The work of the Audio Engineering department basically comprises of designing and constructing reproduction and monitoring equipment based on Vacuum tubes. These include power amplifiers, pre-amplifiers, frequency splitters, etc. Similarly the speakers are also based upon a radical conceptual departure in concept, design and materials. The main reason for undertaking this work was the inadequacy of the best existing reproduction and monitoring equipment to accurately reproduce and convey the unquantifiable nuances and micro tones or delicacies of music generally and particularly South Asian Classical music, wherein these are critical considerations.
Another reason for designing and making this equipment is to enable the artists to critically evaluate and monitor their music, beyond the capability of the existing sound reproduction concepts and designs to reveal the mind and talent of the artist fully.
Initially the work of the department began with research on redesigning of audio speakers. While working on speakers it was realized that equally good amplifiers would also be needed to drive these speakers. Hence the work on pre-amplifiers and then power amplifiers started at a parallel level.
Since April 1996 the department has been developing a range of amplifiers and speakers under the name of ‘Bhulley’. At present we have six models of amplifiers and speakers. There are two integrated amplifiers, two mono-blocks and two multi-amplification models. The top of the line being five-way amplification per channel avoiding crossovers completely. Initially the work mostly revolved around altering designs of commercially available Valve based Class A amplifiers and redesigning speaker cabinets using components such as drivers (tweeter, woofers etc), transformers, etc as readily available from the market. Now twelve years later, the only component that is not made in the department are the electron valves used in the amplifiers.
The main concern behind this work has been that when sound reaches the listener’s ear, it should be a relaxed musical sound, which retains its musical integrity qua the source. This task has involved translating the understanding of the elements of musical sound such as timbres, resonances, body (in sound), harmonics, etc., and how they are put together to produce musicality in musical sound into the science and engineering of audio amplifier, and speaker systems. Thus, continuous work has been and is taking place in philosophizing, theorizing and developing new concepts and then testing them experimentally in the design and construction of these systems.
In the last 12 years, the department has invented technologies that are a radical departure from the existing amplifier and speaker designs and concepts. So it can be safely said that the “Bhulley” Audio Design is one of its kind in the whole world.