Getting To Know: Sebatron Audio

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Getting To Know: Sebatron Audio

“What we do is base our design and manufacture around discrete component building, so rather than utilising chips or integrated circuits with hundreds and thousands of transistors, we discretely cut down the excessive components in the core circuit which removes buffer zones and allows the components to communicate better together,” Sebatron says. “I like to use the analogy of food to explain our products; a regular chip is like canned soup, with the excessive transistors acting as preservatives and fats, whereas we make up the soup out of fresh ingredients, resulting in an electronically superior product.”


Sebatron’s current specialty is a range of sophisticated valve preamps and stereo compressors, bringing a distinct flavour to recordings and highlighting the natural sonic nuances lost when using solid state technology. “What you get with valves as opposed to silicon based devices is that they react differently to dynamics,” Sebatron explains. “As the input signal gets louder, the valve has a tendency to compress the signal before it goes into clipping, so you get a really subtle compression which brings out the articulations in different guitar strings, or emphasises specific harmonic qualities in the voice that would otherwise be lost in the loudness of a recording.”


This technology is most prominently used in the Sebatron AXIS-200VU preamp, one of their most popular products, boasting a Class A valve and discrete low noise circuitry to dynamically push the input signal in a manner similar to the way the human ear compresses loud frequencies. “In a Class B amplifier setup, you’d get parts of the positive and negative waves split up and rematched later on, giving you crossover distortion, which is the least musical distortion. Class A valves are the purest for audio design, so the audio signal goes through and remains unaffected, which means you’re more likely to get much smoother harmonic distortion.”


This results in a much more dynamic audio path, which Sebatron attributes to the intricate design of Sebatron Audio equipment. “All Sebatron units make use of high-voltage design which allows for maximum headroom, meaning the clipping points of the audio signal are far higher than the range people typically set their levels to while recording.”


Despite their success with their wide range of studio preamps and compressors, Sebatron says his team is always experimenting with new audio technology for recording equipment, revealing that the company has been extensively researching and designing new filtration technology. “There’s a a new style of four-channel preamp on the way, and a rack-mounted flexible filter we’re working on called Fleque, which is a variable high-pass, low-pass, band-pass and notch filter with a fader as a cutoff frequency control knob,” says Sebatron. “We’re expecting the Fleque rack unit to come out within a month or so, and we’re also working on a desktop version which should come out in three or four months.”


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