Monthly Archive for August, 2012

skyqueen pultec MB1 tube preamp

this EVER READY SKYQUEEN  is straight out of the 1950s. shes been (tenderly) gutted and had a beaut pultec  MB1 design  two tube mic/direct preamp built into her.
the 1/4″ direct input is a tough sounding hiZ instrument amplifier,
super great for direct bass guitar or keyboards.

the microphone input is balanced low Z  with switched  phantom powering . she uses an american edcor input transformer with custom sheilding.   the  pultec MB1’s custom output transformer is made from the highest quality japanese grain orientated steel. this improves the low low bottom end signal integrity.  xtal clear and solid bottom end gives an amp the big dynamic smack ability.

the stereo 1/4″ input  has a left/mixed/right signal switch.  –  matches from a media player whatsit. ipod or cd payer. sounds awesome – the valve amp gives that signal a very much sweet tweaking.

she also has a tube  P.A  stage to drive the small but fat sounding internal  speaker.  or headphones.  the p.a amp isnt a powerful one, just 1 or 2 watts of valve radiogram style.
the skyqueen has very desireable looks.  with creamy aligator tolex vinyl covering and brassy trim bits. she has a fancy – and so modern perspex handle too.  i hope the photos taken in the lovely matamata early evening light  do the skyqueen some  justice. she really is  unique.  weve been soak testing skyqueen day and night just playing cds thru her. wow . so good.

ugliest amplifier ITW nominee

classic! this true beaut 1964 nz made jansen 6 twenty had a party life. until 10 or 30 years ago flooded with a few brandy and cokes . he got left in a really dusty garage all opened up and has attracted all manner of dusty vegetation.  finally given up to the the local hospice shop . where i happened to ride past and noticed it on the footpath.  what a find.  this jansen is perfect to be the new amplifier for a  live rig.    i can  match it to a bin of four collected  rola 12″ speakers. then plug my valve mixture of instruments/fx into the jansen #1 input  and then. crikey  theres a #2  input still .  for another whole thing.  vocal mix or dj or guitarist chain .. anything.  and it has tremelo. woof!  hes up for the ugliest award of course . he  clearly makes it into the disgusting and creepy category too.

skyqueen in the bath

the skyqueen’s panel and sexy knobs are off for their annodising bath. shouldnt hurt a bit. i dont really think that the panel is going to come back quite with so much  uranium tan or anything like the above shot. we’ll see what advanced anodisers in tokoroa can do with it eh.  anyways in the midst of all the other secret work … the skyqueen is almost alive. ive changed out the  5 inch round celestion speaker for an australian rola ‘c’ 5″X3″ original 60s unit. the sound has superior bass punch and flatter top end zing now.  for sale soon at 1500nz$  +gst  for the skyqueen MB1 tube preamp and speaker/headphones playback amp. in a beautiful small textured vinyl covered plywood cabinet with very curvacious perspex handle.

i got raw nerves vinyl

wow. the raw nerves have punk energy that i never heard. cos i wasnt exactly a punk in the seventies. too satisfied in my middle class schlepp (that i never even thort about a bit)  but i loved the  music..  and this music. hi energy close up . heavy AND  funny. the singer is a screaming coil , the guitar is a  machine of chunky juicy riffs. the bass is fast and solid and booming. the drums are smashing and tell the  story. the song style is melodic. with completely spitting  delivery . the backing vocals are incredibly so realistic and haunting. just beautiful. i helped mix these recordings with alex and the band at the old remuera mansion. nothing  can take out the dirty garage from this record tho. it seethes with oiley street smell. side two is particularly awesome. a  punk party album for  all time in our household. thanks alex for inviting me to work with you on this great record. respect.

got the new mank vinyl

mank industries are folks im proud to be friends and gear dealers for. they specialise in monster beats – killer bass and monumental swaggar. and beautiful music.  melodic and trippy. scarey with passion – just enough.  and all that on vinyl. my god its so so so fat and clear. about the most fattest juiciest lp records ive ever ever heard. just enough top end to be clear and not sharp . transparency — wow . i can see for fucking miles.  the deep deep low bass with no booffey over exagerated low range humps. just strong defined bass sounds.  jonny boinkin is my bitch and i am his. he is the beats and production artist of the mank. he has a completely wicked stack of pretty sweet pretty nasty valve and transistor ekadek gear all stashed up in the queensland hills. secret locale near nambour i think. modified leak  valve eqs. fenkner pultec MB1 preamps. a big big limiter amp BRIAN. and a very special mixer gogo monitor control device .  that uses a genuine neve 535 stereo line output power amp. like hi-def loud powerful output. he has beaut mics and is very accommodatory (if that’s even a word). heres them.

philip ontop the heap

geez. philip has some fine company there. damian is up to his neck with  united audio la2a. wunder audio and a manley vox box. philip has been in our family along time scrapping it out with the odds and bods around the place. and getting lent out a bit to friends.  the wife and kids will miss this handy little fine strong sounding tube mic di preamp. not to worry . he’s gone to an appreciative home.

Hi Ek,
Sorry about the late reply. I have Philp at home and have given him a good workout.
Wow! Very smooth and quite open sounding, it smoothed out any harsh plucks of my
acoustic and rendered a real balanced smooth tone.
I actually liked it more than my Manley Voxbox in this instance! In the end it was a
hard choice between my Wunder Peq2r and Philip, they both were great in different
ways. Anyway I just want to let you know this preamp represents pure tonal bliss and
at the price I got it for it puts some of my other pre’s to shame 😉


been in the lab making a new minifenk today.and first had to fashion a special support ring to fit under the oversize top panel pilot lite hole.  so as to capture a magnifier glass up there. so as then looking into the spooky innards of said minifenk and bask in the golden LED glow becomes actually quite trip inducing. these  friendly little guys will always playback your sounds most truthfully tho. flat response dc to daylight and very open clearness from the simple best quality honest transistor amplifier.