LDRx Unbalanced & LDRxB Balanced Passive Preamps

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tortugaranger

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LDRx Unbalanced & LDRxB Balanced Passive Preamps
« on: 5 Sep 2013, 09:52 pm »
In terms of where Tortuga Audio is headed next by way of major product development, our primary near term focus is on finishing development of our balanced passive preamp for release in the Q4 2013. We are calling this preamp the LDR3B.

The twin beating hearts of the LDR3B will be a pair of LDR3x boards in a Master/Slave configuration. We are currently separately marketing the LDR3x board to the DIY community. Demand has been surprisingly high and initial  user reports have been very very positive.

One aspect of the design which is now essentially final is the input/output configuration. The "3" in the LDR3B means there will be both 3 inputs along with 3 outputs. An earlier rear panel layout is shown below. Since this graphic was made, we've shifted the all the panel holes so they line up vertically with each other rather than offset as shown.  And although shown in gray, all metal will be brushed black anodized with laser etched light lettering.  



2 of the 3 inputs will be balanced and 1 will be single ended. We've had several customers ask for the option of being able to accommodate at least one single ended (RCA) input as well as one single ended output (for subwoofer). Internally,  the one unbalanced input is converted to a balanced signal via transformer. This way all 3 inputs will be attenuated identically regardless of which input/type is currently selected. 

The selected input, regardless of type, will be available on all 3 outputs; 2 balanced and 1 single ended. The balanced output will be run through a transformer to convert it down to an unbalanced single ended output.  

Below is the latest overview of the LDR3B enclosure. It's grown in width from earlier prototypes. Current nominal dimensions are 8.5" wide, 8" deep by 3" high. This will be the new "look" of all our products going forward. All metal panels will be brushed black anodized aluminum and the sides will be carbonized 3 layer bamboo. Trying to think outside the black metal box just a bit. We plan on retaining our signature Fender Telecaster knurled knob. The LDR3B will also have a visual display module.



Pricing has not been finalized.

Questions and suggestions always welcome.

Cheers,
Morten

jtwrace

Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #1 on: 5 Sep 2013, 11:22 pm »
suggestions always welcome.

Cheers,
Morten
Go to RMAF 2013.   :wink:

Randy

Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #2 on: 16 Sep 2013, 03:38 pm »
I for one can hardly wait.

Randy

Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #3 on: 29 Sep 2013, 08:34 pm »
I have to ask. Just when will this be available for sale?

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #4 on: 30 Sep 2013, 01:41 am »
I have to ask. Just when will this be available for sale?

We're making some changes in terms of hiring on additional help to accelerate this but realistically December - before year's end. Two out of town weddings in October isn't helping (neither are mine!). As soon as we have a final prototype built with all the bells and whistles (i.e. the enclosure), we'll release some photographs and summary specs and start accepting pre-orders.

rklein

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Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #5 on: 30 Sep 2013, 02:25 pm »
Hi Morten:

Three questions... :D

Are you going to utilize an external relay/input board to expand to both 3 inputs along with 3 outputs?

When ready will you make this relay board available to the DIY community that purchased your LDR3x boards?

and finally, I am a bit confused on the below comment.  Does this mean that the balanced output will not run fully balanced?

Quote
The selected input, regardless of type, will be available on all 3 outputs; 2 balanced and 1 single ended. The balanced output will be run through a transformer to convert it down to an unbalanced single ended output. 

Regards,

Randy

Randy

Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #6 on: 30 Sep 2013, 06:02 pm »
We're making some changes in terms of hiring on additional help to accelerate this but realistically December - before year's end. Two out of town weddings in October isn't helping (neither are mine!). As soon as we have a final prototype built with all the bells and whistles (i.e. the enclosure), we'll release some photographs and summary specs and start accepting pre-orders.

Thanks, Morten.

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #7 on: 5 Oct 2013, 01:57 pm »
Are you going to utilize an external relay/input board to expand to both 3 inputs along with 3 outputs?
Does this mean that the balanced output will not run fully balanced?

The LDR3B will utilize input switching via LDRs to select from 3 inputs. 2 of those inputs will be XLR/Balanced and 1 will be RCA/unbalanced. The switching will be via LDRs in lieu of electromechanical relays. This is the same approach we currently use with our LDR1/LDR6 finished preamps. When the unbalanced input is selected it will be upverted (my new word!) to a balanced signal via stereo transformers before being attenuated. The attenuated balanced output will go to 2 XLR/balanced outputs in parallel. The output will also be downverted (my other new word!) via a second set of stereo transformers to an unbalanced signal for the single RCA/unbalanced output.

The addition of the unbalanced input/output to the LDR3B adds a fair amount additional cost but numerous prospective customers have asked for this feature. We may eventually offer a lower cost variation - lets call it the LDR2B for now - which excludes the unbalanced input/output. We may also offer an upgraded version of the LDR3B which utilizes better audiophile grade signal conversion transformers.

Quote
When ready will you make this relay board available to the DIY community that purchased your LDR3x boards?

The general answer is yes  but the timing hasn't been nailed down. The near term focus is on the release of the LDR3B. LDR3x relay boards to follow.

kirkwooodman

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Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #8 on: 20 Nov 2013, 09:02 am »
Any chance there  will be option of three XLR in and one or two XLR out?  Don't need the unbalanced at all an thus no need for the expensive transformers.  Thanks.

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #9 on: 20 Nov 2013, 08:26 pm »
Any chance there  will be option of three XLR in and one or two XLR out?  Don't need the unbalanced at all an thus no need for the expensive transformers.  Thanks.

The simple answer is Yes. The 2 XLR + 1 RCA in and 1 XLR + 1 RCA out was requested by several people which is why we'll be offering that arrangement but we'll also offer a straight XLR in/out at a commensurate lower price. And thanks for asking.

Cheers,
Morten

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #10 on: 18 Jan 2014, 08:29 pm »
We just published a status update on the LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp. Getting closer to launch!!
You can find out more via this link: http://www.tortugaaudio.com/ldr3b-balanced-passive-preamp-update/

« Last Edit: 18 Jan 2014, 09:57 pm by tortugaranger »

ru1020

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Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #11 on: 2 Mar 2014, 04:15 pm »
Very nice ! Bring it on :D

edit:

+1 for a cheaper version with fewer inputs

1 XLR + 1 RCA or
1 XLR or
2 XLR

Bemopti123

Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #12 on: 2 Mar 2014, 04:43 pm »
I do not want to diverge from the balance unit development, but is Tortuga audio planning to add display units in future updates on the regular unbalance line stages? 

Paul

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #13 on: 2 Mar 2014, 05:44 pm »
+1 for a cheaper version with fewer inputs

That's a possibility we'll consider after the LDR3B is launched. It's easier to leave things out than to add things in once a design has been set.

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #14 on: 2 Mar 2014, 05:45 pm »
....... is Tortuga audio planning to add display units in future updates on the regular unbalance line stages? 

The simple answer is yes. Timing of that is sketchy at the moment but yes.

Randy

Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #15 on: 17 Mar 2014, 06:41 pm »
What's the current ETA?

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #16 on: 18 Mar 2014, 01:50 pm »
What's the current ETA?

Ah yes, when indeed. Everything was on track for a Mid-March release but i had to bugger that up by going forward with the LDR3x.V2 preamp controller board which is now the critical path item. The V2 is now 2-3 weeks from being finished and there will undoubtedly be some initial glitches (software) to iron out so I'm now thinking by the end of April we should be good to go.

Randy

Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #17 on: 18 Mar 2014, 05:37 pm »
Ah yes, when indeed. Everything was on track for a Mid-March release but i had to bugger that up by going forward with the LDR3x.V2 preamp controller board which is now the critical path item. The V2 is now 2-3 weeks from being finished and there will undoubtedly be some initial glitches (software) to iron out so I'm now thinking by the end of April we should be good to go.

The end of April?  Of what year?   :)   

Just kidding. It's all good, except for the waiting part.

Randy

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp
« Reply #18 on: 18 Mar 2014, 08:44 pm »
The end of April?  Of what year?   :)   

Yeah, I had that one coming.  :roll:

Randy

Re: LDR3B Balanced Passive Preamp - Any news?
« Reply #19 on: 18 Jun 2014, 02:18 am »
End of June?