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#1682913 - 07/10/05 08:46 AM What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
umkcprof Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/05/04
Posts: 158
Loc: Kansas City
Hi all. . .

I'm thinking of adding one channel of tube preamplification to the system. I have to admit that I'm intrigued by the unusual design of the BLUE Robbie, and am wondering if this is, indeed, a great little tube preamp?

Any thoughts?

Steve
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#1682914 - 07/10/05 09:02 AM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
Philip O'Keefe Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 17674
Loc: Riverside,CA,UNITED STATES
I've seen it, but I have not heard it yet. Personally, I would find the design of it to be a bit of a pain... it's more of a tabletop unit and not really something I could stick into a rack very easily... but that may or may not be a issue for you.

If you want a tube pre, and a tube "sound", you might want to consider a UA 610.

http://www.uaudio.com/products/analog/M610/
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#1682915 - 07/10/05 09:15 AM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
Sean Eldon Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 462
Loc: Long Island
i got a robbie when they came out. i just sold it to get a Peluso 251 tube mic. it has a little more headroom than the M610, and there is an optional rackmount kit. it sounds good but there's better deals for 1000 bucks. check out the Universal Audio LA-610 (couple hundred more but has more toys to play with), and the Trident S20 or 4T Celebration preamps.
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#1682916 - 07/10/05 09:38 AM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
I've only tried a few tube pres, but I have about 36 channels of pres in the studio. I liked the A Designs tube pre. I was at Tom Sailor's place and he had one in his rack too, with a special modification to allow him to crank the front end to get a really creamy tube thing going, yet control the output level so as nto to crush the following electronics. Nice touch. I talked to Peter about that, and he said that this was counter to the design of the pre... they were going for that old school totally clean sound. And they get this admirably. Like some of my older tube mics, the sound sparkles, yet has a roundness to the tone that differentiates it from it's solid state counterparts. Pete suggested that I stick an ATTY (a little utility box that A Designs makes...)on the back end of the pre to achive the same result without having to modify anything.

Side issue... they have the ATTY in a couple of form factors now, and it will function as a prefectly adequate yet very inexpensive monitor level controller.

I find that I can get some really nice character from the Great River MP2-NV. (Not tube, but might give you a sound that you like, nonetheless.) You might also look at the Manley TUB-E R Not TUB-E (or however they spell it.) I haven't seen one, but two chanels of mic pre, one tube and one solid state. (Come to think of it, I haven't seen anyone talk about this pre since they had the 'name this product' contest....)

Bill
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#1682917 - 07/10/05 11:52 PM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
gaotu Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 211
Loc: Indianapolis
Few people have this item apparently. I talked to the BLUE guys about it at a convention, and keeping their Mic reputation in mind as well, I'm sure it's a good unit. I have a mic pre with a billion knobs though, and I kind of like that. One knob (plus a few in the back) is kind of odd to me. The 610 is something I never hear bad things about. The liquid channel looks sweet but it's freaking expensive. Let us know what you get.
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#1682918 - 07/11/05 01:26 AM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
Philip O'Keefe Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 17674
Loc: Riverside,CA,UNITED STATES
The liquid channel looks sweet but it's freaking expensive.

I finally heard one, and to be honest, I wasn't that impressed. It sounded kind of like the products it is emulating, but both Gearmike and I thought it was rather two dimensional, and not quite the same as the "real things". We were both somewhat disappointed. \:\( But to be fair, we didn't have the time to spend to go through every emulation in the unit.

The LA-610 adds a LA2A style (not exactly the same thing as a full blown LA2A, but similar) compressor to the M610 mic pre. Unlike the 6176, you can't use the pre and the comp independently, but you can use them together in series, or use the comp seperately via the line input. IMO, that would be a better deal to go with if you can scrape up the extra few hundred bucks over what just the 610 costs, and if you have a use for the leveling amp.... I'm not sure if Steve really would or not, since IIRC, he's not doing bass or vocals - just acoustic guitars and piano, and occasionally some chamber ensembles - none of which would be stuff I'd normally reach for a mono leveling amp for. ;\)

I have heard very good things about the A Designs gear, and at one point I was going to have one sent out to me for evaluation, but I've never followed up on it... but I do want to give one a listen.

The NV rawks... just because it isn't "tube" doesn't mean it isn't colored - in a very musical way. \:\)
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Phil O'Keefe
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#1682919 - 07/11/05 01:36 AM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
Sean Eldon Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 462
Loc: Long Island
i am a huge advocate for finding all of the existing Liquid Channels that have been sold and throwing them on a large junk yard fire. the eq and "tweaking" that it "offers" has little to no effect on the sound, most of the patches sound identical, and i'd rather spend that kind of money on something that's not gonna be useless in like 3 weeks. 3600 dollars gets you a great mic and a great preamp that can get more good results than the Liquid Channel could ever hope to offer.
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#1682920 - 07/11/05 03:03 AM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
Quote:
Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:


I have heard very good things about the A Designs gear, and at one point I was going to have one sent out to me for evaluation, ...
Well, if you are so inclined, give Pete Montessi a call, and be sure to mention my name. He is one of the good guys.

Bill
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#1682921 - 07/11/05 03:14 AM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
Philip O'Keefe Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 17674
Loc: Riverside,CA,UNITED STATES
Will do Bill... I believe I met him at one of the trade shows.

Thanks. \:\)
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Phil O'Keefe
Sound Sanctuary Recording
Riverside CA
http://www.ssrstudio.com
http://www.philokeefe.com
pokeefe777@ssrstudio.com
My New Forum on Harmony-Central

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#1682922 - 07/11/05 12:20 PM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
Quote:
Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:
Will do Bill... I believe I met him at one of the trade shows.

Thanks. \:\)
He's likely to be at AES in October. I haven't asked him, but he's often there. He's on your coast ....

Bill
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#1682923 - 07/18/05 01:24 AM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
witesol Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 149
Loc: SoCal
I've been using the Robbie..and a pair of Bluebirds for a few weeks now. I like the Robbie, it's become a go-to kick channel with Beta 91 and Beta 52 mics, and is good on vocals. Pretty quiet, warm and yet not too woolish. The big knob is cool for gain riding. The 'bird mic has been pretty cool too. no extra switches on it, just cardio and go. it has sort of a smile curve happening. A big P. Peak when you get on it. It's a bit bright but so far not brittle or sibilant. Built pretty well too.
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#1682924 - 07/18/05 04:07 AM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
Philip O'Keefe Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 17674
Loc: Riverside,CA,UNITED STATES
Hey Kel, how have you been doing?

So, what have you been using the Bluebirds on? Any particular app that they excel on?
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Phil O'Keefe
Sound Sanctuary Recording
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http://www.ssrstudio.com
http://www.philokeefe.com
pokeefe777@ssrstudio.com
My New Forum on Harmony-Central

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#1682925 - 07/18/05 04:07 AM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
Philip O'Keefe Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 17674
Loc: Riverside,CA,UNITED STATES
Oh, and have you tried the Baby Bottle? If so, how do those two mics compare sonically to your ears?
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Phil O'Keefe
Sound Sanctuary Recording
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http://www.ssrstudio.com
http://www.philokeefe.com
pokeefe777@ssrstudio.com
My New Forum on Harmony-Central

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#1682926 - 07/19/05 12:52 AM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
MarkD Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/03/04
Posts: 91
Loc: Australia
For a great tube channel under $1k, check out the Sebatron VMP-1000e

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#1682927 - 07/19/05 01:35 AM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
Philip O'Keefe Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 17674
Loc: Riverside,CA,UNITED STATES
Sebatron VMP-1000e... I've heard a bit of a buzz about those. Do you have one? What can you tell us about it and how it sounds? I'm sure some people would appreciate hearing more about them. \:\)
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Phil O'Keefe
Sound Sanctuary Recording
Riverside CA
http://www.ssrstudio.com
http://www.philokeefe.com
pokeefe777@ssrstudio.com
My New Forum on Harmony-Central

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#1682928 - 07/19/05 11:14 AM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
Sean Eldon Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 462
Loc: Long Island
i got a bluebird for free with a promotion when i bought the robbie. again, i've parted with the robbie, but i keep the bluebird around for a couple of applications. it's a cool horn mic, actually. does alto and tenor sax very very well at medium distance (9 inches-1.5 feet) and its also a cool acoustic guitar mic. i have trouble choosing it for most vocal applications, because i've just got so many better mics that i know it wouldn't even come close.
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#1682929 - 07/20/05 10:01 PM Re: What do you all think of the B.L.U.E. Robbie preamplifier?
FoxTick Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 5212
Loc: Sacramental, Californicate
Quote:
Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:
Sebatron VMP-1000e... I've heard a bit of a buzz about those. Do you have one? What can you tell us about it and how it sounds? I'm sure some people would appreciate hearing more about them. \:\)
Mee Too!

I've been seeing Sebatrons on ebay for a pretty decent price/channel ratio. I really haven't heard them...I've just heard of them.
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