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my new build, VP"512" with front panel DI, pictures! Condenser Microphones
Old 27th October 2011
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum View Post
Sounds good . Less colored more clean sounding than the VP pres , sounds modern rock . The low end doesn't seem as phat though as the 512 and VP312DI . You said you tweaked things and the low end opened up , did it get bigger ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum View Post
Listening to the clips to compare , the monkey512x sounds like a modern pre , little brighter but still balanced from low to high .

The VP312 sounds more like a classic analog album from the 70's . Warmer , old school vibe , lots of mid range .
yes that's how I've been hearing it, now, right on both counts.

I wanted to update this thread and say I've been using this preamp exclusively on my demo recordings in the past month or so, and I'm in love with it. I could easily get along with 8 or 10 channels of these for everything. I'm very picky about preamps. It stacks well.

I think the cinemag input transformer gives a clean yet smooth and somewhat sweet sound (what I've come to think of as the "Cinemag sound"), the GAR2520 just does its job at being great and detailed, and the EA output transformer I think adds a bit of warm coloration while being fairly even frequency wise. I'm pretty sure the Cinemag CMOQ-2s will give the more familiar phat bass API 512c sound, that's what Dave at Cinemag told me. I'll probably build some like that, too, down the line, just because that's a cool sound, too, for some things. But I'm really liking this sorta vintage-modern hybrid.

I have been searching for a long time for a preamp that would record electric guitar as well as my Universal Audio 110 used to do, and this is it. The 3124+ was a little too shiny sounding. The VP312 sounds excellent on guitar, as well.
Old 27th October 2011
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
yes that's how I've been hearing it, now, right on both counts.

I wanted to update this thread and say I've been using this preamp exclusively on my demo recordings in the past month or so, and I'm in love with it. I could easily get along with 8 or 10 channels of these for everything. I'm very picky about preamps. It stacks well.

I think the cinemag input transformer gives a clean yet smooth and somewhat sweet sound (what I've come to think of as the "Cinemag sound"), the GAR2520 just does its job at being great and detailed, and the EA output transformer I think adds a bit of warm coloration while being fairly even frequency wise. I'm pretty sure the Cinemag CMOQ-2s will give the more familiar phat bass API 512c sound, that's what Dave at Cinemag told me. I'll probably build some like that, too, down the line, just because that's a cool sound, too, for some things. But I'm really liking this sorta vintage-modern hybrid.

I have been searching for a long time for a preamp that would record electric guitar as well as my Universal Audio 110 used to do, and this is it. The 3124+ was a little too shiny sounding. The VP312 sounds excellent on guitar, as well.
Nice , I'd love to hear more samples .

what makes the 3124 sound shiny ? My 512's had the same thing , the VP's sound more dry , thats what makes them 70's sounding and the 512 was shiny , which made it Modern shiny sounding .

What part of the mic pre brings that sound out ?
Old 27th October 2011
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum View Post
Nice , I'd love to hear more samples .

what makes the 3124 sound shiny ? My 512's had the same thing , the VP's sound more dry , thats what makes them 70's sounding and the 512 was shiny , which made it Modern shiny sounding .

What part of the mic pre brings that sound out ?
I'm not precisely sure, but I think a big part is the modern API 2520. It's slightly bright and hard sounding, everybody calls it "aggressive" I had good luck with op amp swaps
Old 27th October 2011
  #34
here's a section of a "dub" messaround experiment (key words "messaround experiment"). I think you can hear the character of this preamp, it's on everything. There's some slight limiting on the drum machine and the loudest sections of the song. there's a lot of guitar pedal effects inline on the instruments, but none on the mix other than the limiting mentioned. Bass and drum machine were DI. No EQ.
Attached Files
Old 28th October 2011
  #35
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That song sounds crazy , like its from an episode of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" , they make a song and say its gonna be a huge hit on the radio and make them millions , that would be the song , just have Master Shake and Meatwad singing over it .


The mic pre sounds great ! Its sounds clean and clear but not boring like most clean mic pres . It has a nice tight low end . Sounds expensive too , High End Vibe .
Old 28th October 2011
  #36
haha, I'll have to contact the Aqua Teen guys with a pitch, love it.

I agree on the tone assessment, I think those qualities make it all around useful. One improvement would be a T-pad attenuator for recording drums, like the VP312DI
Old 4th December 2011
  #37
Baz
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Does CAPI offer an API style module with a DI input? The only thing really holding me back from trying one is from what I've seen, they don't have one like all the other units I'm interested in
Old 4th December 2011
  #38
yes, check out the VP312DI
Old 5th December 2011
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz View Post
Does CAPI offer an API style module with a DI input? The only thing really holding me back from trying one is from what I've seen, they don't have one like all the other units I'm interested in

Check out my thread , the first post has a picture of the VP312DI .

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-...o-samples.html
Old 23rd January 2012
  #40
I added phantom power and DI/mic selection LEDs with help from Jeff, along with DC blocking capacitors in place of the R11 jumper to protect the output transformer from DC offset from the op amp in DI mode, using the VP312DI schematic and parts list as a reference.

The large Elma Silmic II electrolytic capacitor would not fit next to the R11 through holes due to my lack of luck in parts sourcing, I got a 35V capacitor instead of the 16V suggested. I had to lay it down next to the output transformer and secure it with silicone adhesive, and run wires from the transformer leads to the component through holes. Kinda "ghetto" but it looks pretty cool anyway. I attached the small Wima capacitor to the Elna with the solder joints, and a dab of super glue. I had to remove the R11 0 ohm resistor jumper. You could replace this with a switch or header/jumper if you wanted VP312DI functionality. That is, the ability to short/jumper these capacitors out of the circuit when not needed. I did not have the ability to easily measure op amp DC offset so I just decided to make them permanent.

So far it's been a good choice, anyway, because the addition of the capacitors makes a difference in the tone of the circuit. I am hearing a "thicker" sound, more "color" than before without the caps. I like this. The API 3124+ I sometimes miss had these capacitors in place, so I'm yet again closer to that sound. The colorful VP26 has this and additional capacitors in the audio path. The VP312DI has these optionally in place where the VP312 does not, a difference I have not yet heard mentioned in forum discussions. I think some audio purists have avoided electrolytic capacitors in the audio path of their circuit designs, which makes sense to me now, having heard the clean/accurate sound of such a circuit compared to the coloration added to the same circuit by the addition of these parts.

I've only just started recording with this so no long term feedback, but here are a couple of pictures. I might be able to post some audio clips later.



Old 23rd January 2012
  #41
the 3 mm LED holes would have been better done with a drill press with the face plate clamped down. The hand drill moved around a bit much even with a center punch having been used, a sloppy hole. I suppose you should drill the L bracket even larger than 3 mm as Jeff has done on his build thread so the LED can poke through farther. workmanship!

here's how it sounds now, on vocal (2247 SE), and DI bass, with no processing. (Please don't mind the nonsense song, I just wanted to hear the preamp). I'm beginning to see the appeal of the VP312DI's additional DI modes. The post-input transformer DI sound is real "slappy" or something almost like it's been run through a VCA compressor. Cool but not "amp-like." Buzz and noises are coming from the bass, not the preamp. I'm liking this as a vocal preamp. Thoughts?
Old 23rd January 2012
  #42
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I downloaded the files and I'm gonna give a listen on my NS10's later , instead of my crappy cheap PC speakers .
Old 24th January 2012
  #43
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It sounds good !

Like a modern API without the harshness . It sounds very clear . The vocals sound like how the dj's on radio broadcasts sound , I don't know what mic your using , but it has that low to your vocal and is very clear . It sounds full , clear and has a tight low end with a little bit of color . It still has a warm sound to it though , even though its clear . If you were after a modern api sound I think you have it .

You should post a thread on that DIY Prodigy forum . They'd be into it , It doesn't seem like theres many DIYer's around GS .
Old 25th January 2012
  #44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum View Post
It sounds good !

Like a modern API without the harshness . It sounds very clear . The vocals sound like how the dj's on radio broadcasts sound , I don't know what mic your using , but it has that low to your vocal and is very clear . It sounds full , clear and has a tight low end with a little bit of color . It still has a warm sound to it though , even though its clear . If you were after a modern api sound I think you have it .

You should post a thread on that DIY Prodigy forum . They'd be into it , It doesn't seem like theres many DIYer's around GS .
thanks for the feedback, and good idea about the Prodigy forum. I haven't started up there yet for some reason. Yes that's the sound I was going for, I'm so happy to have gotten it! VP312 is still good for "vintage." Mic was a Peluso 2247 SE in figure 8 pattern.
Old 25th January 2012
  #45
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This id a great thread, thank you for sharing all the info that you have.

I am just waiting for this kit to come back in stock before I start my first build.

I think that once I get a couple under my belt I will try the mods you have made.
Old 26th January 2012
  #46
thanks! this was a very satisfying project, because I ended up getting a "modern API sound without the harshness" like ScumBum said, at a ridiculously good price. I think the keys to this are the GAR2520 op amp, the Cinemag input transformer, the right load resistor, and the DC blocking caps. The DI has been nice too. I do miss the T-Pad attenuators I think I'll be building a pair with those without a DI.

I also forgot to mention, I added the protection diodes to the DI and the inputs of the op amp, using the Bo Hansen schematic as a reference. I think they are also on the VP312DI schematic. If I remember correctly I think they protect against static electricity.
Old 24th May 2013
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
thanks! this was a very satisfying project, because I ended up getting a "modern API sound without the harshness" like ScumBum said, at a ridiculously good price. I think the keys to this are the GAR2520 op amp, the Cinemag input transformer, the right load resistor, and the DC blocking caps. The DI has been nice too. I do miss the T-Pad attenuators I think I'll be building a pair with those without a DI.

I also forgot to mention, I added the protection diodes to the DI and the inputs of the op amp, using the Bo Hansen schematic as a reference. I think they are also on the VP312DI schematic. If I remember correctly I think they protect against static electricity.
I think I'm gonna build a pair of these for overheads . I really like the VP pres on overheads , everything sounds good , but I've found for my personally taste I like not as much color on cymbals . The VP312 sounds great but the Hihat sounds I think a little too colored for me . So I was looking around for cleaner DIY 500 series mic pre and these sound great , pretty much exactly what I was looking for . I'm not gonna build the DI version , just mic pres . I'll have to pm you to get all the details on what to do , unless its already listed in this thread .
Old 24th May 2013
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
thanks. that was a cool sound... I think I'm liking it even more now though. here's acoustic guitar and vocal with the same instruments and mics, but the preamp has had an altered zobel network and load resistor as described in the post above, since the previous sound clips. subtle difference, I think you get a little more "punch" this way
Is this the final version ?
Old 24th May 2013
  #49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum View Post
Is this the final version ?
the final version was a little later, when I added the coupling capacitor between the op amp and output transformer, posted a little farther down in the thread.
Old 1st May 2015
  #50
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
thanks. that was a cool sound... I think I'm liking it even more now though. here's acoustic guitar and vocal with the same instruments and mics, but the preamp has had an altered zobel network and load resistor as described in the post above, since the previous sound clips. subtle difference, I think you get a little more "punch" this way
Man, this pre sounds nice and mellow. I'm missing a bit of low end ( as you mentioned I would ). What would be comparable to this in 2015? lol Which Capi do I get? I'm happy with my hairball audio copper mic pre so far. But it is missing bass a little.

Lastly, what microphone did you use for the clips?
Old 2nd May 2015
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRanger View Post
Man, this pre sounds nice and mellow. I'm missing a bit of low end ( as you mentioned I would ). What would be comparable to this in 2015? lol Which Capi do I get? I'm happy with my hairball audio copper mic pre so far. But it is missing bass a little.

Lastly, what microphone did you use for the clips?
I think the main microphones used in those clips were a KSM141 on guitar and Peluso 2247 SE on vocals.

If you want a sound like this, buy a VP312 from CAPI, but don't buy their input transformer. Instead order one from Cinemag. You could do the output transformer too if you desired.

Then you just choose the load resistor you want, or omit it, and add the right zobel network for the transformer in question (see the Cinemag data sheet).

The DI mod is a bit much, I wouldn't recommend it unless you're really after some DIY. You know, DI boxes being commonly available and all. It's a good sound but it's a little tweaky to get it to work.

These are my favorite preamps by the way. The other favorite being the SCA N72. Between these two I don't feel I need much more. Although I'll use my Audient and Tascam just the same. These custom "VP512" have been my favorite for a long time though, I should probably do a few more for extra channels. I use them all the time. I'm a big fan of Cinemag transformers, too.

Last edited by monkeyxx; 2nd May 2015 at 04:25 AM..
Old 2nd May 2015
  #52
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I think the main microphones used in those clips were a KSM141 on guitar and Peluso 2247 SE on vocals.

If you want a sound like this, buy a VP312 from CAPI, but don't buy their input transformer. Instead order one from Cinemag. You could do the output transformer too if you desired.

Then you just choose the load resistor you want, or omit it, and add the right zobel network for the transformer in question (see the Cinemag data sheet).

The DI mod is a bit much, I wouldn't recommend it unless you're really after some DIY. You know, DI boxes being commonly available and all. It's a good sound but it's a little tweaky to get it to work.

These are my favorite preamps by the way. The other favorite being the SCA N72. Between these two I don't feel I need much more. Although I'll use my Audient and Tascam just the same. These custom "VP512" have been my favorite for a long time though, I should probably do a few more for extra channels. I use them all the time. I'm a big fan of Cinemag transformers, too.

Wow! That's a whole lot of work that I'm not true by to do. Lol

However, I wonder if I can pay someone to " design " one of the hairball silver pres. I basically want what I have now ( copper ) with more low end.

I'm not really about saturating things to distortion. I let my instruments take care of that. But I do like the color of the hairball copper. I'd just like some with extended lows. I paid pro recording store $100 per unit to put the it together. And they did an awesome job.

You seem to know what you're doing. Can I just pay you? Haha
Old 2nd May 2015
  #53
I guess I could work on comission for a custom build if you really want and can pay up front.

However if you like the Hairball sound, their Lola with the BA512 op amp is still Nevey (copper) but with a bigger low end. I really want to try that.

I would also recommend the SCA N72 as a DIY preamp kit with a big full low end and the familiar "neve" type sound.
Old 3rd May 2015
  #54
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I guess I could work on comission for a custom build if you really want and can pay up front.

However if you like the Hairball sound, their Lola with the BA512 op amp is still Nevey (copper) but with a bigger low end. I really want to try that.

I would also recommend the SCA N72 as a DIY preamp kit with a big full low end and the familiar "neve" type sound.
Yeah, i'd be into that. I've heard clips of the SCA N72. Nice piece. I recorded the hairball on drums today. I'm starting to think I was wrong about low end. lol It's not massive, but it's big for sure. I was rushed today. So I didn't really get a chance to deal with mic placement. The hats are hot because I wanted to see how offensive they could be upfront.

All I'll say is that, My apollo mic press can't compare. I want to sell my apollo now. haha. But in short, I'm really digging these pres. I'm not sure i'd need more low end. Not from the lola anyway. But i'm interested in the Gold and Bronze.

You have any audio clips of the SCA N72?
Old 3rd May 2015
  #55
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I guess I could work on comission for a custom build if you really want and can pay up front.

However if you like the Hairball sound, their Lola with the BA512 op amp is still Nevey (copper) but with a bigger low end. I really want to try that.

I would also recommend the SCA N72 as a DIY preamp kit with a big full low end and the familiar "neve" type sound.
I mean, i can't tell you how much smoother & cleaner this is than my apollo mic pre amps. I thought my Joly pics were bright. HA!

I can actually use my UA plugs and not be mad when I play it in my car. The kit is a C&C kit. I like darker " Jazz " sounding cymbals. They blend better in the music I play. Ambassadors on everything else. If you're into the nerd stuff. lol
Attached Files

Mono Overhead_Center of Kit.mp3 (2.52 MB, 534 views)

Hairball Copper Overhead 1.mp3 (4.89 MB, 552 views)

Old 3rd May 2015
  #56
Nice drumming! As you can tell, I am into the nerd stuff, fo sho. I'm sure I've posted something with the N72 on here somewhere, it's one of my favorite preamps. When I'm recording rock music, it brings the fullness to heavy guitars or bass, or vocals. I favor the API school of sound for most things, but the N72 brings in the low end in a very nice way, and a smoothness you sometimes want. It's pretty much a cliche, but these two sounds will do most of what you need. "Tube" and "clean" might be the other half of the typical 4 preamp schools of thought. The UA Apollo is quite a unit, but I would rely on it more for conversion and processing than ultimate preamp quality, don't sell! That's how I use mine, anyway. I think the recording connoisseur will always probably want to be spending money on premium microphones, preamps, and direct boxes, no matter how nice the interface. Not to mention mixing and monitoring gear. It seems like you've got a lot of nice stuff going on that a lot of people would envy.
Old 3rd May 2015
  #57
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Nice drumming! As you can tell, I am into the nerd stuff, fo sho. I'm sure I've posted something with the N72 on here somewhere, it's one of my favorite preamps. When I'm recording rock music, it brings the fullness to heavy guitars or bass, or vocals. I favor the API school of sound for most things, but the N72 brings in the low end in a very nice way, and a smoothness you sometimes want. It's pretty much a cliche, but these two sounds will do most of what you need. "Tube" and "clean" might be the other half of the typical 4 preamp schools of thought. The UA Apollo is quite a unit, but I would rely on it more for conversion and processing than ultimate preamp quality, don't sell! That's how I use mine, anyway. I think the recording connoisseur will always probably want to be spending money on premium microphones, preamps, and direct boxes, no matter how nice the interface. Not to mention mixing and monitoring gear. It seems like you've got a lot of nice stuff going on that a lot of people would envy.
And how much is the n72?
Old 3rd May 2015
  #58
$329 for the kit but you need the chassis and front panel too https://seventhcircleaudio.com/
Old 4th May 2015
  #59
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
$329 for the kit but you need the chassis and front panel too https://seventhcircleaudio.com/
wow. Well, back to saving. I better actually make a record to make this expensive hobby feel worth it. lol I love gear. But man, it cost to love. Women or music. hahaha
Old 4th May 2015
  #60
I know how you feel. My friends probably think I'm ridiculous from what I own. I just enjoy it that much! And it does make music all the more satisfying as it happens.
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