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AES 2019: RETRO Instruments 500Pre
Old 16th October 2019
  #1
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Hardware AES 2019: RETRO Instruments 500Pre

https://www.instagram.com/retroinstrumentsinc/?hl=en

“ We took the circuit topology of the Sta-Level and packed it into a single width 500 module. The 500PRE three tube gain stage exhibits the same detail and depth. As with all Retro products, the feeling of the musical performance is delivered with the Retro Instruments 500PRE. Distortion, Noise and Frequency Response of the 500PRE are outstanding; but overload characteristics are not generally revealed by standard measurements. The 500PRE tubes gracefully limit the signal at +18 dBu. Whether you’re just going for clean gain or pushing the 500PRE into overdrive, it won’t ever sound plastic and brittle like solid-state amplifiers can. Transient detail is unrestrained.

The Retro 500PRE doesn’t sleep when you’re done tracking. Use the 500PRE as a high-energy limiter during mix-time. The 500PRE design purposely has the limiter effect of tube amplifiers. You’ll love to use it as a limiter to fatten all kinds of tracks.
The Retro 500PRE works within API 500 rack power limitations. Each 500PRE consumes 160 ma of power, slightly above the 130 ma VPR-compliant allocation. We recommend racks with quiet linear power supplies like the API models. When power requirements are observed, the rack and 500PRE will provide years of reliable service.

The Retro 500PRE uses three 12AT7 tubes that are readily available as new production or new-old-stock. A user can select from a wide variety. Your unit uses the new production TAD 12AT7 and these tubes are expected to last for a very long time under the 500PRE operating conditions. We use soft-start circuitry that minimizes stress to the tubes and power supply. The 500PRE takes less than a minute to warm up and perform.”

Link : http://retroinstruments.com/product....duct_id=500PRE
Attached Thumbnails
AES 2019: RETRO Instruments 500Pre-retro-500pre-angle-1-h430.jpg  
Old 16th October 2019
  #2
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Got an email this am about this pre. Possibly the most tubes in a one space, fully enclosed 500 series module. Requires 160ma, which shouldn’t be a problem for most racks these days
Old 16th October 2019
  #3
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Old 17th October 2019
  #4
Awesome -- although I so wish that it had a DI in the front. Oh well, I'll probably snag one anyway

j,
Old 18th October 2019
  #5
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F*cking awesome.

Time to get into 500 series again.
Old 18th October 2019
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transistor View Post
Awesome -- although I so wish that it had a DI in the front. Oh well, I'll probably snag one anyway

j,
Snag one and Sonic Farm 2di4 to put some more tubes in the path
Old 18th October 2019
  #7
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aves's Avatar
Which boxes come to mind that fullfill the power requirements? My a designs hr500 seems only to provide 140ma.

Best Michael
Old 18th October 2019
  #8
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these look really great. the limiting aspect for mixing is really interesting too.

the rupert neve designs r6 has a high power rating. seems like retro also recommends the regular api lunchbox
Old 18th October 2019
  #9
Beyond excited to hear these
Old 19th October 2019
  #10
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Heritage OST line of racks are one of the most overpowered and affordable. I’ve never used API racks, but everyone loves them and they seem to work with just about everything. The Rupert Neve design racks are also overpowered. A lot of good options
Old 20th October 2019
  #11
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hitsville's Avatar
 

would love to hear a whole mix ran through a pair of those
Old 20th October 2019
  #12
Lud
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Lud's Avatar
 

I would love to get one with an austrian audio OC18 but only can buy one or the other...
Old 20th October 2019
  #13
Yeah I’m looking at the heritage OS4 because I wouldn’t mind 4 of these if they rip. Looks like 400ma per slot or 700ma across all open slots, “whichever is realized first”
I have been looking at the coil pres, the chandler REDD, and now these.
Old 20th October 2019
  #14
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deuc647's Avatar
Priced at 760?!!!!!!!!!!!! Jesus these arent gonna stay in stock.
Old 21st October 2019
  #15
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Looking forward to someone comparing these to both models of Coil...
Old 22nd October 2019
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd33 View Post
Looking forward to someone comparing these to both models of Coil...
I’ve been thinking about buying all of them and shooting them out.
Old 22nd October 2019
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff.calcaska View Post
I’ve been thinking about buying all of them and shooting them out.
I won’t be the one to stand in your way, Jeff
Old 22nd October 2019
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff.calcaska View Post
I’ve been thinking about buying all of them and shooting them out.
I already have the 2 Retros on order - just send me the coils and i'll do it :-)!

Seriously - Do It and post back...
Old 22nd October 2019
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff.calcaska View Post
I’ve been thinking about buying all of them and shooting them out.
I hope you do. I’m trying to do this with Mics at the moment and it’s worth it.
Old 23rd October 2019
  #20
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looking at the 500pre more carefully, how would an owner replace a tube?

Is there enough room to remove tubes and replace them without removing parts?
Old 26th October 2019
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ox Han View Post
looking at the 500pre more carefully, how would an owner replace a tube?

Is there enough room to remove tubes and replace them without removing parts?
There seems to be space ... but very tight.

What I can’t get my head around is that photo of 8 of these in a rack with no fire extinguisher in the shot

I would be very concerned about heat. Especially as there is not a handy on off button on the front so when you power up your rack the valves start heating up in there ...

But hey ... its Retro ... I am going to imagine they know s little bit more than me about “toobs”
Old 31st October 2019
  #22
I can’t seem to find a revealing picture of the Retro 500pre circuit design?
Old 1st November 2019
  #23
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Ha ha it's true - if you remove the gain reduction element of a STA (or LA2A) they make really great tube mic pre's!

I sometimes use my Retro STA as a line conditioner (no GR) to add colour to a Millennia passive shunt opto compressor I use - it works really well.

I bet this pre is going to sound fantastic on vocals and bass.
Old 8th November 2019
  #24
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i´m realy interested. Does somebody knows where i could hear it in main bus as a soft tube limiter circuit before buying?
Old 8th November 2019
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Ha ha it's true - if you remove the gain reduction element of a STA (or LA2A) they make really great tube mic pre's!

I sometimes use my Retro STA as a line conditioner (no GR) to add colour to a Millennia passive shunt opto compressor I use - it works really well.

I bet this pre is going to sound fantastic on vocals and bass.
Yep agree STA is a very nice pre, i just plug 'em in.

Imagine this dedicated 'preamp version' will be quieter and has 30 dB more gain so highly recommended.
Old 9th December 2019
  #26
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Has anyone tried one yet? I'm interested in how it compares to my Solo 610.
Old 9th December 2019
  #27
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espen askelad's Avatar
I had one in for review... and now have two on order. Great little piece of kit, and I had absolutely no interest in adding a new preamp to the rack - much less two. It's been a long time, but I owned a few 2-610s way back. The Retro slides into saturation with so much more control. There's a very pleasant slope of coloration from clean into saturation/limiting with it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco1Disco2 View Post
Has anyone tried one yet? I'm interested in how it compares to my Solo 610.
Old 10th December 2019
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espen askelad View Post
I had one in for review... and now have two on order. Great little piece of kit, and I had absolutely no interest in adding a new preamp to the rack - much less two. It's been a long time, but I owned a few 2-610s way back. The Retro slides into saturation with so much more control. There's a very pleasant slope of coloration from clean into saturation/limiting with it.
Thanks! Good to know. I may try one out after the holidays.
Old 16th December 2019
  #29
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Anyone compared one to a Coil pre?

I have a Retro STA and though it would be nice to add a vintage style pre like this or a Coil CA 70.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #30
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Does anyone else have hands on experience with the Retro 500pre? I've only found one written review online and one (Vintage King) YouTube video.

Thanks!
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