Thermionic Culture is focused on producing the very best all valve design audio products. In this day and age of mass-produced solid-state audio equipment it's a refreshing change for a company to constantly strive for the ultimate all valve signal path.
The owners/key people involved at Thermionic Culture are totally dedicated to valve audio equipment, all having many years experience in recording and working with valves. Company founder and designer Vic Keary built his first studio in the late 50's and went onto building Maximum Sound Studios which was later bought by Manfred Mann and renamed The Workhouse, Chalk Farm Studios, and the all valve based studio Chiswick Reach.
Jon Bailes, Thermionic Culture's co-founder is responsible for the mechanical design & visual appearance. Jon has a wealth of experience as a Chief Designer in the electronic manufacturing industry.
Nick Terry engineers on many current albums and singles working recently with artists such as McAlmont & Butler, The Libertines. All this 'real world' experience is an invaluable aid to creating all valve equipment that other artists will no doubt appreciate.
Audio amplification, compression, mixing and equalisation took a backward step when solid-state technology was introduced. Valves are much more real and natural when amplifying and processing audio. We use no transistors or ICs in the signal path. Solid state is relegated to where it works best - in power supplies, although we do use a valve voltage regulator in The Culture Vulture's HT supply.
Some of our circuits take ideas from the 1940s to '60s and refine and update them to produce the low noise and distortion which are expected now. Other circuits are really original! To achieve high standards we use modern components such as 1% metal oxide resistors and polypropylene capacitors where their use is a positive advantage, but we avoid Hi-Fi type gimmicks such as gold plated XLR connectors. We take pride in the construction and reliability of our equipment. To date it is all hand wired using the best quality components. We give a 2-year guarantee against manufacturing defects, though we can only guarantee valves for 1 year. Many valves we use, are Military/Industrial grade. Also, we select and match (where necessary) all of the valves that we supply so a far longer life span can be expected