Up Close: A-Designs Audio, Inc.

A-Designs Audio Logo ai compatibleDriven by their founding “quality without compromise” philosophy and a desire to provide clients with the best possible solutions in the form of high end analog based audio products, A-Designs Audio (www.adesignsaudio.com) offers a total of 60+ years in engineering, marketing, sales and service experience.

While emphasizing a lean, effective enterprise whose precise and controlled operation—combined with products that offer the utmost in performance. Founder and President Peter Montessi enjoys pointing out all of A Designs' products are proudly manufactured in the U.S.A.

Formerly the VP of CM Automation, which produced the eight channel flying fader mixer known as Motormix. Montessi launched A-Designs in the late 90s, when tube pre-amplifiers were becoming the rage in the industry as trends shifted away from solid state. The company’s first flagship product was the MP-2 pre-amp, which has been superseded in A Designs' product line with the MP-2A – a true-tube dual mono preamp with a “sweetspot” that, as the company’s website says, “goes on forever.”

Designed to provide the versatility and sonic power the discerning professional required for top quality recordings, the MP-2A offers two tone switches per channel (four distinct sounds), custom transformers and polarity (phase) switches in order to treat any sound source as desired. It also works well with other products, welcoming all sounds no matter what you put through it: ribbon, dynamic or condenser. Its fixed gain amp with output attenuator allows for consistent behavior (aka “the magic”) whether the MP 2-A is turned up or down.

Montessi credits the growing popularity of A-Designs’ next major product, the REDDI All Tube Direct Box, to renowned session and touring bassist Reggie Hamilton, who spread “the gospel” of its merits all over the world. The REDDI has been hailed by engineers and bassist alike as the best sounding DI around. Inspired by the sound of the Ampeg B-15 tube bass amp, its 6N1-P tube-driven amp feeds signal directly into a hefty custom output transformer, which is key to providing a harmonically rich tone. Not just for bass, the REDDI’s all-tube circuitry can enhance the character of any instrument that runs through it.

Another powerful A Designs product that the company developed with designer Jon Erickson is the TEC Award Nominated Pacifica Stereo Microphone Preamp/D.I., a two channel, solid state preamp with custom, ear tested transformers for the “Big Iron” sound of the 70s. The Pacifica harkens back to the golden age of recording, when consoles were spec’d out by studio engineers and custom built. With the depth of a Neve, the midrange of an API and the high end of a Massenburg, it has established itself as the go-to preamp for numerous Grammy winning and platinum selling engineers and producers.

Among A-Designs’ most recently developed products are a complementary EQ and Compressor known as Hammer (EQ) and Nail (Compressor). “The cool thing about them is that they are both a hybrid of solid state and tubes,” Montessi says. The award winning HM2EQ Hammer Dual Channel Tube EQ is a world class equalizer designed with functions and sound quality typically found on expensive mastering EQs. The dual-mono, three band equalizer is one of the select few audio tools that enhances sound simply by running signal through it.

Awarded a “Mix Certified Hit” by Mix Magazine, The HM2-Nail Compressor/Limiter is a two channel, solid state/tube hybrid offering infinite sound shaping possibilities plus the ability to enhance any signal simply by passing through it. It has three unique features that set it apart from ordinary compressors: hard threshold, filter and mix. The combination of threshold, hard threshold and filter allows users to dial in the amount of compression, at what level it will engage and above which frequencies it will act.

Another crown jewel in the A-Designs arsenal is the Ventura, also inspired by the great Quad Eight consoles. Run at optimal levels, its signal is clear and ultra transparent, with all the dimensionality, air, and extended bass inherent in high-quality analog. It features a 3-band EQ reminiscent of console EQs from the golden age of recording and an Instrument In, not a DI, which is an amplifier.

Montessi also owns Pete’s Place Audio (www.petesplaceaudio.com), a boutique manufacturer of high quality audio products – also handcrafted in the U.S. Their “highly esoteric” product line includes the return of Eletrodyne 501 pre-amp and 511 EQ as well as the BAC-500 compressor and Blast Pad SPL-Filter.

Contact A-Designs 818-716-4153