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12 Channel custom built tube console Single-Channel Preamps
Old 24th October 2009
  #61
Gear Head
 
thethe's Avatar
 

Yes, I see.
Vintec appears to be kind of a very uncompromising project, they could keep eq's and filters and everything else outboard, to let people choose. I'm more into "minimalistic" concept.

I just know, there is an opinion, that if you keep all circuit tube, then you can get everything you can get out of tubes, in other case they are rather decoration, and there is no point to make tube console instead of just using outboard pre's... This opinion seem to have rational seed...

My tech makes very good tube/transformer pre's and summing amps, he has good imagination, but he says he doesn't know how to unite this with additional sends in a good and enough simple (/cheap) way without op-amps.
If someone here have some schematics, which can help or be used as prototype, I will be really thankful
Old 24th October 2009
  #62
Lives for gear
 

Hi
I have various ideas and they don't include 'opamp' ICs, unless I change my mind in the future.
There are limitations in all forms of circuitry and you have to trade off one advantage for another's disadvantage.
Op amps are certainly a useful way to get additional outputs.
Matt S
Old 24th October 2009
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tibbon View Post
Why 40 transformers? I've had a few drinks and maybe I'm not thinking right, but that seems a bit many?

because when you build this circuit the signal is high voltage. when I built a little 8 channel mixer (a/b) I had to use transformers on my inserts and busses. and interstage on my eq.capacitors get really phasey and my signal voltage was 140 Volts peak to peak pre fader.
Old 16th November 2009
  #64
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ruffrecords's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
Mine is developing, but very slowly due to necessary work on my house and all too frequent distractions.
Matt S
(Shameless Plug) If you or anyone else is interested in an all tube mixer I have just started up in this market. Check out my website at:

Custom Tube Consoles

Cheers

Ian
Old 1st December 2010
  #65
Gear Head
 

I know this is an old thread, but I was just wondering how your consoles look Ian? There aren't any photos that I can find anywhere...

Mo
Old 1st December 2010
  #66
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Wavebourn's Avatar
 

My 8 channel powered mixer has 28 transformers. And a mic pre unit consumes the same 300W as a power amp section.
Old 2nd December 2010
  #67
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavebourn View Post
My 8 channel powered mixer has 28 transformers. And a mic pre unit consumes the same 300W as a power amp section.

That sounds pretty awesome - got any pics? Did you design it for recording and PA use?
Old 2nd December 2010
  #68
Gear Maniac
 

If mightyecho is still out there I'd be very interested to hear how the tube console venture turned out . . I'm assuming it was canned.


Always an interesting topic.
Old 2nd December 2010
  #69
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Wavebourn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lassoharp View Post
That sounds pretty awesome - got any pics? Did you design it for recording and PA use?
No pics for now;
I build it for recording of live concerts, for vocals and acoustic instruments, with no other FOH allowed that can spoil record quality by feedback. However, there is an option to switch each of 8 channels on stage to instrument level TS inputs (and even combine first 4 channels in 2 stereo TRS inputs), but it's power amp has 2x80W output power only, not enough for rock concerts. However, line arrays of 8x6.5" on each side are good for a theater for 500 listeners approximately. Also, I tried them in a hall with pretty long reverberation, they sound awesome! http://wavebourn.com/HIPS/SoundSystem.mp3

I am going to redesign mic pres using miniature military tubes with flexible legs: 150W for filaments only is too much.

Also, 8 tubes can be replaced by 8 MOSFETs, but I don't know how potential customers will accept that: sand in tube gear is considered as non-kosher, even when it actually improves quality with absolutely no technical questions.

Also, I plan to "digitize" it using some great device designed by another our forum member, so it will have already all 8 channels in digital out, by default.

It is not necessary to use it on stage: just put preamp section in studio, the rest in control room, with Magneplans as studio monitors, connect Protools computer, and you are all set.
Old 28th October 2011
  #70
Lives for gear
We need to kick this thread back on!

Great stuff...


Best,
Tom
Old 10th December 2011
  #71
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffrecords View Post
(Shameless Plug) If you or anyone else is interested in an all tube mixer I have just started up in this market. Check out my website at:

Custom Tube Consoles

Cheers

Ian
Hi, Ian - Do you have photos of your latest creation?
Old 10th December 2011
  #72
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ruffrecords's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcbiz View Post
Hi, Ian - Do you have photos of your latest creation?
Here's a pic of my most recent build, waiting to go to a client in the USA who makes on location classical recordings. It is a 6 into 2 with per channel phase, phantom, pads and level controls as well as a high pass filter with 3 frequencies selectable at 6dB/octave and two at 12dB/octave. Track selection is by two switches. Both off is mute, one selected is left ot right and both selected is centre. Master section includes the mix bus, VU meter drivers and headphones amp. As it is for mobile use it is built into a chunky 6U high 19inch rack enclosure. It has a separate rack mounting PSU. It is 100% tube. The only semiconductors are in the PSU and the VU meters. (apologies for the poor quality photo)

Cheers

Ian
Attached Thumbnails
12 Channel custom built tube console-completescaled.jpg  
Old 10th December 2011
  #73
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radeng's Avatar
 

Nice metalwork. I like the way the front panel is recessed. Could we see a shot of the guts?
Old 10th December 2011
  #74
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ruffrecords's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by radeng View Post
Nice metalwork. I like the way the front panel is recessed. Could we see a shot of the guts?
Various pics of guts attached!

First one shows the two module types under construction. The one on the left is a twin channel module and the one on the right is the master module. The second pic shows the the rear of the sub-rack with the headphones amps mounted on the left. The third shows the separate PSU.

Cheers

Ian
Attached Thumbnails
12 Channel custom built tube console-modulebuildsm.jpg   12 Channel custom built tube console-rackrearsm.jpg   12 Channel custom built tube console-psucompletesm.jpg  
Old 16th January 2012
  #75
Gear Head
 

Hi everyone i am glad this thread kicked off so well, i have been side tracked by life quite heavily and so paused (boo) with the project... i came across an Amek Angela mk1 a while ago, not the exact sound i was after but very professional board still, so i have been pulled away financially. Shame i couldn't pursue this idea of the valve line console, however i'm very glad to see others have been banging ideas together.

I am selling all the studio equipment i have now & moving abroad (sunny island) to take up some business ideas & work on a DSLR video project. I have to concentrate on the money coming in for a while. (Traitor!). When i do return to audio/music recording hopefully i will have the cash to see my projects through. The more i spoke to Clive Kavan (service tech) the more the unit was going into 80/20% hybrid FET/valve design (mostly transistor) which is not what i hoped for, so i lost keenness a while ago... i was gonna talk to Vic Keary (Culture Vulture, Trojan recordings etc), he built a 24 channel all valve board in the 1970s i know he hates transistor circuits more than i do...

Particular thanks to Jim Williams, Syon, Ian Ruff Records, Chris Found. & all contributors I am sure we will talk again one day!

Good luck! to everyone pursuing the valve/tube sound... I have not left audio entirely there's still a few ideas kicking around, just concentrating on the finance side in my life for now... please check out the classified section i have lots of great audio kit for sale e.g. EMT plate, Amek Angela mk1, Vortexion units, 3M M79 24 track, Ribbon mics etc, based in the UK but can dispatch around the world..

Check out: Vintage audio workshop (all one word) i.e. vintageaudioworkshop on youtube & ebay for more kit sales, info & to keep up with some audio/studio related video work, i will be pursuing with.
Thanks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhGNgmLEWfs

Last edited by mightyecho; 16th January 2012 at 12:45 PM.. Reason: Include credits
Old 16th January 2012
  #76
I guess we can file this thread away into the Pipe Dream archives.

Meanwhile, I just finished rebuilding a Peavey Valvex 6 channel 1RU tube mixer.

This is one of those Peavey "a broken clock is right twice a day" products. It uses 4 12AX7 tubes and has panning and a stereo effects send/return.

It had Peavey's usual 100 pf top end killing caps installed (removed) and cheapo mylar film caps. I rebuilt the power supply with huge mains caps to remove residual hum, it's completely silent now. I added Wima polyprop film caps, enlarged the values and it does 5 hz well. The top end is limited by the miller effect on the tube stages, I didn't run it into the Audio Precision but I suspect it does well over 100k hz.

This is a nice, cheapo tube mixer, already built, if you can find a used one. A true sleeper product under the radar.
Old 16th January 2012
  #77
Gear Maniac
 

So what are they using the tubes for - as make-up amps to a passive mixing stage? Or for mic pre stages?

How many chips are in there?
Old 16th January 2012
  #78
No silicon, just a few rectifier diodes. All tube. Gain is set via feedback, a nice design. This is a line mixer, no mic preamps. It's all in a 1 RU very cute package.

I found it to sound more open and pure than that old Ampex MX 8 channel job I sold off. The top end is gorgous. Highly recommended IF you can find one.
Old 16th January 2012
  #79
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mutetourettes's Avatar
 

Guhh.

I've been looking for a valvex for ages...... hens teeth.
Old 17th January 2012
  #80
Lives for gear
 

Just a thought... a LOT of what people think of as the 'tube' sound comes from the transformers. What about a solid state (like, maybe op amps) board with input and output transformers? Solves a lot of design problems. Maybe use a tube main module or something.

In any case, the idea of building one channel strip as a working module is a great one, you can solve a lot of issues and save a lot of headaches. Probably not all of them, though.
Old 17th January 2012
  #81
A lot of people are wrong. Tube sound comes from tubes. The Peavey sounds like tubes, no iron there either. You don't need transformers for a decent tube sound, you just need a tube.
Old 17th January 2012
  #82
Lives for gear
 

Hi
Valves make valve sound, transformers make transformer sound and combining both gives you ........transformer with valve sound.
As do capacitors, resistors, component layout and a whole host of other aspects which combine to make the gear what it is.
A schematic or description of the Valvex circuit would be (mildly) interesting.
As there are only 8 'active' parts it is either 6 unity 'buffers' and and 2 output mixes, 6 sections with gain andf 2 output mixes or no buffers and a more complicated mix section?
Matt S
Old 17th January 2012
  #83
Gear Maniac
 

A 3rd confirmation. I've had a couple of older tube preamps with no input or output transformer and still had that sound. To my ears it's a lot to do with the harmonic content, esp 2nd. The iron can surely add subtle or less subtle coloration but the better amps are the ones where the iron adds lightly but stays out of the way in the headroom department. However, some seem to love those little Beyer transformers - on SS too.
Old 17th February 2014
  #84
Here for the gear
 

Roses are red
Violets are blue
If you haven't got valves
Transistors will do
Old 20th February 2014
  #85
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ruffrecords's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethe View Post
My tech makes very good tube/transformer pre's and summing amps, he has good imagination, but he says he doesn't know how to unite this with additional sends in a good and enough simple (/cheap) way without op-amps.
If someone here have some schematics, which can help or be used as prototype, I will be really thankful
Check out my EZ Tube Mixer design here:

EZ Tube Mixer Support Thread

Much of the documentation for this project can be found here:

Index of /EzTubeMixer/docs/EzTubeMixer


Cheers

Ian
Old 21st February 2014
  #86
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tibbon View Post
Why 40 transformers? I've had a few drinks and maybe I'm not thinking right, but that seems a bit many?
cause of the fact of the unbalanced circuits inside the board.

you see, its a factor of construction. because a fully balanced tube stages are expensive to build (look at a fairchild 670, its fully balanced) because it takes twice amount of electronics to build.

plus there is an impedance game that comes into play.

plus the matching game that goes along with that makes it very expensive to build if you're paying someone to match parts if someone goes with fully balanced.

that is why I charge $10,000 for 8 channels of fully balanced line level mixer. Preamps alone are $2000/ea and full channel strips are $5000/ea

there are only two mixer units, 10 preamp and 4 channel strips encompassing 25 years of building things.

there hasn't been demand for it. and I think I shot myself in the foot in 2000 with the db25 8channel analog to two xlr cables. Cause only a few baught my tube master channel I tried to sell with it.

then others caught on and built the cable too.
Old 22nd February 2014
  #87
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ruffrecords's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by timstoreymoses View Post
I know this is an old thread, but I was just wondering how your consoles look Ian? There aren't any photos that I can find anywhere...

Mo
Not surprising because at the moment there are only about 1.75 of them in existence! The 6 into 2 shown on my web site was delivered to Switzerland nearly a year ago. The one I am currently building is a 4 into 2 and is about half done:

EZ Tube Mixer Build

And I have just started an 8 into 2 which is little more than a frame at the moment (pic attached).

My designs are freely available for DIY construction and several people are building their own mixers based on them. Here is a link to the blog of Pierre in Canada who is building one:

Espresso Jazz Diy | Category | Diy Audio

Cheers

Ian
Attached Thumbnails
12 Channel custom built tube console-500framescaled.jpg  
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