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when do you guys reach for a tube pre?
Old 29th January 2007
  #1
Gear Nut
 

when do you guys reach for a tube pre?

I have a sytek which I like, but I don't like driving them hard.

I recently recorded at a good studio, and I heard a bass put through a vintech and the drums thru api's. It was cool to finally hear what driving these solid state pres do to the sound.

Now I'm curious as to what driving a tube pre sounds like. I've heard some of you more experienced guys say that you like putting vocals and bass through a tube pre if you have one handy. Why?
Old 29th January 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
I quit using transistor pre's entirely.
Old 29th January 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Harley-OIART's Avatar
 

Before this thread goes to far - I just want to jump in and say something important that gets said around here from time to time, and is solid sound advice.

'Just because something uses tube circuitry does not mean that it is incapable of sounding completely transparent and clean. Conversely, Solid State can be extremely coloured sounding. It is all about the design of the device.'

That being said, many tube preamps are quite "warm, fat, & pleasant" sounding to alot of users. This is the reason you would perhaps consider using them on a bass guitar preamp, or a vocal recording.

I'm just reminding people of the idea that you should not choose a peice of gear based on it's tube vs. solidstate characteristics. You choose it based on what its components do to the timbre of the input signal.

-Whatever I'll shut up now.
Old 29th January 2007
  #4
Gear Addict
 

I love my A-Designs MP2 for over heads. I didn't buy it for that, tried it on a whim and now rarely use anything else for OH's. I put the room mics into the Burr Browns on the Sytek and the OH's into the MP2 which is actually the opposite of what I thought would work best when I bought each.

Love pushing the UA 610 for vocals. Really sounds very good for big rock vocals as well as the initmate stuff. Love it with the Sony C38... which is a no-no in some peoples' book... The tube into tube thing. But it has a sweet natural compression that really works for some things.

I often don't like compressing tube pre tracks going to tape/protools as the noise floor gets out of hand. Oddly, after the fact it's rarely an issue.
Old 29th January 2007
  #5
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emrr's Avatar
I mainly use 40-60 year old restored tube preamps. For rock and pop projects. They tend to sound far clearer in the midrange to my ears. Easier to fit into a mix. My taste....
Old 29th January 2007
  #6
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taturana's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
I quit using transistor pre's entirely.
al least now you don't need a heater! if i did that in my studio in Rio i would most certainly cook....heh

seriously, that must sound good...
Old 29th January 2007
  #7
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vernier's Avatar
Old tube stuff runs cool ...some newer gets quite warm.

As for transistors or tubes, its apples and oranges. The dynamic and feel are not alike between the two -at all.
Old 29th January 2007
  #8
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmsander View Post

Now I'm curious as to what driving a tube pre sounds like.
I usually use my tube pre's until I run out of channels.

It's not about driving them though, I just like the sound.
Old 29th January 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
PhilE's Avatar
I dont tend to reach very often at all these days. Its all true whats said above about the tube/trans stuff and colour- I find its the trans I prefer at the moment- speed?
I do love the valves in the mic though!
Old 29th January 2007
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Old tube stuff runs cool ...some newer gets quite warm.

As for transistors or tubes, its apples and oranges. The dynamic and feel are not alike between the two -at all.


That's exactly what I'm getting at. - How do they react differently?
Old 29th January 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
Quote:
How do they react differently?
Things are lacking with transistors ...can't explain why though.
Old 29th January 2007
  #12
Gear Head
 
Kurt Foster's Avatar
 

I like my JLM TMP8 for drums bass and when I am micing my amp (with a KEL HM-1). For vocals my chain can differ. For my voice I like a SM7a through a system 9098 mic pre / eq with the eq set flat (but switched in with the glow and sheen switches in) then to a LA4 to the converter. If I use my U87ai I like to go to my Sebatron vmp 4000e. For some reason the Neumann sounds best when pushed through a tube. In the back of my mind I suppose I am thinking U67 ????

If I track guitar direct then I will always turn to the Seb for that old time Fender Deluxe Tweed tone.

Good luck with your endeavors,
Kurt
_________________________________

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From the sweet grass to the packing house--
Birth till Death -- We travel between the eternity's --"

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Buzz words and phrases that make me go, "Hmmmmm???";
"Pristine", "transparent", "warm" (and all variants), "virtually" and,
"performance approaching that of ..... (fill in the correct word)".
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