Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up
Mar 14, 2019 at 11:45 AM Post #44,762 of 98,002

golfbravobravo

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2019 Chapter 5:
Buzzword Bingo


Big SNIP

The Present: Coherence, Continuity, Nexus, Unison USB

Of late, you may have noticed a change in how we name our technologies. Names like Coherence™, Continuity™, Nexus™, and Unison USB™ are now getting out there. And this change isn’t by chance. It’s something I started purposefully last year, as I realized that some of the analog technologies I was developing were actually (a) gonna work, and (b) be pretty cool. That’s when I realized that we should claim some of these technologies…

Smaller SNIP

And so, here we go: our current names of key technologies that we consider important.

Coherence™. This is our combobulated tube-BJT hybrid topology that delivers on the promise of hybrid designs the most, at least in our experience. Unlike other hybrid topologies we’ve used, Coherence allows us to run a high voltage at the tube stage (better for tubes), use the tubes for voltage gain (better application of a tube’s strengths), combine the tube and transistor stages without input, output, or interstage coupling capacitors, and integrate it with a wide variety of output stages, including Continuity. This topology you’ll see in Lyr 3, and (to a lesser extent), in Vali 2, though Vali still uses output coupling capacitors to simplify the power supply requirements and keep cost down.
  • Importance: like I said, it’s the best hybrid topology we’ve found to date, and (as far as I know), we’re the only ones using it. Hence it’s worth naming as a differentiator to all the other hybrid topologies out there.
  • Found in: Lyr 3, Vali 2
Continuity™. This is our constant-transconductance output stage that I’ve already written a couple of chapters about (Lyr 3 and Aegir chapters). It’s a big deal because it addresses a problem baked into literally every Class AB amplifier out there: the problem of transconductance droop as the amplifer falls out of its Class A biasing region. It also addresses the problem of N and P device mismatch, another gotcha that is baked into most Class A and Class AB amplifiers out there (except for a few using Sziklai output stages or something like that). It is a relatively simple topology that extends the benefits of Class A bias by adding additional output transistors as the stage exits Class A. Is it as good as weighs-a-billion-pounds-and-can-double-as-a-grille Class A? Maybe, maybe not. You tell us. Is it a panacea that fixes every Class AB stage? No, it still runs plenty hot and isn’t really applicable for low-bias or higher-power applications without heroic heatsinking, or a complete re-engineering of how it works (as mentioned above).
  • Importance: this is a unique take on the Class AB transconductance droop problem as enumerated by Bob Cordell and John Broskie, and is present in every Class A amp, and (as far as I know), we’re the only ones using it. Again, something worth claiming as a differentiator.
  • Where it’s found: Lyr 3, Aegir
Nexus™. This one may be the most difficult to describe, because I haven’t yet written a chapter on it. Nexus refers to what I’ve called the “holy grail” circuit, one that allows us to run SE in to balanced out and balanced in to SE out in a single discrete gain stage, while preserving high-impedance signal inputs and offering an N/N gain relationship on the inverting and non-inverting inputs. That whole bunch of technoese almost describes the Pivot Point topology of Jotunheim, with the exception of the N/N gain relationship. So, it may not sound very exciting, especially when Pivot Point works so well as it is, and does not require the insane amount of matched parts that Nexus needs. But it’s very exciting to me, and it’s definitely the best all-purpose topology we’ve developed. Expect a chapter comparing this to Pivot Point and Crossfet, as well as, say, Supersymmetry, in depth in the near future.
  • Importance: as far as I know, this is the only discrete toplogy that succeeds in delivering SE or balanced in to SE or balanced out while offering high impedance signal inputs and maintaining an N/N gain relationship.
  • Where it’s found: Ragnarok 2
Aside: Supersymmetry is a great name. Nelson Pass is a very smart guy. Supersymmetry’s patents were also licenced by TI. Coincidence? Maybe. But names are important. Hence this chapter

Unison USB™. This refers to our new USB interface that Mike and team have been prototyping for the last year, and in beta on for the last three months or so. Sounds pretty boring in a world where you can talk to the air and have Alexa play your favorite house mix for you? Yeah, well, enjoy your compressed Bluetooth sound over a walkie-talkie speaker, and the paranoia of wondering if Jeff Bezos is listening to you take a dump. Instead, we’ll concentrate on solving the problem of getting great audio over a general-purpose interface using a general-purpose microprocessor and our own single-minded code. Which actually turned out to be quite a challenge. Which also ended up working so well that Mike now prefers it over SPDIF. Yes. Mike. No, no alien pods have been found decomposing near his house. Maybe the reason it works so well is that it’s designed to do one thing and one thing only: transfer PCM digital audio from a source and convert it to I2S. That’s it. No 500x DSD, no MQA, no Brutoof, no shamalamadingdong, no 32/768 or 64/1536, no unicorn formats period.
  • Why it’s important: it provides exceptional performance, frees us from commercial USB interfaces, and allows us to interface USB audio data with a wider variety of (ahem) nontraditional DACs. It is also our own technology, not XMOS, not CMedia, not Tenor, and we are actual USB-IF members with our own VID, which is something not many other high-end companies can claim.
  • Where it’s found: nowhere yet. It’s still in beta. Not sure where you’ll see it first. Bug Mike. He loves you.
And that’s it. Four names. Four technologies. Two of which aren’t even in any products that have shipped yet, with one still in beta. I personally don’t think this is overkill, and I also personally think it’s important that we have some differentiators.



The Future: What We (Probably) Should Name

But what do we call a time- and frequency-domain optimized digital filter? Do we stick with MegaComboBurrito? Or do we try to play on its dual nature (Janus—yes, I know, wrong mythology)? Or do we

Thanks for reading my thoughts on this, as we try to figure out how to best explain what we do. Let me know what you think!

So, in each case (Yes, granny I know I'm teaching you egg sucking here) when a TM is used to distinguish a from b or make your product stand out in a crowd, there is a requirement for education. Both of the market and of the consumer (are they the same thing? Maybe). Until Microsoft came along we all knew that a window was something we looked out of (or into if you are of a particularly pervy nature). After MS spent literally millions of dollars, we came to know that Windows was no longer a generic noun, but in fact meant this special computer operating system. They did such a good job that they managed to achieve the impossible - they got a generic noun registered as a trademark.

[As an aside, buy me wine and I can tell you how my business colleague and I observed one of the partners of one of the largest IP firms in Lincoln's Inn consume a hat when we got "The Open Group" registered as a trademark]

My point here is that there is ALWAYS an education job to do. Sometimes it's huge, sometimes more modest. Deciding the form of that education, and as part of that, the description of what "IT" is, is key. I hate that my profession (I'm a recovered Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the professional institution) has allowed clients or employers to take the easy route in many industries (notably computing (speeds and memory) and digital photography (megapixels, et al) to define their approach to their consumers. So my tack is always the opposite. Let's talk to (that is, educate) our potential market about the benefits [Note, marketing 101 readers NOT THE FEATURES]. In simple terms, what will this deliver to me that nothing else will.

Of course, there is always the opposite point of view: namely that if one knows the language (I still can't work out many of these abbreviations and/or acronyms - yes there ARE different :) (for my American readers)) then one is clearly a member of this special club. I still prefer the former approach and it seems that Schiit does, looking at the web site.

So Continuity, Coherence and Nexus all seem to pass that test - you have to educate me for them to have any meaning in context. Unison USB, I get it but it's veering techy :). And when we veer techy, there is a natural trendy to take the easy route: "everyone knows USB, do we need to do more?" Yes, clearly. This is a superdooper benefits up the wazooo USB.
Is there no restriction from the USB IF to using USB in a TM claim?

So to the "that which shall not be named". I hate Janus. Primarily because it's overused and overabused - that is it fails the distinctive test. For those wordplay people like me, we'll always ask if you are being two-faced. :) YMMV.

So, this forum being full of old farts (relevance follows), I'm surprised that I haven't seen TAFDO (or given your certain success Tafdo. I note that TARDIS is now defined by at least one dictionary as "tardis: something that appears larger on the inside than the outside" ) crop up. I quite like that, it rolls off the tongue, it's unique, etc, etc. as the King says.
 
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Mar 14, 2019 at 11:56 AM Post #44,763 of 98,002

garbulky

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So, in each case (Yes, granny I know I'm teaching you egg sucking here) when a TM is used to distinguish a from b or make your product stand out in a crowd, there is a requirement for education. Both of the market and of the consumer (are they the same thing? Maybe). Until Microsoft came along we all knew that a window was something we looked out of (or into if you are of a particularly pervy nature). After MS spent literally millions of dollars, we came to know that Windows was no longer a generic noun, but in fact meant this special computer operating system. They did such a good job that they managed to achieve the impossible - they got a generic noun registered as a trademark.

[As an aside, buy me wine and I can tell you how my business colleague and I observed one of the partners of one of the largest IP firms in Lincoln's Inn consume a hat when we got "The Open Group" registered as a trademark]

My point here is that there is ALWAYS an education job to do. Sometimes it's huge, sometimes more modest. Deciding the form of that education, and as part of that, the description of what "IT" is, is key. I hate that my profession (I'm a recovered Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the professional institution) has allowed clients or employers to take the easy route in many industries (notably computing (speeds and memory) and digital photography (megapixels, et al) to define their approach to their consumers. So my tack is always the opposite. Let's talk to (that is, educate) our potential market about the benefits [Note, marketing 101 readers NOT THE FEATURES]. In simple terms, what will this deliver to me that nothing else will.

Of course, there is always the opposite point of view: namely that if one knows the language (I still can't work out many of these abbreviations and/or acronyms - yes there ARE different :) (for my American readers)) then one is clearly a member of this special club. I still prefer the former approach and it seems that Schiit does, looking at the web site.

So Continuity, Coherence and Nexus all seem to pass that test - you have to educate me for them to have any meaning in context. Unison USB, I get it but it's veering techy :). And when we veer techy, there is a natural trendy to take the easy route: "everyone knows USB, do we need to do more?" Yes, clearly. This is a superdooper benefits up the wazooo USB.
Is there no restriction from the USB IF to using USB in a TM claim?

So to the "that which shall not be named". I hate Janus. Primarily because it's overused and overabused - that is it fails the distinctive test. For those wordplay people like me, we'll always ask if you are being two-faced. :) YMMV.

So, this forum being full of old farts (relevance follows), I'm surprised that I haven't seen TAFDO (or given your certain success Tafdo. I note that TARDIS is now defined by at least one dictionary as "tardis: something that appears larger on the inside than the outside" ) crop up. I quite like that, it rolls off the tongue, it's unique, etc, etc. as the King says.
When I read "unison USB", I assume it's some sort of uniting interface that can handle any kind of USB.
 
Mar 14, 2019 at 12:15 PM Post #44,764 of 98,002

ev13wt

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I can see "Multibit" being coated with some lube for some time now, yes.

The multibit: "Multibit". It's yours anyhow and it's all over google and the forums.
The filter: "Mikes ultimate Filter."
 
Mar 14, 2019 at 12:30 PM Post #44,765 of 98,002

rdaneel

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Thanks. Makes sense. So, I still don't understand why anyone would seek out a patent if it is not helpful.
Sounds like the whole system is broken.

Yeah, its the worst system, except for all the others. How you encourage innovation but also protect inventors is a tough question. People do get patents because they can be incredibly valuable. Nelson Pass, I believe, has a bunch of patented amp designs that he uses exclusively. Larger companies amass patent portfolios to protect their operations (the "if you sue me, I sue you" strategy is highly effective). It's a whole ecosystem that moves money around but doesn't offer a whole lot of value.
 
Mar 14, 2019 at 12:40 PM Post #44,766 of 98,002

winders

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Until Microsoft came along we all knew that a window was something we looked out of (or into if you are of a particularly pervy nature).

You mean Apple, of course......
 
Mar 14, 2019 at 1:06 PM Post #44,767 of 98,002

Derrick Swart

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The costs of enforcement are prohibitive, while in the meantime you have disclosed all of your tech to the world at large in the course of obtaining the patent in the first place, not to mention the costs associated with the latter process, which are stupid-level.
Yes! Money rules and thank god THEN there is common sense!!!
 
Mar 14, 2019 at 1:24 PM Post #44,769 of 98,002

wout31

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When I read "unison USB", I assume it's some sort of uniting interface that can handle any kind of USB.
I read Uni(que) Son (French for sound), so to me it is unique for sound. Unique can be unique like in solely, but also superb or extraordinary.
 
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Mar 14, 2019 at 1:55 PM Post #44,770 of 98,002

rkw

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they managed to achieve the impossible - they got a generic noun registered as a trademark.
Uh, if you look around you'll see that it's very common. Starting just with company names in the Dow Jones Average : Apple, Caterpillar, Visa. Trademark simply prevents somebody else from using the same name for their company or product.
 
Mar 14, 2019 at 2:48 PM Post #44,772 of 98,002

Oveja Negra

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After some many fellas here mentioning the Burrito Filter and seeing that pretty much everyone associate it with the mexican dish, I'm wondering if you're aware that for most spanish speakers, the most common translation of Burrito is Little Donkey

SaV4YUQ.jpg


:D
 
Mar 14, 2019 at 2:50 PM Post #44,773 of 98,002

CAPT Deadpool

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I say keep the SuperComboBurrito Filter.

I don't want to have to change my Profile Picture.

It wasn't easy to find a photo of a cat in Deadpool costume looking at a burrito after all.
 
Mar 14, 2019 at 3:03 PM Post #44,774 of 98,002

jmarcusg

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Rarebit - "Experience speed and reproduction like never before!" Buy now! Stocks are dwindling fast. As we all know, "Hare today, gone tomorrow"
 
Mar 14, 2019 at 3:07 PM Post #44,775 of 98,002

CAPT Deadpool

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MoBetterMultibits!
 

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