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SPL Kultube - Hidden Gem or crap?
Old 25th May 2006
  #1
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andrewj's Avatar
SPL Kultube - Hidden Gem or crap?

I read a lot about this unit here in the past, plus I heard real good critics from some mastering guys here in germany! I would like to get some more info about that unit! How does it sound. Where is this unit good at? Just mastering or also tracking and 2buss work? Would love to hear as much as possible about it!

Old 25th May 2006
  #2
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Rob King's Avatar
I have one. I LOVE it. The unit can be clean to distorted with it's variable tube control. It sounds amazing on everything really. I use it and the SSL 384 comp for the mix buss all the time depending on the tune. It is pretty versitle from MIx Buss to drums , vocals and everything else. I highly recommend one. I also have LA2A's, Distressors, Avalons, Electro Harmonix NY2A and more comps. I can say the Kultube ALWAYS gets used. You should rent or listen to one. It is a great buy for the price. The auto release function works really well too.

Rob King
Old 25th May 2006
  #3
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andrewj's Avatar
Wow big thanks.

At first I was thinking about buying two 2-channel comps: Drawmer 1968 and an Ted Fletcher TFPro 38! Could this one be the alternative for one of them? Which one of them?

Thank you a lot for that!

P.S.: To me warm flavour and versatility is a big pro for a comp!
Old 26th May 2006
  #4
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewj
Wow big thanks.

At first I was thinking about buying two 2-channel comps: Drawmer 1968 and an Ted Fletcher TFPro 38! Could this one be the alternative for one of them? Which one of them?

Thank you a lot for that!

P.S.: To me warm flavour and versatility is a big pro for a comp!

TFPro 38 - versatile, clean, very pleasant sounding
Drawmer - impossible not to get good sound out of it, warm

If you need one for many tasks get TFPro, for 2-buss Drawmer, for tracking SPL can be the choice.
Old 26th May 2006
  #5
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andrewj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang
TFPro 38 - versatile, clean, very pleasant sounding
Drawmer - impossible not to get good sound out of it, warm

If you need one for many tasks get TFPro, for 2-buss Drawmer, for tracking SPL can be the choice.
So something like: TFPro and Kultube instead of TFPro and Drawmer or Drawmer and SPL instead of a TFPro or however? If there are just enough bucks for two of them, which one could be left in the shop? Rob said, that the Kultube works on 2buss, and I heard that before, and it can sound warm, so perhpas the right choice at first with the TFPro, right?
Old 26th May 2006
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
dirren's Avatar
 

A nice piece for 2-buss when you need a transparent type gel compression that's not to hard driven.

PROS:

* Nice "transparency" meaning it's doing it's job even when you can't hear it..
* Really good dented knobs with accuracy
* Big VU meter

CONS:

* Not 'rock' enough for heavy drums

Think of it as german precision with lab coat on rather than american "yipee-kai-ey-mudda-fekker".

/Matt
Old 26th May 2006
  #7
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andrewj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirren
A nice piece for 2-buss when you need a transparent type gel compression that's not to hard driven.

PROS:

* Nice "transparency" meaning it's doing it's job even when you can't hear it..
* Really good dented knobs with accuracy
* Big VU meter

CONS:

* Not 'rock' enough for heavy drums

Think of it as german precision with lab coat on rather than american "yipee-kai-ey-mudda-fekker".

/Matt
So not the right choice for the tubey flavor stuff, right? hmm... than I should think about another Comp in combination with the SPL then. Perhaps two Summit TLA50 ???
Old 26th May 2006
  #8
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iziphonics's Avatar
 

I checked Kultbe against P38 and some other comps and choose TF Pro. Smoother and in a way bigger sound. Surely more versatile. I liked the auto release- works nice, harmonic distortion is also useful.
1968 is a bit darker to my ears. It's a great comp but I haven't found it as useful as P38.
Old 26th May 2006
  #9
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewj
So something like: TFPro and Kultube instead of TFPro and Drawmer or Drawmer and SPL instead of a TFPro or however? If there are just enough bucks for two of them, which one could be left in the shop? Rob said, that the Kultube works on 2buss, and I heard that before, and it can sound warm, so perhpas the right choice at first with the TFPro, right?
If two comps than:
TFPro+Drawmer
Old 26th May 2006
  #10
I love my Kultube. You should get the Lundahl trannies.
the sovtek tubes can be exchanged, but the tube circuitry is just gain makeup.

the different options are very useful (download the manual)
I really like the expansion option, very versitile because all the control knobs can be used. A good tool to have.

I would agree that it is "labcoat german precision" kindof sounding. but very nice. You can make it sound big too.
I still have not heard the P38 as it is not available here..
Old 26th May 2006
  #11
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Rob King's Avatar
IF you need two 2 channel comps. My suggestion to you would be a Kultube and possible a pair of distressors (Linked in stereo). I think the versatility with having both of these will be great for you. Pretty much have everything covered if you don't have any gear already. You really can't go wrong with these. They both simply sound fantastic.. I am a big supporter for SPL. I think most of their products are top notch. For some reason they always get overlooked in the states. I own a ton of their gear and it is all good. Their Dynamaxx Compressor is fantastic on drums! Stereo too.


Rob
Old 26th May 2006
  #12
yeah or a pair of blackface 1176 and the Kultube.
Old 28th May 2006
  #13
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andrewj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang
If two comps than:
TFPro+Drawmer
So you would favour the Drawmer over the Kultube?

Can you describe what makes the Dramwer the better compressor?
Old 28th May 2006
  #14
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewj
So you would favour the Drawmer over the Kultube?

Can you describe what makes the Dramwer the better compressor?
Well, better or not?
If I like character of one box does it mean it's better?
My impression was that Drawmer has more character, I used it on drums submixes, guitars or 2-buss. I like how it compress things there, if needed it can go little dirty.
Kultube could be even better for some tasks, cleaner and more polite.
But I do rock and Drawmer rocks on that.
Listen and make decision by your own ears.
Old 28th May 2006
  #15
GYang, did you try their (SPL) new EQ yet?
I'm kindof curious.
Old 29th May 2006
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
murp's Avatar
 

Not having heard the piece I can't comment on the sound, but I will say that boxes that have those little windows so you can see that there's a real tube inside just remind me of...

Behringer...

dfegad
Old 29th May 2006
  #17
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andrewj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by murp
Not having heard the piece I can't comment on the sound, but I will say that boxes that have those little windows so you can see that there's a real tube inside just remind me of...

Behringer...

dfegad
Comparing SPL with Behringer is like comparing cuban cigars with american cigars heh heh heh !

I am sure that no one would use the SPL stuff for mastering if they would sound or behave like Behringer units!
Old 29th May 2006
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
murp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewj
Comparing SPL with Behringer is like comparing cuban cigars with american cigars heh heh heh !

I am sure that no one would use the SPL stuff for mastering if they would sound or behave like Behringer units!
I know, I wasn't commenting on the sound.

But seriously though, why make the tubes visible from the outside? I only know of one other company that does that, and it just makes it look cheap to me.
Old 29th May 2006
  #19
agreed, it does look cheapish.
but the tube is run at high voltages, unlike the B())$)#$## crap, I'm not even going there, and the opening with the mesh wire is actually useful, as there is a lot of heat coming out of there, when in operation.

comparing a Kultube to a Behrer&^^&*gerr is like comparing Cohibas to Bankok marlboros.
Old 29th May 2006
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
dirren's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by murp
But seriously though, why make the tubes visible from the outside? I only know of one other company that does that, and it just makes it look cheap to me.
The cut out for the tubes on the faceplate is there to provide airflow to the tube and the units inner. Cheap or not, it has a purpose.

/Matt
Old 29th May 2006
  #21
Gear Nut
 
splattercell's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by murp
I know, I wasn't commenting on the sound.

But seriously though, why make the tubes visible from the outside? I only know of one other company that does that, and it just makes it look cheap to me.
yes, i understand.
how a given piece of gear looks is always more important to me than how it sounds, feels & interacts w/the other gear in my room --- it's even more important to me than reliability and consistent behaviour.
dt / spltrcl
Old 29th May 2006
  #22
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil
GYang, did you try their (SPL) new EQ yet?
I'm kindof curious.
I think soon will be in my place.
Old 29th May 2006
  #23
nice. please keep us informed. thumbsup
Old 29th May 2006
  #24
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andrewj's Avatar
other thoughts about this threads theme?
Old 25th January 2010
  #25
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VIGUIER's Avatar
Old thread but...

Hello !!

I have to buy a stereo comp for guitar buss and/or drum buss... I still use a stereo one on the 2 buss ( a super copy of thee SSL 4000 ).

I can try in another studio in my -little-town the Drawner, but can't try the Kultube or the TFPro P38...

Is P38 good on guitar, as warm as the Drawner ?

Arg ...

I think that, for Rock music, the Drawner is the good one, but someone could confirm that ?

Paul, from France...
Old 25th January 2010
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VIGUIER View Post
Hello !!

I have to buy a stereo comp for guitar buss and/or drum buss... I still use a stereo one on the 2 buss ( a super copy of thee SSL 4000 ).

I can try in another studio in my -little-town the Drawner, but can't try the Kultube or the TFPro P38...

Is P38 good on guitar, as warm as the Drawner ?

Arg ...

I think that, for Rock music, the Drawner is the good one, but someone could confirm that ?

Paul, from France...
Hard to beat the drawmer for the 2 buss( IMO). As gyang said it's hard to make it sound bad and it's the opposite of a SSL type comp in term of compression sound (The Drawmer has a soft knee curve)
Mine never leave the mix buss but I did try it on a the drum buss and it sounded good, but it's not as flexible as a API 2500 or the Portico in terms of options. (feedforward etc..) but again what it does it does it extremely well.
Old 25th January 2010
  #27
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Big_Bang's Avatar
 

Every time I see SPL on a thread I jump in and highly appraise their stuff. I am in no way linked to them, except for my Channel One which blows my mind silly. I remember when I first saw goldmikes and vitalziers etc... yeah, it did look cheapish and I was a bit put off... until I reminded myself I was an Engineer and my ears do all the talking. I was in need of an army-knife pre, so I just jumped straight at a Channel One. I just LOVE it.

Its one of those companies that is seriously underrated. Even if they were to start charging double for their products, blind eyed tests would still hold up against alternatives.

Amazing stuff, excellent build quality, and the new design looks really fresh and cool.

So, I expect the Kultube to be in line with the rest.
Old 25th January 2010
  #28
Gear Nut
 

The Kultube is a great compressor with a lot of features for that money.
The decompression is amazing and can do things like removing some room on drums, in a very musical way.
I find it more versatile than a P38 (I own one too).
Old 25th January 2010
  #29
Gear Addict
 
NoisyNarrowBand's Avatar
 

it has been said before but the only problem with spl is that their brand is not as sexy as neve or ssl. most of their stuff is great and a lot of bang per buck. their design surely is bland but hey they are germans. has there been any good looking gear coming out of germany the past 20 years?

they should hire some bauhaus dude and make em functional pretty!
Old 25th January 2010
  #30
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Big_Bang's Avatar
 

"Decompression" = Hysteresis

Got 3x stereo Symetrix with that, and its just a fabulous tool ! Plus, p-e-r-f-e-c-t to smash down vocals on live rigs without defeaning everyone with feedback screetches

I actually quite like their new design!

Home: Sound Performance Lab

also, their "old" gold-coloured design does look ugly as butt, but once in the rack, looking at it every day, I'd say its like a Boxer (the dog breed) - they are horrible disformed MONSTERS to look at, until you own one, after you get to know them, you cannot understand what it was you didnt like about them!
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