September 6, 2012 at 10:26 pm #15281
Greetings Ted! I am very happy to announce that I just purchased one of the older JoeMeek VC1 units (version 2.02, no EQ, straight ‘in-line’ knobs on the front, no gold lettering screened on the front, no black circuit layout screened on the front). I recently read that although this is one of the earlier models, it is not the coveted “Brick” VC1 that has become infamous, although in this post, you state that they are very similar…
Is the main difference just the transformer that is used on the input of the mic pre? Are there any other circuit design changes? Also, another question; if this is not the same transformer, can the one that is inside of the v2.02 be swapped out for the make/model that was used in the original “Brick” VC1s? I believe you still use that same transformer on your P110 units, right? So, in theory, would it be possible to send the unit to you for this modification, or purchase an original “Brick” or P110 x-former from you and install it myself? Would the cost/time involved even be worth the return in sound?
On an unrelated note, I am also looking forward to buying a TFPro M16 sometime very soon. I haven’t had the chance to hear one yet, but I can’t find any other summing unit on the market that offers not just transformer in/out summing, but 16ch of mic pres as well! Can you recommend a distributor in the California area? I’d love to get my hands on a unit and test the pres on it before buying. I keep looking on eBay for one, but I’m a bit leary of paying $3000 without getting my hands on it first.
Thanks so much in advance.
hypnotone.comSeptember 8, 2012 at 6:17 pm #15796Ted FletcherKeymaster
Hmmm… I really don’t think you would gain anything by changing out mic transformers. The transformer in the original ‘Brick’ and in the early VC1 ‘full rack’ units was the same in any case. Yes, it is the same transformer that I have been using in the later equipment, but actually it’s the mic amplifier circuit that makes the difference; if the overload margins are set right in the design then the mic amp will sound good, if the standard ‘chip that everybody uses’ is used and the designer tries to get lowest possible noise levels, then the sound will be ‘average’ and slightly ‘thin’ sounding.
Regarding the M16, there are not very many of them around so it’s unlikely that you will find one in the US.
I have actually stopped making most of the TFPRO range now, just building a few compressors and fixing one or two elderly JoeMeek pieces…. I’m trying hard to slow down! (dont forget, I’m very old!)
I do have one last M16 that I use in my own studio and that one is available, but I really think that will be the last one.September 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm #15795
It is so great that you, the designer of both the fantastic original Joe Meek equipment, as well as the stellar TFPro line, take the time to personally reply to each of the posts on this forum. I just want you to know how much that means to us engineers and budding electronics tech-heads out in the world. Thank you very much.
Okay, all praise aside (almost all), I am very much in love with my new VC1. I have had my first taste of the Fletcher designed Kool Aid, and can’t get enough, to the point where I just purchased another older Meek piece, the SC2 v1.07 (w/ output knob on the back). I still intend to get the M16 down the road, but my immediate need for a good drum and bus comp was more pressing. I kept looking for an original v1.05, but couldn’t find one within my current budget, but I found the v1.07 for what I thought was a great deal. I’m hoping you can explain to me what the exact differences are between the two… there is so much lore online about how the v1.05 is damn near the Holy Grail, and that all versions afterwards just failed to stand up (sorry, don’t mean to put any of your designs down, but that is what I have found from searching on-line). This is why I thought I’d like to come to the source (you) and find out the real deal.
From what I’ve read, the gist of it is that the original SC2 was built without compromise, and all succeeding units had various things trimmed away to bring the price down, and concensus (again, probably from just a few on-line loudmouths) is that this made the SC2 v1.07 and SC2.2 (I guess this is also known as the v1.05 mkII?) lesser units that are not as sought after as the v1.05. Do they not have “The Magic Glue” like the original SC2 v1.05? In defense of both the v1.07 and the SC2.2, SOS’s old reviews give high praise, which holds more weight to me than a couple of on-line forums.
Anyway, to summarize, if you could breakdown for me some of the pros/cons of the unit I purchased (the v1.07), and how it compares to the coveted v1.05 and the later SC2.2, that would be stellar! The one thing I am afraid of with this unit, is that I’ve read that the transformer used in it is not up to par with the earlier one used in the v1.05, as well as that it may have some issues (at present, or down the road) with variations in maintaining equal compression in stereo, meaning it may vary between left and right. Also, do you have a recommended setting for the volume output knob on the back of the unit, or should I look at having the unit modded to put this knob on the front?
Thanks again Ted!
-TimSeptember 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm #15794
Hey (again) Ted!
Okay, so dumb me… should have (of course) looked about the forum site here before asking so many questions. I think I found most all of my answers contained within these two posts regarding the SC2 and it’s various incarnations;
It sounds like (as with most things), the online “myth” is much more opinion of ears than the truth of what is electronically going on. The only real considerable difference I can make out (from reading the above posts) in the various SC2 units, is that between the v1.05 and the later v1.07 and other proceeding units, is that it sounds like the power supply got boosted and cleaned up a touch, and thus tightened ever so slightly the mythical “glue” sound of the v1.05. Sound about right? I’ve since read that the v1.07 is sometimes preferred to the v1.05 due to the output gain on the back. Some have said that it made the units less noisy since you didn’t have to crank them up to compensate for having no output like on the v1.05 units. Either way, I’m sure I’ll be enjoying my SC2 unit before long, just as I’ve fallen in love with my VC1!
The only thing I can’t wrap my head around, is why the output gain stage would have been put on the back of the unit on the v1.07? Was the thought process that engineers would find a happy medium setting for it, and kind of set it and forget it? I can’t fathom that it would be something that would be put there, in that location, and be expected to be adjusted very often. I’m sure I’ll come to my own conclusions in time, but if you could shed some light on this, I’m all ears on your experienced opinion.
Thanks again Ted! I hope to be getting in contact with you in the not too distant future to query about that M16 unit you list for sale. I keep looking at that unit, and just think it would be great to use in both tracking and mixing sessions. The idea of having the M16 for both the x-former based pres and the pristine summing, sounds like an unbeatable combo to me (especially now that I have an SC2 to use on the M16 mix insert). My business partner has been looking at a couple of the Toft and Oram boards for the same reasons. I like that idea as well for the same reasons, and as much as I would really like to use either boards EQ section, I think that the x-former based pres on the M16 (versus the IC based ones on either the Toft or Oram boards), as well as the M16 having less circuitry involved in summing/mix down, would be of more use for our studio needs over that of either Toft or Oram boards. Sorry I don’t know which models of those companies products my partner is looking at… I know they are in the $4k to $8k price range, and I do believe they are all IC based mic pre inputs and line ins.
Hope you are well, and that I hear from you soon. Cheers!
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