Thermionic Culture
Thermionic Culture Ltd. was formed in 1998 to manufacture, promote and sell Recording Engineer Vic Keary’s all valve studio equipment designs. The principal aim is to prove that THERMIONIC VALVES (vacuum tubes to U.S. readers) are far superior for audio applications to solid state alternatives.
Flagship products
Thermionic Culture The Culture Vulture
This is the original and still the only studio unit dedicated to just adding valve produced harmonic distortion to sounds, with no solid state components in the way. This unique unit has changed little since its introduction in 1998.

There are 3 basic settings for the type of distortion: T gives the typically "musical" effect found with triode valves and is good for just "warming up" a sound. P1 means that the "distortion" valve is switched to Pentode mode to add odd harmonic which make the sound more aggressive, but retaining that valve character. P2 is the "No Holds Barred" setting and is very unusual way of configuring an unusual valve, even giving an extra octave at higher bias settings.
Thermionic Culture The Phoenix SB
The Phoenix SB is now the standard production version of the Phoenix compressor. Alongside the now classic circuit design of the original Phoenix, it incorporates the side chain filter controls from the previous standard Phoenix SC model with the new addition of an HT standby switch.

The Phoenix is well known for its smooth "soft knee" compression characteristic and excellent specifications. This means that it can be used as a compressor that will not harm your signal quality, whilst subtly controlling dynamic range. It is also possible to drive the unit harder to produce harmonic distortion and higher ratio compression if desired. Many users have found these features bring life to mixes or individual instruments, and control vocals, with a natural "warm" quality.

Contrary to the above, users have found that if the unit is operated in standby mode (it still passes audio) a "symmetrical" distortion occurs, not unlike that produced by overloading analogue tape. Perhaps this fact alongside an exaggerated compression curve lends to the Phoenix in standby mode another dimension.
Also available from Systemes Guinois
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