LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions

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tortugaranger

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LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« on: 18 Feb 2020, 09:53 pm »


Hi All,
 
For the past several years we’ve been selling variation of our LDR3 Passive Preamp first with our V2 board and later our newer V25 board. Eventually we added the OLED display. We’ve used the same powder coated heavy duty extruded aluminum case,  Cardas jacks, machined aluminum panels, acrylic inlays etc. Parts and fabrication costs for this model have been on the high side for us and so we’ve priced the LDR3 at $1195 all this time.
 
In a few weeks, hopefully before the end of March, we’ll be introducing a replacement model for the LDR3, the LDR300x. While the internals of the LDR300x configured as a passive preamp will not change very much the externals will.
 
We are moving to a newer, lighter, smaller enclosure with newer and smaller front/rear panels. We are doing away with the machined aluminum front panel which was an expensive bear to fabricate and going instead with a dark acrylic lens. We’re also dropping the costly Cardas jacks.
 
The net result of all these mostly external changes is that going forward we’ll be able to offer the new LDR300x as a passive preamp at the remarkable price point of $789. Moreover, by also optionally leaving out the OLED display and only providing a simple status LED along with reduced functionality/features we will be offering a “no display” passive version for only $599.
 
Wait, there’s more!
 
Some of you may recall the LDR300 Buffered Preamp (without the “x”) that we released in the fall of 2018 and then discontinued in the spring of 2019. I won’t rehash that story here but we never stopped messing with the design of the buffer circuit used in the original LDR300. In fact we’ve improved upon it and are making it an optional part of the LDR300x. This means you can order the LDR300x as either a passive preamp or as an active preamp. Externally the active version looks and behaves the same as the passive version but the active version now has the new SSPB.V2 Preamp Buffer board.
 
The SSPB is more than just a JFET buffer, it also has a proper gain stage based on the LME49720 audio op amp with adjustable plug-in gain modules for running at unity (1x), +6dB or +12dB. Don't care for the LME49720? No problem. The dual op amp is socketed so you can go ahead and try alternative dual op amps if you like.
 
The active version of the LDR300x is priced at $995 and is one sweet sounding preamp.
 
More info on the LDR300x can be found here in an article we just published. https://www.tortugaaudio.com/ldr300x-preamp-coming-soon-in-passive-and-active-versions/

We'll be adding more info on the LDR300x as we get closer to a release date.

We also plan to organize a tour for the LDR300x and this time we're going to ship both a passive and an active version so tour members can try both.

Cheers,
Morten
« Last Edit: 20 Feb 2020, 02:58 pm by tortugaranger »

MttBsh

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #1 on: 18 Feb 2020, 11:00 pm »
This is great news Morten! I like the idea of a modular design, and the more aggressive pricing will likely attract many more to give these excellent sounding Tortuga products a try.

Hikmer

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #2 on: 12 May 2020, 04:34 pm »
Any news on this and might there be one to try out?

LarryD56

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #3 on: 12 May 2020, 06:35 pm »
Yes, I'd definitely be interested in auditioning one. I'm looking for a replacement for my current preamp.

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #4 on: 13 May 2020, 11:41 am »
Any news on this and might there be one to try out?

We are diligently working on the 300x. The critical path item is completing the development of the new ePot.V3 Preamp Controller which will be at the heart of the new preamp model. We recently took one more time consuming step to improving the V3 by converting all of our code from C to object oriented C++. For most that won't mean anything but it's yet another step in raising the quality bar of the underlying software tech that runs our preamps. That decision set back our timeline by 2-3 weeks but now was the best time to do it. Realistically we are now talking about a mid-late June release. The good news is that we are more than 90% done with the work on the V3. I hope to freeze the hardware design over the next week or so which will let us proceed with ordering boards.

We WILL be organizing a tour for the 300x so more on that as we get closer to the release date. Tours are slow moving trains so if you wish to participate in the tour that will likely means months before your turn with a demo unit.  The fastest way to try one out will be to buy one and take advantage of our 30 day in home audition and 100% refund policy if you're not satisfied.

Cheers,
Morten

Hikmer

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #5 on: 13 May 2020, 02:58 pm »
Thanks for the update!

charmerci

Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #6 on: 13 May 2020, 03:55 pm »
Shouldn't the two versions be called the LDR300a and LDR300p?
For the tour, will you be sending both versions together to each person at the same time?

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #7 on: 13 May 2020, 04:42 pm »
Shouldn't the two versions be called the LDR300a and LDR300p?
For the tour, will you be sending both versions together to each person at the same time?

Good question. It comes down to both a matter of design philosophy and a practical/cost question.

As conceived this overall model could have the following variations: 1) passive - no display (LED only),  2 passive with OLED display,  3) buffered (active) with OLED. If we offered 2 or all 3 as its own model then we'd need 3 different versions of rear panel with its own model labeling. If it's only 300x then there's only 1  rear panel  to design and fabricate. This keeps the cost down. Labeling doesn't make anything sound better so why make it cost more? Ok, then so how does anyone know what specific version they have in their hand? Well, it it has only a blinking LED then it's a passive 300x. If it has an OLED display then go down the display menu until you see "Version", click on it and it will tell you what it is.

Now suppose someone buys a low cost passive version with a blinking LED and later decides he wants both an OLED display and a buffer added. No problem. Nothing needs to change externally. All the mods are done internally and the rear panel doesn't have to be changed out. Flexible, least cost approach. They are all variations on the 300x model. X for fleXible.

It gets even more "interesting" when you introduce our new non-LDR plug-in discrete thin-film switched attenuator module that you can plug into the preamp controller board in lieu of an LDR module and now you have a non-LDR preamp that can be passive or active. It's still a 300x. Query the OLED display menu to find out it's a TA300x.DA for Discrete Active or LA for LDR Active or DP for Discrete Passive or LP for LDR Passive. In fact we may well actually end up calling this the TA300x given that it's no longer locked in to being an LDR preamp. Cool beans!  :thumb:

Cheers,
Morten

charmerci

Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #8 on: 13 May 2020, 07:09 pm »
Gotcha!