DACS HeadLine Released January 2020

At AES New York we launched the HeadLine which switches between 8 guitar amplifiers and 4 speaker cabinets.

The HeadLine system has a selector and a switcher unit. The switcher sits near the amps, and the selector by the mixing desk; they are connected with a network cable (up to 20 metres).  Using HeadLine, Jeff Waters of Annihilator (www.annihilatormetal.com) saved LITERALLY two days on selecting guitar sounds for his new album.

SPECIAL PRE ORDER OFFER – units pre ordered are at a special discounted price; please write or call +44 (0)191 438 2500 for more information. Production units are available in early January 2020.

Jeff Waters, of Canadian metal band Annihilator, was working on his new album. He wanted a wayto compare his many boutique guitar amplifiers and cabinets without having to unplug and replug to try each combination. The time taken to change over also made accurate comparisons difficult. Our design allowed Jeff to sit in the control room sweet spot and compare in seconds between different amps and cabinets; he achieved in a morning what had in the past taken up to two long days.

What it does
The DACS HeadLine allows selection of one amplifier and up to two loudspeaker cabinets from 8 available amplifiers and 4 loudspeakers. The HeadLine system has a 1U relay switching unit that sits next to the amplifiers, and a 1U selector that sits next to the guitarist or engineer; they connect to each other via a network cable. The digitally controlled relay switching makes sure amp loads are maintained and the guitar input is muted during switching. Illuminated switches indicate clearly
which are selected. The DACS HeadLine allows for customisation, for example adding a switch section to switch between microphones set on the loudspeakers.

HeadLine Relay Switcher Unit

Relay Switcher Unit
The HeadLine switcher unit switches all screens/0V lines with the signal lines ensuring total isolation between amplifiers, and total fidelity of transmission. The unselected amplifier outputs are connected to a dummy load to ensure that sensitive valve output stages are not compromised. On the unused amplifier inputs the signal and screen are linked (like a ‘silent switch’ jack) to ensure there is no hum or other pick up on the amplifier. When a new amplifier or loudspeaker is selected, the first step is to disconnect the currently active amplifier input line and link the signal and screen. Very shortly after this the selected amplifier output is routed to the selected loudspeaker, then shortly after that the guitar input to the amplifier is connected. The delay gives the amplifier a chance to settle, and any reverb to dissipate before disconnecting its output. Changing loudspeakers follows the same procedure.

HeadLine Selector Unit

Selector Unit
The HeadLine selector unit has 12 illuminated buttons, 8 red and 4 blue. The red buttons are for selecting guitar amplifiers and the blue for selecting loudspeaker cabinets. The loudspeaker outputs are continuously monitored to ensure that there is a loudspeaker present, and that it is not short or open circuit. When routing, available speaker outputs will be shown by a dimly lit switch; unavailable outputs will not be illuminated. Labelling is done by using a Neodymium magnetic strip set into the case, onto which white magnetic labels are placed (we supply pre-cut strips with a whiteboard pen
in a hardwearing case). The strips are cut to size to align with the switches. We have supplied quite a few extra labels, so you can keep a collection of prewritten labels or printed tape labels (Red on clear for amplifiers, Blue on clear for speakers for example) ready for use on a new session.