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any groove tubes brick people? Condenser Microphones
Old 27th September 2007
  #1
Here for the gear
 

any groove tubes brick people?

I've recently bought a groove tubes brick. I mainly intend to use it as a bass pre-amp/di. Been trying it with an elec guitar and a couple of basses (all passive) Seems I have to turn the gain right up to pretty much max to get a decent level out, and set the line input on my soundcard to -10 as opposed to +4. I'm plugging the instruments into the input level, do you think I should be plugging them into the mic input? Haven't actually tried the brick with microphones yet. Maybe the inst input is for something as strong as keyboards line-outs rather than guitars. Don't have much other experience with d.i. preamps apart from my other one which is a DAV BG1 and that works fine (though doesn't sound as punchy for instruments hence investing in the brick.) I don't think it's faulty but could be I suppose.
Old 27th September 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
hangman's Avatar
 

I had a couple bricks a while back... as I recall I was always turning the gain up pretty high. not so much with Synths... but bass DI, and most mics.
Old 27th September 2007
  #3
GT Brick

Hi. I've used the brick as a vocal spot pre with a neumann tlm103, 3 feet off the floor in front of classical recitalists many times. I found that I had too much gain and I had to get a shure pad. I think there's 25 dB to start with and then another 35 or 37 on the big black knob. If you plug it in and immediately use it, the gain is not so hot, literally, after it's warmed up (30 mins or more) it's stronger and smoother. The knob's last 10% yields hiss as well as gain so I don't go past 4 0'clock. Don't use it with cheap ribbons. It's excellent for church organs. I place it at the foot of the mic stand and run a short output into the snake. Once you get the hang of the performer/room you can set & forget the pre and adjust the recorder input gain (a little!) otherwise you have to crawl under the Soprano's dress to tweak the gain knob again. I bought another and use them for organ and other meaty sources.
Old 27th September 2007
  #4
Here for the gear
 

I just got one, and find the same thing. I did some searching around, and it seems this is how it works. Just not a high gain device, especially as a DI. However, it does sound pretty good to me. Also, there is more gain on the mic input, I find that signal a better match for +4.

If you have a comp, bump up the Output knob to get some makeup gain. That works for me with an Art VLA.
Old 29th September 2007
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audibell View Post
Hi. I've used the brick as a vocal spot pre with a neumann tlm103, 3 feet off the floor in front of classical recitalists many times. I found that I had too much gain and I had to get a shure pad. I think there's 25 dB to start with and then another 35 or 37 on the big black knob. If you plug it in and immediately use it, the gain is not so hot, literally, after it's warmed up (30 mins or more) it's stronger and smoother. The knob's last 10% yields hiss as well as gain so I don't go past 4 0'clock. Don't use it with cheap ribbons. It's excellent for church organs. I place it at the foot of the mic stand and run a short output into the snake. Once you get the hang of the performer/room you can set & forget the pre and adjust the recorder input gain (a little!) otherwise you have to crawl under the Soprano's dress to tweak the gain knob again. I bought another and use them for organ and other meaty sources.
That's cool to hear that you've been using them in a recital/classical context. I do some classical recording, and was thinking of getting a brick - but not for the recital hall/acoustic work, more the pop/rock stuff. I guess I just always hear classical = "clean" pre, but nice to know you've had success with it in that realm.
Old 30th September 2007
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Same experience

My The Brick has hum and hiss when turned up to the highest gain so I can't record quiet stuff (conversation a couple of metres away) with low output microphones like an SM57. It is just barely than it is OK with my MXL 603s microphones.

One thing The Brick is really awesome at is to make a bright microphone like the Studio Projects C1 more high frequency taimed. I love it for that application.

Regards
Old 30th September 2007
  #7
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evangelista's Avatar
 

FWIW, once I put Telefunken tubes in The Brick the noise floor dropped very significantly. Better tubes are a great way to improve this already excellent preamp.

Ivan
Old 30th September 2007
  #8
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emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by evangelista View Post
FWIW, once I put Telefunken tubes in The Brick the noise floor dropped very significantly. Better tubes are a great way to improve this already excellent preamp.

Ivan
Where did you get the tubes and did you replace all the tubes? Which tube models did you get? Sorry for all the questions, I believe you are the first person who has posted having done the upgrade. I have two Bricks here.

Thanks in advance........
Old 30th September 2007
  #9
mds
Lives for gear
 

I used to have one...it was pretty cool, but I did have gain and noise issues here and there on softer sources. The sound was VERY smooth and warm...sometimes too warm, but sometimes very cool. I probably should have kept it, but its a big beast and I wasn't using it enough...
Old 30th September 2007
  #10
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John Suitcase's Avatar
 

I use one for bass DI quite often, and it really depends on the bass. Sometimes I have to keep it pretty low, especially if the bass has active pickups. On the other hand, I'll occasionally turn it up to about 75% of full gain, that seems to be best with most bass guitars. I really like it, though I usually use it in conjunction with a mic on the cab. I use it as a mic pre sometimes, it seems to work very nicely with any condenser, and definitely adds some meat and mids to otherwise thin and brittle mics. It's a good match with my Studio Projects B1, which is otherwise a little sibilant.

On the other hand, I've had some good luck with a passive DI into a PM1000 channels trip for bass, with the eq tweaked a little, it gives a nice and meaty tone, too.
Old 30th September 2007
  #11
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j-uk's Avatar
 

Does anyone know how sells/distribute the brick in the UK? Sterling doesn't seem to anymore.
Old 30th September 2007
  #12
I use mine for my subkick channel. It works just fine there. I now use a REDDI for Bass DI
Old 30th September 2007
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
Sensual Ears's Avatar
 

i really prefer the solo 610 to the brick as far as sub-$1000 tube pres go...
Old 1st October 2007
  #14
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evangelista's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by emkay View Post
Where did you get the tubes and did you replace all the tubes? Which tube models did you get? Sorry for all the questions, I believe you are the first person who has posted having done the upgrade. I have two Bricks here.

Thanks in advance........

The schematic that's printed right on the bottom of the unit specifies a 12ax7 and a 12ay7, I believe. You might want to double check.

I used Telefunkens in mine, but i imagine any NOS American or German tube would be an improvement over the stock valves.

Go to a good guitar shop and ask the tech. Or, go here and order a couple - http://www.triodeelectronics.com/

Good luck,

Ivan
Old 1st October 2007
  #15
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emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by evangelista View Post
The schematic that's printed right on the bottom of the unit specifies a 12ax7 and a 12ay7, I believe. You might want to double check.

I used Telefunkens in mine, but i imagine any NOS American or German tube would be an improvement over the stock valves.

Go to a good guitar shop and ask the tech. Or, go here and order a couple - http://www.triodeelectronics.com/

Good luck,

Ivan

Thank you for your response and DUH!!
I bought mine and never looked on the bottom til now,thanks again!
Besides the gain issue, I think the Brick is a very underrated pre and DI which is fine by me......
Old 1st October 2007
  #16
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hangman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by evangelista View Post
The schematic that's printed right on the bottom of the unit specifies a 12ax7 and a 12ay7, I believe. You might want to double check.

I used Telefunkens in mine, but i imagine any NOS American or German tube would be an improvement over the stock valves.

Go to a good guitar shop and ask the tech. Or, go here and order a couple - http://www.triodeelectronics.com/

Good luck,

Ivan
I remember the two tubes being 12AX7 and a 12AU7.

as I recall the stock tubes in the brick weren't even gold series groove tubes. they were silver series. I replaced mine with the 12AX7Ms and electro harmonix 12AU7s and i was rather pleased with that. and spent much less money than if I had replaced them with NOS tubes.

-steve
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