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Hendyamps Nuclear Unicorn
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Hendyamps Nuclear Unicorn

Despite personally having no obvious use for this Nuclear Unicorn for my acoustic music, I love it, want to spread the word on a very cool piece of gear with a name and design that is worthy of a post, make sure to check out the video link:

Hendyamps Nuclear Unicorn

Absolute Destruction

What is this thing and what happened to all the artists?
Well, Chris decided that he needed a mic preamp and DI that could go from pristine clarity all the way to absolute raging distortion in a single unit that screams outrageous. As it turns out, this goal has been accomplished and demanded a name and faceplate as outrageous as the actual circuit design!

Mic Preamp
Based on the Warhol topology, but with double the gain stages, the Nuclear Unicorn has the ability to be used as a rich and responsive preamp on any source, with any mic. Interestingly enough, as a result of the user having control over the gain on all four stages, the tonal response of the mic or DI source can be changed a good deal based upon how each gain level is set. As well, all coloring options on the NU are available at all times, further making for an amazing array of options.

But What Do The Names Mean?
Good question!

- PAD - This switch enables the user to lower the volume of the source feeding the NU

- Megaton Increase - This switch is a type of top boost in that it gives a large boost to the highs and high mids when needed. This especially helpful for dark mics and instruments

- Shock Wave - With this much gain you always need a low cut control. This knob gives the ability to drop the low end from the beginning of the circuit in order to retain clarity, especially when driven into heavy distortion

- Rainbow Crush - Ever wanted to use a diode based distortion but only on the highs and high mids? This switch is for you! Crunch with punchy bass!

- Mass Destruction - This is the first gain stage control and will drive the rest of the entire circuit

- Tactical Mode and Enhanced Tactical Mode - These switches are there to cut the highs (think close to Air Band) and are primarily useful when using a lot of distortion. They can help keep the signal from breaking down into oscillation when needed or desired.

- More Mass Destruction - This controls the second gain stage

- Sum of All Fears - This knob controls the third gain stage

- Fallout - Finally you have the control for the final gain stage that also acts as the Trim control

- Gamma Burst - This switch engages a unique mid cut circuit driven by a transformer and variable capacitor bypass. When you think of this switch imagine taking a source like a bass guitar and making it sound really, really mean.

- Unicorn Sparkle - This is the knob that allows you to raise or lower the highs in the mid cut circuit. It can make the signal really dark or quite bright when desired but is only available when Gamma Burst is engaged

- 48v - Phantom power

The sheer power and versatility of this unit is unmatched by anything on the market today and will bring even the most boring of sources to life with minimal effort. From keyboards to bass guitars, to drums, to vocals, the Nuclear Unicorn is an absolute tonal standout!
Included Features

- DI Input
- 48v Phantom Power Switch
- XLR In and Out
- Unbalanced DI Out
- Low Cut Knob
- Four Gain Stages With Controls For Each
- High Cut Switches
- Top Boost Switch
- Diode Distortion Switch
- Pad
- Transformer Mid Cut Circuit Switch With Tone Knob
- Jensen Transformers in and out
- All Hand-Wired, construction
- Rugged, etched metal faceplate

https://hendyamps.com/nuclear-unicorn
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I’ll add the video link in here. You can obviously nuke a source into oblivion with this thing, but it’s also capable of being really subtle if you need it to be. The options on this thing seem crazy and a little bit overwhelming. I’m sure after using it for a while it would make a lot more sense. I think this is probably worth the price of admission for bass and drums alone.

Lately, I’ve been running a mono drum mic through my Matchless tube guitar pedal and mixing that in with the other drums a bit. It works really well, but I need EQ before the guitar pedal and after it in order to not overload the pedal with the wrong frequencies and then make up for certain cuts after the fact. I noticed the Hendy unit has a lot of those options built in to do that, it’s really well thought out. The same goes for bass guitar, this seems like a killer parallel unit.

All the line level options aside, it seems like a very capable preamp you could use every day if you play nice with it. I absolutely love my Warhol preamps, so this is definitely tempting.


Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Progger's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Excellent rundown, thank you!

Honestly, I kinda WISH I had a need for this thing... just so I could have it in my studio. How delightfully demented. It's like if Adult Swim made a preamp, and that's right up my alley.

Strongly considering a Hendy Picasso for the future, it's kinda between that and a Tree Audio Branch. Both are strong contenders!
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Progger ➡️
Excellent rundown, thank you!

Honestly, I kinda WISH I had a need for this thing... just so I could have it in my studio. How delightfully demented. It's like if Adult Swim made a preamp, and that's right up my alley.

Strongly considering a Hendy Picasso for the future, it's kinda between that and a Tree Audio Branch. Both are strong contenders!
Nothing against the tree audio strip, it’s really good and a nice balance between vintage and modern. The handful of times I’ve used it though, it’s felt pretty clean with a nice layer of class to it. My opinion though, I would pick the Picasso any day. The preamp is huge sounding, the EQ section is much more versatile and the compressor pretty much doesn’t have a bad setting on it. It’s also cheaper than the tree audio unit.

Ass with all of Chris’s units, they’re unique and not really trying to copy anything. He does what sounds best to him and tends to get it right most of the time.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
This is awesome haha. I really want to try the da Vinci at some point soon.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
shatz's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Unicorns have made its way to rack gear. Too funny. I'm guessing it's like a Sansamp on steroids?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
din
Gear Maniac
 
din's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
That looks wicked fun! I'm guessing line signals can be run through it by engaging the pad switch?
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by din ➡️
That looks wicked fun! I'm guessing line signals can be run through it by engaging the pad switch?
In the video @ 1:15 Chris mentions the pad, starting at 9:18, the inputs are line level signals, sometimes padded, sometimes not, check the toggle position as he occasionally toggles the pad in and out.

Last edited by StevenLMorgan; 2 weeks ago at 10:37 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Hendyamps's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Hey all...I'm the aforementioned screwball that invented this thing.
I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

As far as line level signals feeding it, you can send mic level or line level, and yes, the PAD is helpful in the line level environment. The signals I was using were a bit quieter than pure pegged +4 line level, and I always suggest using your DAW to lower the level feeding any of my gear to taste.

Carry on!

Chris
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
RightOnRome's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
so awesome!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Great tone in this one ...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Head
 
orco's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hello Hendyamps

Full bypass switch?

Stereo version?

thanks 😃
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #13
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mixerguy's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendyamps ➡️
Hey all...I'm the aforementioned screwball that invented this thing.
I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

As far as line level signals feeding it, you can send mic level or line level, and yes, the PAD is helpful in the line level environment. The signals I was using were a bit quieter than pure pegged +4 line level, and I always suggest using your DAW to lower the level feeding any of my gear to taste.

Carry on!

Chris
bravo. brilliant piece of kit!
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Hendyamps's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by orco ➡️
Hello Hendyamps

Full bypass switch?

Stereo version?

thanks 😃
No full bypass or stereo version as this unit is aimed at single channel glory and mayhem. The biggest issue with stereo is getting each uber high impedance channel running such insane distortion levels to not cause common crosstalk noise. In the future I plan on modifying and taming the design a bit in order to offer a line only stereo version that is more appropriate for dedicated bus work.
Meanwhile, this is primarily for tracking and single channel line duties.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Hendyamps's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixerguy ➡️
bravo. brilliant piece of kit!
thanks!
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