Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North Firm's Amplifier Revolution Set to Rock

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North Firm's Amplifier Revolution Set to Rock

Article excerpt

Byline: Iain Laing

ELECTRONICS experts in the North East have developed a guitar amplifier they hope will win over rock bands the world over.

Consett-based KBO Dynamics has created pioneering technology which it says reproduces the warm vibrant tones of the old valve-based amplifiers increasingly favoured by many rock musicians but without the distortion, unreliability and short lifespan of old amps.

The company was formed in 2007 by computer and electronics engineer Colin Arrowsmith and Andy Fallon, an automotive manufacturing electronics expert.

The innovation, which has been named TubeSync, helps to improve amplifier design without changing the fundamental amplification process, so tone and sound remains unchanged.

KBO chief executive, Andy Fallon, said: "TubeSync is a new component which overcomes many of the problems associated with conventional valve amplification without changing the fundamental process, hence the resulting sound output still exhibits that pure analogue magic.

"We are working closely with all the leading UK guitar amplifier manufacturers; this has resulted in the target user groups of rock, pop and indie bands."

The project has received significant backing from public sector partners. The company was awarded a pounds 90,000 Proof of Concept grant in 2008 by Newcastle-based venture capitalist NStar and conducted a survey into the music amplifier market.

A prototype was then developed with advice and guidance from Business Link and pounds 20,000 funding from the North East England Investment Centre.

One North East then awarded the project a R&D Micro Grant of pounds 20,000 to advance the model with the aim of having a market-ready component that can be incorporated into amplifiers at the manufacturing stage. The company said it will lead to improved performance including increased power, reduced heat generation, enhanced hazard and fault detection and improved ability to adjust sound outputs. …

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