Audio files to accompany the article.
The following examples accompay Hannes Bieger's SOS November 2013 review of Warm Audio's TB12 Tone Beast mic preamp.
These vocal tracks have been recorded with a fairly neutral sounding Neumann KM 184 small diaphragm condenser microphone. The output potentiometer of the Tone Beast was set to unity gain for an open sound. The various recordings show the nuances of the different circuit components. Some of them, such as the transformers and the OpAmps, have a larger influence on the end results, and others, namely the capacitors are more subtle.
01: x18 OpAmp, clean capacitors, no output transformer.
02: x731 OpAmp, clean capacitors, no output transformer.
03: x731 OpAmp, vintage capacitors, tone switch, steel transformer.
04: x731 OpAmp, vintage capacitors, tone switch, nickel transformer.
05: x731 OpAmp, vintage capacitors, nickel transformer, high-pass filter.
06: x18 OpAmp, vintage capacitors, nickel transformer, high-pass filter.
This Minimoog Model D Bassline was recorded to hard disk through a Manley Tube D.I and a Siemens V72 amplifier module to make sure the Tone Beast was fed with the exact same input signal during all passes. It was then routed from the DAW output into the line input of the Tone Beast. In this example the TB12 was driven hard with a higher gain setting and a lowered output level. The files show not only how well suited the Tone Beast is as a saturation generator, they also highlight the sonic impact of the different output transformers. Please note how drastically the sound changes in the last pass when the output transformers are bypassed!
01: Original (recorded through a Manley Tube D.I. and a Siemens V72).
02: x731 OpAmp, clean capacitors, steel transformer.
03: x731 OpAmp, clean capacitors, nickel transformer.
04: x731 OpAmp, clean capacitors, no output transformer.