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Blue Robbie Dynamic Microphones
Old 2nd August 2008
  #1
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laperlestudio's Avatar
Blue Robbie

I Have heard really good things about the robbie, I'm looking for a good mic pre with personnality and punch for vocal and guitar (electric and acoustic) and snare or kick.

Do anybody have sound sample or have testimonial?
Old 3rd August 2008
  #2
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Paul Vnuk Jr.'s Avatar
Well 1st I would say do a search here and you find a number of opinions on the Robbie, bith pro and con.

The cons seam to be:
  • folks do not like the look or shape or the fact that you really can't rack mount them
  • many of the early units had bad gain pots which were loose and spun too much
  • many people do not like the fact that the big silver dials are hard to recall settings
.

Now the pros, which are just my opinions as I have a pair are:
  • They look cool and are a great conversation piece
  • They sound great! I did a mic pre shoot out with some friends (fellow studio owners, who brought some of their pre's over) and it held its own against some stiff competition (API, Millennia, UA, Chandler, Hardy)
  • They have a great DI
  • They have a ton of head room and are impossible to overdrive for tube fuzzies (some people see this as a pro and a con)

However, in response to your needs,

I do not think the Robbie is for you. Its personality is more on the clean side of "tubedom" Its tubeness is subtle and warm, yet not cloudy or grainy like a UA-610 or similar. Now I like that as it lives nicely inbetween my Chandler TG2, UA-610 and then my Millennia on the other side.

It can be punchy, but again not like say an API 512.

For me it is my go to pre for drum overheads, room mics as well as my favorite "DI" for my Rhodes MKI as well as for tracking my outboard synths.

It does sound great with a 57 on a guitar cab for cleaner tones, but my TG-2 see's most of my guitar action.

OK...so bringing this back around,

Since this is in the lowend, I will assume cost is an issue and in its price class there are some other choices to consider. I see that the Robbie is $1000 at Sweetwater, but I have heard rumor that you can pick them up for a few hundred less than that if you shop around.

Others to consider may be the UA solo pres, the 610 if you want grit and balls or maybe the newer UA Twin Finity, which I have not heard.

I would look at the robbie as a significant step above the RNP, Brick or say mackie and Presonus, but for a few hundred more you are also awfully close to a single channel of Great River or even get a lunch box and a sinlge API 512 with room to grow.

Wrapping this up, I love my Robbies for the above uses mentioned, they would be best thought of as a good all rounder, clean and smooth, but again not necessarily punchy or colored.

Hope this helps,

XJ

PS - I do have mine racked on a 3 space rack shelf, but left them un attached so I can pull them out to press the rear mounted switches.
Old 3rd August 2008
  #3
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
How big are they? It's really hard to tell from photos.

I'm pretty tolerant on looks but...sometimes I think the guy at Blue should lay off the shrooms.
Old 3rd August 2008
  #4
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Paul Vnuk Jr.'s Avatar
About 3 rackspaces high and a little less than a 1/2 rack in width...
Old 3rd August 2008
  #5
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GordZilla's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
I'm pretty tolerant on looks but...sometimes I think the guy at Blue should lay off the shrooms.
LOL!
Actually I love blue for being a bit off-the-wall... kinda refreshing to see, admidst all the more "traditional" designs... and their mics actually sound not bad too
Old 4th August 2008
  #6
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
Some of their mics are drop dead gorgeous, and sound really good too. I like the company. But The Ball, and Robbie--asthetically(sp?), don't suit my taste. The Ball has got to be one of the ugliest mics on the planet. Just an opinion, nothing more.
Old 4th August 2008
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
Some of their mics are drop dead gorgeous, and sound really good too. I like the company. But The Ball, and Robbie--asthetically(sp?), don't suit my taste. The Ball has got to be one of the ugliest mics on the planet. Just an opinion, nothing more.
have you ever seen one of there ball mics in person? I purchased a Kickball it was only 50$ so I figured let me try it, maybe it'll work out on some stuff better than my beta52 and I think it looks cooler in person that I thought it would. Haven't gotten to try it out yet cuz i'm building a drum booth but that's almost done so I'll get to try it soon
Old 4th August 2008
  #8
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Paul Vnuk Jr.'s Avatar
Actually the Blue Ball is pretty good on snare & guitar cab
Old 4th August 2008
  #9
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
Yeah, I've seen some version of the Ball. Who really cares what it looks like if it does what you want, it's all good.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
Old 4th August 2008
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
Yeah, I've seen some version of the Ball. Who really cares what it looks like if it does what you want, it's all good.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
well it looks like you do, lol


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
The Ball has got to be one of the ugliest mics on the planet. Just an opinion, nothing more.
Old 5th August 2008
  #11
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Heartfelt's Avatar
So far, I read (several places)that it has a great sense of presence but is subtly warm and sparkly.

I want one but am looking at SCA immediately. Bang for the buck.
Old 5th August 2008
  #12
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
Matt--did you read my entire post?

Do you have your own thoughts on the subject?

Nice double quote, BTW.
Old 5th August 2008
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by xj32 View Post
Well 1st I would say do a search here and you find a number of opinions on the Robbie, bith pro and con.

The cons seam to be:
  • folks do not like the look or shape or the fact that you really can't rack mount them
  • many of the early units had bad gain pots which were loose and spun too much
  • many people do not like the fact that the big silver dials are hard to recall settings
.

Now the pros, which are just my opinions as I have a pair are:
  • They look cool and are a great conversation piece
  • They sound great! I did a mic pre shoot out with some friends (fellow studio owners, who brought some of their pre's over) and it held its own against some stiff competition (API, Millennia, UA, Chandler, Hardy)
  • They have a great DI
  • They have a ton of head room and are impossible to overdrive for tube fuzzies (some people see this as a pro and a con)

However, in response to your needs,

I do not think the Robbie is for you. Its personality is more on the clean side of "tubedom" Its tubeness is subtle and warm, yet not cloudy or grainy like a UA-610 or similar. Now I like that as it lives nicely inbetween my Chandler TG2, UA-610 and then my Millennia on the other side.

It can be punchy, but again not like say an API 512.

For me it is my go to pre for drum overheads, room mics as well as my favorite "DI" for my Rhodes MKI as well as for tracking my outboard synths.

It does sound great with a 57 on a guitar cab for cleaner tones, but my TG-2 see's most of my guitar action.

OK...so bringing this back around,

Since this is in the lowend, I will assume cost is an issue and in its price class there are some other choices to consider. I see that the Robbie is $1000 at Sweetwater, but I have heard rumor that you can pick them up for a few hundred less than that if you shop around.

Others to consider may be the UA solo pres, the 610 if you want grit and balls or maybe the newer UA Twin Finity, which I have not heard.

I would look at the robbie as a significant step above the RNP, Brick or say mackie and Presonus, but for a few hundred more you are also awfully close to a single channel of Great River or even get a lunch box and a sinlge API 512 with room to grow.

Wrapping this up, I love my Robbies for the above uses mentioned, they would be best thought of as a good all rounder, clean and smooth, but again not necessarily punchy or colored.

Hope this helps,

XJ

PS - I do have mine racked on a 3 space rack shelf, but left them un attached so I can pull them out to press the rear mounted switches.
I just want to say that that is one of the most thoughtfully written posts I've seen in a while.
Old 5th August 2008
  #14
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
Matt--did you read my entire post?

Do you have your own thoughts on the subject?

Nice double quote, BTW.

i was just joking, that's why i put the "lol"

i haven't used a Robbie, but I probably would not buy it, or it's at least not on the top of my list because of the size.
Old 5th August 2008
  #15
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NaturalBlack's Avatar
 

never used a robbie and this is actually the first ive heard of it(Though i do like blue mics) But I really do like the look of that thing. sure that wont make it worth its price tag but id be open to give it a test.
Old 5th August 2008
  #16
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Paul Vnuk Jr.'s Avatar
Quote:
I just want to say that that is one of the most thoughtfully written posts I've seen in a while

Thanks for the compliment.

As to the size and design, thats really the sad part about the Robbie, if Blue would take a pair of them and put them in a slick looking 2 or 3 space rack, even with the same front with glowing tubes and big silver knobs and most importantly front mounted switches, they probably would have sold a ton of them, as the sound is great and as I mentioned holds its own by offering a sound I have not found in other Pres.

XJ
Old 6th August 2008
  #17
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Whritenour View Post
i was just joking, that's why i put the "lol"
Sorry.

And I probably was harsh on the Ball. I really would like to hear the thing, if just out of curiosity. It probably sounds nice. I used some Dragonflys I thought were sweet. Really sweet.

When an audio company puts style over substance, I gotta wonder what is up with them. That's for fashion companys. That's for Yves St. Laurent. The Robbie has its own 50s, space ship look to it, and might sound wonderful, but I don't have room for some oddly shaped gear. And most studios are tight for space. And the competition for pres in that class is stiff.

So I agree with XJ, it is a shame they chose to do that.

The Ball with its intrusive, distracting, odd size, also presents more difficulties that other choices don't. So that's how my milage has varied. For others the unique looks and great sound might be just what they want. Just one opinion, nothing more.

Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.
Old 24th February 2009
  #18
Old 24th February 2009
  #19
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soundhound55's Avatar
 

Robbie is good

I am really happy with mine. true they aren't very popular, but they can be rackmounted. I got the plate on sale last year from compass along with those sticky cranberry cables. Still haven't mounted it it yet but someday... I have switched out the tube for another ec88 I got on the web somewhere and like it even more! imo it is a very good pre because it is not too clean and not too dirty. Great all around.
Old 25th February 2009
  #20
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 

Whenever I want to add "juice" to a vocal I use the Robbie. I would compare it to a Pacifica in the sense that it seems to add presence and balls without being obvious about it.

One advantage to the strange design is the fact that you can swap the tube in about 30 seconds, since it's sticking out of the front under a plastic screw-on cover. However, finding a tube to swap might be a bit more difficult... Anybody seen any ECC88 twin triodes laying around?
Old 25th February 2009
  #21
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Stepwise Sound's Avatar
 

I own a Robbie -- it's an excellent tube mic pre and top-notch DI.

The electric bass sounds you can get thru this is stellar -- then again I brought my friend over to play his '69 fender. It is clean but if you are clever with the gain structuring on the DI you can make it sound really tubey and fat. Just turn your bass down and the input up

Great vocal sounds -- even the SM 57 sounds really nice, not 'plosive at all.

As far as "personality and punch" -- well it is on the clean side so i think if you want something really vibey maybe you'd be better off with something else.

I dig the Robbie and my clients like it too!
Old 26th February 2009
  #22
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Jay Dee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
I'm pretty tolerant on looks but...sometimes I think the guy at Blue should lay off the shrooms.
You should see the one Violet planned to make...
Old 4th July 2009
  #23
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laperlestudio's Avatar
I could have one use for 475$ would it be a good deal? And does changing the tube make a really big differance? Does it sound good when you push it a little to drive more the tube?
Old 4th July 2009
  #24
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Paul Vnuk Jr.'s Avatar
Well the price has gone up, in fact GC and MF now sell them for around $1200, so if you could I would totally grab it for $475.

Apparently Blue essentially now only hand makes them to order, these are not a mass-produced piece. I also think I remember hearing that there are only a small number ever made.

It really is a boutique pre, and yes I re-tubed mine and it was even better!

This is however not a pre that you can drive into tube distortion...too much headroom.

XJ
Old 4th July 2009
  #25
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laperlestudio's Avatar
ok thanks, nice to know that it hace that much headroom!
Old 5th July 2009
  #26
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Dee View Post
You should see the one Violet planned to make...
Gotta link?
Old 7th July 2009
  #27
Gear Addict
 
Jay Dee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
How big are they? It's really hard to tell from photos.

I'm pretty tolerant on looks but...sometimes I think the guy at Blue should lay off the shrooms.
Compared to the other Latvian guy, BLUE are positively stodgy. I mean the Black Hole?
Old 8th July 2009
  #28
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Jay Dee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
Gotta link?
No, just an attempted joke is all.
Old 8th July 2009
  #29
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phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Studio E loves the Robbie.
Def NOT low end.
Old 8th July 2009
  #30
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BOWIE's Avatar
Agreed. Extremely versatile, high-quality preamp. Very clean with a touch tube softness and you can easily alter the sound w/ the easy-access tube in the front. One of the best bass DIs I've ever used. I'm just pissed at Blue because of one of their tech guys straight-out lied to me and was rude.
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