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ACMP-73 +++++Neve 73 CLone
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gsilbers
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#1
28th March 2008
Old 28th March 2008
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ACMP-73 +++++Neve 73 CLone

#2
28th March 2008
Old 28th March 2008
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I'm getting a couple.

Here's the thing, and I hope this thread doesn't get locked. This is a GROUP BUY. As such, group buys have inherent risks involved and you really have to understand what you are getting into. The upside is that you can get the gear really freakin' cheap, but it comes at a price:

1) You will likely forget what you bought by the time it shows up - it takes a LONG time (we're thalking MONTHS).

2) You can't try-before-you-buy unless you know someone with the same model. And in the case of these preamps, none exist yet except a few prototypes, so you are buying without ever having heard them and without a large group of users to get opinions from.

3) There is zero customer service

4) If you get a defect, there's pretty much nothing you can do except try and fix it yourself. No warranty of any kind. No return policy of any kind.

5) Ordering is tricky and you need to stay 'in the loop' (although this one seems to be insanely well organized due to the involvement of a web programmer who has automated a lot of stuff).

6) You have to trust the person doing the group buy and that person really needs to know what he or she is doing because it's easy to make mistakes (although, in this case, the person doing it has a great reputation).

So that's how you get to the super cheap price - a lot of risk and a lot of waiting. Group buys are NOT for the feint of heart.

Now, as for the clone business.... These are NOT rebranded pres - they are entirely new being designed and built specifically for the guy that does this group buy. The 73 pres were designed based upon the circuit in Neve 1073s (can't comment on the other two) by a Neve tech. They are not exactly the same, and they will not have carnhill transformers. They will have cheaper Chinese transformers and you will have to mod them with new transformers yourself or stick with what they come with. Obviously, if they were exact clones they would cost a heck of a lot more to make. Will they sound just like a 1073??? Good question. You have no way of knowing... my guess is somewhere between "a decent pre" and "very close" LOL. Yeah, that's a pretty wide margin.

The people getting these pres (including myself, for a piar) are doing it knowing full well that they don't know exactly what they will sound like. We also all know that we might want to replace the transformers. None of us are taking out a second mortgage to buy these because we know that it's possible we'll get them and not like them. It IS a gamble. But if you can afford to lose the money if it all goes wrong, you do stand to get some gear at manufacturing cost if it all goes right.

So I'm just saying: know what you are getting into.

I hope this thread doesn't get locked. I understand why they usually do, but I think so long as people are honest about how group buys work and nobody is making sales pitches it is very valuable to have the discussion.
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#3
28th March 2008
Old 28th March 2008
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redddog is offline
I'm in for a pair too.

I'm under the impression that if they show up DOA, you can get a replacement. I'm pretty sure I read that. So it's not like you're playing Russian roulette.

I mean, if all we have to do is replace the Trannies in these guys to get "damn close," I'm down with the downside risk.

Am I over simplifying that? I dunno.

The way I see it is that if they can be at least as good as the Chameleon 7602, I'd be happy. You're still getting them for half of what the Chameleons go for.
#4
28th March 2008
Old 28th March 2008
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yeah i was in the last group buy (there were no pres at that time). i got two of the sdc tube mics which are definitely very nice for the price, but i don't use them all that often (i've had them loaned out to a buddy for a few months at this point). the organizer is a really nice guy and puts a lot of work into these and this will be the third round.
definitely take into account the fair warning about wait. it took about 7 months from the time i paid until i received them, so be prepared for something similar in terms of wait time (give or take a couple of months depending on where you fall into the shipping order (after the bulk order has been received).
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28th March 2008
Old 28th March 2008
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thx guys. good info.


didnt know there was something wrong w posting groupbuy threads.

I thought those pres where from "shangai" genrics which are re branded like the aphex 460 mic is .

im still interested to see from the other thread about the c 12 clone.


as for the pres. its pretty interesting if its just chaning the tranformers. how much would that run for?


to bad we cant listen to them before buying.

from the design circuitry , anyone know the "relative quality " of the components?

the transformer coment is very interesting. anything else?
#6
28th March 2008
Old 28th March 2008
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since ive got 7 months to wait. what model carnhill trany-s are used for the input and whos got them . maybe another group buy
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28th March 2008
Old 28th March 2008
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7 monthS!!

i thougt is was april 15th!!
#8
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
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I'd guess it's more like 2.5 months.
#9
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
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FWIW, the other two pres are based on the 1081 and 1084 circuits. I'm in for two 1073s, two 1084s and a couple mics (multipattern LD tube and a tube ribbon). I might also get two 1081s if I have the spare cash when the deal actually goes down. I'll try them out once I get them and then possibly mod them with better transformers and other parts. I picked up a couple SD tubes mics and a double ribbon mic on the last buy. Very decent perfectly usable mics. Not Gefells or Neumanns, but very respectable and at 1/10th the price. At this point, the guy running the buy has experience doing these (two prior successful GBs) and this one will be better organized and automated. The prior posters are right though - as some of these are new, never before heard products -- you gotta gotta have a little faith
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#10
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
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#11
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
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Slender,

Could you give me an idea of what I would need to purchase (exactly) to to an entire Carnhill tranny upgrade to one of these pres?

I have never done this typ of thing before and I was wondering what it would involve. Input AND output etc?

Thanks.
#12
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
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Unfortunately I know nothing of the product that you want them for..... but as a general guide;

The VTB9045 is a mic input transformer.

The VTB9046 is a line input transformer.

The VTB1148 is a line output transformer which has a narrow enough connector panel for it to fit in most 1U rack cases.

Colin
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#13
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
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Generally speaking,
Once you get the unit\s you need to identify the I\O tranny ratio and order an IO trannies with the same specs.

You might want to have a look here for transformer information regrading neve type circuits.
Neve transformer info


I hope some company will step up and rebrand this unit for mass production at a decent price becuase this looks like a great deal,
I want to belive that even with stock trannies this might sound like a great colored pre. thumbsup
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#14
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slenderchap View Post
Unfortunately I know nothing of the product that you want them for..... but as a general guide;

The VTB9045 is a mic input transformer.

The VTB9046 is a line input transformer.

The VTB1148 is a line output transformer which has a narrow enough connector panel for it to fit in most 1U rack cases.

Colin
Audio Maintenance Limited


so how much would it be for each and for all 3 together?

ballpark figures. no one knows of these pres yet.
#15
29th March 2008
Old 29th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilbers View Post
so how much would it be for each and for all 3 together?

ballpark figures. no one knows of these pres yet.
I presume you can go to Colin's website, which he posted, and add.
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#16
30th March 2008
Old 30th March 2008
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yep, the pice of them. not bad. but labor?

and he is in UK.
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30th March 2008
Old 30th March 2008
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Shipping from the UK isn't that bad. I just got some bulbs for the meters in my VC/L-2 that had to come from the UK. Peavey doesn't even carry them anymore.

Aside from that, power up the soldering iron and get the de-solderer out. Ideally, this should be "drop in" once you remove the existing tranny, but of course we won't know for sure until we see the actual units. I expect that there will be significant chatter from the more DYI inclined people once these finally show up, and I intend to hear what they have to say before jumping in to do any mods. Who knows, they might sound decent right out of the box.
#18
1st April 2008
Old 1st April 2008
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So I take it the group buy is still open? Any forums I can visit to find out more?

thanks,
Brad
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#19
1st April 2008
Old 1st April 2008
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Whoa, they are hella cheap. Cheaper than SCA preamps. Is this really possible? My spidey sense is tingling, but even if they suck nuts, I guess I can't get hurt too much. I'm in for 2x84 and 2x73. Crossing my fingers
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1st April 2008
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The way I see it...

At best, a great pre for a ridiculous price. At worst, a reasonable price for a modding platform. Of course I'm counting on the former but the worst dowside scenario isn't too bad. The other worry about this kind of thing has to do with the path of recourse should something happen. To that I can say that there is a path of recouse should your unit show up DOA and the group that's running the show are the most straight up dudes ever.

This is truly a "can't loose" here.
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1st April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redddog View Post

This is truly a "can't loose" here.
In an effort to keep this thread from getting shut down, I will say that I have to disagree with that statement. You CAN lose. For example, there is a popular mic from the previous group buy by the same person and most arrived with serious ribbon sag problems. Most people retentioned them by hand, with varying degrees of success. Some people screwed up their ribbons trying to do it. Other people just dumped the mics as quickly as possible and tried to make their money back (or a profit, or cut their losses). I know other people who bought certain mics and came to the conclusion that they have no use for them and they don't have the time/energy/skill/interest in Frankensteining the things to try and turn them into something better (or worse). So while previous participants have by and large come out very happy, there are some people who felt they "lost" so to speak. I consider the risks pretty low considering the price - albeit a certain amount of hassle you have to go through to get your stuff (and WAIT for it to show up). But there nevertheless IS some risk. I'm getting a pair of 73s and one mic (ACM3) because that's as much risk as I want to take, otherwise I'd get more stuff. If there weren't so many downsides to balance out the upsides, EVERYBODY would only buy from group buys. But clearly the group buys aren't hurting regular manufactureres and retailers - and for good reason.
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1st April 2008
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Fair enough.
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#23
1st April 2008
Old 1st April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
In an effort to keep this thread from getting shut down, I will say that I have to disagree with that statement. You CAN lose. For example, there is a popular mic from the previous group buy by the same person and most arrived with serious ribbon sag problems. Most people retentioned them by hand, with varying degrees of success. Some people screwed up their ribbons trying to do it. Other people just dumped the mics as quickly as possible and tried to make their money back (or a profit, or cut their losses). I know other people who bought certain mics and came to the conclusion that they have no use for them and they don't have the time/energy/skill/interest in Frankensteining the things to try and turn them into something better (or worse). So while previous participants have by and large come out very happy, there are some people who felt they "lost" so to speak. I consider the risks pretty low considering the price - albeit a certain amount of hassle you have to go through to get your stuff (and WAIT for it to show up). But there nevertheless IS some risk. I'm getting a pair of 73s and one mic (ACM3) because that's as much risk as I want to take, otherwise I'd get more stuff. If there weren't so many downsides to balance out the upsides, EVERYBODY would only buy from group buys. But clearly the group buys aren't hurting regular manufactureres and retailers - and for good reason.

damn...

you suck dude.. now im going to have to really think it

u are right. the gamble of that extra price cause of "quality control" brands like avant and SE have and im not a betting man.

its a group buy and there is no "waiting to see if its good" as there is only one big buy right? i cannot wait till u get your 73 to see if it worked for you :(

if only we had a webcam in those chinese factories.. and see those 5 year olds sweating it...
#24
1st April 2008
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Went for 2x73s.... hope everything goes fine!
#25
2nd April 2008
Old 2nd April 2008
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anybody has any news on the group buy? How much will it cost exactly?
#26
2nd April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeronimo View Post
Went for 2x73s.... hope everything goes fine!
Out of curiosity why would you choose the 73 over the 84? Unless you really need that DI input? The 84 has added EQ points, but the same preamp.

Brad
#27
2nd April 2008
Old 2nd April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Operator_tape View Post
anybody has any news on the group buy? How much will it cost exactly?
You can sign up and then the prices become visible. Signing up doesn't commit you to anything though.

Here's what I've learned to add to the information already in this thread...
-The 84s are exactly the same as the 73s but with the added eq points and no DI.
-Someone (I forget who) did a shootout with the Group Buy 73 and a real 1073 and said they really couldn't tell one from the other (granted this is subjective, but it certainly makes me feel like there's a chance we're really getting something decent and useable).
-the 81 is probably the bigger gamble of the three pres since it's a completely different sounding pre than the 73 or 84.
-Because all the pres are being built for the GB and aren't stock units, we're looking at something close to 6 months of wait time.
-the 1200 mic is based on the AK47...does that mean it'll sound like one? probably not without some modification.
-I'm pretty sure that the ribbon mics will be shipping with spare ribbons and hopefully the manufacturer, being aware of the problems with the last ribbon shipment, have addressed the "sagging" issue.

All that said, my order currently is two 84s, two 1200s, two 310s, and two 3s. It's a sick amount of gear for the price I'll be paying. I might even add another 1200 or two just because I really want to play around with modifications on those.
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#28
2nd April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Operator_tape View Post
anybody has any news on the group buy? How much will it cost exactly?
If you register you can see all the prices. You can put in "quantity=0" for everything and still register. So there's no risk or committment to get on the mailing list. Prices should not be discussed on the forums. That's one of the fundamental rules.

Oops...Jim beat me to the points I just made.

Where did you find out about the AK47 comparison? I was under the impression that the 1200 was a C12-ish style mic.

Brad
#29
2nd April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Out of curiosity why would you choose the 73 over the 84? Unless you really need that DI input? The 84 has added EQ points, but the same preamp.

Brad
I put that question to the group in the GB thread and wanting the DI was exactly the answer I got from them.
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#30
2nd April 2008
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i was under the impression this was the 1st batch of 73s?!

itll be cool for the groupbuy guy to get some samples right?

one w real 73, one wih the clone using one good mic.
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