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Manley Ref C Tube discussion - what do you guys like?
Old 11th December 2013
  #1
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Manley Ref C Tube discussion - what do you guys like?

I just wanted to start up a discussion for everybody that's swapped out their tube in their Reference Cardioid to chime in and share their before an after story's on what they found in the sonic characteristic changes.

It seems that the Telefunken 12ax7 is the most popular tube to throw into the Ref C. Then comes the Mullard? I was also made aware that there's an even better Mullard than the standard Mullard people choose that's up to about $200 - which gives that nice top end the Telefunken produces but also has the midrange sweetness the Mullard produces - says Bowie. Wondering if anybody has gotten this tube off of Bowie and can share their experience with it. Again, seems most people go with the Telefunken.

Also heard that the AX versions are pretty noisy, Klaus Heyne seems to swear off of them for microphones. Instead he prefers the AY tubes. Manley began equipping their Ref C's with AT's a few years ago, surely there was a reason for that.

Open to hear all other tube story's that you guys have tried out in your Ref C's!
Old 12th December 2013
  #2
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hi. i don't have any experience with that mic but the telefunken 12ax7 with smooth plates are usually regarded as the best of the line. mullard makes a 10m series of tubes that are more desirable than the normal mullards and cost much more.
Old 12th December 2013
  #3
Well!

The 12at7 tube has a gain factor given as the figure MU @ 60, this is what the. Newer Manley cardioid ships as stock.
The original tube for this mic was 12ax7 and has a MU of 100 which Might be on the high side for some loud singers, the Mullard military spec tube that all the hi fi nuts have made very very expensive (damn them) is the CV4004, it's got a MU right in the middle @ 85 and is a very sweet sounding tube (if its not one of the last batch made in the eighties) you might do well to see if you can find a Brimar CV 4004 which will sound every bit as good as a Mullard but hasn't got the inflated price tag of the now horrendously priced NOS Telefunken and Mullard tubes.
The CV 4003 is a much lower gain, the same as the 12au7 at a MU of only 19 thus only useful for very loud signals.
I would see if you can find a Brimar CV 4004 and see if you like it in your Manley C, I have a feeling you will. Tube rolling is such fun!.
Old 12th December 2013
  #4
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Some good information in here, thank you. So is the CV4004 considered an AT or AX? I also don't quite understand why the tubes that are desired so much can't be replicated in modern day, technology is so advanced these days it just seems anything could be made in this day - maybe not. Definitely going to have to grab both a Tele and that CV4004, if the Brimar is every bit as good the Mullard as you say then that'll be cost do-able at the moment too.

Awaiting my $200 Manley rebate which will be used directly on some tubes
Old 13th December 2013
  #5
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I will say this once and only one, the best tube for the Manley is the Telefunken 12ax7. The Mullard is good also but it gives it more of a smoother sound. The Telefunken takes a great sounding modern mic and pushes it in my experience more into the Sony C800G spectrum. Not saying the Manley is the Sony, but the Manley turns into another beast. Dizzy, it is your money, but the 12ax7 is the way to go if you don't want to change the best aspects of the mic, but just want to open it up more. Just my 2 cents, choose well.
Old 13th December 2013
  #6
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After speaking with Bowie, however, there's a ton of great options. There is a tube that does the Telefunken thing in the highs and does what the Mullard does to the lows & mids, that to me seems like a great option - best of both worlds, it's gotta be sweet.
Old 13th December 2013
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
After speaking with Bowie, however, there's a ton of great options. There is a tube that does the Telefunken thing in the highs and does what the Mullard does to the lows & mids, that to me seems like a great option - best of both worlds, it's gotta be sweet.
Let me know how it goes. Im staying with the 12ax7. Peace.
Old 13th December 2013
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
abrstudios's Avatar
I already made a thread on this topic.

Manley Reference Cardiod Tube Mod Demonstration
Old 13th December 2013
  #9
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Oh and btw I love my vintage Mullard for ppl with thin vocals. And my telefunkin for those with naturally thick vocals.
Old 13th December 2013
  #10
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Got the Telefunken in mine and it sounds great!!
Old 13th December 2013
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abrstudios View Post
Oh and btw I love my vintage Mullard for ppl with thin vocals. And my telefunkin for those with naturally thick vocals.
Don't suppose you had a talking clip of that Mullard did you? There's another Mullard AT tube that Bowie says is worth looking into that's similar to the military Mullard you have, but a bit more open an dynamic - sounds like it would be nice. It also seems to be that the Tele 12AX7 is an absolute must have so I suppose I'll grab that one no matter what.
Old 13th December 2013
  #12
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I replaced the stock standard tube with a Telefunken 12ax7. I could not be happier. Makes such a difference. I have nice silky highs now and the low end is perfection. Got my tube from Bowie on GS. I highly recommend him. He offers a most professional service and really knows his tubes.
Old 14th December 2013
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waldie wave View Post
I replaced the stock standard tube with a Telefunken 12ax7. I could not be happier. Makes such a difference. I have nice silky highs now and the low end is perfection. Got my tube from Bowie on GS. I highly recommend him. He offers a most professional service and really knows his tubes.
+1. The Telefunken 12ax7 and the Manley go together perfect.
Old 14th December 2013
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madehumble View Post
+1. The Telefunken 12ax7 and the Manley go together perfect.
I still want to hear some stuff you tracked with it and the Aurora brother!
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