The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Thermionic Vulture or Rooster? Sound Enhancers & Exciters (HW)
Old 16th March 2014
  #1
Gear Maniac
Thermionic Vulture or Rooster?

Hi Fellow slutz!

I'm in a need of a box that I could use to distort things...I'm already using Soundtoys plugs + Standard Audio Level-ors but I feel I still need alternatives... I have a chance to get a used Rooster for a very reasonable price...I'd be using this for both tracking and mixing... I don't have any tube preamps so that's also a matter of interest...Still, I have a decent collection of pres, Porticos, TG2s, Bae 312s and a Aurora Audio GTP8 so I get along without tube ones if I have to or do I ?

I use Decapitator "everywhere" but many times feel that the sound is too "obvious" if you know what I mean. The Level-ors are quite dramatic and the background noise makes them useles for things like vocals...

So what do you think, Rooster or Vulture or something else that I haven't thought of...And if Vulture, the ordinary one or special edition (which seems to be in sale at Thomann)...

Finally. What's the situation with Thermionic build quality, does it still suck or have the issues many here seem to be talking about been fixed.

I mix alternative (dirty sounding) stuff quite a lot but also everything from soft pop, hiphop & electro to the brutalest genres of metal. Here in Finland my sound is known from it's big size and (when needed) "dirty attitude".

I've read countles posts here about this but would still need some more info.
Any thoughts that would help me make decisions are appreciated.
Thanks a lot.

-- Mikko
Producer / Mixing engineer
Sonic Pump Studios
www.sonicpumpstudios.com
Old 17th March 2014
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
maxhype's Avatar
Never tried the Rooster but use the standard CV all the time. It's not as versatile as one might think, I still use guitar pedals quite a lot (which sound to my ears FAR better than software distortion). The CV is also quite noisy (as to be expected).

However, the punch-crush that the CV can provide to a drum buss or the squeal to a synth line is really, really unique and beautiful sounding and worth the price IMO.

No problems whatsoever with build quality.
Old 17th March 2014
  #3
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxhype View Post
Never tried the Rooster but use the standard CV all the time. It's not as versatile as one might think, I still use guitar pedals quite a lot (which sound to my ears FAR better than software distortion). The CV is also quite noisy (as to be expected).

However, the punch-crush that the CV can provide to a drum buss or the squeal to a synth line is really, really unique and beautiful sounding and worth the price IMO.

No problems whatsoever with build quality.
I don't find the CV to be noisy at all, very quite. I am freaked out about artist telling be how much cleaner and detail it brings to the mix, I can hear that on the top end only.

And YES to using it on drum buss....KILLER even on 2 buss just be careful.
Old 17th March 2014
  #4
I bought an Overstayer Saturator (Overstayer Saturator NT-*02A - Vintage King Audio) after several folks told me they found it more subtle (and thus, usable) than the Culture Vulture, while still excelling at more over-the-top distortion effects. I love it.

Plus, I never have to worry about tube maintenance, which is a big plus for me.
Old 27th March 2014
  #5
Lives for gear
TC build

I'm pretty sure when people mean build quality, they mean the luck of the draw. I have a TC Rooster than is unusable for tracking or mixing. It's only good for powerhouse loud **** where signal trumps noise. But I've heard of Rooster's and CV's that people claim are amazing, so there must be something wrong with mine. Emailing Unity was a useless endeavor (really guys? dozens of people complaining on these very boards and you have no idea why some of your equipment rocks while other stuff is noisy as hell?). So I will have a tech rip this thing apart to find the problem (which is an inordinate amount of hiss and PSU hum making it into the signal). Could be just bad tubes? Whatever it is, it's way over 0.01% distortion.

I am also looking at an Overstayer Saturator to alleviate my pain but there is not a lot of info out there on this one. If you have one, please weigh in!
Old 27th March 2014
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldi View Post
I am also looking at an Overstayer Saturator to alleviate my pain but there is not a lot of info out there on this one. If you have one, please weigh in!
I've got one. It's quiet as a mouse, and sounds great. Got anything specific you wanna know about it?
Old 27th March 2014
  #7
Lives for gear
Yeah! I'll start by saying that I wish it had a hi-cut filter. Do you find it flexible enough eq-wise? Ie, how extreme can it go, obviously not like a synth filter but smashed telephonic stuff? I feel like an idiot trying to describe what I'm looking for.

On the other hand, how subtle can it get? I'm wondering if it can lightly fatten entire mixes in the way a great pre could. This may be wishful thinking, but I'm wondering if it exudes a sound of subtle depth and quality. Too much to ask from one piece I'm sure, but i'm asking anyway
Old 27th March 2014
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldi View Post
Yeah! I'll start by saying that I wish it had a hi-cut filter. Do you find it flexible enough eq-wise? Ie, how extreme can it go, obviously not like a synth filter but smashed telephonic stuff? I feel like an idiot trying to describe what I'm looking for.

On the other hand, how subtle can it get? I'm wondering if it can lightly fatten entire mixes in the way a great pre could. This may be wishful thinking, but I'm wondering if it exudes a sound of subtle depth and quality. Too much to ask from one piece I'm sure, but i'm asking anyway
It does have a hi-cut filter, but it's fixed (I think at either 6 or 8k). The low-cut is sweepable up really high, so it's quite easy to do the telephone thing. It's also useful for actually adding low end, because you can adjust the shape of the filter to include a bump at the turnover frequency. You can actually turn that bump up so high it starts to self-modulate. Pretty cool, but watch out for the woofers on your monitors!

I bought it specifically because of what it can do in terms of subtlety. There are a couple gain stages, and each sounds different, plus a huuuuge gain range, alternate filter shape, and hi- and lo-pass. Add the wet/dry control to that, and you can dial it in as subtly or as obnoxious as you want. For example, I've been finding myself using it frequently on drum subgroups, adding a bit of "hair" and bringing up some low level room detail, but you'd never, ever perceive the drum sound as "distorted". Or if you did, it would be because of something else -- a parallel compressor or some such. It's also killer for vocals; switch in on during a chorus for some added meat and "lift". Basically, it rocks. I really dig it
Old 27th March 2014
  #9
Lives for gear
Sounds like a purchase, plus Jeff at VK said I can return if it doesn't work.

Just FYI, and for posterity, i looked into its gain (to see if it could provide make-up from passive Pullet eq) and Overstayer said:
  • Gain knob: 40db potential gain.
  • Output knob: another 10db
  • Saturation has another 10, boost has 6 but these are meant to be driven and don't count as "clean gain".
Thanks for the info!
Old 27th March 2014
  #10
Gear Addict
Thermionic...

Sound quality = Rolls Royce
Build quality = 1980s Yugo/Lada
Old 25th June 2014
  #11
Lives for gear
rooster fixed!

I wanted to jump back in to say I had my Rooster revamped which reduced its noise floor considerably. we did 4 things: replaced power supply capacitors and the filament rectifier, installed balancing transformers (it was unbalanced), and installed a new set of tubes. we also had to place both transformers on the left side away from the PSU. this reduced hum considerably. and hiss is also within acceptable levels. I'm a happy camper
Old 25th June 2014
  #12
Lives for gear
 
fwet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mherrane View Post
Hi Fellow slutz!

I'm in a need of a box that I could use to distort things...I'm already using Soundtoys plugs + Standard Audio Level-ors but I feel I still need alternatives... I have a chance to get a used Rooster for a very reasonable price...I'd be using this for both tracking and mixing... I don't have any tube preamps so that's also a matter of interest...Still, I have a decent collection of pres, Porticos, TG2s, Bae 312s and a Aurora Audio GTP8 so I get along without tube ones if I have to or do I ?

I use Decapitator "everywhere" but many times feel that the sound is too "obvious" if you know what I mean. The Level-ors are quite dramatic and the background noise makes them useles for things like vocals...

So what do you think, Rooster or Vulture or something else that I haven't thought of...And if Vulture, the ordinary one or special edition (which seems to be in sale at Thomann)...

Finally. What's the situation with Thermionic build quality, does it still suck or have the issues many here seem to be talking about been fixed.

I mix alternative (dirty sounding) stuff quite a lot but also everything from soft pop, hiphop & electro to the brutalest genres of metal. Here in Finland my sound is known from it's big size and (when needed) "dirty attitude".

I've read countles posts here about this but would still need some more info.
Any thoughts that would help me make decisions are appreciated.
Thanks a lot.

-- Mikko
Producer / Mixing engineer
Sonic Pump Studios
www.sonicpumpstudios.com
What did you end up with? I got the Culture Vulture Super 15 on my list. Im going to listen to the Overstayer Saturator again. It didnt really do anything for me the first time around.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump