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summit tpa-200b - high end? Equalisers (HW)
Old 11th March 2005
  #1
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toque-eh!'s Avatar
 

summit tpa-200b - high end?

is this a high end pre? i've got someone trying to sell me theirs and i've never used one. i could probably arrange to try it, but i would prefer to do a little research first.

any strengths or weaknesses? coloured or neutral? etc. fill me in, please.
Old 11th March 2005
  #2
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De chromium cob's Avatar
 

It is certainly a high end pre...
The TPA-200B was actually designed by Dave Hill of Cranesong when he worked for Summit... It uses Jensen 990 op amps and sounds best (IMO) with Mullard tubes...
With the output all the way up it can get a nice open clear sound and with the output pot lower you can drive the tubes with the input control for as much breakup as you want. I highly recommend it.
Old 11th March 2005
  #3
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Price alone makes it pretty high end. I've used it only once on a voiceover project with an U87and thought it sounded real nice. It seemed like it had plenty of gain and headroom plus the sound was pretty smooth and full. If it's a good price I would check it out.
Old 11th March 2005
  #4
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I've got the 200a and use it as often as I can thumbsup
Old 11th March 2005
  #5
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Yeah, the TPA-200B is a great sounding pre-amp. Warm and clear. Overdrive the input, and you get a nice, fat, round distortion. Love it.
Old 11th March 2005
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by De chromium cob
It is certainly a high end pre...
The TPA-200B was actually designed by Dave Hill of Cranesong when he worked for Summit... It uses Jensen 990 op amps and sounds best (IMO) with Mullard tubes...
With the output all the way up it can get a nice open clear sound and with the output pot lower you can drive the tubes with the input control for as much breakup as you want. I highly recommend it.

Be careful,

their is a sonic difference between the old A and B they make now.

The B has the same character as their MPC single channel unit.

Its not bad, it just lacks tone at times.

The older a version has much more tone.
Old 11th March 2005
  #7
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toque-eh!'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Be careful,

their is a sonic difference between the old A and B they make now.

The B has the same character as their MPC single channel unit.

Its not bad, it just lacks tone at times.

The older a version has much more tone.
let me get this straight.. the older one (that has more tone in your opinion) is a tpa-200A

the newer one is the tpa-200B

both are dave hill designs? or just the 200B?

can you elaborate on what the difference might be that results in less tone for the newer one?

thanks!
Old 11th March 2005
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by toque-eh!
let me get this straight.. the older one (that has more tone in your opinion) is a tpa-200A

the newer one is the tpa-200B

both are dave hill designs? or just the 200B?

can you elaborate on what the difference might be that results in less tone for the newer one?

thanks!

Dave Hill left Summit a while ago.

And so did the sound of Summit.

The stuff they make now just doesn't sound the same to my ears.

You hear it the EQ's and the TLA-100.

I also don't consider Summit products Hi End anymore(maybe the exception is the R.Neve inspired preamp/EQ).

Same goes for Tubetech, Avalon and Focusrite.

All messed up their reputations in my eyes with some of the current products they make.
Old 11th March 2005
  #9
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Be careful,

their is a sonic difference between the old A and B they make now.

The B has the same character as their MPC single channel unit.

Its not bad, it just lacks tone at times.

The older a version has much more tone.
I've got a pair of MPC 100 a's (I bought new in April of '98) I think are just fantastic.

They also have the 990's and similar gain structure.

The pre's are excellent, the compressor, too; I can get any sound from clean to saturated.

Love 'em.
Old 11th March 2005
  #10
Quote:
let me get this straight.. the older one (that has more tone in your opinion) is a tpa-200A

the newer one is the tpa-200B

both are dave hill designs? or just the 200B?

can you elaborate on what the difference might be that results in less tone for the newer one?

thanks!
Lots of people who have compared them side by side say the Dave Hill stuff is much different than the new stuff.

I love the old stuff, EQ's, Comps, pres, all GREAT but when I researched the new stuff I found many people that compared them side by side said the new stuff just did not hold up. I decided to go with other gear or maybe older Summit gear if I can find it.

Also (and this is just hearsay on my part) I hear that the Summit people treaded Dave pretty badly during the split and Dave is a great guy. That really put a bad taste in many people's mouths for sure. For that reason alone I think it would be worth buying Crane Song gear (integrity counts for something right) and not Summit but add in the fact that Crane Song sounds better... well....

heh
Old 11th March 2005
  #11
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
Lots of people who have compared them side by side say the Dave Hill stuff is much different than the new stuff.
In this business, I don't pay much attention to what "lots of people" have to say. Too many people simply parrot the gossip and climb on the train du jour; right now, it's a ridiculous (IMO) quest for all things mic pre, before that, and perhaps still, it was the summing bus craze, the latter subject fraught with all kinds of misinformation.

We're at a stage where there's simply too much good gear available, yet people will still find all kinds of ways to justify the spending of even more money on even more expensive "solutions" to problems which don't exist.

For example, the guy who buys the massive passive when what he really needs is room treatment, it's a classic case of marketing winning out over education.

Ed
Old 11th March 2005
  #12
Gear Nut
 
toque-eh!'s Avatar
 

thanks for all the additional info, you guys.

there is a chance this unit offered to me might be an "early" one. i know he's had it at least 4 years, and he bought it from an engineer who had owned it for a while already. i'll have to ask him more specific questions about it, he only described it as a summit 2 channel tube preamp when i ran into him. (he's a musician and didn't remember the exact model) i looked at the summit site and figured it for the 200B. anyway, if it's a 200A i'll give purchasing it some consideration and try and check it out on a session.

i've searched around, but can't come up with any recent sales of a 200A. fair market value would be about $???
Old 11th March 2005
  #13
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De chromium cob's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Be careful,

their is a sonic difference between the old A and B they make now.

The B has the same character as their MPC single channel unit.

Its not bad, it just lacks tone at times.

The older a version has much more tone.
So what changed from the 'a' version to the 'b' version? I'm not aware of any design changes between the two models besides the front panel.....What do you mean by 'much more tone'?
FWIW, I bought mine off a guy for cheap who thought it was broken because he had never changed the tubes and one side sounded bad- I ordered the Mullards, threw 'em in there and it has sounded great ever since.
Old 11th March 2005
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by De chromium cob
So what changed from the 'a' version to the 'b' version? I'm not aware of any design changes between the two models besides the front panel.....What do you mean by 'much more tone'?
FWIW, I bought mine off a guy for cheap who thought it was broken because he had never changed the tubes and one side sounded bad- I ordered the Mullards, threw 'em in there and it has sounded great ever since.

I have no idea what's different.

I just use my ears.

I can tell you though that the older Summit stuff is noisier and darker(the TLA-100 is the biggest example).

I can only guess when he left, they changed something to piss him off or not to piss him off.


But this has happened before with other companies.


As soon as they become popular they change their manufacturing practices.


Somewhere a corner is cut, or a part is no longer made or too expensive to use, so they find what they think is the best alternative to get as many units out.

Even though it specs out the same, people stop using their ears and just look at the numbers.
Old 12th March 2005
  #15
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toque-eh!'s Avatar
 

so would the 200A be a significantly better pre than a VMP-2?
Old 20th February 2010
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toque-eh! View Post
so would the 200A be a significantly better pre than a VMP-2?
Interested in this too! Anyone?
Old 12th May 2010
  #17
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Kronos147's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by toque-eh! View Post
so would the 200A be a significantly better pre than a VMP-2?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lole View Post
Interested in this too! Anyone?
I have not heard the Peavey. All I can discuss is the TPA-200B.

I will say that the TPA-200A and B differ in the lack of LED's on the A. The B has them as kind of an indication of overloads or how hard you are driving (distorting) the tube.

I had Mike Terry and Brian Loudenslager from Lauten Audio come over to do some mic demos at Kronos. They brought a TPA-200B. We did a day of drums, using up to 6 mics at a time. They did different combinations of pairs of the Torch, Oceanus, Horizon, and Clarion mics. Each case, they used the TPA-200B on the overheads and API 512c's for everything else (I have 4 channels worth).

I was very impressed with the combination of mics and preamps they tried. At one point, I asked they use some of the preamps I had on the overheads just for my ears. We switched from the TPA-200B to a pair of prototype VSI L-23's I had at the studio. Their was very little difference in the sound. That coupled with the fact that you can overdrive the tube on the Summit made me think it would be good to have. I found one about 6 months later for (what I felt was) a really good deal and got it. It does get used despite my pretty full line up of other pres.
Old 13th May 2010
  #18
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Bryce's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Be careful,

their is a sonic difference between the old A and B they make now.

The B has the same character as their MPC single channel unit.

Its not bad, it just lacks tone at times.

The older a version has much more tone.
The TPA-200B has the same main board and circuit as the A. Dave Hill designed both, with the difference between the two being that the B has a phase reverse and additional pad switch. As the boards and components are the same, sonic differences are minimal (if not non existent).

The MPC-100 pre was indeed designed by Dave...but for a different product. The circuit was laid out by a new engineer. It is not the same pre as the TPA-200 series.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Dave Hill left Summit a while ago.

And so did the sound of Summit.

The stuff they make now just doesn't sound the same to my ears.

You hear it the EQ's and the TLA-100.
Dave Hill and Summit Audio parted ways in 1994. Dave designed the TLA-100 (original and A), the DCL200, TPA200A (and B), EQF-100, and EQP-200 (original and A). The EQP-200B was released after his departure and again uses the same circuit, except a frequency choice was added on the low end.


Quote:
Somewhere a corner is cut, or a part is no longer made or too expensive to use, so they find what they think is the best alternative to get as many units out.
Not the case here - really.


Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new View Post
Also (and this is just hearsay on my part) I hear that the Summit people treaded Dave pretty badly during the split and Dave is a great guy.
Yes, he is indeed.

Here is an official comment on this subject from Dave Hill and Erik Papp.

Hope that's all useful info...

dB
Old 8th June 2010
  #19
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Fletcher's Avatar
Seeing that the link is to a post [series of posts, known as a thread] in my forum on R/E/P... let me say that at the time of my original post in 2004, that was indeed the situation.

In 2007 the situation had been rectified.

Here in 2010 I can say that I have once again used Summit Audio products, and they are in two words: "top shelf".

I don't know why people have this fascination with "I like the old one better", but in my experience, with both "A" and "B" TPA-200's the fundamental properties of both units are the same. I think you'll hear no substantive difference between the two units, and know I would have absolutely zero hesitation using a TPA-200B in ANY application.

Peace.
Old 9th June 2010
  #20
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Sander A's Avatar
 

So another myth is busted
Old 9th June 2010
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sander A View Post
So another myth is busted
Take the time and listen for yourself.
Old 9th June 2010
  #22
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antoniosolo's Avatar
 

SUMMIT

If you read that thread you will see that in fact the court proceeding show some ill-treatment of Dave Hill, says a lot about guys you are dealing with when they start locking the brains out. I thought I had a chance to see what SUMMIT was about when I had my facility in Alameda, Ca. Papp was supposed to drop by on his way to LA but a salesmen from CUTTING EDGE in SF steered him away as Papp told me he spoke with them and wasn't coming by. I have felt insulted ever since. I looked forward to trying them out but some a**holes intervened. thumbsup CRANE SONG
Old 10th June 2010
  #23
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Bryce's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Take the time and listen for yourself.
Yes, please do. Do a double blind test with an older unit and a new unit. Just make sure they both have the same kind of tube.

Mike Terry at Summit HQ just had a TLA-100A from 1988 in the shop for repair a few weeks ago...he told me he A/B'd it to a current production unit. Same circuit, same sound.

dB
Old 10th June 2010
  #24
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Casey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by antoniosolo View Post
....and many soul singers are predisposed to COLORED gear.....

YMMV

go ahead.....
You are a dealer, you are misinformed. IMO, you have poor taste in your comments. You go ahead.

-Casey
Old 10th June 2010
  #25
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Sander A's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
Yes, please do. Do a double blind test with an older unit and a new unit. Just make sure they both have the same kind of tube.

Mike Terry at Summit HQ just had a TLA-100A from 1988 in the shop for repair a few weeks ago...he told me he A/B'd it to a current production unit. Same circuit, same sound.

dB
Wel I don't have acces to an old summit piece but I purchased a new dcl-200 a couple of month ago and I don't regret it at all. For me there's not much reason to compare old vs new because I like what this box does.
Old 10th June 2010
  #26
Gear Addict
Can't comment on whether the old or new ones sound better or different.
I've used an old one.. it was tpa-200b that a studio I used to work for had. Have to say it took a year or so before I started liking it. It was a particular session where the producer wanted to put Fender Rhodes through it and it sounded just amazing. Sure it had lot to do with playing, the instrument, part played but it sounded just amazing been warmed up a tad with the Summit. I normally would have preferred Rhodes through amp but the tpa-200b was the ticket that time.

Since.. I've found many uses for the piece and certainly think it's 'high-end'. It doesn't work for all sources.. some basses sound amazing with it, the others can sound quite nasty/un-even. I like putting synths, samples & drum machines through it. Also like it a lot with Coles 4038.. especially for brass & bass clarinet overdubs.. lovely buttery warm sound Have also used it as an overdrive effect for guitar overdubs by using it's di input and then sending it's output to guitar amp via re-amp box.. quite interesting tones.
A useful and versatile (within limits) box but wouldn't be my one and only 'high-end' pre for the overdub chain.
Old 10th June 2010
  #27
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antoniosolo's Avatar
 

summit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey View Post
You are a dealer, you are misinformed. IMO, you have poor taste in your comments. You go ahead.

-Casey


Casey, I expected that post to generate some controversy. I am not a dealer, I only share some vintage parts. I agree, that days post was in poor taste. I do not however condone what SUMMIT and CUTTING EDGE did, but I am guessing you condone it.
Old 10th June 2010
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antti View Post
I like putting synths, samples & drum machines through it.
Me, too. Helps a lot to warm up digital ROMplers (my PC3 is almost always routed through it), and all kinds of fun running things like the Minimoog and Macbeth M5 through it as well.

The other major use it gets in my room is that I do some VO work, and the TPA in combination with a Neumann TLM103 work really nicely on my voice. We used that setup to record the VO on the demo videos we're doing right now (here's one).

FWIW, I've owned mine since well before I started working with Summit. Same with my TLA-100A.

dB
Old 10th June 2010
  #29
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Casey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by antoniosolo View Post
Casey, I expected that post to generate some controversy. I am not a dealer, I only share some vintage parts. I agree, that days post was in poor taste. I do not however condone what SUMMIT and CUTTING EDGE did, but I am guessing you condone it.
Sorry to characterize you as a dealer then. It's cool, I was still turned off by your earlier comment as much as anything else.



-Casey
Old 31st March 2019
  #30
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I'm a little confused on potential overlap between some summit stuff. from what I'm getting, the tpa-200a/b makes it possible to adjust how much one overdrives the unit for 'warmth' from the tube vs jensen aspects of the circuit. the eqp-200b uses both tube and jensen in their amp stage, and is about the same price on the used market now. is the only differences that the tpa has separate gain controls, and the eqp has eq curves?

I recently bought the tpa-200a, and I'm really happy with the tone it imparts to my mixes and tracking. but just wondering if the eqp would've gotten me a lot of the same with eq as well. how much overlap in use between these? (there's also the feq-50, which seems largely like a single channel eqp??).

I'm mostly looking for color and warmth, but currently my only hardware eq is (the admittedly wonderful) a-designs hammer. just wondering if it makes any sense to sell the tpa for the eqp to complement this, or leave things the way they are.
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