tarragona audio

Hi, I am Peter Sikking. I am starting up tarragona audio; an atelier in Berlin where I design and build music‐recording studio equipment.

a simplified 2-stage studio amplifier schematic

There is a lot of great studio gear on the market today. Most of it can be organised in a few large clusters of products of similar philosophy, design, construction… and at the end, similar sound. Outside these clusters, there is plenty of wide‐open space. There, one can develop new products that tackle the needs of music production in a different way. Or paint a different sonic picture, use unusual circuits, or skip past manufacturing of standard boxes.

I started tarragona audio to do all those four things, out there in free space. With a focus on music—and performance—transport. In particular I do—

reference zone

My designs are right at home in a triangle defined by the following three coordinates:

  1. 1920–30s movie theatre sound systems, e.g. those produced by Western Electric. Quality was achieved by brute force (feedback did not yet exist), using simple, linear circuits and a lot of transformers and inductors (capacitor tech was in its infancy). The results were spectacular. Today we may sniff at the specs, but in terms of immediacy and transporting the performance, these systems are virtually unrivalled.
  2. 1950–60s german broadcast (rundfunk) modules; tube models and first‐generation transistor (especially Siemens and TAB). Discrete, single‐ended stages; exquisite, nickel transformers and inductors; brute‐force engineering to get the job done. Today they are legends.
  3. Vintage, tube, recording and radio broadcast equipment. Boat anchors with just a few big knobs and a large meter.

Note: I do not make copies of any of the historical gear mentioned. My designs start with my own research and a clean sheet; I then apply the attitudes that I associate with these legends in the design process.

coming up

At the moment I am developing the curFET + iron microphone preamplifier. If you find all of this fascinating, why not drop me a line? —ps