Holger

RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« on: July 27, 2010, 10:48:03 AM »
Folks, here it is, my most expensive mic pre so far: RED!
(Does anyone remember the 1974 King Crimson album?  ;))







Some details: for what reason ever I wasn't able to get something close to 24V from the PSU, so I decided to use a second power transformer
and Joe Malone's AC/DC for the 24V and 48V rails.



The wonderful but expensive Sowter 9970/9980 transformer combo.



More guts, the meter is an old Westinghouse, buffered by a JLM meter buffer. (Again, I can only recommend these)



I've implemented the Squish option, it gives some 1-2 dB of 'gain reduction' and adds some wonderful K2,3,4 etc. distortion to the signal.
Signal to noise: I've applied a test signal, set the Pad/Gain to get an output level at 4.37 dBu. I've muted the input signal: noise at -85.6 dBu. Not bad for a tube mic pre...

The case is a 3 RU from Modushop, custom painted front panel engraved by Schaeffer. Tubes are from Tubeampdoctor.

Thanks to Guavatone/Charlie for this great project.






Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2010, 11:05:08 AM »
Nice work Holger.  Only a second transformer is necessary to get Relay and P48 with the Aux PSU.  Maybe I can help you clean things up a bit so you won't need the JLM PSU.

kml23956

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2010, 11:22:27 AM »
That is way bigger than I thought it was going to be!  All the transformers are huge.

Very nice build.

kml23956

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 11:34:14 AM »

"I've implemented the Squish option, it gives some 1-2 dB of 'gain reduction' and adds some wonderful K2,3,4 etc. distortion to the signal.
Signal to noise: I've applied a test signal, set the Pad/Gain to get an output level at 4.37 dBu. I've muted the input signal: noise at -85.6 dBu. Not bad for a tube mic pre..."

What is this Squishy option?  Is there any doc on it?


daggertX

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2010, 11:45:27 PM »
yeah, very nice!  ;D   How much did the cost total out to?   

Moses

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2010, 05:20:33 AM »
At £80 per transformer maybe it's better not knowing...

Mo

Holger

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2010, 05:44:23 AM »
For transformers, PCBs, Grayhills, case, front panel and tubes I paid some 800€, components not included.
My most expensive mic pre so far...

stitch-o

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2010, 07:47:41 AM »
That PT is bigger than my head!

Fantastic build, Holger....total inspiration...
I'll apologize in advance

Tillmann

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2010, 12:56:24 AM »
and... how does it sound???


Holger

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2010, 10:00:01 AM »
Fully convinced of the excellent quality from the first moment, I lend it out to a guy with some international reputation to get some feedback.
After a couple of days his first question was: do you sell it?
We compared the MicPre to the original API 312 he usually has for recording (with an U 67), the sound is 'thicker', more 'in the face'.
That guy really loves the 'squish' option. So I can only recommend this MicPre.

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2010, 11:01:42 AM »
Wow...very nice!

eskimo

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2010, 11:05:00 AM »
I'm a bit intrigued by the squish thing, how does it work exactly?


eskimo

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2010, 11:19:01 AM »
I could only find a link to the AX84 schem, but no explanation of how it works, and I'm not savvy enough to figure that out from the schem I'm afraid.

bernbrue

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2010, 11:23:13 AM »
Hi Holger,
thats a very nice built. These amps sound damn good!
regards
Bernd

Tillmann

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2010, 11:34:48 AM »
Years ago, I had the good fortune to work with Geoff Emerick and I asked him the differences in sound between the V72 and in particular the Siemens tube desk used to record the Beatles early in their career and the REDD 47 and the REDD 51 console.  To paraphrase, he said, in general the REDD just sounded bigger, more detailed, and better.  He held the console in very high regard, for sure.

Flundran

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2010, 12:49:51 PM »
Where did you find those rubber mounts visible on the red PCB's? Looks neat.


Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2010, 12:53:06 PM »
Sorry, for chiming in, since it may seem like a sales pitch... with that said....

I got interested in the REDD from my love of V72 series I got from Vintage King years ago.  I naively assumed the REDD would sound like a V72, but this is not the case.  Also, I hail from the school of thought that preamps are not quantifiably better or worse in their sound.  All I do is listen and try to set up a signal chain to what my ears like, while trying to envision the final mix.

Everyone hears differently and wants a different final production sound accordingly.  Massenburg sounds different than Tchad Blake and that is a good thing.  I just want the right tools to do what is right for my artists voices.  For me it's good to have a collections of quality "guns" to achieve this. (BTW I firmly believe in nuclear disarmament and peace)

Anyway.  To my ears the REDD is very clean with full bass.  The V72 is less clear in bass range but has a nice unobtrusive high frequency response.  So I would not DI the bass with V72, but the REDD has been my favorite DI for bass lately.  But the REDD does vocals and kit nicely making it pretty versatile. But I am not sure how much of that is my artist adjusting to sing a certain way to get "his sound".  When I have enough Oranges/Redds, I would like to try running all mikes through the Oranges.

I hope this helps and that people here get the appropriate sounds that helps their artists reach peoples lives in sublime and profound ways.  Now make some gear and make great recordings people. :D

Namaste.

Tillmann

Re: RED!: Orange 86 MicPre finished (pics)
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2010, 01:02:30 PM »
Two thumbs up for that one, Charlie.  Yes indeed. 


 

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