Audio i2e

Frequently asked questions about Este

What's it all about with the internal 24V supply in ESTE ?
ESTE should be possible to operate with any standard power supply. These usually deliver something between 9V and 18V to voltage! Since in ESTE no operational amplifiers are used, the 9V would not be enough for an optimal dynamic range. Accordingly, a circuit is used, which raises the externally applied supply voltage to a constant value of 24V (DC / DC converter). This ensures optimal dynamics for the discrete JFET amplifier stages used in ESTE.

Why don't you use operational amplifiers in ESTE, wouldn't that be much easier ?
In fact, operational amplifiers can simplify and reduce some things. Through the use of modern rail-to-rail OPs (operational amplifiers that can be controlled in the input and / or in the output with full operating voltage ...) would come out with less operating voltage and the component cost would be much lower. In addition, modern ORs ensure the best signal quality and low power consumption. So we set, for example in the AG1.0 also an OP, since only 9V are available, the power consumption should be minimal and no change to the signal of the guitar is desired.
ESTE is supposed to provide harmonious enrichment with overtones. Therefore, no OPs are used here in the signal path but only discrete JFET amplifier stages.

Why does ESTE need a microprocessor ?
Routing the input signal through the 2 channels to the 2 amplifier outputs, including an effect loop, requires a lot of signal switches. Here are essentially electronic (FET) switches are used, which perform this task advantageous against mechanical switches. The implementation of the switching commands from the mechanical to the electronic switches now takes over a microprocessor. Incidentally, this still results in some amenities and feature options that we will discuss in more detail elsewhere (keyword "remote control" ...)

Does ESTE work in Class-A ? If so, why don't you tell it in the specs ?
Each single-ended amplifier stage works automatically in Class-A! That's not worth mentioning.
For power output stages Class-AB is advantageous, because of the better efficiency. A Class-A amplifier simply needs more (quiescent) power and is therefore less effective. Whether Class-AB compared to Class-A now has disadvantages, it can be argued. Virtually all larger (tube) guitar amplifiers work with class AB in the power amp, whether they come from Fender, Marshall or Vox. You can work in Class-AB because they have push-pull amplifiers. Smaller amplifiers (1W / 5W / 10W) ​​work partly in single-ended and then inevitably in Class-A.
Are not nearly all amp builders and modeling experts eager for Class AB prototypes? Does a Fender / Marshall / Vox sound bad because of Class-AB? Or is that just what makes the sound?
For precursors or preamplifiers, the only question is whether they are constructed discretely (either by means of FETs, transistors or tubes) or by means of operational amplifiers. If they are set up discreetly, work is inevitably in Class A, whether in tube or transistor technology.
Operational amplifiers usually have a class AB power amplifier integrated in their output. Due to the very large gain and the wiring with massive negative feedback, their behavior can not necessarily be compared with that of a regular Class-AB power amplifier. Outwardly, with proper circuitry, you will notice virtually nothing of the Class-AB character of an OP.
ESTE there are only discrete components in the signal path, so everything works in class-A. We do not think that worth mentioning is simply a physical fact. Misleading advertising is left to others.

Does ESTE use this studio graded output transformers, with which other companies are advertising ?
Phew, another such faith question, similar to Class A's.
Basically, high-quality transformers, whether in pre-stages or in power amplifiers, make sense in hi-fi and studio equipment, since the music signal should be changed or falsified as little as possible.
Guitar amplifiers and effects are different!
Here the signal should be changed and audibly influenced. The frequency response should be bent and overtones added. Supposedly one recognizes certain, legendary output transformers by their special sound. If so, then it is not because they sound "neutral", linearly transmit all frequencies linearly and add no overtones. But probably because they do exactly the opposite! Did Leo Fender or Jim Marshall select their transmitters for exemplary linearity? Or rather a good compromise between price and sound?
We do not use high quality studio transducers in
ESTE but good quality "solid" audio transducers. We want the transformers to have a certain amount of inherent sound that becomes part of the special ESTE sound. Of course, the basic quality must be right, failures must not occur. But non-linearities in frequency response and transient response (e.g., near saturation) can be enriching.

Why is ESTE relativly expensive ? My xyz pedal can do more and costs less ?
ESTE was developed in Germany and is manufactured in relatively small quantities also completely in Germany (including housing processing and PCB production). Only high-quality components are used. In fact, the price is based on a still moderate calculation and none of the participants gets rich by ESTE. Less price is not possible, otherwise we would not be able to pay our rents and then develop new, interesting devices. See in this context also our pickup booster AG1.0 , our cable buffers AG2.0 and AG2.1 or the amplifier JESS, whose new concepts were not yet so available on the market.

Are you boutique ?
What is boutique? If you're doing a Marshall / Fender circuit diagram for the hundredth time, you've changed some component values ​​slightly, using the use of noisy carbon press resistors and hand soldered Voodoo capacitors to provide a "totally different-sounding" amplifier at an outrageous price? Or if you imagine a TL071 operational amplifier with diodes in the negative feedback as the non-plus-ultra, of course, in black gunk must be shed, otherwise everyone could see what is behind it, and also plays this great guitarist XYZ this part exclusively, and costs Of course, a multiple of an equivalent brand pedal (the Green ...)?
If the boutique is, then we are not! We do not copy existing equipment and issue it as a novelty, but are always looking for new ways. The focus is always on the instrument, our devices should support, ideally be part of the instrument. Prices are calculated according to quantity and effort fair and not determined with dice.