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Metasonix is an American audio equipment manufacturer, founded by Eric Barbour in 1998 and located in Lakeport, California.[1]


Metasonix S-1000 "Wretch Machine" synthesizer

Until 2000, Barbour worked as an applications engineer for the Russian vacuum tube manufacturer Svetlana Electron Devices.[2][3] He has also been contributing to Glass Audio magazine since 1991.[2] He has been the senior editor of Vacuum Tube Valley magazine since 1995.[4]


Metasonix produces audio effects and synthesizers, using atypical vintage vacuum tubes; such as special types made for TV sets, FM modulation detector tubes for cheap FM radios, and radio pentodes. Metasonix modules are considered high-end in pricing, consume high power amounts, and create highly-distorted sounds. Metasonix products include the TM-7 Scrotum Smasher,[5] the TM-3 voltage-controlled oscillator,[6] the TM-6 filter,[7] the TX-1 Agonizer,[8][9] the TX-2 Butt Probe,[10] the TS-21 waveshaper,[11] the S-1000 Wretch Machine,[12] and the Fucking Fucker guitar amplifier.[13]

Metasonix TM7 Ultra-Distortion Scrotum Smasher[edit]

Metasonix TM7 Ultra-Distortion Scrotum Smasher

Metasonix TM7 Ultra-Distortion Scrotum Smasher features intentionally vulgar control options based on distortion and power; Smash, Scrotum, Double Scrotum, Mega Scrotum, and Scrotum Up Ya Ass."[14] Audio Geek said of it, "The TM-7 is basically a mean, angry guitar preamp made of three vacuum tubes. Plus a feedback loop which makes the preamp unstable. There is nothing else like it."[15]


Metasonix users include Trent Reznor, Robert Rich, U2, Tim Skold, Richard James, Insect Joy,[16] Alec Empire from Atari Teenage Riot, Billy Gibbons, Nikki Sixx, plus famous producers such as Bob Rock and Hans Zimmer.


Electronic Musician praised its "colorful approach to design, employing an all-tube audio path in his quest for unusual and sonically extreme products."[17]


  1. ^ Grosse, Darwin (2004) Interview: Eric Barbour of Metasonix Creative Synth (via
  2. ^ a b Barbour, Eric (January 4, 1999). The Cool Sound of Tubes. IEEE Spectrum
  3. ^ Associated Press (February 17, 1998). Sound of vacuum tubes gets audiophiles glowing. San Francisco Chronicle
  4. ^ Wheeler, Tom; Richards, Keith (2007). The Soul of Tone: Celebrating 60 Years of Fender Amps, p. 53. Hal Leonard Corporation, ISBN 978-0-634-05613-0
  5. ^ Crews, Eli (August 1, 2008). Quick Pick: Metasonix TM-7 Scrotum Smasher. Electronic Musician, Volume 24, Issues 7-12
  6. ^ Robair, Gino (January 1, 2004). Metasonix TM-3. Electronic Musician
  7. ^ Robair, Gino (October 1, 2006). Metasonix (TM-6 review). Electronic Musician
  8. ^ Robair, Gino (October 1, 2006). Metasonix (TX-1 Agonizer review) Electronic Musician
  9. ^ Anderton, Craig (May 2005). Metasonix TX-1 Agonizer. Keyboard Magazine
  10. ^ Robair, Gino (September 1, 2007). Metasonix TX-2 Butt Probe (review). Electronic Musician
  11. ^ Robair, Gino (November 1, 2000). Metasonix TS-21 Hellfire Modulator (review). Electronic Musician
  12. ^ Robair, Gino (September 1, 2007) Bizarre Hardware. Electronic Musician
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Metasonix Debuts The TM-7 Ultra-Distortion Scrotum Smasher". Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  15. ^ "Metasonix TM7 Ultra-Distortion Scrotum Smasher". Audio Geek. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  16. ^ Garisto, Julie (April 10, 2009). Meet ... Insect Joy. St. Petersburg Times
  17. ^ Electronic Musician. Mix Publications. 2008. p. 92. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 

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