufacturers. Hiwatt, famed for their legendary reliability, was one of the first OEMs to recognise the potential of TubeSync for further enhancing the reliability and performance of their amps. KBO Dynamics continues to work with the industry’s biggest names to raise the bar in tube performance and reliability, creating a new industry standard in amp design and manufacture.

Introducing the Bias Engine

The Bias Engine is the hardware that encapsulates TubeSync’s unique technology. Fitting the Bias Engine is a straightforward procedure, with all necessary components supplied within the retrofit kit. It is stipulated that the Bias Engine is fitted by an accredited technician.

Bias engine retailThe Bias Engine is sold as a part of the TubeSync Professional Amp Upgrade Kit containing:

TubeSync Bias Engine Hardware

TubeSync hardware is wired straight into the amp’s circuitry. The Bias Engine is a very compact component that can be incorporated in both point-to-point and PCB wired amps.

Tube fault LED indicator harness and amp chassis LED plate

The Bias Engine is wired to 4 LED indicators that permanently illuminate when the tube is faulty and ‘flash’ when the tube needs to be replaced. The LEDs sit on the amp chassis, surrounded by the LED plate.

Wiring harness and mechanical fixings

The wiring harness, bundling all necessary wires and connectors, completes the kit along with a full set of mechanical fixings for securing the Bias Engine.

TubeSync Bias Runner software

Improving amplifier biasing methods, servicing and fault diagnostics

Interfacing with Bias Engine hardware, our Bias Runner software has been designed to allow OEMs and professional amp technicians to interrogate the status of an amplifier, alter bias settings, perform field diagnostics and configure the amp for best performance, further adding value to your services.Bias Runner_02

Bias Runner is easy to install, offering full fault diagnostics, enabling tube biasing with and without audio present, either collectively or as individual tubes. It is the perfect tool for warranty provision and servicing, providing a database of hardware serial numbers and storing amplifier parameter settings for full traceability.

Total service hours

Reads and displays the total number of hours the amplifier has been powered up. Optional reset facility available if required.

Total duration with audio

Reads and displays the total number of hours the amplifier has been driven with audio. Optional reset facility available if required.

Total hours idle

Reads and displays the total number of hours the amplifier has remained idle i.e. has not been driven with audio. Optional reset facility available if required.

Faulty tube log

Reads and displays the number of times a tube has been switched off due to a fault during the lifetime of the amplifier. A reset function is available for each individual tube.

Bias current (Audio present)

Enables the user to adjust tube current bias settings collectively or individually

Bias Current Idle (No Audio Present)

Enables the user to adjust tube current bias settings collectively or individually

Hardware and version status

Displays the serial number of the TubeSync module and the hardware version number

Serial number and settings database

Stores all serial numbers together with amplifier parameter settings in a   database for full traceability

Our commitment to you

We work closely with all of our partners to promote high standards and to support you in realising the full benefits of our truly innovative and impactful core technology and associated products.

As a TubeSync retailer or accredited technician you will receive:

Guaranteed product quality

All of our products are manufactured to the highest quality standards using state of the art assembly equipment. All components are ROSH compliant and uniquely identified for full batch traceability

A comprehensive solution

A complete package of hardware and software supports ease of use and easy configuration

Technical support

Our approach is founded on product and service quality. We offer our retail partners generous technical support to ensure that you are fully equipped for promoting TubeSync technology and advising your customers appropriately.

As an authorised retailer you will appoint a technician(s) who will receive training from our own technical team and who will be required to become certified as an accredited TubeSync technician before performing installations.

Warranty

All components come with a 12 month warranty which commences from the date of installation. Full warranty terms are available on request.

Tired Pony Play With TubeSync In Their First Live Show

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Tired Pony, the supergroup featuring Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody and REM”s Peter Buck, played their first LIVE gig with the help of an Audio Kitchen base amp fitted with TubeSync.

Tired_Pony

Tired Pony was formed by Gary Lightbody (of Snow Patrol), who had a “long-term ambition” of making a country album. He revealed the project’s existence in May 2009. In the interview, he expressed his love for country music, which he said he had loved for a long time: “I always thought I had a country album in me and it turns out I did.” The rest of Snow Patrol expressed excitement for their band-mate, “delighted that [Lightbody was] getting to exorcise all his crazy ideas.”In October 2009, Lightbody in his blog on Snow Patrol’s website revealed the members of the group to be Richard Colburn (of Belle & Sebastian), Iain Archer, singer Miriam Kaufmann (Archer’s wife), and Jacknife Lee. He talked about two more members whom he was very excited about, but didn’t name them. He also stated that the album won’t be country as was being reported, but would be “country-tinged”. In January 2010, Hot Press reported Peter Buck (of R.E.M.) to be a member of the group. Lightbody described Buck as one of his “all-time heroes” and admired his talent for playing a variety of instruments. Lightbody looks at the project as something he has “wanted to get out of his system”, and said that “he doesn’t know whether people will dig it or not.”He has expressed doubts about the commercial viability of the group’s work, mainly in the United States.

Tired Pony played their first ever live show at London’s Forum venue in Kentish Town on July 14th 2010 with the help of an Audio Kitchen Base Chopper fitted with TubeSync!!

For further information regarding TubeSync Audio Kitchen Amps please email info@tubesync.co.uk or steve@mutronics.co.uk

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Leaky Tubes / Valves Can Blow the HT Fuse In Guitar Amps, TubeSync Can Avoid This!

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

An interesting phenomenon that some ‘leaky’ tubes, removed from conventionally biased amps, appear to improve when run with TubeSync. The reason may be that when the tube gets hot, g1/cathode leak causes a current increase, but it is automatically biased ‘back’ to compensate, which allows the tube to cool down again and thus reduce leakage et al. After a while the leak sometimes reduces or disappears completely – we surmise that the getter  gets a chance to mop up stray gas molecules or the metallic deposit gets ‘boiled off’ the mica supports.  This type of fault in a conventional amp would normally blow the HT fuse, however TubeSync can avoid is and rectify the problem! Cool eh?

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Duesenberg Boutique Amps Make TubeSync A Standard Integral Component.

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

After extensive testing, Duesenberg Boutique Amps select TubeSync as a standard part of their high quality boutique amplifier range.

Duesenberg is better known for their high quality guitars. In a unique way Dieter Goelsdorf´s Duesenberg design consolidates guitar construction, features and sounds which have written music history. The art deco style design of headstock, pickguard and metal components gives Duesenberg its own eye-catching look, while the body design bases on the old traditional Jazz guitars like being built from the 40s in Europe and in the USA.

guitar

These design elements are combined with the best possible electric guitar construction values of the 50s: Grand Vintage Alnico pickups, classical Fender scale length plus a Gibson-like fingerboard radius. Most of the vintage-style tailpieces, bridges, tremolos, pickups and controls come with greatly improved details.

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The Duesenberg Doozy Two amp as pictured above is hand-wired and built in Germany, It is equipped with EL34 power tubes at 110 watts, but with the capabilities of also switching to 55 watts. This all around two channel amp comes with a switchable gain stage for the drive channel as well as serial loops for each channel. Duesenberg are proud to announce that TubeSync technology will be fitted as standard on new models manufactured after July 2010. ‘’TubeSync enhances reliability without changing the tone of the amp’’ More exciting TubeSync features will be announced shortly!

For more information visit :

http://www.tubesync.co.uk

http://www.duesenberg.de

German Based Bulldog Amplification Approves TubeSync

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Bulldog Amplification builds handcrafted tube amps in Germany to meet  the ever demanding needs of musicians in terms of tone and reliability. Years of experience in repairing and modifying tube amps has lead to an exclusive line of guitar amplifiers. These instruments are built to produce the best possible tone. Most of today’s amps offer many different sounds and functions, but the guitar signal has to pass through various paths of electronic circuitry until it reaches the speaker, consequently the tone is weakened. Tone and bullet proof reliability are the most important things for Bulldog Amplification and that’s why Bulldog is delighted to announce that TubeSync will become standard within their The Jack 66, Jack 18, Black Bert 1, and Den Lachs amplifier models.

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The ‘’Jack 66’’

‘’The combination of TubeSync with short signal paths and other high quality components make our amplifiers world class and due to this, Bulldog Amplification is becoming a preferred choice by professional artists and serious guitar players’’.

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The TubeSync ‘’Bias Engine’’

‘’ Robust, bomb proof reliability, with enhanced functionality and perfect tone is what we want’’ – says Ingo Bührmann from Bulldog Amplification. Ingo goes on to say…

‘’Cheap poorly designed products from China are fast becoming unacceptable to guitar players especially within Germany, where high quality engineering is embedded within our culture’’ You would buy a car if the drive was terrible and it broke down when you needed it the most, well would you? ‘’ I believe the same philosophy applies to guitar amplifiers, high performance and reliability is paramount’’.

Bulldog Amps are currently used by a number of high profile bands such as the massively popular German band Guano Apes and Livingston. Bulldog amps with TubeSync will soon be appearing on a stage near you!

Guano Apes

Guano Apes

Liv

Livingston

For more information on TubeSync email:

UK: info@tubesync.co.uk

Germany: info@bulldog-amps.com

Hiwatt Amplify Their Success With TubeSync

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

IT TAKES more than sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll to make a guitarist sound great. John Hill meets North East amplifier makers at the cutting edge of technology.


Hiwatt & TubeSync

ANDY Fallon and Colin Arrowsmith are not guit- arists. Their affair with the valve amplifier isn’t born of a youth spent practising solos or arguing over kit specifications next to the counter of their local guitar store.

In fact, Andy’s experience lies in automotive and military engineering, while Colin is an expert in microelectronics.

However, their contribution to a piece of kit beloved of the White Stripes, The Who and Black Sabbath has attracted the attention of major international amp-makers.

Andy and Colin are co-founders of KBO Dynamics, a Consett company created to market technology designed to improve audio and guitar amplification.

They are the men behind TubeSync, a “tube management system” which monitors the performance of valve amplifiers to avoid meltdowns while maintaining sound.

The product won the innovation award in the Durham and Wearside heat of the nebusinessawards 2009, run by The Journal and Evening Gazette.

KBO co-founder Andy said: “We were looking for a niche market. Neither of us plays the guitar, but we did a lot of brainstorming.

“Colin worked with microelectronics, but he’s also an expert with valve technology. We realised very quickly that the biggest application for valves was inside guitar amps.”

The valve amp isn’t exactly a rapidly advancing technological product. The technology was developed between the world wars and uses a series of vacuum tubes to regulate a signal. It was present in items from TVs to radios, but fell out of favour in the 70s.

The resurgence of such equipment has been prompted by high-end users in the audio and guitar amp market, who praise its natural sound.

Andy said: “There’s a warmer, more rounded tone to it. Anyone who’s serious about playing a guitar would only use a valve amp.”

When they developed TubeSync, the pair didn’t set out to change the sound. Instead, they set their sights on the downside, the problems that plague valve amp users looking for that special sound.

He said: “The closest you can compare it to is an engine management system on a car. It’s like having a maintenance technician looking after your amp 24/7 without you noticing it. It’s continuously monitoring the circuit, looking for faults.

“We got a market research report from Think M in Newcastle. It conducted a series of live interviews with OEM companies and guitarists.

“We looked at the problems people were talking about, but we didn’t change the sound.

“It can detect faults. It can disconnect a pair of valves if it finds one is faulty. You normally have to buy valves in matched pairs and you need to take the amp to a technician to tweak it, but with TubeSync you only need to buy one valve if one fails and it can tweak the system for you.

“One faulty valve can blow up the output transformer. TubeSync can detect this and prevent catastrophic damage.”

KBO had support from a number of North East backers. It won £90,000 from NorthStar Equity Investors’ Proof of Concept fund, developed its prototype with help from Business Link and got £20,000 from the North East England Investment Centre. The process was then advanced by a grant of £20,000 from One North East.

In all, Andy estimates the product has taken 18 months and around £200,000 to develop.

He said: “We built and developed it from the bottom up. We tried to use components that were available in the marketplace and we created our own unique algorithm.

“We don’t think there’s a similar product to this on the market and we’re hoping to receive a patent in the next couple of months.”

Right now, KBO is on the hunt for buyers. The team has just returned from the international Musikmesse instrument trade show in Frankfurt, where they saw a live band perform using TubeSync technology for the first time.

He said: “It was being used by a band playing Pinball Wizard by The Who. We’re expecting to see the technology on stage properly some time this year.

“The lead time on the product is about eight weeks so it could well be appearing in the summer.”

British amp manufacturer Hiwatt, whose users include Arctic Monkeys, The Killers and The Kooks, has incorporated TubeSync into its amps and Andy says that others, such as fellow Brits Orange, are keen.

The company is talking to manufacturers about fitting it in amps this year and down the line it may create variants of the product that could be fitted by amp technicians or even end users.

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