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Manley Pre derived from...?
Old 3rd December 2002
  #1
Lives for gear
 
toledo3's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Manley Pre derived from...?

Is the Manley pre a "from scratch" design, or was there some other original inspiration, that you fine people improved upon? I'm just curious how that kind of thing works, from a design perspective... It seems like most new ideas are simply refinements of old ones...
Old 4th December 2002
  #2
Moderator
 
EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The Manley Mono and Dual Mono Micpreamps, are your basic cascaded pair of triodes (used to be 6072A until only bad ones were left available; now they use the excellent Electro-Harmonix branded russian 12AX7EH) which are direct coupled into a Totem Pole or White Follower output stage. There's about 20dB of gain in the input tranny so the tube stage is set for now 20 to 40dB of gain. The GAIN switch is actually a variable feedback switch which allows to switch the overall gain of the unit from 40 to 60dB of gain in five 5dB steps. Variable Feedback also alters the tonal color and speed of the unit which is fun to play with.

This topology is pretty straight ahead. Of special mention is the White Follower output stage which isn't too frequently used these days. Nice low output impedance, like inherently about 20 ohms. Also directly coupling into that is quite cool, and a bit tricky. The Variable Feedback feature is also something you don't see everyday.

The VOXBOX preamp is the same as the ones I just described.

The MIC/EQ 500 is a differential topology more borrowed from our Variable Mu actually.

The micpreamp in the SLAM! is a new design, borrowed in concept from one of our newer hifi products (The Steelhead phono stage) that Mitch Margolis designed. This one is probably our most original creation.

While you'll find similarities between some pieces of the above circuits and historic designs, none of our microphone preamps were overtly copied from anything historic in particular.

Thanks for your question.

Old 4th December 2002
  #3
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ok, then what about the Langevin preamps? Are they based on an old design or more like a solid state version of the regular Manley pre? I know you bought the name and don't support the older gear but I'm curious.
Old 4th December 2002
  #4
Moderator
 
EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The amplifying stages in the Langevin rack stuff (micpre, pultec, elop) were originally based on an older single ended Langevin discrete solid state circuit (which one I now can't remember-- I think AM12) and we built 'em that way for a few years in the beginning. In mid-1994 we had a local pal who knew more about those complicated transistors than we did at the time (this was before Hutch was onboard with us) design a nice little discrete circuit for us that we are still using today.

My personal input to the design spec was that it be able to provide both balanced and unbalanced ins and outs. We were very much an unbalanced company at the time, in more ways than just most of our circuitry... evileye I was fielding most of the customer service calls at the time and the gear not being balanced thing was getting up peoples' noses.

It wasn't until 1996 after David left the company that Hutch and I were able to hunker down and start working on a nice output transformer (the 9611, done in November (11th month) 1996) to add balanced ins and outs to the Manley single ended topology tube gear to respond to our customers' biggest request. That was one of the first projects we tackled and all Manley rack gear got balanced outputs added in early 1997. Most of the serial numbers got a B added to distinguish them from the earlier unbalanced-only ones.

We also kept the unbalanced "audiophile" capacitor coupled outputs and unbalanced inputs so you have the choice to run in "purist" mode or through the balancing iron. Different sounds.

Of course that all applies to any single ended circuits. Obviously the fully-differential topology stuff (Variable Mu, MIC/EQ 500) are transformer coupled in and out and balanced throughout.

By the way, we now name our new transformer designs after interesting California Penal Codes or Police Radio Codes... The Steelhead's input autoformer is called 918A-PC to give an example....
Old 4th December 2002
  #5
Gear Addict
 
cymatics's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by EveAnna Manley
By the way, we now name our new transformer designs after interesting California Penal Codes or Police Radio Codes... The Steelhead's input autoformer is called 918A-PC to give an example...
OK, I'll bite... What's a 918A-PC? (other than a Manley autoformer)

- jon
Old 4th December 2002
  #6
Moderator
 
EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Escaped Mental Patient
Old 4th December 2002
  #7
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Hey EveAnna,

I'm still really happy with my Dual Mono 40dB. It more than stands up to the newcomers and old friends it lives with in my rack (flamingo, g-riv, 1272, 1969).

I figured I'd take this thread as opportunity to show my appreciation.

Nice piece, baby!
Old 6th December 2002
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by EveAnna Manley
The micpreamp in the SLAM! is a new design, borrowed in concept from one of our newer hifi products (The Steelhead phono stage) that Mitch Margolis designed. This one is probably our most original creation.
The mic pre in the SLAM is absolutely amazing. By far, one of the most musical sounding pre's I've ever heard. I never tried it on anything that I didn't like it on. It's a "one stop" preamp if you can only have one. If you haven't heard it, you should.
Old 6th December 2002
  #9
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by EveAnna Manley
The Manley Mono and Dual Mono Micpreamps, are your basic cascaded pair of triodes (used to be 6072A until only bad ones were left available; now they use the excellent Electro-Harmonix branded russian 12AX7EH) which are direct coupled into a Totem Pole or White Follower output stage. There's about 20dB of gain in the input tranny so the tube stage is set for now 20 to 40dB of gain. The GAIN switch is actually a variable feedback switch which allows to switch the overall gain of the unit from 40 to 60dB of gain in five 5dB steps. Variable Feedback also alters the tonal color and speed of the unit which is fun to play with.

This topology is pretty straight ahead. Of special mention is the White Follower output stage which isn't too frequently used these days. Nice low output impedance, like inherently about 20 ohms. Also directly coupling into that is quite cool, and a bit tricky. The Variable Feedback feature is also something you don't see everyday.

The VOXBOX preamp is the same as the ones I just described.

The MIC/EQ 500 is a differential topology more borrowed from our Variable Mu actually.

The micpreamp in the SLAM! is a new design, borrowed in concept from one of our newer hifi products (The Steelhead phono stage) that Mitch Margolis designed. This one is probably our most original creation.

While you'll find similarities between some pieces of the above circuits and historic designs, none of our microphone preamps were overtly copied from anything historic in particular.

Thanks for your question.

Ooh I love it when you talk dirty.... Take care Logan

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