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Metasonix TM7 Ultra-Distortion Scrotum Smasher

Metasonix is an audio equipment manufacturer based in Lakeport, California. Founded by Eric Barbour in 1998, it specializes in vacuum tube equipment.[1] Metasonix users include Trent Reznor, Robert Rich, U2, Tim Skold, Richard James and Insect Joy.[2][3][4]

Eli Crews, writing in Electronic Musician in 2008, wrote that "Eric Barbour of Metasonix has a colorful approach to design, employing an all-tube audio path in his quest for unusual and sonically extreme products."[5]


Barbour was a senior technician and later engineer with the U.S. Department of Energy, Intelligent Electronics Co., and Dionex Corp. From 1996 he worked as an applications engineer for the Russian vacuum tube manufacturer Svetlana Electron Devices.[6][7] He was a staff editor and co-founder of Vacuum Tube Valley magazine[1] and contributed to Glass Audio magazine.[6][8]


Metasonix S-1000 "Wretch Machine" synthesizer

Metasonix produces audio effects and synthesizers using atypical vintage vacuum tubes. Metasonix modules are considered high-end in pricing and consume large amounts of power to create highly distorted sounds.[9] Its products include the TM-7 Scrotum Smasher,[10] the TM-3 voltage-controlled oscillator,[11] the TM-6 filter,[12] the TX-1 Agonizer,[13][14] the TX-2 Butt Probe,[15] the TS-21 waveshaper,[16] the S-1000 Wretch Machine,[17] and the Fucking Fucker guitar amplifier.[18] Metasonix also sells a drum machine based on vacuum tubes, the D-2000.[9]

The Metasonix TM7 Ultra-Distortion Scrotum Smasher features control options based on distortion and power with intentionally vulgar names: Smash, Scrotum, Double Scrotum, Mega Scrotum, and Scrotum Up Ya Ass.[19] 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."[20]


  1. ^ a b Grosse, Darwin (2004) Interview: Eric Barbour of Metasonix Creative Synth (via
  2. ^ Garisto, Julie (April 10, 2009). Meet ... Insect Joy. St. Petersburg Times
  3. ^ Trent Reznor's Metasonix TM-1 Vacuum-Tube Waveshaper/RingMod
  4. ^ Robert Rich credits Metasonix
  5. ^ Eli Crews for Electonic Musician. August 1, 2008 Quick Pick: Metasonix TM-7 Scrotum Smasher
  6. ^ a b Barbour, Eric (January 4, 1999). The Cool Sound of Tubes. IEEE Spectrum
  7. ^ Associated Press (Mar 1, 1998). Sound of vacuum tubes gets audiophiles glowing. 'Eugene Register-Guard
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ a b Peter Kirn for Created Digital Music. April 28, 2015 Metasonix Have Made an Immoral Drum Machine from Vacuum Tubes
  10. ^ Crews, Eli (August 1, 2008). Quick Pick: Metasonix TM-7 Scrotum Smasher. Electronic Musician, Volume 24, Issues 7-12
  11. ^ Robair, Gino (January 1, 2004). Metasonix TM-3. Electronic Musician
  12. ^ Robair, Gino (October 1, 2006). Metasonix (TM-6 review). Electronic Musician
  13. ^ Robair, Gino (October 1, 2006). Metasonix (TX-1 Agonizer review) Electronic Musician
  14. ^ Anderton, Craig (May 2005). Metasonix TX-1 Agonizer. Keyboard Magazine
  15. ^ Robair, Gino (September 1, 2007). Metasonix TX-2 Butt Probe (review). Electronic Musician
  16. ^ Robair, Gino (November 1, 2000). Metasonix TS-21 Hellfire Modulator (review). Electronic Musician
  17. ^ Robair, Gino (September 1, 2007) Bizarre Hardware. Electronic Musician
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Metasonix Debuts The TM-7 Ultra-Distortion Scrotum Smasher". 29 January 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  20. ^ "Metasonix TM7 Ultra-Distortion Scrotum Smasher". Audio Geek. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 

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