Asheville Music Tools is a new company specialized in voltage-controlled analog music tools, founded by an experienced (and former Moog) hardware engineer, Rick “Hawker” Shaich.
The company has its roots deep in sound creation and sculpting products for guitar, synthesizer, and studio. Their first product, announced a few days ago, is the ADG-1 Delay, a 100% Analog Bucket Brigade Device (BBD) Delay.
Wait, I know what you might be thinking – Asheville, ex Moog engineer, BBD delay, the use of the word Analoger… is this going to be a take on the (discontinued and highly sought after) Moogerfooger Delay?
Well, yes and no. According to our research, Rick was the man behind many of the MoogerFoogers and MiniFoogers, in particular, the Delay and MIDI based products (104M, 105M, 108M, etc.). But as you can read in the short interview below, there are some key differences (the chip used, etc.) between the ADG-1 and the Fooger.
If you would like to learn more about all the technical details, the Asheville Music Tools web page has plenty of them but… how does it sound? Here below, you can hear the ADG-1 with his majesty, the Prophet 5. Stay tuned for more sound examples. Hopefully, we will be able to put our hands on a unit soon.
Pricing and Availability
ADG-1 pre-orders (at the introductory price of $349) are currently closed, the first units should ship in November.
Limited Production Orders E.T.A December 2020. If you’re interested, sign up on the website for further news.
If you need a BBD delay and can’t afford to wait for the ADG-1, a readily available alternative could be the Eventide Rose, a unique analog-digital hybrid that offers a modern take on the classic BBD delay (see our Eventide Rose review).
A Short Q&A With “Hawker” of Asheville Music Tools
We asked “Hawker” a few questions about the ADG-1 and his new company. Here below, you can read his answers.
– How does your ADG-1 stand in comparison with some other classic BBD delays of the past?
“Hawker”: “ADG-1 is a 100% analog delay. We use the higher voltages (+15V) of more studio-grade delays and use the MN300x studio chipsets rather than the more guitar-based MN320x based chipset. I am using XVive, which are modern reproductions of the old Panasonic BBDs (the ones used in the Moogerfooger delay – Editor’s note) delay designs as dealing with parts that are 20 years old is a pain in the neck to get quality.
The XiVive BBDS are very close to the Panasonic but do behave slightly different. They are a bit less noisy, more dynamic range, more neutral sounding and their frequency response do not change the same as Panasonic over the entire clock sweep.
It uses a Guitar style compandor, 5th order discrete transistor filters, paired with much newer higher performance op amps in both the audio chain and control voltage chain than I have ever used before. We use extensive voltage control and VCA/VCOs for nearly every stage for more control of functions. We’re also using a new high power BBD driver that performs superior to other BBD driver designs of the past, and this gives a tight, consistent sound with fewer artifacts and much better sounding delay repeat trails.
Being 100% analog, it is very responsive and gives true fractional delay, unlike some competitors that use larger digital steps to control. It does, however, means we could not provide features that require digital like Tap Tempo as analog math is complex and expensive over digital.”
– Synth players love stereo pedals. Are you planning something with a full stereo signal path?
“Hawker”: “This is something I am considering as there is a great demand. I have some ideas for ways to do stereo mono with some flexible configurations depending on how the user sets up the sound. However, I am not sure that people understand that a stereo analog delay is basically twice the parts of a mono delay and so the price point may not be one people are willing to pay for.”
– There’s certainly no shortage of quality effect makers on the market. What’s the added value that Asheville Music Tools can offer?
“Hawker”: “AMT has a long experience in design, design for manufacturability, reliability and complete designs. I have been designing professional music products for musicians, studio, broadcast and movie industry for nearly 30 years doing delay products back to the 1990s for the motion picture industry for movement simulation. And that experience and knowledge give us a huge leg up. We are not afraid to take on the complexity required to provide the features and sonic touches that many designers are unwilling or unable to get to. There are just over 450 parts in an Analoger ADG-1, and this is a level of complexity beyond what most can do.”
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