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Sound Elux 215 & Groove Tube Vipre.
Old 18th January 2017 | Show parent
  #31
SEED78
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggy Neve Slut ➡️
Got me a glory over the weekend and what it does for vocals and bass are amazing!
do you prefer to your 100a?
Old 18th January 2017 | Show parent
  #32
Lives for gear
 
Crash's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggy Neve Slut ➡️
Got me a glory over the weekend and what it does for vocals and bass are amazing!
As in one of these?

Old 18th January 2017
  #33
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've not given it a good thrashing yet and not compared to the TLA , but they are diff beasts.

It's more flexible but different tones for sure.

In the future I'm sure I'd have both hit a vocal at some point and bass too.

I plan to reprint a vocal and bass through the Glory, TLA and one of my Rev F Urei's .

Most likely use them all in the mix to impart the tone of the comps on the lead vox n bass.
Old 18th January 2017 | Show parent
  #34
Lives for gear
 
Squawk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggy Neve Slut ➡️
Got me a glory over the weekend and what it does for vocals and bass are amazing!
Nice, congrats! I never had the chance to check one out! Would make a nice compliment to the Vipre I bet.
Old 18th January 2017 | Show parent
  #35
Lives for gear
 
deuc647's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I never understood why all these clone people dont redo these units. A long time ago Drip was asking what units should he do next and i immediately said a viPre and i guess it fell on deaf ears but the schematics are out there and the multi tap transformer is known so it would just take a talented person to do the PCBs
Old 2nd March 2017 | Show parent
  #36
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSky Media ➡️
I have the documentation that came with mine.

FWIW, it gives the reference date as 2001 and explicitly lists the address of manufacture as San Fernando CA, USA.

I don't know what happened later (e.g. after the company was acquired by Fender) but Aspen's comments do seem to indicate that some or all of the manufacture may have been outsourced at some point.
Enjoying all the nice comments about the ViPRE (and Gloy Comp) here, as well as some of the speculations here about 'pre and post' Fender productions...so I am chiming in to settle the ViPRE 'origin' issue;

All Glory Comps and ViPREs are basically the same. There were NO 'post Fender' productions of either, same for the SuPRE and GT Brick. There were only a few minor cosmetic changes in these products over the 7 years they were in production.

At this point in our 30 year Groove Tubes Audio story, all of the above mentioned GT Audio products were being built in a partnered factory located in the suburbs of Shanghai China, which we discovered after some searching.

This facility was owned and operated by some pretty sharp old Chinese tube Yodas who loved and made great sounding tube gear. They also knew how to make great tube audio transformers (although the ViPRE used our own custom designed USA input and output transformers which we imported to China along w/ our Groove Tubes used in these productions).

This very small boutique tube amp factory had been specializing in building high end tube Hi Fi gear for many years...and as such they were quite were familiar with high quality hand assembly practices that would be required to build our ViPRE...which was a fully floated true differential (balanced front to rear) circuit that had 2 gain switches (1dB and 5dB, and each switch represented over 120 hand soldered connections!), 5 different ways to 'load' the microphone (including 4 balanced transformer impedance settings), thousands of hand soldered connections and over 56 hours of hand assembly hours required to build and test ONE finished ViPRE. So they were the perfect partner for our project...and it worked out very well.

The first 4 or 5 prototypes were progressively built in our San Fernando labs until we had 2 Golden sample units which we showed at the 2000 AES and NAMM shows (under the Alesis brand) and took orders. Then used these as build samples to develop the first run in Shanghai. So there were only two USA made ViPRES but one stayed at our factory in Shanghai, and the other is in my rack at APR studios....none were ever 'sold'.

However, the heart of the ViPRE were the imported (to China) critical signal path components; Groove Tubes specially selected (9) tubes, it's unique Variable impedance dual core humbucking microphone input transformer sealed in a potted Mu Metal can (VERY expensive itemm) and it's mated oversized Nickle core output transformer.

One key element to a great sounding audio device is a high quality, well designed and manufactured transformer set (input and output), and ours were one of the last designs by the late great Tom Riechenbach (who's dad Ed designed and built all the Jensen transformers for Dean during the Golden era of Jensen transformers). Tom's brand name of Cinemag in Chattsworth California is on both the highly complex variable tapped input transformer, and the massive output Transformers of ViPRE. BTW Cinemag STILL makes some of our industry's finest audio xfmrs, now run by Tom's partner Dave.

We shipped the US made transformers and tube sets to Shanghai where our US based product manager (the capsule engineer who made all of our later generation award wining GT mics) over saw all areas of production, including the many types of custom made switches, VU Meters and even our replicated RCA knobs. We also imported WIMA caps and 1% resistors from Europe and the USA to keep tolerances tight. All ViPEs and Glory Comps were made to exact 1% tolerances and so were factory matched by design...perfect for stereo recording!

So regarding 'origin'; by content value of the BOM (Bill Of Materials), all ViPREs and Gloys were about 70% USA content, and 30% custom made Chinese content. Nothing in a ViPRE was 'off the shelf'. Measured by labor content they were about 70% Chinese and 30% USA...because we had a good number of hours in the lab back here where we installed the tubes and finished 'fine tuning' here in So Cal....every one had to pass the 1% test thru an Audio Precision regiment, and that alone took 30+ minutes to run.

The first prototypes were produced and debuted under the Alesis brand and ownership, this after they had purchased our GT audio division. We had been woking on the prototype at the time I decided to sell them my audio catalog and take a partnership role as designer...keeping my main focus on my Groove Tubes company and the several new original vacuum tubes I was designing and building prototypes at my San Fernando factory. During these months I was working simultaneously for both companies commuting from Groove Tubes in San Fernando to Alesis in Santa Monica.

Unfortunately Alesis was at the end of their rope and filed for bankruptcy before they ever shipped one ViPRE. And because they had failed to make several progress payments on the sale of my audio division, I foreclosed and got my audio division back about 6 months before their 'bitter end'.

But as we were very close to the finish line on ViPRE..and had 100s of orders (which we inherited). So I hawked my Harley Wide Gide and my last classic car and finally able to ship the ViPRE out under the GT Audio 'San Fernando' brand. The Groove Tubes company headquarters were in San Fernando, so all our products bore that address, but we never used a 'Made in" prefix on any of our products, and anyway these were truly multinational products!

BTW, that old GT San Fernando factory is still the home of my APR recording studio (32 track all tube into Protools), my modest 2 bay vintage car restoration shop and my R&D lab where I design products for my new company APD (stands for Aspen Pittman Designs). My main focus these days is on my patented Center Point Stereo speaker technology. although I have reissued my magnetically attaching pop filters and my TEC award winning GT Convertible mic (now called DT1 for Dual Top). But I believe CPS is my most significant contribution ever and will change the way we make live music forever...producing a 3D stereo soundfield everywhere in the room from a single cabinet!

But I digress...so back on topic; as was correctly mentioned here, the MSRP for both ViPRE and Glory Comp was $3500, and street price was just just under $3K. I am gratified to see these are still bringing nearly that much on the auction website, and that for used products now over 15 years old!

So to set the record straight...there were NO 'post Fender' and/or entirely USA built ViPREs (or Glorys, SuPREs or Bricks). But if we had ever built the ViPRE entirely here in the states, including the half dozen reissued vintage components such as the 4 deck rotary gain switches, vintage panel toggle switches, our custom VU Meters and even those RCA knobs we made from scratch...not to mention the 56 hours of highly skilled assembly and test labor required to bring one ViPRE across the finish linea...the street price would have been around $15K....and that was $15k @ 15 years ago money!

Lastly I'd like to mention I still support all my former GT audio products, and we have a great Service station in Orange California by name of PMTS (stands for Paul Morte Technical Services). Paul keeps all my ViPRES, Glory Comps and Bricks in top notch order.

Fender bought GT in 2008 (when I had to take a medical leave of absence and lower my stress levels) but they had no interest in continuing with my high end studio line. They wanted my 13 original tubes I had in production, and my Brand reputation. However they had the great foresight to give PMTS my old Engineering department including all documentation, my old Audio Precision test systems and quantities of spare parts....so he can do it all, and at very reasonable rates. APR studios has 32 all GT tube audio channels (ViPREs, SuPREs, Bricks and Glorys) so Paul has been a blessing for us...highly recommended!

Last edited by Aspen Pittman; 2nd March 2017 at 10:26 AM.. Reason: grammar, spelling
Old 2nd March 2017 | Show parent
  #37
Lives for gear
 
DarkSky Media's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gross Tetrodes ➡️
...so I am chiming in to settle the ViPRE 'origin' issue;
Interesting reading, and thanks for giving such a detailed account of the background to the ViPRE and Glory comp, Aspen! It's good to have clarity on a number of points, as well as being an illuminating history.
Old 2nd March 2017 | Show parent
  #38
Lives for gear
 
Crash's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gross Tetrodes ➡️
....Glory Comps and ViPREs are basically the same. There were NO 'post Fender' productions of either, same for the SuPRE and GT Brick.
That is the way I remembered it.
Old 2nd March 2017 | Show parent
  #39
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash ➡️
Yep, mine does too and says something about San Fernando. I have no doubt that they shipped all the components to China for final assembly as I am sure mine was.
Yes. What he said.

All ViPREs (Glory Comps and SuPREs) were the same, just minor cosmetic upgrades along the way, there was no pre/post Fender era.

All were mostly hand built in China with content of the BOM (Bill of Materials @ value) mostly USA...as follows:

70% USA; 9 vacuum tubes, in/out audio transformers (by Cimemag), titanium 1% resisters and WIMA caps (Germany).

30% China; various custom made switches, VU Meters, chassis and power transformer.

Labor (50+ hours per unit @ value) as follows:

80% China; assembly and initial test with 'Golden sample' tube sets that stayed at factory

20% San Fernando USA; 9 preselected and closely matched tubes installed (mandatory for ViPRE's fully floated differential 'mirror image' signal path), then a final QC process including about a half day on the bench with an audio engineer. Each ViPRE had to pass a 1% tolerance final Audio Precision automated test which took about an hour alone. Finally a critical listening test before pack out.
Old 2nd March 2017 | Show parent
  #40
Lives for gear
 
Crash's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It's a shame the CL1S line didn't go beyond the 50ish or so units you guys made. I have one of those and it is an interesting comp. I have the ViPre and Glory Comp as well but the CL1S, while hard to look at in it's over reflective chromed out face, is really kind of a quirky piece that I am glad I stumbled across.


Last edited by Crash; 2nd March 2017 at 05:37 PM..
Old 2nd March 2017 | Show parent
  #41
Lives for gear
 
deuc647's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sucks cuz i think that the viPre would kill it in todays markets where people arent afraid to spend money on a great product. All the new boutique companies are proof of that
Old 2nd March 2017 | Show parent
  #42
Lives for gear
 
Squawk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gross Tetrodes ➡️
Enjoying all the nice comments about the ViPRE (and Gloy Comp) here, as well as some of the speculations here about 'pre and post' Fender productions...so I am chiming in to settle the ViPRE 'origin' issue...
Awesome, thank you for the info, and thank you for making the Vipre! It's still very much loved here. All the best to you!
Old 25th October 2017
  #43
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Nearly got a CL1-S on Ebay a few years ago at a GREAT price too. Didn't know they were so rare.
Old 25th October 2017 | Show parent
  #44
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspen Pittman ➡️
Enjoying all the nice comments about the ViPRE (and Gloy Comp) here, as well as some of the speculations here about 'pre and post' Fender productions...so I am chiming in to settle the ViPRE 'origin' issue;

All Glory Comps and ViPREs are basically the same. There were NO 'post Fender' productions of either, same for the SuPRE and GT Brick. There were only a few minor cosmetic changes in these products over the 7 years they were in production.

At this point in our 30 year Groove Tubes Audio story, all of the above mentioned GT Audio products were being built in a partnered factory located in the suburbs of Shanghai China, which we discovered after some searching.

This facility was owned and operated by some pretty sharp old Chinese tube Yodas who loved and made great sounding tube gear. They also knew how to make great tube audio transformers (although the ViPRE used our own custom designed USA input and output transformers which we imported to China along w/ our Groove Tubes used in these productions).

This very small boutique tube amp factory had been specializing in building high end tube Hi Fi gear for many years...and as such they were quite were familiar with high quality hand assembly practices that would be required to build our ViPRE...which was a fully floated true differential (balanced front to rear) circuit that had 2 gain switches (1dB and 5dB, and each switch represented over 120 hand soldered connections!), 5 different ways to 'load' the microphone (including 4 balanced transformer impedance settings), thousands of hand soldered connections and over 56 hours of hand assembly hours required to build and test ONE finished ViPRE. So they were the perfect partner for our project...and it worked out very well.

The first 4 or 5 prototypes were progressively built in our San Fernando labs until we had 2 Golden sample units which we showed at the 2000 AES and NAMM shows (under the Alesis brand) and took orders. Then used these as build samples to develop the first run in Shanghai. So there were only two USA made ViPRES but one stayed at our factory in Shanghai, and the other is in my rack at APR studios....none were ever 'sold'.

However, the heart of the ViPRE were the imported (to China) critical signal path components; Groove Tubes specially selected (9) tubes, it's unique Variable impedance dual core humbucking microphone input transformer sealed in a potted Mu Metal can (VERY expensive itemm) and it's mated oversized Nickle core output transformer.

One key element to a great sounding audio device is a high quality, well designed and manufactured transformer set (input and output), and ours were one of the last designs by the late great Tom Riechenbach (who's dad Ed designed and built all the Jensen transformers for Dean during the Golden era of Jensen transformers). Tom's brand name of Cinemag in Chattsworth California is on both the highly complex variable tapped input transformer, and the massive output Transformers of ViPRE. BTW Cinemag STILL makes some of our industry's finest audio xfmrs, now run by Tom's partner Dave.

We shipped the US made transformers and tube sets to Shanghai where our US based product manager (the capsule engineer who made all of our later generation award wining GT mics) over saw all areas of production, including the many types of custom made switches, VU Meters and even our replicated RCA knobs. We also imported WIMA caps and 1% resistors from Europe and the USA to keep tolerances tight. All ViPEs and Glory Comps were made to exact 1% tolerances and so were factory matched by design...perfect for stereo recording!

So regarding 'origin'; by content value of the BOM (Bill Of Materials), all ViPREs and Gloys were about 70% USA content, and 30% custom made Chinese content. Nothing in a ViPRE was 'off the shelf'. Measured by labor content they were about 70% Chinese and 30% USA...because we had a good number of hours in the lab back here where we installed the tubes and finished 'fine tuning' here in So Cal....every one had to pass the 1% test thru an Audio Precision regiment, and that alone took 30+ minutes to run.

The first prototypes were produced and debuted under the Alesis brand and ownership, this after they had purchased our GT audio division. We had been woking on the prototype at the time I decided to sell them my audio catalog and take a partnership role as designer...keeping my main focus on my Groove Tubes company and the several new original vacuum tubes I was designing and building prototypes at my San Fernando factory. During these months I was working simultaneously for both companies commuting from Groove Tubes in San Fernando to Alesis in Santa Monica.

Unfortunately Alesis was at the end of their rope and filed for bankruptcy before they ever shipped one ViPRE. And because they had failed to make several progress payments on the sale of my audio division, I foreclosed and got my audio division back about 6 months before their 'bitter end'.

But as we were very close to the finish line on ViPRE..and had 100s of orders (which we inherited). So I hawked my Harley Wide Gide and my last classic car and finally able to ship the ViPRE out under the GT Audio 'San Fernando' brand. The Groove Tubes company headquarters were in San Fernando, so all our products bore that address, but we never used a 'Made in" prefix on any of our products, and anyway these were truly multinational products!

BTW, that old GT San Fernando factory is still the home of my APR recording studio (32 track all tube into Protools), my modest 2 bay vintage car restoration shop and my R&D lab where I design products for my new company APD (stands for Aspen Pittman Designs). My main focus these days is on my patented Center Point Stereo speaker technology. although I have reissued my magnetically attaching pop filters and my TEC award winning GT Convertible mic (now called DT1 for Dual Top). But I believe CPS is my most significant contribution ever and will change the way we make live music forever...producing a 3D stereo soundfield everywhere in the room from a single cabinet!

But I digress...so back on topic; as was correctly mentioned here, the MSRP for both ViPRE and Glory Comp was $3500, and street price was just just under $3K. I am gratified to see these are still bringing nearly that much on the auction website, and that for used products now over 15 years old!

So to set the record straight...there were NO 'post Fender' and/or entirely USA built ViPREs (or Glorys, SuPREs or Bricks). But if we had ever built the ViPRE entirely here in the states, including the half dozen reissued vintage components such as the 4 deck rotary gain switches, vintage panel toggle switches, our custom VU Meters and even those RCA knobs we made from scratch...not to mention the 56 hours of highly skilled assembly and test labor required to bring one ViPRE across the finish linea...the street price would have been around $15K....and that was $15k @ 15 years ago money!

Lastly I'd like to mention I still support all my former GT audio products, and we have a great Service station in Orange California by name of PMTS (stands for Paul Morte Technical Services). Paul keeps all my ViPRES, Glory Comps and Bricks in top notch order.

Fender bought GT in 2008 (when I had to take a medical leave of absence and lower my stress levels) but they had no interest in continuing with my high end studio line. They wanted my 13 original tubes I had in production, and my Brand reputation. However they had the great foresight to give PMTS my old Engineering department including all documentation, my old Audio Precision test systems and quantities of spare parts....so he can do it all, and at very reasonable rates. APR studios has 32 all GT tube audio channels (ViPREs, SuPREs, Bricks and Glorys) so Paul has been a blessing for us...highly recommended!
Hi Aspen,

How does the DT1 differ from the GT33?
Old 25th October 2017 | Show parent
  #45
Lives for gear
 
Crash's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk ➡️
Nearly got a CL1-S on Ebay a few years ago at a GREAT price too. Didn't know they were so rare.
I found mine on Craigslist of all places as I recall. I think I spent $1K on it, bought it from a guy that had a sound company a few hours away and was liquidating his gear. We met in a CVS or Walgreens parking lot in Fredericksburg TX and did the deal. If you find one, they are really cool. They run really hot but sound amazing in my opinion.
Old 25th October 2017 | Show parent
  #46
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash ➡️
I found mine on Craigslist of all places as I recall. I think I spent $1K on it, bought it from a guy that had a sound company a few hours away and was liquidating his gear. We met in a CVS or Walgreens parking lot in Fredericksburg TX and did the deal. If you find one, they are really cool. They run really hot but sound amazing in my opinion.
Oh man, the one I missed out on was way less than that! Damn!!!
Old 25th October 2017 | Show parent
  #47
Lives for gear
 
Crash's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk ➡️
Oh man, the one I missed out on was way less than that! Damn!!!
DOH!!!!! Too bad man.
Old 25th October 2017
  #48
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
There’s a Vipre on eBay UK at the moment.

I’m still loving my glory.. Aspen if you’re reading this or anyone else.. how can I get a manual for my glory comp?
Old 25th October 2017 | Show parent
  #49
Lives for gear
 
Crash's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggy Neve Slut ➡️
There’s a Vipre on eBay UK at the moment.

I’m still loving my glory.. Aspen if you’re reading this or anyone else.. how can I get a manual for my glory comp?
I think I have a copy I could send you. I found it on line just don't remember where. See if you can pull it off of here.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2F...ew?usp=sharing

Last edited by Crash; 26th October 2017 at 01:04 PM..
Old 26th October 2017 | Show parent
  #50
SEED78
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggy Neve Slut ➡️
There’s a Vipre on eBay UK at the moment.
Saw that, currently I don't have the rack space or the cash. Been wanting to try out a ViPre for years.
Old 27th October 2017 | Show parent
  #51
Lives for gear
 
Crash's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
There is a ViPre that just popped up on Reverb for those that are looking. Asking price is a bit high in my opinion but maybe they can get that kind of coin now since they are not going to make anymore. Also a SuPre is over on Ebay.
Old 27th October 2017 | Show parent
  #52
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEED78 ➡️
Saw that, currently I don't have the rack space or the cash. Been wanting to try out a ViPre for years.
had one on a demo when they first came out ... interesting .. the Impedence switch was like a slight EQ .. kinda cool .. but nothing special IMHO .. had it for about a week .. gave it back .. there are many more interesting units out there ..
Old 27th October 2017 | Show parent
  #53
Lives for gear
 
Squawk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 ➡️
had one on a demo when they first came out ... interesting .. the Impedence switch was like a slight EQ .. kinda cool .. but nothing special IMHO .. had it for about a week .. gave it back .. there are many more interesting units out there ..
One week and how many mics?

Still one of my favs here, and I've had mine for ages. Bought it brand new when they came out. There's lots of great preamps out there, that is true. Less at that time though.
Old 27th October 2017 | Show parent
  #54
Lives for gear
 
Bryce's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk ➡️
Yeah, still love mine, also the pre Fender version. I'll probably never sell it. Great as a DI on bass also.
+100. Pretty much all bass recorded at my place goes through the VIPre.

dB
Old 27th October 2017
  #55
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks for the manual..
Old 27th October 2017 | Show parent
  #56
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk ➡️
One week and how many mics?

Still one of my favs here, and I've had mine for ages. Bought it brand new when they came out. There's lots of great preamps out there, that is true. Less at that time though.
every mic i owned and a couple borrowed .. from U67 to Coles Ribbon to 57's .. just not my cup of tea .. we all have different opinions on pres for sure .. happy you dig it .. !!!
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