Drawmer Expands HQ Family

New Remote Extends The Features Of Drawmer's Precision Pre-Amp/DAC

Following last year’s successful launch of the HQ Precision Pre-Amp/DAC, UK-based audio processing hardware and software manufacturer Drawmer has announced the shipping of two new products which expand the HQ family. The first is the HQ-r, a wired remote controller which can drive single or multiple HQ units simultaneously. The second is the HQ-b, a remotely controllable HQ module which lacks the front-panel controls of the original device, and is designed exclusively for control via the new HQ Remote.

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More than just a simple remote control, the HQ-r considerably extends the HQ's functionality, making it even better suited to use in critical listening environments. The HQ Remote adds a mono/stereo switch, user-defined volume level presets, a digital master volume display, and Mute and ‘intelligent’ (level-dependent) Dim controls. The new remote can also act as a master volume controller for multiple linked HQ units, permitting the creation of a 5.1 surround master volume control system which incorporates all the benefits of Drawmer’s high-quality preamp and D-A conversion technology.

When the HQ Remote is plugged in, a red Status LED illuminates, the HQ front-panel controls are disabled, and all volume, muting and source-switching functions can be carried out from the HQ-r. The remote’s large illuminated Volume control takes over the duties of the HQ’s front-panel knob, and the input audio source is determined by nine backlit push-buttons, one for each of the HQ's five digital connections (AES, S/PDIF, AES3, TosLink, USB) and its four analogue stereo inputs (balanced XLRs, two auxiliary line inputs, and a further aux line input with a switchable RIAA for vinyl replay, which allows users to directly connect a turntable without the need for an external preamp). A trio of speaker selection buttons, marked ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘A/B’, allows users to switch between the HQ’s two sets of speaker connections, A and B, or drive both sets simultaneously, making instant monitor switching simple for mix referencing purposes.

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Additional Mute and Mono buttons enhance the HQ's capabilities, the ‘intelligent’ Dim control sensibly reduces playback volume by an amount dependent on the current output level, and the three-figure digital volume display gives a gain readout accurate to within half a decibel. Two user-defined volume level presets may also be accessed via the P1 and P2 buttons, for comparison of output levels in environments where accuracy is crucial, such as mastering studios. Weighing a reassuring 0.8kg, the HQ Remote allows access to all the functions of the HQ Pre-Amp/DAC, plus many more, all from a solid, compact desktop unit.

For those wishing to use the HQ solely via the remote control, the HQ-b offers all the high-specification, precision engineering of the original HQ unit, but omits the front-panel controls. Designed to be driven exclusively by the HQ Remote, the HQ-b provides an easy means of building a monitor control/pre-amp system incorporating multiple HQ units.

“Audio professionals pay a great deal of attention to the choice of microphone and speakers in their signal path”, explains Drawmer Sales Director Ken Giles. “However, the final element, the monitor pre-amp and analogue-to-digital conversion used to reference their audio, is crucial and often overlooked. The Drawmer HQ is specifically designed to do that job — and to a highly accurate, precision-engineered standard. The new HQ Remote and HQ-b expand the HQ family, making it an attractive pre-amp/DAC system both for professionals and devotees of high-fidelity audio.”

The HQ-r and HQ-b are shipping now.

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