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My New Preamp/DI From [SFX]

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by LongHairFreak, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. LongHairFreak

    LongHairFreak Insert cool nickname? Nobody's given me one yet. Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Twin Cities - MN
    This here's my latest preamp acquisition. It was because of fellow TBer BongoMania (thanks man) that I first began communications with Max at [SFX] (http://www.sfxsound.co.uk/mainpage.asp?page=home). After many eMails to&fro; working out details of functionability and musical taste, this is the result. (pics complements of Max himself).

    This unit measures about 7.375"x4.375"x1.5" (w/feet). Don't know the weight, but how heavy could it be at this size, eh? It is constructed extremely well with very useful features. Some are pretty standard-- A 2-band EQ w/ by-pass, mute, LED, etc; others are somewhat unusual to have--Two channel outs, each w/their own Vol, unbal 1/4" & Bal XLR w/Grnd Lift; and a few are very unique--
    - An [SFX] M:System-- A power supply out, where I can daisy chain another unit/pedal; and a 1/4" used for a through-out or a rear panel IN.
    - An [SFX] Thumpinator-- A high-pass filter at 30hz which can be by-passed w/an internal jumper.
    - Polarity selection-- Change ps voltage between centre negative & centre positive via internal jumper.
    - Voltage selection-- Choose 9V or 12V power input via 2 internal jumpers.
    BTW, Max threw in all these jumpers just to make my life easier. What a guy!

    How does it sound? Freakin' awesome!! With the EQ bypassed, it's clean, quiet and solid ; with EQ engaged (to taste), add fat and smooth on top of that. According to Max, the frequency response is totally flat, the distortion is so low it is almost impossible to measure and the headroom is huge. At this time, I'm even diggin' this more than my IP777 and True Voice. Yeah, it's still new to me, but still... The EQ has +/-15db; which may be more than what could even possibly be used, but the peak frequencies fit my tastes...dare I say...perfectly. The bottom is full, fat and punchy, while the top (though admittedly I have no tweets in my cabs) is soft and smooth even when pushed all the way up. If I had any regrets at all--and this is not a complaint, for it was my choice--I wish I would've had Max put in a 3-band instead. For if his 2-band is this musically pleasing, I can only imagine his 3-band would be even more so.

    The versatility is great too. I can use it as a preamplifier (XLR#1 to power amp & XLR#2 to PA), or I can use it as a Thumpinator processor in an fx-loop using either unbalanced out, or I can use it as a DI with or without pass-thru.

    Just thought TB might want to know. Thanks for listening.
  2. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    Very cool!

    That sounds like a DI that I would love to have in my arsenal. Was it pretty reasonable price-wise?
  3. This.

    I'm not even sure I care about what it does, I'm just pretty sure having something with the word "Thumpinator" on it will automatically make me more awesome.
  4. LongHairFreak

    LongHairFreak Insert cool nickname? Nobody's given me one yet. Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Twin Cities - MN
    Being that it was a custom job and any variation for another customer could vary greatly, I don't know that I should disclose the actual cost. However, I think I can say that it was far less than what I recently paid for my used Kern and what I paid for my new GK several years ago.
  5. Really nice!
  6. Platypus_Bass


    Mar 17, 2009
    Glad to hear your're enjoying the SFX unit, Max is building a similar preamp/DI for me, though without the Thumpinator. I'll be using it to drive my Berg IP112.
    Spec for my custom order is:

    2 channel preamplifier
    - input: 1/4" TS jack
    - Channel 1. With EQ and gain control on the front of the unit. A switch allows the bypass of the eq.
    - Channel 2. No EQ. Gain control on the back of the unit.
    - XLR balanced output Ch.1 (with ground lift)
    - XLR balanced output Ch.2 (with ground lift)
    - mute switch
    - m:system (power and signal)
    - Headphones amplifier: 1/4" TRS out with volume control (connected to channel 1 output).
  7. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Nice lookin' kit, to be sure. You've now got me curious, and a little GAS-y.
  8. Silent Fly

    Silent Fly Commercial User

    May 8, 2006
    London - UK
    Owner/designer [sfx]
    Thanks LongHairFreak for posting the review. It has been a real pleasure working with you.

    I put together a diagram that should clarify how the preamp works. I hope you will find it interesting.

  9. very cool!
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    How did I miss this thread? That looks completely awesome, and the basic Thumpinator I have is stellar.

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