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The compact yet powerful, tube driven bluetooth speaker, that's WiFi enabled, runs XBMC and can stream music and HD movies. Read more

338
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$136,640
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on September 13, 2013.

The compact yet powerful, tube driven bluetooth speaker, that's WiFi enabled, runs XBMC and can stream music and HD movies.

About this project

IMPORTANT INFO

GRILL COVERS: If anyone that has purchased or is considering a Duo and wants an additional cover please increase your total pledge by $25 and we will include it when your Duo ships.
CUSTOM COLORS: Thanks to all that voted for the extra 4 colors in our main line. If anyone is interest in selecting a color not in the 10-color main line, simply increase your pledge by $15 and you can choose from 27 additional colors that will match any pallet. 

PREMIUM TUBE UPGRADE: Anyone interested in upgrading to Gold Lion tubes by Genalex should increase their pledge by $70. Please note this is an upgrade not an add-on (You will only receive 1 set of tubes)

Featured On

Stretch Goals 

$120,000 - Titanium Drivers - Completed

Spun Titanium Cones and massive drivers are only two reasons I love these. These are the best I've heard since I was in the studio. Warm tone and Crystal Clear Reference Quality. To put things into perspective, that is a 6" slide rule up front.
Spun Titanium Cones and massive drivers are only two reasons I love these. These are the best I've heard since I was in the studio. Warm tone and Crystal Clear Reference Quality. To put things into perspective, that is a 6" slide rule up front.

$100,000 - Ultimate LED Upgrade! - Completed

Because you can never have too many choices at 100k we will upgrade the tube LEDs to high intensity RGB LEDs and let you control the tube color via the control knob. This new LED system will be powered by the onboard micro controller giving you unlimited ability to set colors and even program effects like color morphing, breathing and light dancing. See the video below and crank up the volume!

$75,000 - RIAA and Phono Preamp - Completed

When the Duo ships it will usher in a new era for compact audio systems. Being the first system to include an HD media center onboard, with your help we can claim another first: Being the world's first compact audio system that offers full support for vinyl turntables. Help us get to 80k and in return we will add a RIAA style EQ circuit and a phono preamp that will boost your records to HiFi perfection.

$50,000 - Custom Tube Dampers - Completed

Owning tube hi-fi is an intimate, hands-on experience and for helping us reach 50k we will include 2 pairs of custom white silicone tube dampers for you to outfit your Duo.
Owning tube hi-fi is an intimate, hands-on experience and for helping us reach 50k we will include 2 pairs of custom white silicone tube dampers for you to outfit your Duo.

In a world of micro speakers and Lo-Fi toys, the Duo is a revival of big sound and heritage class Hi-Fi. Say good bye to compressed audio and battery operated sound and say hello to the Duo: the bluetooth hi-fi speaker, that's wi-fi enabled and streams music and HD video through it's onboard media center.

Cool pic of the tubes with slow shutter speed
Cool pic of the tubes with slow shutter speed

 The Duo features:

  • Dual, Single Phase Vacuum Tube Pre-Amplifiers
  • 100 watt, Solid State Main Amp + Mono Block 30 watt Subwoofer Amp
  • Twin 4" Composite Cone, 50w Reference Drivers w/ Machined Aluminum Horns
  • 3" Composite 30w Long-Throw Subwoofer
  • Top Mounted Solid Machined Aluminum Control Knob
  • Hand-Built Tone Wood Case w/ Hand-Stretched Speaker Cloth
  • Bluetooth v4.0 + Wi-Fi 802.11n
  • XBMC Media Center Powered by Raspberry Pi.
Shown here in Quarry Blue, the Duo is built from solid hardwood allowing the entire system to provide stable resonance and ensure a full bodied sound.
Shown here in Quarry Blue, the Duo is built from solid hardwood allowing the entire system to provide stable resonance and ensure a full bodied sound.
All about the details. The cloth panel attaches to the Duo's face using embedded rare earth magnets.
All about the details. The cloth panel attaches to the Duo's face using embedded rare earth magnets.
Even with multiple channels of bluetooth and wifi, the Duo comes standard with a Tube Pre'd Headphone Jack, two analog inputs and the entire onboard computer's port array accessible on the back panel
Even with multiple channels of bluetooth and wifi, the Duo comes standard with a Tube Pre'd Headphone Jack, two analog inputs and the entire onboard computer's port array accessible on the back panel

Introducing the Compact Hi-Fi Media Center

Little Package. Huge Sound.

The Duo is separated into two groups: the analog side and the digital side. The heart of every Tubecore system rest with it's Hybrid Tube Amplifier.
The Duo is separated into two groups: the analog side and the digital side. The heart of every Tubecore system rest with it's Hybrid Tube Amplifier.

XBMC Media Center

The Duo features XBMC and can stream music and HD movies and be controlled via smart phone or tablet. Duo can also be used as a stand-alone media center by adding a thumb drive or hard drive to the rear usb ports.
The Duo features XBMC and can stream music and HD movies and be controlled via smart phone or tablet. Duo can also be used as a stand-alone media center by adding a thumb drive or hard drive to the rear usb ports.

With XBMC on the Duo you can:

  • Stream Music and HD Movies
  • Watch Live TV
  • Organize your Media Collection
  • Expand with Downloadable Add-Ons

Powered by Raspberry Pi

The Duo's digital side is Powered by Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi has millions of global users and is the ideal onboard solution. With the Pi in place the Duo can be modified, hacked and most importantly; updated.
The Duo's digital side is Powered by Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi has millions of global users and is the ideal onboard solution. With the Pi in place the Duo can be modified, hacked and most importantly; updated.

Raw Power from Every Angle

Raw Tube Power, Solid State Amps and Composite Reference Speakers. This is how musicians listen to their own music!
Raw Tube Power, Solid State Amps and Composite Reference Speakers. This is how musicians listen to their own music!
Mounted in the down-throw position in a sealed enclosure, Duo sports the world's only miniature long-throw subwoofer.
Mounted in the down-throw position in a sealed enclosure, Duo sports the world's only miniature long-throw subwoofer.
The Duo's rear panel comes equipped with a Stereo Headphone Jack, Analog 1/4" & RCA Inputs, Dual Powered USB Ports, HDMI for HD Video and an Ethernet  Port for those that prefer a direct internet connection
The Duo's rear panel comes equipped with a Stereo Headphone Jack, Analog 1/4" & RCA Inputs, Dual Powered USB Ports, HDMI for HD Video and an Ethernet Port for those that prefer a direct internet connection
The Duo's three primary settings; power, level and source, are all handled by a single device. The floating control knob is custom machined, balanced and pressure sensitive to the user's slightest touch.
The Duo's three primary settings; power, level and source, are all handled by a single device. The floating control knob is custom machined, balanced and pressure sensitive to the user's slightest touch.

Elegant Lines + Monstrous Sound

Classic Hi-Fi has always been about tactile sensations and stylish design. The feel of a soft vinyl record or the weight of a solid volume knob turning in your hand is something you never forget. With every other manufacture going smaller, or worse... plastic, our ability to experience this diminishes. 

The Duo is all about the details.


The Duo was designed to compliment every room in your house and will initially be offered in 6 standard colors, with the ability to purchase additional panels in both wrapped and unwrapped versions for complete customization.
The Duo was designed to compliment every room in your house and will initially be offered in 6 standard colors, with the ability to purchase additional panels in both wrapped and unwrapped versions for complete customization.
Duo in Sunshine
Duo in Sunshine
Duo in White charging an iPad Mini
Duo in White charging an iPad Mini
A desktop Duo in Geranium
A desktop Duo in Geranium
A Duo in stylish Quarry Blue
A Duo in stylish Quarry Blue

Prototyping the Prototype

We completed dozens of rough sketches and scale technical drawings before starting our prototyping process. Below are some of our earliest drawings and pictures of the elusive Duo Prototype v1.0.

The earliest scale technical drawing of the original Duo prototype. Notice the front mounted volume knob.
The earliest scale technical drawing of the original Duo prototype. Notice the front mounted volume knob.
A completed v1 prototype. This prototype was inadvertently destroyed by a rogue CNC machine. The case is 1" thick Mahogany and the CNC plunged down through the top at a speed of 14" per second. Needless to say we had to rebuild.
A completed v1 prototype. This prototype was inadvertently destroyed by a rogue CNC machine. The case is 1" thick Mahogany and the CNC plunged down through the top at a speed of 14" per second. Needless to say we had to rebuild.
Forced into a rebuild by a killer CNC. I took the opportunity to redesign the case and include the Top Mounted Knob.
Forced into a rebuild by a killer CNC. I took the opportunity to redesign the case and include the Top Mounted Knob.
Wanting everything to be controlled by the top knob, this was the concept sketch that started it all.
Wanting everything to be controlled by the top knob, this was the concept sketch that started it all.
A rough out of the Duo's triple independent speaker enclosures; sealed enclosures for the Full-Range speakers and the sub. Apart from the individual speaker enclosures, the Duo also features two shielded electronics compartments.
A rough out of the Duo's triple independent speaker enclosures; sealed enclosures for the Full-Range speakers and the sub. Apart from the individual speaker enclosures, the Duo also features two shielded electronics compartments.
The Duo's original down-throw subwoofer. After many hours of debate, it was decided that we would scrap this mid-bass speaker and install an actual long-throw subwoofer.
The Duo's original down-throw subwoofer. After many hours of debate, it was decided that we would scrap this mid-bass speaker and install an actual long-throw subwoofer.
Out with the old and in with the new. The Duo features the world's only miniature long-throw subwoofer. With a floating voice-coil and a dual layer rubber surround system, this 3" sub shares features with many full size competition subwoofers.
Out with the old and in with the new. The Duo features the world's only miniature long-throw subwoofer. With a floating voice-coil and a dual layer rubber surround system, this 3" sub shares features with many full size competition subwoofers.
Depth setting the Duo's floating control knob. The Duo's custom designed control surface is machined from solid aluminum and only touches the spindle to which it is mounted. This ensures smooth operation and fluid performance.
Depth setting the Duo's floating control knob. The Duo's custom designed control surface is machined from solid aluminum and only touches the spindle to which it is mounted. This ensures smooth operation and fluid performance.
After hundreds of hours of shop work, no one thought to take any pics during assembly. This pic shows Duo v2.0 with it's main drivers installed and the control knob mounted to the spindle.
After hundreds of hours of shop work, no one thought to take any pics during assembly. This pic shows Duo v2.0 with it's main drivers installed and the control knob mounted to the spindle.

Anatomy of a Monster

The Duo represents a new age in Heritage Hi-Fi. Featuring our custom Hybrid architecture, the Duo's dual phase amplifiers are capable of reproducing music within the 40 hz - 22 khz range. This means audiophile quality in a compact world-class system. 

An exploded view of the Prototype's internal hardware. Once funded most of this will be replaced with Tubecore's Custom Hybrid Tube Amplifier
An exploded view of the Prototype's internal hardware. Once funded most of this will be replaced with Tubecore's Custom Hybrid Tube Amplifier

About TubeCore

TubeCore is dedicated to the celebration of sound. All TubeCore systems feature our signature Tube Pre-Amp and Solid State Hybrid System. This combination delivers the purest analog sound, while drastically reducing the energy waste of "pure" Class-A Systems.

Designed around a balance between classic analog Hi-Fi and computer control, TubeCore systems can be hacked, networked and modified in countless ways, all to the benefit of the audiophile community.

Wear Your Support

Wear your support with an official tubecore shirt.
Wear your support with an official tubecore shirt.

Risks and challenges

New technology brings new challenges. Once funded we will move into a structured manufacturing phase to ensure each backer receives their system in a timely manner. To ensure TubeCore Systems don't threaten the environment we are sourcing quality hardwoods from multiple sources, in multiple species. Our cases are always constructed from rich, straight grained hardwoods, while the faces are built from quality burled and straight grained hardwoods.

In the coming weeks we will finalize our component suppliers and begin tooling our equipment to begin production. Since the Duo is essentially made by hand and our template work is complete we are prepared to begin building cases.

Our first goal once funded is to place our first order for printed circuit boards (PCB) from our overseas supplier. This manufacturing process will take 45 days from order to delivery and we intend on building and assembling cases while we await their arrival. Should everything go as planned by the time our PCB's arrive from our supplier, we should have all of our cases built, drivers installed, awaiting electronics.

The final piece of TubeCore's development is the implementation of a moderated user forum where both TubeCore Owners and Audio Hackers can share projects, tutorials and advice on how to advance the field of intelligent audio systems. We are currently seeking interested moderators from across the globe in support of this mission and have the forum infrastructure in place.

As with any new project specs regarding performance and individual components are subject to change.

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FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    4 backers

    Wear your support with a Tubecore t-shirt in your size.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    First Five Duos - Support Tubecore and pick up one a Duo in your choice of color ($599 value) mailed to your door. These will be the first five production models, will be engraved and will include a Tubecore t-shirt in your size.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $325 or more

    10 backers All gone!

    Rockstar Special - Support TubeCore and pick up a Duo at a Rockstar's Price in your choice of color ($599 value) mailed to your door with the Tubecore tee.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $350 or more

    20 backers All gone!

    Early Bird Special - One TubeCore Duo in your choice of color ($599 value) mailed to your door, with the Tubecore t-shirt.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $375 or more

    200 backers All gone!

    First Full Production Batch - One TubeCore Duo in your choice of color ($599 value) mailed to your door, with the design files and the tee.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $400 or more

    73 backers

    Regular Production Model - One TubeCore Duo in your choice of color ($599 value) mailed to your door, with the design files and a Tubecore t-shirt. These will begin shipping in January at a rate of 100 per week.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    6 backers Limited (14 left of 20)

    The Duo Jazz Black - A limited Edition Duo with Vintage Telefunken Tubes, Upgraded Titanium Cone Drivers and Black Grill Cloth, plus your name will be written on the first production factory label that goes into every Duo. International shipping requires insurance.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (45 days)