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Have you used tube preamps for recording acoustic and classical music ?
Old 1st February 2020 | Show parent
  #61
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Ivo, is that the young man who we saw photographed as a child when you had the Crookwood Paintpot preamp?
Old 1st February 2020 | Show parent
  #62
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Would any of you ever go so far as to use one of these bad boys, the Retro Powerstrip, for classical recording?

http://www.retroinstruments.com/prod..._id=powerstrip

It's used more in pop/rock recordings but what I heard online was incredibly silky and appealing. Maybe for vocals or strings? Classical guitar, perhaps?
Old 2nd February 2020 | Show parent
  #63
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ISedlacek's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton ➡️
Ivo, is that the young man who we saw photographed as a child when you had the Crookwood Paintpot preamp?
Yees :D

Old 2nd February 2020 | Show parent
  #64
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
That's a photo that has lingered in my mind since I first saw it and reminded me of my own son (who is now 40!)

Sons have to be interested in the things their fathers are interested in, certainly when they are younger!

They go their own way once they get older.
Old 9th February 2020
  #65
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years



This is a quick test recording with an analogue Addicts valve mic pre and acoustic guitar
Attached Thumbnails
Have you used tube preamps for recording acoustic and classical music ?-img_1992.jpg  
Old 9th February 2020
  #66
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek ➡️
Transparent sound and preamps are nice , but sometimes a kind of "thick" sweetness can be welcome too (like for some solo tones on nylon string guitar, gentle percussion, string instruments etc.).

I wonder - has somebody successfully used some tube preamps for recording classical and acoustic music with some advantage ? I used and tried Pendulum, Thermionic Earlybird, Lachapel etc. - but their sound was a kind of too decent ...

At present I am quite tempted by some of these: https://sonicfarm.com/pro-audio/crea...entode-preamp/

https://sonicfarm.com/pro-audio/berliner/

Also intended to use for a kind of dreamy spherical vocals and spoken word ...

What do you think ?

This was tracked with several valve preamps

Old 3rd May 2020 | Show parent
  #67
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
There is one step up from there...

By upgrading the electronics in the Schoeps, and with outboard phantom power supply: a pair for all of $1K. Check out: http://www.rensheijnis.com/Schoeps.htm

In the Fearn/Forsell comparisons; over all I'd want to live with the Forssell sound, but the Fearn had some 'air' and textures that were very nice to hear.
Old 6th August 2020 | Show parent
  #68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek ➡️
Since before I already tried Pendulum, LaChapell, DW Fearn and Thermionic Earlybird and always found Forssell SMP-2 unsurpassable on acoustic instruments, my hopefully final conclusion is that a tube preamp is not needed for my purpose (recording delicate solo acoustic instruments).
How did you like the LaChapell?
Old 6th August 2020 | Show parent
  #69
AB3
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Forssell had a tube pre that was great for recording orchestras, string sections, etc. - the fetcode.
Old 8th August 2020 | Show parent
  #70
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Nice, but it sounds a bit compressed dynamically, and recessed harmonics to me..
Old 2nd September 2020 | Show parent
  #71
Deleted fe72b38
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton ➡️
I can't help thinking that the DAV BG1 lies somewhere between the Forsell and the Fearn sonically.........two thirds from the Forsell and a third from the Fearn. The Goldilocks zone!?

There's something not nice about the reverb though on the samples, but you can look past that when listening to the pre amps.
I made an ABX comparison between the tube path of my Millennia STT-1 (not overdriving the STT-1 input) and the DAV BG1 .... it was hard to tell the two files apart!

The DAV BG1 does add a very subtle amount of "hair" to the signal in a very musically attractive way, impressive considering it's price and IC architecture.

The tube path in the STT-1 is a Fred Forssell design - so go DAV BG1 - really a bit of a bargain all things considered.
Old 2nd September 2020 | Show parent
  #72
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted fe72b38 ➡️
[. . .] The DAV BG1 does add a very subtle amount of "hair" to the signal in a very musically attractive way [. . .]
I always enjoy your posts. But I also very often have trouble decoding the recordist's thesaurus of terms. . .and this one may be over my head.

What does "hair" sound like, exactly?

Its fast Fourier transform looks like what? Shiny?


Shampoo you,

Ray H.
Old 2nd September 2020 | Show parent
  #73
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor ➡️
I made an ABX comparison between the tube path of my Millennia STT-1 (not overdriving the STT-1 input) and the DAV BG1 .... it was hard to tell the two files apart!

The DAV BG1 does add a very subtle amount of "hair" to the signal in a very musically attractive way, impressive considering it's price and IC architecture.

The tube path in the STT-1 is a Fred Forssell design - so go DAV BG1 - really a bit of a bargain all things considered.
I'd love to leave a thumbs up for this entry, and thanks for describing so well what you found.

My computer is only partially working, but I'll return and leave that thumbs up once it's sorted out!

Here's hoping I can send this reply. The problem is the left mouse click is not functioning properly and it's not the mouse! Arrggh!
Old 2nd September 2020 | Show parent
  #74
Deleted fe72b38
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath ➡️
I always enjoy your posts. But I also very often have trouble decoding the recordist's thesaurus of terms. . .and this one may be over my head.

What does "hair" sound like, exactly?

Its fast Fourier transform looks like what? Shiny?


Shampoo you,

Ray H.
In the strange nomenclature of all things audio related, in my world "hair" refers to that very subtle and attractive "distortion" found in tubes, transformers and well designed musical circuits like the DAV.

(Of course some circuits can be driven harder than other - at the extreme being a guitar amp!)

Perhaps the DAV isn't meant to do this being IC based but it amazed me on listening to the DAV BG1 just how lovely and "warm" for want of a better word the recording sounded yet still really detailed and well resolved.

I could very happily make an album with nothing more than DAV BG1's - I think it's a truly great pre - by any standards.
Old 2nd September 2020 | Show parent
  #75
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Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
The D.A.V. electronics Broadhurst Gardens No. 1 is the best mic amp in the world. ®
Old 2nd September 2020 | Show parent
  #76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush ➡️
The D.A.V. electronics Broadhurst Gardens No. 1 is the best mic amp in the world. ®
Sorry, I had to see if that registered phrase would include the little symbol too.
Old 2nd September 2020 | Show parent
  #77
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush ➡️
The D.A.V. electronics Broadhurst Gardens No. 1 is the best mic amp in the world. ®
Nah...the D.A.V BG8 is 4x better....!
Old 28th June 2021 | Show parent
  #78
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Also, don't underestimate the care, skill, mojo mystique and sheer dogged trial and error that went into transformer winding.

These remained some of the most closely guarded trade secrets during the first 'Golden Age of Tubes' in the 50's and 60's.

In many cases this winding process was (reputedly) entrusted to a solitary female employee, of advancing age...with fanatical attention to detail, unwavering loyalty and possessing infinite patience, who became that company's singular secret weapon ! They typically remained in the employ of their company for the term of their natural life....though probably not locked in the factory's basement for the duration thereof !
There really should be a book and documentary about this!
Old 29th June 2021
  #79
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
No deep pockets here, but after reading that Bob Fine bypassed the mic in of his Ampexes and used Pultec MB-1s instead, I built my own transformerless version and it's the best-sounding pre I have. I do only classical recording and set the gain at a fixed 30dB. I long ago developed the practice of having the pres out as close to the mics as possible, so run short unbalanced cable from mics to pres, and from pres to A/D's unbal in. The MB-1 circuit is super quiet.
Old 29th June 2021 | Show parent
  #80
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
5 years ago, before I moved into the Digigrid/Waves LV1 96K world, I was working with an ADL600 pre and a RME UfX interface in my project studio. Over a 10 year period, between 2005 and 2015, I accumulated a total of six nice retro tube mics that worked very well with the Digico "D" pres in my Digigrid system. The tube mics provided enough tube and transformer mojo to retire my much loved ADL600. I originally planned on deploying the Digigrid/Waves system in both my project studio and for live performance concert work as well. However the A&H D-Live processing and tactile performance is far better suited to live SR than the Waves gear so I acquired an SQ5 and a DX168 that was a perfect SR fit with my tube mics and my small channel count needs.
I have a long, 50 year, work life in acoustic Americana music that has been focused predominately on Bluegrass and string Jazz. The wonderful opportunity to record and provide SR for world class musicians playing vintage instruments was the driving force behind my 50 year search for the best gear to capture the magical musical moments that I am enjoying.
To this end I acquired a D-Live DX32 module loaded with A&H's new 32 bit Prime I/Os and the detail and transparency they deliver is truly incredible: my tube mics have never sounded better. I use tie lines from the SQ to the studio Waves soundgrid network and while the digico "D" pres and D-Live pres in the DX168 stage box are certainly world class, the new "Prime" I/Os are at a new, previously unknown level of transparency.
IMO if you are working in the acoustic performance world you will be well advised to audition A&Hs new 32 bit Prime I/Os. Plush is correct in suggesting the deployment of quality tube mics to create the most loved analog mojo digital processing is missing. Tube pres are nowhere near the perceivable performance level of tube mics.
Hugh
Old 29th June 2021 | Show parent
  #81
Lives for gear
 
massimo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ivo, I believe you might find that "tube pre sound" you have in mind in an old non tube micpre with a bold transformer sound.
I warmly suggest the Tab376
Old 29th October 2021
  #82
Gear Head
 
You have to remember that there are SOLO violin performances and there are Orchestra violin performances. Then there is Chamber music performances in smaller rooms, mostly in churches. Break that down into the violin types, Joseph Guarnerius del Gesù or Stradivari, for example. The del Gesù has a dark sound and is intended for small venues, like Chamber music. On the other hand Stradivari violins have a cutting bright sound which was designed for halls. Here they wanted the listener in the vary back of the hall to hear the performance. How you record these depends on these designs.

I play violin and designed a vacuum tube mic preamp for all types of strings and wind. It is not cheap, quality is never cheap. However, this preamp is design to last a minimum of 40 years without issues if treated right. It can give you a wide range of sounds. It is a single channel preamp with a Standard Gain stage option and a High Gain option. I designed it in 2000 and have been using it ever since. A few years back a friend who used to work for Manley Labs talked me into making a Pro Audio product from it. So I did. He said I had the right personality for it. Not sure what he meant by that. I have not yet started marketing it all that seriously, but I am getting close. The pandemic has slowed down demonstrating it in person.

Everyone who has been recorded with it loves it. It can be adjusted to record clear clean or thick and big. It can be set to sound very OPEN if desired. That is my favorite. Vacuum tube audio in less expensive preamps really only uses a tube in the cathode follower line driver output. Not true on my design. It also looks great in the studio.

The MosswareProAudio preamp/limiter has the entire audio path vacuum tube. Here is the link with photos.
http://www.mosswareproaudio.com/

Jim Moss


Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek
I wonder - has somebody successfully used some tube preamps for recording classical and acoustic music with some advantage ? I used and tried Pendulum, Thermionic Earlybird, Lachapel etc. - but their sound was a kind of too decent ...

What do you think ?
Old 30th October 2021 | Show parent
  #83
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Can anyone give a real world example of such a tube amp, which doesn't try to draw attention to itself by selling those 'tube sound characteristics'....and/or giving you manual control of same.... but is simply an extremely well designed, low distortion/low noise mic preamp... which just happens to have tube architecture at its core ?
There are a bunch of those out there and if you look you'll find what they have in common is that they usually have a Jensen high ratio input transformer and a triode front end that isn't biased for crazy high gains.

Many of those preamps don't advertise themselves as being designed to be transparent, because that doesn't sell products. The Fearn is that way, and the Fearn has plenty of headroom and is plenty clean.

But... the absolute most clean tube preamp out there is the Forssell, although that is kind of a different horse altogether since it is transformerless.
--scott
Old 30th October 2021 | Show parent
  #84
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by M50k ➡️
No deep pockets here, but after reading that Bob Fine bypassed the mic in of his Ampexes and used Pultec MB-1s instead, I built my own transformerless version and it's the best-sounding pre I have.
That's likely because the Ampex 350 mike preamps are just godawful colored, and there's no real line input. I installed a proper line input on mine that went straight into the gain pot which is before the second 12SJ7 stage, and I plugged a Valley People Trans-Amp into it for classical work back in the days before I could afford a decent tape machine.

I find it hilarious that kids are buying 350 electronics units to use as "q00l t00b mike pres" today.
--scott
Old 30th October 2021 | Show parent
  #85
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by snod_donkey ➡️
This is a quick test recording with an analogue Addicts valve mic pre and acoustic guitar
Martin D35 through M150's
Old 30th October 2021 | Show parent
  #86
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pentagon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMoss1 ➡️
Joseph Guarnerius del Gesù or Stradivari, for example. The del Gesù has a dark sound and is intended for small venues, like Chamber music. On the other hand Stradivari violins have a cutting bright sound which was designed for halls. Here they wanted the listener in the vary back of the hall to hear the performance.
Are you suggesting del Gesù designed for certain types of spaces as did Stradivari? Please point me to quotes from the luthers about their intentions.
Old 30th October 2021 | Show parent
  #87
Gear Head
 
Yep. Do some reasearch on those violins like I did back in the 1970s and 1980. . You will see it is exactly true. Amati was who Joseph Guarnerius del Gesù and Stradivari worked for in their early years. The Amati violin had a dark tone, but no volume at all, I know, I have played them before. That is progress and product differentiation. Amati - Joseph Guarnerius del Gesù and Stradivari. It is more like Stradivari deviated to make the concert hall violin design. I don't really care about modern luthers or what they say. Most of the violin makers of the 1950s and 1960s knew all this. There are lots of book on this. Just read them.

Jim Moss




Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon ➡️
Are you suggesting del Gesù designed for certain types of spaces as did Stradivari? Please point me to quotes from the luthers about their intentions.
Old 30th October 2021 | Show parent
  #88
Gear Head
 
Well, it has been a long time since I was working with a Ampex 350. It was 1967 and I was a teenager working at a station. I have a photo of me using one. I have never compared them to my design or anyone elses. 1967 was a long time ago.

Jim Moss

Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
That's likely because the Ampex 350 mike preamps are just godawful colored, and there's no real line input. I installed a proper line input on mine that went straight into the gain pot which is before the second 12SJ7 stage, and I plugged a Valley People Trans-Amp into it for classical work back in the days before I could afford a decent tape machine.

I find it hilarious that kids are buying 350 electronics units to use as "q00l t00b mike pres" today.
--scott
Old 30th October 2021 | Show parent
  #89
Lives for gear
 
pentagon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
So what you are saying is you have no quotes from del Gesù or Stradivari pointing to them specifying they were designing for particular (different types of) venues. That del Gesù didn’t want his instruments in the concert hall and Stradivari didn’t want chamber music played on his instruments. From when they were alive. Not conjecture or preferences from well past their deaths.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMoss1 ➡️
Yep. Do some reasearch on those violins like I did back in the 1970s and 1980. . You will see it is exactly true. Amati was who Joseph Guarnerius del Gesù and Stradivari worked for in their early years. The Amati violin had a dark tone, but no volume at all, I know, I have played them before. That is progress and product differentiation. Amati - Joseph Guarnerius del Gesù and Stradivari. It is more like Stradivari deviated to make the concert hall violin design. I don't really care about modern luthers or what they say. Most of the violin makers of the 1950s and 1960s knew all this. There are lots of book on this. Just read them.

Jim Moss
Old 30th October 2021 | Show parent
  #90
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon ➡️
Are you suggesting del Gesù designed for certain types of spaces as did Stradivari? Please point me to quotes from the luthers about their intentions.
Is this some sort of cheap historical cred entrapment ploy ? In the absence of written proof, we are left with speculation, of course. Even if nothing documented can be shown now, it's entirely conceivable that luthiers could have been commissioned to produce instruments with varying expressive or projection characteristics....or equally, that the purchasers or patrons of instruments might have selected them for particular 'voicing' qualities...the same as acoustic (and to some degree amplified) instruments today.

The notion of a particular luthier (or production house) turning out lines of identical, 'one size fits all' Henry Ford type products seems hard to believe...though I'm sure they strove for an identifiable 'family trademark sound' also ?
I doubt they ever outsourced production to China or Mexico though....
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