yet another EH 12ay7 thread

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2121TrumbullAve
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yet another EH 12ay7 thread

Post by 2121TrumbullAve » Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:01 am

Hi folks, all the mixed reviews about this pre on this forum piqued my curiosity so I ordered one and have ben A/B-ing it a bit today.

Just wanted to report that it is dead quiet using a balanced xlr > 1/4"trs into my interface (rme fireface 800).

I am also happy with the sound thus far. I may just keep it.

That is all.

-Rasmussen
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damn! update

Post by 2121TrumbullAve » Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:23 pm

As I said above - it's dead quiet, BUT...

when recording distorted guitars, at any volume, I get a clipping - crackle with the transients. Not musical, doubtfully 'tube distortion".

I tried changing mics (a 57 even did it) and when switching pre's, the problem went away.

How very strange. 2 others have experienced this also. Don't wanna swap tubes - like the sound the way it is.

Sent it back - 2nd unit does it also. Surely, others have experienced this.

Let me know...I guess it's back for a refund...
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Re: damn! update

Post by adhooker » Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:48 pm

2121TrumbullAve wrote:As I said above - it's dead quiet, BUT...

when recording distorted guitars, at any volume, I get a clipping - crackle with the transients. Not musical, doubtfully 'tube distortion".

I tried changing mics (a 57 even did it) and when switching pre's, the problem went away.

How very strange. 2 others have experienced this also. Don't wanna swap tubes - like the sound the way it is.

Sent it back - 2nd unit does it also. Surely, others have experienced this.

Let me know...I guess it's back for a refund...
I've had this exact problem... crackle on guitar amps, but at LOW volumes (bedroom low) with a variety of mics. If I switch to a different pre, Art Tube MP, the problem disappears entirely.

I'm still so happy with the sound, I just reserve it for vocals or acoustic guitar work. I just can't use it for guitar cabs.

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Post by 2121TrumbullAve » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:37 pm

Yeah - hard to believe more folks haven't mentioned this.

I agree though, I probably won't return it, because it does sound great on my voice compared to other pre's I have (rme, aphex), so for such a low price it's probably fine to keep around for just vox, acoustic & guitar. 2 in a row have had this occur for me, so it must be inherent. It just seems wrong - why distorted guitars?
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Post by sthslvrcnfsn » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:46 pm

"Scuse me for being off topic, but:

Where in Denver are you Trumbull? Is that you playing in your avatar thing?

jim!

PS: I've been contemplating long and hard about getting one of those EH pres. I should've jumped on the group buy a while back.

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Post by 2121TrumbullAve » Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:40 pm

yup, that's me - a screen grab from a dvd of a rock musical I was in at the climax lounge.

I'm in five points.
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Post by darjama » Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:39 am

I've had good luck with mine on electric guitar amps, though I've only used it on small ones. Mics used were senn e906, akg d1200, oktava ml52, sm57. I've even used them on snare and kick without the kind of crackle you're talking about. Not saying it didn't happen to you guys, just that it's not universal.

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Post by jimbob » Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:03 pm

i've had the same crackling sounds with mine, too. but i've had this problem with acoustic guitars as well. i just assumed it was a bad tube on the left, since i swapped out the tube on the right and it didn't make a difference.

can anyone else confirm this distortion? this happens at low volumes where the preamp should not be crapping out. is this crackling a sign of a bad tube or is there another problem?

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Post by T-rex » Fri Sep 01, 2006 8:07 pm

I have used this for drum overheads and room mics at extremely loud volumes and no problem and then I have used it for Acoustic Guitars at low volume and no problem. Yet to do electric guitar, but I may try tomorrow and see what happens.
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Post by KennyLusk » Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:10 am

jimbob wrote:i've had the same crackling sounds with mine, too. but i've had this problem with acoustic guitars as well. i just assumed it was a bad tube on the left, since i swapped out the tube on the right and it didn't make a difference.

can anyone else confirm this distortion? this happens at low volumes where the preamp should not be crapping out. is this crackling a sign of a bad tube or is there another problem?
I get the crackling also. I was able to tame the 60 cycle hum issue by removing the casing, disconnecting the power saddle from the casing and setting up what was left. The unit is not shielded properly and picks up every available RF interference in it's immediate radius. That's the humming issue. (Keep in mind this is the only piece of gear I own that hums like this - so it's not my setup, my power, or my cables.) In any event, removing the casing seems to correct the shielding problems.

But the sporadic crackling still persists and I'm not sure what's causing it yet. Going to try different tubes today.

On the flip side of that, I've never had a problem with distortion on guitar amps like some of the others; no matter if the input level is at 9:00 or 3:00. To qualify that though, I only mic up small-watt amps. The only time I get distorion from my 12AY7 is when the input level is maxed and I'm driving it hard up front using it as a DI for bass. And it's all good, I think it's a sweet bass DI.
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Post by rodabod » Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:31 pm

Kenny, I'm sure you've considered this already, but were you using true balanced inputs after the 12AY7?

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Post by KennyLusk » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:43 pm

That's right. I tried several options for balanced gear just to make sure I wasn't going crazy, to no avail. But even when there was nothing plugged into the box at all I could plug a pair of headphones into the monitoring jack and still hear 60 cycle hum.
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Post by cities » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:08 pm

KennyLusk wrote:
I get the crackling also. I was able to tame the 60 cycle hum issue by removing the casing, disconnecting the power saddle from the casing and setting up what was left. The unit is not shielded properly and picks up every available RF interference in it's immediate radius. That's the humming issue. (Keep in mind this is the only piece of gear I own that hums like this - so it's not my setup, my power, or my cables.) In any event, removing the casing seems to correct the shielding problems.
Hope this isn't hijacking the thread, but I'm having the same hum problem with my 12AY7 and I'm curious to hear the details about the surgery you performed to fix the hum issue. Did you permanently remove the casing? And what's a power saddle?

cheers!

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Post by KennyLusk » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:10 am

cities wrote: Hope this isn't hijacking the thread, but I'm having the same hum problem with my 12AY7 and I'm curious to hear the details about the surgery you performed to fix the hum issue. Did you permanently remove the casing? And what's a power saddle?

cheers!
1st let me say you can't do what I did without voiding your warranty. Having said that, all I did was remove the black tube guard, then remove the four screws that lock down the top section of the metal case and remove the top section (or cover as you might call it). What I'm calling the "power cord saddle" is just the socket on the side of the box where you actually connect the ac power adapter. Just remove the 2 screws that attach it to the side of the case. Then you'll have it free from the top section of the case which can act as an antennae for RF interference. For me, this helped eliminate the shielding problem.

The next step will obviously have to be further disassembly to properly rackmount the unit and make sure it's shielded. The hum problems were compounded by having it in proximity to my computer monitors, my HD and other audio gear. But again, it's just kind of unacceptable that this wonderful EHX box was the only box in my little studio that had this problem, you know? I just hope the crackling sound doesn't come down to a bad cap or 2...or more because I'm not THAT much of a solder head.
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so...

Post by 2121TrumbullAve » Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:11 pm

so...did you try new tubes yet, kenny, to see if it eliminated the crackling problem?
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