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JLMs newest version of the TMP8 (transformer mic preamp)

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by Kurt Foster, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I just finished a tracking session with some of the local kids (I call them kids, they're like 21 and 22) while using some of the gear I have been sent to review.

    First in this post, I want to share my impressions of the newest version of the TMP8 from JLM AUDIO.

    I reviewed the original TMP8 about 16 months ago and I was very impressed with their clear aggressive sound. On the last TMP8 JLM had sent, I had requested that they bypass the built in limiters. On this unit I decided to have them set at the factory for the input level of my Alesis AI3's and I'm soooooooo glad I did! I am amazed at how well this approach works. On the back of the unit, below each channel there's a female mini jack. Accompanying the unit are 8 male mini plugs that when inserted in the jacks, activate the limiters to engage -2dB of your DAWs clip point. When the plugs are not inserted into the jacks, the limiter engage at -2 dB of the mic pres clip point.

    With the limiters engaged, I dialed up levels on a drum set. I had a D112 deep inside the kick, near where the beater hits and a D4 just inside the hole. I miced the snare with a 57 coming at it from under the hat and a ATM Pro 35 coming from the ride tom side. ATM Pro 35's were all around for the four toms.. A Pair of 4033s were on the over heads through a GRMP2NV and a pair of AKG 460s were on overhead duties as well, run through a pair of system 9098s pres (eq section bypassed) An AKG 541 through a Sebatron vmp 4000e pre finished of the drum kit for a total of 11 mics! When I get the time I will post sound clips of these drums miced as I described.

    On the drums I was able to turn up the TMP8 channels so that the blue limiter lights lit up brightly, indicating that the limiters were engaging. No matter how high I cranked the pres the levels neve went over -2dB on the digital meters of the DAW and the AI3's never showed an over. Pushing the levels of the TMP8 sounded more like tape compression than anything else I have ever heard other than the real thing itself. I was very impressed at how loud and punchy I was able to get the drums. Just as the last time I used the TMP8 for drums, they recorded tracks really don't require any eqing on play back. In fact when I tried eqing the kick drum a bit more, I really couldn't improve it any.
  2. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    I can't wait to hear the samples!
  3. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update Kurt, the TMP8 is next on my list.

    MELTHEDOG13 Guest


    Any chance that you might be able to post those new clips recorded with the TMP8 soon....? I am sooo close to making the decision to buy one and this might just push me over the edge.....in a good way !!
  5. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    hmm...I was almost dead set on purchasing a Sebatron vmp4000e next month but now after this review and seeing the price comparison (4 channels on the Seb for 1800 or 8 channels of JLM for 2000) I'm not so sure which route to go. I guess I would have to ask Kurt - Soooooo....Kurt which of these two preamps do you feel has more versatility and more options as far as different sonic colorations. To me that's more important than the shear number of channels.
  6. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    Thanks I appreciate the link and replies. Looks like I'm in the market for a TMP8. That way I can always add a 2 channel vmp200e and save some cash if I want the Sebatron as an option as well. My only question would be how do you know for sure what limiter plug you would need to utilize for your DAW? I use a MOTU 24 i/o currently. What specs would I need to be looking at to know. Thanks.
  7. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    The TMP has built-in limiters, dude. I think they set the limiters up for the correct level of your soundcard if you tell them to.
  8. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member


    Here is a review on the TMP-8.


    Kurt was going to email you, but didn't have your email address...so I'm passing the message along.
  9. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    Thanks Kurt, Art, and everybody for the responses and the help in yet another money crunching decision, haha. Would be nice if I could find a Sebatron or JLM dealer who had easy payment plans or financing now, but I might just bite the bullet and purchase the JLM now and add the Seb vmp2000e later. Damn the new audio gear syndrome...it's got around and nipped me in the ass. At least the upgrade is warranted and justified...no more cheap pre's for me now that I've outgrown my mackies, arts, and dbx pre's. I still have much use for my Brick though :)
  10. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    I don't think I'd ever NOT have use for a Brick. All around kick ass...up there with the "real" $*^t. If you can solder....check into building some Neve and API pres. You can build the real thing for a few hundred per channel.
  11. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    Yeah I built 2 channels of the API from Seventh Circle...very nice stuff. Amazing on overheads for drums :)
  12. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Why not fill out the rest of your SCA rack?
  13. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    I didn't get the 8 channel chassis. Had a custom built 2 channel made from a steel cutting company. I filled the 2 with 2 Api's. IN the future I might get the 8 space one and fill it out but after reading Kurt's reviews of the JLM it sounds like what I'm looking for. (plus I don't have a whole lot of free time on my hands anymore to make the SCA stuff - at least not enough time before my next big project starts)
  14. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member


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