Baltazar Hernandez was David Manley's first employee in the first California VTL factory joining the production line on August 24, 1987. For many years Balta wired up amplifiers. During the early '90's at the old VTL factory, Balta was the Manley Pro division all by himself building each and every piece of Manley recording gear (that was when Manley pro gear was a state secret!). A specialist in prototype wiring, Balta was David's right hand man. It was during these years he started learning the philosophy of the master. When VTL and Manley split the companies in 1993, there was no question where Baltazar would go. He jumped in to his new role as factory floor supervisor at the newly created Manley Laboratories, Inc. training the new factory production team.
EveAnna put him in charge of finally computerizing and maintaining the factory inventory, model parts lists and costings.
One Saturday afternoon, EveAnna and Baltazar were working on some things when she walked by a half-built prototype of the 300B Preamplifier. David had left it unfinished when he moved to France in early 1996. One of our design techs at the time, Richard Schroeder, had designed most of this thing and built a crazy prototype kinda glued together with resistors and capacitors flying in the sky, this thing looked like a modern art sculpture. A light bulb (or was it a dual triode's heaters?) went off in EveAnna's head and she summoned Balta into the QC room. "Babba," she fondly called him, "I want you to take this thing and lay out a PCB for it. I know you can do it. Here's how..." Baltazar's eyes lit up. He grabbed it and took it home armed with film, black crepe tape and donuts. Monday morning Baltazar brought in his first PCB layout complete-- double-sided! He turned it in to Elias, our printed circuit board craftsman, to whip up a copper. Within a few hours Balta had stuffed the copper board and built the new prototype. The test boys fired it up and it worked first time. After a few revisions to optimize ground paths and to implement minor circuit changes, the 300B preamplifier went into production. Beautiful.
Baltazar has moved back into the R&D team at Manley. His talents were too great to ignore. Drawing upon his over ten years experience with this equipment, he is a natural at printed circuit board layout and physical design with great attention to neatness and accuracy. With a little introduction from Hutch, Balta picked up the CAD (Computer Aided Design) layout program with incredible ease drafting up professional panel layouts for our metal shop. (This is a big improvement over days of old when David used to turn in metal plates with Sharpie-pen markings!)
Baltazar has since done ground-up layouts for the MIC/EQ 500, the SE/PP 807 Amplifier, The new STINGRAY, and the VOXBOX. (And many more, actually...) If you look inside any of these units, you are sure to be impressed. Balta is directly responsible for the chassis designs and cosmetic flair of many of our products, such as the MAHI and SNAPPER. He's a great team player and follows direction and instruction from Hutch and EveAnna with a gentle attitude while also contributing a wealth of clever ideas that only he could think of.
||These days, Baltazar's primary duty is renovating and revisiting older products to make them more buildable for future production runs. Baltazar works closely with Mitch to lay out new Manley hifi products. Balta also chases our prototype metal parts around Chino for finishing, working closely with the sheet metal shop, powder coating, anodizing, as well as our own machine shop to develop the prototypes.
Actually in his spare time he loves to hang out with Paulina Rubio. See him here on this video!
Manley Labs would like to publicly acknowledge the great contribution and talent Baltazar Hernandez brings to the Manley team.
We are very proud of him.
Babba is 6 months older than EveAnna!
Baltazar at 20 years old in the early part of 1989.
As Balta always sez: