Aphex tubessence

Discussion in 'DIY Pro Audio Forum' started by clintrubber, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. clintrubber

    clintrubber Guest

    Hi,

    Talking about gear using starved-plates or other
    ways of doing-a-tube, does anyone know more about the Aphex-'Tubessence' thing ? The description sounds kind of mysterious and some reviews of their gear even differed w.r.t. those units containing an actual tube or not...

    from http://www.aphex.com/products/107.htm

    Bye,

    Peter
     
  2. sapplegate

    sapplegate Guest

  3. gyraf

    gyraf Guest

    You should get suspicious once they come to the part of

    "..It has been discovered that microphonics are far less a problem with an RPA than with a conventional tube circuit.."

    Yes.

    This is because stage gain comes mainly from the 2N5401 transistor, driving the standard push-pull output pair.

    And I know of much easier ways of obtaining transistor stage gain.

    Jakob E.
     
  4. clintrubber

    clintrubber Guest

    Thanks for the responses, interesting to read
    about what this Tubessence is actually about.

    Don't really know what to think of it, not too
    impressed either I guess (like you all weren't),
    but since it's such a simple circuit it'd might
    be interesting to breadboard it sometime.

    I'm actually a bit surprised Aphex didn't provide
    the THD-trim in some form as a front-panel control.


    BTW, last time I looked I thought I didn't see
    the 107 mic pre being mentioned anymore at
    the Apex-site (pricelist). It gave me the impression
    that Tubessence was perhaps better be forgotten,
    but other gear using it (109-EQ & 661) is still there.

    Bye,

    Peter
     
  5. rascalseven

    rascalseven Guest

    Yes, Aphex is still into "Tubessence". The 107 has been replaced with a more feature-filled (and more professional looking) 207.

    Unlike many people I actually like the 107/207. True, they are not 'real' tube circuits, but I used to have a 107 and regularly got compliments on tracks I recorded through it. I definitely like it better than the Behringer or ART stuff, and for people who don't have a lot of cash, and aren't willing to DIY, it can be a much better alternative to the other stuff competing in that price range.

    My current tube mic pre is a UA 2-610, which I love. The G9 is on the list after my SSL compressor, Pultec EQ, and 1176. I hope I'll like it enough to sell the UA and by more parts!!

    :D

    Joel
     
  6. IJR

    IJR

    Joined:
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    Hello Joel!
    Maybe you have a schematic of your 2-610????
    I have a lots of others....
     
  7. rascalseven

    rascalseven Guest

    Unfortunately, no. UA doesn't include the schematics in the manual like Urei did. I'm sure somewhere out there there's a 610 schematic floating around, and, supposedly, the 2-610 is taken directly from that, but usually, this is not the case as manufacturers seem to change things (usually for cost reasons) but don't mention the changes in the marketing of the product.

    This WOULD be a great DIY since I truly think the box sounds fabulous. I'm really wondering what the G9 sounds like???

    Joel
     
  8. clintrubber

    clintrubber Guest

    Hi,

    Thanks for responding.

    In your opinion, does it sound anywhere like 'tube' (whatever that exactly is...) or is the 107/207 just a solidstate mic pre with a gimmick ? (As the Behringers MIC2200/T1953/... seem to be)

    Thanks,

    Peter
     
  9. sapplegate

    sapplegate Guest

    I used to own one of the original 107's, but I found it too harsh and brittle sounding. Definitely more SS sounding than tube (and not really good SS at that).
     
  10. rascalseven

    rascalseven Guest

    I don't know what you consider "harsh" and "brittle" sound, but I truly don't see how those adjectives can accurately describe Aphex's 107/207. Mackie/Behringer mixer preamps, absolutely, but not the Aphex stuff (unless your normal signal path is a colorful tube mic, through a colorful tube preamp, through a colorful tube compressor (or two) through a colorful tube eq....)

    Most 'tube' gear (meaning there's a tube SOMEWHERE in the signal path!) in the price range of the 107/207 tends to be lifeless and/or dull/cottony sounding, dark gear. Unfortunately, many people who have never been fortunate enough to use true, nice tube gear (Manley, UA, TELEFUNKEN, Teletronix, Tube-Tech, etc...) think this is what tubes should sound like.

    I do not consider the Aphex 107/207 to sound like 'real' tube gear, but harsh and brittle it is not. True, it doesn't take the 'biggest' picture of the signal you're recording, but I'd definitely describe it as being on the smooth (not brittle) side of neutral. Yes, I'd say it sounds more SS than the sound we like tubes for, and its tone isn't as commanding as a V72/76 with their glorious transformers, but it is pleasant, and if I ever needed to go back to more cost-concious gear, and for some reason couldn't DIY my own, then I'd be happy to use the 107/207 again (though I DO NOT much care for the similarly priced Behringer, dbx, ART tube stuff).

    I truly do not mean to offend, Old House Scott, and I hope you do not feel attacked. Black and white print may be just about the WORST way to post an opposing opinion politely :( , but my experience just does not bear out your description, and I feel strongly that Peter, and others, may want to hear another voice.

    (Of course, Peter, you could always cut straight to the chase and build yourself a G9 :D )

    Peace to all,

    Joel
     
  11. sapplegate

    sapplegate Guest

    Hey Joel, no offence taken! That's the beauty of a forum like this right? Maybe I didn't give the Aphex a fair shake, but it was used in the context for which it was marketed at the time, the project studio. In my case that was an AT4050 into the 107 into an ADAT XT for recording vocals to pre-recorded tracks. Certainly the XT didn't help matters much, but I consistently got results that tended to be a little harsh -- or maybe strained is a better word -- in the upper mids. I'm hesitant to blame the 4050 which is a fairly neutral mic tending toward low-mid fullness if anything. Anyway, that was just my experience, and as always, YMMV.

    I agree with you though, the Aphex is better than the ART and similar "tube" stuff. Dark and muddy is right! I don't know, I guess after building a homebrew Altec from the info on Eddie's site I've just gotten used to the sounds of those big honkin' transformers. Even our 9098 pre sounds a little plastic-y to me at times.
     
  12. clintrubber

    clintrubber Guest

    Hi all & thanks for the responses.

    I've been reading on Tech Talk for some two weeks
    now and the impression I almost got is that for a nice make-a-big-sound mic-pre's one should reach for iron first, and then for tubes on high B+ !

    The thread I read here on the 'great info from Mister Rupert Neve' wasn't the least contributing to this I must say.


    from Joel:
    Joel must be right, why try to get some of it by cutting corners - and keeping asking myself how the full thing would sound ?

    So yes, the full thing it should be, and while
    I wasn't sure about the added value of output-iron, the previous threads kind of convinced me.

    Which brings me to a thing I'm asking myself for the last few weeks - the thing actually where it all started for me: would there be anything going for a circuit based on the
    Tektronix Type 122 pre-amp topology discussed a short while ago but combined with input- and output-transformers ?

    (see http://www.recording.org/users/kev/Tek_Type122_circuit_ampsection.jpg
    http://www.recording.org/users/kev/Tek_Type122_circuitdescription.jpg

    http://www.recording.org/users/kev/Tek_Type122_restofscans.pdf

    It's defin. clear to me the Revox-input section and the SRPP have good things to add in the Gyraf G9-design but when reading along on the Manley website they had good things to say about balanced tube stages as well.

    My Type 122 amps are of course not necessarily the same thing just because they use a few balanced stages after each other (it's kind of in between, starts out with two balanced stages and takes it further single ended - in fact an opamp as Jakob said).

    But still, it did make me wonder about the pro's
    and con's of balanced tube topologies versus single (but all using in- and output-transformers to keep it to one variable).

    Balanced cancels those even order goodies, right ? So why would balanced tube topologies be nice ?!

    The thing is, I'm like the most of us here seem to be: limited amount of time but with DIY-wishlists enough to keep us busy for the next few centuries.

    So starting out with those two Tektronix Type 122 preamps I have and adding the suggested in- and output-transformers for the Gyraf G9 would be a practical option: replace a few old caps, add the I/O-transformers and listen. (I'm assuming those G9 irons would be a good match for the Type 122 circuit as well, I'm not sure here).

    And when there's more DIY-time i could start a G9 or convert my Type 122 circuits to G9-topologies (each chassis holds three tubes so enough room there)...

    Any info appreciated,

    Bye / thanks,

    Peter
     
  13. clintrubber

    clintrubber Guest

    Hi all & thanks for the responses.

    I've been reading on Tech Talk for some two weeks
    now and the impression I almost got is that for a nice make-a-big-sound mic-pre's one should reach for iron first, and then for tubes on high B+ !

    The thread I read here on the 'great info from Mister Rupert Neve' wasn't the least contributing to this I must say.


    from Joel:
    Joel must be right, why try to get some of it by cutting corners - and keeping asking myself how the full thing would sound ?

    So yes, the full thing it should be, and while
    I wasn't sure about the added value of output-iron, the previous threads kind of convinced me.

    Which brings me to a thing I'm asking myself for the last few weeks - the thing actually where it all started for me: would there be anything going for a circuit based on the
    Tektronix Type 122 pre-amp topology discussed a short while ago but combined with input- and output-transformers ?

    (see http://www.recording.org/users/kev/Tek_Type122_circuit_ampsection.jpg
    http://www.recording.org/users/kev/Tek_Type122_circuitdescription.jpg

    http://www.recording.org/users/kev/Tek_Type122_restofscans.pdf

    It's defin. clear to me the Revox-input section and the SRPP have good things to add in the Gyraf G9-design but when reading along on the Manley website they had good things to say about balanced tube stages as well.

    My Type 122 amps are of course not necessarily the same thing just because they use a few balanced stages after each other (it's kind of in between, starts out with two balanced stages and takes it further single ended - in fact an opamp as Jakob said).

    But still, it did make me wonder about the pro's
    and con's of balanced tube topologies versus single (but all using in- and output-transformers to keep it to one variable).

    Balanced cancels those even order goodies, right ? So why would balanced tube topologies be nice ?!

    The thing is, I'm like the most of us here seem to be: limited amount of time but with DIY-wishlists enough to keep us busy for the next few centuries.

    So starting out with those two Tektronix Type 122 preamps I have and adding the suggested in- and output-transformers for the Gyraf G9 would be a practical option: replace a few old caps, add the I/O-transformers and listen. (I'm assuming those G9 irons would be a good match for the Type 122 circuit as well, I'm not sure here).

    And when there's more DIY-time i could start a G9 or convert my Type 122 circuits to G9-topologies (each chassis holds three tubes so enough room there)...

    Any info appreciated,

    Bye / thanks,

    Peter
     
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