Roll Music Tubule RMS5A7 500-Series Tube Preamp
The Roll Music Tubule RMS5A7 500-Series Tube Microphone Preamp combines the full-featured convenience of a modern mike preamp module with the rich, satisfying sound of a transformer-coupled, all-tube preamp evocative of the elusive bygone classics.
The Roll Music Tubule is a real transformer-coupled tube microphone preamplifier in the convenient package you never thought possible. At long last, all the warm sweet satisfaction of a real transformer-coupled, high-voltage vacuum tube microphone preamplifier in the convenient and cost-effective 500-series modular format.
With the explosion of new modular products for the 500-series frames sold by various manufacturers, user requests for a tube-based module have been met almost universally with claims by designers and engineers that it couldn't be done. We took that as a dare. The result is not only a technological achievement, but a sonic masterstroke.
The Roll Music Tubule RMS5A7 combines the full-featured convenience of a modern mike preamp module with the rich, satisfying sound of a transformer-coupled, all-tube preamp evocative of the elusive bygone classics. This is not a wimpy starved-plate design, nor is it an op-amp based preamp with a tube stuck on top for marketing appeal. It's all tubes and iron, with sophisticated modern power management circuitry to generate the high-voltage plate supply and high-current heater supply to power the tube. Careful design of this high-efficiency power circuit allows the Tubule to work within the space and power consumption limitations of a single module.
Robust transformer coupling and flexible, wide-ranging gain controls make the Tubule perfectly suited to everything from low-output vintage ribbon mikes to the hottest modern condensers. The input pad, attenuator and gain control also work together to provide a wide tonal variety. For the cleanest tones, keep the input attenuator up and the gain control low. For more rich tube coloration, engage the input pad and turn the attenuator down in order to use a higher gain setting without overloading the Tubule or other devices in the signal chain. The continuously-variable input attenuator also allows for very accurate gain settings that can be easily recalled.
The Roll Music Tubule RMS5A7 is now a part of the VPR Alliance. It has been independently confirmed to be fully compatible, both electrically and mechanically, with any enclosure that complies with the standards for the 500-series format.
Roll Music Tubule RMS5A7 500-Series Tube Preamp Specifications
- Equivalent Input Noise (66dB gain, 150Ω source) -121dBu
- Input Impedance: 1200Ω balanced
- Recommended Source Impedance: 150Ω balanced
- Maximum Input Level: +22dBu rms
- Maximum Output Level: +25dBu rms
- Output Impedance: <300Ω balanced
- Recommended Load Impedance: >10kΩ balanced
- Gain Range: 3dB steps, 33-66dB
- Input Attenuator: Variable, -10 to 0dB
- Input Pad: Switchable, -20dB
- Frequency Response: +/-1dB, 10Hz-40kHz
- Vacuum Tube: 12DW7 / ECC832 / 7247
What We Think
The Roll Music Tubule is an absolute killer! Seriously, it's a fantastic preamp that sounds like you think that it ought to... but also sounds like you wouldn't expect, at the same time. The Roll Music Tubule exhibits a very smooth tube character that also knows how to load a transformer in a way that is right in line with some of the best solid-state preamps. It's really a beautiful contradiction in the world of tube pre-amps - it sounds big, but tight. The fact that Roll Music only has three products on the market, comforts me in that they commit a lot of attention to the quality of their wares. The build quality of the Tubule is super-solid and the potentiometers feel great. All in all, don't discount the Tubule when shopping for preamps, because once you have a pair, you just might find that you are reaching for them constantly.
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