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with all this talk of preamps i came acrosed this and was wandering if any one has used one or if they are any good?

Phonic - T8100 Tube Microphone Preamp


KurtFoster Tue, 05/11/2004 - 14:53

I once had a little rack mount 16 channel mic mixer that Phonic made back in the early 90's that I liked quite a lot.

I looked around on the net and found some links that I am checking out. I may request a demo unit to review but I will say at the price thay are going for ($250 for a 2 channel unit) I seriously doubt that it is stellar in it's performance.. still , due to my previous expierences with Phonic, I am curious ...

KurtFoster Tue, 05/11/2004 - 15:29

After perusing the PDF owners manual available at Phonics site I have learned that this pre is a hybrid type that is essentially a solid state mic pre with a tube side chain used to add "tube color". It has a transformer based input but unfortunately the output is electronically servo balanced ....

The eq, a 3 band affair, is pretty useless IMO, due to the lack of any bandwidth control on the mid-sweep frequency section. I feel it is essential to have at least one band in an EQ that can be brought down to narrow or pushed up to a wide "bell" shape. The EQ in the Phonic is basically the same type that is found in most small table top mixers like the ones Mackie makes..

My impression is that this mic pre falls in to the same category as an ART, RNP or other small inexpensive types. It could be useful for someone that is working with a sound card that has no mic pres at all ... but if you have any type of small mixer or sound card with pres , I doubt that it would make a significant improvement in overall sound quality, like a real professional pre like a MP2NV, vintage Neve or API, or one of the higher priced boutique pres available would.

I do however want to say that until I have heard it I have to reserve final judgment. I have learned that in spite of features or the lack of, sometimes a piece of gear just sounds right.. and when you twist a knob, the right thing happens.. This could be the case with the Phonic T8100 ... and pigs might fly sometime in the future..