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

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tonewoods
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Post by tonewoods » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:11 am

emrr wrote: 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.
Yeah, agreed....

I recently thinned the herd on my pres, and here's a pic of what I kept...

Image

The Peavey, believe it or not, hangs right in there with the 1567a, which I do like a lot, especially on ribbons...
The Ampex is another pre that is supposedly overrated and faddish, but it does do something that I have a hard time getting on modern pres, again with ribbons...
emrr wrote: The RCA stuff back to 1945 is all great too.
I have an RCA BA6A limiter that has an XLR on it, and functions very nicely as a pre...
Hardly 400 bucks a channel though....
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Post by roygbiv » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:32 pm

zorf wrote:i wonder if all the people who were excited by the EH pre 5 years ago still using it, or are they on to other pres.
can't speak for others, but I still love mine. Still my go-to pre's for all vocals (either using a GT MD1A Shure SM7b). cant find anything else that sounds as Euphonic and present on playback.

I've settle on only three Pre's now, the EH 12AY7, the the Peavey mentioned by tonewoods above (for drums, guitar, ribbons - its a very cool pre-amp too), and the Onyx pre's on my Mackie board.

I no longer worry that problems in my recordings are due to my pres.

PS - disclaimer - I don't have tons of experience with boutique pre's, only the above pres, mid-level pres like ART, and older boards (soundcraft, studiomaster, Yamaha, etc.), so the above is not meant to say they are the best pre's around, just that they are pretty great, and for me, good enough. REcently, I've been spending my money on crazy iPad apps, there's some pretty wild sounds out there (check out Borderlands, that shite is craaazy)
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Post by lightandmind » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:14 am

Research the Peavey VMP-2, you'll be glad you did!

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Post by Shattersignal » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:48 am

Thanks, Goygbiv and Lightandmind! Yes, I'll be excited to try out the Peavey tube pre when I get the chance.

Also, I found mention elsewhere of using a 1:10 trafo on the input of the EH 12ay7 mic pre (much higher ratio than I was speculating would be possible). This should offer a 20dB boost while also dropping the impedance into a range that will be much better suited to very low impedance mics--hopefully it will not load down my condenser mics too much. I have an EH pre coming in the mail in a day or two and I'm planning on trying out a UTC A-11 (1:10) on the input and an A-21 (2:1, 1:1, 1:2) on the output. I'll report back on how this works out.
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Post by lightandmind » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:03 am

Be sure to use the XLR out ONLY on the EH12ay7, as it passes through the extra special circuitry.

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Post by Shattersignal » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:17 am

Definitely! One advantage to using the transformers will be to guarantee that the input and output always see a truly balanced connection. I will definitely only use the XLR output as well. I have some Phillips and Telefunken and RCA tubes to try out in both positions--I won't want any ICs in that signal path, that's for sure.
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Re: Tube pres that function like Altec 1566A or 1567A?

Post by markjazzbassist » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:23 pm

Bringing this back from the dead. I’m looking for that wooly warm tube driven sound for a bass preamp. I’d love to get a 1566 but due to current scarcity and prices I’m not sure if it’s feasible.

So anyone have anything else they’d like to add? People still digging those EHX12AY7 preamps?
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Re: Tube pres that function like Altec 1566A or 1567A?

Post by floid » Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:32 pm

Still pull out the 12ay7 on occasion. It's okay. If I'd hung on to the second one I might use them more often.
I built some 1566 clones with utc ouncer inputs and junkbox output trannies. Relatively easy project, very satisfying results. One of my favorite bass DI's. The circuit is only a handful of components, so the main cost factor is how fancy you wanna go with iron and enclosure.
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Re: Tube pres that function like Altec 1566A or 1567A?

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:10 am

markjazzbassist wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:23 pm
Bringing this back from the dead. I’m looking for that wooly warm tube driven sound for a bass preamp. I’d love to get a 1566 but due to current scarcity and prices I’m not sure if it’s feasible.

So anyone have anything else they’d like to add? People still digging those EHX12AY7 preamps?
I have a clone of the preamp section of an Ampeg B15 (portaflex). That into a tube DI is wooly perfection. It doesn't make a huge difference what mic pre it plugs into. You could probably even run into a line amp or even plug the di right to tape (it's very hot as is).

I don't think it's a hugely complicated design.

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

Post by KennyLusk » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:11 am

markjazzbassist wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:23 pm
Bringing this back from the dead. I’m looking for that wooly warm tube driven sound for a bass preamp. I’d love to get a 1566 but due to current scarcity and prices I’m not sure if it’s feasible.

So anyone have anything else they’d like to add? People still digging those EHX12AY7 preamps?
I use my 12AY7 pre for pretty much everything these days. Have had a pair of these since they were first offered ('05/'06?). Ugraded my tubes with a JJ 12AY7 and a Baldwin 12AU7. The stock EHX tubes are total shite IMO. The Baldwin is super quiet and adds a beautiful dimension and detail to everything from acoustic guitars and vocals to hand percussion. I also have dialed back the internal Gain by about 25% to lower the noise floor. It's pretty much dead quiet now, as opposed to the noisy squealing mess it was stock.

For bass guitar I don't get any hair on the signal, even when fully cranked. But that is using a 1:1 ratio DI box. You have to use a DI box to interface with the preamp because it only has an XLR Input. not sure what it would do if you used a box with a higher ratio or maybe something like a Sansamp. The EHX 12AY7 is what I would describe as clean. you do, however, get a really nicely focused sound with some natural tube compression happening. Big bottom.
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markjazzbassist
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Re: Tube pres that function like Altec 1566A or 1567A?

Post by markjazzbassist » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:56 pm

floid wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:32 pm
Still pull out the 12ay7 on occasion. It's okay. If I'd hung on to the second one I might use them more often.
I built some 1566 clones with utc ouncer inputs and junkbox output trannies. Relatively easy project, very satisfying results. One of my favorite bass DI's. The circuit is only a handful of components, so the main cost factor is how fancy you wanna go with iron and enclosure.
I will have to look this up. Only thing I’d be scared of is wiring the power stuff as it’s lethal voltage and I’m scared. Other than that though I’ve fixed synths and made DI boxes. I guess I just gotta learn how to do the “it will kill you” stuff.
Recorded on a Tascam 388 - http://earthtone.bandcamp.com/

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

Post by vvv » Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:32 pm

I love my The Brick.

My typical chain is amp into Peavey 520i (like SM7b) into The Brick into a 160XT, in parallel with a VC3Q run a touch hot. I split the "inst thru" out to the VC3Q, but I seldom take a DI; the signal usually comes from the mic.

I can be happy with either side of that chain, usually use both and pan them 11:45 and 12:15 to get what I call the old Bob Rock-style bass movement going on.
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Re: Tube pres that function like Altec 1566A or 1567A?

Post by JenniferT » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:25 pm

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

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