LH Labs, their Crowd-Funded Geek Pulse, and a bunch of updates

Been a bit of a wild ride this past week with the Geek Pulse. With all the articles here, you’d think it was the only thing happening this holiday season. While it may not be (and that’s unclear), there is a lot happening over there, so let’s get up to speed.

First up is the new LPS — yes, LH Labs is adding an option for an external linear power supply unit for the Pulse, their desktop DAC/amplifier combo for your personal headphone-based listening enjoyment. For those in the know, this is a no-brainer — the single biggest downfall of any component tends not to be the internal circuits or chips. It’s usually either the input or the output. In the latter case, the power supply is absolutely critical — and getting that right for anything with an analog output is almost as important as it is for anything with a digital input. I expect big this with this and that it’ll be a dramatic upgrade. Here’s the bad news — the Early Bird Special pricing of this external upgrade of $289 is all sold out, and was within several hours of the announcement (too quick for me to catch wind of, actually, which is why I didn’t mention it). There are quite a few of the $399 versions left, however and if you were a wise and sneaky audiophile, registering for the Geek Force on LH Labs’ website might return you a happy surprise (but you had better move fast). That’s update #1.

Update #2 has to do with that input I just referenced — yes, LH Labs has another upgrade that directly (and profoundly) impacts the input.

Okay friends, after a final couple of conversations with Crystek, we can announce that we’ve released a Femto Clock perk on our campaign at 3:00PM Pacific time today.

Here are the specs:

  1. Crystek special customized ultra-low jitter TCXO clocks x 2. (One at 90,316,8000 Hz, and one at 98,304,000 Hz) — 85 Femto (85 * 10 ^-15) Second Jitter in 100M Hz region.
  2. Sub 1.0uV voltage reference supported dedicated clock power shunt regulator
  3. This is all internal to Geek Pulse and Geek Pulse X.

A “femto” clock is a super-duper-accurate clock. It’s the abbreviated term for femtosecond, which is one quadrillionth of a second. If used properly in a circuit design (like we do!), it can greatly reduce or virtually eliminate periodic errors in interpreting a digital signal (aka ‘jitter’).

As you know, low jitter means a cleaner signal path, which results in a more natural listening experience. We’re VERY excited about this great new perk! Thank you all for insisting we add it.

Quite frankly, this is probably the one thing to get with the Pulse, if you get no other upgrades. A Femto clock is pretty sexy and those chips are absolute dynamite. At an Early Bird Special price of $129, you should jump. In the last hour, half of the available 250 slots are already taken. Whoops.

There are other upgrades, too — including a better USB cable, a USB-connector-on-a-ball-joint widget, a Bluetooth module, balanced circuitry, and more. The Indiegogo campaign page is getting a little crowded at this point, with only 8 days left to go, so if you haven’t jumped in and/or been keeping tabs, plan to take a few minutes to explore your options and build out your very own customized Awesomifier.

Finally, there’s another bit I wanted to note. The most savvy of you may have noted that the LH Labs crew is in fact giving away perks for referrals — and I’ve referred quite a few folks, so let me offer a few thoughts. First, I think the LH Labs folks are good people. They may surprise me, and if so, I’ll be first in line screaming bloody murder. But as of yet, I’ve seen absolutely zero sign of shadiness. If you’ve met Larry or Gavin (or any of the rest of the crew), you’ll know what I mean. They’re some of the nicest and funniest dudes in the biz today. So, no, I’ve had zero hesitations tracking their madness with some degree of zeal. Second, you may be interested to note that I am an investor. Yes, I bought in just like the rest of the folks that have gobbled up all the little goodies you were too slow to jump on. My money has gone where my mouth is (which is such a weird little saying). Truth is, I came in with the Geek (now called Geek Out) — but I was late to that party. I saw it, thought about it, was convinced that I could dilly and dally and jump in whenever … Yeah. That worked well — I did not get the best price on that little widget. Yep, I missed out and I was bummed. Which is why I’ve been sharing all this with you about the Pulse — so you can learn from my mistakes by not sitting on your hands bemusedly watching as the train went whizzing by inches from your nose. Third, all those perks I may or may not be getting for all those referrals? They’re going out to reviewers. Yes, that’s right. I’m putting all that shit to work — pronto. So you can learn whatever it is you need or want to learn. And then? It’s party time! Yes, I plan to let a few of you Johnny-come-latelys in on the fun with a happy little set of raffles. You’re welcome. So, while I do appreciate those of you angels so clearly worried about the color of my soul as you’re happily chirping away about all those bags of money that LH Labs will be giving away to referrers, I can cheerfully reply: “Bah Humbug.” Though, I have to say, “bags of money” would have been awesome. I mean, it is the holiday season after all, right?

Oh well.

Anyway, if you’re up for an upgrade to what’s shaping up to be a desktop techno-marvel, you have 8 days left to find that stack of “leftover” holiday cash and start throwing wads of it at LH Labs.

Tick, tock.