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seventh circle T15? Single-Channel Preamps
Old 19th November 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

seventh circle T15?

i did a search but it seems to be a new item or atleast not alot of people have commented on them. i would use the t15 soley for vocals. is it a better idea to go with the c84? after doing extensive research ive found that most people think these sca kits are leaps and bounds better then most prosoumer amps in there price range. fyi i kno the n72 or j99 is more suited for vocals.....i dont have the bread for them and id add probably the n72 later on. from what i have read the t15 is similar to a dav bg1 (i have no knowledge about this piece) and the c84 sounds like a millinea (idk about this piece either but i know there expensive!). i know there both clean transparent amps. i wanna know if the c84 is leaps and bounds better then the t15?
Old 19th November 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

maybe this stuff is a best kept secret? and i should just be happy. i cant find a single bash about sca. any t15 users in the house? maybe i have it confused and i shoulda posted in high end......but this stuff is such a good price figured some low enders own a sca rack......anyone!!!!!
Old 19th November 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 

i have a bunch of T15s, and they are great. i did some blind tests with a friend whose ear i trust, and he thought the T15 sounded better on my voice than the N72s or A12s i have.

from what i can tell, the T15 is just as "nice" as the higher priced modules...just less colored, and therefore no expensive transformer components...therefore a cheaper price. not necessarily cheaper because it doesn't sound as good.

i never heard the C84, so can't comment on that one. but the T15 is a great value.
Old 19th November 2009
  #4
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dysenterygary's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by statixx View Post
maybe this stuff is a best kept secret? and i should just be happy. i cant find a single bash about sca. any t15 users in the house? maybe i have it confused and i shoulda posted in high end......but this stuff is such a good price figured some low enders own a sca rack......anyone!!!!!
Hey good luck! I've found getting decent info out of these diy kits can take a lot of work. Best bet is to find people that have talked about owning them and pm them. I will say as a guy who spent almost the entire summer reading about these the t15 will take your signal and make it louder, not much else. It uses IC chips for amplification which is extremely clean. No doubt its high quality. Same for the c84. I don't know if either one would be "better" than the other, probably just different. I opted for the jlm baby animal. And I'm extremely happy w/the sound. You can buy a cheap case, a cheap power supply and have the whole thing up and running for under $200. So in the end you can get 3 jlms for the price of one t15. Just sayin.
Old 19th November 2009
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

yea, ive read about the baby animals seems like a good deal too. i think ima stick with sca though

and ghettojon ive read all your post from beginning to end regarding the t15..i saw all your shoot out threads and your first post regarding purchasing them (isnt search function wonderful)......i think its crazy how all those
producers thought the t15 was the neve 7 outta 9 aint bad. i also saw how some poster thought maybe your t15 takes could have been potentially clipping but thats neither here nore there the fact is.....people liked the t15 takes! am i hopeing or expecting its a neve? no. comparing it to a dav bg1? ok ill take that expecially when i see them already built on the bay for pennies on the dollar. i just wanted to make sure sound quality wise going the sca route is a good investment.

anyone else have anything to share about the t15 or any sca preamps on vocals?
Old 19th November 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Its "transparent" type transformless dual servo design somewhat semiller in topology to the Fivefish SC1,DAV BG.
I cant Imagine it not being a great preamp.

Is the 50$ difference between the C84 and the T15 really killing you? (or maybe you want to build a whole rack of these and then it adds up....)
Old 19th November 2009
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

i actually wana get n72 with chassis psu and harness, but i just wanted to know if down the line i wana add some pres (which im sure i will) which one would be a better purchase. i know its prolly a better idea to get a transparent pre (t15) before a coloured one but i want the neve clone(n72) first! so sue me!!!!! ; )

out of all the neve clones ive read up on. This is the one that seems like most neve owners wont deny has that neve tone or magical mojo going on. and if anyone wants to dispute this.....then id be more then happy to post a quote by one of the former orginal neve designers. He states 'i was looking at the schematics for the n72 and its the closet thing to replicating our models that ive ever seen.'
Old 19th November 2009
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

I have built an N72 SCA module and have done a lot of DIY work. I have to say that the SCA is perfectly reasonable for all that you get. The Powersupply is solid, the case is very solid and the instructions to build the modules are some of the best I have seen.

I mean it is almost not DIY since it is so easy.

Yeah you can get a case, your own power supply, etc. etc. But it will be a lot more work. Metalwork especially I find to be the hardest part of DIY. The electronics are the easy part.

The SCA kits are like paint by numbers. Just be meticulous, take your time, have good solder technique and you will be fine. The T15 looks super easy, but I haven't done one. But for $399 and you have the expansion possiblities later is just awesome!

After that the additional kits are VERY reasonable once you consider the cost of transformers, parts, PCB's, connectors, etc. And ALL of the parts are absolutely top quality. Great stuff!
Old 19th November 2009
  #9
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illacov's Avatar
 

Talking

M Audio DMP3 V2. $150 bucks. 72 db of clean gain.

Done and done.

Peace
Illumination
Old 19th November 2009
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

[QUO
TE=illacov;4801549]M Audio DMP3 V2. $150 bucks. 72 db of clean gain.

Done and done.

Peace
Illumination[/QUOTE]

everyone has there preference. granted the dmp3 is great in its price range. i want high end for a fair price. from a investing producers stand point the t15 cost 89 bucks so thats cheaper then the dmp3 and im sure it smokes it as well no arguements.
Old 20th November 2009
  #11
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illacov's Avatar
 

Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by statixx View Post
[QUO
TE=illacov;4801549]M Audio DMP3 V2. $150 bucks. 72 db of clean gain.

Done and done.

Peace
Illumination
everyone has there preference. granted the dmp3 is great in its price range. i want high end for a fair price. from a investing producers stand point the t15 cost 89 bucks so thats cheaper then the dmp3 and im sure it smokes it as well no arguements.[/QUOTE]

Uh but the DMP3 gives you 2 channels for 150 bucks and its a DI. So its cheaper.

As far as the T15 SMOKING the DMP3, I could care less what somebody else says about it. I own it and use it all the time. I highly recommend it. The T15 as well.

However the DMP3 comes built and ready to rock out of the box. I can definitely tell you its not an inferior product. They both are built about the same lol. Both opamp based preamps with a small profile and low noise characteristics.

If you need just 1 channel, then sure the T15 is a good candidate. You'll have to construct it, plus get the case drilled and all that jazz etc...I just figured that the DMP3 is an easier purchase that will give you similar results and twice as many preamps.

Peace
Illumination
Old 20th November 2009
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
everyone has there preference. granted the dmp3 is great in its price range. i want high end for a fair price. from a investing producers stand point the t15 cost 89 bucks so thats cheaper then the dmp3 and im sure it smokes it as well no arguements.
Uh but the DMP3 gives you 2 channels for 150 bucks and its a DI. So its cheaper.

As far as the T15 SMOKING the DMP3, I could care less what somebody else says about it. I own it and use it all the time. I highly recommend it. The T15 as well.

However the DMP3 comes built and ready to rock out of the box. I can definitely tell you its not an inferior product. They both are built about the same lol. Both opamp based preamps with a small profile and low noise characteristics.

If you need just 1 channel, then sure the T15 is a good candidate. You'll have to construct it, plus get the case drilled and all that jazz etc...I just figured that the DMP3 is an easier purchase that will give you similar results and twice as many preamps.

Peace
Illumination[/QUOTE]


you made some very valid points.....i love the dmp3 so much in fact i bought my cousin one a few weeks ago as his first pre. (it was a hard pick between that and the rane ms1b)

you see the story behind all this is im not exactly looking for a good cheap preamp. im looking for a ua la 610 replacement which was my only high end pre i owned. Im actually in the works of getting a n72 in the sca box and im hoping if i did my hw correctly then this neve clone is gonna kick some 610 ass on vocals. i asked about the t15 for a future refrence if and when i decide that i needa fill my seventh circle chassis up.
Old 20th November 2009
  #13
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illacov's Avatar
 

Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by statixx View Post
Uh but the DMP3 gives you 2 channels for 150 bucks and its a DI. So its cheaper.

As far as the T15 SMOKING the DMP3, I could care less what somebody else says about it. I own it and use it all the time. I highly recommend it. The T15 as well.

However the DMP3 comes built and ready to rock out of the box. I can definitely tell you its not an inferior product. They both are built about the same lol. Both opamp based preamps with a small profile and low noise characteristics.

If you need just 1 channel, then sure the T15 is a good candidate. You'll have to construct it, plus get the case drilled and all that jazz etc...I just figured that the DMP3 is an easier purchase that will give you similar results and twice as many preamps.

Peace
Illumination

you made some very valid points.....i love the dmp3 so much in fact i bought my cousin one a few weeks ago as his first pre. (it was a hard pick between that and the rane ms1b)

you see the story behind all this is im not exactly looking for a good cheap preamp. im looking for a ua la 610 replacement which was my only high end pre i owned. Im actually in the works of getting a n72 in the sca box and im hoping if i did my hw correctly then this neve clone is gonna kick some 610 ass on vocals. i asked about the t15 for a future refrence if and when i decide that i needa fill my seventh circle chassis up.[/QUOTE]

Well theres ALOT of choices abounding for a good preamp under 500 bucks I can tell you that much.

One very cool preamp thats out there for pennies is the Yamaha PM 700/1000 pres.

Transformer coupled inputs and you can add output transformers. The 1000s and the 700s can be modded for better noise and transient response.

My stereo 1000 cost me a good piece of change, the Pm700 was dirt cheap. I have 2 channels of both and posted examples on GS recently.

2 channels of the PM700 can be had for around 500 bucks racked. My tech so far is the only guy I know that racks them with phantom power (stock they don't have it). You could even add Carnhill trannies on the outputs. Sick little pres. I call them Samur-APIs.

The 1000 is way smoother but a little richer in the lows I feel. This is for both without the output trannies.

Peace
Illumination
Old 20th November 2009
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

yea i can dig all dat.....the old heads on here comparin the n72s to the real thing(neve pres) some of em even prefering the sca units over the real thing. i just want bang for my buck ya know? im from portland.....and the hip hop headz i be wit aint up on neve pres......they think any blue mic through a 737s are still the holy grail. when i shoot the breeze bout equipment the only way i get the scoop is by listening to my elders and ova corse messin round on gs!
Old 20th November 2009
  #15
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voidar's Avatar
 

I've got a full SCA rack of 8th T15's.

I opted for that as I wanted clean because I always thought I could dirty/scew things up later on. I also wanted many of the same type.

Used it mainly for recording drums, though I don't get the chance too often.

Don't know what to tell you . They're clean, smooth; nothing really hyped in the hi range; though you can drive them into clipping. It's not that ugly and might be cool for clipping some transients.
Old 20th November 2009
  #16
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illacov's Avatar
 

Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by statixx View Post
yea i can dig all dat.....the old heads on here comparin the n72s to the real thing(neve pres) some of em even prefering the sca units over the real thing. i just want bang for my buck ya know? im from portland.....and the hip hop headz i be wit aint up on neve pres......they think any blue mic through a 737s are still the holy grail. when i shoot the breeze bout equipment the only way i get the scoop is by listening to my elders and ova corse messin round on gs!
Oh come come.

I make my bread and butter off of hip hop music. If you want I can email you a track where I recently tracked a drum kit to go with a beat that used samples and sampled drums. The drumkit was captured with 1 mic. My JJ Audio Mutt going into an M Audio DMP3 V1. The DMP3 doesn't take anything away from my recordings but it also preserves whats there, too.

The Mutt is a pretty clear yet colored mic and it just sounds really nice with the DMP3 imho.

Let me know if you want to check the track out or maybe I'll post a really short snippet.


Peace
Illumination
Old 20th November 2009
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
mark.james's Avatar
 

I live close to the SCA HQ, and my buddy actually runs his studio out of Tim's shop. I have heard all of the SCA preamps. I love all of them. Right now I have an A12 and a T15 in my own studio. I have recorded in several studios with a bunch of different pres... in the Expression Center studios with all the best gear (tube tech, API, neve, etc). I was hesitant to purchase the T15 at first, but after I heard it in use I would not recommend another pre for the price. However, the price you are going to pay to get started with an SCA rack w/ 1 T15 is going to be around $400 - $450. But, after that you get the T15 for $89 per channel if you can DIY, and you have the options of the A12 (which I think sounds better than the 512 personally) and the N72, along with the J99, C84, and I'm sure there will be more in the future.

I have a presonus digimax that I was using for a really long time, and once I compared the T15 it was like night an day. I couldn't believe it. The T15 is round and clean, up front and all around good sounding. No high end hype. I wouldn't hesitate to use it on any source.

I was actually just about to post a thread about the T15 when I saw this one. I've been doing some indie stuff with acoustic guitar , which I normally use a condenser on, but have been using a 421 w/T15 and entered a new world of acoustic guitar.

Very satisfied customer, and I'm not going to buy another pre if it's not an SCA kit. Also, a guy on ebay sells prebuilt kits that are great quality for about $100 (for the A12 and N72) more with the shipping.

Mark
Old 20th November 2009
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
mark.james's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dysentarygary View Post
Hey good luck! I've found getting decent info out of these diy kits can take a lot of work.
I've built a T15 and will share any info you'd like about it... I've got direct access to the others as well, and would be more than happy to help some other DIYs out

Mark
Old 20th November 2009
  #19
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Obitheincredible's Avatar
 

Man I have been debating making these kits but now I really want one!
Old 20th November 2009
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

yea obi i was gonna start a thread about sca over at FP but iono if they gone be up on the whole DIY thing?
Old 20th November 2009
  #21
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Obitheincredible's Avatar
 

Do it, we need more of that over there man. I am dead set of getting into the SCA rack right after christmas. I'll do a thread on it.
Old 20th November 2009
  #22
I've been drooling over pics of SCA PCBs for about a year, and I've done a crapload of research on opinions of them during that time. I have yet to find ANYONE say anything bad about any of their modules. It is the next thing on my list (finally) after getting all the other crap that had more priority for my studio.

Tonal preferences are very subjective, so I won't get into that too much.

The T15 is almost identical in design to the Five Fish pre, both are similar to the circuit in the datasheet for the THAT 1510 preamp chip. This is a chip based transformerless pre, a lot of people compare to the DAV BG-1, which has a similar circuit, it just uses Burr-Browns or something instead of the THAT chip. No expensive trannys or discrete opamps = cheap. Not quite the dynamic range of the best discrete designs, but we're almost splitting hairs with that. Colorless is the goal, and it probably achieves that very close to the more expensive clean pres.

The C84 is a discrete, transformerless clean pre, it uses discrete components to obtain a result in the same ballpark as the T15, just even better. I've seen it compared the the Millenium HV pres.

Also in the clean camp is the J99, except it's the big daddy of the bunch, transformers and discrete 990 opamps, this is a replica of the Jensen Twin Servo design which is also used by John Hardy pres. Often described as the cleanest pre of all time.

Obviously the mojo pres are the N72 and the A12, based off the Neve 1272 and the API312 respectively, and I've seen endless raving for these from pros and amateurs alike. Also pricey because of the trannys and discrete opamps.

I was sold after I saw Dan Kennedy from Great River say that his pres and the SCA pres are the only ones doing it right, and he certainly didn't have to say that.

Read this thread for some SCA love from the high-end: Seventh Circle Audio - A Review of the N72 - The REAL deal
Old 20th November 2009
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark.james View Post
I have a presonus digimax that I was using for a really long time, and once I compared the T15 it was like night an day. I couldn't believe it. The T15 is round and clean, up front and all around good sounding. No high end hype. I wouldn't hesitate to use it on any source.
That really lights a fire under my ass since I'm using a Digimax FS right now!
Old 21st November 2009
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Also in the clean camp is the J99, except it's the big daddy of the bunch, transformers and discrete 990 opamps, this is a replica of the Jensen Twin Servo design which is also used by John Hardy pres. Often described as the cleanest pre of all time.
The J99 is based on an application note by Jensen that is similar to, but not the same as, the official Jensen Twin Servo 990 schematic that is the basis for the official Jensen Twin Servo preamp that I make. The official schematic has several further refinements. Also, the J99 uses different transformers than the official Jensen Twin Servo, as well as being available with op-amps other than the 990C, making it even more different from the official Jensen Twin Servo. Therefore, the J99 is definitely NOT "a replica of the Jensen Twin Servo design which is also used by John Hardy pres." It may be a fine preamp, but it is not a replica.

Thank you.

John Hardy
The John Hardy Co.
The John Hardy Co. Home
Old 21st November 2009
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

ive read everywhere that the j99 is a top notch replica of your design.

its nice to get the scoop from you personally, thanx for chiming in mr. hardy!
Old 21st November 2009
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hardy View Post
The J99 is based on an application note by Jensen that is similar to, but not the same as, the official Jensen Twin Servo 990 schematic that is the basis for the official Jensen Twin Servo preamp that I make. The official schematic has several further refinements. Also, the J99 uses different transformers than the official Jensen Twin Servo, as well as being available with op-amps other than the 990C, making it even more different from the official Jensen Twin Servo. Therefore, the J99 is definitely NOT "a replica of the Jensen Twin Servo design which is also used by John Hardy pres." It may be a fine preamp, but it is not a replica.

Thank you.

John Hardy
The John Hardy Co.
The John Hardy Co. Home
My mistake, I stand corrected sir! I honestly thought both were replicas, I'd heard that the original schematic had the patents expire and that both products were true to the original, thanks for bringing this to my attention. Your pres have become legendary, and are obviously very impressive pieces, and that kind of labor of love clearly cannot be easily copied by anyone. Obviously the physical aspects of the preamps are very important as well and no one can deny that your designs are some of the best in the market. Thanks again for the clarification.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
I honestly thought both were replicas
History of the "Jensen Twin Servo (R) 990 Mic Preamp":

The original Jensen Twin Servo was built for Deane Jensen to his specifications by the Boulder Company. It was introduced in 1986.

I introduced the M-1 mic preamp in 1987 and showed it to Deane on a trip I took to the LA area.

Sometime in 1988, there were issues that had developed between Deane and Boulder management, so Deane decided to cancel the original Jensen Twin Servo product that was built by Boulder. He then contacted me to ask if I would be willing to build a new version of the Jensen Twin Servo using the M-1 packaging as the basis for the product. I was happy to do so, and I began production sometime in late 1988 or so. I sold the preamps to Deane, and he sold them to his customers.

Deane died in 1989. For several years I continued to sell the preamps to Jensen Transformers. At some point, the folks at Jensen recommended that I simply sell the preamps directly to customers. They were up to their necks in transformer orders, I was the mic preamp guy, so why not simplify things.

The Jensen Twin Servo that I make is the official, approved, Jensen Twin Servo 990 Mic Preamp. The schematic for it is proprietary, and significantly different from the general application note that is provided on the Jensen site. The J99 is generally based on the application note from the Jensen site, not the official schematic for the Jensen Twin Servo.

Quote:
I'd heard that the original schematic had the patents expire and that both products were true to the original, thanks for bringing this to my attention.
A patent was issued to Deane Jensen for a particular design feature of the 990 discrete op-amp. But there were no patents issued for any part of the Jensen Twin Servo 990 Mic Preamp design. Therefore, there is no patent or expiration of a patent that I am aware of that relates specifically to the Jensen Twin Servo 990 Mic Preamp.

Since the schematic for the official Jensen Twin Servo is proprietary and not available to the public, it would be highly unlikely that the J99 is true to it. I can tell you after looking at the J99 schematic that it is not true to the official schematic.

I don't know where some of these stories originate, but I would appreciate it if everyone would correct them when they are encountered. Thank you very much, and thank you as well for the compliments.

John Hardy
Old 22nd November 2009
  #28
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crypticglobe's Avatar
I have been using SCA pre's for a long time. I am beyond happy with them. I don't yet have any T15's... but I have used my N72's, A12's, J99's, and C84's with outstanding results over, and over again.

Tim is a great guy too. I know you won't regret going with SCA....
Old 23rd November 2009
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

Just posted a couple of clips on another thread using T15s and C84s:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remot...xamples-2.html

Don't know how helpful this comparison will be, but both preamps are entirely respectable.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

i feel like i could hear the room alot in both takes......but i definitly liked the second one more. felt more present. thanks for sharing!

PS the second one is the c84 right? guess its kinda hard to tell because you used diffrent mics with each pre. still it was a kool example thanks!
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