the opto series evolution and history - never bring a knife to a gun fight

well  drip is glad you asked ,  a bit of a story , but here it is :

10 years ago drip was first in the world to release the first viable and fully operational pcb of the classic (trademarked)  "LA2A" compressor , to the diy community .

awkward , but viable . and it was 100% the original circuit of the la2a.

the first drip opto pcb was the beginning of drip , it was released in the prodigy pro forums (now group diy)  aprox 10 years or more ago .  it was the wild west back then , and the staus quo was the norm.

the forum life was torturous for drip , a mob mentality never cultivates a good idea or artistry.

it was a great place to start , and drip rolled with it. but damn , haters just wanted us to die. was set up after the initial success of the opto 1  so drip could escape the retarded behavior of the forum trolls . 

from then on , drip was free to be creative and have a direct connection to some amazing

folks and at times some not so amazing .


the opto 1 - circa 2004-2005 release


the opto one pcb was drips first released pcb .  (UA trademark was not yet established at the time of development)

you will notice from the design  that drip was still struggling with the symmetry issue .

however , the tube amplifier and control amplifier has what was to become the beginning of a style.

hand drawn with a mouse in the most basic of design programs back then 'protel' 

the goal was to create an elegant style that looked beautiful and functional . in beauty one often is attracted to symmetry , in symmetry one often achieves balance in audio design , balance is everything .

the design reflects the beginning concept of using curves in the design , 

you wonder why pcb designs of tube equipment sound like hell . well , its the structure of the wiring that does this on the pcb ,what  we wanted achieve was to be more organic in the layout .

point to point wiring is very organic , 

smooth  , curved , 3 dimensional and if executed well , beautiful  , and can sound perfect.

the emulation of this on a 2 dimensional surface was the original drip public enemy #1.

bad messy designs reflect the heart or ignorance of the designer and reflect the integrity of the circuit.

re-creating the 'la2a' is equivalent of making a copy of the mona lisa , 

you better damn well be sure your friken heart is in it , and you better damn well give it some respect.

in the case of the opto one , 

the heater issue was not resolved yet , so the heater filaments of the tubes had to be hand wired and twisted .

amateur night at the rodeo . 

there were many superstitions that developed during this design of the opto one.

the power ground , reduction ground and signal ground were all separated  , meaning a different ground point for each stage  . as in the original design , we followed that architecture .

good move , it helped in function and is used to this date with the opto series , 


the metering section of the opto one fell apart , just needed to finish and opted to use orthogonal 'gross' traces and 

basically just 'threw up' onto the pcb with this travesty of absolute loss of balance . 

'worked though' , is not an excuse for this sacrilege . 

the main circuit design is beautiful , amateur , but one can see the hope in a foundation of what was to become the future for drip,

more to come , 

next the opto 2

gregory lomayesva