Posts Tagged ‘hi gain’

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

TubeSync UK Service Points Being Appointed

Friday, August 13th, 2010

We are offering select retailers and amp technicians the opportunity to become authorised suppliers of TubeSync technology and to take advantage of our new innovative amplifier technology.

  • Become a supplier of KBO Dynamics’ TubeSync Bias Engine
  • Generate revenue from hardware sales and fitting
  • Benefit from accreditation as a TubeSync technician
  • Add value to your offering with improved amplifier biasing methods, servicing and fault diagnostics, using TubeSync Bias Runner software
  • Get involved as TubeSync emerges in new amp designs from major amp manufacturers.

If you would like to be considered as TubeSync ‘Service Point’ then please email : info@tubesync.co.uk or telephone +44 (0) 1207 585846.

TubeSync_Service_Point

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

Innovation Winners Attracts Famous UK Guitar Amp OEMs

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

KBO Dynamics are making their mark in the international music industry. They will be showcasing their technology with a number of major customers at the high profile international music fair, Musikmesse in Frankfurt this March. Hiwatt is just one of the world’s most prominent guitar amp manufacturers and KBO Dynamics are delighted to have TubeSync technology incorporated in their latest amp designs.

KBO Dynamics Win Innovation Award 2009

KBO Dynamics Win Innovation Award 2009

KBO Dynamics, winners of the Durham and Wearside Innovation Business Awards 2009, stated : TubeSync technology achieves unique benefits including vastly improved reliability and performance in tube amps.  Securing orders from Hiwatt and others is a significant achievement.

KBO Dynamics Power and Control Devices

KBO Dynamics Power and Control Devices

‘The scale of the companies that KBO Dynamics are working with is impressive. They have ambitious plans for growth and have been performing very well since receiving investment from us. KBO Dynamics is an excellent example of successful innovation coming out of the North East and is testimony to the region’s strong knowledge base,’ Dr Richard Exley, North Star Equity Investors.

­The company has also been supported with market research, manufacturer introductions and early product launch activity by think M., a leading strategic marketing and research agency specialising in technology and innovation.

Andy Fallon, KBO Dynamics, ‘think M.’s channel research played an important part in helping us to secure investment by providing the market evidence required to prove TubeSync’s growth potential. It helped us to refine our offering to amp manufacturers and was instrumental in getting us through the door at some really high profile organisations.’

TubeSync

TubeSync

As KBO look forward to Frankfurt they already have further collaborations underway and anticipate generating more interest from manufacturers, amp technicians and musicians alike. If you would like any more information on TubeSync technology, please visit www.kbodynamics.com.

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

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