Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

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Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by jtotheg » Sun Feb 06, 2005 9:00 pm

I am looking for a good Do It Yourself Neve Pre-Amp Kit...

I know there are many sites offering schematics, plans, parts lists & what not, but I always seem to get stuck on sourcing a few of the parts or a PCB or transformer...

Is there anywhere that offers a [Good Quality] complete kit?
PCB, parts, etc..??
Or at least close to a complete kit ?

Also, of all the kits - which kit would you recommend (those of you who have built your own Neve Pre).

Thanks...

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Re: Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by lonesome_tone » Sun Feb 06, 2005 9:00 pm

there's only one, seventh circle audio n72.

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Re: Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by Family Hoof » Sun Feb 06, 2005 10:48 pm

I'm intending to sell completely assembled two-channel, 1RU units at DIY kit prices within the next two months. There will be a no frills, low-budget version with the tape op community in mind, but R&D keeps taking a lot longer than expected everytime I reinvent my approach to make it better. I will also be making the parts lists, plans, etc. available for everyone so you can DIY it. No PCB, however, but I know a few people who will sell them to you.

In the meantime, the Seventh Cirlce Audio N72 is where it's at. Last time I checked it was $900 for a complete 2-ch kit that you assemble, and $1200 for a completely assembled 2-ch unit. Once you research how much it costs for parts alone you'll realize that these prices are quite good. Also, in the 2-ch Neve 1272 completely assembled category you could check out the VIntech 1272 for $1239 direct, and the Dan Alexander Class A for $1279 direct.

FYI, the 1272 was a Neve line amp that people starting converting into a mic pre with about 30dB less clean gain than the modules Neve originally used for mics. Ironically it is now probably the one that is most well known and most often cloned by small companies. The 1290, which is the class A mic pre used in Neve's desirable 1073, 1066, etc. mic pre + EQ modules is essentially a 1272 with a a third gain stage and sensitivity switch. You can stil get the first 50dB of a 1272 to be clean and sound almost the same if it's configured properly, but a great number of cloners hack it and mess up. I believe the most common mistakes are 1) doing all the boosting in the first stage while the second stays at the same low setting. Neve would've balanced it between the two. 2) Implementng an input sensitivity switch which contains no pads and only boosts the gain. The result is a preamp that's way too hot even on the lowest setting.
Last edited by Family Hoof on Sun Feb 06, 2005 10:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by Family Hoof » Sun Feb 06, 2005 10:55 pm

Also, depending on how tech saavy you are and how much homework you're willing to do (based on experience I would advise against it), there's another option. Find some original modules and rack them yourself.

Recently, Sonic Circus was selling 33415 line amps for the VERY reasonable price of $350 each. Two of those plus a power supply, chassis, and additional components would probably run you around the Seventh Circle price if you did it well.

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Re: Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by lonesome_tone » Mon Feb 07, 2005 7:36 pm

directly comparing the vintech 2ch to the sca 2ch is a little misleading, because alot of the initial hump of the sca unit is the chassis and power supply (like half the price). once you get that, you're getting api and neve modules for 3/4 hundred bucks a pop, and with 8 slots to spare. if you diy'ed a chassis you're almost talking like art prices.

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Re: Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by jtotheg » Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:00 am

So how close to a real Neve do the 7th Circle ones sound?

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Re: Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by soundguy » Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:10 am

are you really concerned with how close they sound or wether or not they sound good in the first place? If you have a nice neve console, you'll notice a difference. If dont have any neve gear, you'll be psyched with the sevent circle stuff, I built two channels a while back and use them on every session. Sounds WAY better then the vintech stuff, that much I will say.

If you wind up going with 3415's there is some info on my website which will help you get them powered up. People make a big deal about the class A stuff, neve made some other cool stuff too.

so far as DIY rack chasis, you can buy a great chasis for $60, but dont expect the metal work to be easy. The pre-drilled seventh circle chasis is pretty much worth more IMO than a prepackeged kit with all the parts. Making it look pretty is always the hardest part.

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Re: Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by lonesome_tone » Tue Feb 08, 2005 8:38 am

i dont have hangups with the looks factor, my issues with diy'ing the chassis come down to shielding (i was thinking a plastic case for cheapppness) and mounting of the power supply. i'm too afraid my jury rigging of the power sup. would fry something or someone.

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Re: Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by Family Hoof » Tue Feb 08, 2005 8:49 am

Dave,

I didn't know you racked some 33415s. Nice!!! That is good info to know about.

Let me state for the record that I haven't used any of the aforementioned units, only original Neves, and that my comparison was strictly financial. Many users on this board have used both the SCA and Vintech and I trust their opinions - Soundguy Dave for example.

I also agree that it's not as important to make it sound exactly like the original. If you build it correctly you're going to get it in the ball park and have something pretty damn good sounding - that's a given. As far as duplicating the design exactly, I don't think this is the best move unless you're trying to sell counterfeit Neve modules. In many cases there's a great variety difference in the way the original modules sound and you can improve the noise specs and sound by utilizing modern components and techniques.
I will mention one obvious thing, and that is the transformers. They were a huge part of the Neve sound. Vintech imports transformers that are supposedly as close as you can get without going through Neve themselves and I believe Seventh Circle Audio uses the exact same ones (the parts list on their website lists VIntech as the distributor).

Yeah, and the whole class A thing is bit hyped. I think the mic pres in the Neve 1081 sound killer and those are class A/B.

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Re: Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by soundguy » Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:30 am

at the risk of sounding a litle pedantic, I think a 1081 runs class A throughout until the output amplifier which is a/b.

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Re: Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by jtotheg » Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:08 pm

Has anyone built one of these yet ?

http://www.tangible-technology.com/dyna ... L1176.html

Appears to be a combo 1176 + Neve output stage.

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Re: Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by NeglectedFred » Tue Feb 08, 2005 8:18 pm

That would be cool!! Too bad it doesn't ship til the end of the year.
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Re: Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by Milkmansound » Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:21 pm

NeglectedFred wrote:That would be cool!! Too bad it doesn't ship til the end of the year.
from their site: Scheduled to beginning shipping by end of January 2005


should be soon now... that was the end of last year I think.
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jtotheg
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Re: Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by jtotheg » Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:05 pm

Actually the "kit" is available now & shipping.

It does not come with everything you need to complete the project, you still need to source the caps, resistors, meters, chassis & things like that.

But they include the key components, transformer, FET, Diodes, PCB, etc...

Looks like it could be a really cool project.

I may give it a whack.

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Re: Best D.I.Y. Neve Kit (complete) ?

Post by Family Hoof » Tue Feb 08, 2005 11:02 pm

The transformer, which is a Sowter 9160 (fits in 1RU chassis) or 8751 (too big for 1RU but has 3dBu more headroom) can be also be purchased at http://www.prodigy-pro.com/SearchResult ... goryID=120 or http://www.sowter.co.uk/ - Carnhill also makes one you can use (VTB series, I forget the exact # - the one that Vintech and SCA use) which is reportedly closer to the original.

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