San Francisco (November 16, 2006)–Paul Stubblebine Mastering & DVD (PSM) recently hosted a tube amplifier design and hands-on building class at its San Francisco studio facility. Amplifier designers Dan Schmalley and Paul Jappa of Bottlehead Corp.–which sells amplifer kits on its website–led the three-day class. In addition, tips and procedures on the process of mastering music was woven into each day by engineers Paul Stubblebine and Michael Romanowski to highlight the connection between equipment and the mastering process.
The amplifiers for Stubblebine’s quad-amped Magico speakers were modified by Dan Schmally and Paul Stubblebine, using design techniques shown in the amp-building class. Stubblebine said, “There are three important elements in mastering: listening experience and ears, room acoustics, and the choice of equipment. I have spent a lot of time comparing and modifying my equipment to allow me to hear and change audio in subtle but important ways. These amplifiers are quite special.”
Participants were led through the Amp Design Process, from the audio circuit, parts familiarization, hardware assembly a soldering demonstration, detailed design of the power supply components including transformers, chassis wiring, layout, grounding, and shielding. Each day lecture time was also allotted to the basics of audio mastering, format comparisons, and software and hardware. The final day included the all-important “smoke test” to make sure nothing blew up when it was plugged in.
At the end of the process, participants were able to listen to their hand crafted amplifiers in Paul Stubblebine’s studio, listening to first-generation master recordings for source material.
Paul Stubblebine Mastering & DVD