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Retro OP-6 Single-Channel Preamps
Old 5th October 2014
  #1
Lives for gear
 
cowboycoalminer's Avatar
Retro OP-6

Anybody got their hands on this brute yet? I'm a believer in Phil's work so I'm guessing it's excellent. Like to hear from the gang on this.
Old 22nd November 2014
  #2
Gear Head
 

Bump...

Really curious how the OP-6 is different from the Powerstrip which I own and love dearly.

Any early adopters?
Old 12th January 2015
  #3
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Have not tried the OP-6, but we have one of Phil's Retro Double wides here, so I will have to say based on this and my chats with the man himself, I to love Phil's work.

Old 12th January 2015
  #4
Lives for gear
 

the Retro OP6 looks beautiful... if it sounds as nice as it looks, should be a winner!
Old 12th January 2015
  #5
I own a beautiful Steven Sank rebuilt original RCA OP-6 and am very happy to see that Retro have taken such an interest in these venerable old beasts.
Knowing the results of his excellent repro of the STA Level I bet his Retro OP-6 is going to sound incredibly good,
so go and get one, his goes up to 23 mine only goes up to 20 man! That's like a whole 3 more.:-)
I want to hear demos?.
Old 12th January 2015
  #6
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mc2600 View Post
Really curious how the OP-6 is different from the Powerstrip which I own and love dearly.
The RETRO OP-6 is probably the most tube "character" preamp we've used, I mean this sucker is just big and smooth with that rounded transient response and air that makes tube gear a standout. Very easy to hear what it brings concerning tone.

The RETRO Powerstrip is a big but cleaner, airier sort of tube character when used normally. However, you can pull the gain knob out for a subtle "hair" that brings a harmonically rich definition to things without sounding overly distorted. Very controlled in that regard.

In summary I would consider the OP-6 for old school tone and higher gain, and the Powerstrip for its feature set and versatile tube pre.

War
Old 24th January 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
 
PatrickFaith's Avatar
 

I own a retro OP-6 and a retro powers strip (thank warhead for answering a billion questions). I am pairing the op-6 with a AEA KU-4 (rca ku3 NOS), it's basically a marriage in heaven (i.e. basically RCA designed them both for "remote" recording[there definition of remote isn't what I would call remote though]).

Anyway the OP-6 feels a bit "cleaner" then the power strip using a ribbon mic, but still has a lot of vibe. Subtleties of a singers voice seem almost amplified by the op-6. I don't think you'd want to put a poor singer in front of a op-6/ku4 pair, but you could put a ok singer with a u67/powerstrip and get something real nice. There is a ton more flexibility just to do stuff with the powerstrip. Only thing that the op-6 has, that the power strip doesn't, is a limiter of sorts with a real old school edge( i'm not sure how the limiter works, is probably something buried in the tubes since it's not adjustable).
Old 24th January 2015
  #8
Lives for gear
 
cowboycoalminer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickFaith View Post
I don't think you'd want to put a poor singer in front of a op-6/ku4 pair.
I say this all the time concerning great gear. This is to me is the most ringing endorsement any piece of gear can have. Some gear is too good for most musicians because it covers nothing up. Simply passing along detail is what the best gear does.

This is my opinion of coarse.
Old 24th January 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
 
shortstory's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboycoalminer View Post
I say this all the time concerning great gear. This is to me is the most ringing endorsement any piece of gear can have. Some gear is too good for most musicians because it covers nothing up. Simply passing along detail is what the best gear does.

This is my opinion of coarse.
Well said- just to add to that, I had an amazing female singer in the studio two weeks ago and as I usually do, I asked her to just sing in the room before setting any mic up. I usually walk around listening to see what may work best acoustically in the room. In her case, I pulled out our 77DX (which is mint & totally refurbished), thru a 1073, and she sounded so natural. Point being- you have to have an amazing vocalist to record that way but man does it make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
Old 24th January 2015
  #10
Lives for gear
 
PatrickFaith's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboycoalminer View Post
Simply passing along detail is what the best gear does.
Good example of this is I tried to put a pultec and also tried to put a 176 in the recording chain, and found that the op6 just sounded better when i hooked it directly to a 24bit/96khz field recorder(SD 744t). Would be funny to have a singer come into your studio, and the engineer say this setup is "truth, now sing your guts out" ... rather then trying to find a voice chain to make the singer sound good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortstory View Post
...In her case, I pulled out our 77DX (which is mint & totally refurbished), thru a 1073, and she sounded so natural.
I don't have much background compared to you guys, I got a question. What I noticed is I didn't have any low frequency room problems with the op7/ku4 pairing (which is somewhat like the 77DX/1073) like i normally have with large condenser recording chains. But what I needed was a bit more sound partitions to cut some highs from background noise - kind of reminded me of setups i'd see in the old days in "found" great rooms like the NY 30th church or grand ole opry house where they would put little partitions up between the players for leakage. I assume it has something to do with the mic/pre pairing and how ribbons deal with low frequency side lobes vs condensors?
Old 11th March 2015
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
arlette's Avatar
Since we're a couple of months further I wondered if there are any new users of the Retro op-6 who want to share their experience here.

How does it compare to the original RCA?

I read somewhere above there's a limiter inside the Retro op-6.
Can anyone give more information concerning this?
Old 24th April 2018
  #12
Here for the gear
 
supermonster's Avatar
 

calling retro op-6 owners!

sorry to bump an old thread but since this has been out for a few years now, I was wondering if any Retro OP-6 owners could chime in with some more opinions on the sound and quality of this pre. I have the Powerstrip and love it. I am considering buying a second one but I do a lot of live acoustic recordings of small groups and was thinking that a portable pre like the OP-6 could be awesome for that.

There are a million opinions about using the OP-6 as a recording pre (it sucks...it's the greatest) but I'm really only interested in hearing from actual Retro OP-6 owners if possible. Thanks!
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