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TFPRO P10 preliminary review...
Old 2nd February 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 
AdamJay's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
TFPRO P10 preliminary review...

My TFPRO P10 Mighty Twin arrived from RMC Audio this morning. I've been testing it out for about 4 hours today.

For those of you not familiar, this is a dual channel Mic Pre/DI/Compressor/EQ
from Ted Fletcher.

My preliminary assessment is that the compressor section is extremely versatile.
the 4 different modes are each unique to themselves, it sounds cliche but it truley is like having 4 compressors in 1.

As far as the 1176 mode (#2) vs. an actual 1176... i would say it captures the 'spirit' of the 1176 about as good as a $2200 dual channel strip could, much in a similar way though perhaps not as well as the Universal Audio reissues do. As a compressor it seems more aggressive, it doesn't quite retain that smooth 'hard to make it sound bad' quality. You can get it to pump alot more than the 1176, which may or may not be desired. Since i own a UA 1176, i don't mind it.
It takes me more time to get the sound i want out of this mode of the compressor than it does my UA 1176, but i do get to the sound i want faster than less expensive compressors such as the Focusrite Compounder, Drawmer DL241, and FMR RNLA.

Onto the LA-2A mode... (#3 on the mode switch)
I've never laid hand on a Urei or UA LA-2A, so my comparison of the P10 LA2A model stops at the UAD-1 LA2A plug-in.
As with the 1176, reminents of the vibe are definitely there. Its a bit strange having attack and release controls for that type of leveling, but it did come in handy when i tried it on a very percussive male hip-hop vocal.

The ther two modes (1-VCA, 2-SC2) are just as useful.

The EQ is great for tracking, and useful for mixing. I wouldn't necessarily use it on the mains however, the Q is a bit too wide for my tastes in this area of usage.
While the P10's Compressor sections can be linked across the stereo field, the EQ's on each channel cannot. So phase issues come into play with stereo mastering. One could get away with it, but you'd simply be better off with a dual channel, truley linkable multiband EQ with adjustable Q. Though it isn't as flexible as one would want for mix bus work, it is indeed musical.
The 4 band gain knobs are detented at 0dB.

I didn't spend as much time with the Preamplifiers today as i did the Comps and EQs.
But i spent enough time to notice that the noise level above 70dB is unbareable.
Fortunately my ultra quiet Beyer M-160 ribbon mics find 65 to 70dB enough.
Its a far cry from the endless clean gain of my Phoenix DRS-2, but the gain and tone of the preamp is certainly clean enough. Not transparent, not colorful. I equate it to a good quality console preamp, it also reminded me alot of the FMR RNP. Until you get to about 65dB on the gain that is.
The vari-phase on the preaamp section is a god send.
In the days to come i'll spend more time with the preamps and DI on the P10
I'll try to find time to shoot them out against the other pre's i own (Phoenix DRS, Brick, UA 610, ATI 8 mx2, etc.), but as they stand now in my limited experience with them, i think they'll find a home on lots of sources.

On to the physical attributes of the P10:
The meters are very fast and well lit.
The knobs are quite tall (long), so much so that if you are looking at the unit at a slight angle from above, it is difficult to read the names of the controls.
The feel of the knobs is truley excellent. smooth but not loose. firm but not stiff. and the shape of them allows me to make adjustments with just one finger, which i've found essential for the delicate adjustments it takes to get what i really want out of the 1176 mode in the compressor section.

The build of the case is sturdy and solid, though its very lightweight. the depth is actually under 5 inches. In light of its portability, i may actually take this out with me on a few remote gigs.

I think that for $2200 USD, the P10 gives you alot for your money.
Even without the EQ section this would be worth the money, but that really helps to put it over the top. The dual compressors are the stars here. Truley 4 compressors in 1. The included pre/di/eq just takes this piece to a whole new level of flexibility.
If you are looking for more options in your line of compression, you should consider the P10. And if you are looking for a quality channel strip with a compression section that will easily compete (and in many cases prevail) against many high end channel strips, the P10 might be your answer.
Attached Thumbnails
TFPRO P10 preliminary review...-p10_1.jpg   TFPRO P10 preliminary review...-p10_2.jpg   TFPRO P10 preliminary review...-p10_3.jpg  
Old 5th February 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I used one today.

In terms of eye candy everyone liked it.

I used it today for everything but the kick on a three mic drum set up. I also did an acoustic guitar track with it. I liked the EQ. I dialed in the acoustic sound the guitarist wanted in about 60 seconds.

On the drums, I put the mic in front of the kick through a Millenia TD-1. I found the Mighty Twin's sonics complemented those of the Millenia in this particular application.
Old 23rd February 2006 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Nut
 
TedF's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks guys, I seriously appreciate your comments on the P10.
I was just a little surprised at the comments on the mic pre.... there's good transformers in there and to my old ears they are like honey.

Under some conditions the massive gain available at the front end can, as with any top end preamp, sound noisy; it's always a bit of a compromise in the design between noise and overload capability..... There are not many preamps commercially available that actually produce more than 65dB gain.... the P10 has over 70dB at the front end, and an extra 10 at the output, so with a bit of EQ, 100dB of gain is theoretically possible!

I've set the P10 up for optimum performance with a good dynamic mic, that way it works perfectly with all decent capacitor mics, and will sound sweet with virtually anything you throw at it.

Ted Fletcher
Old 23rd February 2006 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
AdamJay's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ted,
regarding the pre's, if my only complaint is your pre's are noisey above 70dB - take it as a complement.

The pre's are a welcome section on the P10, i would have paid the same for the P10 without the preamps as the compressor and equalizers are where i think the P10 shines. But the preamps do fit a nitch that my other preamps do not. They are up front but not over-bearing. Clean but not drastically transparent. And just a little bit warm without being fuzzy and exaggerated. They're great all-arounders and great for overdubs, and they stack well in the mix. So, they aren't my first choice for a low output ribbon microphone, well if i didn't own a DRS-2 and have a DRS-Q4 on the way then i am sure that would change.

Mode #4 on the Comp has become my first choice for compressing male vocals.
paired with an AT4060, its more difficult to get a bad sound than a fantastic one.

I wouldn't tell anyone to buy the P10 for the pre's, but then again is there even a dual channel strip on the market that could be recommended just on preamps alone?
I would rather tell them to buy it for a pair of extremely versatile compressors, a solid EQ section, and don't forget that its got very usable preamps that may fit your source better than even those more expensive pre's from time to time.
Old 22nd March 2006 | Show parent
  #5
Registered User
 
Circulogi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey Adam, good feedback on the P10. I liked it too when I played with it. I checked out your website and you have some nice stuff. You ought to put an email contact on there, unless I missed it.

Take it easy.
Old 22nd March 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
AdamJay's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Circulogi
Hey Adam, good feedback on the P10. I liked it too when I played with it. I checked out your website and you have some nice stuff. You ought to put an email contact on there, unless I missed it.

Take it easy.

good looking out! that site's just a temporary thing right now, building a new place this spring and wont be done till the end of summer so until then its all remote work.
Old 22nd March 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Cool unit, but it looks way too much like the DBX 160SL guys.... Maybe it's just those pictures.
Old 22nd March 2006 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
GYang's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TedF
Thanks guys, I seriously appreciate your comments on the P10.
I was just a little surprised at the comments on the mic pre.... there's good transformers in there and to my old ears they are like honey.

Under some conditions the massive gain available at the front end can, as with any top end preamp, sound noisy; it's always a bit of a compromise in the design between noise and overload capability..... There are not many preamps commercially available that actually produce more than 65dB gain.... the P10 has over 70dB at the front end, and an extra 10 at the output, so with a bit of EQ, 100dB of gain is theoretically possible!

I've set the P10 up for optimum performance with a good dynamic mic, that way it works perfectly with all decent capacitor mics, and will sound sweet with virtually anything you throw at it.

Ted Fletcher
Ted nice to see you here.
New product line well deserves gearslutz attention, at least of younger gearslutzs that don't have big $$$ for bleeding edge high-end.
By the way, I'm still very satisfied with my early TF Pro P1 and P38 already won many hearts here, too.

Good luck.
Old 22nd March 2006 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
AdamJay's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont
Cool unit, but it looks way too much like the DBX 160SL guys.... Maybe it's just those pictures.
i can see the similarities. similar knobs especially, but not the same
the tips on the dbx's knobs are shorter, making the overall protrusion of the TFPRO knobs longer.

but yea, good eye. i hadn't noticed that before.
Old 25th October 2007 | Show parent
  #10
Here for the gear
 
Erik-RMCAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I just wanted to give an update on the P-10 and our relationship with TFPRO. We were one of the few USA dealers a few years ago and we stocked pretty much everything. Late last year they changed distribution in the USA to a company in the UK. This scared me a little bit and I should have seen the writing on the wall at this point. The last P10 we sold had an issue so I contacted TFPRO and this new distributor about it. 2 weeks later they offer to mail me a part so I could fix it myself. I requested they swap out the unit and they refused. In the meantime the customer just exchanged the P10 for some Drawmer and A Designs stuff which he loves. A few months later after constant nagging they finally mail me this part so I could fix this P10. To me this is unacceptable. I hope Ted figures out how to provide better customer / dealer support in the future. The product is good but just to leave people flapping in the wind like this is not cool. tutt
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