More Custom Engravings – 2024

JDS Labs has offered free custom engravings on our aluminum based amps and DACs for over a decade now! Below we’ll share what has changed over time, along with our latest guidelines, and exhibit some of our recent favorites.

From 2014 through 2022, we used a Trotec (CO2 based) laser engraver. The laser tube had reached end-of-life by 2022 and engraving had become a production bottleneck. We upgraded to a pair of galvo based, fiber lasers in early 2023 knowing we’d need to increase engraving speed to support the planned Atom 2 line.

We now have a year of experience with our fiber lasers. They are dramatically faster, more accurate with respect to artwork positioning, and our team has a new understanding of engraving capabilities. Here’s what what you need to know:

Monochrome Artwork is Preferred (2-bit)

For best results, we still encourage truly monochrome, 2-bit artwork. Such artwork contains only black pixels on a white background:

Example 2-bit Artwork – Notice Black or White pixels only: NO GRAY!

Grayscale is Not Monochrome

Please note that grayscale artwork is not monochrome. Greyscale images contain shades of gray (24 bits). Keep in mind that a laser engraver works much like an old laser printer. Dots are burned onto a surface at varying distances to create the illusion of gray. For reference, HP introduced the first 300dpi laser printer in 1984. Modern laser printers are typically 1200dpi (more dots equates to better greyscale handling). Our fiber lasers have an effective resolution of about 350dpi.

Yes, we can engrave greyscale photography, just be sure to choose images with vivid contrast. Subtle changes in gray may not turn out well due to low resolution dithering.

This image lost significant detail due to very dark grays.
This image retained most detail; dithering remains visible.

Engraving Inverts Colors

Black pixels in your artwork will be engraved as white. To preview what your image may look like, invert the colors (Ctrl+I in Photoshop). This is usually not a concern, but can look unusual with some photos.

Our team has a strong understanding of when to invert images, and in most cases we can take care of this for you. We’ll reach out if we have any concerns.

Optimal Size is 350dpi

Please try to submit artwork between 300-600dpi in resolution! Tiny images are unusable and will appear pixelated. Extra large images also do not help, only taking longer to load and resize. Remember, the engraver tops out at 350dpi.


By default, we position text engravings centered near the top edge of your amp or DAC.

  • Atom Amp 2 or Atom DAC 2: Custom images are centered and scaled for best appearance.
  • Element III MK2: Custom images are centered for best fit on the knob. We can engrave onto any flat portion of the top surface (avoid the curved region beneath the knob). The clear resin knob is not eligible for engraving, but we can still engrave the main enclosure.

We can accommodate custom positioning and multiple images upon request. For custom positioning, please make use of the following templates:

  • Element Line – Engraving Template: .PDF or .AI
  • Atom Line – Engraving Template .PDF or .AI
  • Objective Line – Image Engraving Template: .PDF or .AI
  • Objective Line – Text Engraving Template: .PDF or .AI

Submitting an Engraving

You will find the option to “Engrave” your amplifier or DAC in the shopping cart. Successful image uploads are acknowledged by a thumbnail. Our team will receive your original file–not the tiny thumbnail.

Customer Artwork Gallery

Below are just a few examples from the past month:

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions!


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