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Thermionic Culture Culture Vulture Mastering Plus Stereo Tube Odd/Even Harmonic Distortion

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Thermionic Culture's Culture Vulture Mastering Plus is the latest in the Culture Vulture range and is designed to be used both as a mastering tool and for those applications where balanced inputs and ... Click To Read More About This Product

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Thermionic Culture's Culture Vulture Mastering Plus is the latest in the Culture Vulture range and is designed to be used both as a mastering tool and for those applications where balanced inputs and outputs are required plus some extreme distortion. It has lower noise, better frequency response, and greater accuracy in level controls by having a 3 position input gain switch and a 2 position output attenuator. Therminonic Culture uses Mullard M8100 low noise high gain valves in the input stage, a pair of GE 5725s for Distortion effects, and the Philips 5963 in the output. All are military grade valves for long life. There is an extra exciting distortion setting on the Function switch. This is labelled P2. It’s similar to P1 (the most used, Pentode setting) but goes into mad distortion and compression when the valve is overloaded. The old P2 is now P3. In addition to the line level transformer balanced output, there is a lower level unbalanced output which can be used to go to inputs that require low level or if one wants to avoid the distortion in the output transformer.
The Culture Vulture is the first and only all-tube unit, dedicated to producing the best harmonic distortion money can buy. It can ‘warm’ a sound gently, or create a noise like a 200-watt guitar stack overdriven with all speakers slashed. The Culture Vulture is a two-channel unit for adding harmonic distortion to a variety of input sources. By biasing and configuring the distortion tube (5725), four types of distortion
with infinite variations can be achieved.

Although the unit can be ‘clean’ (less than 0.2% THD), added valve distortion may be quite desirable, improving naturality and smoothing off unwanted digital spikes. But The Culture Vulture can be used for effects! Push it and try it!. You have total control over the type and amount of distortion, which can be changed from even to odd harmonics or a combination of both. Starved, the sound from The Vulture becomes thin and loses its body, overfed, it becomes fatter and more rounded.

The Culture Vulture features two channels that can be used independently on individual tracks, or put across a whole stereo mix.

The Culture Vulture Mastering was developed for mastering engineers to add subtle distortion to a mix or pair of tracks for “warming up” the sound. The Mastering + Culture Vulture is designed to provide accurate recallable facility plus the ability for even more extreme distortion, so that it can be
used in all applications where valve distortion is required. Thermionic Culture used a Mullard M8100 input valve to achieve very low noise. The extra “drive” position gives some of the bite of “overdrive” but with far less noise. The extra control over output level with the (-10db) switch allows the unit to be driven into extreme distortion but still have a respectable stereo balance. However the “P2” and “P3” positions will become so extreme that true stereo won’t always be applicable.


  • * Transformer-balanced inputs & outputs on stereo jacks
  • * Large indented input Drive controls with 3-position switch
  • * Indented Output level controls with attenuator switch
  • * 4 position Function control for distortion “flavors”
  • * Military-grade tubes with longer life and low microphony, including matched 5725 distortion valves
  • * Extended frequency response
  • * Lower noise
  • Figures obtained with 1kHz signal, 0.25mA bias current, function at T, feeding a 10kΩ load.
  • Maximum output level: +21dBu, 20% distortion
  • Distortion: 0.2% to 98%
  • Noise: 83dB below MOL
  • Input Impedance: line: 20kΩ, DI: 50kΩ
  • Output Impedance: Hi Output: 2k ohm, Lo Output: 4k ohm
  • Frequency response: +0.5dB/-1dB over 40Hz to 20kHz
  • Tubes:
    • Max Gain: 76dB (P1, min bias)
    • Input: M8100 (equiv. CV4010*, 5591, EF95) x2
    • Output: 5963 (equiv. CV4003*, ECC82, 12AU7)
    • Distortion: 5725 (equiv. CV4011*, M8196, 6AS6) x2
    • *CV is the British military equivalent to US JAN
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