I just received my second CoViD shot last night and so find myself on shaky ground at the moment but wanted to make sure I didn't miss a day of a post.
I was just ruminating on the steps leading up to our first integrated amplifier, the Elite.
When Stan and I had built our fledgling company to the point where we hired our first two employees, Lowell and Jeff, we were building two products: our phono stage and its companion Linear Control Center. The LCC was not a whole lot more than a volume and balance control, an input, and a gain selector.
From a circuit perspective, there was a 10X stereo preamp inside that offered 20dB of gain the user could choose to run the signal through or not. Passive or active preamplifier.
As Jeff and Lowell did their best to keep up with customer orders, Stan and I worked on our new power amplifier to be called the Model One. The power amp's circuitry was not a whole lot more than the LCC's gain stage with a pre-driver, driver, and output transistors added. The Model One was capable of 70 watts per channel into 8Ω.
Because we didn't want to "color" the sound of our new amplifier while it was in development, we chose not to use the LCC as a volume control. We wanted the signal path as free of circuitry as possible so that we would be tuning only the amplifier and not the combination of LCC and amplifier.
But we still had to control the volume of the turntable/phono stage.
Stan grabbed a power drill off the shelf and without saying a word proceeded to punch a hole in the amp's front panel, then from inside the amplifier popped in a potentiometer, and added a knob.
Voila! The first PS Audio integrated amplifier.
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