Thermionic Culture Rooster 2
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The Thermionic Culture Rooster is a valve based design mic/line & DI pre-amp with EQ and a distortion section based around the same 5725 valve used in the ever-popular Culture Vulture.
The Rooster is a 2 channel all valve preamp with EQ and distortion controls. It is designed for a wide range of applications and can produce a large range of tones, harmonic distortion and subtle dynamic control.
The pre-amp section can be used to add gain to mic, line or DI input signals. The double triode input valve (ECC81) provides a smooth sounding gain stage after the balancing input transformer.
48 volts can be applied to phantom powered mics by using the special toggle switch. The DI input bypasses the transformer to give a suitable high impedance unbalanced input.
The 'Attitude' section provides control over the amount of distortion inherently produced by the 5725 valve.
This valve is also found in the Culture Vulture circuit. In this case the distortion produced can be far more subtle giving specs of 0.01% distortion when the switched 'Attitude' control is at position 1. The distortion increases drastically as the 'Attitude' control is progressively switched from position '1' to position 'Max'.
Similarly to the Culture Vulture, the unit will tend to produce predominantly more 2nd order harmonics when in 'Triode' mode and 3rd order harmonics when in 'Pentode' mode. This provides a creative means of both tone and dynamics control over the input signal as well as allowing the user to select how much and what kind of harmonics are present in the signal.
The EQ section provides a simple yet powerful musical control over frequency content.
The Bass lift control gives a continuous control over the amount of bass using a unique ' varislope' curve which peaks at 60Hz.
The 'mid/high' lift control gives a bell type curve with variable gain peaking at either 2.5KHz / 4KHz or a 'varislope' curve peaking at 12KHz, all selected by the frequency select switch.
The 'Mid cut' control provides a bell type curve centred at 700Hz with continuous control over the amount of cut.
The 'Bass cut' switched control provides 5 positions with different cutting curves. The curves start off as high pass filters which get progressively higher in frequency and then turn into a shelving type curve that will also increase in frequency as the switch is advanced. These controls are intended to interact with the other EQ controls for a very flexible control over the entire frequency range.
The 'LPF' or low pass filter switch control will allow the high frequencies to be cut at a frequency suitable to stop harsh sounding harmonics standing out when excessive distortion is used, smoothing the resulting sound.
The output level control adjusts the signal going to the PCF 80 output valve and the final signal is balanced by a Sowter custom made transformer.
The level of output signal is represented by the 3 LED display.
- All valve signal path.
- Sowter Transformer balanced ins and outs.
- Unique 2 channel clean mic. amps with 'Attitude' control.
- Option of 2 settings to select type of introduced distortion.
- Versatile eq. with 'varislope' control of top and bass lift.
- 48v Phantom Power switchable to one or both.
- Phase invert switch on both channels.
- Mic./line and DI input.
- Low pass filter.
- High Pass filter.
- Low noise, High gain and High output level.
- Made in England
Measurements are made at typical ‘Attitude’ setting ‘2’. in Pentode mode with an output of +4dBu.
Measurements made with AC mains input 236V 50Hz. Load resistance is 10kΩ
Available gain (dB)
Mic: 52 (80 with Attitude at max.)
±1dB: 25Hz to 55kHz
Distortion (THD @ 1kHz) ≤ 0.12%
Noise (unweighted, 30kHz
filter) ≤ 92dB below MOL
MOL (2% THD @1kHz) ≥ +22dBu
Phase shift 23º (6.4%) at 10kHz
DI 220kΩ unbalanced
Output impedance 200Ω
10kΩ is the ideal load impedance. The Rooster will work into a load of 600Ω, but distortion will increase & MOL will be reduced.
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