Drawmer 1960 Stereo Preamp Compressor  From Drawmer

Mic Pre Amp/ Vaccum Tube Compressor

Drawmer

$2,199.00

Retail:  $2,699.00

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Manufacturer's Description from Drawmer

There is little doubt in the minds of many engineers and producers that vacuum tubes possess a unique sound quality providing a "warmer, more alive" sound. Combining eight active tube stages and the low noise and reliability of solid state electronics, the Drawmer 1960 provides the ultimate direct interface between the sound source and the recording medium. The Drawmer 1960 is a two channel unit with each channel comprised of a completely natural sounding "soft knee" vacuum tube compressor and an extremely low noise microphone pre-amplifier with switchable 48 volt phantom power. A further auxiliary instrument pre-amp with EQ is also provided. This powerful combination of the classic valve circuit, offering unsurpassed tonality, and the low noise balanced microphone input with up to 60dB of gain has allowed engineers throughout the world to exploit the full potential of high performance condenser microphones. An example of this would be the direct to digital stereo recording of live classical music without the necessity of a mixing console. The Compressor: Because the compressor is a soft knee type, it requires few controls. Strictly speaking, a soft knee design does not have a rigidly defined threshold but the title 'Threshold' has been retained for the "amount of compression" control for the sake of familiarity. The Threshold range is continuously variable between infinity and -24dB, the theory being that signals below the threshold are essentially unprocessed and the signals exceeding this threshold are subjected to increasing amounts of gain reduction dependent on by how much they exceed the threshold. The attack and release times are switchable rather than being continuously variable and this method of operation falls into line with that of its all valve predecessors. Attack simply offers a-choice of slow, medium and fast whilst release has six settings. Positions one to four have fixed release times whilst positions five and six are two different programme dependent release time modes making the unit ideally suited to programme material with complex dynamics such as complete stereo mixes and vocals. Interestingly, the attack times are further modified by the choice of release setting so the range of choices are wider than it might first appear. Because compression is a form of controlled gain reduction, a stage of make-up amplification follows the compressor section giving a range of +20dB. The VU meters may be switched to monitor either the amount of gain reduction taking place or the output signal level and the two channels may be used either independently or as a stereo pair, depending on the setting of the stereo link switch. The side chain access points may be used to patch in equalisers to enable the compressor to act as a de-esser. As with other Drawmer products, the by-pass switch offers a choice of Normal. By-pass and Side Chain Listen modes so that if you have patched in any additional side chain processing, you can easily monitor what effect it is having. In addition to the balanced microphone and line inputs on the rear of the unit an auxiliary input on the front panel gives direct access for guitars or electronic instruments. Equalization is provided along with sufficient gain to overload the tube pre-amp for sustain effects. The Aux input is a valuable addition as it combines the virtues of a D.I. box and equalizer with the compressor allowing the instrument to be simultaneously processed and routed to the mixing console or directly to the recorder.

Drawmer

About Manufacturer

The Beginning: The name Drawmer is synonymous with professional signal processing in recording studio, broadcast and live sound reinforcement environments. The company which is based in Yorkshire, England was founded by Ivor Drawmer whose passion was designing audio circuits. "The whole thing started in 1981," explains Drawmer. "I had been playing keyboards with bands in Yorkshire, but that wasn't going so well and also I wasn't getting any younger. With the encouragement of friends I built a small batch of stereo delay lines, which I called the Multitracker, and that was the start of Drawmer." The DS201 Gate: In 1982 Drawmer revolutionised gating by introducing the DS201 Dual Noise Gate, the world's first 'frequency conscious' noise gate. "It came about from working with a producer called Phil Chapman, who wanted me to build him a gate. Without doing any research I built this thing that switched on, held for a certain amount of time and then just switched off. In practice of course it was no good at all, so I then spent some time going around studios looking at how gates were being used. What really surprised me was how long engineers spent fiddling with gates trying to get them optimally set up and I realised very quickly that a better design was needed." The DS201's unique High-Pass and Low-Pass key filters, comprehensive envelope control and ultra-fast attack time has since made it the 'industry standard' gate throughout the world. The 201 transformed the gate from what had previously been a simple "on/off" device to a powerful creative tool playing a significant role in modern music production. "It was the kind of unit that people discovered uses for and it immediately enabled engineers to do the things they'd always dreamed of with minimum fuss," says Drawmer. Very little has changed to the design of the DS201over the years, and Ivor Drawmer claims it sells as well now as it did back in the early 1980s. "It's astounding where they all go, but to date we've sold tens of thousands of units," he says. The 1960 Mic-Pre/Tube Compressor: In 1984 Drawmer released the original 1960 Mic Pre-Amp/Vacuum Tube Compressor which combined two high performance mic pre-amps, two 'soft knee' tube compressors and an instrument pre-amp with EQ. The 1960 was the first self contained 'front end', and for many recordists who required only one or two microphone input channels it replaced the mixing console, assuring the user of a high quality signal path with a 'distinctive' sound. The concept of the 1960 was to combine the 'warmth and character' of eight active tube stages with the low noise and reliability of solid state electronics. The 1960 has been adopted by producers and musicians around the world and acclaimed as the ultimate direct interface between the sound source and the recording medium. Although the basic design and features of the 1960 remain the same to this day, periodic upgrades have been performed, the latest being the addition of high-pass filters and overload LEDs to the mic pre-amp. As the retro movement has escalated, Drawmer says there has been a dramatic surge in 1960 sales which now puts the unit on a par with the gates. Programme Adaptive: During 1989 Drawmer developed a new proprietary gating circuitry which it entitled 'programme adaptive'. This intelligent auto-circuitry was capable of analysing the dynamic content of the incoming signal and constantly optimising the 'attack', 'hold', 'ratio' and 'release' parameters thereby creating a much smoother gating action than previously available. The first products to incorporate Drawmer's 'programme adaptive' circuitry were the DL241 Auto Compressor released in 1990 and the DS404 Quad Noise Gate released in 1991. Also developed in 1989 was a new limiter circuitry which performed 'Zero Overshoot', 'Zero Response Time' transparent limiting. This was also included in the DL241 Auto Compressor and later the DL441 Quad Auto Compressor Limiter. In 1992 Drawmer took the innovative step of incorporating their newly developed 'Dynamics Spectral Enhancement' circuitry into a high quality compressor/limiter which enabled the user to dynamically boost any high frequency energy lost during the full band compression process. The resulting product, the DL251 Spectral Compressor was enthusiastically received by the mastering, broadcast and studio industries. The 1961 Tube Equaliser: With the new series of compressors becoming established amongst professional users Drawmer decided to expand its range of tube products and in 1994 released the 1961 Vacuum Tube Equaliser. An interesting 1961 design feature was the inclusion of a variable input level control on each of the two channels. This design approach allows the user to control the amount of 'warmth' by deciding how hard to drive the tubes giving a sound as 'clean' as the best discrete solid state designs or as 'hot' as the 'hottest' vintage tube models. The 1962 Digital Vacuum Tube Pre-Amp: The 1962 Digital Vacuum Tube Pre-Amp is a hybrid combining solid state, valve and digital technology. It comprises a high performance stereo analog pre-amp with 3-band EQ, low and high pass filters, low and high frequency dynamic enhancement, limiting and variable tube drive which feeds directly to 24-bit A/D converters. As well as analog outputs the 1962 is equipped with AES/EBU, SP-DIF and Tascam's TDIF or Alesis ADAT digital interfaces. "The concept is to offer very high quality analog with optional processing and tube warmth before converting to digital via the high resolution converters," explains Ivor Drawmer. The MX Series: In contrast to the 'high end' 1962, the MX30 Gated/Comp/Limiter and MX40 Punch Gate are low cost entry level dynamics processors bringing Drawmer's professional processing into a wider M.I. market place. The MX range has recently been expanded with the MX50 Dual De-Esser and MX60 Front End One. Digital Masterflow and Future Developments: Digital technology features strongly in Drawmer's future products, and the new Masterflow range of processing units translate some of Drawmer's existing designs into the digital domain. The company has also joined the growing list of manufacturers working on a series of TDM software modules for Digidesign's Pro Tools System and has recently developed a plug-in for the Mackie D8B Digital Console. Ivor Drawmer now works in conjunction with a team of highly qualified technicians with both analog and digital skills. Their design brief is to continue to create innovative and unique products based on feedback from the Sales and Marketing department and the Drawmer International Distributor network.

Specifications

  • INPUT IMPEDANCES LINE 20K Ohm MIC 150 Ohm to 600 Ohm AUX 2.2M Ohm
  • MIC INPUT NOISE -128.5dB (@ +60dB gain)
  • MAXIMUM INPUT LEVEL +20dBu
  • OUTPUT IMPEDANCE 50 Ohm
  • MAXIMUM OUTPUT LEVEL +22dBm (balanced)
  • BANDWIDTH <10Hz to 22KHz -1dB
  • COMPRESSOR NOISE AT UNITY GAIN Wideband 22Hz - 22KHz CCIR ARM IEC A Q-Pk CCIR AV -82dB -88dB -88dB -91dB -77dB RMS -81dB -87dB -87dB -90dB
  • DISTORTION (THD & NOISE) @ 1KHz Line Input with BYPASS selected < 0.1% Line Input with NORMAL selected < 0.3%
  • POWER REQUIREMENTS 100-120Volt or 195-250Volt at 50-60Hz, 38 Watts
  • FUSE RATING 250mA for 240Volt, 500mA for 120Volt
  • CONFORMING TO BS EN 60127-2:1991
  • SHEET III FUSE TYPE 20mm x 5mm, Class 3 Slo-Blo, 250Volt working
  • CASE SIZE 482mm (w) x 88mm (h) x 250mm (d)
  • WEIGHT (incl packaging) 6.0 Kgs
  • RELEASE TIMES 1 400 ms 2 1 sec 3 2 sec 4 4 sec 5 Automatic 400 ms to 2 sec signal dependant 6 Automatic 200 ms to 20 sec signal dependant