Swiss manufacturer Schertler just unveiled a really cool product: the Arthur Format48 mixer — it’s a new modular mixer that can be designed and built by the user. Yes, you read that right!
The mixer can be created from a choice of eight different Class A input and output modules. These include a Mic Input unit, Yellow instrument input unit, Stereo Input unit and Spring Reverb unit, as well as L/R Master, EQ Master, Aux Master and external Power-In units. The units, which can be combined in any order and quantity, contain all the standard features you would expect to find on other mixer channel strips, as well as some more innovative functions for enhancing workflow and ensuring best possible sound quality.
Arthur’s electronic design is also very interesting as they say it’s completely absent of negative feedback (NFB) from input to output. According to Schertler, all filters and summing amps are free from restricting back loops in the mixer’s straightforward high-speed design. This results in an ultra fast response and a natural attack, neither of which is achievable with NFB circuitry. All circuits are built using discrete components (in Class A) and pure high-voltage DC-amps (without any capacitors in the signal path), offering 30dB headroom and low noise, as well as what Schertler says is unparalleled stability, warmth and transparency.
Combining the various mixer modules is a straightforward process involving a series of connecting rods and hexagonal screws. Users have total freedom to design their own personal channel sequence, as there are no mechanical or electrical restrictions. The number of units that can be included depends the power supply used: For simpler combinations of eight or 16 units, there is a choice of two compact power supplies. A further high-end power supply is also available for use with any combination of units ranging from only a few to as many as 60. (For larger combinations, power-in units are also required.)
Once Arthur has been built, the user still has freedom to customize the unit sequence and add further units, should additional mic or instrument inputs be required for example.