Firewall module news: Scary news avoided, finishing straight now in site!
Thursday 05 November, 2015
Dear esteemed customers,
We've been hard at work daily, preparing the oakwood enclosures and Oyaide connectors for the arrival of the new generation Firewall modules. Then, at the beginning of this week, we received a timeline modification (also known as a "delay warning" in factory speak) from our production partner. It turned out that they made a mistake and had to re-do a large portion of their work. This set us back 5 days. But only 5, so it's not the end of the world.
Today I received notification that our parts are arriving locally right after this weekend. That's the excellent news we've been waiting for! We've already been in contact with our production partners here locally to learn that they have a planned system shut-down for cleaning which, as it turns out, is already complete. They are up and running again as of today. It's their "soft start" day, with tomorrow being scheduled as "regular production commences." That's also great news!
This means that next week towards the end of the week, we should actually have our dear Firewall modules in hand, ready to be either dispatched (if you bought the self-installable version), or else to be integrated into the oakwood enclosures. Both procedures will not take long, and this means that your wait is finally coming to a close and delivery will soon be made.
Coming off of the CNC mill, the wood has burrs and splinters on practically all edges. We clean these off paying attention to the final look of the product. We don't want these to look like cheap cigar boxes made of warped balsa!
A touch of class
Although this is a budget product, we still believe in beauty, and go the extra effort to inspect and care for every detail. It's very hard to do this when under clock pressure, but that is where part of quality lies: not only to deliver an extremely good functional product, but to do it beautifully as well, and at a price point which excites rather than puts one off!
Meanwhile, back at the milling station
To keep you in the loop, we took our HD camera over to the milling station to give you a first-hand look at the tech which mills these boxes. It's not just technology, it's actually brains and technology. You can have the best equipment and still make lousy-looking product. It takes skill to work with real solid wood, which is uneven, irregular, and has an unexpected relationship with a cold, stupid, unfeeling machine.
Although it looks impressive, this is actually nowhere near real mass production. To compare with a Newspaper printing press, what we're doing here is actually much more like a Gutenberg type-set production run. You get to do (Woooo! Weee!) TWO WHOLE PAGES IN ONE GO! It's fast by monk-and-candlelight standards, for sure, but extremely slow by plastic mould injection standards, or car door stamping standards using multi-ton presses.
About the tempo
While watching the following video, please keep in mind that much of the footage has been sped up quite a lot, a decision made by our editor with the purpose of not putting you to sleep. The process in reality is much slower. Otherwise the milling drills would just get red-hot from the abrasion with the wood, and the wood would be all black from the heat.
Click here or on the above picture to watch the video.
Have a nice day!
Louis Motek | LessLoss.com
P.S. That's not all, actually. We have also been making good progress on our new DAC as well as on our new USB Firewall. The USB Firewall is probably going to be our Killer App. It will completely revolutionize USB audio as we know it, because it actually addresses the fundamental problem with "that ugly harsh-sounding, digital haze" that has always been USB audio's pitfall. There have been attempts to clean this up in the past, but always with sort of "scratch-'n'-sniff" methods such as re-writing device drivers, or attempting to better the shielding on a USB cable. Although smart and effective, such methods don't get to the heart of the problem, which is that the 5V and ground provided to the USB device are of such a polluted nature, coming as they do from that bee's hive of HF activity which is every computer's motherboard, that they are truly unfit for high performance real-time-audio applications. You can hear the hash, the blur, the fuzziness, the harshness, and this turns people away from computer audio who have known better times and better technologies. Now, with the USB Firewall, all of this is going to change, for the better. We'll be able to use the new technology for its low noise on paper, and truly get it in practice, as well! In the end it is all about Jitter reduction, and this is achieved by applying our best Firewall Skin-filtering technology in its most concentrated form to the 5V and ground coming off the computer. The result is a stability of soundstage, a relaxed, and yet highly detailed representation, that reminds one more of analogue than it does of digital. And this, pretty much, is the holy grail of digital audio.
More to come about this. And another attractive LessLoss pre-order opportunity looms on the graspable horizon.