Thermionic Culture The Rooster 2  From Thermionic

2-Channel Microphone Preamp with EQ

Thermionic Culture

$3,099.00

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Manufacturer's Description from Thermionic

Features

 ♦ All valve signal path.

 ♦ Sowter Transformer balanced ins and outs.

 ♦ Unique 2 channel clean mic. amps with 'Attitude' control.

 ♦ Option of 2 settings to select type of introduced distortion.

 ♦ Versatile eq. with 'varislope' control of top and bass lift.

 ♦ 48v Phantom Power switchable to one or both.

 ♦ Phase invert switch on both channels.

 ♦ Mic./line and DI input.

 ♦ Low pass filter.

 ♦ High Pass filter.

 ♦ Low noise, High gain and High output level.

 ♦ Made in England

 

The Rooster 2 is a 2 channel all valve preamp with EQ and distortion controls. It is designed for a wide range of applications and can produce a large range of tones, harmonic distortion and subtle dynamic control.

The pre-amp section can be used to add gain to mic, line or DI input signals. The double triode input valve (12AX7) provides a smooth sounding gain stage after the balancing input transformer.

48 volts can be applied to phantom powered mics by using the special toggle switch. The DI input bypasses the transformer to give a suitable high impedance unbalanced input.

The 'Attitude' section provides control over the amount of distortion inherently produced by the 5654 valve.

The natural distortion figure for the Rooster 2 is well below 0.1% at low Attitude settings. As the Attitude is increased, extra harmonics, mostly musical, will be added to give a warm 'valvey' sound.

Similarly to the Culture Vulture, the unit will tend to produce predominantly more 2nd order harmonics when in 'Triode' mode and 3rd order harmonics when in 'Pentode' mode. This provides a creative means of both tone and dynamics control over the input signal as well as allowing the user to select how much and what kind of harmonics are present in the signal.

The EQ section provides a simple yet powerful musical control over frequency content.

The Bass lift control gives a continuous control over the amount of bass using a unique ' varislope' curve which peaks at 60Hz.

The 'mid/high' lift control gives a bell type curve with variable gain peaking at either 2.5KHz / 4KHz or a 'varislope' curve peaking at 12KHz, all selected by the frequency select switch.

The 'Mid cut' control provides a bell type curve centred at 700Hz with continuous control over the amount of cut.

The 'Bass cut' switched control provides 5 positions with different cutting curves. The curves start off as high pass filters which get progressively higher in frequency and then turn into a shelving type curve that will also increase in frequency as the switch is advanced. These controls are intended to interact with the other EQ controls for a very flexible control over the entire frequency range.

The 'LPF' or low pass filter switch control will allow the high frequencies to be cut at a frequency suitable to stop harsh sounding harmonics standing out when excessive distortion is used, smoothing the resulting sound.

The output level control adjusts the signal going to the PCF 80 output valve and the final signal is balanced by a Sowter custom made transformer.

The level of output signal is represented by the 3 LED display.

 

Thermionic Culture

About Manufacturer

Thermionic Culture is focused on producing the very best all valve design audio products. In this day and age of mass-produced solid-state audio equipment it's a refreshing change for a company to constantly strive for the ultimate all valve signal path.

The owners/key people involved at Thermionic Culture are totally dedicated to valve audio equipment, all having many years experience in recording and working with valves. Company founder and designer Vic Keary built his first studio in the late 50's and went onto building Maximum Sound Studios which was later bought by Manfred Mann and renamed The Workhouse, Chalk Farm Studios, and the all valve based studio Chiswick Reach.

Jon Bailes, Thermionic Culture's co-founder is responsible for the mechanical design & visual appearance. Jon has a wealth of experience as a Chief Designer in the electronic manufacturing industry .

Nick Terry engineers on many current albums and singles working recently with artists such as McAlmont & Butler, The Libertines. All this 'real world' experience is an invaluable aid to creating all valve equipment that other artists will no doubt appreciate.

Audio amplification, compression, mixing and equalisation took a backward step when solid-state technology was introduced. Valves are much more real and natural when amplifying and processing audio. We use no transistors or ICs in the signal path. Solid state is relegated to where it works best - in power supplies, although we do use a valve voltage regulator in The Culture Vulture's HT supply.

Some of our circuits take ideas from the 1940s to '60s and refine and update them to produce the low noise and distortion which are expected now. Other circuits are really original! To achieve high standards we use modern components such as 1% metal oxide resistors and polypropylene capacitors where their use is a positive advantage, but we avoid Hi-Fi type gimmicks such as gold plated XLR connectors. We take pride in the construction and reliability of our equipment. To date it is all hand wired using the best quality components. We give a 2-year guarantee against manufacturing defects, though we can only guarantee valves for 1 year. Many valves we use, are Military/Industrial grade. Also, we select and match (where necessary) all of the valves that we supply so a far longer life span can be expected

Specifications

Available gain (dB)

Mic: 56 (87 with Attitude at max. (P))

Line: 24

Frequency response: ±1dB 20Hz to 45kHz

Distortion (THD @ 1kHz): ≤0.05%

Noise (unweighted, 30kHz filter): ≤95dB below MOL

MOL (2% THD @1kHz): ≥+25dBu

Phase shift: 24º (6.6%) at 10kHz

Input impedance

Mic: 1kΩ

Line: 10kΩ

DI: 100kΩ unbalanced

Output impedance: 200Ω 

 

*Measurements are made at typical ‘Attitude’ setting ‘2’. in Pentode mode with an output of +4dBu. Measurements made with AC mains input 236V 50Hz. Load resistance is 10kΩ. 

**10kΩ is the ideal load impedance. The Rooster 2 will work into a load of 600Ω, but distortion will increase & MOL will be reduced.