Anyone put their ear on one of these new skibbe Flickinger pre's?
Old 22nd February 2011
  #1
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Anyone put their ear on one of these new skibbe Flickinger pre's?

I've used some old ones which i liked.
anyone hear the new ones?
Old 23rd February 2011
  #2
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no one received any?
Old 2nd May 2011
  #3
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anyone tried these
Old 21st May 2011
  #4
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bump
Old 29th May 2011
  #5
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I wanna know too. Bumpski.
Old 29th May 2011
  #6
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I would also love to hear any feedback on their red stripe limiter. Has any one had the chance to work with it?
Old 30th May 2011
  #7
I've used Flickenger pres before. They're kind of API-ish which should come as no surprise as their specific design predates API (according to legend) and from the legend I was told by the guy who owns the Flick based studio, API essentially copied Flickenger's design since Dan Flickenger for some reason or another was imprisoned. Crazy stuff.

But in any case they're weighty, punchy, relaxed in high frequency detail. With a nice amount of plain old heft, for lack of a better word. I read the thread title and I was thinking that only a handful of people could claim to be making Flickenger style preamps being that they are so rare, so it came as no surprise that they're located in Michigan, which is where one of the VERY few studios that actually has a flickenger desk (and a guy who is willing to sell the pres @ about $800/ch) is.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they bought a couple Flick pres and then copied the design, now using the cache of the name and the world of audio production's love of all things transformer based. Not sure if I like that approach to creation. It's kind of like sampling no?
Old 30th May 2011
  #8
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Still nobody has the new ones? yikes
Old 30th May 2011
  #9
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Flickingers pre-amps were not all designed the same. Sometimes he used stock spectra sonic 101 amp cards, sometimes he modded them, sometimes he made his own.

Melcor pre-dates API... I still have those mic pre's and EQ's. Gittleman designed that stuff when Daniel Flickinger was still in diapers and Melcor is what came API from, so I highly doubt that API "copied" Flickinger in any way, shape or form.

I owned one of Flickingers 281 consoles... the sound actually smoked my Neve BCM 10 full of 1073's. Cleaner, clearer, big and bold... my favorite for drum tracking by far... but no one would ever use the damn console because no one had heard of Flickinger (this was back in the 80's when the Neve name was starting to become all the rage). So I sold it in the late 90's... wish I never had but I had to pay the IRS at the time.

Daniel ended up going to prison and when he got out ended up in the SF bay area... he wanted nothing to do with audio industry anymore... wouldn't even talk about it. Smart man.

Roundbadge, you'd probably love these Flickinger pre's on drums. That said I also like the sound of my Electrodyne ACC 1204 console as much for drums but for a different reason... fat and warm, like a great old 70's record. If you ever make it to upstate you'll have to stop by and we'll track some drums through the console... nothing quite like the sound of that board. There was a reason Sinatra bought one for himself back in the day... talk about a guy who was picky about sound!

I'd be interested in hearing these re-makes as well.
Old 31st May 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
Flickingers pre-amps were not all designed the same. Sometimes he used stock spectra sonic 101 amp cards, sometimes he modded them, sometimes he made his own.

Melcor pre-dates API... I still have those mic pre's and EQ's. Gittleman designed that stuff when Daniel Flickinger was still in diapers and Melcor is what came API from, so I highly doubt that API "copied" Flickinger in any way, shape or form.

I owned one of Flickingers 281 consoles... the sound actually smoked my Neve BCM 10 full of 1073's. Cleaner, clearer, big and bold... my favorite for drum tracking by far... but no one would ever use the damn console because no one had heard of Flickinger (this was back in the 80's when the Neve name was starting to become all the rage). So I sold it in the late 90's... wish I never had but I had to pay the IRS at the time.

Daniel ended up going to prison and when he got out ended up in the SF bay area... he wanted nothing to do with audio industry anymore... wouldn't even talk about it. Smart man.

Roundbadge, you'd probably love these Flickinger pre's on drums. That said I also like the sound of my Electrodyne ACC 1204 console as much for drums but for a different reason... fat and warm, like a great old 70's record. If you ever make it to upstate you'll have to stop by and we'll track some drums through the console... nothing quite like the sound of that board. There was a reason Sinatra bought one for himself back in the day... talk about a guy who was picky about sound!

I'd be interested in hearing these re-makes as well.
Old 31st May 2011
  #11
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ive turned 290-3 cards into preamps for friends and clients and they really like them. i would describe it as a good mid forward opamp, fast enough. add iron to taste and your there. i traced the schem if anyone wants. also very interested in the skibbe pres. i could never find out which iron dan used, ive heard utc and triad but never nailed it down.
Old 31st May 2011
  #12
Gear nut
 

I just got my hands on them last week

I was using one for Bass DI with a Radial J48. From what I heard it was nice and fat and thick, but the bassist only wanted to hear his mic'd tone so it stayed muted all day and I won't have much time with it til I mix next week...

The other one was used on Vox. The chain was M269>Flickenger Pre>A-Range EQ>Rev D. 1176. or the Skibbe LA-2A (or both... I don't recall atm...)

I was quite happy with the way the vox turned out in this chain. Who's to say where the magic was, but it came out with just the right combination of warmth and crispness.

I'll try to post some audio samples later this evening.
Attached Thumbnails
Anyone put their ear on one of these new skibbe Flickinger pre's?-img_3277.jpg  
Old 4th June 2011
  #13
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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!
-Bill Skibbe
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!
Attached Thumbnails
Anyone put their ear on one of these new skibbe Flickinger pre's?-535-7-amp.jpg  
Old 4th June 2011
  #14
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very cool
Old 7th June 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamlark View Post
I just got my hands on them last week

I was using one for Bass DI with a Radial J48. From what I heard it was nice and fat and thick, but the bassist only wanted to hear his mic'd tone so it stayed muted all day and I won't have much time with it til I mix next week...

The other one was used on Vox. The chain was M269>Flickenger Pre>A-Range EQ>Rev D. 1176. or the Skibbe LA-2A (or both... I don't recall atm...)

I was quite happy with the way the vox turned out in this chain. Who's to say where the magic was, but it came out with just the right combination of warmth and crispness.

I'll try to post some audio samples later this evening.
how to they sound compared to other pre's you've tested.\
Old 13th June 2011
  #16
bee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamlark View Post
I just got my hands on them last week

I was using one for Bass DI with a Radial J48. From what I heard it was nice and fat and thick, but the bassist only wanted to hear his mic'd tone so it stayed muted all day and I won't have much time with it til I mix next week...

The other one was used on Vox. The chain was M269>Flickenger Pre>A-Range EQ>Rev D. 1176. or the Skibbe LA-2A (or both... I don't recall atm...)

I was quite happy with the way the vox turned out in this chain. Who's to say where the magic was, but it came out with just the right combination of warmth and crispness.

I'll try to post some audio samples later this evening.
I'd love to hear these clips.
Old 14th June 2011
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfkingofbh View Post
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!
-Bill Skibbe
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!
Bill,

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!
Old 21st June 2011
  #18
Gear interested
 

would really appreciate your feedback on these! give me a ping at the studio email.. and i can get some out to you!
Old 14th January 2013
  #19
Gear interested
 

Old thread I know, but these are my favorite sounding preamps that I have ever used. A friend and I spent the evening doing shootouts with various mics and pres the other night (tenor sax of all things) and they sounded the best in every combination we tried. They have completely changed my perception of mic preamps. The mics we used included a Sony C38b, a Schoeps M221, a Mojave MA200, a Coles 4038, and a Beyer M160. The pres we used were the Skibbe, a Neumann V472, and a Grommes G5M tube unit that has been modified with an Ampex input transformer and a Utrad output transformer with a variable impedance switch added for use with ribbons and a re-design of the first channel circuitry to make it perform like an Ampex 351 (also had all negative feedback removed from the circuit). They also kill on drum overheads (C38b), kick (mojave), guitar (4038 and M160), voice (mojave), and (stereo and mono) ambient applications with a Peluso P-Stereo and a Coles 4038. There is just a presence to them that is weighty and clear. Even bleed sounds good through them. He recorded some friends' album a few years back that has since the first time I heard it been one of my favorite sounding albums ever and I always remember the color of the ambience
sticking out to me more then anything else about the album (obviously tons of other factors went into that sound then just the preamps, but...). I asked them if he had mainly used the Flickinger for tracking and the answer was yes.

I really can't say enough about them. I am going to sell the Grommes G5M and an even cooler Frazier branded G5M tube unit that has been modified to have 5 inputs and 5 outputs with Ampex transformers on the back end because I want to buy four more of the Skibbes. I love the tube units too and went through alot to have them made if that says anything.

They are just so good and Bill is a REALLY cool guy as well. When Bill shipped the first unit that I purchased (Michigan -> Denton, TX) it arrived in less than one day! It was like he was magic or something.
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