Mesa/Boogie Launches Line of Signal Management Products
New line includes buffers, line drivers and line balancers focused on optimizing signal quality and ultimately guitar tone.
Petaluma, CA (August 10, 2016) -- Mesa/Boogie is excited to announce the addition of four new signal management products aimed at preserving the integrity of the signal sent from instrument to amplifier. The product line includes the Stowaway Buffer, High-Wire Dual Buffer and Line Driver, Clearlink Send Line Driver and the Clearlink Receive ISO/Converter.
Mesa points out that in virtually all guitar and bass rigs, tone quality is won or lost at three major crossroads; input, effects loop and output. In today’s pedal-heavy era, signal chain variables create a constant challenge for those looking to achieve and preserve great tone, so it makes sense that Mesa has turned their attention to connectivity. “Approaching 50 years of building high performance amplifiers we’ve learned a thing or two about tone. Early on we realized that every single component in the signal path truly is a tone control. So it’s only fitting that we would begin looking for areas where we might apply our experience to improve performance in the peripheral components connected to our amplifiers, or any amplifier for that matter. We’re proud to unveil our progressive line of signal management solutions aimed at preserving, and in many cases improving, the performance of your Mesa–or really any brand of amplifier you may use.” said Doug West, 35 year veteran and point man in R&D and Marketing at Mesa/Boogie.
Known for world-renowned tube guitar and bass amplifier designs, Mesa looked to expand their engineering and design team for developing the new products. They found a perfect fit in partnering with Mario Marino. “Mario is a highly respected designer in the area of signal management, switching solutions and electronic component design. Combining his expertise with our experience and production skills allows us to offer the highest quality signal management and switching solutions available…we are excited to have him on the team,” said Jim Aschow, Executive Vice President at Mesa/Boogie. Addressing a variety of scenarios for players and technicians alike, it is clear that Mesa has tapped a wealth of experience in the development of the new product line. The four new products deliver remedies, upgrades and enhancements, all aimed at preserving the integrity of the signal from instrument to amplifier. Whether it’s instrument to amplifier, instrument-to- pedalboard, pedalboard-to-amplifier, amplifier-to- outboard processing and back or, all of the above. The focus from Mesa is clear; ensure that guitar tone is the very best it can be, in any environment, controlling for any variable that can possibly be controlled.
Mesa’s first offering, the Stowaway, is a compact 100% discrete Class-A input buffer designed to remedy an array of Input challenges caused by issues such as impedance loading and mismatching, unpredictable changes in guitar pickup or sound character as a result of varying effect pedals’ input impedance and interconnecting cables’ capacitance. The Stowaway has been engineered to deliver the stable, consistent load an instrument needs to sound as intended. A small footprint allows the Stowaway to be mounted underneath or on top of the most crowded of pedal boards, while its feature set is professional and comprehensive in its category.
The next in the series, serving as a Dual Buffer and combined Line Driver, the High-Wire addresses both input and output challenges in the same compact chassis. Between instrument and pedals, it provides a stable, consistent load for a guitar’s pickups, ensuring that the signal arrives at the first pedal intact. From pedalboard to the amplifier, the High-Wire buffers the signal, ensuring optimum impedance loading and performance, while also allowing for increased signal levels for extra long cable runs via the built-in Line Driver (Footswitchable Boost) feature. As with the Stowaway, the High-Wire buffer circuitry is 100% discrete Class-A. The High-Wire also incorporates a fixed +3dB BOOST on a top mounted mini-toggle. The Footswitch is Dual Function and allows both the variable BOOST when hit once and a MUTE when held for one second.
Aimed at line driving issues, the Clearlink Line Driver is designed to go between the last pedal on a pedalboard and the input of the amp. It’s capable of sending either a balanced or unbalanced signal that compensates for losses in guitar tone quality due to increased capacitance in long cable runs. With +12dB of available output gain, it has the ability to drive long cable runs easily, and when used in conjunction with our Clearlink Receiver it can drive balanced lines of up to 330 Ft./100M with unsurpassed noise immunity and signal integrity. When combined with a Stowaway input buffer, the Clearlink Send forms an “Effects Loop” for the instrument-to- pedalboard-to-amp signal chain that will reclaim the integrity of sound through buffering, impedance matching or boosted levels. Whether used alone, or with the Stowaway as a comprehensive “Front End” solution, the CClearlink Send will provide the needed “stable impedance source” to ensure the components in the guitarist’s rig “communicate” well. It can be used for balanced signals via two different output jacks, standard 3-pin XLR or ¼” TRS and also supports unbalanced signals via the standard ¼” mono jack.
Finally, the Clearlink Receive ISO/Converter is Mesa’s big-stage solution for all instruments where signal must travel longer than 15 to 20 feet. It’s most common application is receiving a buffered and balanced signal through XLR cabling from its companion product–the Clearlink Send. Upon receiving the signal at the tail end of a Pedal Board, the Clearlink Receive converts the XLR balanced signal back to a ¼” unbalanced signal, appropriately matched for feeding an instrument amplifier input. It can also be used for any isolation job or ground lift where grounds cannot be shared, such as a multi-amp switching setup, as well as any balanced XLR to 1/4" unbalanced conversion. Along with Stage applications, the Clearlink Receive is well suited for the Studio too, enabling a very long cable run from the Control Room to the Cutting Room, where an amplifier is often mic’d. The Clearlink (Receive) Ground Lift and Phase Flip switches round out it’s usefulness and feature set.. With the ability to isolate and convert from most pro signal sources, the Clearlink offers a solution that is in high demand for the gigging musician, recording artist or savvy guitar technician.
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