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8 Channel Valve Interface... What's around?
Old 18th September 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
8 Channel Valve Interface... What's around?

Hi

I was wandering if there was any decent 8 Channel Valve Interfaces worth looking at. I have an 16 channel mixing but I want to get a little bit more of an analogue sound. I used a TL Audio VL1 back in the 90's but it apears that has been discontinued... can't seem to find anything similar... just a simple 8 in 8 out no fuss goes through a tube style thing.

I'm thinking now with the lack of info out there that this may not even be a good idea. Do people not do this?

Any thoughts on this?

C
Old 19th September 2012
  #2
Gear Addict
 
.:On The Rock:.'s Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Since you're looking for something more high-end, the preferred way of doing this professionally would be to buy separate converters and preamps. These all-in-one 'interfaces' are handy, but sticking tube preamps in one would be very limiting and a cleaner sound may be more difficult to achieve (if desired). Pickup something like a Lynx Aurora 8 and you'll have all the preamps in the world to choose from - Tubes and Transistors.
Old 19th September 2012
  #3
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybercampbell ➑️
Hi

I was wandering if there was any decent 8 Channel Valve Interfaces worth looking at. I have an 16 channel mixing but I want to get a little bit more of an analogue sound. I used a TL Audio VL1 back in the 90's but it apears that has been discontinued... can't seem to find anything similar... just a simple 8 in 8 out no fuss goes through a tube style thing.

I'm thinking now with the lack of info out there that this may not even be a good idea. Do people not do this?

Any thoughts on this?

C
What do you mean by Interface?

Do you just want Eight Channels of Tube/Transformer Line Stages, that are just Line Inputs and Line outputs? I am sure that kinda thing exists as a Kustom Creation! Seems anything is possible with enough resource, time and money.

Just off the top of my head,

JCF Audio Makes a Tubed DA Converter, called the DA8V, that has mind melting analog goodness through and through. Though it has 24 Bit Digital Inputs, on AES/EBU, its tube/transformer coupled output amplifiers are inspired by the line sections of AMPEX repro electronics. This unit sounds rich and beautiful. All you do to get the luv, is send stuff through it, and it comes out better then before. If you fancy a thick, heavy harmonic color on your stuff, I think this box is bodacious.
Old 19th September 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybercampbell ➑️
Hi

I'm thinking now with the lack of info out there that this may not even be a good idea. Do people not do this?

Any thoughts on this?

C

not the kind of thing I would want, because next year maybe I want better converters, etc. I'd prefer to keep the interface, the converters, and the preamps as separate entities, easy to upgrade or replace. An 8 channel valve preamp? Why not? But then the idea of a 500 series comes into play, wherein maybe you could get some more flavors than just the single sound of a given valve preamp times 8.
Old 19th September 2012
  #5
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Dave_Ionic's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Well I am going mention the only thing that comes to mind that fits the OP's request but its not exactly considered high end though some people do like it and consider it decent.

ART Tubefire, 8 channels of tube mic pre on a firewire AD/DA interface. No longer made but can be found from time to time around $300 a unit. They also make the Tube Octpre which has ADAT in and out. Again I know this is high end and these are possibly not,but really some people do like these units and make them work.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #6
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hasbeen's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I have a Kendrick Six Shooter but it is obvious from the name that it is only 6 channels. However, it is a no nonsense easy in/out sweet sounding way to hit your converters. Very simple, hand wired transformer and tube goodness. Made by the guy who makes the guitar amps, they are a bit hard to find, but I do see them on eBay now and then. One was on last week and sold for about $1,500.
Old 19th September 2012
  #7
Moderator
 
Trev@Circle's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
A tree audio "roots" would be (is) on my want list. As stated above converters of choice can be bought separately
Old 19th September 2012
  #8
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Can I ask why a tube unit?
So often I personally believe many that like tube are really loving the transformers?
Not sure but you may not need a tube unit.
Is it color you are looking for?
Old 20th September 2012
  #9
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WunderBro Flo's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
You guys no understand he is looking for an analog in analog out "tube processor" not a computer interface. There is not much out there except the TLA and the much more versatile SPL Charisma 8.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Dave_Ionic's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by WunderBro Flo ➑️
You guys no understand he is looking for an analog in analog out "tube processor" not a computer interface. There is not much out there except the TLA and the much more versatile SPL Charisma 8.
I think his wording is what caught us up. He should have said Tube Mixer or Tube rack mixer or desk. The minute someone says interface most of us think computer I/O.
I have never heard someone call a desk, mixer,soundboard, an Interface. In contrast I have always seen people call Firewire,USB, PCie,aes,spdif, etc... Interfaces and some of those indeed have been tube based. So maybe now you can see how the OP's initial statement could be misconstrued. I applaud you for possibly seeing what he really meant.
Old 21st September 2012
  #11
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Matti's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Preamp
I know these guys make / made a good 8 channel version of their tube preamps used for classical music or what ever indeed
T-Eight 8ch preamp
-Just remembered

Matti
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #12
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hasbeen's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matti ➑️
Preamp
I know these guys make / made a good 8 channel version of their tube preamps used for classical music or what ever indeed
T-Eight 8ch preamp
-Just remembered

Matti

Nice gear here!
Old 21st September 2012
  #13
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WunderBro Flo's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years

I think a preamp with line in could also do the job well. However the overall impact on the sound will be small, just like the TLA unit. The SPL can be set to saturate and even distort with variable knee settings (but it breaks up early with bass, it is way more useful to have a bass emphasis/deemphasis before and after). There is one pretty unknown manufacturer of stellar tube gear and it is even cheap, Reussenzehn in Germany. 4 units of his 2 channel preamp would cost 2.000.- Euros and they have instrument input as well for one of the best DI sounds I have ever gotten...one of the best deals out there and definitely worth trying out, how wrong can you go by gettin one 2 channel preamp/DI/line interface of that quality....
Old 21st September 2012
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
castle's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
http://www.kmraudio.com/looptrotter-satur-8.php

This is exactly what you're looking for!
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #15
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WunderBro Flo's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by castle ➑️
Looptrotter SATUR-8

This is exactly what you're looking for!

Nice. Would be interesting to compare this thing to the SPL, exactly the same concept and features...SPL is cheap on the used market. The looptrotter would win though if it does not break up the bass as soon as the SPL....
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpro ➑️
I think his wording is what caught us up. He should have said Tube Mixer or Tube rack mixer or desk. The minute someone says interface most of us think computer I/O.
I have never heard someone call a desk, mixer,soundboard, an Interface. In contrast I have always seen people call Firewire,USB, PCie,aes,spdif, etc... Interfaces and some of those indeed have been tube based.
When TLA bought out their 8 channel box, they were called Interfaces. And they aren't Tube Mixers either. You could call them Line Level Amps if you want .. Computer interfaces were also called converters at first ..

Besides some of the other units mentioned (The SPL), SCV made an 8 channel tube interface box. It has RCA and unbalanced Jack I/O (insert), and variable input and output gain (Drive and Output like the Looptrotter), which allow for a certain level of saturation of the tube circuit.

It's similar to some of the earlier TL Audio gear in that it has IC based I/O amps, and the tube circuit runs around 200volts.

I've never found any info about them online and they seem to be a bit exotic, if not rare. Mines remarkably handy at times, and has earned it's place in my rack. Got it for a lot less than the Looptrotter ..

Cheers RAy
Old 23rd September 2012
  #17
Gear Guru
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
You could always do something like this, if you really mean interface.

JCF Audio DA8-V 8 Channel D/A Converter
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Ward Pike's Avatar
 
15 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpro ➑️
Well I am going mention the only thing that comes to mind that fits the OP's request but its not exactly considered high end though some people do like it and consider it decent.

ART Tubefire, 8 channels of tube mic pre on a firewire AD/DA interface. No longer made but can be found from time to time around $300 a unit. They also make the Tube Octpre which has ADAT in and out. Again I know this is high end and these are possibly not,but really some people do like these units and make them work.
ART TubeOpto8 Mic Preamp with ADAT I/O | Musician's Friend
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
jordanvoth's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell ➑️
What do you mean by Interface?

Do you just want Eight Channels of Tube/Transformer Line Stages, that are just Line Inputs and Line outputs? I am sure that kinda thing exists as a Kustom Creation! Seems anything is possible with enough resource, time and money.

Just off the top of my head,

JCF Audio Makes a Tubed DA Converter, called the DA8V, that has mind melting analog goodness through and through. Though it has 24 Bit Digital Inputs, on AES/EBU, its tube/transformer coupled output amplifiers are inspired by the line sections of AMPEX repro electronics. This unit sounds rich and beautiful. All you do to get the luv, is send stuff through it, and it comes out better then before. If you fancy a thick, heavy harmonic color on your stuff, I think this box is bodacious.
NEVER heard of this, damn, this would be very cool for itb/summing mixer producers.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #20
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
It is Jordan...YUP...but more like WARM

the words I keep hearing from my clients are

"game changer"

"holy %$%$# this sounds good"

"I can finally use digital audio"

"Josh made gave my computer 10,000 LB balls"
Old 23rd September 2012
  #21
Gear Guru
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Oops, didn't realize Doc had beat me to it.
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