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Tube Mic vs Tube Pre Amp
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Tube Mic vs Tube Pre Amp

if i took a regular large diaphragm condenser mic (without a tube) and then i ran it through a tube pre amp, would i get a very similar effect to using a tube microphone without a tube pre amp?

what would happen if i ran a tube LDC mic through a tube pre amp? could that be bad in any way?
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Addict
 
dethbyoogabooga's Avatar
1. Each microphone and Pre has it's own peculiarities. It's not really about effect but how (and if) the pre colorizes the sound. What kind of effect are you going for?
2. There is no harm in running a tube mic through a Tube Pre. I used to run a rode K2 through an LA-610.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
just looking to get a better understanding of the tube spec.

i used to think tube was a stereo field effect, but understand it can be like warmth coloration or harmonic distortion.

would tube have similar effects across all tools? say a tube delay plugin as well?
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
i used to think tube was a stereo field effect, but understand it can be like warmth coloration or harmonic distortion.
some tube gear is quite colored, but some tube gear can be very clean-sounding

I consider my Pendulum MDP-1 to be my go-to "clean" preamp and it's a tube design. Compared to some other tube preamps I own, it is very clean.

Quote:
what would happen if i ran a tube LDC mic through a tube pre amp? could that be bad in any way?
You won't blow anything up. "Too much tube" is an opinion, not a fact! If it sounds good, it is good. As dethbyoogabooga said, it really depends on the specific pieces. Some combinations might be "too much tube", some might be "just right" and some might be so subtle that people ask: "are you sure this is tube gear?". All the positions on this spectrum would be subject to your taste, for your sound, for your song.


Quote:
would tube have similar effects across all tools? say a tube delay plugin as well?
You might 'predict' that a plugin that advertises itself as "tube" is going to be rather colored. It's a plug-in so it doesn't require a tube or solid-state to operate. So if they went to the trouble of modeling a tube in software, they probably aren't going to be overly subtle about it.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Solid State vs Tube has been a long standing controversy in audio which will likely go on as long as they both exist.
The facts are however you have good and bad quality in both technologies. Much of the bad rap in SS comes from manufacturers seeking greater profits. They could build SS units for pennies compared to what was needed to build even low end tube gear.

If people want quality SS gear you simply have to pay for it. Many of the best preamps made are 100% SS.
If you want quality tube sound you have to pay for it too. I don't think you can even buy a real tube preamp for less than $300~$500 these days. I know Groove tube made on in the $300 range years ago but was discontinued when Fender bought them. Anything below that point wont be an high voltage tube preamp that will give you good tube tone. It will instead be a low voltage tube design where they run the tube at low voltage. The real amplification in those designs are done with SS circuits and the tube only colors the sound. Some of these starved circuits can sound OK but they won't come close to high voltage designs.

As of now, a manufacturer could clean up making a simple low cost high voltage tube preamp. You figure if they can make guitar amps which are all tube and sell them in the $300 range they could easily make a Tube preamp which doesn't require 1/5 of the circuitry. You don't need an expensive speaker transformer, or any of the tone stacks. Just the preamp tubes, supporting circuitry, High Voltage transformer and in/out transformers. What's likely stopping it is simply market demand. They charge more for tubes simply because they can. The parts are still relatively inexpensive however, especially when you build in quantity.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bossdockins View Post
what would happen if i ran a tube LDC mic through a tube pre amp?
Assuming both are good quality with proper plate voltage, harmonically-rich magic.
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