July 3, 2007

SC-1 Preamp Build, Pt. 1

by Chris Randall

Got my SC-1 kits this morning. Boy, howdy, did he do a nice job putting these together. Everything was nicely labeled, and I didn't even need to refer to the parts sheet once. No complaints whatsoever on the quality of the parts selected or the kit itself. My only problems were (a) that pot didn't really like to take solder, so I had to fuck with it a little to get it seated and soldered, and (b) I accidentally put a 100R resistor in a 100K spot and vice versa, so there was some hijinx involved with getting those switched.

But that aside, all seems to be well. Of course, with the caveat that I haven't actually plugged it in yet. Perhaps I'll build the power supply now. Heh. It took about 3 hours total to build, even with the fuck-ups, and my shakey-assed soldering skillz. The second one should go faster, I would think. If these work as I expect, I'll get another 6, and they can comprise the input and fader sections of my Appropriate 8-Channel Sidecar.




Jul.03.2007 @ 9:23 PM
Looking forward to seeing what you think of their sound... I've been thinking of picking up a couple, but haven't committed yet.

Jul.04.2007 @ 12:16 AM
awaiting as well .

Jul.04.2007 @ 12:29 AM
Chris Randall
I built the power supply, but in the interests of not temporarily soldering leads (there are no lugs) I decided to power it off a JLM supply I have. I'm hooking that up right now, and I'll probably post something tonight.



Jul.04.2007 @ 1:12 AM
Chris Randall
Okay, I've got it all hooked up and running. Very minor troubleshooting required, but it was my fault. The "volume" pot (as opposed to the "gain" switch) had a cold solder joint. Once I'd tracked that down, via my patented "wiggle 'n' watch" method, all was good.

Now, keeping in mind that it's just initial tests, and I haven't used it on anything but my own voice, it seems easily on par with a good quality mic pre from anyone you'd care to name. It is by no means something that you could call either "warm" or "phat;" I have Telefunken, Neumann, and Averil pres that all exhibit both of those traits in spades, so I know from whence I speak. It is _crystal_ clean and clear, though.

I didn't have it in the best possible RF environment, as it is splayed all over my workbench, and hooked up with unshielded wire, but even then it is pretty low noise. I expect it to be essentially noiseless once I get it in a rack with proper shielding.

So I'll build the other one, and put 'em in a rack and wired correctly, then we'll give 'em a real workout, but for now I can say "easy build, clear sound, miles and miles of gain." Well worth the money.



Jul.04.2007 @ 2:32 AM
I wouldn't mind having a good clean 2ch pre, good to know SC-1 seems to rock. Too bad there's all the customs and VAT fees when ordering from USA to EU and I already have like 3 projects waiting for some parts and enough space for putting together.

Jul.04.2007 @ 12:19 PM
Sounds like something for me. Too bad it's from US, kinda sucks to order all the way here to Finland. Still, I've been lacking work in the soldering department since I completed last of my circuit bent patchboard project, so I might order few of those to keep me busy for one or two nights. Crystal clean and clear sounds just my cup of tea, anyhow.

Jul.04.2007 @ 2:13 PM

damn, i was just starting to think about combining orders to finland (where i'm situated at also) but then realized that it would probably only save pennies on the shipping costs, any bigger discount is for more than 8 kits, and customs and vat fees would still be a pain in the ass. so guess it's better for me to finish the ongoing projects and not try to get good excuses for starting yet more...


Jul.08.2007 @ 8:47 PM
I've just built one and stereo paired it with a DAV BG1U, using decent mics. They're very close indeed, maybe a little more transparent at the top. Gain forever is right - just the thing for ribbon mics. My Fireface800 preamps are sulking, as well they might be.



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