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!

 

Hikmer

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #9 on: 10 Jun 2020, 05:43 pm »
Any updates on release date for the active preamp?

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #10 on: 10 Jun 2020, 09:28 pm »
Any updates on release date for the active preamp?


The critical path to answering that question is getting the ePot.V3 controller board finished. Thought we were done the last week of May but I wasn't satisfied with the power supply arrangement so we're now going through a couple of iterations on different PS designs. Next round of prototype boards due to arrive next week. If that goes well we can place production orders by mid June which would mean a possible release in mid-late July. This is pretty much taking 100% of our time currently so we on it like stink. As soon as we get the V3 wrapped up we'll be able to give a more accurate update but for planning purposes late July or early August  looks doable. 

Hikmer

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #11 on: 11 Jun 2020, 04:02 pm »
Thanks for the update. Might you have an idea of the size of the enclosure?  Need to plan some space

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #12 on: 11 Jun 2020, 06:15 pm »
Thanks for the update. Might you have an idea of the size of the enclosure?  Need to plan some space


That part of the cake is baked. 
Width: 6.125"
Height: 2.5" including feet (2" nominal enclosure)
Depth: 9.5"

Hikmer

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #13 on: 9 Jul 2020, 03:48 pm »
Any updates?  Just wondering if you are still on track for your planned release dates.

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #14 on: 9 Jul 2020, 04:09 pm »
Any updates?  Just wondering if you are still on track for your planned release dates.

The V3 controller designs are done and hardware has been ordered. We expect to have production V3 hardware in hand around the 1st week of August. We need that hardware to produce the new TA300x. The only part of the TA300x we don't physically have yet aside from the V3 is the rear panel but we'll have those by the time the V3 boards arrive. So adding all of that up it looks like around mid-August is looking feasible. Let's just say "August" for sure whether that's early, mid or late I've given up trying to forecast these things. The good news is there are very few remaining uncertainties.

We'll be standing up the TA300x product page on our website soon for pre-ordering.

Cheers,
Morten

Hikmer

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #15 on: 1 Aug 2020, 09:47 pm »
First day of August, wondering when the TA300x Active might be available?

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #16 on: 2 Aug 2020, 01:52 pm »
First day of August, wondering when the TA300x Active might be available?

By way of update we started production of both the ePot.V3 Mini and Max boards this past week. Official release of the V3 attenuator/controllers is scheduled for mid-August and it looks like we'll meet that target with maybe a 1 week slippage since we are still putting final touches on the firmware.

Release/availability of the V3 Max is THE critical path item to getting the TA300x ready to go. We have raw rear panels for the TA in house now and will be prepping and shipping those out to the anodizer this coming week with a 1 week turnaround. Aside from the V3 Max, the rear panels are the last thing we need to start producing the TA300x. Rolling that all up I'd say it's still possible we could release the TA300x by the end of August and it that slips it might spill into early September but somewhere in that time frame is realistic.

I'd expected to stand up the TA300x product page on the website by now but have been consumed with getting the new V3 controller ready which takes precedence over everything else right now. That said I'm committed to get the product page up and going before this week is out. It's time.

Cheers,
Morten

Hikmer

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #17 on: 9 Aug 2020, 10:47 pm »
Just curious on the status of the product page.  Hoping you are making progress!

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #18 on: 10 Aug 2020, 01:42 pm »
Just curious on the status of the product page.  Hoping you are making progress!


We are on track to being shipping ePot.V3 Mini boards this week and to start producing the Max boards. The Max boards are needed for the TA300x. We are also waiting on getting the rear panels back from the anodizer which should be done by the of the week so I expect we'll have both panels AND Max boards by next week which means we'll likely be ready to produce TA300x units be the end of the month. I wanted to get some production unit pics of the TA300x before standing up the product page and we need the rear panels for that. So probably next week for the product page.


Cheers,
Morten :thumb:

tortugaranger

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Re: LDR300x Preamp | Passive & Active Versions
« Reply #19 on: 19 Aug 2020, 05:04 pm »
Hi All,

We are pleased to finally stand up the product page for the new LDR300x.V3 Passive or Active Preamp. What's missing are decent product photos but those are in the works and will be available next week. We are accepting orders but will not likely be shipping units until the end of August.

I will be organizing a tour for the LDR300x soon as well.

While it's the ultimate self-serving statement I'm really VERY pleased with the sound of this preamp. I mean I REALLY like it A LOT. I get distracted listening to it  here in our shop. No doubt in my mind the ePot.V3 is THE best attenuator/controller we've ever designed.

Here's the link: [url]https://tortugaaudio.com/products/passive-preamps/ldr300x-v3-preamp/

Cheers,
Morten  :thumb: