This new version of the Culture Vulture Mastering was introduced in 2011, designed to give the user not only an accurate “mastering” version of the Culture Vulture but more effect options. The chassis was enlarged and the power supply improved at the end of 2014, giving negligible noise at most settings.
The unit is accurately aligned for stereo or single channel operation. All valves are “military” specification, NOS, made in France and USA and have low noise plus extended life.
With mastering in mind, this version of the Culture Vulture retains all of the qualities of the earlier design, and has closely matched controls and valves. A test report is supplied with each one, which gives the optimum current (usually 0.25 mA) which the Bias controls should be set to for minimum distortion.
The text below refers to one channel (the other the same). The “Function” control now has 4 settings:
T triode type 2nd harmonic distortion
P1 pentode type, 3rd harmonics
P2 new setting, as P1 up to a peak, then over-compresses with distortion effects
P3 the original P2 setting (“no holds barred”)
The Drive control consists of an indented pot for fine control and a switch which increases the input gain in 2x 10 dB steps to “Overdrive”. The Output Level control also has an indented pot for fine control and a -10 dB switchable attenuator.
Sowter transformers are used to balance line input and output. There is an Unbalanced Line Output as well for those who prefer the more ‘Open’ Sound. The DI input is high impedance, high gain for instrument use.
The bypass switch ignores the DI input and connects any signal coming to the line input jack to the line output jack, bypassing the electronics for comparison purposes.
A) Figures obtained with 1kHz signal, 0.25mA bias current, Function at T, feeding a 10kΩ load.
Distortion (THD): 0.2%
Frequency response: 40Hz to 17kHz , +/-1dB Max
Output Level (MOL): +17dBu, 2% distortion (0.5dB more when using unbalanced outputs)
Gain available: 47dB line, 53dB DI input
Noise: 88dB below MOL
B) Maximum Figures:
Distortion (THD): 98%
MOL: +21dBu, 20% distortion
Gain: 76dB, P1, min. bias.
Line Input: 20kΩ
DI Input: 50kΩ
All Outputs: 2kΩ