Nice article by Larry Fisher in the NY Times 10/25/07 on the Brick and USB DAC Technology. Especially good mention on the streaming interview, take a listen. The link is at the top left of the page.
You may want to gander over to the new website for USB DACS called of all things USBDacs.com
New Cardinal Available with 100% Silver Output Transformers
Ok some details...Standard USB DAC with Directly Heated Triode output tubes and 6V4 tube rectifier copper output transformers, battery dac $7500 retail, with silver outputs $15,000. Standard output tubes are 71A, +3dB gain use WE101M/L $750 extra, Telefunken RE134 $1000 extra, Penny and Giles Volume Control add $750 and Motorized Remote Volume Control add $750.
Standard wood options are Walnut, Cherry and Figured Maple. I do have an abundant supply of exotics on hand. Price available on request.
This dac has an intelligent dac module, meaning that the smarts for the USB controller are located on a separate dac module. A few dacs will be available that all run on batteries and have differing sound and capabilities.
The first dac modules presently in progress or available:
A) ONE16 a single TDA1543 with passive I/V using Shinko Tantulum resistors. Available Now
B) ONE16A Async software module update of the ONE16, optimized for Async ISO USB mode.
C) ONE24AT Async software module for 24/96 optimized for Async ISO USB mode and 44.1, 48, 88.2 & 96K.
Ultimate RE134 Preamplifier with Digital option and remote power supply (left). This is a wonderful sounding preamplifier using the RE134 and custom silver output transformers by MagneQuest.
Matching RS241 Class A/A2 amplifier. This amplifier uses the Reactor Follower used in many of my Guitar Amplifiers and the Brick to accomplish a stellar amplifier. The first half of the 6SN7/5692 is a gain stage the second the Recactor Follower directly connected to the grid of the RS241. This means the grid can be driven positve into the A2 range for 5W's of power. Custom silver MagneQuest output transformers and power provided by GZ34's.
Where do I start? This is the most exhausting undertaking I have ever done. This has the Digital Option (USB, SPDIF/Toslink) and 2 line inputs. The line output goes to a motorized volume control then each channel is buffered through a 6GM8 and silver inductors in a reactence follower. But here's the catch... 2 buffers for each channel going to an electronic tube xover of 3rd order at 500Hz. Then each Low and High pass goes into another volume control (for level adjusting) and then silver parallel feed output transformers for all four outputs. Of course with this comes a battery supply seperate for each channel. I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 680 hours in this project in design and laying out the 5 custom pcb's required for the project as well as laying out the metal work and putting it all together.
Gary Krakow of MSNBC has just done a stellar job of introducing the Brick. Gary really get's where all this is going and I thank him greatly for this. I am not sure how Gary got that much info in that little of space. It just shows you how much of a pro he really is!
EnjoyTheMusic.com's Ian White takes a listen to the Brick in the November issue. I want to thank Ian for his time and interest in the Brick. I think Ian agrees with me that the Brick and USB Audio is really taking off! There will also be a mid-month follow up.
I would like to thank Art Dudley and Stereophile for taking the time too look at the Brick in the September issue of Listening. I think Art did a great job at introducing the public into the realm of Computer Digital Audio. For more information into the Brick, Cosecant and Ultimate go to the USB DAC page.
FYI Steve became a dealer of mine and bought his original Cardinal XS amplifier in 1994. These where updated as the award states to X1 status and have worked trouble free since he received them more than a decade ago! Thanks Steve!
At 6.5" square and 3.5" high weighing in at about 6 pounds I give you the Brick. The Brick is the basic building component of a computer based audio system. The Brick uses the basic configuration of the Cosecant. The USB controller connects to the Transcendental DAC which is directly coupled to the 12AU7A. The 12AU7A is used in the reactor output scheme using custom MagneQuest iron.
As with the Cosecant and Ultimate, this USB DAC will work with any computer that has compliant 1.1 USB Audio specification. There is no need for custom drivers or software. So basically you plug it in and it will work with what ever hardware platform or software application you prefer. As many of the customers of the Cosecant have found... you can better your sound of your system with a $1000 computer as compared to one using a $10,000 transports. You can also stream live music, internet radio stations or even run DVD movie sound tracks though it. The chassis is a drawn aluminum custom chassis with the tube inside the removable lid. Available now from my dealers for $1750.
12:21:04 Sorry for the delay in NEWS as I have been very busy designing new products and redesigning some of the older ones. This came about as Back Gate is ceasing production of their capacitors. In many cases such as the new X2 this was needed to be done so that other products could continue to use these fine capacitors. In those and the X2 case where say one value of a Black Gate was used on one product, then maybe a different configuration (say 2 47uF caps in parallel to make a 100uF cap only used in one product). No need to worry, we should have plenty of stock for years to come. At CES 2005 we will be showing several new and updated products remaining at the same price:
Napoleon V3 parallel feed 300B amplifier retaining it's 100% silver output transformer, price will remain the same. Available in either ac heated 300B configuration and super quiet dc heated 300B arrangement (for speakers above 98dB).
Cardinal X2 12.5W, 6C45PI cap coupled to a 300B with grid choke and using GZ34 rectifier (optionally with less power 274B).
The Low Watt series will be renamed and updated to the Lightning Series.
The Ultimate series of amplifiers, preamplifiers and integrated amplifiers will top off the list of new products. These will be as close to custom products as anyone can offer. Separate power supply chassis with the preamplifiers and integrated amplifiers shipped with three digital inputs (USB, Toslink and RCA or BNC) and the 2 SPDIF inputs having the new version 2.0 of the Caffeine anti jitter circuit. There will also be 2 analog inputs with the preamplifiers also having optional phono preamplifiers. Available with Silver, Copper and some combinations with cobalt output transformers. You choose the tube.... I create your product!
Silver.... Yes we now have silver output transformers for the Sine, Cosine and Cosecant!
More to come with pictures soon!
11:21:03 Sine & Tangent Upgrade and it doesn't require anything but changing the batteries out. Gold Peak decided to drop their NiCads for a new type of Nickel Metal Hydride. This new battery has proven to be a great upgrade. If you want to order a send me an eMail and I can help you out.
RS Labs products are now being imported by Sakura Systems 508-829-3426
Transcendental 44/16 DAC module is now available for all versions of the Cosine DAC. Anyone with a version 3.xx can buy the DAC module and we will install the module at no charge. Customers with version 1.xx and 2.xx versions of the Cosine can have their dacs upgraded at the factory. The Transcendental 44/16 DAC module is a zero type module with absolutely no upsampling, no oversampling, no digital or analog filtering. In working on the 24/192 upsampling module a friend inspired me to try this. I think the lack of mathematical processing required for upsampling, oversampling and digital filtering causes some of the lack in analog sound that many of us have experienced over the years. This technique on the other hand sounds more analog than any of my other dacs that I have built.
Version 3.xx dac upgrade $500 retail
Version 1.xx and 2.xx dac upgrade $750 retail
Shelter is now handled by AXISS Distribution Inc. email them at the link or call: (310) 329-0187.
7/1/02 Cardinal X1 review on EnjoyTheMusic.com, thanks Steve for all the nice comments!
6/24/02 Sorry for not keeping everybody up to date, I have been very busy making new and existing products!
Tangent is now available! I have spent a lot of time on this and we have had a few in the field and now it is released. I have backorders to fill but should have more available very soon.
Details: The input is tied to a triode gain stage with variable 100, 1K and 47K input selection. The triode stage is directly coupled to a single low noise NPN transistor gain stage that is transformer coupled to the passive RIAA stage (this also makes the preamp non-inverting). The output stage is another triode gain stage. The total gain is set to 65dB usable with a number of MC carts! The power supply is made up of a string of batteries that charges when the preamp is turned off. The filaments are run off a regulated dc supply. This assures a very quiet operation and the battery supply last for 30 hours+ between charges.
Well it seems like yesterday... not really! I sold my first product 20 years ago today. The Wavelength Audio PH1 a discrete phono preamplifier with passive equalization. I had sold SS Amplifiers (50W monoblock) and Speakers (8" 2 way transmission line) when I was in college, though I cannot remember the brand name I used back then. If anyone has any of the older stuff send me an email, I would love to hear about it.
October issue of Jazz Times Mike Quinn gives Wavelength Audio the big nod!
Check out the new Single-Ended Guitar Amplifiers that I make!
Gemini Twin receives Class A rating in the October issue of Stereophile Magazine
Duetto receives Amplifier of the Year award from EnjoyTheMusic.com
Another fabulous review of the Duetto amplifier in EnjoyTheMusic.com, by Ian White
May issue of Stereophile review by Robert Deutsch on the Gemini Twin:
Ultimate Review of Mercury available in PDF!
Listener Review of the Duetto available in PDF!
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