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VALVE OUTBOARD & AMPLIFICATION

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Unit 1a Chocolate Factory 2, 4 Coburg Rd Wood Green N22 6UJ Tel 0208 829 8927 Email
I design unique valve spring reverb, equalizer, distortion units and pre-amps for studio, live or home use. There are many digital and software plug-in emulations of valve saturation and distortion. Although they may be convenient to use in digital recording, they do not have the character, flexibility and sound quality of the devices they try to emulate. Only real valves can give you the real valve sound!"

These units are bespoke and have been designed using purely analogue components, so their construction and operation are significantly different to those of off-the-shelf effects units. You’ll be rewarded with a unique and beautiful sonic toolkit for your music.

Details of  ongoing projects and design can be seen here on the WORK IN PROGRESS page, or please contact Theo for further information.

AAE VALVE SPRING REVERB/EQU
This custom incarnation of the original design for a spring reverb system represents many years of refinement and tweaking of the basic circuit, alongside numerous improvements to the user interface and individual component parts.
EQ REVERB
The EQ/ISOLATOR section has been especially designed to function as an integral part of the complete spring reverb system. This has lead to the user interface for the EQ operating in a different manner to the standard modern parametric EQ found on most modern mixing desks and outboard equipment. Rather the operation is as the original EQ designs dating from the 50s and 60s, as seen, for example, in equalisers from companies such as Pultec and Lang, where boost and attenuate were always on separate bands. This can take a second to get used to if you are only used to using modern parametric EQ, where each band can provide both boost and cut.

Another important difference with this type of EQ is that when the boost control is set to “zero”, or if that frequency band is bypassed, then the entire frequency band of that section is removed from the signal path – as opposed to the controls of a modern parametric eq, where if the controls were to be set to “0”, or if a frequency band was bypassed then you would hear the original “flat”unaffected signal.

It is this very difference that enables the AAE equaliser to also act as an “isolator” – each band can literally be switched in and out of the output signal, and can be continuously varied by changing the EQ controls – with skilful operation the user is able to switch and vary the spring reverb effect each time it is triggered, by for example, a snare drum, bringing in/out each band and changing the frequency/gain each time the snare is hit…

 
THE 'TOTAL VICTORY' TUBE EQ (THE WAR ROOMS NOTTINGHAM)
 
 
AAE VALVE DISTORTION UNIT
distortion box
This distortion has switchable triode and cascode input stage. Cascode stage produces more harmonics, resulting in a more complex distortion sound. It also features a switchable 'load' - this changes the amount of resistance in the output stage. At a high setting, subtle distortion is possible. At low settings, very harsh metallic distortion is possible. Also available is the 'naughty' setting - with no load. This produces a very lively, punchy sound which seems to emphasize peaks in the signal.
"Theo built me a valve distortion unit which I am extremely happy with. The audio and build quality of the unit is exceptional. He has included parameters and functions that are not found on 'off the peg' units". Theo was very thorough and very helpful in explaining and demonstrating the functions of the unit to me, you can clearly see he is genuinely passionate about his work." - Bibio (Warp Records).
AAE VALVE DISTORTION & EQ UNIT
 

AAE RECORDING PRE-AMP & REVERB

This unit accepts various input sources and amplifies them for recording purposes. An extra facility is the spring reverb section and the amplified reverb drive signal. Both of these signals can be mixed with the original signal. It is a purely analogue design using valves and transistors working on relatively high voltages (up to 320Vdc) producing high level signals, a lot of headroom.
AAE PREAMP & REVERB
It can be adjusted to produce clean, mildly or even heavily distorted sound. The type of harmonics generated can be even and low in order (musical) but sometimes if so desired, odd too, for harsher sound (for instance bass, drums etc.) Harmonic distortion can be combined with frequency adjustment through careful use of the gain switches/controls and the inbuilt EQ. Overdrive distortion combined with the reverb sections can also produce a variety of different sounds.
 
Guitar & bass amps are designed and hand built in the workshop - single ended & push pull. Also send return effects drivers and power supplies for pedal boards.
I design & build valve, hybrid, solid-state pre amps for 50s and 60s type power amps such as Quad II's and Leaks. Also, custom design of hifi & pre amps, phono, line and output stages.
I am a specialist in the restoration of vintage guitar and hifi amplifiers including the complete rebuilding of amps, and modification. Valve and solid state. I also repair and restore studio equipment.
I have over thirty years experience of analogue electronics and qualified with a Bsc (Hons) in electronics & communications specialising in eletroacoustics.

 

My workshop address is Unit 1A First Floor The Chocolate Factory 2, 4 Coburg Road Wood Green N22 6UJ. Contact me directly on 0208-829-8927 between 9am - 7pm mon to sat to discuss your requirement. You can also Email
 

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