Drawmer Expands HQ Family
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.
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.