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Thermionic Culture Vulture Mastering Plus – No Longer Available

Mastering-grade stereo valve distortion - transformer-balanced with detented controls
MFR# Culture Vulture M

Product Description

This is the latest in the Culture Vulture range and is designed to be used both as a mastering tool and for those applications where balanced inputs and outputs are required plus some extreme distortion. It has lower noise, better frequency response, and greater accuracy in level controls by having a three-position input gain switch and a two-position output attenuator.

We use Mullard M8100 low-noise, high-gain valves in the input stage, a pair of GE 5725s for distortion effects, and the Philips 5963 in the output. All are military-grade valves for long life. There is an extra exciting distortion setting on the Function switch. This is labelled P2. It’s similar to P1 (the most used, Pentode setting) but goes into mad distortion and compression when the valve is overloaded. The old P2 is now P3. In addition to the line level transformer balanced output, there is a lower level unbalanced output which can be used to go to inputs that require low level or if one wants to avoid the distortion in the output transformer.

Main advantages over previous versions:

  • Transformer balanced inputs & outputs on stereo jacks
  • Large indented input Drive controls with 3 position switch
  • Indented Output level controls with attenuator switch
  • Four-position Function control for distortion “flavors”
  • Military-grade valves with longer life and low microphony, including matched 5725 distortion valves
  • Extended frequency response
  • Lower noise

Figures obtained with 1kHz signal, 0.25mA bias current, function at T, feeding a 10kΩ load.

  • Maximum output level: +21dBu, 20% distortion
  • Distortion: 0.2% to 98%
  • Noise: 83dB below MOL
  • Input impedance: line - 20kΩ, DI: 50kΩ
  • Output impedance: Hi output: 2kΩ, Lo output: 4kΩ
  • Frequency response: +0.5dB/-1dB over 40Hz to 20kHz
  • Max gain: 76dB (P1, min bias)

Valve Complement:

  • Input: M8100 (equiv. CV4010*, 5591, EF95) x2
  • Output: 5963 (equiv. CV4003*, ECC82, 12AU7)
  • Distortion: 5725 (equiv. CV4011*, M8196, 6AS6) x2

*CV is the British military equivalent to US JAN

Product Specifications

Condition New
Tube or Solid State Tube
Channels Dual-Channel
Chassis 19-inch Rack-mount

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I would like to thank VK for the wonderful sales assistance, service and prices. This was my first purchase with you and it won't be my last. I only wish I'd discovered you years ago!
Matthew R.
I had two Grammy wins this year - Ray LaMontagne & Carolina Chocolate Drops. Both made with help from Vintage King!
Ryan F.
In almost 20 years in Pro audio buying, never did I receive a unit so well packed and exactly as described. Works flawlessly. The whole process has been so smooth. I will never hesitate to do business with you guys in the future and will recommend you to everyone I know.
Martin C.
This was my first experience buying something from Vintage King (although I surf the "used" categories on the website frequently!), and, despite being on the other side of the world, I had absolutely no trouble and everything went very smoothly.
Phil T.