What makes us different?Published: 03. 08. 2014 - 14:17
I'm often asked about characteristics of our sound, as well about what makes us different from the rest of the market. The most important factor is the fact that we still find joy in designing and producing every single device and that is how we stay connected with our users and make sure they enjoy their music, which is still more important for us then profit. And that is not just another platitude...
After 20 years of IT business, we returned to our original passion - creative musical experience of the 80's complemented with the audio devices that do exist on the market but are often not affordable to the true lovers of good sound.
At first, I spent an entire first two year studying the works of some of the greatest authorities of the middle of the 20th century - the golden age of vacuum tubes. You truly need to start from scratch. Some of those books are a true gold mine so I read some of them even today. There are still a lot of them left on the market and some of them are even digitalized. Back to the point, I spent that year drawing tube work point and loadline inside different topologies. I was putting them together on the testing workplace so I could measure and verify them by listening to the same music sample to compare them and find the best sonic and put it in correlation with the different types of tubes in different topologies and power supply specifics. That made it possible to find out something about all the different obligatory elements that will be used in the construction of our devices. We use the same knowledge today and we use it to constantly improve the quality of every single element while trying to remain within a certain price range. The last thing we want is for our devices to lay on the shelves of the stores or home sound systems. They simply need to play music, and if that isn't the case, we failed.
Here are some of the things we keep a close eye on and which are crucial for the production of our devices:
- visual design has a great value for the overall impression but it's main purpose is to keep the user safe from the high voltage used in such devices and to make the handling the device as simple as possible. High quality materials and their crafting coupled with low resonant frequency of the enclosure are an important feature
- power supply is based on standard approach - transformer (mostly torroidal), rectifier parts (tube or slow diode), LC and RC filters. We use inrush current protection, first and last electrolytic capacitor is always bypassed with quality folie capacitor. And it's left with at least 50% in the tank.
- except power supply section witch is assembled on PCB, we use point-to-point technique that requires more time to produce but is much messier. On the other hand, it makes connecting the parts with the shortest possible signal path possible. The chance of interference and oscillation caused by parasitic capacitance is significantly lowered.
- the quality of the mechanical components like the tube socket is vital so we use military ceramic versions with good resistance to oxidation and with the strong mechanical grip of the tube pins. Mechanical quality is crucial also in switchs and potentiometers (or different attenuators).
- techniques to prevent oscillations (which tubes are suffering from because of their VF purpose) are mandatory but in the right measure and when optimaly used. Grid stopper resistor, used in a lot of commercial devices is too big and a perfect example.
-testing, measuring and fine tuning are a compulsory part of our production to make sure the device gives it's best to the future owner.
This is a small description of our determination and the philosophy we at HAD Audiolab work under. We will gladly and swiftly answer any specific question, critic or praise. Your words make us improve in the future.