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Ear Trumpet Labs – Old Dominion Hits the Road with ETL Edwina

Ear Trumpet Labs – Old Dominion Hits the Road with ETL Edwina

Nashville, TN (April 10, 2019)—A highlight on country act Old Dominion’s current arena tour has been the performance of a new song, “One Man Band,” with the moment underlined by the group using an Edwina vocal microphone from boutique mic manufacturer Ear Trumpet Labs.

The large-diaphragm condenser Edwina model was selected for the quieter moment in an otherwise high-energy set, as lead vocalist Matthew Ramsey is joined by lead guitarist Brad Tursi to share the Edwina microphone for vocal harmonies.


FOH engineer Ian Zorbaugh noted, “The show designer came to me looking for a ‘vibey’ microphone for two of our vocalists to sing into together. I wanted to give the designer a look he liked, while also achieving a sound quality that I was happy with. I’d heard great things about the sonics of all of the Ear Trumpet products, and obviously, they have a very distinctive vibe. The Edwina sounds great; it has a very detailed, open sound while also being very stable. We use it at the end of a 40-foot thrust, well in front of the PA, so the stability was another key element in making this particular moment in our show a success.”

Lead singer Matthew Ramsey notes, “Playing a new song in our set comes with the risk of losing the full attention of our audience because they aren’t familiar with it. On top of that, it’s somewhat of a ballad. We wanted to make sure this song had its moment [so] when the light hits that microphone at the end of the stage, the crowd instantly knows something special is about to happen, Not only is it great sonically for catching the mix of Brad Tursi’s vocal and mine together, it just looks cool, too.”

Ear Trumpet Labs •

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Black Lion Audio presents the NEW Bluey

Black Lion Audio presents the NEW Bluey

Experienced recording engineers are all familiar with the concept of “happy accidents” — those once-in-a-blue-moon moments that ignite spontaneous magic in your recordings. You can’t plan them — they’re organic, comprised of sheer randomness or even bone-headed mistakes. It’s the guitarist getting caught in the wrong key (“modal jazz!”); the wrong track patched into the sidechain (“Grammy-winning engineering!”); singers riffing when they thought it was just a run-through (“pure poetic brilliance!”). The same audio gods sometimes smile down upon a piece of vintage gear. Through decades of repair and maintenance, some units seem to improve with time.

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New Lynx Promotional Video & Aurora(n)s on Post Malone Tour

New Lynx Promotional Video & Aurora(n)s on Post Malone Tour

Sear Sound’s Chief Engineer Chris Allen discusses what upgrading to the Aurora(n) means for this legendary studio and how transparency matters.

Aurora(n) on World Stadium Tour with Post Malone

Following his recent performance with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the 2019 Grammy awards Post Malone has embarked on a world-wide stadium tour taking a pair of Aurora(n)s along for recording and live playback tracks. The Aurora(n) was chosen for the fidelity and reliability to be the centerpiece of the playback rig. Seen below, two Lynx Custom Shop 24 channel Aurora(n)s each with an LM-DIG digital I/O option installed.

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Digital Performer 10 is now shipping

Digital Performer 10 is now shipping

Digital Performer version 10 is now shipping with dozens of exciting new features, including the Clips window for live triggering and looping of audio and MIDI clips, Stretch Audio powered by industry-leading ZTX PRO™ technology, VCA faders, a new convenient Content Browser, VST3 plug-in support, scalable UI, Run command (shift-spacebar) and a 5 GB soundbank containing hundreds of virtual instruments.


Digital Performer 10 will ship Q1, 2019 for macOS (64-bit-only) and Windows 10/8/7 (64- or 32-bit).

[poduct id=20318]

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New AEA Session featuring Jay Som

New AEA Session featuring Jay Som

Jay Som is the featured band in one of our most unique AEA Sessions yet. Recorded entirely by the new supercardioid KU5A, Jay Som performs ‘Baybee’ from their 2017 album, ‘Everybody Works’. From the cozy comfort of a living room-turned-practice space, Jay Som demonstrates a playful, but precise chemistry.

The sharp directionality of the KU5A allows an entire band like Jay Som to record live and in close proximity without excessive bleed or room tone. It gives engineers and artists a unique combination of superb directionality and warm ribbon tonality in an active, road-ready form factor.

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Back in the late nineteen eighties I ran a small boutique by appointment only high end HiFi shop, and at that time our preamplifier of choice was the MANLEY (their first and only product at the time if my memory serves correctly), which we considered to be the finest audio product in the world. Not long after that, MANLEY moved into pro audio which they quickly took by storm and has remained their primary focus ever since. When I met Zia Faruqi at T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 demonstrating the original samples of the MANLEY Absolute Headphone Amplifier I knew this was a product I had to review. Not only was it aesthetically distinctive and beautiful, it offered unique features not seen before in Personal Audio, and exceptional performance that was apparent even at a crowded HiFi show.

If I have this correctly, Zia Faruqi was David Manley’s first employee at the first Vacuum Tube Logic company in England in the 1980’s. The Absolute Headphone Amplifier was Zia’s brain child and he is responsible for the Design Concept, Industrial Design and acted as Project Manager throughout the entire development process going so far as to personally accompany the product to a plethora of Personal Audio Expos.

MANLEY Absolute Headphone Amplifier

The MANLEY Absolute Headphone Amplifier:

The MANLEY Absolute Headphone Amplifier boasts of fifteen independent operational controls “each of which was exhaustively developed for convenient adjustability and aural variety.” Two selectable stereo RCA jack pairs of their own design, Teflon® insulated and gold plated, receive the input signals. The volume is controlled on the facia by a front thumb wheel or by the included RF remote control employing a precision stepped relay ladder matrix attenuator in half dB steps, with the Mute switch situated next to the volume control wheel. Vertically mounted just in front of the tubes you will find Baxandall Bass and Treble equalizers that can be completely bypassed via a separate button, and a Balance Control which has a signal swing of up to 144 dB (In the center detent position the balance control is completely removed from the circuit).

In addition to the EQ bypass switch there is a button for mono, source, output (¼” TRS Headphone Jack, a 4-pin XLR Balanced Stereo Output for your high-end balanced headphones, and a set of stereo RCA outputs to use the Absolute Headphone Amplifier as a line-level preamplifier in an existing hifi system) and a button that cycles the transformers through three ranges of output loads (Low 12-50 Ohm, Mid 50-200 Ohm, High 200-600 Ohms).

There is also a selectable Bypass Thru Mode that sends RCA Input 1 directly to the RCA Outputs, when in STANDBY mode, as well as a user adjustable Headphone Overload Protection System which allows you to preset a maximum output level.

Which brings me to the two most interesting and unique features; the first being the ability to switch on-the-fly between all-triode Push-Pull to Single-Ended topology. Essentially, in Push-Pull mode the Harmonic Distortion is significantly lower, power output is greater and noise floor should be lower, whereas Single-Ended completely alters the harmonic structure from odd-order to even-order which is more musical.

The other is my favorite feature the Variable Feedback control which allows you to control the amount of overall negative feedback applied to the amplifier from 0dB, or no Global Negative Feedback, to 10dB of Negative Feedback.

“Negative Feedback in electronics is when a small portion of the output signal is re-introduced back to the input signal to provide a more stable and beneficial corrective result. This control is very useful when determining how “tight” you want your amplifier to sound. For example, a simple female vocal with minimal percussion can sound more intimate with very little feedback, but a complicated symphony orchestra passage may sound better positioned with more feedback. Applying different amounts of negative feedback can also affect the slew rate and apparent “speed” of the sonic character. Other aspects for which to listen include placement, forward or relaxed, darker vs shimmering, or punchy vs mellow.”

On to technical features; the Absolute Headphone Amplifier features custom hand-wound air-gapped dual-mode MANLEY IRON® output transformers, designed and manufactured at the Manley Labs factory in California. It also incorporates their own innovative purpose-designed-for-audio High Voltage switched-mode power supply. “All super-low impedance DC rails are fully regulated and worlds quieter than any linear supply we have ever encountered.”

The review sample I received was fitted with Ruby 12AX7WBC input tubes and RCA 6AQ5A vacuum tubes in the output

The solid billet chassis for the Manley Absolute Headphone Amplifier is available in three color options: Black, Copper, and Silver, and feature hand-rubbed walnut-burl veneer accents for the headphone head-band and ear pad rest areas.

MANLEY Absolute Headphone Amplifier

The Listening:

For sources I began with the Schiit Modi 3 (review upcoming), later switching in the Questyle Audio CMA400i, the Questyle Audio CAS192D eventually settling into the Questyle Audio SHB2 Super Sourceand finished off with my Audible Illusions phono stage and a turntable. As to headphones I used the MrSpeakers ETHER2, the MrSpeakers ETHER C Flows and the Audeze LCD3 headphones.

I will start with, you get out of the Manley Absolute Headphone Amplifier exactly what you put into it, which is high praise for an amplifier, and unusual for headphone amplifiers, especially tube headphone amplifiers because many Personal Audio designers seem to be under the delusion that the amplifier should somehow “improve” the sound of the signal fed into it, this usually means rolling off the highs or adding bass or midrange, or adding delay to create more “air”, or messing with the phase to create a more three dimensional image and soundstage, or dynamic range expansion, or a myriad of other tricks to fool people into believing an amplifier sounds better, not to mention basics like TIMD which makes the amplifier sound crisper, and gives the impression of added detail (well there is added detail, the Transient InterModulation Distortion itself, but that’s not music), when in fact any change in the signal is simply degradation and distortion.

After a bit of experimentation, I found that running single ended with the Negative Feedback set to its fully on position (the default position) most fit my tastes and produced the greatest musicality. Listening to Artur Pizarro & Vita Panomariovaite piano duo performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade Op 35Andantino quasi allegretto” (Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov Piano Duos – 24/48 kHz) through the ETHER C Flows was a magical experience with the piano reproduced full and natural in a large recital hall with excellent dynamics, timbre, speed and soundstage.

Dusty Springfield’s voice was palpable and intimate through the ETHER2s for “The Look of Love” (Casino Royale – 24/192 kHz) bracketed on a Jazz Club stage by the upright bass, drums, piano and guitar. The saxophone, brass and strings were warm and inviting without any of the usual harshness associated with those instruments.

The LCD3s let me explore the Absolute Headphone Amplifier’s ability to handle higher impedance loads, and the on the fly impedance switch made it quick and easy work to change headphones. “Sister Seagull” from BeBop Deluxe’s Live in the Air Age (16/44.1) was reproduced lifelike and lively with a 10th row at the Forum soundstage.

Anytime I have a Class A Triode amplifier to audition, I am almost compelled to run vinyl, and the MANLEY did not disappoint. Nicky Hopkins’ No More Changes was a true pleasure to play though the Absolute Headphone Amplifier regardless which headphones I used. The higher resolution of the ETHER2was put on display for “The Lady Sleeps” bringing out the multiple piano tracks and the sweetness of the guitar leads.

MANLEY Absolute Headphone Amplifier

The Come Away:

The MANLEY Absolute Headphone Amplifier is everything I expected when I first saw it and when I asked for a review sample, it is everything you would expect from a world class rare air well respected audiophile tube amp manufacturer. It does what an audiophile amplifier is supposed to do, which is amplify the sound and nothing else, while introducing as little noise and distortion as possible. To say it is musical is to barely scratch the surface, and possibly beside the point, the dynamics, sound stage, timbre and phase coherency are all top notch.

As expected from a true audiophile piece, it demands a top end source and is able to reproduce every nuance fed into it, and likewise it will pull out the pinnacle of what your headphone can achieve, but it will not change the basic character of those headphones.

The switchable single-ended or push-pull topology and the variable negative feedback control give real insight into those technologies and why they exist (it should be pointed out that negative feedback in a tube amp, and negative feedback in a solid state amp are completely different animals, negative feedback in a solid state amp can produce high levels of TIMD which is not a factor in tube amps).

I found the MANLEY Absolute Headphone Amplifier to be beautiful, versatile (you would be hard pressed to find a headphone that it does not work well with) and fantastic sounding. To put it simply, the MANLEY Absolute Headphone Amplifier is evidence of why those who dabble in the extreme high end of the audiophile world lean towards tube amps.

Price: $4,500 USD


Amplifier Topology:
Triode Vacuum Tube Output Stage, Switchable Topology Single-Ended or Push-Pull

Vacuum Tubes:
2 x 12AX7 (ECC83), 4 x 6AQ5A (EL90)

2 x RCA (Input 1 & Preamp Output = Pass-Thru when amplifier is in Standby or Off)

Input Impedance:
50 kOhms (Pass-Thru= 300 kOhms)

Maximum Input Level:
7.7 VAC RMS (+20 dBu)
(Conditions: XLR output, PP mode, 16 ohm load, VOLUME max, EQ out, 1kHz sine wave)

Load 16 ohm: 12 dB (Min FB), 3 dB (Max FB)
Load 62 ohm: 17 dB (Min FB), 8 dB (Max FB)
Load 200 ohm: 22 dB (Min FB), 13 dB (Max FB)
(Conditions: XLR output, PP mode, VOLUME Max, EQ out, 1kHz sine wave)

Input Sensitivity:
600 mV AC RMS for an output of 100 mW
1.9 VAC RMS for an output of 1W
(Conditions: XLR output, PP mode, FB 12:00 o’clock, 16 ohm load, 1kHz sine wave, VOLUME max, EQ out)

Volume Control:
– Precision Stepped Relay Attenuator 0.5dB per step
– 63dB total attenuation – Volume setting to minimum = MUTE

Outputs (transformer coupled):
1 pair RCA- Unbalanced (Preamp Output)
1 x TRS ¼” JACK – Unbalanced
1 x 4 PIN XLR- Balanced

XLR-pin outs – (Left Channel Pin 1= Signal (+), Pin 2= Signal (-), Right Channel Pin 3= Signal (+), Pin 4= Signal (-))

Output Impedance:
Switchable: Low 12-50 Ohm, Mid 50-200 Ohm, High 200-600 Ohms

Maximum Output Power = 1W into 12 Ohms BW 22Hz-22kHz

Variable Feedback Control (FB):
MAX 10dB
(Conditions: BAL output, PP mode, 16 ohm load, VOLUME max, EQ out)

Signal to Noise Ratio:
83 dB (1kHz sine wave, 100mW output, BW 22Hz-22kHz)
(Conditions: BAL output, PP mode, FB 12:00 o’clock, 16 ohm load, VOLUME max, EQ out)

Noise Floor:
-80 dBu BW 22Hz-22kHz
-85 dBu  A-Weighted
(Conditions: BAL output, PP mode, FB 12:00 o’clock, 16 ohm load, VOLUME MAX, EQ out)

Channel Crosstalk:
-71 dB (1kHz sine wave, 100mW output, BW 22Hz-22kHz) Left Channel
-72 dB (1kHz sine wave, 100mW output, BW 22Hz-22kHz) Right Channel
(Conditions: BAL output, PP mode, FB 12:00 o’clock, 16 ohm load, EQ out)

Balance Control Channel attenuation:
Left Channel= 72dB (1kHz sine wave, 100mW output, BW 22Hz-22kHz)
Right Channel= 72dB (1kHz tone, 100mW output, BW 22Hz-22kHz)
(Conditions: BAL output, PP mode, FB Min, 16 ohm load, EQ out)

Frequency Response:
Push-Pull= Flat 10Hz – 20 kHz (-1dB @ 40 kHz)
Single-Ended= 20Hz – 20 kHz (-0.5dB @ 10Hz, -1dB @ 50 kHz)
(Conditions: BAL output, 100mW output, FB @ 12:00 o’clock, 16 ohm load, EQ out)

Push-Pull= 0.16% THD+N (BW 20Hz-22kHz)
Single-Ended= 1.0% THD+N (BW 20Hz-22kHz)
(Conditions: BAL output, PP mode, 1 kHz sine, 100mW output, FB @ 12:00 o’clock, 16 ohm load, EQ out)

Supplied with Remora RF remote control

Soft Start, 30 second mute-controlled power-up sequence

Operating Mains Voltage: 90-250 VAC, 50-60Hz, universal works worldwide

Unit Dimensions: 11.5 x 5.5 x 8.2” (LxWxH)

Unit Weight: 12 lbs

Shipping Weight = 13.5 lbs

Packing Carton Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 15”

Power consumption STANDBY mode = 0.5W, Max Power = 80W

Heat Rise above ambient temperature at rear panel: 25ºC or 44ºF

Heat Rise above ambient temperature at side panels: 15ºC or 26ºF

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Telefunken Alchemy Series Microphones

Telefunken Alchemy Series Microphones

Designed, hand-built, and tested to strict quality standards in Connecticut, USA, the Alchemy Series is TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik’s next generation of large diaphragm tube condensers. These new microphone models feature unique sonic profiles developed from the ground up. The bold new voicings of the Alchemy Series are the TF29TF39TF47, and TF51.


TF29 Copperhead

The fixed cardioid TF29 is a workhorse microphone, accurately capturing nearly any source put in front of it with a natural tonality.


TF39 Copperhead Deluxe

The TF39 expands on the “Copperhead” sound by adding 3-pattern selection between cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-8.



With a deep low end and a forward midrange, the TF47 delivers a warm and punchy sound reminiscent of the U47 and M49.



The large diaphragm multi pattern TF51 exhibits a smooth midrange and airy top end similar to the ELA M 251E and C12.

Future classics, not clones.

With the combination of vintage microphone elements and modern fidelity and reliability, the Alchemy Series delivers microphones each with a distinctively original sonic fingerprint. The Alchemy Series is an evolution and refinement to past models in the R-F-T Series (CU-29 Copperhead, AR-51, and AK-47 MkII), benefitting from over a decade of in-house microphone design and production.

Professional designs, superior functionality.

TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik has implemented numerous improvements sonically and mechanically to the Alchemy Series, tailored all the way down to the accessories. Boasting newly designed custom headgrilles for transparency and openness, hand-plugged circuit boards, and selected American and European vacuum tubes and transformers, no detail was left unaddressed. All systems ship in a sleek, compact, protective case for easy transport and storage. Included are two modern mount options, microphone dust cover, high-flex 7-meter cable, and an American-assembled power supply.

Real trusted quality, built to last.

Like all TELEFUNKEN microphones, the Alchemy Series is assembled in the same American facility as the legendary Diamond Series (ELA M 251E, C12 and U47) by a small, dedicated team of engineers and technicians. Each microphone is individually tested and listened to. All critical components are quality controlled in-house before assembly, including capsule frequency sweeps, vacuum tube burn-in and noise grading. These high standards lead to extremely tight tolerances from microphone to microphone – something few in the industry can claim.

The ideal choice for discerning engineers, musicians, and producers.

The Alchemy Series combines timeless sound quality with TELEFUNKEN reliability in an affordable package. Whether it’s the home studio or a commercial facility, the Alchemy Series is suited for any recording environment.

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Heritage Audio at Awave

Heritage Audio at Awave

Heritage Audio was founded in 2011

By Peter Rodriguez a Sound Engineer and Musical Producer with vast experience in the Music Industry.

Heritage Audio’s mission is to bring back the Golden Age of Recording and adapting it to the 21st Century Studios.

Our products cover the various needs in analog signal processing. They are designed and manufactured in Spain and they are sold in more than 36 countries worldwide.

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Prophet X Receives 2019 TEC Award for Best New Musical Instrument

Prophet X Receives 2019 TEC Award for Best New Musical Instrument

San Francisco, CA—Jan 30, 2019—The NAMM Foundation has awarded the Sequential Prophet X its prestigious Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Award for “Best New Musical Instrument.” The Award was presented at the Foundation’s annual awards ceremony at the National Association of Music Merchants convention in Anaheim, California. The award marks the third TEC award for Sequential and the second TEC award for 8Dio’s Troels Folmann, sample content developer for the instrument.

The TEC Awards are the “Oscars” of the pro audio and sound recording industry and recognize the most outstanding products and technical achievements in the world of music making, live performance, video games, television, and film. Winners represent superior accomplishments in their respective fields and categories.

In addition to the TEC award, the Prophet X has garnered wide critical acclaim from both the music industry press and users alike for its sonic versatility and depth. Its powerful, yet easy to use combination of synthesis-plus-samples technology powers two simultaneous 16-bit, 48kHz sample-based instruments plus two high-resolution digital oscillators with waveshape modulation — all processed through analog filters.

It boasts an internal library of 150 GB of sample content from Academy-award winning sample developers 8Dio, as well as the ability to import up to 50 GB of additional user samples and third-party add-on content. Users can shape the samples through loop manipulation, sample stretching, and a full complement of synthesis functions which include 4 envelope generators, 4 LFOs, and a deep modulation matrix. A dual-effects engine, 64-step polyphonic step sequencer, and arpeggiator add additional performance features.

Sequential founder Dave Smith commented: “We’re proud that the Prophet X has been recognized by both the NAMM Foundation and by the public for what it is — a great-sounding, easy to use creative tool that puts powerful technology in the hands of musicians. That’s always been our philosophy and that’s what we continue to do.” 8Dio co-founder Troels Folmann added: “Receiving a TEC award is always a gratifying experience, but we’re particularly pleased to receive it for our work on the Prophet X because the synth gives musicians a very immediate, expressive, and tactile way to use our deep-sampled instruments.”

About Sequential

Originally launched in 2002 as Dave Smith Instruments, Sequential is helmed by legendary musical instrument designer and Grammy® award winner Dave Smith. Dave’s many accomplishments include the creation of the Prophet-5—the world’s first fully programmable polyphonic synthesizer—and his legacy as the primary driving force behind MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface).

The company’s products are used by an ever-growing roster of well-known musicians and are available from music retailers worldwide. Instruments include the Prophet-6, OB-6, Prophet Rev2, and the Tempest analog drum machine. Sequential is based in San Francisco, where its instruments are also manufactured. Visit

About 8Dio

Founded in 2011 by Troels Folmann and Tawnia Knox, 8Dio is the leading independent developer of software instruments and the inventors of deep-sampling. Troels is an Academy Award, TEC/Mix Foundation, GANG and D3 award-winning composer and Ph.D scholar in music technologies. Tawnia is the CEO of 8Dio Productions and has had a long career as an executive in luxury brands.

8Dio has created an extensive, deep-sampled catalog of advanced instruments based on literally millions of samples. Notable titles include Majestica – the largest symphony orchestra ever sampled, Epic Taiko Ensembles, Titanic Choirs, Cinematic Scoring Tools, and over 250 other instruments. 8Dio products are used by high-profile artists, composers, and top music producers in all genres. They are featured in a majority of current blockbuster movies, independent films, video games, TV-shows, Broadway productions, and the professional sports industry. For more information, visit

The Prophet X Synthesizer