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The Tube Vitalizer was conceived in order to implement the Vitalizer technology in the most sophisticated way. Therefore, SPL has composed an efficient combination of tube, coil, and transistor circuitry. The advantages and characteristics of these components can now be configured and applied individually - whatever the material asks for, the Tube Vitalizer is perfectly prepared to give an answer in mixing, mastering and restoration. And compared to traditional equalizer designs, the Vitalizer offers virtuoso processings with maximal efficiency and ease uf use - both in single channel and subgroup processing as well as in refining summing signals.
The Tube Vitalizer is designed for discerning applications in professional mixing, mastering and restoration. All effect intensities, potentiometer values and characteristics are optimized for refined requirements. The sound processing of the Tube Vitalizer is split into two sections: On the left hand you find the controls of the Vitalizer-circuitry and the compressors. The right side features the tube section, which can be used independently of the Vitalizer-section as a high quality, low-noise tube-line preamp.
The Vitalizer section provides extended features compared to all other Vitalizer models (for details on Vitalizer basics, please refer to the description of the Vitalizer MK2-T).
With the Tube Vitalizer you can chose between familiar RC filters (condensers) or the often very interesting, warmer sounding LC filters (coils) for filtering bass and high frequencies. The sonic differences are similar to those of tubes compared to semi-conductors - sometimes even more dramatic. LC filters can saturate in a similar way to tubes, producing a pleasant harmonic structure. LC filters activate a passive coil network which is integrated into the active filter path. Bass processing for example results in a subjectively more powerful sound with more sustain. LC filters not only affect the Bass section, but also the mid-damping behaviour of the Hi-Mid Tune so that low-mid frequencies in particular benefit from it. The sound often gets more punch and directness. An LC filter can also be added to the high frequency filtering to improve presence in the mid-range, which is ideal for vocals. Especially in mastering applications the LC filters add another tonal dimension to your processing repertoire.
The second innovation in the Tube Vitalizer design is the inclusion of two compressors, one for the bass and one for the top-end filtering. These compressors allow to compensate for level changes due to the processing. Alternatively they can also be used for sound shaping of course. The compressors operate with a soft-knee characteristic to provide unobtrusive results, while Attack, Release and Threshold are pre-set for their frequency range (bass or top-end processing). This results in highest ease of use and perfect level control even when intensive processing is applied.
The Tube Vitalizer is equipped with both electronically balanced solid-state and tube output stages, and you can switch from solid-state to tube operation by the push of a button. Now you can add tube sound to your mix and directly compare it with the solid-state sound.
The tube stage is an original AEG design from 1955. It utilizes three tubes. One of them is used as a differential stage and carefully enhances the stereo base. This effect perfectly complements the tube sound itself, it delivers more depth and transparency, especially in the mid range. The tube stage also reduces crosstalk to 54 dB which is typical for vinyl-cutting. One characteristic of vinyl sound against CD specs is a more natural sound stage - there are no coherent sounds in nature that have a channel separation of about 90 dB like on CD.
The tube section provides a frequency bandwidth from 30 Hz to 30 kHz. Standard designs often limit the bandwidth which gives a limited impression of frequency bandwidth - and that may often be associated with "tube sound". The Tube Vitalizer's tube sections does not limit frequency response. If you carefully listen to reverbs of vocals or snare (or simply put on pink noise), you can easily identify the harmonical structures tubes add.
The Tube Vitalizer is built using the finest components. High quality ALPS potentiometers combine reliability with an excellent tactile response, and the mechanism has enough resistance to make unintentional movement unlikely. Stylish and practical VU meters show either input or output levels, making it easy to compare levels when extensive filtering is required. The Tube Vitalizer is equipped with both XLRs & stereo jacks for balanced operation. We use the new SSM precision input & output stages which feature laser-trimmed resistors, providing a common mode rejection of better than 87 dB. Mono-jacks may be used for unbalanced operation without level change.
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