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Author Topic: Saturn Sound's VF14 Replacement Tube- Anybody Used It?  (Read 18285 times)

Offline J.J. Blair

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Saturn Sound's VF14 Replacement Tube- Anybody Used It?
« on: July 21, 2006, 09:08:29 pm »
I found this very interesting and don't recall any discussions in here about it.  Mind you, it's a replacement and not a recreation.

     http://www.saturn-sound.com/products/replacement%20valve.htm

Does anybody know the guys at Saturn or have any experience with them?

I'm reading some of their information they've written, like the differences between the C12 and C24, and their opinions are well reflected enough that I'm curious to hear what they have come up with.  I wonder if their replacement tubes sound better than some people's replacement capsules, for instance.

studio info

They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

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Offline ricknroll

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Re: has anybody seen Saturn Sound's VF14 replacement?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2006, 06:19:10 pm »
J.J. Blair wrote on Fri, 21 July 2006 18:08

Does anybody know the guys at Saturn or have any experience with them?

My limited experience:  on two different occasions I tried to buy mics from them, but when it came time for me to actually pay for the stuff, Ashley did not follow through (i.e., he stopped responding to my emails).  I'm not sure what happened...we only exchanged a few emails, so it's not like he had any reason to think I was just stringing him along.

Rick Hedges

Offline Markus Sauschlager

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Re: has anybody seen Saturn Sound's VF14 replacement?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2006, 04:36:51 pm »
My experience is similar: A while ago I emailed Ashley because I wanted to buy a C28A from him. Never even got an answer! Not a big problem for me since I already own two of those mics and only wanted the extra one as spare mic, but I wonder if he really wants to sell anything...
Markus Sauschlager

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Offline Barry Hufker

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Re: has anybody seen Saturn Sound's VF14 replacement?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2006, 07:56:13 pm »
I asked a question of him and got a prompt reply.  He seemed nice.
He might be eccentric.  Name someone in audio who isn't.

Barry

Offline bukarin

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Re: has anybody seen Saturn Sound's VF14 replacement?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2006, 02:13:24 pm »
For what its worth Ashley has worked on a bunch of AKG C28s for us and they have all come back sounding much better. In all cases he's been through the power supplies, recapped them and replaced incorrect resistors etc.
The U47 apparently had some interesting component choices before he changed them (it sounded terrible before although Neumann had checked it over and replaced the M7 capsule fairly recently!)

I also spoke to him on the phone the other day and he seemed really helpful and knowledgeable. We haven't had any communication problems with Ashley and all the mics have been turned round in good time. He's definitely worth talking too and as far as I'm aware there is nobody else in the UK working on microphones to this level independently (I also spoke to a tech when I was at Abbey Road recently who said they had outsourced some specialist work to him; they have a mic specialist in residence so I guess they must hold him in some regard).

Hope this is useful, I'll let you know what I think of the modded mic when I hear it, altough it'll be hard to give much of an objective opinion about the valve knowing all the rest of the work he has done.


Offline Norm McCleary

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Re: has anybody seen Saturn Sound's VF14 replacement?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2008, 08:38:31 am »
I have two of the Saturn 'RV-14m U47 replacement tubes which came with a bulk deal. They are sh.t and sound like sh.t.

One we cut up to check it out, though we tested both before doing so to see if they could perform anything like a VF14. With the two we have, both are useless.

Here is a photo of one of the two Saturn's 'RV-14m' , cut open. What you can't see is that the tube is a GE 407a!

Regards, Norm McCleary




index.php/fa/8444/0/

Offline Saturn Sound

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Re: has anybody seen Saturn Sound's VF14 replacement?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2008, 02:51:58 am »
I have only recently visited this excellent site, 16/04/08, to find a somewhat "Slanderous" message with respect to one of my products, namely that of the RV-14m valve (tube). I am totally aware of the "Sender" of the message, and find it difficult to believe that another manufacturer would take such lengths to "Discredit" a competitor's product in such manner.

Having sold many of these valves (tubes), I would like to point out the amount of positive feedback that I have received from many of my clients.
www.saturn-sound.com\products\replacement valve.htm to read customer feedback

Like any product, the occasional component can and will fail e.g. One RV-14m failed after only a few hours use, due to an open circuit heater (filament). A very rare fault indeed. However, this is the only reported problem that I am aware of and I have received no other negative feedback.

I am a strong believer in negative feedback from clients, as this leads to positive changes in design etc.

There is no secret as to what is inside the case of the RV-14m. Pictures on my web-site clearly show the inside of the RV-14m at various stages of design and construction:
www.saturn-sound.com\products\rv-14m_design_and_construction .htm.

The valve (tube) used in the RV-14m, might cosmetically appear very similar from the outside as a GE 407a, just like many other valves (tubes).
There is very little space to fit any other sized valve (tube) within the space of a VF14. Therefore the size of the glass envelope will be (small) out of necessity rather than design.
So to put the record straight

Offline compasspnt

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Re: Saturn Sound's VF14 Replacement Tube- Anybody Used It?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2008, 08:49:08 am »
Hi Ashley.

Thanks for posting.

I think you have incorrectly listed your website URL's however.

Looks like you put back slashes when it perhaps should be forwards.

Here is where I found the valve const page:

http://www.saturn-sound.com/products/rv-14m_design_and_const ruction.htm

BTW, we all now fully understand that valves are tubes.

Thanks!

Offline Oliver Archut

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Re: Saturn Sound's VF14 Replacement Tube- Anybody Used It?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2008, 09:35:35 am »
Hello Ashley,

Over the years there were several so called direct replacements for the VF14 that all claimed to be identical, most build upon the Western Electric 40x series, either the 20/40 V version of the 2C51 (407) or the 50mA/20V version of the EF95 (408).

Depending on the maker (WE, NE, GE, RCA, Ericson, Philips) some of them sound O.K. but have nothing to do with an VF14. Some other tubes that are favored, were the 5904 to 5908 group of tubes, but none of the above is really a direct replacement.

Passing signal does not mean it sounds good and there are a lot of people whom I meet that love the sound of the 5905, mostly in conjunction with a Thiersch reskin.

If one of the guys posting here really uses this forum to try to discredit you, I think Klaus would take care of that.

Regarding your claim of a custom made tube, I do understand to keep the real designation under wraps, in case it would sound the same as an VF14, but all tubes, whether of western or eastern origin are quite well documented and none has an ML designation. The Brits used CV for custom valves, the Americans STR; so what is up with your 'ML'? Are those ones custom made for you?
Oliver Archut
www.tab-funkenwerk.com

We are so advanced, that we can develop technology that can determine how much damage the earth has taken from the development of that technology.

Offline ssltech

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Re: has anybody seen Saturn Sound's VF14 replacement?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2008, 12:30:24 pm »
If Betnorm/ Norm Mc Cleary is a competing manufacturer, that should probably be stated.
I have asked Norm to chime in! K.H.
MDM (maxdimario) wrote on Fri, 16 November 2007 21:36

I have the feeling that I have more experience in my little finger than you do in your whole body about audio electronics..

Offline J.J. Blair

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Re: has anybody seen Saturn Sound's VF14 replacement?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2008, 02:48:48 am »
And here's the case for putting your name in your profile: I thought it was my friend Norm in LA, who also bought one of those fake VF14s.  Not Norm McCleary.  My bad.
studio info

They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Offline mullard

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Re: Saturn Sound's VF14 Replacement Tube- Anybody Used It?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2008, 04:32:50 am »
Sounds like fake, but if Saturn proves that their VF-14 replacement tube delivers all what is usually associated with original VF-14 it would be quite a news.
So far, I'm far from being convinced.

Offline Norm McCleary

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Re: has anybody seen Saturn Sound's VF14 replacement?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2008, 05:25:24 am »
My name is Norm Mccleary I live in Bunbury, Western Australia.

My son is a professional musician and I enjoy the production side of the industry. I have built/am building one of the best and most well equiped private studios in Perth Australia. I am neither attached or affiliated to anyone in the music industry except my son.

I have given a real and knowledgeable description of this product from personal use and commissioned testing to the best of my own ability. I am willing to run further tests if the tubes are available, however I have tested two and in a sonic sense, both are far from what they claim to emulate. Norm

Offline rodabod

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Re: has anybody seen Saturn Sound's VF14 replacement?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2008, 08:27:52 am »
Thanks for replying, Norm.

Can you tell us what you meant about receiving the item in a "bulk deal"? That just sounded a little strange.

Also, people here tend to try to describe why something sounds better or worse rather than just stating that it doesn't sound as good as it should, etc. Is it sonically lacking in any particular area in your opinion?

I think it would be nice if someone reputable could review one of these or possibly provide A/B samples to let us hear ourselves.
Roddy Bell

Offline Oliver Archut

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Re: Saturn Sound's VF14 Replacement Tube- Anybody Used It?
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2008, 09:00:18 am »
A good beginning it to post the data sheet of the tube Ashley uses, does not tell anything about the sonic performance (like EF14 is identical in technical specs, but sounds different) but shows us at least if the technical specs are identical.

Regards,
index.php/fa/8552/0/
Oliver Archut
www.tab-funkenwerk.com

We are so advanced, that we can develop technology that can determine how much damage the earth has taken from the development of that technology.