The artist rendering of the chassis depicted (in our news page - Ed.) is for our proposed full-
blown passive preamp code- named The Director. I have enclosed its provisional schematic below. We do not consider the architecture to be proprietary since it is the quality of the parts and especially the 1:1 input transformer that ultimately determines the sound quality of the implementation. In the more distant future (late 2006), we plan to offer the "Active Director" codenamed Abbie. Abbie will have a vacuum tube buffer stage with a very low (sub 100-ohm) output impedance designed to accommodate end users who must, for instance, drive long cables, the well known areas and apps where "passive pres" are perhaps not the best solution.

However, our current thinking is toward introducing the smaller brother of The Director first. It will have the same key components -- namely the transformer and volume control/s -- but won't offer the various switching capabilities of its larger and more complex brethren

Our simpler arrangement is codenamed The Interface, above with dual volume controls. It is designed to be a "minimalist": one set of RCAs in, one set of RCAs out, a volume control and the (same as big brother) key 1:1 Peerless input transformer. Otherwise, it's simple, simple, simple. Our thoughts are KISS. We get rid of a lot of solder connections, redundant switches and features that many users just don't need or want. The Interface gets the job done well and only includes the resources (parts) necessary to achieve that end. It is designed for the purist, with a single source feeding the preamp.

I've enclosed several photos of The Interface, some with a stereo volume control and one with dual mono volume controls. We have yet to reach a decision as to whether we will offer one or both versions. We are presently evaluating different volume controls from Alps Blue Beauties to GoldPoint attenuators. In the end, we may offer customers several choices since some people prefer one solution over the other.

The same chassis/housing that we propose for The Interface is also slated to house our MC step-up transformer. Hence the same packaging (minus the volume control on the front panel) can perform double duty. I also want to clarify and distinguish our approach to a passive preamp from the approaches utilizing switched, multi-tapped autoformers and transformers. Our approach has some technical advantages (in our opinion) and more importantly, we believe that it will sound very, very good. But it is not (as the definition may be evolving) a "magnetic volume control" in the sense of the transformer having many taps on the secondary (or load a portion of the autoformer). Advantageously, we use all of the windings on the primary and secondary all the time and have a very stable impedance that the CD player or other source sees as its load. Our arrangement also galvanically isolates the source from the load, retaining one of the traditional benefits of transformer coupling.

But lest we delve into too much boring technical analysis, it is our ears that must be pleased. And that is our aim at MagneQuest - to build a great sounding preamp. Our anticipated release (things always go slower than planned) is toward the middle of the first quarter of 2006. The photos show The Interface constructed of bird's eye maple with a walnut top and bottom The walnut was from a log (a downed tree) on our land in the Poconos that we had sawn up. We are planning to offer the chassis made out of wide range of different woods and even mixed media (say aluminum side panels with wood top and bottom and/or vice versa). What I would like to develop is a "gallery plan" where we would put up photos of the different chassis on our website and allow customers to choose from the crop that's currently available.
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