Pendulum Audio Strives for Innovation

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Pendulum Audio owner/designer Greg Gualtieri draws upon more than 30 years of engineering and design experience to create professional audio products. “I’m often asked where the idea or concept for a product comes from,” Gualtieri says. “It’s a difficult question to answer in a sentence or two. Like songwriting, the inspiration for—or consternation over—a design originates in many different and unexpected ways.

“The 6386 and ES-8 are modern versions of an mu-style compressor I first built back in 1970, designed using what I affectionately refer to as the ‘Thomas Edison’ approach to product development,” Gualtieri continues. “Back then, I owned an old Federal compressor, which sounded great but was much too slow for program material. After building many versions, using all sorts of remote-cutoff tubes, I finally hit on the right combination of tricks and refinements that would give fast response without pumping and thumping.”

In recent years, Pendulum Audio has introduced the Quartet and Quartet II Mercenary Edition. “For the Quartet and Quartet II, I laid out the front panels first, with all sorts of knobs and switches labeled to do things I had no idea how to implement,” Gualtieri says. “Next, I’d have a bunch panels fabricated, effectively painting myself into a corner. I promised a de-esser, but I’ve never actually built one, nor heard one I liked. Now what am I going to do? And how am I going to fit all this stuff in a 2U chassis? All this, of course, happens about two weeks before AES.”

Pendulum Audio’s latest offering, the PL-2 two channel limiter, was first shown at the 2005 AES show in New York City. It went from idea to prototype in roughly three weeks, just in time for the show.

“It just so happens that eight to twelve weeks before an AES show, I’ll take an idea that I’ve been ruminating over for some months, or perhaps years, and decide it’s time to try and make it work,” Gualtieri concludes. “The show becomes the deadline, and next thing you know it’s a week before show time and you’re left with many technical issues yet to be resolved. This leads me to believe that fear, not necessity, is the mother of invention.”

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