The Dymaxion console

Excerpt from a Mix Magazine article, written by Rick Clark -The Dymaxion recording console at Sixteen Ton's Nashville recording studio -  The first console Ian Gardiner and Steve Firlotte designed and manufactured together, before the Tree Audio 500 Series and the Roots tube-hybrid recording console

At the heart of Sixteen Ton's (Nashville Recording Studio, owned by Danny White) control room is a visually stunning, custom-built console, inspired by the Art Deco era. Sitting in front of the board almost feels like being in the cockpit of some classic WW II — era B-52. “We even went to the point of finding new old-stock Bakelite knobs from the late 1940s for the controls,” enthuses White, adding, “The curved mahogany legs are also very 1940s and the perfect complement to the control surface.”

The guts of the console, which took three years to design and build, feature pure Class-A discrete tubes on the input side, and the monitor section is Class-A discrete transistor, based around the John Hall — designed (Langevin, Altec, etc.) SPA 690 amp block. There are more than 130 of these blocks in the console! The inputs employ 6072A tubes on the input and output stages, balanced by custom-wound transformers by Tom Reichenbach of Cinemag Inc. (Los Angeles). The design and electronic topology was done by Ian Gardiner of Boutique Audio and Design and Steve Firlotte of Inward Connections, also in L.A. The console is driven by a tube power supply designed by Steve Barker in L.A. “The design philosophy was minimalistic: straight-ahead hi-fi tube/transistor hybrid with minimal signal path, all hand-wired to boot,” says White.