Tlahtolli Audio: A 'Humble-oldt' Beginning

I’m Johnny Zhivago, and this is the first entry into a series detailing the progress of my research, development, and sales of boutique audio electronic products. Join me as I design and build and contemplate. I will share the creative output of those who use my products. Tlahtolli is quickly becoming a ‘tribe’ of musicians and audio engineers.

Recently, I have been finalizing custom [recording studio grade] condenser microphone designs inspired by the classic cold-war era circuits from Germany and Russia, but built with modern audiophile and aero-space grade components.

Something that intrigues me is the expression of culture thru electronics. Limitations of resources or the legacy of national scientist or international trade deals can all have a subtle effect on the problem solving and design execution within a society. Microphones are a perfect example of this cultural phenomenon.

(L-R Lika, Mila, Ilsa, and Gretta)

(L-R Lika, Mila, Ilsa, and Gretta)

Lika and Mila are inspired by classic cold war era Russian designs. Ilsa and Gretta are inspired by classic German cold war era designs.

Emma - a ribbon microphone in the American/British tradition. Emma has an added phantom powered preamp coupled to a transformer to increase volume levels to modern low noise standards.


Tlahtolli or [tlà-tōlli] 1. is a Nahtual (Proto-Aztec) word meaning sacred breath or human life-force as expressed by word, speech, language, and song.* Tlahtolli is also the origin of the cartoon thought bubble as frequently represented in the few remaining codex and most modern comic books.

2. A perfect word to describe “my brand” which seeks to find a balance between the world of high technology and the self-expression of the individual as an artist, musician, pod-caster. If you’ve got something to share with the world we are there to help you!

Note: Avacado, chili, peyote, cocoa, and tomato are all words with Nahtual origin. There are many in the modern English language.

*Supplement to the Handbook of Middle American Indians, Volume 3: Literatures, edited by Victoria Reifler Bricker, Munro S. Edmonson; Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred Healing Powers by Richard Evans Schultes, Albert Hofmann, Christian Rätsch
Codex Borbonicus

Codex Borbonicus

Next month I'll discuss the unique challenges that miniaturization brings and my new affiliation with Humboldt Made.