TOO CHEAP TO BUY AN AD
I loved your Mic Madness issue (EQ, September 2005). However, you missed a great opportunity to inform the owners of tube microphones that the cheapest upgrade to their mics is to get that cheap Chinese tube they come with out of there and install a vintage new old stock (NOS) tube in it’s place! That’s right, you don’t even have to be a tech to take off the body sleeve of the mic, pop out the original tube, and pop in a much better sounding NOS tube! Really!
No foolin’, a vintage 6922, 6072A, 12AT7, 12AY7, or 12AX7, among others that are common in many of the current production tube mics can still be found, and can make a $250 mic sound like one that costs many times more. You can even tailor the sound of your mic to your particular recording gig, and then change it the next day if you want. Want an accurate, neutral sound with good air at the top? Go with a vintage Siemens, Valvo, or Telefunken tube.
Want a balance of tight bass, air at the top, with a splash of midrange warmth? Try one of the vintage Dutch tubes like Amperex or Philips. Want a rich warm midrange to warm up female vocals and brass? Go with a vintage British Mullard, Genalex, or an American RCA tube.
While you can’t go down to the corner drugstore and buy tubes anymore (remember those cool, clunky tube tester consoles they had?), you can find NOS tubes around the Internet. Dealers at audiotubes.com even offer an unconditional guarantee, which helps if you are a tube newbie and happen to get a tube you don’t like the sound of (unlikely!). While you’re at it, don’t forget your tube mic pre and other outboard tube gear. Swap out the Chinese or Russian tubes in there with some NOS tubes and you will be AMAZED at the difference. Since the true NOS tubes have been out of production for decades and supplies are limited, you had better get your stash now.
Brent Jessee Recording & Supply, Inc.
MASTER JACK REPLIES
. . .just wanted to say, Nice Fucking Job on the December issue. The Joe/Ken interview [“Shooting to Thrill”] was brilliant, and the IRAQ thing is priceless: That’s a journalistic coup right there. (The cover photo’s terrible though. . . .) A letter-writer observes that the mag does not have specific “sections” to fit the content into. A good observation, and I like it. The mag is less predictable now.