Thermionic Culture Fat Bustard II

Thermionic Culture Fat Bustard II

The Fat Bustard is a passive input summing mixer that has all valve summing and output stages. There are 12 input channels and 2 auxiliary inputs. Included in the output stage are facilities for stereo EQ, gain, distortion and also control of the stereo/mono balance over different frequencies. These features are all tried, tested and felt to be useful and unique to what the Fat Bustard offers and what it can be used to achieve.
The Fat Bustard owes its sound largely to the unusual choice of valves used. The summing / EQ amplifier uses 5965 valves, only used in audio applications by Fairchild before now. These excellent valves give smoothness and fatness to the sound. The output amplifier uses 6SN7 valves. These large output valves give a huge amount of headroom and a tough punchy character. The stereo width is controlled by a 12AU7 valve giving a wide spectrum to the sound.
The Fat Bustard has been left with unbalanced inputs and output as standard because, after much experimentation, the sound of the unit was preferred this way.


The 12 inputs can be connected by the 12 labelled XLR sockets on the back of the unit. As the front panel indicates, 8 of these inputs are pairs of stereo inputs and 4 are mono inputs.
The stereo inputs (channels 1 to 8) have a stereo rotary fader and a channel on/off switch.
The mono inputs (channels 9 to 12) have a mono rotary fader, pan pot and channel on/off switch. There is also a Mono/Pan switch for each mono channel. Set to Pan the channel can be panned left to right with the pan pot. Set to Mono the channel won’t be affected by the pan pot and will go to stereo centre. The channel will also gain about 3dB of gain.
The 2 auxiliary inputs can be used as either a further 2 inputs to be summed, or as the interface for the forthcoming Little Bustard which will provide the facility to extend the number of input channels to be summed. There are 2 XLR sockets on the back of the unit that are used to connect the auxiliary inputs. When used as 2 more inputs to be summed they have an on/off switch each. Also the inputs will normally be configured as Aux 1 to stereo left and Aux 2 to stereo right. The Aux to centre switch sends both Aux inputs to stereo centre (mono).

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