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Seventh Circle Audio - A Review of the N72 - The REAL deal
Old 25th April 2005
  #61
Quote:
the trim knob on the a12 adjusts the negative feedback on the op amp. does that technically count as output attenuation?
Hummm I did not know that was how the A12's were set up. Interesting...

I guess from a real world usage standpoint this is still "output attenuation" because the output is lowered or "attenuated" by using the potentiometer yes??

How it achieves this attenuation and how much attenuation is up for debate I guess but my original point is that the A12 has attenuation on the output that the 512c does not have. I don't have to use it but it is there and that adds some value in my eyes.
Old 25th April 2005
  #62
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Mozart's Avatar
What is going on with the shipping with this guys? I've ordered two N72 with Power supply and chassis 25 days ago and I did not received them yet. It takes to long....
Old 25th April 2005
  #63
When I spoke with Tim via email on Friday of last week he told me that they were waiting on some parts that were out of stock for the A12's. I asked him how long before I could expect to see them on my door step because I need to schedule my tech to help me with the build (I am a newbie to DIY) and Tim said not much longer then 3 weeks for the whole kit.

So far Tim is really good with answering emails so if you have a question about your order maybe you should write him? I guess if you want to split hairs I think he says his turn around is 3 to 6 weeks and you are only really at 4 now so I would say you would see them soon?

I don't know but this is my first dealings with SCA and so far they have been pretty cool. We will see.
Old 25th April 2005
  #64
chikkenguy
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
I guess from a real world usage standpoint this is still "output attenuation" because the output is lowered or "attenuated" by using the potentiometer yes??
i dont think it would really be output attenuation, since it is actually feedback attenuation. there is no separate attenuation stage after the gain stage... using feedback attenuation doesnt allow you to do the same thing as driving the gain stage and then attenuating it afterwards for more tone or distortion or whatever.

anyways, im not trying to argue or anything... im actually hoping that someone who really knows might give some additional input on the subject.
Old 26th April 2005
  #65
Gear Addict
 
seb37000's Avatar
 

Quote:
using feedback attenuation doesnt allow you to do the same thing as driving the gain stage and then attenuating it afterwards for more tone or distortion or whatever.
I was wondering about this too, the trim is really great on the N72, very useful, On the A12 the attenuation is only of 6 db's, wonder why?

For the price point I was refering to a assembled kit, I bought 3 pre's assembled in december 2004 for 1645 dollars today it would cost 2020 dollars, if you compare to the other neve- api clones its just about the same price.


But anyway the pre's sound great and I'm planing on getting some more latter heh
Old 26th April 2005
  #66
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Screws's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seb37000
I was wondering about this too, the trim is really great on the N72, very useful, On the A12 the attenuation is only of 6 db's, wonder why?
The A12 and J99 do not have output attenuation. Only the N72 has this. The second (lower) pot on the A12 and J99 is a 6db "fine tune" pot, since the top pot (input gain) is in 5db increments.

I have a pair of N72's and a pair of J99's and ended up buying an A Designs Atty passive volume controller to control the output of the J99's. It also functions as an input pad, since there's none on the SCA stuff. $80.00 well spent.
Old 27th May 2005
  #67
Gear Addict
 

I just found out about your forum. It sure is nice! I am a home recording artist. I have been at the recording end for 3 years, and the music end. I have some fairly basic gear( ART TPSII pre amps, RODE NT-1A, AT3035, MXLV57, Shure 57, Lexicon MPX100 Reverb, Delta 66 soundcard) and use Samplitude master version recording software. I am doing a complete upgrade of my gear, and have been very curious about the N72. If anyone could give my music a quick listen, and see if you think this preamp would work for my sound, I sure would appreciate it. I have just purchased a used AKG C414 TLII, for vocals/harp. I play harp on the rack, bass drum, snare, high hat, and guitar, all at once. I record it all live, no overdubs. I am looking for a nice, rich, warm sound from a preamp. I need 4. THanks! Walter

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/7/wa...spontobeat.htm
Old 27th May 2005
  #68
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Brent's Avatar
 

I'm thinking of picking up a J99 kit. Can anyone tell me if they have compared this with a hamptone JFET kit? I'm looking for something really clean for acoustics and female vocals through a L47MP Lawson. The Hamptone looks to be a better deal at the moment though.

Brent
Old 27th May 2005
  #69
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thearnicasync's Avatar
 

I have the Hamptone, and I've been singing its praises since the day I finished it. Seriously, it's like having perfect built in compression...and it's as hi-fi and clean as I'll really ever need.

That said, it sounds like you're screaming for the J99; it's a super, super clean amp with I assume less coloration than the hamptone. I don't have the j99..."clean" and "great" just seem to be the general consensus.

kb
Old 8th June 2005
  #70
Gear Maniac
 
bradb's Avatar
 

My recent "Oh!" moment..

So i've been tracking scratch stuff for my band's recording and came across what many of you may think is a "duh" moment, but for me, it was an "oh!" moment.

I've just been getting into my SCA pre's and I've been using the N72s on vocals alot. During a bridge on this particular song, the singer (singing thru an R92) got really loud and normally I would have had the gain down for this, but I wasn't prepared, she overdrove the N72 and it distorted. Listening back thru the track without compression, it really stuck out because her volume gets much louder and distorted, so it sounds like a "technical error".

I put some compression on the vocal track (dbx 160a) and listening back, I realize the distortion ceases to be a problem and becomes an addition to the part. With compression the distortion becomes much more subtler and its almost as if its a vocal texture... hard to explain.

I've heard that good stuff shows its worth at the limit and this must be what people are talking about...

So... "Oh!"
Old 9th June 2005
  #71
8070
Guest
After all this talk about the a12's and n72's....does anyone have an .mp3 sample to upload...preferably of drums...for us to hear...?

Please say yes...
Old 9th June 2005
  #72
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
We just got done tracking "Back In Black" with the band HYDROGYN for the workshop and as usual we did a lot of comparisons (mics, pres etc.). This time we had two full racks of SeventhCircleAudio pres (see picture). Those things kick ass. We had A12s, N72s, J99s and the new C84 (Millenia type pres). First off, all the pres sound very close to the ones they are modelled after (if that is the right expression).

We used the A12 on top and bottom tom (only one tom on this song), nice fat but tight sound, I like them better than my "very old" original APIs.

The N72 made it on the Lead Vocal track. Julie has a very strong voice with a lot of high midrange content and it was not easy to find the right mic/pre combo. Other pres we tried for the Lead Vocal were: VIPRE, GreatRiver Mp-2NV, Chandler TG-2, Chandler LTD-1, A12 and Hardy M-1. BTW the microphone winning the shootout for Julie's voice was the Beyer M740. It was on advice of Bob Olhsson to include that mic into the shootout. See a picture of the other mics we tested below.

The J99 falls into the "not-so-colored-but-very-fast" category, similar to a Hardy M-1 but with a bit more attitude.

The "new" C84 is supposed to be very neutral (Millenia style) and it excels at that, very natural sounding pre, without sounding boring.

All together I think the SAC stuff is a great deal (my rack is ordered) and for the money you get a great variety of mic pres.





Old 9th June 2005
  #73
Gear Head
 
Family Hoof's Avatar
 

Question for everyone who says the N72 is bright...

are you sure the output is terminated properly? (loaded with 600 ohms) Because most of the gear you plug your pres into these days (A/Ds) has a much higher input Z than 600 you're going to get a high end lift (usually something like +1.5dB @ 20kHz, starting @ 10kHz). Most Neve cloners and rackers deal with this simply by putting a 600 ohm resistor across the output transformer. On the Great River there is a "loading" button on the front panel which switches it in and out. On the N72s this is an internal jumper option.

So, those of you who think it's bright - did you check the 600 ohm termination jumper? I've never tried an N72 so I wouldn't know, just curious.


Oh, and just a quick FYI for those who don't know...

The 1073 has a 3 stage (3 separate opamps) mic pre with a complex switching system controlling input attenuation, feedback to the first two stages, and where the third stage is switched in. The output fader sits between the first two preamp stages and the third (output driver) stage. Neve did make a 1073 module without EQ. It was called 1290. Some of the better Neve-inspired preamps like the Great River are based on this design. It is also worth mentioning that the 1073 had two separate input transformers - one for mic and one for line level - also selected by the rotary switch. The closely related 1063 module was one of the few which accepted both line and mic inputs with the same transformer. I know of no Neve mic pre clones which have enough positions on the rotary switch to implement this, and hence they're too hot for line level signals.


A 1272 is a line amp with the same mic input + output transformers and same opamps as the 1073, but no third stage. IF you make many modifications to the wiring and install an identical switching system you can achieve the exact same results as a 1073 up to the -50dB position. Most (all?) 1272 clones seem to fall short of this in two ways: 1) coaxing additional gain out of only 2 stages in an inefficient manner, and 2) switching system and/or other wiring mods are not properly designed or implemented. The N72 has it's own switching system which does the gain boosting about as efficiently as you can, but since it's 70dB of gain in only 12 positions you don't have a lot of room for input attenuation (padding). The output fader is in between the two opamp stages.
Old 9th June 2005
  #74
Lives for gear
 
kevinc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwagener
All together I think the SAC stuff is a great deal (my rack is ordered) and for the money you get a great variety of mic pres.
Great news Michael ! thumbsup

These pres are too good of a deal to pass up.

It`s cool they`ve got a Millenia styled one as well. I wonder what they`ll dream up next.
Old 9th June 2005
  #75
Gear Maniac
 
Phunkeman's Avatar
Could you post some clips.
Old 9th June 2005
  #76
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phunkeman
Could you post some clips.
I really think that would do no good, because you don't have the direct comparison to the original sound or any of the other mic pres. It's always best to check those things out at your own studio, listening to your own sources.
Old 9th June 2005
  #77
Gear Addict
 
seb37000's Avatar
 

How about, we stop speaking about these pre's and keep this owr little secret
Please..., if you tell everyone how good and cheap these things are every one will want some and the price will go up and wont be able to fill the rest of my rack
Old 9th June 2005
  #78
Gear Addict
 
seb37000's Avatar
 

well at least no one in france has these heh maybe not even in europe hey hey
Old 9th June 2005
  #79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwagener
We just got done tracking "Back In Black" with the band HYDROGYN for the workshop and as usual we did a lot of comparisons (mics, pres etc.). This time we had two full racks of SeventhCircleAudio pres (see picture). Those things kick ass. We had A12s, N72s, J99s and the new C84 (Millenia type pres). First off, all the pres sound very close to the ones they are modelled after (if that is the right expression).

We used the A12 on top and bottom tom (only one tom on this song), nice fat but tight sound, I like them better than my "very old" original APIs.

The N72 made it on the Lead Vocal track. Julie has a very strong voice with a lot of high midrange content and it was not easy to find the right mic/pre combo. Other pres we tried for the Lead Vocal were: VIPRE, GreatRiver Mp-2NV, Chandler TG-2, Chandler LTD-1, A12 and Hardy M-1. BTW the microphone winning the shootout for Julie's voice was the Beyer M740. It was on advice of Bob Olhsson to include that mic into the shootout. See a picture of the other mics we tested below.

The J99 falls into the "not-so-colored-but-very-fast" category, similar to a Hardy M-1 but with a bit more attitude.

The "new" C84 is supposed to be very neutral (Millenia style) and it excels at that, very natural sounding pre, without sounding boring.

All together I think the SAC stuff is a great deal (my rack is ordered) and for the money you get a great variety of mic pres.
Thanks for the review Michael (and nice Gearslutz pen thumbsup ).

My 7 A12's are due in this Friday and me and my buddy (I don't know much about building this stuff but I hope to learn) are going to start building on Saturday, I can't wait.

So I have to say that Tim at SCA has been great and I hear nothing but excellent reviews of his stuff...

That said my only complaint is that it took a full 6 weeks to get here. I know that is what SCA promises on their website but that just seems like a long time. I think it will be worth it from the reviews I have heard but the wait is the only thing stopping me from ordering more of these now. I would think because he is getting more and more press he would just start having the parts in stock??

Anyway that is not a big complaint because Tim was really nice to deal with over email and I think they are going to sound great.
Old 9th June 2005
  #80
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crypticglobe's Avatar
Whoo Hoo!! Hey Michael... I am glad you got to check out SCA!! Great stuff for sure!!

I have the 6-pack (Tim told me my unit is the one in the actual pictures on the SCA site!!). I agree with everything you said. With a few of each, there are so many fantastic sounds to choose from!! I always go to my API's AFTER the A12's these days!!

For you guys that want to pick up your pre's from SCA, assembled a little quicker, there is a guy here in town (Hendersonville actually), that builds them and re-sells them with Tim's full authorization. Here is his e-mail.

rob AT robwolford.com

Just put the @ where the "AT" is without the spaces... I post this way so his e-mail address won't get picked up by web bots.

He told me today he has two N72's ready to go right now. He's a real cool guy.


Enjoy....
Old 9th June 2005
  #81
Lives for gear
 
crypticglobe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Family Hoof
Question for everyone who says the N72 is bright...

are you sure the output is terminated properly? (loaded with 600 ohms) Because most of the gear you plug your pres into these days (A/Ds) has a much higher input Z than 600 you're going to get a high end lift (usually something like +1.5dB @ 20kHz, starting @ 10kHz). Most Neve cloners and rackers deal with this simply by putting a 600 ohm resistor across the output transformer. On the Great River there is a "loading" button on the front panel which switches it in and out. On the N72s this is an internal jumper option.

So, those of you who think it's bright - did you check the 600 ohm termination jumper? I've never tried an N72 so I wouldn't know, just curious.


Oh, and just a quick FYI for those who don't know...

The 1073 has a 3 stage (3 separate opamps) mic pre with a complex switching system controlling input attenuation, feedback to the first two stages, and where the third stage is switched in. The output fader sits between the first two preamp stages and the third (output driver) stage. Neve did make a 1073 module without EQ. It was called 1290. Some of the better Neve-inspired preamps like the Great River are based on this design. It is also worth mentioning that the 1073 had two separate input transformers - one for mic and one for line level - also selected by the rotary switch. The closely related 1063 module was one of the few which accepted both line and mic inputs with the same transformer. I know of no Neve mic pre clones which have enough positions on the rotary switch to implement this, and hence they're too hot for line level signals.


A 1272 is a line amp with the same mic input + output transformers and same opamps as the 1073, but no third stage. IF you make many modifications to the wiring and install an identical switching system you can achieve the exact same results as a 1073 up to the -50dB position. Most (all?) 1272 clones seem to fall short of this in two ways: 1) coaxing additional gain out of only 2 stages in an inefficient manner, and 2) switching system and/or other wiring mods are not properly designed or implemented. The N72 has it's own switching system which does the gain boosting about as efficiently as you can, but since it's 70dB of gain in only 12 positions you don't have a lot of room for input attenuation (padding). The output fader is in between the two opamp stages.

I would not call the N72 bright. Nor would I call an 1073 dark (though I have heard many describe it that way). However, I found the N72 to be just a HAIR brighter than a 1073 pre. This was not a bad thing... and would not lead you to call it a "bright" pre. All the top end warmth and character is still there.... it seems just the very tiniest bit "sharper" than a 1073 in a side by side. But... we are talking a VERY, VERY small difference.

The N72 again... is it's own thing... but it is VERY much in the "Neve" family in it's character to me.
Old 10th June 2005
  #82
Gear Head
 
Family Hoof's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crypticglobe
But... we are talking a VERY, VERY small difference.
Yes, exactly! No more than 1.5dB up @ 20kHz. Very slight. The 1073 preamp and any of its illegitimate offspring will exhibit this effect when loaded with a high impedance, and sometimes it's great to be able to take advantage of.

My question is did you check to see if the 1073 and N72 were both terminated in 600 ohms? If they were then I'd attribute the slightly brighter sound of the N72 to its capacitor choices.
Old 20th June 2005
  #83
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwagener
We just got done tracking "Back In Black" with the band HYDROGYN for the workshop and as usual we did a lot of comparisons (mics, pres etc.). This time we had two full racks of SeventhCircleAudio pres (see picture). Those things kick ass. We had A12s, N72s, J99s and the new C84 (Millenia type pres). First off, all the pres sound very close to the ones they are modelled after (if that is the right expression).

We used the A12 on top and bottom tom (only one tom on this song), nice fat but tight sound, I like them better than my "very old" original APIs.
Do you know what op-amps the A12's had? The Seventh circle ones, OEM API's or maybe even the Averill's??

??

Fleaman
Old 20th June 2005
  #84
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Screws's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman
Do you know what op-amps the A12's had? The Seventh circle ones, OEM API's or maybe even the Averill's??

??

Fleaman
SCA also makes its own version of the API 2520 opamp.
Old 21st June 2005
  #85
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Screws
SCA also makes its own version of the API 2520 opamp.
Didn't I mention that?

But yeah, I'd really like to know which op-amps it had.....I'm guessing probably the SCA's....

Fleaman
Old 22nd June 2005
  #86
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Screws's Avatar
 

Oops, now how the heck did I miss that? Sorry.
Old 22nd June 2005
  #87
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman
Do you know what op-amps the A12's had? The Seventh circle ones, OEM API's or maybe even the Averill's??

??

Fleaman
Ok I emailed Tim at SCA and here is his answer:
Quote:
The A12s we used had my SC25 op-amps, along with CineMag input and output transformers.
Those ae the modules I am getting, hopefully tomorrow.
Old 22nd June 2005
  #88
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crypticglobe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwagener
Ok I emailed Tim at SCA and here is his answer:


Those ae the modules I am getting, hopefully tomorrow.
Yep, my A12's have the same configuration. And.... in a shoot out last week at Paragon studios in Franklin, the A12's won out for a lead vocal track for Wynona Judd. The other pre's auditioned were: An API 512C, Chandler LTD-1, SCA N72, SCA J99.

Old 22nd June 2005
  #89
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So the SC25 opamps are the ones that are $75 extra a piece right ?

I wannna make sure I order the right stuff.
Old 22nd June 2005
  #90
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinc
So the SC25 opamps are the ones that are $75 extra a piece right ?

I wannna make sure I order the right stuff.

$75 extra is not exactly the right way to describe it but yes I believe you are on the right track. I would not say they are "$75 extra" because no matter what you will need the opamp it is just a matter of what one you use. You can get the SCA SC25, you can get an original API unit (but not from API unless you trade an old one in, they do not sell them to the public if you are not an existing API customer) or you can get one from BAE.

Again no matter what you will need one and they are all going to cost around $80 or so give or take. A few people have scoped the SC25 opamp to the original API and the results were pretty darn close and others have said the SC25 was sonically very similar (almost indistinguishable from the API) so I saved myself the hassle and got the SC25 from Tim, I would recommend you do the same but as always… YMMV.

So I have my 7 A12s almost finished and it was a very cool learning experience, highly recommended. I am having fits getting the chassis together, still waiting on a reply email from Tim (Tim check your email and respond back soon... please... pretty please...... )
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