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Thread: Timepiece: Gear and evolution and coffee...APHEX 107

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    Timepiece: Gear and evolution and coffee...APHEX 107

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    Another gear blog post. A piece Ive had a few times APHEX 107, sold, and re-bought, sold, tried others....you know the game?


    the standard portastudio mixing consoles and many lifeless IC chip budget mixers that then drove the world of HR to want "better sounding stuff" than the ic cheap mixing boards with great specs... enter the Mic Preamp rack stuff.

    As I float back into gearlust, a boredom buy, of a APHEX 107 $65, for dual channels.
    It has a "sparkle" and a clarity of clean, simple, and its interesting reading and rabbit hole archives on the internet triggered my BUY finger.

    APHEX 107, born to improve over the souless IC Chip mixing boards of the time.
    Adverts of the 1990's were "to warm up the lifeless, digital tracks" (ADATS, MINIDISCS, etc...) Anyone else remember those days?

    The APHEX 107 is a dual preamp.
    Its designer Donn Werbach.
    Patent US5450034A - Reflected plate amplifier
    - Google Patents

    US5450034A- Reflected Plate Amplifier

    Hybrid, solid state and tube, lower voltages work ok for the smaller 12ATY/AX type tubes, not over 30V is needed is normal and that's whats used. Tubessence and the Reflected Plate Amplifier, Donn Werrbach
    A read from the Donn Aphex Philosophy
    APHEX is born.... with Linda Rondstat , and other and WINGS OVER AMERICA...
    Inside Views: Aphex (SOS Jan 87)

    (Behringer gets sued for copying inventions....Behringer is born and found guilty of stealing designs 1992? They could have paid for the technology like Yamaha and many other companys did with Patents.)

    Heres a dude, Kenny Begun, who made the APHEX 107 sound good.
    JaxTrax Mobile Recording
    Scroll down to Equinox String Quartet: Saint-Saens String Quartet in G op153 allegro animato to hear a APHEX 107 used in a'
    beautiful room with great sound and musicians. (the 107 "even made the ADATS sound good!)
    "The Concert Master of the New York Philharmonic on PBS radio, while listening to the recording said it was the best string quartet recording he had heard to date. "

    1995 TEC AWRD WINNER- APHEX 107

    The APHEX 107 will show up soon. I might pop it on CHannels LINE IN, 7/8 , for $65 for a DUAL channel, with "sparkle" why not.
    Common price is now $150 and some who really love it want to sell it for $440...as of this date.

    Of all the preamps Ive tried they all work, in a blindshoot out under careful skills, I don't really believe in gear anymore per price...Kenny Begun, thanks!
    Last edited by CoolCat; 3 Weeks Ago at 19:59. Reason: remove inane babbling on coffee

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    More reading about this piece lead me to the next version APHEX 207.

    GAS struck and ordered one. There was the 1100 in between the two, the $2500 1100, then the 207 which included some nice addditions on top of the 107, as it was discontinued in approx 2002.

    Interesting MicLim patent , where the Mic Limiter is placed in front of the mic preamp, not on the output as normal. 207 also has several I/O that are obvously welcome and the DI added on both channels. The standard AC cable, dropping the outboard p.s.

    why not try the 207?

    MIXONLINE Review
    Aphex Model 207

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Time travel.....the internet the life span of these APHEX preamps....RODE buys APHEX in 2015.

    Rabbit holed the APHEX 207 seems to be the "best" bang imo. While the 107 sounds great when used to its best application, the 1100 was very highly touted in the High End...aka Used at Juliard College of Music recording studios...compared to Pacificas etc.. still mainting the Reflective Plate Sound that many like as "clear and yet some sparkle" in the designers recipe.

    but the 207 took the best of the 107 (mainly cost) and yet added a abundance of improvements also used in the 1100.

    RIP..... I finally found comparing to HiEnd stuff in my own HR, theres many HR priced stuff that performs as good, and the price is better, but will never be vintage priced because the Beatles and Nirvana didn't get attached to the namebrand. ..in short. A lot of big name producers sell for income their preferences too, and that can help vintage prices and collectables investments I suppose.

    as someone put it so well "I just do this for my own entertainment", … APHEX 107 sounds as good or at times better than some other gear. Its short comings were mainly I/O, which the 207 took care of.

    the MicLim patent is an interesting read too.
    Patent History
    Patent number: 6266423
    Type: Grant
    Filed: Apr 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: Jul 24, 2001
    Assignee: Aphex Systems, Ltd. (Sun Valley, CA)
    Inventor: Donn R. Werrbach (Glendale, CA)
    Primary Examiner: Forester W. Isen
    Assistant Examiner: Brian Tyrone Pendleton
    Attorney, Agent or Law Firms: Thomas I. Rozsa, Tony D. Chen, Jerry Fong
    Application Number: 09/060,678
    US Patent for Microphone output limiter Patent (Patent # 6,266,423 issued July 24, 2001) - Justia Patents Search


    Mic Lim- Advert of 207
    https://www.jbkaudio.com/DOSSIER%20P...07Brochure.pdf

    107 and 207- interesting article
    https://www.resolutionmag.com/wp-con...-Model-207.pdf
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails aphex-timeline-png  
    Last edited by CoolCat; 05-05-2020 at 23:45.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    APHEX and the POWER SUPPLYS....Wall Warts.....IEC plug wins.
    note: is for all APHEX wall warts in the 105,6,7,8,9 series.....24v AC....not DC.....and they prefer a 2.5mm plug ID hole, with a OD 5.5mm shell)

    the 207 however, was righteously upgraded by APHEX by the time it was released, following the end of the 107 success and benefitting by the High End 1100 that is still selling used for $1000 to $2000.......the 207 comes with standard IEC ac cord, it has the meters, it also has the DI x 2....it has the better CANNON military and NASA grade jacks, and it has the Mic Limiter (which does work on the DI too) ...all included.

    in short the 207 is well worth the extra $90 I paid ($150 for the unit). Even at $200+ its as good as any preamp Ive ever had, at any cost.
    The 207 with the above listed upgrades comes in at $184.

    My baseline is the Cloudlifter into the Interface preamp. It was $149 for one hassle free unit.
    The 207 is a DUAL PREAMP and DUAL DI....with a very invisible Limiter.
    The 207 has a power on/off on the front too

    ADD> comparing these to a interface preamp IC based, the APHEX has a clarity and studio touch that's noticeable. Opening up the 107 to see what Tube was in it ws the 4/5 star JJ ECC81, beautiful board with WIMA caps, Japan made parts very impressive. Craig Anderton, a HR pioneer imo...was pro on the 107, a lot of positive users based on the sound over ther decades..as the 107 heads to 30+ yrs old.

    ADD> June14> numerous tests later : I can also add the 207 has a normal depth to rack mount gear where the 107 is half-depth, small detail? if plugging in or setting things on it maybe an issue. Im on desktop so its nice when all have the normal depth which the 207 does, and the 100 series doesn't.
    Last edited by CoolCat; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:04. Reason: remove more inane coffee induced babble

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    APHEX 106 EasyRider Time travel gear 1995 and beyond

    continued...

    The 107 preamp for cheap, now a $60 106 APHEX Compressor, why not?

    First thing I notice and thought is how well these APHEX units look.
    Why? is this old analog APHEX gear faceplate mint condition still, when a $2000 piece can have cheap faceplates where the owner worrys about touching the decals or they'll scratch off easily?.

    Second> the internet surfing is half the archeologists fun and very good reviews for the most part. Craig Anderton a "Father of Home Recording" praised the 107 and Aphex in general, nice thumbs up.

    Third is the cool "LINK" function where 1 & 2 can be used together, and 3&4 also, making it a Dual-comp mode setting which is kind of what the FMR RNC does. Or I can just run the 107 and 207 through the 4 separate clean comps.

    Fourth, a peak under the hood, all high quality stuff WIMA , Cannon plugs , Neutrik XLR etc...made with Metal faceplates with exceptional coating apparently. (UA could take some notes for their hi-end gear.) ..and the VCA1001

    Fifth- for $60 it has the same circuit as the hi-dollar units and the same "EasyRider Transparent Compression" still used on the $1000 and up stuff.

    EasyRider Class A Compressor
    Aphex's patented Wave Dependent Compressor automatically adjusts attack and release times according to program complexity
    No-Knee compression curve circuitry automatically adjusts compression ratio based on program levels
    Includes Aphex's 1001 Class A Voltage Controlled Attenuator, used in the Compellor and Dominator

    Wave dependent compressor
    Patent number: 5483600
    Abstract: An audio compressor using interactive layered time constants to create an easy to use compressor which self adapts to the program characteristics and provides a desirable and pleasing effect over a wide range of audio program material. The audio compressor includes an adaptable filter connected between an output signal path and a control feedback signal path of a voltage control amplifier. The adaptable filter comprises a first resistor-capacitor circuit connected to the output signal path and producing a charging/discharging voltage which is more dependent on a transient peak value of the audio signals and a second resistor-capacitor circuit working under the charging/discharging voltage of the first resistor/capacitor circuit for producing a charging/discharging voltage which is more dependent on an average value of the audio signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 9, 1996
    Assignee: Aphex Systems, Ltd.
    Inventor: Donn Werrbach

    The two knobs-

    Drive Knob is like the automatic transmission in your car.

    Drive Knob increases the output and also will increase the compression.
    How much compression is dependent on the FAST or SLOW setting and also the -10 or +4 setting.

    Ouput Knob simply trys to maintain the desired DB level...aka makeup gain.

    *Slow is for most transparent compression, Fast is abit more noticeable.

    Gain Reduction is shown on the meter.
    Each Channel has a ON/OFF bypass too.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails aphex-106-png  

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    a fog

    after finally getting all this plugged in, taken apart for cleaning scratchy, popping, crackling old parts on the 106....the 107 and 207 and 106 were tested out. I spent around $406 in total.
    the 107 Dual pre, the 207 dual pre with DI x 2, and the quad Compressor.

    <erased the whining...once the knobs were cleaned up and better cables...all is nice and silent, everything works great.>
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails aphex-stuff-png  
    Last edited by CoolCat; 3 Weeks Ago at 20:07. Reason: removal of babblish bs

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Aphex, gear and coffee SEATTLES BEST

    worked out the crusty crackles and sprayed with the CAILLUBE magic spray.
    4qty preamps feeding the Quad Compressor turned back on, a 2nd try.
    Noise floor now per the Reaper Noise Gate was -74 or less, not bad.
    Also messing with the "new to me" LUFS and the modern 13 or 14 LUFS goal volume for streaming (thanks Lazer bEak)
    everything was set up healthy and really sounding fantastic.

    I have a 8 channel interface, so I popped the Vintage- 4 channels of Preamp+Compressors on channel 5,6,7,8.

    The APHEX units are to me a nice sound, sparkle, crisp whatever …. like a LDC vs a SM7b kind of thing.
    Gain staging and Line In connections made a big improvement.

    add>
    Rode NT5 pair into a APHEX 107 (1994) Recording time : 2017....excellent example...GLENWILLOW great recording.
    Recording notes-
    "I use stereo Rode NT5 small diaphragm condenser mics ($400 for the pair) both powered but a stereo Aphex 107 tube preamp. The capsules in these SDC mics were originally cardioid capsules but I have replaced them with omni-directional capsules that cost another $230. I think these omni capsules sound WAY better and they have the advantage of removing any proximity effect -- the bass boost you get from cardioid mics when they are closer than about 24" to the sound source.

    I also use a large diaphragm condenser mic on omni mode called AudioTechnica AT4050. It's also powered by an Aphex 107 tube preamp. I use this mic to pick up room sound. On this recording, however, I did use some digital reverb when doing the stereo mixdown in the computer because the staccato character of this song just sounded too choppy to me.

    I record the sound in Steinberg Cubase in my computer, I mix the recorded sound down to two stereo tracks as a 48khz wave file, and I later synch this with the video in a separate video editing program called Adobe Premier Elements. I do not do any mastering, which generally involves leveling and multi-band compression. I could do that, but I prefer staying away from compression as much as possible to make the recording sound more real, as if you were really in the room with me. I don't want the guitar to sound better or worse than it is; I want the sound to be as accurate as possible."


    YouTube

    Aphex stuff can sound really nice especially for the 2020 prices versus 1995 prices.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails aphex-4-channels-png   aphex107-glenwillow-acoustic-png  
    Last edited by CoolCat; 3 Weeks Ago at 20:05. Reason: remove coffe babbling garbage

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    APHEX 107 and some cheaper mics = Amazing

    Heres 2qty APHEX 107 in action...just stumbled on this today in youtube.

    APHEX 107 (or 207)….

    I sold off the 107 and kept the 207 which is the same thing with the added little I/O and meters. I tossed in a Mullard 12AT not sure it was a huge change. This thing isn't a guitar preamp to overdrive, its for soft, smooth, sparkle...really good at removing ssss's and ssshsss's.

    The goods in actual recording using this item below.
    rabbit hole notes:
    I was reading that the mics were a couple CAD mics. So in 1995-96, of the recording, the CAD mic would have been either the original e-100 or e-200 CAD. (the e-300 wasnt out yet). Harvery Gerst had a hand in designing what later became the e-200 capsule (dual cardiods). Also a pair of AKG used, also but not sure which ones but the engineer said they were not expensive mics into the APHEX 107 pair. <mentioned up thread>

    Also the engineer mentioned the gain on the APHEX 107's were not past "noon" aka 50%. Leave the 80hz hpf Off and move the mic back if needed to cut some lows. Mics were up close on this recording. In this recording the room being Equinox Art Museum in Mount Equinox in Manchester Vermont was said to have been amazing too. (I think its now called the Southern Vermont Art Museum)

    so a couple $150 mics and a $100 dual preamp 107, in 2020 prices, can get a person here with the right room, music and musicians, engineer doing the mic placements and mix....

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails equinox-png  
    Last edited by CoolCat; 5 Days Ago at 09:01.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Timepiece: CAD E200 and the APHEX 107

    reading in the rabbit hole, lead me to grabbing this cool looking obsolete CAD E200.

    Strange read....forum posts of the past.
    Harvery Gerst had a intial hand in this dual-capsule back to back design.
    The capsule EM204 PRIMO search was even stranger, as I found out the PRIMO factory making these capsules is about 20 minutes from my house. How odd is that?

    The capsules that arent 1", but also arent 1/2" either issue came up again. The E200 is like the Shure KSM32, neither LDC and not SDC?. I went to Neumann and read and they mention 1" LDC and 1/2" is SDC. (thats 25mm and 12.5MM capsule diameter.)
    But the E200 and KSM32 are 14.6mm and 19mm. Shure calls the KSM32 a LDC also? hmmm...

    Neumann goes further stating the SDC capsule is in a narrow straight body in so many words.
    LDC in a larger body, side address body with capsule basket.
    This definition might be why these capsules are often called LDC. I assume or guess?

    I grabbed a E200 used at $149. Its a super cool , super heavy, solid metal mic. Probably the best looking mic Ive owned.
    Per the Equinox Quartet the CAD and the APHEX are a proven combo, I'll try it in a less than perfect environment. I might stop by the PRIMO factory after the COVID stuff is over.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails e200-jpg   primo-em204-png  

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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