Cardinen

Coolaudio ICs ??
« on: October 18, 2016, 01:26:31 PM »
Hi all,

Does anyone have experience with these ICs ? I never used one but i saw many times, they are pretty cheap compared to THAT;
I need some 2181, Coolaudio V2181 seem a good choice, anyone has ever tried it?
thanks  ;)
SSLtech:  "Because not all that matters can be measured, and not all that can be measured matters."


pucho812

Re: Coolaudio ICs ??
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2016, 08:30:48 PM »
coolaudio,


that sir is ULI and the behringers....

YMMV
Every mic has a purpose it might be a door stop or a hammer, but every mic has a purpose.

benb

Re: Coolaudio ICs ??
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2016, 02:19:08 AM »
I heard of CoolAudio only within the last year or so as I've researched analog synthesizer design. CoolAudio makes at least one of the SSM VCA chips that Analog Devices discontinued in recent years.

Here's Behringer site (a 2011 blog entry) stating the bought the CoolAudo parts from Intersil (in 2000):
https://www.music-group.com/brand/behringer/ourstory/2011?active=Our%20story

Intersil made its "Coolaudio" (lower case a as I just saw in this Intersil datasheet https://www.intersil.com/content/dam/Intersil/documents/an95/an9525.pdf) parts for high-power Class D audio amps, but I don't see any Class D parts in the current CoolAudio line. Apparently the company's portfolio changed a good bit in the last 16 years.

This Gearslutz thread tells some parts (?) of the Behringer connection. CoolAudio doesn't have "real" distributors like Digikey, Mouser or whoever, but there appear to be some small, specialized (diy-synth and diy-stompbox oriented) distributors that have apparently spent the minimums to get parts and sell single-unit quantities at reasonable prices. There's the one posted at the end of this thread, and also Small Bear Electronics. I don't know much about either of these, but I've seen Small Bear discussed as reputable on the synth sites.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/geekslutz-forum/880805-buying-coolaudio-ics.html

From what I've seen from the synth folks, they buy CoolAudio parts from these off-brand, small-time distributors and use them, and apparently technically they're as good as the earlier equivalent SSM parts.

gyraf

Re: Coolaudio ICs ??
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2016, 02:47:49 AM »
Thanks for the background scan, BenB - I was wondering why I hadn't heard of them before (after all, pro audio silicon is a pretty small business)

Does anyone know if they have genuine wafer production, or if they just buy finished silicon and package..? All the hype on their page seems to point towards them wishing they had..

Jakob E.
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

abbey road d enfer

Re: Coolaudio ICs ??
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2016, 07:05:19 AM »
Hi all,

Does anyone have experience with these ICs ? I never used one but i saw many times, they are pretty cheap compared to THAT;
I need some 2181, Coolaudio V2181 seem a good choice, anyone has ever tried it?
thanks  ;)
Almost from the beginning, Behringer had sourced VCA's and RMS detectors made by  different foundries than those used by  THAT, and even before, TASCAM had done the same; these chips were made under license, but were not supposed to be available to the public. Indeed, knowing the proverbial observance of agreements of Chinese subcontractors at the time, these chips soon flooded the (semi) open market.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
"The important thing is not to convince, but to give pause for thought." (B. Werber)
Star ground is for electricians.

arnyk

Re: Coolaudio ICs ??
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2016, 10:19:34 AM »
Thanks for the background scan, BenB - I was wondering why I hadn't heard of them before (after all, pro audio silicon is a pretty small business)

Does anyone know if they have genuine wafer production, or if they just buy finished silicon and package..? All the hype on their page seems to point towards them wishing they had..


Their products seem to be "me too" designs oriented towards the musical instrument (MI) market.

http://www.coolaudio.com/contactus.html

This source that suggests their business offices are in Hong Kong and their company bank is a Hong Kong bank. 

Bank Name: Deutsche Bank AG
Bank Address:  57/F International Commerce Center, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Account name BECKTON INTERNATIONAL LTD
Phone 0027458-050
Bank/Branch codes 054 895

 BECKTON INTERNATIONAL LTD resolves uncertainly.

There is a company by that name registered in the British Virgin Islands. Tax haven?

Another source suggests  that their primary chip design location is in China.    I don't know if Hong Kong and China are being used interchangeably these days as Hong Kong seems to being drawn further into mainland China's sphere of influence.

Seems  they are a design and fab house but some of their products come from other fabs.  This makes anything they they sell somewhat mystery meat, unless you choose to just trust them.

http://www.coolaudio.com/aboutus.html

" We are a global semicon company with foundry services and cooperation with leading IC manufacturers, as well as fab-lite and fab-less semiconductor suppliers in USA, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. "

"COOLAUDIO provides the extensive wafer foundry support required to ensure "right first time" performance analog solutions in silicon. These include a comprehensive analog design environment, with ESD and layout support, through to wide ranging Integrated Yield Management and Device Engineering support, to ensure optimal product yields."

gyraf

Re: Coolaudio ICs ??
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2016, 10:35:37 AM »
 
(..) This makes anything they they sell somewhat mystery meat, unless you choose to just trust them

 ;D That is exactly the feeling I was getting from the available information. Thanks.

Jakob E.
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

Rochey

Re: Coolaudio ICs ??
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2016, 11:10:53 AM »
those f*ckers knocked off one of my TI chips, and copied the datasheet almost word for word.

I'm not bitter.

/R
Expat Audio Home: http://www.expataudio.com

JohnRoberts

Re: Coolaudio ICs ??
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2016, 12:01:53 PM »
those f*ckers knocked off one of my TI chips, and copied the datasheet almost word for word.

I'm not bitter.

/R
I'm shocked...(not)  :o  I've had finished goods copied, and seen many similar examples.  >:(

IIRC the early dbx/THAT integrated circuit version of their VCAs were fabbed in Japan and there were some obscure OEM versions probably only sold to licensees of dbx. I recall seeing them in a Japanese IC maker's data manual, while the US reps knew nothing (or said nothing) about them.  THAT has been using their own US FAB since 1999. Some of their old IP may have expired or more likely been purloined by the pac rim IC makers. Their old technology VCAs don't hold a candle to the new stuff, but some people like legacy distortion.

Cool audio has knocked off many iconic ICs. They sell some BBD parts that strongly resemble the old Matsush*ta  parts that Panasonic licensed the technology from phillips back in the '70s. Apparently these are still popular for guitar pedals and the like.

Cool audio has been around for a while. I've never been even slightly tempted to sample their wares.

JR
 
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

Cardinen

Re: Coolaudio ICs ??
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2016, 10:18:27 PM »
thanks for the infos  ;)

I'm into synth DIY and i'm sure a few modular synth companies use them for their modules (including Doepfer).

I think I'll buy a few to test it and see how it behaves compared to THAT although after all these stories do not trust much...

SSLtech:  "Because not all that matters can be measured, and not all that can be measured matters."


benb

Re: Coolaudio ICs ??
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2016, 03:52:54 AM »
Cool audio has knocked off many iconic ICs.
This only adds to my strong suspicion that the company has never actually designed any new part, it only "second sources" (whether it's authorized to do so or not, and generally it looks like not) other parts.

Earlier I mentioned the "distributors" that sell Cool Audio parts, I think a better name for them is retailers.

JohnRoberts

Re: Coolaudio ICs ??
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2016, 10:49:51 AM »
This only adds to my strong suspicion that the company has never actually designed any new part, it only "second sources" (whether it's authorized to do so or not, and generally it looks like not) other parts.

Earlier I mentioned the "distributors" that sell Cool Audio parts, I think a better name for them is retailers.
Some companies start out copying other people's work but if successful eventually run out of items to copy. Also along the way they may absorb smaller company's technology. It is not unheard of for a serial copier to do something novel, while I wouldn't expect much from a culture that doesn't respect creativity. 

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

Jarno

Re: Coolaudio ICs ??
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2016, 09:05:31 AM »
They now make BBD's, and now also make the vactrols that perkin elmer don't really want to make anymore.
Seeing that they indeed blatantly copy datasheets, could there be some kind of agreement going on? Old wafer stock, or processes being transferred? It is no mean feat to completely copy something like 2164's and BBD's (well, it primarily takes a trainload of cash).
SSM2164 going obsolete, VTL5C3 heading the same way, BBD's, long obsolete. And CoolAudio makes them again, must say that something can be said for them.

L´Andratté

Re: Coolaudio ICs ??
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2016, 04:28:44 PM »
Coolaudio are associated to Behringer fwiw and only do clones (surprise). But 1:1 clones telling from the their 2164 and 2181. E.g. Intellijel synth modules use them a lot.  I do also and happy not to pay the ssm ebay prices.
Would like to try their VTL5C3...
Strictly amateur since 1973...

Jarno

Re: Coolaudio ICs ??
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2016, 02:57:38 AM »
Apparently  the VTL5C3 works well, it is used in the new Buchla 259 workalike for eurorack (see the muffwiggler forum).