Originally Posted by wolfkingofbh
Hello everyone! Just thought I'd chime in, give a little background and clarify some things…
I originally made the 736 as a 500 series preamp for Jamie Hince from the Kills. He wanted some pre's to take back to England to do demo work with... something that sounded like my Sly console. I had already remade the opamps for spares , and I had the trannies remade for another Flick restoration that I was doing at the time (someone had removed all the iron in the 80’s! Go figure!! ). So it was kind of a natural evolution into a production run.
The op amp in the pre is the 535-7, a small daughter board mounted amp found in most Flickinger consoles. Its topology is very very similar to the 535-5. The 535-5 is built on a larger card and designed to mount under the meter bridge of the desk.
It is a very fast op amp, especially for its age.. Great for preamps for sure, but it lacks unity gain stability...it can be slowed down for buffer amps etc, but it loses some of its punch... so in the console it is run with gain and then padded back down! This is not right of course, but it sounds super fantastic!! and like Larry said.. It is amazing on drums!
The amp itself is similar to a spectra 101 in that it uses some of the same transistors, but it is a unique design... 3566 matched input pair and 4036, 2102 output pair! 8 transistors total…
I know that it is nothing like an API and it doesn't really sound like one either... The sound is really dense and not nearly as manicured as the 2520... more 1073 like if anything...
As for transformers... most of the original Flick gear used custom UTRAD transformers. The PFUNK console used Jensens on the input of the mic pre, as it was built after the company was gone (the remaining employees couldn't get the utrads!). I had the original transformers remade from a total teardown of samples from my console and from original specs that Triad dug out of their archives for me (as you may know…Triad acquired UTRAD in the 80's). It was a long process, and we went through several proto stages to get it right…
If anyone has any questions. Please feel free to ask... I’m making this gear cause I love the sound of it and I use it every day… and yes I’ve been speaking to Dan Flickinger!
on the left is our 535-7 and an original on the right.. oddly enough we've found most amp failures in the originals to be caused by carbon comp resistor drift!
Thank you so much for the detailed answer. I would love to try your re-makes out at some point. I sure miss my Flickinger console.
I would say the sound is very, very similar to Electrodynes, early Quad Eights and the even earlier Melcors (which sound more like 1073's than API's!). I have all 3 to compare them to... along with some rather special pre's as well.
My tech at the time (Ken McKim) and I found the pre's to be very similar to the Spectrsonics in design... but they sure sounded way better than a 101 did... at least when we tested it.
They were huge on drums... just huge. Like I said, most engineers, musicians and producers wanted nothing to do with the console cause it didn't say Neve on it... always made me laugh that people who are "suppose" to use their ears to make a living refused to listen to the guy who owned the studio (me) and even more so when I would talk someone into trying it they'd agree that it sounded great and huge but that they really wanted to cut their drums through a Neve console... I learned very early on in my career to ONLY TRUST YOUR OWN EARS!
Can't wait to hear one of these Bill. I have an A Designs 500 series rack here from when I did beta testing for Peter on the Electrodyne remakes, so powering one up is no problem. i could also possibly talk to Andy at Tape-Op about a review if you don't already have one lined up.
Good luck with the product... I'm glad to see someone re-making these great pre's again... and more so Dans compressor!