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KVG Laboratories has designed and constructed, to our customer’s individual orders, a wide variety of amplifiers and electronics including:
Copyright © John Smith, All Rights Reserved.
Little Mayhem Guitar Amplifiers (click here again to close tab).
Our "house brand" of small Class A combos are capable of practically everything between clean and all-out distortion. They're each made to your specific sound, often with unusual tubes, and can incorporate elements of traditional designs along with our proprietary audio circuits.
Bass Guitar Amplifiers (click here again to close tab).
We offer a wide variety of bass guitar amplifiers featuring power up to 25 watts in pure Class A and up to 200 Watts in push-pull designs. Speaker sizes range from 8 inches to 31-1/2 inches for the ultimate in bass power. Other features include equalizers, built-in compressors, reverb, up to four input channels and sub-bass synthesis for big bass from smaller speaker sizes. Our largest bass speakers are capable of reproducing notes down to 21 Hz, so keeping your tone when drop tuning is no problem. The biggest problem will be for the PA to be able to keep up.

Phono Preamplifiers (click here again to close tab).
Our phono preamplifiers are designed to meet the needs of record collectors, archivists, broadcasters, sound preservation specialists and professional studios who want to preserve the sound of LP, 45, and 78-rpm analog disc records without added distortion and noise while retaining the historical sound for future generations.
Disc Archivist preamplifiers gives you archival sound quality without the need to be a sound archivist and have been designed from practical experience gained from working at a major sound archive.
  • Twelve pre-defined equalization curves corresponding to the major recording standards used for disc recording from the earlist acoustic discs to modern audiophile LPs. Original record label documents were used as references for the design of the twelve equalizers so that you can be assured of hisorically-correct equalization.
  • 4-band studio-type program equalizer to compensate for work discs or discs recorded contrary to standard equalization curves.
  • Gain trim to optimize signal-to-noise ratio and to minimize distortion.
  • Adjustable cartridge loading.
  • Available in reference quality solid state electronics for clinically-accurate re-recording and reporoduction of disc records, or studio quality vacuum tube electronics to retain the vintage tone of the records as they would have sounded when new so that the listener can experience the sound of the discs as they were originally heard.
  • Switches between Vertically-cut and Laterally-cut discs (Optional).
  • Tape monitor loop (Optional).
  • Volume expander (Optional).
  • "Scott Dynaural"-type single-ended noise reduction (Optional).
  • Designed for 24-hour operation.
  • USA and Foreign Patents Applied For.
  • Sound quality has been voiced for optimum quality for the cartridges most often used by record collectors:

    • AudioTechnica AT-MONO 3/SP
    • AudioTechnica AT3482P/78
    • Grado 78C phono cartridge
    • Grado 78E phono cartridge
    • Ortofon OM78
    • Rega RB78
    • Rega RB78-2
    • Shure M44-7
    • Shure M55 series
    • Shure M70 series
    • Shure M71 series
    • Shure M78S
    • Shure M92 series
    • Shure M95 series
    • Shure ME75
    • Stanton 500
    • Stanton 520
    • Ed Saunders "Red Ed" and 78 cartridges
    • CUSTOMER PREFERENCE (please specify) OF NEW OR VINTAGE CARTRIDGE





    Disc Archivist S

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    • All solid state design using proprietary KVG Laboratories 8800 series audio opamps.
    • Transformerless outputs for unexcelled clarity, phase response and low distortion.
    • KVG Laboratories power supply has no electrolytic capacitors for ultra-quiet operation.
    • Wide dynamic range: greater than 95 dB from noise floor to maximum output, all without clipping.
    • Low noise floor.
    • Wide dynamic range: greater than 95 dB from noise floor to maximum output, all without clipping.
    • Typical THD less than 0.05% at +15 dBm into 600 ohms load.




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    Recording studio quality single-ended Class A vacuum tube (valve) circuitry, with a wide non-linear region between clean and clipping.

    • All-triode single-ended Class A design.
    • Transformerless outputs for unexcelled clarity, phase response and low distortion.
    • Hand-selected 12AX7A input and driver valves.
    • Hand-selected 12AT7A output valves.
    • KVG Laboratories "No-lytic" Power Supply has no electrolytic capacitors for ultra-quiet operation.
    • Wide dynamic range: greater than 85 dB from noise floor to maximum output, all without clipping.
    • Low noise floor.
    • Typical THD less than 0.5% at +15 dBm into 600 ohms load.

    Proudly made in the USA by our engineers here on the Kansas plains.



  • Universal Preamplifiers (click here again to close tab)
    The Universal Preamplifier Triodist and The Universal Preamplifier Pentodist are the most versatile studio preamplifiers you can own. No longer do you have to look for the preamplifier with the right tone, because The Universal Preamplifier gives you total control over its sound. The Triodeist features your choice of twin triode to create gain up to 65 dB. The Pentodist features a selected pentode like those used in classic preamplifiers from the golden Age of Radio or like many European designs.

    You can emulate the sound of any classic preamplifier in the past, or create your own unique sounds. The Universal Preamplifier gives you three modes of operation:

    1. Fixed Bias that is optimized for the best sound from 12AX7 (The Universal Preamplifier Triodist) or EF86 (The Universal Preamplifier Pentodist). Choose this mode when you want clean sound with no fuss.

    2. Automatic Dynamic bias sets the bias for you automatically, perfectly, for most 8DB, 9A ad 9AJ based tubes (The Universal Preamplifier Triodist) or for your choice of 6AU6A, 6J7, 6SJ7, 5879, or 6267/EF86 (The Universal Preamplifier Pentodist). Choose this mode when you want to experiment with the sound, but with a no-fuss, no muss approach. Simply pop in different tubes to create different sounds, and the The Universal Preamplifier sets the perfect bias instantly, and you are off making music.

    3. Variable Total Control mode gives you continuously variable bias, continuously variable anode load, continuously variable inverse feedback, and a choice of "traditional" or "modern" overall tone. Choose this mode when a unique or idealized sound for the specific project is needed, whether you need crystal clarity or thick, rich tube sound -- or anything in between.

    Other standard features include:

    • 48 VDC phantom power
    • ground lift
    • phase reverse
    • selectable input impedances for compatibility with any microphone, including classic ribbon microphones.
    • easy connection choices with both XLR and 1/4-phone TRS jacks.

    Top professionals know that a tube preamplifier has pleasant-sounding nonlinearities that can cover up the unpleasant nonlinearities of some solid state equipment or digital recordings, enhancing the sound in the process. The ear perceives the even order distortion of tubes the same as it perceives the natural harmonics of a musical instrument, thus it can make a recording sound “richer” or “more musical.” Of course, this must be done subtlely because high distortion sounds horrible regardless.


    Studies made over the last several decades indicate that the brain uses a different method of perceiving recorded music than it does to perceive live music. Recorded music is a different experience than live music. One aspect of this is that in certain instances, the characteristics of an audio system’s distortion can affect the listeners’ perception of frequency balance, creating the impression of increased treble, reduced treble, increased bass, reduced bass and so on, in ways no equalizer ever could. Also, the characteristics of an audio system’s distortion can affect the listeners’ perception of dynamics, creating the impression of compression even when none is used! Subtle manipulation of distortion is the secret tool of choice for top recording engineers to achieve the same end result that otherwise would have to be done with EQ or compression, without the adverse aspects of those processors.

    The Universal Preamplifier Triodist: List of Compatible Tubes


    • 12AT7/ECC81 and equivalents
    • 12AU7/ECC82 and equivalents
    • 12AX7/ECC83 and equivalents
    • 12AY7
    • 12AZ7
    • 12BH7
    • 12DW7
    • 6CG7
    • 6BK7
    • 6FQ7
    • 6DJ8
    • 6DT8
    • 6AQ8
    • 6CX7
    • 6CH7
    • 6EV7
    • 6EV7
    • 6922
    • 6SN7 and equivalents
    • 6SL7 and equivalents
    • 6EA7
    • 6DN7
    • 6GL7
    • 6EM7


    The Universal Preamplifier Pentodist: List of Compatible Tubes



    • 6J7/1620
    • 6SJ7
    • 6AU6A/EF94
    • 6HS6
    • 6136
    • 5879
    • 6267/EF86


    Options



    • Choice of Cinemag, Jensen, Lundahl, Sowter or Stephens & Billington input and output transformers.
    • Traditional analog decibel scale Level Meters
    • Bargraph level meters
    • Battery pack for extremely low noise operation.
    • 130 VDC power for DPA condensor microphones that require a 130 VDC power supply.

    Proudly made in the USA by our engineers here on the Kansas plains.



    USA and foreign patents applied for; all rights reseved.


    Vocal Recording Preamplifiers (click here again to close tab).
    Vocals are the heart of most recordings. If the vocals aren't perfect, the entire recording suffers. No recording can rise above the quality of the vocals, so if anything has to be compromised, it should never be the vocals. Many recording engineers and producers feel vocals are the most difficult part of a recording to get right. This is why KVG Laboratories created Vocalion Microphone Preamplifiers, to make it easy for you to have those magic-sounding vocals. Each Vocalion Microphone Preamplifier is unique, painstakingly hand-made, with its sound matched to your specific vocal microphone.

    A Vocalion Microphone Preamplifier enhances your vocal microphone, giving the vocal tracks richness, depth, detail and sense of immediacy no other microphone preamplifier can. Are you recording a vocalist who can "sell the song" but lacks depth and that intangible something that makes a listener stop and listen? A Vocalion Microphone Preamplifier can give the vocalist that needed extra subtlety and impart a big-label sound to your vocal tracks.

    The difference between using a standard microphone preamplifier or a Vocalion for recording your vocals is like the difference between a good photograph taken at a portrait studio and a portrait painted by a renowned artist. The photograph may be excellent, even evocative, but it's a faithful record. A painting is an idealization and the artist's way to perfect the portrait beyond what a camera can do.

    Similarly, standard microphone preamplifiers are designed to be good at almost everything and can make clear, very good recordings of your vocals, whereas the Vocalion is perfected just for recording the best-possible vocals, making them even better than live singing in some instances.

    Some Vocalion Microphone Preamplifiers have valve electronics, some have discrete transistor electronics, while others have our proprietary 8827 audio opamp.

    Below are descriptions of some of the basic designs on which your Vocalion Microphone Preamplifier will be based. Check back often as more designs are developed.

    74L


    Larger-than-life, yet intensely musical, sound. Gives that "Golden Age of Radio" silky-smooth and up-close vocal you hear in classic jazz and big band recordings of the 1930s and 1940s. Think Bix Beiderbecke or Glenn Miller. Recommended for solid-stage large diaphragm condensor microphones, such as the Neumann U87 and AKG C-414; large diaphragm dynamic microphones, such as ElectroVoice RE20, Sennheiser MD-421, MD-441. Vacuum tube Electronics: hand-selected 1612/6L7 and 6SN7. Subject to availability.

    75A


    Larger-than-life, intimate, richly musical, sound. Recommended for all ribbon microphones and large-diaphragm condensor microphones. Excellent for male jazz, folk, country, classical vocals. Vacuum tube electronics: 6J7, 6SJ7, 6SN7. Subject to availability.

    75B


    Larger-than-life, intimate, richly musical, sound. Recommended for all ribbon microphones and large-diaphragm condensor microphones. Excellent for female jazz, classical and country vocals. Vacuum tube electronics: 6SJ7, 6SN7. Subject to availability.

    75C


    Larger-than-life, intimate, richly musical, sound. Recommended for all ribbon microphones and large-diaphragm condensor microphones. Excellent for male rock vocals. Vacuum tube electronics: 5879 and 6CG7. Subject to availability.

    75D


    Larger-than-life, intimate, richly musical, sound. Recommended for all ribbon microphones and large-diaphragm condensor microphones. Excellent for female rock vocals. Vacuum tube electronics: 6AU6A/EF94 and 6CG7. Subject to availability.

    75E


    Larger-than-life, intimate, richly musical, sound. Recommended for all ribbon microphones and large-diaphragm condensor microphones. Excellent for female rock vocals if the vocalist tends to be breathy. Vacuum tube electronics: 6267 and 6CG7. Subject to availability.

    75F


    Larger-than-life, intimate, richly musical, sound. Recommended for all ribbon microphones and large-diaphragm condensor microphones. Excellent for male or female 1950s/1960s rock vocals. Think Bill Haley and His Comets, The Beach Boys or The Beatles. Vacuum tube electronics: 6267 and 5879. Subject to availability.

    76V


    Richly-detailed, intimate vocals, an excellent balance of color and clarity. Perfect for most vocal styles. It's intended to turn back-electret condensor mikes into magic, and I especially intended it to be the perfect companion for Nakamichi CM-100, CM-300, CM700 and CM-1000 mikes, as well as AKG C1000, Shure SM80, SM81, AudioTechnica AT813, ElectroVoice 1776; and all those Chinese-made condensor mikes, plus brands such as Nady, R0DE, MXL and Behringer. This preamp turns those mikes into delicious, detailed, incredibly musical recordings. Vacuum tube electronics: hand-selected UY-227. Subject to availability.

    76WX


    Simply put, the ultimate vocal preamplifier for any style with any microphone. There literally is no better. Vacuum tube electronics: hand-selected Western Electric 262A/B and 272A. Subject to availability.

    82A


    Recommended for hard rock, rap and hip-hop vocal styles, with any dynamic microphone, or AKG C-535E condensor vocal microphone. Solid State electronics: CK-722, 2N107, 2N60 germanium transistors. Subject to availability.

    82B


    Recommended for acid rock, rap and hip-hop vocal styles, with Shure SM57, SM58; ElectroVoice 635A, RE20 dynamic microphones. Solid State electronics: 2N109, 2N406 germanium transistors. Subject to availability.

    91A


    Recommended for most vocal styles, with dynamic or small-diaphragm condensor microphones. Solid State electronics: KVG Laboratories 8827 Audio Opamp.

    Proudly made in the USA by our engineers here on the Kansas plains.




    Specifications subject to change without notice. KVG Laboratories is always working to improve and refine our products. Vocalion is a registered trademarks of Kermit V. Gray. We enforce U.S. and foreign Patents Applied for.



    Altisonus: The Fast Amplifier (click here again to close tab).
    KVG Laboratories was approached with a difficult problem: design an amplifier for a musician that would be equally good as a lead guitar amplifier for recording, a bass amplifier for recording, and as an exotic audiophile amplifier. Its tone had to be right with a bass speaker, a Celestion Greenback guitar speaker and the owner's custom-made Lowther horn speaker. The input to the amplifier would be provided by five different music instrument and audiophile preamplifiers. So, it had to do the seemingly-impossible: have an absence of tone yet produce a rich tone with an instrument. The musician was adamant that it had to avoid any coloration caused by signal coupling capacitors. Its transient response had to be extraordinarily fast and it had to preserve the harmonic structure of the music. The finished amplifier also had to look good in the musician's richly-decorated loft apartment.

    Theoretical Basis



    Many audiophiles as well as many musicians praise single-ended amplifiers for their excellent midrange performance, which is often described as being musical, and direct. The midrange is the most important part of the music you're listening to because that's where vocals lie, and where the melody and harmonies are played. If vocal and midrange reproduction is unpleasant, then it won't matter whether the bass and extreme treble sounds good. Bad midrange means you'll have a bad listening experience. Single-ended amplifiers achieve this quality because of their simplicity and the minimalistic approach the designer takes when designing the amplifier's circuits.

    Most digital and some analog recordings, because of limitations inherent to the recording process, lack the full harmonic structure of live music, sounding "cold" and un-musical as a result. Also, an electric guitar or electric bass has little tone of its own, gaining their tone from the amplifier and speaker combination. The Altisonus A56DC is designed to give recorded music the harmonic richness of live music as well as being able to give an electric instrument its rich tone. It does this by carefully and precisely adding any missing harmonic structure of recorded music that replicate the natural harmonic structure of live music. How? By adding back missing harmonics through the mechanism of Second Harmonic Enhancement(TM). Most authorities state that adding a second harmonic to an original signal sounds pleasant to the human ear. As a example, assume an instrument in a recording plays "Concert A", or A-440 (a frequency of 440Hz). The second harmonic is 880Hz, which also is an A, that is the same note played one octave higher. The Altisonus A56DC generates the 880 Hz signal then adds it to the original 440 Hz signal in a way that can make your music sound richer, fuller and more musical, especially if the source is a harsh digital recording, such as MP3s or poorly-mastered Compact Discs. This is said to "warm up" a "cold" digital recording.

    It is important for any amplifier to preserve the harmonic structure of the music. Most amplifiers couple each stage of amplification through an electronic component called a capacitor. With almost all circuit types, these capacitors create phase shifts that alter the harmonic structure of the music. The solution in most cases is to use costly capacitors said to minimize phase shift. Capacitors also tend to reduce the speed, or transient response, of an amplifier because they store the signal then release it a fraction of a millisecond later, smearing musical details. The Altisonus A56DC solves these problems because it has no capacitors in the signal path whatsoever, ensuring the music's harmonic structure is unaltered and allowing the amplifier's valves to operate at their maximum transient speed. The Altisonus A56DC lets you hear subtleties and details in your music that few other amplifiers will reveal.

    The Altisonus A56DC is made without compromise. Each one is a unique individual, hand-made using point-to-point wiring, then hand-tuned to the specific output transformer -- instead of assuming the transformer meets some generalized specification. Its valves are selected by ear to create the distinctive Altisonus sound and all other components are matched as closely as possible. Before delivery, it is broken in for 80 hours, then fine tuned afterward. You will have excellent music immediately and not have to wait for the amplifier to break in.

    Attention to detail doesn't stop with the Altisonus A56DC's circuit design. Its chassis is the result of an intensive study into how an amplifier's chassis and cabinet affects quality. KVG Laboratories is pioneering improvements into chassis and cabinet design with the Altisonus A56DC. Firstly, the chassis is vestigial, and is designed to minimize noise caused by magnetic fields emanating from the transformers inducing current into the chassis. Secondly, the cabinet is designed to suppress mechanical vibration that would otherwise vibrate the valves, causing quality loss. Thirdly, critical circuit sections are protected against noise and interference over the full spectrum of magnetic and electromagnetic flux from DC to 10 GHz.

    Specifications


    General Description: AC-operated, two-stage, potential-coupled, single-ended beam tetrode audio amplifier for audiophile quality reproduction of wide range music and speech.
    Output Power: 10 Watts RMS into 4, 8 or 16 ohms.
    Frequency Response: 10 - 40,000 Hz at 1 Watt; 20 - 20,000 Hz at 10-Watts.
    THD: 1% at 10 Watts RMS into 4, 8 or 16 ohms.
    Signal-to-noise Ratio: -90 dB or greater (Standard Gain), -82 dB or greater (High Gain).
    Input Sensitivity, Standard Version: 900 milliVolts produces full output.
    Input Sensitivity, High Gain Version: 150 milliVolts produces full output.
    Tube Set, Standard Version: 5AR4, 5693/6SJ7, 6DD6, 6DZ6, 6550A.
    Tube Set, High Gain Version: 5AR4, 6SJ7, 6DD6, 6DZ6, 6SN7, 6550A.
    Option 1: High Gain Version (additional stage of gain).
    Option 2: User-specified cables and connectors.

    $6,975.50 per matched pair. Available on a special order basis only.


    For those who wonder how the A56DC's design avoided the use of coupling capacitors:

    The A56DC has a proprietary Potential Division Matrix coupling topology, for which KVG Laboratories is filing for patent protection; therefore no information on this amplifier's coupling or feedback appliances are available to the public. For those who still want to inquire, the official statement is: "The A56DC uses quantum-induced electron infusion technology reverse-engineered from the Roswell UFO crash in 1947."


    The Ugly Amplifier (click here again to close tab).
    The Ugly Amplifier That Makes Beautiful Music :Model 56 "Feste" Mk. 1 Studio Utility Amplifier

    Finally, KVG Laboratories is happy to announce the return of a 1970s classic, the Model 56 Feste Mk.I., better known as The Ugly Amplifier; originally made by Kermit Gray under the T.A.N. Electronics label. This is the famous studio utility amplifier known as "the ugly amplifier that makes beautiful music." The Ugly Amplifier is a ruggedized Class A studio utility amplifier designed for studios and musicians who need to enhance their recordings. With only one control you wouldn't expect it to be capable of much, but looks are deceiving. It amplifies signals from almost any source, including line, instrument pickups, contact microphones and high-impedance microphones.

    The Ugly Amplifier is multi-talented:


    • Guitar amplifier.
    • Re-amping tracks.
    • Enhancing software instruments.
    • Keyboards, electronic drums and synthesizer amplifier.
    • Driving spring reverb tanks.
    • Driving reverb plates.
    • Ambiphony speaker driver.
    • Signal tracing.

    Sold out! The last one made from the original NOS (New Old Stock) 1970s era enclosure, transformers and components has been sold. Coming in the Winter of 2013, the Model 56 will be back with an all-new enclosure and an improved output transformer.

    Sound Samples of the Model 56 as a guitar amplifier, when used with:




    Specifications

    General Description: AC-operated, two-stage, resistance-capacity-coupled, Class A single-ended beam tetrode audio amplifier for amplification of wide range music and speech.
    Output Power: 4 Watts RMS into 4 ohms to 16 ohms; 8 ohms optimum.
    Frequency Response: 20 - 20,000 Hz +/-2 dB at 1 Watt; 40 - 18,000 Hz +/-2 dB at 4-Watts.
    THD: Not more than 1% at 4 Watts RMS into 8 ohms.
    Signal-to-noise Ratio: -75 dB or greater referred to 1-Watt output.
    Input Sensitivity: 50 milliVolts produces full output.
    Vacuum Tube Complement: 5Y3, 5693/6SJ7, 6V6GT.

    Proudly made in the USA by our engineers here on the Kansas plains.