A16 Progress Report 29 July 2017
All aspects of the production are proceeding well. Mass production of the metalwork for both 2U and headstand (HS) will be completed in the next couple of weeks. Pre-production samples of both types have now been reviewed and we are happy to say the manufacturing quality is good. When we get the first production samples back from China (with final silk screen) we will post a complete set of photos.
The A16 board assembly will begin August and we should have these back in the UK mid September at the latest. The HDMI 2.0b hardware is also in manufacture and due for delivery to us early September. We would like to think that final assembly and test will begin before the end of September.
On the software side we are focused mostly on preparing for Dolby and DTS certification. We plan to submit sample A16s to both companies by the end of August. Approval often takes 3-4 weeks but it may take longer if compliance issues arise. Since the A16 design allows for firmware updates, assembly can proceed regardless and we can update prior to shipping as required.
We have two minor developments to report. First, we employed an English woodworking company to make us some trial side panels for the 2U enclosure. They connect to where the rack-mount wings go so you can only fit one or the other. Our feeling is that we probably need at least 4 different wood types to give owners a decent choice if we do decide to offer these panels for sale. The photographs show oak and walnut, both with an oil finish.
Second, we will be including a differential headphone output mode for driving balanced headphones using both User A and User B headphone output jacks together. This mode is intended for single user operation. The photo shows a typical connection for the Sennheiser HD800 using a balanced Custom Cans dual ¼” stereo jack cable where the User A jack drives the left-ch transducer and User B jack the right-ch transducer.
Please note that the enclosures used in these photographs are pre-production and their silk screening differs from the final production units.
We will provide a further progress report at the end of August. Hopefully you will see some photos of the production units before that.
Thank you for your patience.