The making of the Darkglass Microtubes 900, October 2016

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The making of the Darkglass Microtubes 900, October 2016

Inläggav bjelkeman » sön 09 okt 2016, 16:00

Earlier this year I visited Darkglass Electronics in Helsinki and I got a preview of the Darkglass amplifier. Now when it is released I wanted to get a deeper interview with Doug Castro, the lead designer of the amp and the CEO of Darkglass. I went to Helsinki last Friday and not only managed to get this great interview with Doug, but I also picked up my M900 (thanks Doug and These Go To 11 for being so accommodating).

The discussion and interview is not only about designing the amplifier, but also about business philosophy and motivation.



Interview with Doug Castro about the making of the Darkglass Microtubes 900 amplifier.

The Darkglass Microtubes 900 (M900) was previewed at NAMM early this year and got a lot of attention. It was then called the Darkglass 700 and was a prototype. When Doug got back to Helsinki I managed to try it out and I was really impressed with what I saw and heard. I have been itching to get my hands on one for quite a while. It turns out I wasn’t the only one who was itching. Secretly several well known bass players, like Billy Gould, Faith no more and “Beav”, Davin Townsend Project have been touring with early copies of the M900.

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Darkglass team discussing production

There was quite a lot of work that went into the amplifier to make it production ready. The focus of the work was really to make it possible to manufacture at a reasonable cost. Doug talks about it in the video, how the prototype was nice looking, sounded great, but was way to expensive to manufacture. They made other changes too. Moving some inputs around to make it possible to have a smaller and lighter amp and sorting out the heating issues so the components don’t overheat and loose lifecycle time, and adding more power by adding a heat sink, a quiet fan and connecting the heat sink to the aluminium chassis.

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My amp in the test rigg

The other big thing that was added is a digital footswitch to control the amp. It works with a standard mono cable and something new (that I hadn't heard anywhere else) is that i they are planning to add more functionality in the future, with a multi-switch footswitch.

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The Darkglass amplifier testing rigg

The video goes into some detail about how to design amplifiers, and we discuss a bit about this. Many people think that the fact that the amp uses the same power amp as other designs, the ICEpower 700ASX in this case, means it will sound like other amps that use the same power amp. I don’t think that is the case. But of course, you have to decide that for yourself.

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Amplifier internals, with heat sink paste visible

One thing that is quite clear is that the passion for the work is what drives Doug and his team. This passion creates very good and popular products, which I, for one, am very happy to be at the receiving end of.

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The power had to be upgraded for the testing rigg to be able to operate all amps at the same time

A few more photos here, where we'll add some more later as well.
Ibanez (ett dussin), Spector & Warwick, Darkglass, Mesa Carbine, TKS. Mina besök hos Darkglass och Mayones.
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bjelkeman
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Re: The making of the Darkglass Microtubes 900, October 2016

Inläggav mrbaloo » mån 10 okt 2016, 10:41

Nice och välgjort reportage.
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Re: The making of the Darkglass Microtubes 900, October 2016

Inläggav archisland » tis 11 okt 2016, 05:52

Grymt jobbat! :)
Spelar på EBS|Darkglass|Boss|Fender|Woodo|
Spelar bas i Structural Disorder
Lyssna här på Spotify SoundCloud
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