Thermionic Culture Rooster 2 Dual Mono Mic/Line/DI Preamp
The Rooster 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 (ECC81) 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 5725 valve.
This valve is also found in the Culture Vulture circuit. In this case the distortion produced can be far more subtle giving specs of 0.01% distortion when the switched 'Attitude' control is at position 1. The distortion increases drastically as the 'Attitude' control is progressively switched from position '1' to position 'Max'.
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.
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EQ and Attitude is Brilliant!
I've had had the Rooster now for 5 years and every time I go into my studio I get the same goose bumps that I got when opening the package from VK. This Preamp, EQ, Distortion device is amazing.
I have used it on almost everything possible the past 5 years and have I not ever used the phrase, "I think we need to change the preamp".
In tracking I like to take a stand straight away where you want to go with the music so you don't end up having overwhelmingly many options for the music/sound to go. And here is where the Rooster is a key player, you can sculpture it in almost any way you want, to get to fit into the mix. And if you want it "not to fit into the mix", you can always crank the Attitude knob!
So yes, I vote for the Rooster! :)
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