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Old 3rd January 2020
Lives for gear
Earcatcher's Avatar
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:

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

What do you think ?
What do you exactly want from a tube preamp in this context? The normally very neutral Earlybird can be thick and colourful by "pushing" it: turn down the output gain and increase the amplification. If you want to go into further distortion you can even select the low input impedance. So I wonder how this cannot be enough for you.

There aren't many classical recordings of mine that do not include tube amplification. Spots in particular blend much better with a main array when recorded with a valve amp. This is caused by the slight compression effect that valves give. Spots will not cause dynamic spikes that will stick out in the mix, with that "decent" amplification. Another trick for this better blend is to use ribbons for spots.