Tube pres that function like Altec 1566A or 1567A?

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atavacron
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Tube pres that function like Altec 1566A or 1567A?

Post by atavacron » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:41 pm

So I'm just learning about the Altec green face gear now. These look like great, simple circuits, and clearly people have been getting wonderful sounds out of them since the '60s.

Can anyone suggest comparable tube pres, hopefully with a little less collector's hype? Wouldn't necessarily have to be vintage. Here's my criteria:

- All tube gain stages
- Have the option of balanced 600ohm or unbalanced hi-z input
- Balanced output
- At least 60-70db of gain - my Urei 7510As (got modules?) max out at 50db and I'm looking for something more amenable to my ribbons
- Less than $400 per channel (channel meaning in and out)

...and then here are the lesser criteria:

- point to point wiring
- dual mono in one package would be nice

Thanks!

Here's the schematic for the Altec 1567A five-channel mono mixer:
http://boozhoundlabs.com/microphone-pre ... -1567a.gif

Here's the schematic for the Altec 1566A single-channel mic pre:
http://www.freeinfosociety.com/electron ... c1566a.jpg

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Post by atavacron » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:51 pm

bump.

c'mon, give a noob a break.

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Post by Gebo » Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:08 am

I just got an Ampex 600, which has a pre that is suppose to be similar to the Ampex 300 series. I think, but Im not positive, that they are along the same lines. I got the 600 for 70 dollars, although it needs to be modded into a stand alone pre.
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Post by Recycled_Brains » Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:28 am

For $400 per channel, I doubt you could do better than the HAmptone HVTP2. If you buy the kit, that meets your budget. Assembled, it's a little over, but well worth it.

Honestly, at any price point, the HAmptone is tits.

Other than that, there's the Groove Tubes Brick, but that doesn't meet your gain requirement.
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Post by themagicmanmdt » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:03 am

nah
Last edited by themagicmanmdt on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by lunabeach » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:55 pm

themagicmanmdt wrote:i'll spill a secret.

http://www.audioproz.com/AP.php?Article=36&Tab=Services

after his mods, it's the best tube preamp ever made!

fully adjustable *real* harmonic distortion, both in and out of phase, at any volume level?

are you kidding me?
Has anyone had experience with this?

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Post by rwc » Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:39 pm

A lot of those "wonderful sounds from the 60s", if I had to guess based on what I've READ and what I've HEARD(from people, and on the records)came from:

a) people using the SAME preamp on everything.

a weird issue I notice is not with sounds being "bad" but rather sounds not blending together well. not using 50 different preamps is good for this.

b) people working in the same room,

my least pathetic recordings are the whole band, including the vocalist, at the same time.

over the speakers, not headphones. it's amazing how headphones fuck with people's sense of groove, pitch, etc..

c) headroom.

tube mic preamps were cool because of headroom.

while I understand the issue, bob olhsson says it better than I ever could.
It's ironic that people talk about distortion because those preamps had maybe 20 dB more dynamic range than all but ultra-high end solid state gear. Yes, they read 1% instead of .1% distortion on a meter but believe me, a preamp that saturates at +45 feeding a +4 input was not saturating. When we all bitched about how bad the new solid state stuff sounded, the manufacturers told us we must like the sound of distortion. It was a lie but today people believe that lie and make gear that intentionally distorts. Go figure...
reading that line about the adjustable harmonic distortion makes my nuts crease. the power of marketing..

I'm not here to rain on the parade. I'm not here to say "gear doesn't matter" either, it does.

Just don't expect the sounds of the 60s to jump out of a tube preamp.
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Post by shakestheclown » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:52 pm

Maybe a little out of context but, there is nothing about this...
ART actually did take my advice it appears, and built a little of the design concept into the TPS II preamp
that is worth this...
The ART PRO MPA when fully modified is $980.

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Post by Dakota » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:42 pm

lunabeach wrote:
themagicmanmdt wrote:i'll spill a secret.

http://www.audioproz.com/AP.php?Article=36&Tab=Services

after his mods, it's the best tube preamp ever made!

fully adjustable *real* harmonic distortion, both in and out of phase, at any volume level?

are you kidding me?
Has anyone had experience with this?
I live one town over from AudioPro. Vince is a character! (In a good way). I have not tried the modded Art pre he's talking about in that article, but I've heard him explain it. Sounds intriguing. If I have an opportunity to try one out, I'll let the board know.

The various repair work he's done for me has been very diligent and solid. He is a ferret for digging noise issues out of gear designs and getting things running clean and open. And he's got a bunch of unusual mods he's worked out over time.

themagicmanmdt, do you own or have tried one of these?

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Dakota
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Post by Dakota » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:51 pm

shakestheclown wrote:Maybe a little out of context but, there is nothing about this...
ART actually did take my advice it appears, and built a little of the design concept into the TPS II preamp
that is worth this...
The ART PRO MPA when fully modified is $980.
To be fair, the site says if you already have a stock one, the mods are $600. Which isn't in a different ballpark than Black Lion, Audio Upgrades, OktavaMod, etc. for lifting various pieces of "meh" or flawed gear up to something to get enthused about.

On the other hand, that is in a range of $ I'd have to be totally sure was justified.

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Post by jaguarsg » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:56 pm

you should get in contact with jimbo9er:

http://www.fixthatmix.com/ampex601.php

i can't wait to get my 601 done!

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Post by joel hamilton » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:14 am

Ampex 601 or 602.
Gates "Bi-mote" remote 2 into 1 tube pre/mixer.
Electro harmonix 12aY7.
Original manley/VTL era Mono tube "reference" mic pre.
Collins remote broadcast mixer that i cant remember the name of, but any collins pre from before 1965-ish.
Any RCA tube pre from the late 50's early 60's.

The rest is up to you.
I am serious about the Electro harmonics 12Ay7. it is basically an RCA circuit without xformers. add xformers, rack them, put big knobs on the front and you have a very kick ass pre for incredibly low dollars.
People gripe about the QC and about the thing "buzzing" or doing something weird into a consumer converter, not balanced, and then blame it on the unit.
These old tube pieces are JUST as quirky, if not more so. They cost way more on ebay, might be broken, probably need to be re-capped, but they look cooler so people give them a break and rag on the EH pre.
Whatever, one is new one is old. the EH costs LESS THAN 200 dollars. That is stupid cheap for an RCA circuit based REAL, discrete mic pre. The only IC's in that thing are for the buffered 1/4" out that you should not be using anyway.
Also, a lot of the stuff that sounds "vintage" is really just limited bandwidth stuff like the scully pre's, or even more screwy sounding than a presonus bluetube... more noise, less bandwidth, less headroom....
Listen to the original tracks from a lot of vintage records. The sounds are actually incredible, and not just "colored" or lo-fi at all.

But back on topic again:
Ampex 601 or 602.
Gates "Bi-mote" remote 2 into 1 tube pre/mixer.
Electro harmonix 12aY7.
Original manley/VTL era Mono tube "reference" mic pre.
Collins remote broadcast mixer that i cant remember the name of, but any collins pre from before 1965-ish.
Any RCA tube pre from the late 50's early 60's.

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Post by Dakota » Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:44 pm

Great list, Joel.

Anyone have thoughts on old tube PA/mixer heads, like the Shure or Bogen stuff?

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Post by emrr » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:09 am

The PA stuff usually has a compromised noise floor due to unnecessary multiple inputs and mixing circuits. Many times you get power tube outputs with increased noise floor too. Not deal breakers, but kinda like gearing your motorcycle to run your smoothie blender.

I don't get the 1567 thing; they are okay, but really not that good when compared to the bazillion other pro audio preamps of the era. I get a 1567, I sell it and buy better antique stuff. The Eddie Ciletti article that started the whole 1566/1567 craze was based on one fact: they were both cheap as dirt at the time of writing, as were the transformers. IMO the prices of the last 10 years hold no justification other than as evidence of fad.

The RCA stuff back to 1945 is all great too.
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Post by atavacron » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:43 pm

whoa, people replied to my post. cool.

joel, i'll take your advice and start learning about those pres you mention. care to put up a link to a nice 12ay7 mod site?
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