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Author Topic: tube channel strip quest..  (Read 5170 times)

bert

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tube channel strip quest..
« on: November 30, 2005, 01:52:40 PM »

hey,

i'm looking for a decent warm sounding preamp/channel strip for my daw workstation. right now i'm working with a tascam fw1884 and an RME octamic extra 8 inputs. i'm considering tube units that will give me more possibilities to drive signals harder and warmer. i will probably be using it most of the times for vocals.. things i have been considering are the presonus eureka, the focusrite voice master, the mindprint envoice, ...
considering this price range (more or less 500$), do you guys think it's better to invest in a simple but really decent tube pre amp for the same price instead of buying a whole channel strip? i've got somedecent uad card compression and eq plugins, but maybe, i really want the compressor hardware with that preamp. a channel strip seem sto give me intuitive a really good feeling, also i will be using it live also probably if it fits..

any advice, or other units i should consider, maybe older, second hand channel strips, pre amps?

greets

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boogalaboogala

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2005, 03:23:18 PM »

Well, the Eureka -- while a rather nice channel strip, and one I own and use -- is not a tube component.  It has a "Saturation" knob to emulate that sort of breakup, but that feature doesn't ring my bells.  So, if tube is what you're fixed on, that's not the unit for you.
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bert

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2005, 05:41:04 PM »

yeah i know, the voice master from focusrite also is not a real tube preamp and also uses pseudo tube sound, but what about these? are these emulations not the real stuff? because the voicemaster really looks fantastic if you look at all the features and specifications..

maybe i should only look at a decent tube preamp and use the compression on mu uad card?

what do you suggest  in this price range and given the daw environment i described above..?

greets
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compasspnt

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2005, 06:36:57 PM »

For tube, how about The Brick by Groove Tubes?

For non-tube, how about the RNP?
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NelsonL

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2005, 07:39:52 PM »

compasspnt wrote on Wed, 30 November 2005 15:36

For tube, how about The Brick by Groove Tubes?

For non-tube, how about the RNP?


In my estimation, this is very good advice.

If you absolutely have to have a channel strip, I'd look at a used Joe Meek VC1Q. It's just ok as a mic-pre, but I think the opto is kind of cool for the $.

You can also smooth at vocals with automation-- that might be an alternative for you if you're the patient type.
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John Ivan

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2005, 09:13:43 PM »

The Brick sounds great. Did guitars and drums 0n a few of them. Also, summit has a great little tube pre. the 221, or BA something,?? It's a great vocal box for female vox IMHO, and it's only $600.00.

Ivan........
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Vertigo

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2005, 12:34:13 AM »

Focusrite Platinum series won't get you anywhere near where you're looking to go, and probably not anywhere else either. I have a Trakmaster in the rack that I consider a bad investment, but at least I find the opto-compressor useful every now and then.

-Lance
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Dave Martin

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2005, 01:17:57 AM »

Might I respectfully suggest that you don't necessarily need a 'tube pre'? You need a 'good' pre, and in my estimation, none of the ones you've mentioned fall into that category.

I've tried both the Voicemaster and the Mindprint - I'd rather not use them ever again. In your position, (and the UAD card), I'd probably go for either an RNP (2 channels for your budget) or the Speck 5.0 (More features, but twice as much as you want to spend). In any case, I don't really see the use in buying some mediocre pre with a crappy compressor and crappy EQ - the kind that only improves the sound when you bypass them...

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bert

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2005, 05:04:50 PM »

about the RNP, will it add a lot of quality to my signals, in comparison with the pre's i have in the tascam fw1884 and rme octamic? that's my question above all, i only want to spend money on stuff that will add things. but yeah, maybe i should check this rnp and the brick? i've read some cool things about tl audio also, their ivory series seems to be pretty good, also the older vp-1 strip seems to be quite good, any experience with these? or other advice?
also... do you guys go test them in stores? or just buy and try with money back guarantee?

thanx
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NelsonL

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2005, 05:45:30 PM »

bert wrote on Thu, 01 December 2005 14:04

about the RNP, will it add a lot of quality to my signals, in comparison with the pre's i have in the tascam fw1884 and rme octamic? that's my question above all, i only want to spend money on stuff that will add things. but yeah, maybe i should check this rnp and the brick? i've read some cool things about tl audio also, their ivory series seems to be pretty good, also the older vp-1 strip seems to be quite good, any experience with these? or other advice?
also... do you guys go test them in stores? or just buy and try with money back guarantee?

thanx


Rather than "adding something," I would humbly suggest that the RNP would "subtract less" than what you have in your rack currently.

But if the end result is better sonics then what's the difference?
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bert

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2005, 06:10:25 PM »

that's true, the better sonics, that's the end question after all. i will have to go and try out some of these things you mention here..
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Vertigo

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2005, 06:19:51 PM »

The RNP is excellent, and you can't beat the price for two channels. Definitely a high end pre and a good step up from your current pre's, but I wouldn't describe the sound or response as "tube-like" at all. And you can't overdrive it... If that's really what you're looking for then I'd go for The Brick. Roughly the same price (actually, I think the Bricks are now going for $300-400), and sounds more to me like what you're looking for.

-Lance
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bert

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2005, 05:37:52 AM »

i've read about the brick on their site, and it seems that most of its users use it as an instrument preamp; which is not really my purpose. but it is a mic preamp as well, i have to check it out!
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RMoore

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2005, 08:00:42 AM »

bert wrote on Wed, 30 November 2005 19:52

hey,

i'm looking for a decent warm sounding preamp/channel strip for my daw workstation. right now i'm working with a tascam fw1884 and an RME octamic extra 8 inputs. i'm considering tube units that will give me more possibilities to drive signals harder and warmer. i will probably be using it most of the times for vocals.. things i have been considering are the presonus eureka, the focusrite voice master, the mindprint envoice, ...
considering this price range (more or less 500$), do you guys think it's better to invest in a simple but really decent tube pre amp for the same price instead of buying a whole channel strip? i've got somedecent uad card compression and eq plugins, but maybe, i really want the compressor hardware with that preamp. a channel strip seem sto give me intuitive a really good feeling, also i will be using it live also probably if it fits..

any advice, or other units i should consider, maybe older, second hand channel strips, pre amps?

greets




Speaking as someone having gone that route, I would recommend avoiding old 'vintage' stuff especially with all the high quality  newly made stuff around now that will be devoid of 'used car' type issues,

Still, if you are prepared to deal with the quirks, some used stuff, depending on what you pay and if you avoid $$ racking options, can be a good deal for the sound and build quality vs used price..thinking like 'vintage' RCA, or Telefunken V72, V276 pres, Ward Beck, etc...
Note - with all the old stuff you are going to experience headaches & time wasting, unless you spend a fortune on fully serviced, racked doodads.
So I think recently made plug & play represents a better investment,

What I found is that with good quality pres, the 'need' to EQ stuff became much less,
Also the less circuitry you have in the signal path, generally the better the sound,

I find on vocals: ,unless you are going for some special effect or some kind of surgical repair, EQ tends to sound pretty weird - except for occasional high end shelving / lifts,
So if you are thinking mainly of vocals, you may be fine with an outboard pre and no extra eq etc

I think you can never really go wrong with good pres in one's signal chain,
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Teddy G.

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2005, 05:38:17 PM »

500 bucks.

DBX 376 Tube Channel Strip?

No ones idea of "the best". It is "decent sounding", lots of knobs, buttons and switches, includes digital output. Nice.

I have one. It's more than paid for itself(Many times...).

I will replace it as soon as I can.

I will likely go with a John Hardy pre(Around a grand). I'm not ready for a multi-thousand dollar pre, I don't have the mics for it, the room for it, the clients to pay for it, nor am I, likely, worth it.

The JH, will be my "base" pre - the one I will, then, "measure" all others with. Solid state, few "adjustments", fewer features. Just "a pre" --- a v-e-r-y good pre.

I may invest, at some point, in a "real" channel strip - like something in a Pendulum audio(Which includes many tubes)? It will cost above 500 bucks.

If one races with Ferrari's, one needs a Ferrari - or a miracle.

If you're racing with Fords, you need a Ford. Easy!

If 500 bucks is all you have to spend and you can't wait to save up(Or know you don't need too, at least not yet), go with a straight, feature-less pre, almost any one in that price range. At least hope that most of the money has gone into the pre. The channel strips(Including the DBX) MUST compromise on everything, after all it's only 500 bucks. There are LED meters that cost 4 times 500 bucks(The DBX has 4 "led meters" that couldn't have cost more than, what, a buck apiece? To say nothing of compressor/EQ/De-esser/A/D converter and all those switches and buttons and knobs. YES, they are surprisingly "good" in the DBX(And others of that ilk, I'm sure), but how good could they be? The whole thing only costs 500 bucks.  

Get the most for the least. NOT!

Get "the least" you need and spend "the most" you possibly can for it!


There you go,

TG
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Madguitrst

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2005, 11:42:41 AM »

Chameleon Labs 7602
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sekim

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2005, 09:16:14 PM »

Are the RME's not decent?  Sounds like maybe a different vocal mic instead of a "warm tube" pre may give better results if the vocals are what you want to change.  

It's tough for a mfgr to hit the $500 price target with tube gear that's better than good ss gear at that price point.  It may be significantly different sounding, and that may be what you want - sort of a tube distortion FX kinda thing, but I doubt anything "tube" in that class would be characterized by words like "clean", "unconstrained", "open", "sparkle" which AFAIC are the real reasons to go with good tube gear. 2 cents worth.
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The Milkman

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2005, 07:29:33 AM »

I'd try a used TL Audio EQ-1 or C-3 compressor. Both are all valve, sound great with nice preamps. DI options on the C-3 as well. 500 or 600 dollars used, find a lot in Europe. Happy hunting!
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rankus

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Re: tube channel strip quest..
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2005, 01:21:03 PM »



In your price point the Brick is the one to get if you want tubes.... The Brick would be a deal at twice the price.... I have one that gets used on every project (Vox mainly) and plan to add at least one more (possibly for OHD's)
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