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Old 6th April 2004, 10:40 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Victoria
Default Tube pre-amps

HI

I was considering the benifits of using a tube Microphone pre-amp
with my Hard Disc recorder.
I am using condenser Mics so I would need the phantom power.
I have looked at the Behringer model Utlragain pro 2200
which uses a single 12Ax7 but I am a bit suspicious as the rest of it is all solid state.
Has anyone used one of these and can comment if they make an appreciable
difference in sound?
I guess what I'm looking for is to be able to "warm up the mic or guitar sound going into the HD.
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Old 4th May 2004, 11:34 AM   #2
Barre is offline Barre  Belgium
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Ypres,Belgium
Default Aye

Don't be a to big tube geek..or don't become one.

I found that tubes do not colour the mic-sound too much.

As for guitars,tubes might be great things when slightly drivevn in distortion (en even drivven far into disto..)

Same with mics when you use a tube-preamp.
A totally clean tube desingn will sound about the same as a clean solid state one,believe me.

Nothing bad with solid state! In many cases even better then tubes if you ask me... All fine,just don't distort solid state...then you'd be betetr off with tubes.

Hope this helps a tiny bit

Barre
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Old 4th May 2004, 11:36 AM   #3
Barre is offline Barre  Belgium
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Default Warming up

That "warm up" you talk about is what tubes might do when slightly distorted.

But I can tell you,with a good EQ or a good little multubandcompressor,you can get a good warm sound as well.
If only you take the time to experiment that is.

Cheers
Barre
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Old 4th May 2004, 11:39 AM   #4
Barre is offline Barre  Belgium
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Ypres,Belgium
Default Warming up

That "warm up" you talk about is what tubes might do when slightly distorted.

But I can tell you,with a good EQ or a good little multubandcompressor,you can get a good warm sound as well.
If only you take the time to experiment that is.

Cheers
Barre

http://sound.westhost.com/hfr_be.htm

Here's some explaining done..
Also that there is nog reason solid state should be minor to Valves

It's "the endless discussion" you know,Valves vs Solid State...
I suggest you read,think,hear and then descide what you're gonna use.
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Old 4th May 2004, 02:25 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: North Herts, UK
Actually there are good technical reasons why tubes make a better pre-amplifier than solid state. Briefly tubes - properly implemented - give you a lower and better distortion profile and a bigger and more linear voltage swing... both as a single stage and over the entire signal path...

What they won't do is warm up the sound unless the circuit is engineered to warm up the sound - it often is (deliberatly or otherwise...) and this is part of the tube sound.

ciao

James.
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Old 20th May 2004, 06:30 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: London
I am not an electronic engineer, but I know enough to be able to say that what counts with all amplification is not the technique used: valve/transistor, but the quality of the power supply. A good power supply is not cheap to build, employing big fat capacitors and a high grade transformer. The upshot of this is that whether you go for something cheap whether it be valve or transistor it will probably sound a bit nasty, because of deficiencies in the power supply.

An old classical music producer once told me that when valves distort they produce more even harmonics than transistor stuff, which might explain their 'warmth'. I have personally found that the percieved warmth of the signal is not down to your preamp, but down to the quality of the ADC used. Cheap converters sound very thin and dry, with a very overstated and harsh top end and a crackly and indistinct upper mid. The chips required for good quality conversion are simply very expensive.

Also, the type of mic you use and where you put it has a massive effect upon the type of sound you get.

With the recording signal path it is a case of the weakest link in the chain having the most critical effect upon the quality. In most cases it is the digital converter. Go into a shop and listen to a Prism or apogee rosetta converter next to a standard PC soundcard to get an idea of how drastic the effect they have upon quality is.

One company called PreSonus has some very nice sounding integrated mic pre digital converters that for the money sound really smooth. Check em out.
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