Pre-Order the New Active DI kit from Bumblebee Audio May 04, 2015 15:07
I first met Latvian designer Artur Fisher in 2010, when I launched DIYRE as a project directory. Since then, I've followed along as Artur has painstakingly built a small line of world-class recording equipment: first the RE-254 ribbon transducer, then the RM-5 ribbon mic, then the Bp-P1 inline mic preamp. The common thread between Artur's designs is custom parts and circuitry in service of performance. Where most designers are content to choose from among pre-rolled solutions, Artur rolls his own. Everything in the RM-5 mic is custom—down to the XLR jack—and the Bp-P1 uses fully discrete circuitry. You can understand why he only releases a new product every couple years.
So I'm really excited to announce that Artur's newest kit, The Bb-D1 Spark DI, is now available for pre-order. The Spark is an active, phantom-powered, transformer-balanced, direct input box. And in keeping with Artur's tradition of no-compromise design, every component has been chosen or customized over several years of development. The circuitry is completely discrete, the transformer and chassis are custom, and he's even built in power supply conditioning to ensure optimal performance, no matter the quality of your phantom power source.
For a limited time, Artur is offering DIY kits for the Spark at a deeply discounted price. I think this is a phenomenal deal: a) you get a truly world-class, boutique DI box for €99 and b) you get to support a talented designer who's dedicated to the DIY community. Grab the pre-order here before May 15th:
Here are the pre-order details:
- €99 for full kit (~$110 USD)
- Price after pre-order will be €129
- The last day to pre-order is May 15, 2015
- Use the code "LOVEFET" in the shopping cart (before checkout) to claim the discount
- Kit includes everything needed to build the DI, including screws and wire
- Complete, step-by-step assembly guide
If you have any questions about the Bb-D1 or the pre-order, please leave them in the comments below and Artur or I will do our best to answer them.
-Peterson Goodwyn, DIYRE
RM-5 Ribbon Mic Kit Limited Offer June 18, 2013 15:04 50 Comments
Last spring, microphone designer Artur Fisher and I collaborated to bring you a one-time kit offer for Artur's flagship RM-5 ribbon mic. Well, I'm glad to say that Artur is back for another run of his kits for the DIY community. Until July 7, 2013, Artur will be offering full and partial kits for the RM-5, including the new, custom-designed RTP-35 output transformer. RM-5 Assembly Manual
About the MicrophoneThe RM-5's excellence has been well documented by Recording Hacks, Rhythm in Mind, HomeRecording.com, and right here on the DIYRE blog. In short, it's is a great mic with the character one would expect of a well-designed ribbon. To quote myself: "rounded, almost tape-esque transients, a full low-end, and detailed, but gentle reproduction of the high-end." You can hear an electric guitar track I recorded with the RM-5 below. The RE-154 ribbon motor and RTP-35 output transformer are custom components designed to complement each other. Both are housed in a matte-polished, stainless steel. The assembled microphone retails for $395 USD.
DIY Kit OfferBoth full and partial kits are available until July 7th, 2013. $10 worldwide, flat-rate shipping applies to all orders. All kits will be shipped by the end of August 2013; transformer-only orders will be shipped immediately. Kit Options:
- RTP-35 Ribbon Mic Transformer $59
- Basic Kit: Transformer and RE-154 Ribbon Motor $115
- Full Kit: Transformer, Ribbon Motor, and Microphone Body $199
- Full Kit with Dedicated Shock Mount $235
Oktava MD-80M NOS Exclusive Offer July 13, 2012 09:23 22 Comments
A couple weeks ago, I received an intriguing email from my friend Artur Fisher (whos RM-5 ribbon mics many of you have now built). It went something like this: "Hey I've got an amazing deal on a small lot of vintage Oktava mics. Do you think the DIY crowd would be interested?" Needless to say, part of me wanted to shoot back "Yes" on the spot--"vintage," "Russian," "NOS," and "secret stock" are major trigger words for a recovering gear junkie--but I asked Artur to send me a pair to try out before I decided whether they were worth offering to you guys. I received my pair of Oktava HD-80M dynamic mics last week, just in time to try them out on a drum set and electric guitar session the next day. The guitarist and I were both impressed when I unpacked them. The aura of belonging to another place and time that these things put out is intense. The technical docs that come with each mic are completely in Russian, and though the pages are mint, they feel as though they might crumble in your hands. I felt a little India Jones-esque thrill as I pulled them gingerly out of their cases. It is a bit of a pain eluding the Russian cabalists who are now hot on my trail to recover these priceless artifacts that are at the heart of a worldwide, centuries-old conspiracy, but noone gets into audio engineering without expecting a little danger!
Anyhow, after sufficiently appreciating the their visual appeal, we put the 80Ms to work on snare and guitar amp. The first thing to notice about the sound of the 80Ms is that there is practically no low end. As you can see in the datasheet to the right, there is a steep low-end roll-off from 500Hz down. So right away we are in very unique territory--this is no Swiss army knife mic. Since there are very few instrumentes that don't have important stuff going on below 500Hz (and I never use a hi-hat mic), I tried pairing the 80M with a more full-bodied mic on the same source, similar to how Steven Albini use his old Altec mic on snare. For snare drum, I taped the 80M to a transformerless SM57, which lives on my snare by virtue of how well it captures the low-end body of the drum. The 80M does the opposite, and it does so really well. My usual practice with the SM57 on snare is to create a mult of the snare track, hi-pass and compress it with a slow attack time to emphasize the transient, and mix it back in with the original. The 80M essentially does this for me, with a little upper-mids excitement thrown in. As you can see in the waveforms below, there is a much greater contrast between the transient and the sustain with the Oktava than the SM57. Mixing this in with the signal from the SM57 brought out the attack in a way I'm not used to from a close snare mic. I'm glad I used strong tape when I attached the 80M to the SM57 because it's going to be there for a while.
- A "telephone," band-passed vocal effect
- Hi-hat mic
- Beater-side bass drum mic
- Trashy, mid-range room mic (compressed to hell and back)
- Harmonica mic
Dane Optical De-esser PCB/Chassis Offer April 19, 2012 22:18 2 Comments
For more info on the #31, see the XQP Audio website.
- All components are standard and currently available
- Includes on-board power supply and power transformer
- Fits in a 1RU, half-rack size chassis
- 1RU, half-rack size
- Two different color schemes: Green on anodized silver and gold on green. Sorry, no choosing--you get what you get!
- Serial number engraved on back panel (duplicates of commercially sold units)
- PCB slide-in slot
- May have minor paint-fill issues
- Includes a blank panel and mounting bracket to fill the space next to the de-esser
DIYAC Ribbon Mic Kit One Time Offer March 06, 2012 22:58 54 Comments
This month, I'm glad to be able to offer an exclusive DIY kit from ribbon mic designer Artur Fisher of DIY Audio Components (DIYAC). The kit is for Artur's RM-5 microphone, which I reviewed here and Jordan Reynolds reviewed for RecordingHacks. The RM-5 is a great mic, and I'm thrilled that Artur is offering it as a kit to the DIY community. However, he's only doing one run of kits and closing the pre-order on April 5th. You can order directly from DIYAC through the PayPal button below.
Some words on the kit from Artur: