TOMB group buy ribbbon mic: Who still has/uses thiers??

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DokorderFreq
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Post by DokorderFreq » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:08 pm

Glad to hear you're still using em, Tony. Railroad tie?!? Now THAT I'd like to hear! Where can I get a copy of that? The whole ensemble sounds entertaining in fact. TIA 8)

Scodiddly: Yeah, I could see these things being a bit clumsy in a live/stage setting. Was this before Shinybox took on the 'boutique' path do you think? Or did he fine tune it before delivery (as he does today) and you took it to the next level thereafter?

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Post by drumsound » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:13 am

DokorderFreq wrote:Glad to hear you're still using em, Tony. Railroad tie?!? Now THAT I'd like to hear! Where can I get a copy of that? The whole ensemble sounds entertaining in fact. TIA 8)
It was an overdub session, here's a pic.
Image

The record isn't out yet, but I also used it on another record that I can send you a song if you PM me your email.

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Post by Gregg Juke » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:03 am

A new version of "If I had a Hammer," perhaps? No, no, a song about "John Henry?" (I think he was some kind of steel-drivin' man).

The vibra-slap is throwing me though, Tony... Maybe it's a cover of "Crazy Train?"

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Packy
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Post by Packy » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:34 pm

I bought what appears to be the same mic (except blue body, Ampex branded, and a slightly different case) around '06 for something like $135. Used it a couple times but never got into it. Pretty much hate it, actually.

It always seemed like it was picking up everything EXCEPT the source I was trying to capture. It's almost like some prankster at the factory turned the ribbon 90 degrees and I've actually been pointing the null spot at everything for years.

Plus it has this horrendous mechanical ringing/resonance when faced with any vibration. If you lightly tap your foot or even think too hard it goes "doooooooooooo." Drove me batty. Mind you, I haven't done any mods; I imagine that helps (God, I hope so).

Of course, now that I'm thinking about it I wanna try it again :lol:
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Post by Scodiddly » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:06 pm

DokorderFreq wrote:Scodiddly: Yeah, I could see these things being a bit clumsy in a live/stage setting. Was this before Shinybox took on the 'boutique' path do you think? Or did he fine tune it before delivery (as he does today) and you took it to the next level thereafter?
This was Shinybox's first batch of Chinese ribbon mics, ie a group buy to prime the pump. We got slightly different factory options but no fine-tuning. Kind of a baby blue paint job with an XLR connector instead of attached cable... and the XLR connector gets in the way of the yoke in some positions. Live and learn, it's still a nice mic.

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Post by lysander » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:06 pm

I still have my TOMB ribbons. They sound great. I use them for drums, acoustic guitars, vocals, upright piano, mandolin, electric guitars, pretty much everything. I'm actually thinking about getting a couple of the Apex versions too.

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Post by DokorderFreq » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:03 pm

Okay, I git it (I think). Shinybox & PPA more or less spring-boarded their retail business's thru group buys. I began to think that the group buys fell through the cracks & the middle men (Shinybox; PPA) got left holding the bags, so they had no choice other than sell them under their unique brands. The group buys only got the retail balls rolling, that's all.

Packy: There's a few mods you can take on to cure the ringing issues. Like adding soft cell foam to the body cavity, stuffing some foam into the frame of the ribbon motor too. There's other steps as well, but those two things should help the ringing more than anything else. From what I gather these Chinese cheapies can be diamonds in the rough.

Hey Tony: Put me down for a copy! Maybe I should be saying:

"I'm in for two & I can pay" ;)

lysander: Maximizing your initial investment - excellent!! I have to say though, of all the models out there the Apex seem the most cheesey to me. Idunno, that gold print (and boring type font to boot) on the metallic blue body just wreaks of cheapness. The green/gold Nadys aren't too far above IMO. The TOMB and the PPA dark gray & platnum combo are handsome looking to me. Hey, appearances spark inspiration, ya know? Put a sticker of Suppertime Snoopy or Laurel & Hardy or anything else but that Apex text & I'd be good!

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Post by The Scum » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:24 pm

Okay, I git it (I think). Shinybox & PPA more or less spring-boarded their retail business's thru group buys. I began to think that the group buys fell through the cracks & the middle men (Shinybox; PPA) got left holding the bags, so they had no choice other than sell them under their unique brands. The group buys only got the retail balls rolling, that's all.
I don't remember it being exactly like that. I don't think there were any bags left in hand, more some synchronicity between independent parties.

As I recall, someone found the web link for the ribbon mic (Alctron, Alibaba or 797 or somesuch), and started talking about organizing the group buy. At about the same time PPA announced that they'd be carrying a ribbon mic. Since they had the contacts, and could get the product, they stepped up to handle the group buy for TOMB. The TOMB mic was distinct from the PPA mics - no logo, and possibly different cases and other superficial distinctions.

I don't recall that it was much of a kickstarter-like situation at all.

I think Jon at Shinybox had decided to import those mics as well, as about the same time. If there was a group buy, it may have been to get things moving, but he shortly introduced the smaller mic (the 23?) that nobody else had, differentiating his line.
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Post by lysander » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:10 am

Yep, I agree, the Apex ones are pretty ugly - I have one of their 205s (the smaller version which gets better reviews, actually), and it's quite good. The mount on those is super cheesy. I just like ribbons, though, especially for digital recording -- they seem to take EQ well, and don't have that shrill top end like a lot of the cheap condensers do.

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Post by standup » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:23 am

I still have one of mine. The other was lost in a house break-in. It's a really big mic, so it looked like it was worth stealing. I don't think they took any other mics.

The one I have left isn't getting used much. I took off the weird cable housing and soldered a pigtail to it. Now one of the solder joints is stressed and the mic buzzes, and I haven't gone back in to fix it.

I used it for accordion and mandolin, voice and electric guitars. It's a useable mic, but I have others that can do those jobs as well or better.

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Post by DokorderFreq » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:37 pm

Man, theft sucks!! Don't know if you have or had greater pieces for someone to take, but the very act....even if it were just for a stick of chewing gum...is dispicable. Sorry you were victimized regardless how long ago it was.

Scum, Thanks for clearing the history up for me. Kinda tough reading into it this late in the game.

I like ribbons too. I enjoy my MXL R40, and as good as they are I've got some Fathead IIs that haven't seen the light of day for years. My problem is that I sift around Gearslutz to where they plant a bug in my head to get this dynamic or that LDC or whatever's hot at the moment. I get sucked into it & find myself jumping from one design to another, never really bonding solid with any of them. Keep fighting the urge to scoff a Reslo, cause for the prices they fetch I just don't know if they'd justify the purchase. What, cause John & Paul screamed into one at the Cavern??

Oh, and hey Packy...great avatar from Help!!

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Post by standup » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:18 pm

Theft sucks, but that was the only break-in I've ever had, so I wasn't scarred for life.

That mic also worked well for guitar and voice simultaneously from a distance. It's got massive proximity effect, so it sounds pretty full and balanced sometimes from a couple feet away.

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Post by ShinyBox » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:46 pm

Scodiddly wrote: and the XLR connector gets in the way of the yoke in some positions. Live and learn, it's still a nice mic.
Indeed! I've seen so many versions of that mic with XLR hanging off the back. Every time I see it it makes me laugh out loud and facepalm! :D

Those blue mics were the very first run. I listened to every one of those mics before I shipped them out to ensure that they sounded good, but did no modifications at all, unless specifically arranged with people.

That's where the propagation of "too much internal screening" came from.

I remember Sco liked the opposite of what I liked. He's more a "leave the big windsock cage, and take out the perf'd plates" kinda guy.

Ahhh, me. The years fly by! Coincidentally, I stopped by and talked with the PPA guys today.

Regards

ju

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Post by DokorderFreq » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:44 pm

Good to know, ju. Sooo....those first Shinybox units can be collectibles if un-modded, eh? ;) As I look deeper into the construction of these things, there really IS a lot of screen layers in there! Seems a bit overkill just for the sake of fewer RMAs. I mean, the ribbon on these first wave issues was around a 'true' 6 microns, right? How fraile could they have really been??

Garth seems to have fallen away from the TapeOp community these days. Hope all's well with him & the firm. He deserves a respectful nod for making the beast available. Meanwhile I've gotta resist finding an example or two for my locker....at least until after the holidays ;)

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Post by ShinyBox » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:19 am

The first run of mics had a really thin ribbon, more like 2 micron. It was just poorly made. No where near the corrugation it should have had, and very poor tolerances. But it did a cool thing.

After spending some time with that first run, and dealing with the subsequent runs, that is what set the direction and tone of what ShinyBox became about as a company.

There was this crossroads of making a quality product, or selling a lot of units, and for me personally, making a quality product was more important than profit. On the upside, it puts me in a spot where I can service any of these microphones, and know that they are being made much better for the effort.

On the unfortunate side, PPA is closing it's doors. They've been a fixture here in Seattle for the local studio guys, they were a font of knowledge, support, and great customer service, and will be sorely missed.

I wish Garth and Brian the best!

Regards

ju

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