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About Manley Labs...
The MANLEY brand has been around since the late 1980's. Manley's first commercially available products were upper echelon high-fidelity vacuum tube amplifiers and preamplifiers constructed at the old Vacuum Tube Logic of America factory.

In this history lesson, we'd like to direct special focus on our people at Manley Labs. The people whose years of dedication, service, and expertise bring you people, our customers, these products. It's all about the people...

On January 30, 1989, a 20 year old EveAnna on sabbatical from her studies at Columbia University met the crew and was hired on to the production team. Baltazar Hernandez, already with two years experience, taught her how to solder in those first few days. It was in 1989 that the first Manley professional products were developed, starting with the original 1u Reference 60dB Microphone Preamplifier and soon followed by our Manley Enhanced Pultec and Mid Frequency Equalizers. Baltazar and EveAnna, busy building gear, were soon joined by Saulo and Ramiro. Just next door, Elias was employed by a printed circuit board maker later brought into the Manley Labs fold when in 1993, Manley Laboratories, Inc. became a separate entity apart from VTL. The new Manley Labs factory at 13880 Magnolia Ave. in beautiful and bovine Chino, California was outfitted to house the Manley HiFi and Pro Studio manufacturing as well as the Langevin production lines, our newly acquired machine shop, and printed circuit board facilities.

Take a virtual factory tour!
See a pretty presentation of the factory here!

Dedication and Experience: Let's celebrate the original core crew at Manley Labs, working together since 1989.

Baltazar Hernandez was the very first employee joining when he was just 18 years old. We would like to honour Baltazar specially for his 23.01 years of service to the Manley team.

Saulo Montalvo performs mechanical assembly to nearly every product we build assuring all the screws are tight and there is Loctite in the nuts!

EveAnna Manley has had hands-on experience with nearly every facet of the manufacturing process over the years. She owns the company.

Between 1993 and 1996, a plethora of new products were introduced for both the Hifi and Pro studio markets. Growing from nearly nothing, several key engineering and production staff joined the Manley team during these years. We would like to honour these valuable Manley team members for their years of service to the company.
Expertise and Creativity: Let's celebrate these dedicated Manley lifers who have been with us forever:

A degreed engineer, with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Humberto Rodriguez leads the Quality Control team at Manley Labs and works closely with the R&D team putting new products through their paces on the test bench.

When good products go bad, you speak with Paul Fargo in our service department. Paul also contributes clever ideas to new products because he is always immersed in "what's not right" and always interested in "making things right" for the future. Hands on.

Gamma Ibarra served a few years on the production line before being moved into the QC department. He cruised through the Audio Technology certificate program at California State Northridge with good marks. Gamma is one of Manley's most clever techs. You'll usually find him testing mixers, or building entire Mastering Consoles from scratch. He also has taken it upon himself to manage production scheduling. Thank goodness somebody does!

Martin Garcia also was moved up to the QC department after years of production wiring and later obtained his Audio Technology certificate from Cal State Northridge. Martin has shown great progress in the last few years in his knowledge and tech chops and continues his engineering education at Riverside College. Martin is a total wiz on the Audio Precision. He tests our most complicated products such as the Steelhead and the SLAM!

Maggie has demonstrated a keen ability to learn and to lead. She heads up our girls in the PCB department training them and nurturing them into precise workers. Maggie also runs the wave soldering machine.

Caro is Gamma's wife. She has years of experience stuffing and meticulously soldering printed circuit boards. Each connection is a beauty. She now is the chief pcb-maker and assembler on the GML production line here at Manley Labs.

Joe Rodriguez plays guitar and keyboards in the studio and runs the transformer department in his spare time.

Here's Toto, one of our senior wiremen. Toto stays pretty much busy just building Voxboxes, Steelheads, and Variable Mu's, but he's always willing to lend a hand where ever help is needed. He's a damn hard worker, that Toto!

Always the first to volunteer to help out, Manny Q. was head of our shipping department for many years. These days you'll find him running the production floor. Manny Q is also the King Rat. Essential!

And the second to volunteer, Rita is Manny Q's wife. She is our purchaser.

Jay Carter is our most mild-mannered production tester QC guy. Jah maan! He's been with us since late 2003 and cranks out tons of Massivos on a daily basis.

Here for only three years, David Manley abruptly left the company and the country in 1996. Between 1996 and 1999 EveAnna Manley was left in de facto charge of the company. It was during this time that the modern form of Manley Labs began to take shape. Customers' requests were granted and almost all the existing products were renovated and improved during these years while new designs took a new direction under the neew regime with EveAnna making the decisions as evident in the innovations with the Stingray, the Voxbox, and the Massive Passive which came out during these years. The results were a doubling of sales and volume during this period. People started to really notice.

Sorry that's an old picture. We're up to around 30 folks these days but we haven't taken a new group photo yet...

EveAnna Manley brought already ten years of experience with this gear and this crew to the table when in 1999 she officially took over the company and the deal was signed. Now free to let 'er rip, EveAnna solidified the the team at Manley Labs and developed the crew of 40 some-odd people into the powerhouse of production it is today. Planning for the future, EveAnna purchased the building next door which is a twin to our existing building. Press coverage on this appeared in the January 2001 issue of Pro Sound News. Read it here: Manley Poised for Expansion

In 2006 we invested heavily in infrastructure upgrades at the factory especially in network and data management areas. Sales again grew, this time a whopping 19% over 2005. People often ask us what's the spread between our HIFI sales vs. our PRO STUDIO sales, and for 2006, HIFI sales represented 18% of our total turnover and that number continues to grow. Manley Labs grows every year.

  • Take a virtual factory tour!
  • Watch the Manley Tour Movie!
  • You might appreciate some of Manley's Innovations.
  • What's so great about Variable Feedback? Sez EveAnna...
  • Tube Talk is an ancient two part dissertation about the things we know and love.
  • Manley Labs is located in Chino, California. This letter in the local paper, the Chino Champion, tells you a lot about our local community. And stop shootin' dem bunnies! And if yer gonna steal, steal right!
    How do you get to Manley Labs?

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    In 2003, MANLEY celebrated its
    15th Year of Pro Gear
    and 10 Years of Independence!

    The 1999 Manley "Tubes Rule" Soccer Club

    In memorium: Smokey Stover

    Appropriately named Smokey tested all the hifi gear. He beat a big drum in an Irish band called Paddy Doyle's Boots in his spare time. But he really loved blowing up amplifiers all day with his pals in the QC department.

    We will miss you, Smokey.

    Rest In Peace, brother. 9/8/2007


    What's so cool about variable Feedback?

    Global negative feedback takes a small portion of the output signal and re-injects it back into the input stage which greatly improves linearity and distortion performance of an amplifier. A tasteful amount of negative feedback is the key: too much and you're into poor transient response and phase shift problems. We generally use somewhere between 4 to 14 dB's of feedback in our line preamplifiers and within that window is a definite point of maximized stability with optimum sonic performance. So we give you the choice of where you want to be in several of our products. Changing the amount of feedback alters the overall gain of the amplifier as well as the slew rate (speed).

    In the context of a hifi amplifier or preamplifier with the Variable Feedback feature, such as our 50 Watt Monoblock or Neo-Classic SE/PP 300B amplifiers, EveAnna uses variable feedback to suit different CD's and recording styles when she's listening to music at home. "For the most part I keep the variable feedback controls around the middle but sometimes when I'm playing a CD which is kind of harsh and aggressive sounding or I just want to mellow out, I just turn those control down and apply more feedback to get a smoother, richer texture. But when I'm the one in the aggressive mood, I crank 'em up for a faster, punchier sound. The bass gets tighter and the top end sizzles. Vocal placement; is more forward. And, oh yeah, it gets louder too!"

    The "GAIN" switch on our pro studio Mono and Dual Mono Micpreamps, as well in the Micpre section of the Voxbox is actually a variable feedback switch offering a range of 20dBs of global negative feedback in five settings of five dB steps to alter how much variable feedback is applied around the tube circuit. This GAIN switch can be used in the higher 55 and 60dB settings (in conjunction with turning up the Input Attenuator) to achieve maximum amplification for quiet singers or lower output ribbon mics. With most "normal" condenser mics and applications, the GAIN switch setting can be chosen at will for sonic variety for a "more tube-y" sound in the lower 40 or 45 dB settings, "straight forward" sounding middle positions, or "more agressive" "punchy" sounds in the higher gain positions. There is no right or wrong with this switch. Have fun playing around with it and we hope it brings you some interesting results.


    Manley produced the first modern 300B high-fidelity amplifier, the first modern high powered tube power amps, the first new power tube design in thirty years, the KT90. Manley was also first to utilize the ULTRAANALOG™ converters in the USA and the first in the world to show a converter with tubes. Within this web site we show the first amps capable of switching topology between single-ended or push-pull and the world's first 300B preamp. We invented a new thing with the Passive Parametric Massive Passive... but hell, this is all old news....

    "First" is exciting. "Best" is the real goal. "Affordable" is honest business. "Most Expensive" is for others, not us. We try to describe these products in basic terms with valid scientific and engineering data. We do, however, indulge in just a little "audiophilia nervosa": high purity wire, gold contacts, good layout, hand soldering and wiring, overkill power supplies, silver solder, 1% metal film resistors, film & foil capacitors, selected tubes, solid chassis, etc. We do this scientifically and sincerely: for the music, for you.

    We're good honest folk!

    Hotels in Chino:

    The Pine Tree Best Western up the street in Chino is OK (The pine tree was felled by Santa Ana winds a few years ago. The tree, not the motel.)

    There's a Motel 6 in Chino

    And in Chino Hills, there is a new Extended Stay America hotel. Very close. Brand new place.