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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => Oliver Archut => Topic started by: Reptil on January 23, 2005, 10:24:32 PM

Title: buy V72a? advice needed
Post by: Reptil on January 23, 2005, 10:24:32 PM
Hi there,
I need a pair of good quality preamps, for microphones, and a double Eckmiller W86 passive EQ.
I have the chance to buy two V72a TAP amps. The units are in good condition, and the seller a respectable person. So, that's ok. But the asking price is 1300 euros for the two.
I can also get some V74 amps, and they are a little cheaper (1000 euros approx.).
I love a fat sound, but have a limited budget. Is the sound of the V72a much better than the V74 (or simular)
Or should I go for a pair of Neumann W 476 B amps, which is completely different. (about 800 for the two + rack 200 euros)
I don't know anymore.
I'm new on the whole subject of vintage german gear, so your advice is much appreciated.
Title: Re: buy V72a? advice needed
Post by: Oliver Archut on January 24, 2005, 12:45:50 AM
Hello Reptil,

giving advise on how much equipment should cost, something I do not want to answer, because the market sets the price, and what is the stuff worth to you, etc...

However talking about respectable, the seller should tell you that the V72a and V74 are not mic pres or better no input modules like the V72.

V72a and V74(a) are nearly identical, build upon the same chassis/components with minor changes in final wiring, the V72a falls with the V72b and t into the buffer amp category, designed with 34dB make up gain for passive elements like filter, fader, pan pots, etc.
Using them in a kind of mic pre set up works somehow, but does not sound like the V72 at all, or like a good tube mic pre should.
The V74(a) however works very good as a line driver, I use several myself for splitting signals and driving cables 400 meter plus, but sucks pretty bad on your front end....

If you are looking for a real good mic pre sound a la V72 or V76, save some more money and get the real thing, you won't regret it. (please keep in mind that you need to get it rebuild)

If you are in the market for a good mic pre, the Neumann sounds very good for being an op amp based unit, probably the best choice in your situation, due to some design/manufacturing problems with the V72a/74.

During the time they were designed several material improvements were made, PVC foam vs. the natural rubber found in the V72 units, hot glue vs. metal screws, etc. This worked very stable for about ten years, but than in the mid 70s most of the improved materials turned out to decompose much faster than the older materials used and while doing that destroying the wire insulation of the x-former, resulting in compromised sound or an open winding.
Nearly all V72a units and every V74(a) that people send to me had problems with the x-former. Rewinding is a costly option, replacement versions available sound pretty 2 dimensional....

Hope that helps...
Title: Re: buy V72a? advice needed
Post by: Reptil on January 24, 2005, 11:02:09 AM
Thank you for the swift reply!
I do have a passive EQ, which needs to be warmed up, but I think I have to go for the real mic pre-amp, probably the Neumann, because I can use it for both. And I can afford it.
I got some active LAWO faders, for warming up signals, didn't get them yet, so I can't share my experiences yet.
I did take a look at the new TAB V78 but at this moment it's just like the V72, a little out of my reach.
With what can I compare the Neumann W 476 B? I have a DAV (decca) preamp. (NOS BG-1) Is it something in this range soundwise?
I'll let you know what happens next.