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Forum » Music Forum » Recording » The Brick vs. Aphex 107 with 12AT7 Tubes
The Brick vs. Aphex 107 with 12AT7 Tubes
Mauisnow Date: Wednesday, 21.10.2009, 15:28 | Message # 1

It's time for me to invest in a decent mic preamp. I'm looking at The Brick and the Aphex 107 with 12AT7 Tubes installed. I've been reading praise about both around here.

So, to help me out in my decision, I'd like to hear from any of you that have experience with either one (preferably both). I know there are some guys on here that are EXTREMELY knowledgeable on this stuff, and I'm sure I could use their help.

Guest Date: Wednesday, 21.10.2009, 15:29 | Message # 2

I own both of these. They are 2 very different beasts. Both have tubes in their circuit, but beyond that...
What type of material and sources are you going to be dealing with? The Brick makes a great DI for bass and some keys, and offers some coloration when used with used with dynamic and some ribbon mics. It is a "true" high-voltage tube pre, but its' lack of output level control can make for problems down the line when connected to an interface or mixer.
All that gain-GOBS of it- can be a problem sometimes.
The 107 is much more refined. Less raunch, a smoother sheen, maybe a bit quieter. 2 channels vs. single, with polarity reversing and better gain and level control. Not a "true" high-voltage tube circuit, let the techies work that out (eh, Link?). And I've even found a use for the remote muting feature. The negatives? A wall wart power supply, no DI provisions, and of course, it is out of production. You can still find these at a bargain price on CL and e-Bay, many times around $100...
Guest Date: Wednesday, 21.10.2009, 15:32 | Message # 3

The Aphex 107 used a new(at the time) idea, they called tubessence or RPA (Reflected Plate Amplifier).

Basically its a circuit that operates tubes plate at a constant low DC potential. However they use a current mirror to extract the proper plate current. This way there is very little plate voltage swing, so they can operate from a low DC plate voltage.

This is not extactly a starved plate amp though. Typically a starved plate amp limits the current though a large value dropping ressitor (5-10 meg or so). This causes a big voltage drop at the plate, and little current. The 107 doesn't do that.

This starved plate idea is what you find the Tubedriver distortion least the smaller version seen at the link below:

Anyway, they are as Moonbaby said- different.

What you you mainly using it for?

Link555 Date: Wednesday, 21.10.2009, 15:35 | Message # 4

Well my goal with the 107 was to make cleaner, quieter pre. The interesting thing about the circuit in the 107 is the changing the tube to 12AX7 actually provides lower gain than a 12AT7.

This is odd because a 12AT7 tube has lower gain than a 12AX7. Its a bit complicated to explain but in a nutshell the Aphex 107 was designed for a 12At7 not an 12Ax7.

The most common mod I see is people swaping the tube. I bought a used 107 off ebay with 12AX7 in it.

I intially swapped the tube thinking I was going to lower the gain, and reduce some of the distortion.
What I found was the pre had more gain and it was cleaner. A few months latter I read a report by Aphex stating it was designed for AT7 and it would not have more gain with a AX7.

Anyway... just my 2 cents.

nicScooriewed Date: Sunday, 17.01.2010, 02:40 | Message # 5

I would like too take some time out Thank all the people for doing what you do and making the community what it is im a long time reader and first time poster so i just wanted to say thanks.
sam Date: Tuesday, 26.01.2010, 14:06 | Message # 6

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Forum » Music Forum » Recording » The Brick vs. Aphex 107 with 12AT7 Tubes
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