Blog Pages


OHM's Law T-Shirt

I came across this OHM's Law T-Shirt on Etsy. A little "geek" humor for ya.

Thanks for reading,


Universal Audio M610 Tube Preamp

Inside The Universal Audio M610 Vacuum Tube Preamp

The M610 preamp is the same tube preamp used in the LA610,  LA610 MKII and 2-610. The preamp is made up of two separate feedback gain stages that are cascaded one after another.

The UA M610 Circuit

The first feedback gain stage can be adjusted with the "GAIN" switch on the upper left of the front panel. This switch selects a feedback resistor that can add or subtract gain to the circuit. The first tube in the circuit (left tube) is a 12AX7 dual triode.

The following feedback gain stage uses a 6072 (right tube). The 6072 is similar to the 12AT7 dual triode. Notice that the big knob says "LEVEL". This is because it acts like a volume knob and not a gain knob in the circuit.

The first feedback gain stage feeds the 250k ohm "LEVEL" potentiometer and you adjust the input level to the following 6072 feedback gain stage.

More info and measurements coming soon.
Thanks for reading,


12AX7 Vacuum Tube Breadboard Adapters On Ebay


These are now available on Ebay at this link: BB-NOVAL Breadboard Adapters

They also work with other tubes such as 12AU7, 12AT7 and the EF86 Pentode.  You can learn how to design your own 12AU7 gain stage by reading my white paper 12AU7 Gain Stage Example.

Thanks for reading,

12AX7 Vacuum Tube Breadboard Adapter On Ebay


These are now back on Ebay at this link: BBX7 Breadboard Adapter.

Find out how to design your own 12AX7 Gain Stage by reading my white paper "12AX7 GAIN STAGE EXAMPLE on my website at .

If you have any questions you can comment here or contact me via my web page.
Thanks for reading,


Orange Dual Discrete OpAmp

Orange - Dual Discrete Audio OpAmp

Orange has a new discrete opamp available for purchase. According to Orange, "it's among the most musical sounding dual discrete op-amp out there."
Unity gain stable
Rail Voltage: +/- 18 volts max
Current Draw: 18mA
Slew Rate (min): 38V/uS
Open Loop Bandwidth: 48kHz
Open Loop Gain: 112db

Common DIP-8 pinout.
PCB height is 22mm. So, you will need to check for any clearance issues inside your gear.

According to the Orange web page, it uses low noise JFETS in the front end. It can be used in any CD player, DAC, or preamplifier that currently runs DIP 8 based IC dual op-amp types.

Since JFETS have inherently low current noise, this opamp could be a good choice for the front end of a DI as well. However, 18mA might kill your battery fairly quickly.

It is reported that it can replace the following dual opamps: (clearance accounted for)

£42.00 | $55
Available from the online Orange store.

Thanks for reading,


How To Build A 12AX7 Gain Stage Part 4 (Measurements)

Part 4 of my video series on How To Build A 12AX7 Gain Stage. This video covers DC measurements, AC gain measurements, and frequency response measurements. SPICE simulation is then compared to the real-world tube circuit.

Thanks for watching,




Two out of the four absorber kits are finally mounted on the wall using the supplied Z-Clips. TIP: You can gain a little more room "absorption" by spreading out your absorbers a bit. This is due to "diffraction", or "bending" of the sound wave. When a sound wave bends around an object, some of the energy is reduced giving an apparent increase in "absorption"


Since these absorbers are fairly large I needed to make sure to anchor them well. Here you see the supplied Z-Clips mounted to the wall spaced 12" apart. Note: they are not perfectly mounted. In fact, not a single piece of my hardware is exact.

Remember, it's more important to get it up and on the wall than it is to worry about having it perfectly mounted. Just make sure it's NOT going to fall off the wall.

Zinc Self Drilling Drywall Anchors

For the right absorber I got lucky and hit wall studs so I just needed long drywall screws for both Z-clips. For the absorber on the left I used zinc self drilling drywall anchors (shown below). You use a drill to drive them right into the drywall. Then you use small screws to mount your Z-Clips. 

I recently ordered (4) DIY422 Panel Kits from Acoustimac in Florida.  These absorbers measure 48" x 24" x 2".  Although I usually order my panels with Owens Corning 703, this time I decided to try something new and ordered the Roxul Rockboard core material.

When I saw the images online I thought I would be building everything except the frame.  However, you can see the image below of how they came right out of the shipping box.  The only thing left to really "DIY" is the fabric covering. Everything else was pre-assembled.

According to Acoustimac, Roxul Rockboard has better absorption properties than Owens Corning 703. I'm not sure I'll be able to detect the difference in my tiny room.

I will be hanging two of these panels from my ceiling as a cloud absorber. The other two will go on the wall.  I will be installing hardware in each corner of the frame to allow me to attached cables from the ceiling. Access to the inside of the panel is the main reason I ordered kits.

I feel Acoustimacs prices are very fair. Each of these 48" x 24" x 2" panels were only $42.00 each including fabric.  I will post more as I finish them.

UPDATE 5-13-2017:
Added simple eye bolts to each corner for hanging.

UPDATE 5-20-2017:
I'm not sure if it helps but I rounded off the frame edges and corners using a belt sander. Image below of an absorber that is going on the wall. (Not the ceiling)

 As the sun goes down I put the fabric on. Make sure to use a good staple gun. I used an Arrow T50 with T50 1/4" staples #504. (Image of a wall mounted absorber)

It's now dark outside as I mount the "Z Clips" that are supplied with the kit. (Wall mounting only) The panels are 24" wide so I mount the clips 6" in from each side and 6" down from the top.

More coming soon: Finishing up the ceiling absorbers and installation.

Thanks for reading,


How To Design A 12AX7 Gain Stage - Part 3

Part 3 of my "How To Build A 12AX7 Gain Stage". This video demonstrates how to build a 12AX7 common cathode gain stage on an electronics breadboard using vacuum tube breadboard adapters.

Thanks for watching,


How To Design A 12AX7 Gain Stage - Part 2

Part 2 in this video series where I show you how to simulate and build a 12AX7 vacuum tube gain stage.

Thanks for watching,


How To Design A 12AX7 Gain Stage - Part 1

Here's part 1 of a 4 part series on building your own 12AX7 gain stage.

Thanks for watching,

Los Angeles Audio Show - June 2-4, 2017

California's premier consumer audio show


110 Sound Room Demos    |   40 Headphone Demos   |    17 World Class Seminars     |       Loudspeakers    |    Turntables    |      Home Theater     |    Car Zone     |     Marketplace     |    Beer Zone     |     Live Music     |     Giveaway    |     Awards

June 2-4, 2017

Sheraton Gateway Hotel

Los Angeles, California

The LA Audio Show, hosted in collaboration with The Los Angeles & Orange County Audio Society is the US West Coast's epicenter for discovering the best and latest audio technologies from leading global manufacturers and dealers.
Thanks for reading,


Ultra Low Power LED

The days of 20mA currents for LED's are over. New LED's operate on currents less than 2mA.

 Ultra Low Power

A low power LED I've been using in my designs is the Broadcom / Avago HLMP-K150-C0002. It's a 3mm LED that lights up very well at just 0.5mA.

(Images show my ultra low power Direct Box design where I operate them at just 250uA!)

Get these for your low power projects at Digikey or Mouser. Comments always welcome.

Thanks for reading,


Slate Plugins - On Sale - THIS WEEK ONLY

The Slate Digital team has done it again with another crazy deal. They are offering, this week only,

For Just $149 Annually You Get:
  • Every Single Slate Plugin
  • Every New Plugin That Comes Out
  • Top Third-Party Plugins
  • Never-Ending Free Updates
  • Authentic Analog Modeling
  • FREE Pro Mixing & Mastering Course
  • FREE FG-224 & FG-224XL Expansion Pack For VerbSuite Classics
  • FREE iLok3 (If You Don’t Have One)
 Almost too good to be true.
Thanks for reading,


1176 DIY Kit Issues?

Every now and then my 1176 kit gets a little "wonky". So, I'll go in and poke around a bit until the trouble seem to go away. If you have built your own 1176 kit and have experienced strange issues, you might want to check out the new F.A.Q. section at Hariball Audio.

Thanks for reading,

Keysight oscilloscope starting at $449

Keysight has traditionally been a high end scope manufacturer. But, now they are finally getting more aggressive to compete with Rigol and Tektronix. The InfiniiVision 1000 X-Series of two-channel oscilloscopes have bandwidths of 50 MHz, 70 MHz, and 100 MHz

Get the full scoop at
Thanks for reading,



Plate Reverb Project?

I came across this EMT 140 reverb description while perusing my Audio Cyclopedia last night. I just might consider building one of these and documenting the entire process. 

It looks somewhat do-able. 3' x 6' annealed steel sheet, tubular steal frame, one magnetic driver, 2 piezo pickups, some sort of amplifier / mixer circuit. Who knows, it could be fun....

Although my plate reverb plug-ins are convenient, they're nothing like a real plate verb! I'll look into a bit more and post next week on my decision. 

First, I'll need to figure out a place to put it! 

Thanks for reading, Trenton


NAMM Show VS. AES Show

There are a few differences between NAMM and AES that I would like to share.

 NAMM Show

NAMM is a "trade only" conference, not open to the public, where you see a ton of new gear, meet your favorite companies, and learn what is going on in the music instrument industry. To get into the show you need to either be a NAMM member or know someone that can get you a badge. 

This year marks my 13th year attending NAMM show. Below is an image I grabbed of a vinyl cutter at NAMM show 2017 in Anaheim, Ca. This is a very good example of the cool stuff you can find at NAMM show. You won't typically see this at AES.

AES Show

AES, is a technical committee type show where you go to find out what is happening "technically" in the audio / video / film industry. Anyone can get into AES show. It' just costs a little more for non-members.

AES has a small showroom of pro-audio equipment, but, nowhere near the size of NAMM show. However, AES is much quieter. So, you can actually have normal conversations with people on the showroom floor which is very hard to do at NAMM show due to the intense noise levels.

Below is an image I grabbed of Steven Slate giving a presentation at AES 2017 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. AES makes it so much easier to sit down and actually enjoy the presentations.

At AES there are a ton of technical committee meetings, regarding film, video, and audio. I highly recommend you sit in on a few to gain some industry insider information. There is also a job board posted at AES. Something I have never seen at NAMM show.

I hope this help clarify some of the differences between NAMM and AES shows.
Any questions can be posted here or look me up on Twitter @Trent_Blizzard and direct message me there.

Thanks for reading,


Need A Little Love - by Trenton Blizzard

 Need A Little Love

One criminal, one stripper, and missing cash? 
What could possibly go wrong?

Need A Little Love  now available at:



Google Play

Thanks for listening,


Learn To Make Guitar Pickups

You can learn to make your very own humbucker and single coil pickups at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery located in Phoenix, Arizona. Below is an image of the humbucker I made during class.

Custom Wound Humbucker


Who Can Take The Class?

This class is open to anyone interested in making guitar pickups. You do not have to be enrolled in the luthier program to take this class. However, you will be attending the class along with the students who are enrolled in the program.

Who Teaches The Class?

This class is taught by professional pickup designer Jason Lollar. I really enjoyed hanging out with Jason after class on Sunday and talking shop at a local bar.

How Long Does Class Last?

Class is typically held on a weekend and pretty much goes most of the day both days. Sunday is a little shorter because the single coil doesn't take quite as long to build as the humbucker does. Below is an image of the single coil I made during class.

 Custom Wound Single Coil 


Is It Hard To Do?

Winding your own pickups is not rocket science. However, it is very detail oriented. So, if you have basic mechanical skills and are not too intimidated by machinery you should do just fine

Was It Worth It?

I think it's totally worth the money. It's especially worth it if you are interested in making pickups and would like to have a professional designer show you how it's done.


I had a great time in class because everyone there was totally into guitars, pickups, gear and music. I also learned a few tips and tricks along the way that really help me out with my own pickup builds. If you are interested in making your own pickups then I highly recommend checking out the pickup building class at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery.

Thanks for reading,



Some bloggers love WordPress. I hated it since the day my web guy installed it.

With my web guy no longer in business I will be taking over the responsibility of web page maintenance.

Last night I uninstalled the WordPress application from my account. I will be uploading a new HTML 5 web page within the next week or so.

The new web page will finally have all of the features and content that I've wanted for some time now.

However, it probably won't be as pretty as some modern websites. Feedback and comments are always welcome.

Thanks for reading,