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Samson Technologies C-valve
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All user reviews for the Samson Technologies C-valve

Tube Pre-amp from Samson Technologies belonging to the C Class series.

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Average Score:
( 3.7/5 based on 6 reviews )
1 review
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Users reviews
  • MGR/DaveMGR/Dave

    Samson C-Valve

    Samson Technologies C-valvePublished on 06/10/08 at 15:00
    Purchased from Sweetwater Sound. My home recording setup needed outboard pre-amps and using a mixer just wasn't cutting it. I especially wanted a tube pre-amp because the mixers tended to leave the signal sounding harsh and brittle.

    These units pack a ton of features for the price:
    1: vocal EQ switch. Granted the EQ curve is a preset, but every little bit helps.
    2: Limiter switch to avoid clipping.
    3: An enhancer switch to boost the high frequencies that may be lost by the limiter.
    4: Phase reverse.
    5: 10dB boost switch.
    6: Phantom power (which should be a given but I just thought I'd mention it)
    7: Lo-cut switch with a selectible frequen…
    Read more
    Purchased from Sweetwater Sound. My home recording setup needed outboard pre-amps and using a mixer just wasn't cutting it. I especially wanted a tube pre-amp because the mixers tended to leave the signal sounding harsh and brittle.

    These units pack a ton of features for the price:
    1: vocal EQ switch. Granted the EQ curve is a preset, but every little bit helps.
    2: Limiter switch to avoid clipping.
    3: An enhancer switch to boost the high frequencies that may be lost by the limiter.
    4: Phase reverse.
    5: 10dB boost switch.
    6: Phantom power (which should be a given but I just thought I'd mention it)
    7: Lo-cut switch with a selectible frequency knob.
    8: VU metering instead of a 5-segment LED display. It's backlit too.
    9: 12AX7 tube to impart some warmth to the signal--with variable saturation control.
    10: A/D converter to either 48kHz or 96kHz.
    I also like the fact these units are designed so that they can be stacked so the control panels are slanted upward at about a 15-20 degree angle--facilitating their use so they do not have to be set at eye-level to read the meter.

    What's not to like?

    Metal chassis/frame/shell. Reinforced i/o jacks anchored to frame. Detachable hard rubber feet to set the viewing angle.

    All in all, the best bang for the buck in a pre-amp with a street price of less than $100.

    This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
    See less
  • domosdomos

    Samson Technologies C-valvePublished on 03/13/05 at 13:48
    (This content has been automatically translated from French)
    Mono amplifier tube and Integrated Circuits.
    Between line.
    Numrique output 48 or 96 khz
    Phase Reversal
    cut low frequencies adjustable
    Ehancer limiter

    UTILIZATION

    Easy to use
    Look nice
    Outputs numriques

    SOUND QUALITY

    Nothing transcendent!
    Worse than the Behringer pramplis home!
    Saturation limitation: the true gadget!

    Now, having said that, that is exploitable ...

    OVERALL OPINION

    Not really bad. But in this price range there are better (or SM Pro Prsonus eg).
    I have disassemble to see the quality workmanship, Horror! Switch on / off is stuck on the front and not clips or screwed (glue dgueu ........) shame because the collection's outdoo…
    Read more
    Mono amplifier tube and Integrated Circuits.
    Between line.
    Numrique output 48 or 96 khz
    Phase Reversal
    cut low frequencies adjustable
    Ehancer limiter

    UTILIZATION

    Easy to use
    Look nice
    Outputs numriques

    SOUND QUALITY

    Nothing transcendent!
    Worse than the Behringer pramplis home!
    Saturation limitation: the true gadget!

    Now, having said that, that is exploitable ...

    OVERALL OPINION

    Not really bad. But in this price range there are better (or SM Pro Prsonus eg).
    I have disassemble to see the quality workmanship, Horror! Switch on / off is stuck on the front and not clips or screwed (glue dgueu ........) shame because the collection's outdoor prsentation is nice.
    I prfre the pramplis my old Mackie, by far!
    And again, the A / D converter Intgr gnre breath! (The output is cleaner in analog only in numrique!)
    See less
  • christofairchristofair

    Samson Technologies C-valvePublished on 04/26/06 at 06:58
    (This content has been automatically translated from French)
    It is a mono tube preamp: there is a small ECC83 (12AX7 =) in it. In fact a preamp is very simple: we gain, a low-cut filter, and a few other small spots. Mono jack or XLR connectors, one returns with an instrument or a microphone.

    Ability to switch 48 volt phantom power supply. Rackable? It is a demirack, there may be a way to tinker with something ... maybe for the rack. The meter is there, and it emits a cool blue light ... it gives an ambience.

    UTILIZATION

    Very simple machine, when you have nothing else at hand that makes phantom power supply in order to register with a condenser microphone, that's the case. The manual is clear, but if we know the preamp is not needed.

    Read more
    It is a mono tube preamp: there is a small ECC83 (12AX7 =) in it. In fact a preamp is very simple: we gain, a low-cut filter, and a few other small spots. Mono jack or XLR connectors, one returns with an instrument or a microphone.

    Ability to switch 48 volt phantom power supply. Rackable? It is a demirack, there may be a way to tinker with something ... maybe for the rack. The meter is there, and it emits a cool blue light ... it gives an ambience.

    UTILIZATION

    Very simple machine, when you have nothing else at hand that makes phantom power supply in order to register with a condenser microphone, that's the case. The manual is clear, but if we know the preamp is not needed.

    You plug the microphone XLR (or instrument jack) and adjust the gain and output volume. We can refine the sound with low-cut filter (very effective) and the saturation knob of the lamp (not great but ok). There is also a preset limit and an enhancer, these are not configurable, too bad. Overall, there is a setting quickly and we're happy.

    SOUND QUALITY

    Samson's where they were ok with this machine: YES the sound is played correctly when I use only the gain and volume. Filter, limit, saturation alter the sound: on some recordings it can do (see below, I mean electric guitar). There is also a preset "eq voice" that does not suit me for voice (maybe there who love) but on a piano, a real piano, with a micro base I like it.

    On acoustic guitars and percussion that sounds good too. On voice, mine anyway, it's about average but still pretty blah. The only downside in my opinion. I find this amp much more transparent than others in the same price range.

    OVERALL OPINION

    I use it for about a year and I am very happy. I wanted a preamp to boost the volume of my vintage synth feeble, and to record with microphones (dynamic and static) in a home studio without pc config, but with a digital multitrack. Certainly it is far from TLaudio Dbx Avalon etc etc but the Samson cares not sound in the air, it boosts the volume and does it well. If you have good microphones and a recorder quality, you get very good results with this preamp. Value for money: very good.

    For the voice I made plans to purchase something else, but I'll keep lines to boost levels, and especially made for electric guitar. I enter my effects pedals in and I did saturate the circuits of Samson, j'égalize more or less with the filter and VOILA. Often I get sounds from scratch and that would not be possible with my amp scratch. Wicked riffs, arpeggios retro.
    Rock n roll.
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  • Anonymous

    Samson Technologies C-valvePublished on 05/16/06 at 00:31
    (This content has been automatically translated from French)
    It is a mono tube preamp: there is a small ECC83 (12AX7 =) in it. In fact a preamp is very simple: we gain, a low-cut filter, and a few other small spots. Mono jack or XLR connectors, one returns with an instrument or a microphone.

    Ability to switch 48 volt phantom power supply. Rackable? It is a demirack, there may be a way to tinker with something ... maybe for the rack. The meter is there, and it emits a cool blue light ... it gives an ambience.

    UTILIZATION

    Very simple machine, when you have nothing else at hand that makes phantom power supply in order to register with a condenser microphone, that's the case. The manual is clear, but if we know the preamp is not needed.

    […
    Read more
    It is a mono tube preamp: there is a small ECC83 (12AX7 =) in it. In fact a preamp is very simple: we gain, a low-cut filter, and a few other small spots. Mono jack or XLR connectors, one returns with an instrument or a microphone.

    Ability to switch 48 volt phantom power supply. Rackable? It is a demirack, there may be a way to tinker with something ... maybe for the rack. The meter is there, and it emits a cool blue light ... it gives an ambience.

    UTILIZATION

    Very simple machine, when you have nothing else at hand that makes phantom power supply in order to register with a condenser microphone, that's the case. The manual is clear, but if we know the preamp is not needed.

    SOUND QUALITY

    A warm sound with a microphone Apex 430. The voices come out real nice with a small grain ... if you touch too small buttons at the bottom (low cut, eq. voice, etc.).

    OVERALL OPINION

    I use it for 3 months and the sound is up and running ...
    The problem is that the phantom power supply dropped me ... ca c not cool ...
    that's why I will change the preamp. but I keep this one to put it in insert.
    I really like the sound.
    See less
  • LPA94LPA94

    Samson Technologies C-valvePublished on 11/05/07 at 04:17
    (This content has been automatically translated from French)
    For product information or comments below ...

    UTILIZATION

    Using very simple and hassle free for 3 years now.

    SOUND QUALITY

    Over time I find this gadget almost prampli, especially if you look at the potentiomtre "saturation" which is really nothing (turn it in all directions, you'll see!). The sound is OK but the ct "heating lamp" Espree we find is not there. Of course, the lamp cre small distortions that are enjoyable plutt ear but it is far from the heat generated by devices range suprieure! ! In addition, the A / D converter is really mdiocre (Firepod Prsonus a compartment).

    OVERALL OPINION

    So it's okay for a product trs a troubleshooting or for the live, …
    Read more
    For product information or comments below ...

    UTILIZATION

    Using very simple and hassle free for 3 years now.

    SOUND QUALITY

    Over time I find this gadget almost prampli, especially if you look at the potentiomtre "saturation" which is really nothing (turn it in all directions, you'll see!). The sound is OK but the ct "heating lamp" Espree we find is not there. Of course, the lamp cre small distortions that are enjoyable plutt ear but it is far from the heat generated by devices range suprieure! ! In addition, the A / D converter is really mdiocre (Firepod Prsonus a compartment).

    OVERALL OPINION

    So it's okay for a product trs a troubleshooting or for the live, but for the studio, You Save!
    I will not repeat this.
    See less
  • moosersmoosers

    Samson Technologies C-valvePublished on 12/20/09 at 20:41
    The Samson Audio C-Valve is a budget friendly tube based single channel microphone preamplifier.  The unit has both XLR and 1/4 inch connections, so you can use this both as a traditional mic pre and as a DI box.  It isn't a rack mountable piece of gear as it stands in its own style of casing.

    UTILIZATION

    I don't think that users will have a hard time figuring out the C-Valve at all as everything is pretty easy to understand.  The pre has knobs for input gain, low frequency cut, saturation, and volume.  It also has buttons for mic/instrument selection, phantom power, phase, low cut, vocal EQ, enhance, and limit.  While the vocal EQ and enhance are simple preset EQs that are traditi…
    Read more
    The Samson Audio C-Valve is a budget friendly tube based single channel microphone preamplifier.  The unit has both XLR and 1/4 inch connections, so you can use this both as a traditional mic pre and as a DI box.  It isn't a rack mountable piece of gear as it stands in its own style of casing.

    UTILIZATION

    I don't think that users will have a hard time figuring out the C-Valve at all as everything is pretty easy to understand.  The pre has knobs for input gain, low frequency cut, saturation, and volume.  It also has buttons for mic/instrument selection, phantom power, phase, low cut, vocal EQ, enhance, and limit.  While the vocal EQ and enhance are simple preset EQs that are traditionally seen on mic pres, the rest of the parameters are either widely known or are self explanatory.  I haven't seen a manual for the C-Valve, but judging by how easy it is to use I don't think that one is necessary anyway.

    SOUND QUALITY

    The sound of Samson Audio's C-Valve isn't anything to write home about, but it is definitely serviceable enough to be used in a home studio setting.  The sound quality isn't up to par for professionals in my opinion, but it good enough to be used for demos or for smaller project sessions.  It is a pretty versatile pre because of the parameters that it has, but I'm not a fan of the 'vocal EQ' and 'enhance' settings as they are preset EQs that don't apply for most situations.  However, it is definitely nice to have the low cut feature as it allows me to cut off the low end on applications where extreme low end isn't necessary.

    OVERALL OPINION

    While the Samson Audio C-Valve would never be my first choice for any sort of recording whatsoever, it is definitely a suitable option for home studio owners looking for a tube mic pre that will give you some bang for your buck.  It has a decent enough sound quality driven by a tube that makes it perfect for a small home studio owner looking for that tube sound without having the spend too much money.  C-Valve is in the same vein as PreSonus' TubePre as it is the same price and is overall a similar product.  If you are looking for a bit of a warmer sound from your pres that you are not getting with your stock audio interface pres, C-Valve is definitely worth checking out.
    See less
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