Posts Tagged ‘hi’

TubeSync DIVO A Brilliant Idea From The UK That Could Be The Way Of The Future For Valve Amp Design

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Checkout the TubeSync DIVO review in the April 2011 Guitarist Magazine.

”TubeSync DIVO works perfectly and does an excellent job of keeping even the most wayward valves on the straight and narrow. If you want to get the absolute best out of your amp and improve its reliability, DIVO is almost an essential – it’s a real innovation”.

orange-divo-main-460-80

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.”

KBO Dynamics TubeSync Technology

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Introduction

There is a certain quirkiness about the British psyche. On the one hand, the proportion of consumers in this country who actually bother thoroughly to read instruction manuals is undoubtedly very low. On the other, there was a Japanese survey, apparently, that found of all significant inventions going back over 200 years, 55% of them were British. Obviously, the Germans are more disciplined and better organised. The Americans are driven. The Japanese are still incredibly advanced technically, yet the British struggle to get the trains running on time. Maybe that’s the point: because we’re surrounded by chaos, we’ve had to become inventive.

The Americans make the best electric guitars but the British make the best amplification, goes the old adage. Doubtless, there are as many British luthiers as American amp manufacturers chorusing their disagreement, but as a general rule, this is probably true. And although if you look at all the great British amp makers – Hiwatt, Marshall, Sound City, Orange and the rest – they all have an Achilles Heel: the tubes. Ironic, really; amps that collectively have been responsible for the greatest sounds in contemporary music relying on components whose design hasn’t altered at all for decades. Enter TubeSync.

TubeSync_225

The engineering guys here at KBO Dynamics – inventors of TubeSync technology -are into power supply. Their background ranges from white goods to defence, and to be fair, making a washing machine go is hardly rock’n’roll. But when they turned their knowledgeable gaze towards tube amps, well, that’s different. For example, when a technician at Hiwatt builds a Custom tube amplifier, he and he alone will spend 20 hours soldering the components to stringent quality control guidelines: no production line or PCBs here. Yet, despite this labour of love, if the tubes fail, the amp won’t work. So when KBO Dynamics approached Hiwatt with a system that could monitor the tubes constantly when the amp is turned on, adjust the biases, forewarn if the tube was getting flaky and even switch pairs should one of the tubes fail completely, they pricked up their ears.

TubeSync

Musicians don’t shell out for a big, powerful expensive amp if they’re not gigging. That makes them either pro musicians or semi-pro at the very least. That also means that the public shell out to go and see them play. Therefore, neither party will be particularly chuffed if a tube goes in the middle of a performance. Yes, the pro musician probably carries a spare amp just in case, as most guitarists have a spare guitar in case they break a string, but it’s not ideal. TubeSync gives 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.

custom ampThe output from a traditional 100-watt valve amplifier comes from two pairs of EL34 tubes: matched 1 and 4, and 2 and 3. There are companies who sell ‘matched’ pairs of these tubes, as two identical tubes will tend to last longer than an unmatched pair. Normally, the EL34 will operate at 50Ma, although they can be rated higher, but the higher they are rated, the shorter their life. Best not to fiddle around too much, then. Better still, let TubeSync do what fiddling there needs to be done. The device, which is not an integral part of the amplifier, sits within the circuitry and ensures that the pairs remain matched throughout, and micro-adjusting the biases when necessary. Four LEDs on the facia plate – one for each tube – serve as a visual indicator of the state of each one. So the musician is given adequate warning if one of the tubes is getting flaky. In the unlikely event of one of the tubes letting go completely without warning, 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.

hayden Granted, having TubeSync installed in the amp is going to give peace of mind, but then we at KBO Dynamics haven’t just left it at that. Professionals in the music industry need to find out not only that there are certain strains on the tubes within the amp, but are there conditions within the live situation that perhaps put an amount of stress on the tubes above others. Handy that the techies can plug a laptop into TubeSync and get a readout, then. Handier still, we are working on an interface that when completed will allow the TubeSync-ed amp to hook up with either us or Hiwatt via the internet, and the amp’s performance can be monitored remotely in real time, even if the gig is in Australia. How formula 1 is that then? But then again, it isn’t, when you think about it; it’s more like professional progress. The Rolling Stones, for example, earn millions every time they tour – having seen them, they’re worth every penny, but that’s just one opinion – but they will never have toured in the past with amps loaded with TubeSync. Imagine the poor old amp techs frantically peering through the grilles of the back line checking for the dreaded EL34 red death glow while the band is laying it down for over a million fans on a beach in Brazil: now that’s stress.

We are talking with other amplifier manufacturers, but Hiwatt was a logical place to start: they are fiercely proud of their reputation for reliability, rightly so, and any technology that compliments that reputation is clearly going to be of interest to them. Both KBO Dynamics and Hiwatt feel that the incorporation of TubeSync technology genuinely adds value not just to the amplifier, but also to the whole amplification process. Tubes are still fairly reliable; with or without TubeSync, manufacturers wouldn’t build tube amps if they weren’t and we’re not in the business of scaremongering. However, the fact of the matter is that they are still the least reliable component part of the amp, and if you have experienced ‘sod’s law’, then you’ll know that if a tube is going to fail then it’ll pick the most inconvenient time to do so. Going back to the driving analogy, the odds of you needing the airbag in your car are reassuringly long. But try driving a car without one fitted, you genuinely do feel vulnerable.

Conclusion

In recent years, there has been an exponential rise in ‘extreme sports’ and the arrival of the adrenaline junkie, doubtless in response to an increasingly risk-averse society. The term “Nanny State” has been coined as a result. But let’s keep things in perspective; there’s a big difference in safety for safety’s sake and straightforward common sense. TubeSync technology has been designed to prolong the life of the tubes in the gigging musician’s amp – which is good – and also to alert them to the fact that the tube is approaching the end of its life – also good. We think that’s common sense, which is why we invented it.

TubeSync_500

Dennis Marshall’s Amp Repair Shop Scotland Becomes An Approved TubeSync Service Point

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Over the last 40 years Dennis Marshall has worked with many people in the music business. Some famous, some to become famous, but mostly just plain ordinary musicians. Dennis has gained a reputation throughout the UK for his work and contribution to the music business and the latest news is……is that Dennis has recently signed up as the exclusive Scottish installer of TubesSync.

‘’TubeSync is a new product and is the new ‘wheel’ for guitar tube amps’’ states Dennis, ‘’ No need to match output valves in your amp. Drop in any combination of makes OR EVEN TYPES!!! (EL34, KT77, KT88, 6L6 etc).’’

‘’ TubeSync will automatically sense and adjust the output bias of each tube independently to balance the amp. Imagine what new tones you can create from those limitless output tube combinations!’’

Dennis has an amp in his workshop with Tubesync installed – so anybody is welcome to come in and try it out!!

You can reach Dennis directly on…………..

Telephone 01383 881761

Email tech@dennismarshall.co.uk

Or Mail or in person at

6 Main Street, Newmills

Dunfermline, Fife, KY12 8SR

Bias_Engine

Every person who goes into Dennis’s workshop is equally important and will always get the same high standard of service. Dennis is an approved Mesa Boogie engineer and has worked with a number of high profile bands including:

Deacon Blue, The Proclaimers, Roger Nichols, Texas, George Michael band, Nine Inch Nails, Wasp, Uriah Heep, The Hazey Janes, Pete Caban, Glasvegas, Katie Melua, Dave Valentine, Ona, Mark DeNeys, Fiesty Piranhas, Ally McErlaine, Bobby Bandiera, Stapleton, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Dougie MacLean, The Eels, Joe Gore, Joe Gormal, The Searchers, Jon Solish, Ray Wilson, Idlewild, Lionel Richie, Paul Buchanan, Stuart McCredie, The Eagles, Ron Sexsmith, Tam White, Lauri Anderson, Willie Logan, Bobbie Heatley, Steve Adey, Robbie Gladwell, Frank Macbeth, Sons and Daughters, Hamish McGregor, Miguel Orgel, Pilot, John Goldie , Marcus Ford, Echo and the Bunnymen, Athol Fraser, Mats Nermark, Bobby Carlos, Craig Oxley, Steuart Smith, The Jam, Healthy Minds Collapse, Avast, Adrian Clark, Nick Guppy, Sergeant, Tango in the Attic, Mike Walker, NYJOS, One Night of Queen, Davie Brockett, Runrig, Glasshouse Project, Kevin Brown, Ocean Colour Scene, Tony ‘Doggen’ Foster, Midas Fall, Mayhew….

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?

TubeSync_250

TubeSync For Valve / Tube Amps What am I ?

Friday, March 19th, 2010

About me:

I am a revolutionary new amp component, enhancing amp performance resulting in pure valve magic. My superior amp technology overcomes many of the problems associated with conventional tube amplification. With a little help from me there is no need for bias current matching, I can increase tube life and take your valves to their optimum temperature as soon as you power up. I can be easily integrated into any guitar valve amplifier. I take care of the detail, so you can concentrate on becoming a master of the strings . . . You can find a lot more about me on my main website www.tubesync.co.uk

The TubeSync Bias Engine

The TubeSync Bias Engine

Eliminates the need for bias current matching of output tubes

Increases manufacturing efficiencies

Micro-adjusts the bias on each tube to ensure its full potential is realised

Maintains optimum performance

Increases tube life

Assures reliability

Reduces quiescent power consumption

TubeSync

TubeSync

PIMP Your Guitar Amp With The TubeSync Bias Engine

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Pure tube magic – that warm, uncluttered sound powered by superior amp technology deserves the best. TubeSync takes care of the detail, giving unsurpassed performance from any tubes.

Plugging straight into the tube powered heart of your amp, in perfect harmony with its fine tuned circuitry, TubeSync’s Bias Engine eradicates the need for bias current matching, increases tube life and takes your tubes to their optimum temperature as soon as you power up . . .

and there’s more.

The result: a well honed tone tyrant with none of the problems hampering conventional tube amps; a streamlined orchestrator of analogue magic.

Ashdown Amp With TubeSync

Ashdown Amp With TubeSync

POWER UP HOT

The Bias Engine’s ‘Hot Anode’ cranks up the heat and has you running hot from the very first cord. It knows the optimum temperature for your tubes best performance and gets them there the minute you start playing.

JUST PLUG IN AND PLAY

The Bias Engine is easily incorporated into your amp’s systems at manufacture. It removes the need for bias current matching but still achieves the absolute best tone.

INCREASED EFFICIENCIES

Increased manufacturing efficiencies (due to reduced testing) are achieved by eliminating the need for bias current matching.

ROOTING OUT THE RENEGADE

Fear not the cherry red glow of a failing tube! The Bias Engine continuously monitors the performance of each tube during operation and searches for typical tube failure modes and trends. If the Bias Engine

detects a faulty tube, it can automatically ‘switch out’ the offending tube and run the amp, at half power, until the defective tube can be changed.

HARDER, BETTER, LONGER

Work your tubes at their full potential. The Bias Engine automatically micro-adjusts the bias on each tube to ensure its full potential is realised throughout its working life. The amplitude of drive signals supplied to the grids is dynamically measured and performance is optimised accordingly. Tubes work harder, better and for longer.

RAISING THE BAR

TubeSync revolutionises convention by completely replacing traditional testing methods. Every time you power up TubeSync runs an automatic ‘in circuit’ test and assures reliability.

MINIMUM POWER, MAXIMUM OUTPUT

Less power input, same big output. TubeSync reduces quiescent power consumption by an average of 20% compared to conventional amplifier biasing techniques.

Hiwatt Launches TubeSync at MUSIKMESSE 2010

Friday, February 19th, 2010

UK-based KBO Dynamics will be showcasing their pioneering technology with Hiwatt at Musikmesse this March. TubeSync® technology achieves unique benefits including vastly improved reliability and performance in guitar tube amps. Hiwatt have incorporated the innovation in new amp designs to further underline their already exemplary reliability.
musikmesse_2010
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.

Mark Lodge Hiwatt’s general manager stated ‘Our amps have proven their reliability year after year. Incorporating TubeSync technology has allowed us to raise the bar one step further. The benefits are of great value to us and our customers.’

KBO Dynamics look forward to more exciting collaborations this year. For more information on TubeSync, please visit www.kbodynamics.com

Hiwatt_TubeSync_Tube_Amp

Hiwatt Underline Reliability Repuation With TubeSync

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Famed for their legendary reliability and tone, Hiwatt have gone one step further in the reliability stakes by employing TubeSync® technology in their already bulletproof amplifiers.

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Over the last year, Hiwatt and UK based KBO Dynamics have developed their own version of a pioneering technology called TubeSync®, which Hiwatt will launch at Frankfurt Musikmesse 2010 in March. The technology has been developed in order to overcome problems associated with conventional tube amplification such as biasing, tube longevity and overall reliability. What the collaboration has achieved is to improve amplifier design without changing the fundamental amplification process yet retaining the classic Hiwatt tone and sound.

Although not an integral part of the amplification process, Tubesync® is connected to the heart of the amp’s circuitry, constantly testing and monitoring; it’s like having an amp technician working full time inside the box every time the amp is powered up. This technology eliminates the need for tube bias current matching, increases tube life by micro-adjusting the bias on each tube, predicts tube failure and can, in the event of a catastrophic tube failure, even run the amp at half power. The result is the eradication of many of the problems hampering conventional tube amplifiers and peace of mind for the musician wise enough to have taken this route.

KBO Dynamics Chief Exec Andy Fallon: “It has been a pleasure working with Hiwatt who have been extremely receptive to change and have embraced the new technology. They have seen the benefits it can bring to them and of course, their customers, and we are looking forward to further exciting collaborations. This technology genuinely has raised the bar concerning reliability and classic tube amps, and what’s more. It’s been developed exclusively in the UK .”

For more information on TubeSync® technology, please visit www.kbodynamics.com and www.hiwatt.co.uk.

Hiwatt produce classic British custom amps both guitar and bass.