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Boutique under the hood??
Old 10th December 2004
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Boutique under the hood??

Is this typically what a unit this price looks like under the hood?
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Boutique under the hood??-pendulum-el8.jpg  
Old 10th December 2004
  #2
Moderator
 
Tim Farrant's Avatar
 

Looks pretty tidy to me, which is more than I can say for the Groove Tubes Vipre which is a bit of a birds nest of wiring!

Tim.
Old 10th December 2004
  #3
Re: Boutique under the hood??

Quote:
Originally posted by woods
Is this typically what a unit this price looks like under the hood?

A piece that comes from a brilliant mind often looks like that (Greg makes top notch stuff).
Old 10th December 2004
  #4
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djui5's Avatar
 

nice work......
Old 10th December 2004
  #5
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

yes pendulum yes
yes yes yes
Old 10th December 2004
  #6
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Riccardo's Avatar
Old 10th December 2004
  #7
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s0nguy's Avatar
 

That is exactly what high end gear should look like when you open it up.

Clean. Concise. Simple and elegant.

I notied this when I replaced a tube in my UA 2-610.

-S0nguy
Old 10th December 2004
  #8
Gear Addict
 

How many tubes are in that thing?
Old 10th December 2004
  #9
Did you think it looked rather 'empty"?

Too modern and not 'retro' enough?
Old 10th December 2004
  #10
Gear Addict
 

I really haven't any previous look so I didn't know what to expect.

But just to play devil's advocate --- I sort of thought that the unit looks a little too prefabed for a so called boutique product. Where's the hand wiring? Thought I'd see a few more tubes.

How many are there in there? I only see two.
Old 10th December 2004
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

depending what you are looking for. looks like nice high end pcb(thick and sturdy) , everything has enought space, and it has a transformer. (hopefully not a poor one)
but what bothers me is the "tube". Ill bet there is no tube compression (one distortion-maker tube does not make it a tube compressor.) what looks sexy to me is the manley tube stuff or the avalon stuff. real tube implementations. Vari-Mu and the sort is not just a marketing ploy. they are topologies. this thing probably has the solid state reaction times that are slowed down to sound "tubey".
great piece of gear but mismarked as tube. I would expect it to sound great, but not how you would think it would.
Old 10th December 2004
  #12
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

please Christmas is close i neeeeeeeeed one
Old 10th December 2004
  #13
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djui5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Did you think it looked rather 'empty"?

Too modern and not 'retro' enough?
Yeah...I've noticed this with other gear....just seems bare inside...


but if it sounds good.....
Old 10th December 2004
  #14
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kevinc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by amorris
depending what you are looking for. looks like nice high end pcb(thick and sturdy) , everything has enought space, and it has a transformer. (hopefully not a poor one)
but what bothers me is the "tube". Ill bet there is no tube compression (one distortion-maker tube does not make it a tube compressor.) what looks sexy to me is the manley tube stuff or the avalon stuff. real tube implementations. Vari-Mu and the sort is not just a marketing ploy. they are topologies. this thing probably has the solid state reaction times that are slowed down to sound "tubey".
great piece of gear but mismarked as tube. I would expect it to sound great, but not how you would think it would.

I think your wrong here. This is a Tube compressor that uses the tube for the compression. It doesn`t neccesarily need 80 tubes in it to be a tru MU design.

A lot of people who have used this unit say it beats the Manley at it`s own game and prefer it. ( subjective of course.)

I`m not much of a techie guy myself but I`m pretty sure I`m speaking truth here and hopefully someone will come along soon and clear it up further.
Old 10th December 2004
  #15
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hollywood_steve's Avatar
 

If you want a shock, compare the inside of a new API 8200 to any of their old modules. When you open up the 8200, all you see is the back side of a single PCB that covers the entire surface - you see NOTHING else. On the other hand, if you open up their 7800, which at first looks like it will be similar, you then notice 10 (TEN!) 2520 opamps and probably 12 (a dozen!) transformers! No question where the money went on that unit.
Old 10th December 2004
  #16
Here for the gear
 
aurt's Avatar
 

Greg makes very nice stuff. I spoke with him at an AES show some years back about that unit. I was thrilled that he was actually using remote cutoff tubes, at first the 6386, as the Fairchild and early Manleys, then the 6ES8 after finding it a suitable, and considerably more available, replacement. There have been some Fairchild pretenders that have used sharp cutoff tubes, and I have to say, it ain't the same. I had also wondered about the choice to use op-amps, but IIRC, he tricks the outputs into running class A and they sound really nice.
As I remember the pcb layout is very logical and easy to follow, even without schematics, and all the components are top notch.
Just my 2c.
Old 10th December 2004
  #17
Quote:
Originally posted by kevinc
I think your wrong here. This is a Tube compressor that uses the tube for the compression. It doesn`t neccesarily need 80 tubes in it to be a tru MU design.

A lot of people who have used this unit say it beats the Manley at it`s own game and prefer it. ( subjective of course.)

I`m not much of a techie guy myself but I`m pretty sure I`m speaking truth here and hopefully someone will come along soon and clear it up further.
He is wrong - both the ES8 and the 6386 use tubes for the actual GR.

I can't say enough good things about the Pendulum stuff - very well built, sounds great, works great in my chain...
Old 11th December 2004
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Before starting to count tubes and whatnot, it's important to understand the purpose of the circuit, and how the designer has implemented their concept...

Pop the hood on an LA2A, or Pultec, or any number of units, and you're not going to see a whole lot of complicated stuff:
Simple ideas straightforwardly implemented usually provide the best result

You gonna spend all day looking at those circuits, or listening to the results?

Can't speak for the Vipre, but I've seen "rat's-nest" wiring in gear that sounded just great...

As a public service, if anyone feels disappointed by the open spaces inside their pendulums, requisites, squeezebxes, pultecs, etc. send 'em along to me; I'll be happy to provide replacement units jam-packed with circuits from standard setters like tla, drawmer, art, hhb... all guaranteed to have tooobs...
Heck, I'll even throw in shipping as a little Christmas gesture
Old 11th December 2004
  #19
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Blackwood
He is wrong - both the ES8 and the 6386 use tubes for the actual GR.

I can't say enough good things about the Pendulum stuff - very well built, sounds great, works great in my chain...


There is a reason for audio PCB instead of point-to-point and Greg explains exceptionally well (see his website).
It is exceptionally good value for money and everybody agrees it sounds VERY good (the OCL apparently sounds good as well, Brad can probably confirm that)
Up there with the best....Fairmans have PCBs and don't sound bad.....Requisites are point-to-point and don't sound bad either.
Are you lloking for looks or sound?
Does it really matter what it looks like inside?

heh that is what Santa is bringing this Xmas
Old 11th December 2004
  #20
Gear Nut
 

6386 tube - availability

somewhat o-t

what about the older units with the 6386; anybody know whether tube availability is a potential concern if one were considering buying a used Pendulum?
Old 11th December 2004
  #21
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gyraf's Avatar
 

They're available, but prices are starting to rise, indicating somewhat short supply...

Jakob E.
Old 11th December 2004
  #22
Re: 6386 tube - availability

Quote:
Originally posted by Poutine
what about the older units with the 6386; anybody know whether tube availability is a potential concern if one were considering buying a used Pendulum?
Greg has some 6386s left to supply his user-base, and the unit can also be modified to run the 6ES8 (essentially turning it inot an ES8).

And yes, the OCL-2 sound gorgeous. I wouldn't have it in my rack if it didn't...
Old 12th December 2004
  #23
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by amorris
depending what you are looking for. looks like nice high end pcb(thick and sturdy) , everything has enought space, and it has a transformer. (hopefully not a poor one)
but what bothers me is the "tube". Ill bet there is no tube compression (one distortion-maker tube does not make it a tube compressor.) what looks sexy to me is the manley tube stuff or the avalon stuff. real tube implementations. Vari-Mu and the sort is not just a marketing ploy. they are topologies. this thing probably has the solid state reaction times that are slowed down to sound "tubey".
The term "Variable MU®" is a registered trademark of Manley Laboratories. The process [which ironically the Manley unit doesn't employ which is how they got the "®" trademark symbol... but I digress] refers to a "remote shutoff" of a tube [usually a triode]... this can also be called a "Delta MU" [Delta being the Greek symbol used in physics to represent "change of", a.k.a "variable"] process.

The way a remote shutoff/"Delta MU" limiter works [warning: seriously over simplified explanation to follow] is that the audio modulates the voltage to the grid of the tube. The control voltage on the grid controls the amplification factor of the tube [a.k.a "MU" of the tube], in a remote cutoff triode you have a much greater range of gain control because of the way the grid wire is wound... the spacing is non-uniform. In a sharp cutoff triode like a 12ax7 the spacing is wound uniformly and there comes a certain point where the flow of electrons is pinched off causing the tube to stop passing audio... in a good remote cutoff the tube never cuts off entirely...

So, as the quantity of audio increases [stuff gets louder, more voltage] the current to the grid of the tube decreases, thus the output level of the amplifier decreases. When you employ a "Variable Gain Amplifier" [VGA] of this nature, it creates a situation where you do indeed have less dynamic range, the point and purpose of an audio compressor/limiter. The amplification a tube provides is called the "MU" of the tube, by changing the "MU" you change the gain, by changing the gain of the tube in a manner controlled by the actual audio, you control the dynamics of the signal.

There are different tube types that can be applied for this task, some are triodes, some are pentodes. Generally, we find that triodes have a greater abundance of even order harmonics associated with their distortion characteristics so we find them "warm" and musically pleasing, however, some pentodes also fit into this category... in other words, the tube chosen for the circuit is an integral portion of the design of the circuit and will seriously affect the resultant tone of the equipment.

One of the biggest questions when choosing a tube for this application is how smoothly the tube responds to the variations in plate voltage. With all triodes the wires on the grid are wound around two metal posts. With triodes like a 12ax7 the way the grid is wound is very uniform so you can actually get the tube to "turn off". With tubes that are really suited to a remote shutoff application [like a 6386 or a 6es8] you will find a very musical, fluid response to the way the tube handles the audio. The way the grid is wound on tubes that are well suited for a "delta MU" design is that the grid windings are fatter in the middle and narrower on the edges... which means that the electric field never cuts off the flow of electrons between plate and cathode... i.e. the sound doesn't totally cut off and you have a greater control range on the attenuation. The reason I mention this is because there are some "remote shutoff" units out there that employ a 12ax7 tube because they're in plentiful supply and rather inexpensive... the problem is that they don't do the job properly... but hey, they have the right buzzwords so who cares.

So... after this long winded, sorta pedantic explanation of the process... is there still a question of whether the tube is there to do work or if it's there as a "one distortion-maker tube".

Ya know, with all the bull**** artists out there it's great that this stuff is indeed questioned!! In this particular case the tube is indeed the "business end" of the compressor... but "amorris" is right... there is a whole lot of bull**** out there masquarading as real equipment. The Pendulum Audio ES-8 just doesn't happen to be one of them... but hey, if you can't answer the questions, stay out of the forums.
Old 12th December 2004
  #24
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

i may be wrong, but
a tube maintains a set voltage across the grid threw a means of biassing ( regulating ), when a input signal hits the tube, their is a slight drop in voltage and increase in amp draw ( mili amps ). the harder the input gets is slammed, the more voltage drop, the more amp draw. so the passing signal itself will be squashed, or in other-words, compressed. i believe this is what happens in old tubes amps. in a cathode biased amp with a rectifier tube as opposed to a diode bridge rectifier, it is more obvious as you get a greater voltage drop on the rectifier circuit as well, i believe this compounds the effect.
with that, my statement, is really more of a question, this the way i understand compression to work, i may be wrong, and maybe this is what Fletcher just said.
so to clarify i was hoping Fletcher, or someone might shed some light on this, as it would help in lessoning may ignorance.
some of you guys know way more about this stuff then i ( most of us ) ever will, so please educate.




ignorance may at times be excused, but stupidity is just unacceptable, so let us now learn!
Old 13th December 2004
  #25
Quote:
Originally posted by amorris

but what bothers me is the "tube". Ill bet there is no tube compression (one distortion-maker tube does not make it a tube compressor.) what looks sexy to me is the manley tube stuff or the avalon stuff. real tube implementations. Vari-Mu and the sort is not just a marketing ploy. they are topologies. this thing probably has the solid state reaction times that are slowed down to sound "tubey".
great piece of gear but mismarked as tube. I would expect it to sound great, but not how you would think it would.


http://groups-beta.google.com/group/...392ce7f8b07afa

Here is and interesting link of Greg G. of Pendulum Audio explaining the "variable mu" compressor 5 years ago on rec.audio.pro
It's a good read.
Old 13th December 2004
  #26
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kevinc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by pan60
i believe this is what happens in old tubes amps. in a cathode biased amp with a rectifier tube as opposed to a diode bridge rectifier, it is more obvious as you get a greater voltage drop on the rectifier circuit as well, i believe this compounds the effect.

That`s pretty interesting as well.

Is that why tube guitar amps stay more even level wise with the preamp cranked ? (especially when they distort obviously.)
I allways thought it was the distortion tone itself that helped even out the levels but that`s kind of neat if the overdriven tubes are having something to do with it as well. That explains why quality tube amp overdrive tends to sound better than pedals usually do. (unless your going for that effect)

My biggest growth as a guitar player came when I started playing really clean tones exclusively instead of generally distorted or mildly distorted.
It adds a whole new element because all of a sudden theres all this dynamic range that wasn`t there before. What your picking hand is doing becomes ten times more important so things don`t start popping uncontollably.

These days I don`t have as much time to practice as much so when I want a clean tone I`m more likely to use a very slightly distorted one just to keep things smooth sounding.
Old 13th December 2004
  #27
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

i think what Fletchers statement is very true, but i think it is more in line with the way the tube compress's and the degree of compression.
cathode bias tube circuits, i think tend to compress a bit more then fixed. one of the things i like, is to pull a 5ar4 from the rectifier circuit , replace it with a 5v4 which will drop the voltage a bit and offer more sag this tend to give a smooth compressed sound.
i am i no way a authority on this, just been around it for a few days. i am sure Fletcher as well as many others on this forum no a lot more about this stuff then myself.
Old 13th December 2004
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher
The term "Variable MU®" is a registered trademark of Manley Laboratories. The process [which ironically the Manley unit doesn't employ which is how they got the "®" trademark symbol... but I digress]

snip


Jeez Fletcher, don't leave us hanging!
So what process DOES Manley use in the VariMU???

Inquiring minds await with bated breath your translucent pearls of valvelore
Old 15th December 2004
  #29
Moderator
 
EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 

The word "process" used wrongly there in Fletcher's post. We do not use a variable mu vacuum tube in our unit anymore since the first few hundred units we built when we had a bunch of 6386's way back when. We changed to the 5670 years ago which is not classified as a "variable mu vacuum tube". We changed to that tube only because we ran out of 6386's.

You can call the "process" anything you want... a 6386 is called a "variable mu vacuum tube" in all the old tube manuals I have while some other similar tubes are called "remote CUToff vacuum tubes" in some manuals and "variable mu vacuum tubes" in other manuals. The completed limiter/compressors themselves in the old days seemed to be called a "Tube Limiter" or Limiting Amplifier" or some such. Look on the old schematics. You won't find the words "Variable Mu" on old Fairchildren, Gates, et al, docs...

As far as the trademark thing, which came later, since trademarks cannot be of descriptive nature referring to an element used inside the unit, that was the last hurdle we had to get over in making our trademark case and the existing use of the 5670 supported our case. Besides the fact that we seemed to be first folks to call a limiter/compressor product "Variable Mu". That's the name of our unit. Now with the circle R.

Here's a picture of a real oldie Manley Variable Mu® Limiter/Compressor probably from 1994. It's a bit tidier these days, but anyway, this thread is about GearGutz, so might as well drop our drawers for ya too... :>)



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Old 15th December 2004
  #30
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

nice
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