Test Reviews of Pro Audio Gear and Mixing Consoles

Audio Bricks
ToolMod analog Audio Modules
by adt-audio

Translation of a test review from German Studio-Magazin by
Dieter Kahlen

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But the actual surprise of the TM101 was the noise level at 50 dB gain, with a value of - 77.3 dBu RMS, which is equivalent to an EIn value of -127.3 dB. This means, that the input referred noise value of the TM101 is even lower with low gain settings that are practically more important than the high values, of course.

Even at 40 dB gain, EIn was - 126.7 dB - and this is actually a lot better than almost all other preamplifiers at their maximum gain. Diagram 2 shows the balanced FFT noise spectrum at maximum gain; Diagram 3 demonstrates the versatile possibible settings of the sweeped high-pass and low-pass filters. The input CMRR is excellent, it is about 90 dB at 1 kHz and remains at -75 dBr at 15 kHz.

We've also tested the 'big' equalizer TM105. The output noise with all gain controls at 0 dB was - 89.7 dBu RMS; in combination with the maximum level beyond + 30 dBu the total dynamic range is approximately 120 dB. All ToolMod devices have quite similar values. Noise is definately not the problem of a ToolMod user. Input CMRR of the TM105 EQ was -75 dBr at 1 kHz, which is an excellent value of a line level device.

Diagram 4 shows the character and range of the R-C filters Hi and Low. The 'soft-bell' character of the low EQ becomes very clear. Diagram 5 shows Mid1 and Mid2 with maximum gain and maximum Q-factor, set to the highest and lowest frequency. Apart from the Q-factor range this diagram shows the overlapping ranges of the mid 1 and mid 3 band. Mid 2, which is right in the middle, is not shown to keep the diagram consise.

The TM112 compressor had an output noise level of -92.6 dBu, which means that it's noise level is approx. 3 dB lower than the value of the 5 band EQ. Diagram 6 shows the three different setting of the soft knee control with constand ratio, just as an example for an almost endless amount of possible settings.

TM101 Diagram FFT Noise

TM101 Diagram Frequency and Phase Response

TM101 High-pass and low-pass Filter Frequency Response

TM105 Hi-Low Equalizer Characteristics

Diagramm Soft Knee Characteristics of TM112 TM105 Frequency Response of Mid EQ's with norrow Q-Setting

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