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Old 27th July 2020
Gear Head

I designed such a device several years ago together with a real old school guy who did the tube stage in it. It is out of your price range though but is has 8 in and 8 out channels with DB25 connectors for a DAW. The Radial Spaceheater.

We also made a single channel version for the 500 Series racks.

Radial Engineering Space Heater 500™ Series Tube Drive

Perhaps you can find one for less on eBay or in the Gearslutz marketplace.
Old 28th July 2020
Gear Nut
Yes. I researched that unit as well- there's a post here on GS from the NAMM release. It's another 4 tube unit, but in a single rack space, and I think it also acts as a summing mixer? That is ideally the unit I'd want, but as you said... a bit spendy.

If I could find one for +/- $200- I'd be all over it. I'm sure it's hand down better than all the other similar units.
Old 28th July 2020
Lives for gear
I have been tempted by the Space Heater. I’ve never regretted any Radial buy I’ve made.
Old 3rd August 2020
Gear Nut
Quick update- finally installed tubes to test, but haven't fired up yet. First note: Not all tubes are the same size. I have a pair of JJ Ecc803S in 7&8 which are a bit tall, might be too tall to get the cover on; while I have a pair of RCA 12AU7A in 1&2 which are almost a bit loose under the rubber retainer. Another bummer, the fan's power is soldered directly to the power board (the 2 wires in pricture 4, lower left center of the pic) so for now, the fan stays. I may clip and tape them later on. So for first test I have:
1&2 RCA 12AU7A
3&4 Tung-Sol 12AT7
5&6 RCA 12AX7
7&8 JJ ECC803S

I think I might end up putting the best pair of Sovtek 12AX7WXT back in 7&8, not a fan of these tubes, but they might be the "flavor" for something- and having 4 different sets gives me greater variety.
Old 3rd August 2020
Lives for gear
You haven’t fired it up yet? You are a horrible tease!

C’mon man, tell us your impressions or post some level-matched samples.
Old 3rd August 2020
Gear Nut
Yes, sorry for being the tease. When I got all the tubes in, thought about how the JJ's were fitting, etc it was pushing 80 in the room I'm working in and decided to wait a day before I fire up tubes and put headphones on.

Considering samples... my test will be just a 1kHz tone balanced out of my Behringer CT100- just how I'm going to test on a first pass. Can post those, but am thinking of NOT level matched. My thinking is the test for different tubes should accentuate any major level differences between the 3 types. Maybe the 12AU7A will have similar characteristics of the 12AX7, but the 12AU7A might be noticeably lower level, if I match the consensus might be any tubes are fine.

Also thinking the 1 kHz tone will be a solid 1st test, as anything with excessive transients might skew thoughts. 1st test is to determine the reaction of different tubes.
Old 3rd August 2020
Lives for gear
If you don’t level-match the results, you will only see what each tube does for level. If you want to compare the SOUND of different tubes, you need to level match the samples. Level match in your DAW AFTER you run through the device.
When comparing the sound, it would be better to hear all channels with the same instance of the source. Snare and bass guitar would be interesting.
Old 4th August 2020
Gear Nut
Yep, I'll post some round 2 test results. Round 1 I want to see specifically how much difference there is in level between 12AU7 and 12AX7. If it's any sort of extreme difference the 12AU7's are out. Also the reason I'll use a 1k tone- quick and easy to tell exactly how many dB each is from each other.

Round 2 test will be for sound quality, and those will be level matched. I'll report back on round 1 results and post clips of round 2. I'll find an old project an solo bass and snare... or I was originally thinking vocals and acoustic gtr.
Old 4th August 2020
Lives for gear
Don’t eliminate the 12AU7 because of a level difference. You can always compensate for level differences. It’s your part 2 test that should tell you if there is anything special about the sounds of the different tubes. Level is just knob or fader stuff. You want to see what (if anything) the tube does apart from level.
Old 4th August 2020
Against my better judgement, I bought a Behringer Magician on the advice of Jim Williams. I was very skeptical but thought if Jim Williams recommends this thing, it must do something special. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! It was a piece of crap, just as you'd expect. Sounded terrible and was incredibly cheaply made. Trying to swap a tube could easily result in the whole socket getting torn from the board even with extreme caution and care in trying to remove the tube. Meters so flimsy, if you barely touched one, it would break or come lose. It was a complete POS that sounded like complete ****e at any setting. I felt like a fool for getting one.
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