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Have you used tube preamps for recording acoustic and classical music ?
Old 1 week ago
  #31
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jnorman's Avatar
Ivo - thinking about this a bit more, I was wondering if perhaps you might achieve the effect you are after more directly via the use of a tube microphone, rather than a tube preamp. Since you are fond of Schoeps, have you considered perhaps a vintage Schoeps m221 or m201? Or, of course, the classic original Neumann u47?

If you decide a tube preamp is in order, again I might suggest a true vintage unit such as the telefunken v76, rca op-6, altec 1567a, etc - units from before circuitry was so totally linear.
Old 1 week ago
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Ivo - thinking about this a bit more, I was wondering if perhaps you might achieve the effect you are after more directly via the use of a tube microphone, rather than a tube preamp. Since you are fond of Schoeps, have you considered perhaps a vintage Schoeps m221 or m201? Or, of course, the classic original Neumann u47?
Good suggestion on the tube mic. If going to an AC701 tube mic like the m221, I would head over to the AC701/SDC mics KM 5x, KM 25x series of mics rather than the V14M/LDC U47. The KM56 for solo violin is still my favourite (I've shot it out vs U47 and vintage U67. The difference was massive.)
Old 1 week ago
  #33
I've used tube based preamps for decades here. Unlike most, I design them to be very clean, quiet and transparent. Slew rate is 12v/us. Bandwidth is 200k hz tube circuits, 80 k hz from the Jensen JT-115KE input transformer. EIN is -127.5 at 150 ohms source impedance. THD+noise is .003% while using zero negative feedback. Yes, those specs easily beat many so called clean SS preamps. Most have never heard fast and open sounding tube gear. When you remove the crap about all you hear is the mic, just the way I like it. YMMV.
Old 1 week ago
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Ivo - thinking about this a bit more, I was wondering if perhaps you might achieve the effect you are after more directly via the use of a tube microphone, rather than a tube preamp.
Same thing, in a way. The tube gain stage just comes earlier in the chain.
Old 1 week ago
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Good suggestion on the tube mic. If going to an AC701 tube mic like the m221, I would head over to the AC701/SDC mics KM 5x, KM 25x series of mics rather than the V14M/LDC U47. The KM56 for solo violin is still my favourite (I've shot it out vs U47 and vintage U67. The difference was massive.)
I’ve been tempted to try 221Bs or KM56s for main pairs on a chamber recording but I fear that self-noise could be an issue in quiet passages. Has anyone had great success with using good working specimens of vintage SDCs in a chamber setting? How about orchestral?
Old 1 week ago
  #36
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I have used my KM56 for quartet and double quartet plus bass. They are quieter than any vintage U67 I've used (and my KM56 are not even "c" versions; the reason I didn't modify mine to "c" was because they are so quiet that I wasn't concerned with getting the noise floor lower; I was recommended if I wanted to keep the "mojo" not to modify them and there was a risk of damage to the tube when undoing the coils for the change.) Mine are rated extremely good but not THE quietest heard by my very well-regarded vintage mic tech. So a well kept 56c/256c should be even quieter or has the possibility.

I have used 3 x m221b (not mine) on orchestra for the Decca Tree. Film scoring.

Noise was not an issue in either case. Are they as quiet as my DPAs (4011/4006)?... no. But very close and the noise that is there is very "shaped" to the insensitive parts of human hearing. I'm generally more concerned by the general broadband noise of air in the room than these mics.
(I would post samples but they are all owned)
Old 1 week ago
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Same thing, in a way. The tube gain stage just comes earlier in the chain.
depending on preamp design i'd say: my summit preamp can more easily be adjusted and be driven way harder (if wanted) than any tube mic will ever go - if a mic does, you're in trouble...
Old 1 week ago
  #38
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I can't help thinking that the DAV BG1 lies somewhere between the Forsell and the Fearn sonically.........two thirds from the Forsell and a third from the Fearn. The Goldilocks zone!?

There's something not nice about the reverb though on the samples, but you can look past that when listening to the pre amps.

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 1 week ago at 02:13 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
The audiophile community certainly tended to avoid the 'classic tube sound' ( a warm, mushy ill-defined bass, rolled off highs, large amounts of 2nd harmonic distortion) in favour of something which retained the transient speed, tightness of bass and extended HF of solid state....with some of the sharp edges shaved off. I'm sure, as 'audiophile' as that description sounds, you can appreciate what was being sought.
Did someone just mention the euphonic DAV BG1?

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 1 week ago at 05:19 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #40
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Plush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
I’ve been tempted to try 221Bs or KM56s for main pairs on a chamber recording but I fear that self-noise could be an issue in quiet passages. Has anyone had great success with using good working specimens of vintage SDCs in a chamber setting? How about orchestral?
I have never found that tube mics have any noise to worry about. At least a well maintained microphone will not have intrusive noise. Noisy tube mics need a tech.

My faves are Schoeps M221b and Neumann KM53.

From the standpoint of noise, I work with them as normal; as with a transistor microphone.
Old 1 week ago
  #41
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emrr's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
If you decide a tube preamp is in order, again I might suggest a true vintage unit such as the telefunken v76, rca op-6, altec 1567a, etc - units from before circuitry was so totally linear.
You don't want an OP-6 or any other portable vintage preamp with built in power supply, as the induced noise from the power transformer will wreck the experience. None of those type devices are remotely noise free, especially for ambient recording.
Old 1 week ago
  #42
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Doug - The original specifications claimed a frequency response of 30Hz to 15kHz, ±1dB, with distortion of 0.5 percent RMS at the nominal output level of +8dBm (dBm, not dBu, because it expected a 600Ω termination). The maximum output level was +18dBm with the noise level 70dB lower (ie. just -52dBm).
Old 1 week ago
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Doug - The original specifications claimed a frequency response of 30Hz to 15kHz, ±1dB, with distortion of 0.5 percent RMS at the nominal output level of +8dBm (dBm, not dBu, because it expected a 600Ω termination). The maximum output level was +18dBm with the noise level 70dB lower (ie. just -52dBm).
Yes, but have you actually used one?

The modules of the RCA line can be quiet enough, but only because the PSU is outboard. The portables do not qualify as quiet, they qualify as capable of making the spoken word of a reporter audible over a telco patch. The PSU accounts for more than the top 12dB of the noise floor. If you want to hear hum, the OP-6 is for you. There are plenty of better options from that time.
Old 1 week ago
  #44
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Doug - I defer to your technical expertise here. But, yes, I have used one - we had a single unit at Deep South back in the early 70s that Hal Ellis would occasionally pull out to use with our “new” U87 because he felt the Neumann was too bright... I don’t remember noise being an issue, but it was likely buried in the low S/N ratio of the tape machines anyway...(we didn’t even have Dolby in the studio at that time) - I remember it looking pretty cool though. And there is some company that makes clones of it these days, so I guess some people like it.
Old 1 week ago
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton View Post
Did someone just mention the euphonic DAV BG1?
I think the BG range straddles that divide quite successfully...leaning more to the solid state than the mushen-lushen tube end of the spectrum
Old 1 week ago
  #46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Doug - The original specifications claimed a frequency response of 30Hz to 15kHz, ±1dB, with distortion of 0.5 percent RMS at the nominal output level of +8dBm (dBm, not dBu, because it expected a 600Ω termination). The maximum output level was +18dBm with the noise level 70dB lower (ie. just -52dBm).
Ouch, that would hurt here. Low pass filter with an aural exciter and dither built in.
Old 1 week ago
  #47
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Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Ouch, that would hurt here. Low pass filter with an aural exciter and dither built in.
I think the Aphex Big Bottom would protect...to some degree ? http://www.aphex.com/products/exciter
Old 1 week ago
  #48
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I've been very curious about trying out a Pendulum Audio MDP-1. I had one a few years ago and loved it but never had the chance to use it in a classical location recording. I had to sell it to get the OCL-2 compressor. I miss both.
Old 1 week ago
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpillo View Post
I've been very curious about trying out a Pendulum Audio MDP-1. I had one a few years ago and loved it but never had the chance to use it in a classical location recording. I had to sell it to get the OCL-2 compressor. I miss both.
I used to have both ... In my experience and within my impression - slightly boring units with "nothing special" sound ... sold both ..
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