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-   -   Berliner and Beamer: new tube preamps by Sonic Farm (

ztjangle 28th February 2015 10:16 AM

Berliner and Beamer: new tube preamps by Sonic Farm
Sonic Farm Audio is happy to announce that our new pentode preamps, Berliner and Beamer are now shipping.
Both are dual channel preamps with pentode gain stages.

Berliner is our take on the legendary Telefunken V76 tube preamp, but with some important twists that set it apart from the 50’s original.

The front end is a dual pentode variable gain stage with a regulated bias and EF86/EF806 tubes (instead of the discontinued EF804). This stage behaves and sounds exactly like the original. The output though, is a hybrid circuit borrowed from our flagship Creamer preamp. Without the step-down transformer, it preserves all the detail and sweetness of the first stage and offers both transformer coupled and transformerless (switchable) output. This gives it a broader tonal palette.
We also added instrument (DI) inputs on the front panel and dedicated line input transformers (balanced line in's) so that this preamp can be used to warm up your mixes as well.

Beamer is a Creamer and Berliner crossbreed, having one channel of each. It is a perfect solution for producers who want to pack maximum tonal versatility into a single package. Creamers use a single pentode in their gain stage without any negative feedback. This results in an increased harmonic content and very lively transients. Furthermore, the tube mode can be switched between triode and pentode for very different tonal characters. This combination of channels gives a choice of a classical tube sound (Berliner side) or a modern, more colored sound (Creamer side)
Instrument (DI) input on both channels. Omitted line inputs make it more affordable than both originating preamps. Available now. Details and specs on our website. (link below in signature)

Rod Malkin 22nd March 2015 07:20 AM

Berliner ... Fresh New Sound!
Yikes! Spent a bit of time comparing the new Berliner with my vintage1081, vintage V76, Gordon, Martech, SilkRoad and Creamer…. And Yikes! … This unit breaks new ground, i.e. ‘Boldly goes where no [pre] had gone before’, … History being made? Unfortunately, I lost my voluminous notes because of a Mac hard-drive crash… so will just summarize the basics. Also, I should note I am good friends with designers Boris and Zoran; however, I think I am pretty unbiased… and critical! Luckily, as their gear is so good, I am still friends!

Anyway, the key to the unit as with all Sonic Farm products is flexibility… I won’t go into this, but will talk about the new territory this pre covers which is: a unique delicate rendering of sound , with all the nuanced transients, especially suited to acoustic vocal and instruments. My tests were with flamenco guitar (my instrument, notoriously hard to record) and my voice through KM 84 and U87ai mikes. I did not test for, and am no expert at, how these signals would sit in a mix etc. I merely explored how each preamp projected source material.

The sweet spot was the gain set well counter-clockwise i.e. 7-10 oclock (I even really liked 6:50, practically off the scale!). Here, for voice and guitar you get a wondrous life-like detailed aesthetic, … hmmm – perhaps, described as an elegant, lighter, 1970’s vibe, very organic and high-class at the same time…. keeping the mojo of vintage Neve/Telefunken, but somewhat freeing the transients from transformer heaviness. The sound has to be experienced, and is hard to describe… but, just like ‘the first time’ I heard the other world class and vintage Neve, Telefunken sounds, ‘the first time’ I heard the Berliner, I knew I was hearing something different… a new species.

Comparing to the Creamer: The Creamer does a great job of ‘hanging out’ with the V76, 1081, (i.e. best in the world at what they do) It never beats them at what they do best, but comes close, while often giving a better transient response… and it is so flexible it can do a myriad of other jobs, often better than any other pres, all around the sonic spectrum. The Berliner, on the other hand is ‘a delicate ballerina in spring flowers by the forest …. precise, beautiful, deeply moving, full of heart, yet also keen, like Toledo, Wilkinson’ i.e. needs poetry to describe. Hmmm … say, Bob Dylan’s early recordings with a single U47 had been done through a Berliner… It could have seemed more alive, ‘more of Bob’ but with just as much mojo, style, panache etc. Blah Blah … I could go on and on…… But, importantly, I am not suggesting the other world-class pres I tested were not as good. They will continue to be main stays. Rather, the Berliner presents a new looking-glass, or new type of glass or glass coating to reveal extra elements. The ads should read: ‘Every studio ideally should have one or more Berliners, to help complete the spectrum of musical opportunities, with a fresh new element’.

Comparing to the SilkRoad - I don’t own a SilkRoad, so am not familiar with it, but when I tested it along with the others for the first time, I found it a great work horse pre that could again ‘hang out’ with the vintage and newer world class pres…. However, unlike the Creamer, and especially the Berliner, I did not find that it established any new territories… just another run of the mill world-class Sonic Farm unit!

To the Love that gives us Sound!

Kris75 4th August 2016 07:38 PM

I was lucky enough to use the Berliner a few days ago recording a choir. I had originally planned on using the in house Neve's, but the composer brought in the Berliner. I have used a lot of their gear before, but never this unit. I was stunned at how good this unit sounded. It's not even something you can describe.

I can't say enough good things about this company except that my bank account is slowly shrinking with every product they release....