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Tortuga TPB.V1 Tube Preamp Buffer Review

Robin L

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That's a fair point. And it proudly uses specifically EXH brand tubes, a company that made their place in music history with a fuzz box...

Kemper Profiler has proven itself very well in practice. Solid stuff. But before we be too hasty in comparison, can it model the stereo channel imbalance that's characteristic of the Tortuga TPB.V1? Or do you need two of them?
PLEEEZE don't encourage anyone!
 

Stu Pidasso

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Hey tubes are great for guitar amplifiers and electronics used to create vintage tone and warm sounds.
 

Robin L

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Inner Space

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100% of All early digital recordings had to be run through either a tube stage &/or transferred to analogue tape... because early converters & filters back then were just plain horrid ...

I was full-time in studios from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, and saw just about the whole long and steep learning curve, in terms of both human and hardware adaptation, and I never, ever, not once did, or saw anyone else do, what you describe. I call BS.

On the wider topic, we should remember that "tube sound", as a mythic folk tale, has its roots by definition in analog tape sound as well, because one thing went with the other. Adding third harmonic might subliminally recall the tape.
 

thefsb

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PLEEEZE don't encourage anyone!
Ok.

But I'm only half kidding. Because I do think it sorta makes sense to listen to music the way you like it to sound. But if you are going to spend good money on equipment that enhances the euphonious qualities of your playback system then it makes little sense to buy this device since there is a wide range of very sophisticated effects devices made for use in music production, recording, and mastering that could allow you to dial in what this thing does and a gazillion different things too, any of which might be more to your taste.

Personally I seek transparency because I listen to a wide range of kinds of music and in different situations, it's the neutral ground on which everything stands a chance of sounding good, and I can't be bothered with adjusting the colorations and distortions of my home stereo for every different recording and listening context. But I can imagine that some people might enjoy tinkering with the sound and I grant that it's a defensible practice, given that aesthetic pleasure is the goal and is personal.

But this fuzzy 0 dB amplifier seems more like a fetish. Somehow vacuum tubes became magical. It's as though it is unquestioned truth, according to some ailien priestly tradition accepted by its community, that tubes and only tubes can deliver the particular non-linearities and colorations that deliver maximum joy.
 

thefsb

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A good question I don't know the answer to is what was the first commercial tube amp that purposely degraded measured performance in order to "sound better"?.
Agreed. That would be the part of the historiography of the "alien priestly tradition" I mentioned, development of the theology of the euphonius vacuum tube.
 

Inner Space

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Because I do think it sorta makes sense to listen to music the way you like it to sound. But if you are going to spend good money on equipment that enhances the euphonious qualities of your playback system then it makes little sense to buy this device since there is a wide range of very sophisticated effects devices made for use in music production, recording, and mastering that could allow you to dial in what this thing does and a gazillion different things too, any of which might be more to your taste.

I completely agree with this. I can imagine an integrated unit, like something from the guitar world, with intuitive controls, probably knobs, with cool names like "Space" and so on. "Space" could be an intelligent reverb, different lengths and types for center and outer images. And so on. Problem is I can't really see a big enough market. But it would be fun.
 

MakeMineVinyl

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Isn't the whole purpose of using tubes to intentionally color the sound, rather than have high fidelity?
Absolutely not. Just like you could say that some people drink fine wine for the taste and some other people may drink wine just to get drunk. It's absurd then to say that the whole point of wine is to get drunk.
 
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beeface

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I completely agree with this. I can imagine an integrated unit, like something from the guitar world, with intuitive controls, probably knobs, with cool names like "Space" and so on. "Space" could be an intelligent reverb, different lengths and types for center and outer images. And so on. Problem is I can't really see a big enough market. But it would be fun.
time to normalise throwing a pedal board between your preamp and power amp

1626139173129.png
 

Bruce Morgen

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When such content is finalized and monitored in the studio, do they run it through said tube amps one more time to listen and approve said content? If the answer is no, then we don't want to add that element yet again either. :)

The answer was no, even back in the 1970s when I spent some time at Atlantic's NYC studios. All session playback was done via solid-state McIntosh MC2100 power amps driving JBL 43xx series three-way monitors -- or, after management found they could save time and money by buying from local discount hi-fi retailers rather than through pro audio channels, JBL L-100 "Century" bookshelf speakers, which were essentially gussied-up 43xx clones.
 

DWPress

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In an earlier incarnation of my pursuit of "the perfect sound" I built these little tube buffers (6N3 and 12AU7 based) and used them on an A/B switch for the midrange amp/drivers on my active XO speakers. The box below housed a Minidsp 4x10 board that I made into a preamp with 3 analog inputs and a phono pre. (Which is still a featured build on the Minidsp website LOL!!!!)

Between tube rolling (those are Brimmars BTW) and messing about with the gains I had a lot of fun totally messing up whatever benefits of going active with the gear I had at the time. I was even fully aware that messing with gain in any way was screwing up my XO on both HP and LP side of things but sometimes stupid sounds tolerably good. :facepalm: The idea was "to warm up that crucial midrange sound and decrease sibilance" :facepalm:

I should send them in for Amir to dissect but that would be a waste of everyones time and I'd feel even stupider. As some might note from my sig, I've come through to the other side relatively unscathed.

Bet I could sell them for some serious dough on fleabay though with enough colorful verbage.


IMGP6852a.jpg
 

solderdude

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Is this a Class A buffer?

Yes, but it adds nothing here. A pre-amp that only has to drive line outputs can work fine on a few mA.

The odd harmonics are higher because this device is balanced.
 

gvl

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Yes, but it adds nothing here. A pre-amp that only has to drive line outputs can work fine on a few mA.

The odd harmonics are higher because this device is balanced.

It was an attempted pun on Class A-ction ;)
 

solderdude

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O.K. it's class-C in this case... class Crap ;)
 
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