That’s when you decided to go ahead and
take the long way around the problem?
Yeah, I got an old field coil speaker and built
a variable power supply for it. I did all the
preliminary testing. I’d call up a few guitarists who live nearby, who’ve been playing
thirty or forty years—when there were tone
issues—and tell them to get over here and
play the thing, test it out.
Then we showed it to other guitarists. They
would hear it, and then the inevitable… what
I call the Flux Tone smile would creep across
their faces. I swear they hear things I don’t,
and that’s because they’ve been playing twenty, thirty or forty years and they’re tuned in to
the nuances. I’m just an oscilloscope guy, looking for distortion. It’s hard enough to see on
equipment, and it’s even harder to hear. But
players hear it, and when they heard the VMT
system work, they said, “Wow! You did it!” So,
we started demonstrating at local shops here
in Colorado, and every single time it always
ended with, “That really works!” Three years
later, I have yet to find anybody who says it
doesn’t work. It’s been unanimous.
When did that turn into the
decision to start a business?
After demonstrating to maybe fifty or a hundred people, we couldn’t find anyone who
would say, “You’re full of it.” Instead, we
were hearing, “Why hasn’t somebody else
done this? Why did it take fifty years?” We
also heard a lot of, “When can I get one?”
and of course, all the time I’m doing my tests,
my buddies are giving me their tonal input;
I set them up with VMT systems and they’re
totally addicted. They’re going to their gigs
with it. We’ve gotten only positive feedback.
So you didn’t run into any problems?
The only negative was that field coil speakers
were abandoned in the fifties. Who makes
Our patent is not for a field coil speaker. The
Flux Tone patent is for a certain method of use.
The field coil speaker has been around since
the twenties. It was abandoned when the technology moved forward. Back in then, we didn’t
have Alnico, and there was no way to make a
really strong magnetic field with rare earth, so
the magnetic field was produced with a field
coil. It also doubled as a power-supply-quieting
device in those early crude amplifiers… it managed to get the hum out of the power supply,
because back then there weren’t these great
big capacitors—so the field coil was used to
smooth the power supply and to create a magnetic field that was strong enough to be viable.
But then after WWII, and Alnico, people figured
out how to make stronger magnets. Then field
coils went by the wayside. They were just too
expensive, they were too hard to make, there’s
too much copper involved, there’s too much
labor… they’re just a pain the butt.
So, you’re going in the opposite direction
of the technological development?
Right. Back then nobody ever wanted to
reduce the power to the field coil of a
speaker. Why would you do that? They were
trying to get all the efficiency they could. Not
to mention those old speakers operated at
lethal voltages! With Flux Tone we redesigned
the field coil system, and our speakers operate at a completely safe voltage… you can
even stick your finger on the field terminals.
How does it work?
Let’s look at what the VMT preserves.
Flux Tone has little to no value with a transistor amplifier, because transistor amps don’t
have an output transformer. Tubes operate at such high voltages that they can’t
be connected directly to the voice coil of a
speaker. It’s just such a mismatch of voltage
and current, it makes an output transformer
necessary... in the case of a tube amplifier,
the output transformer, being a magnetic
device, is connected directly to the speaker’s
voice coil, which is also a magnetic device.
As long as they’re connected to each other
with nothing between but wires, they form
this magnetic circuit, so when you overdrive
the output tubes, that circuit starts to ring,
and create tones that didn’t come out of your
guitar. They’re very much in tune with what
you’re playing. It’s kind of like on an organ:
push one key, and you get one tone. Pull out
another stop, or some other switch, and you
get a whole chorus of tones that are all associated with that one key.
If you put something between the output transformer and the voice coil, like a load box, it
prevents those tones from being generated, or
they’re so quiet you can’t hear them anymore…