Long before digital amp modelling and its incorporated emulation of miced speakers came along there were hardware units that could hook up to a guitar amp in place of its speakers and send an emulated speaker sound to mixing desk or recorder â€“ the Palmer PDI-03 Speaker Simulator is one such device that is still highly regarded. Now there is a new hardware device soon to be made available that seems to be designed to fulfil a similar function.
is a cooperative developmental effort between SPL and the guitar amp specialty firm of Tonehunter. For use with amps up to 200 watts, they describe it as â€˜a new 2U, 19-inch format guitar speaker and microphone stand-in connected and operated exactly like any guitar speaker box so that a guitar ampâ€˜s distortion can also be integrated into the sound design.â€™
Hereâ€™s the rest of what they have to say in their own wordsâ€¦
Among the important advantages the manufacturer envisions include independence from volume levels during performances or recording sessions that also provides added hearing protection from In-Ear monitoring in any kind of session, whether studio, live or private. Furthermore the Transducer concept grants greater sonic flexibility in comparison to fixed box/microphone gear, independence from room acoustics in recordings and eliminates phasing problems with track doubling thanks to latency free design. It provides for a live signal in recording quality without crosstalk from miking, great space and weight reduction in transport, time-saving setup and simplifies experimentation with sound variations.
The Transducer sports two main controls to adjust its sound: â€˜Speaker Actionâ€™ works analogous to a speakerâ€˜s cone behaviour at different levels through to an audible cone distortion effect. Similarly, â€˜Miking Levelâ€™ recreates a microphoneâ€˜s characteristic at different recording levels. Further switchable functions allow the choices of alnico or ceramic speakers, closed or open housings, condenser or dynamic microphones â€“ as well as adjustments to miking distances.
SPL emphasizes the Transducer's authentic sound qualities and real time response for the guitar player that are missing in digital simulations due to latencies in processing. SPL's head, Hermann Gier, had this to say, â€œAnyone who, in a hotel in the middle of the night, wishes to record with the sound of a fully torqued tube amp no longer has to feign anymore...the Transducer really rocks. Ralf Reichen's Tonehunter design team has done a tremendous job.â€œ
SPL will present the Transducer at its Frankfurt Musikmesse at the end of March. They will be occupying stand, B84 in Hall 5.1.
Pricing and Availability:
The planned Transducer delivery date is for May 2007, with SPL targeting a price of under 1000 Euro/1500 USD.