LessLoss Firewall and Tunnelbridge: progress report
Tuesday 01 February, 2011
I have some new pictures of some of the work that has been put into the production of the Firewall.
Above you see a heavy Panzerholz block, which, after milling, polishing, and oiling, will form one half of the Firewall’s Panzerholz casing. The precise milling process requires special diamond tooling (not available at Lowe’s or Home Depot). The tools spin so quickly that the requirements for centering them into the spindle would not be met with a mechanical screw-type fastener. The technology here is different: the fastener which holds the tools is heated up until the metal expands far enough for the tool to enter. When the metal cools, it contracts slightly, and thus holds the tool exactly in place, exactly centered. If the tools were just a little bit off center, they would immediately overheat due to their operational speed.
The milling machine is computer controlled. The operators have to spend many man-hours programming what is called the strategy. The strategy is the determination of efficient movements of the spindle to create the forms in the least amount of time. But other considerations must be made as well, such as the heat dispersion of the material being milled. Panzerholz is a very poor conductor of heat, thus placing precise speed prerequisites upon efficiency of progress. Too slow, and everything overheats. Too fast, and again the same happens. There is only one optimum speed, and this varies according to the amount of ‘bite’ of the tools used. Other considerations include the angles and directions at which the entrances and exists are made at each pass. Wood is more difficult to work than aluminum. Even if Panzerholz is more dense, it is still a natural product and thus not entirely homogenous.
Above, the red dotted lines depict the programmed strategy. The machine and software used on this project cost just under a million Euros. Micro-vibrations are a big issue when working with high speed milling machinery, and these are addressed in the following way:
Above is pictured the ‘shock absorber’ solution employed. Through the use of multiple layers of hardwood, ample vibration control is achieved for the reliability of continuous highly precise results.
One would think that it is ‘just a robot’ and that automated processes are among the least expensive possible production methods. Even with the high technologies implemented in the creation of the Panzerholz parts, what you see above, that is, merely the internal milling of one half of the Firewall’s Panzerholz parts, without even the outer curvatures, takes one full hour.
You are invited to view an excerpt of the production process right here.
Here we see a smaller tool finishing up some of the more detailed intricacies towards the end of this milling process.
With emphasis on precision of craftsmanship, sleek, contemporary, design, and last but not least, the importance of Panzerholz on the end resulting sound achieved by using the Firewall, I am happy that when art meets science, and the teams involved is as adamant about their art as we are at ours, a truly strong product with innovative technologies is born, and we can take a new step towards higher fidelity sound.
Sneak peek at the new LessLoss Tunnelbridge interconnect solution
We are also hard at work creating the final design of the LessLoss Tunnelbridge distortionless interconnect system. Here is a picture of the prototype faceplates, both front and back. The laser engraving is another special feature which we are happy to offer as something that will simply ‘last forever’ and never wear out.
Thank you for your interest and continued patience while we work hard to provide you with our highest quality performance. I will send more information as it becomes available!
Have a nice day!