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Anyone use the Aphex 1100 MkII Tube Pre?
Old 1st February 2007
  #1
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Rob King's Avatar
Anyone use the Aphex 1100 MkII Tube Pre?

Looking at a bunch of tube pre's at the moment and I like the specs on this unit. Anyone have any experience with it? Comparisons? Thanks!
Old 1st February 2007
  #2
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

One of the best, most underrated preamps on the market. The Miclim function is great for those "oops" overs.
Old 1st February 2007
  #3
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Rob King's Avatar
Thanks Arc, anyone else?
Old 2nd February 2007
  #4
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lord_bunny's Avatar
 

It's my main pre. Much warmer than other pre's of it's class. I like the limiter a lot, and if you've got crappy conversion, it does that very well also. I've used it for just about everything and would recommend it highly.

People don't really talk about it much, I suppose perhaps it's not as prolific as API, Neve and the other classics.

I find I enjoy the tube character of it over say an LA-610.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #5
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Rob King's Avatar
cool, thanks. I just got a loner in the studio..need to compare it to my Slam! and Martech MSS-10's.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #6
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Rob, I'm curious to hear your impressions, compared to the SLAM and Martech.
Old 7th February 2007
  #7
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Rob,
I'd like to hear your response as well. I have an 1100 Mk II which is my go-to pre for a number of applications, including vocals.
Old 7th February 2007
  #8
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Levi's Avatar
 

I have one of the MK 1 1100's, and yes, it's a VERY highly underrated preamp. But, I would suggest getting some better tubes than what comes with it. The factory tubes sounded great UNTIL I put some NOS Sylvania tubes in there. Made the whole thing open waaaayyyyy up! (The original tubes sounded "boxy" in comparison) Can't imagine what some higher-grade tubes would do to it!!! (i.e. Siemens, etc.)
Old 7th February 2007
  #9
Gear Head
The 1100 that I have is fantastic... also have a great river mp2nv (also excellent) to compare it to. On vocals it's fantastic. Very clean and the digital output has helped from time to time.


btw, how much are those tubes you're referring to?

Sean
Old 8th February 2007
  #10
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Rob King's Avatar
I have to say the time I spent with the Aphex 1100Mk2 was very positive. I have an arsenal of pre's and Comps and this thing favored very well. In fact I am a day or two from purchasing one. I did a percussion session using 6 mics with my 4 Martechs and the Aphex. All the tracks came out completely amazing. One thing that really impressed me was the noise floor. This thing is super quiet. I really loved the Step Input Level for quick consistant adjusments (The Martechs have this as well). The Stepped HPF was also very nice. I completely removed the room noise without effecting the overall tone. This HPF is one of the best I have heard no doubt. The preamp has a really nice and "semi-hyped" High end. The Martechs are a little more acurate in that respect as are the GML's, but the hype is a nice thing. It is almost though it has this really small smiley curve eq going on. I can say that this preamp doen't sound like all the others I own, yet it compliments the High end "clean" and accurate ones I have. I could see this preamp just Killing it on a symphony, choir or piano recording. I used the MicLim it it was transparant as well. I didn't have time to hear the 24bit/192K converter as I just plugged the output into my Lavry's. But that is a great feature as well. It won't replace my Manley, Martechs and others but I believe it will be welcomed with "open-ears" to my collection very soon...
Old 8th February 2007
  #11
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

thumbsup
Old 8th February 2007
  #12
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The Aphex's converter was my best one until I got my Apogee AD-16X. In other words: it's excellent.

I really liked this pre when I got it a few years ago. It's grown on me since then to where I'd now call it an indispensible part of my arsenal. I'm generally wary of sonic footprints, but this pre has one that's just beautiful, luscious--and best of all widely applicable.
Old 8th February 2007
  #13
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Levi,

Would you say that throwing some generic sovtek tubes in it would make a difference?

The Aphex 1100 is my best pre, but I just bought a 1975 soundworkshop 1280... nice preamps as well... just a bit more noise than the aphex. Would you say the Aphex is abnormally clean even by today's standards? I've found that even adding 61db of gain to a royer 121 it was still extemely quiet.
Old 8th February 2007
  #14
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Levi's Avatar
 

Quote:
btw, how much are those tubes you're referring to?
Quote:
Would you say that throwing some generic sovtek tubes in it would make a difference?
I think when I replaced my tubes, they were around $60-$70 for a set of two matched new "old stock" tubes. I'm not sure what prices are on tubes now-adays, since it's been several years since I upgraded mine. As for the Sovtek's, they would probably be fine, but I'd consider dropping a few more bucks and getting into some "boutique" tubes. That will make a bigger difference.

The following is a link to download a PDF of the MK 2 manual...
http://www.jbkaudio.com/DOSSIER%20PD...00_Mk2_Man.pdf

If you go to page 27 & 28, you will find detailed info on tubes that will work with this unit. I think I ended up using 6922's, which are "supposed" to work, and they've been great. For me, it made a great preamp an outstanding one.
Old 8th February 2007
  #15
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Levi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Would you say the Aphex is abnormally clean even by today's standards? I've found that even adding 61db of gain to a royer 121 it was still extemely quiet.
Yes, I'd totally agree with that. It is very, very quiet, even at high gains. It makes it great for ribbons, sm7's, etc. I use it as my "Telefunken" pre! Sure is a lot cheaper!!!
Old 8th February 2007
  #16
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How much is the Aphex 1100? Where would one buy it? Does it come with A/D or is that extra?

Thanks.
Old 9th February 2007
  #17
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Rob King's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lord_bunny View Post
Levi,
Would you say the Aphex is abnormally clean even by today's standards?
You know the more I record and the older I get, I seem to go for the cleanest, purist recording 80% of the time. Don't get me wrong, I love color and have succumb hard to the api 500 series stuff. But when you are 30-60 tracks deep in a session, that is were the clean, pure signal path really makes a difference. I think that is why George Massenburg is a great recordist. I totally get it now. Listen to some of his early Earth Wind and Fire Recordings from the 70's. The guy is seriously talented. Anyway, just my 2 cents there... Oh, and having world class mics to go with that clean signal path always helps too.. Cheers
Old 9th February 2007
  #18
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Levi's Avatar
 

Quote:
But when you are 30-60 tracks deep in a session, that is were the clean, pure signal path really makes a difference.
Absolutely right on! IMHO, I'm not big on cutting every single track through a Neve or API or whatever flavor of color you choose... get's a little "thick" in the long run. The 1100 gives off just the right amount of color... minimal color... so that if you DO have it as your only flavor, it won't get in the way of itself. The very first thing I ever used mine on was a CeCe Winans session. I wanted to see how things would sit with just the preamp alone. So, no eq, minimal compression, etc. Still love that mix today! (Not that it was a great mix, but the preamp stacked up very nicely!)
Old 9th February 2007
  #19
mas
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mas's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegrasser View Post
How much is the Aphex 1100? Where would one buy it? Does it come with A/D or is that extra?

Thanks.
I bought mine a few weeks ago on ebay for 1237Euros (MK I though).
I think it is easy to get a new one, but as they aren´t very popular (and far away from beeing hyped like the Pacifica) you may get a good deal on a used one.
I love mine BTW.
A/D is a fix part of the unit.
The MK I has 44,1kHz, 48kHz and 96kHz.
The MK II addintionally offers 88kHz and 192kHz.
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