SDM45 getting born

Author: matthew; Published: Jan 14, 2009; Category: Amplifiers; Tags: , ; No Comments

it’s coming along. so very slowly.



Projects for 2k9

Author: matthew; Published: Jan 7, 2009; Category: Amplifiers; Tags: , ; No Comments

I am in the process of building a knockoff of the insanely valuable Marshall offset prototype (one of the ones from Jim’s kitchen) that’s here at Echo Mountain. It’s been done before (and is being done now, by me,) but this version will be reasonably priced, look cool, and should sound pretty great. I hired my friend Alex to do the chassis drawing for CNC machining.

One of the reasons I respect Echo is that the offset and the straight JTM-45 prototype are both in use on many sessions. They sound like rock n’ roll and are happy being played.

I’ve also come up with a new sort of pedal prototyping platform. More on that as it develops.

More on Watkins Amps

Author: matthew; Published: Nov 12, 2008; Category: Amplifiers; Tags: , ; No Comments

After installing the new power transformers in the Watkinses and replacing bloaty and old electrolytics both combos are sounding great. I plan to get Perry to trace the circuit of each on Friday so I can offer it here for all the internets to see.

Watkins before

Watkins before

KM56, SM69, Watkins Amplifiers

Author: matthew; Published: Nov 10, 2008; Category: Amplifiers, Microphones; Tags: , , , ; 2 Comments

Spent the morning helping set up for the new session. Balanced the Genelec near-field monitor levels to the NS-10s. Oriented the visiting engineer.

Problem – One of the matched KM56 mics and one side of the stereo SM69 have the delightful sounds of cracklin’ potatoes after being on for an hour.

Solution – I left the mics powered up on the bench for more than 24 hours. none of them show any evidence of problems. This is irritating. I applied various stress positions to no avail. The capsules seem to seat properly and the cables seem intact. I do not know what mic cable was used for either microphone when the initial problems presented.

Problem – The newly acquired Watkins amps sound good but are too quiet.

Solution – Upon examination it turns out that both amps are set up to run only on British voltages and when I apply 220 volts both amps sound great. I discussed the situation with the studio manager and she preferred that I change the power transformers in the amps rather than run them from external transformers. I ordered transformers from Weber.