Thermionic Culture EARLYBIRD 4 - 4 Channel Pre-amp


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    EARLYBIRD 4 - Overview

    The Thermionic Culture Earlybird 4 contains 4 channels of extremely high quality valve pre-amplification. Originally made in black in 1999, this is a special "revival" limited edition in red (limited to 49 only). The black edition is still available with the updated circuitry.

    As the individual channel circuitry in this version of the Earlybird has been simplified in order to provide 4 channels in one 19" unit, so the individual channel specifications have risen. Thus making this the most natural sounding, high quality version of the Earlybird preamp to date.

    Effectively giving the user the cleanest possible valve gain with a range from 3dB to 62dB and a switchable input impedance to help in matching the unit with different microphones.

    This is one of Thermionic Culture's all handwired products with point to point wiring throughout.

    The circuit design utilizes a 'push pull' 'class A' type of valve amplification in order to provide ultimately clean gain, giving the lowest noise and distortion figures possible in a microphone amplifier.

    The input and output transformers have received special attention and by working together with Sowter transformers, designs have been created that bring better results than ever before. The lowest phase shift and highest headroom are both benefits brought by these designs.

    It's unusual to hear a mic amp with the Earlybird 4's qualities and after years of improvements Vic Keary proudly declares this "The best, most real mic. amp ever". We hope that on hearing the unit's beautiful results yourself, you will agree with Vic.

    The pair of VU meters show the signal levels for 2 selectable channels. VU meter A is switchable between channels 1 and 3. VU meter B is switchable between channels 2 or 4. 4 red LEDs light up when the output of the amplifiers exceeds +10 dBm, though don't worry - there's still 20dB of headroom left in the Earlybird!

    Operational Suggestions:
    For most microphones 300Ω will give best results. 1200Ω is recommended by Neumann for FET mics. 1200Ω is good for SM58s. For high level inputs, eg. kick drum, use the Pad to reduce level. With Pad in the input, Z will be 2kΩ.

    Keep Output Level controls near maximum for cleanest results, low and increase Gain control if a bit of distortion is what you want. The electronics have plenty of headroom for most purposes, so don't worry too much if the needle of the meter hits the end stop.

    High gain settings make the sound more 'gritty' than lower ones, which are very smooth.

    • Features:

      • 4 Channels of extremely high quality push pull" "class A" type of valve pre amplification.
      • Clean gain, giving the lowest noise and distortion figures possible in a mic. Amp.
      • Hand wired with point to point wiring throughout.
      • Lowest phase shift and highest headroom.
      • Switchable input impedance to help in matching the unit with different microphones.
      • Switchable 48V phantom power.
      • Switched gain 42 dB to 62 dB, 20dB pad.
      • 2 position high pass filter.
      • Variable output trim with phase inverter.
      • Vu meters switchable between channels.
      • Peak overload indicators.
    • Specifications:

      • Input Impedance:
      • With Pad in: 300Ω or 1200 Ω, switchable, balanced 2kΩ

        Output Impedance:
      • (A) Output Level Control @ Max: 55Ω balanced
      • (B) Output Level Control @ Min: 500Ω balanced

      • Maximum Gain: 62-64dB:
      • Maximum Output Level (MOL): +34dBm

      • Distortion (THD) @: 1kHz/100Hz, unweighted, at 40dB gain: 0.0035% / 0.008%
      • Frequency Response: ±0.5dB at 40dB gain setting

        Gain Settings (dB):
      • Mic: 40, 45, 50, 55 & 60dB

      • Output Trim: -17dB to +2dB reverse linear attenuator
      • Input and Output Connectors: 4 x 3 pin XLRs, wired balanced
      • Valve Complement: 4x12 AX7LPS/ECC803/7025, 4x6 189/ECC82
      • Pilot Light Bulb: 12V/3W
      • Fuses: 115V: T1 A, 230V: T500mA
    • Item Includes:

      • 1x Thermionic Culture EARLYBIRD 4 - 4 Channel Pre-amp

    EARLYBIRD 4 - Required Accessories

      California Residents:
      Cancer and Reproductive Harm -