The Telefunken V76 is a beautiful, rich, big sounding tube mic pre, widely considered one of the best available.
The V76 is a direct descendant of the famous V72 preamplifier. The V72 was originally developed by North West German Radio and the Institute of Broadcast Technology of Hamburg between the years 1949-1952. Designed as a microphone and main studio amplifier, the V72 uses dual EF804S tubes and has a fixed gain of 34dB. It was used with a high pass filter as a mic preamp, and as a buffering amplifier to make up for losses from a passive fader EQ. When the V76 arrived, the V72 was generally used only for buffering in broadcast applications.
In the mid 50s both the Siemens and TAB companies began manufacturing the units for Telefunken, and the V72 became the standard preamp in German radio stations, while its cousin the V72s was being used extensively by companies like Decca and EMI, (most famously by the Beatles in the REDD 37 console).
Approximately 25,000 units were built for domestic use in Germany, and many more for export. By 1963, its reign had come to an end, as the age of transistors had arrived, and the V72 was replaced by the V72t (’T’ for transistor). Siemens continued to build the V72 until 1964, and the V72b until 1966. TAB continued to build the V72 until the mid 1970s.
Several different amplifiers were made on the basic V72 circuit platform, including the V71, V76 and V77. Other members of the V72 family, with different circuitry, are the ‘A’, ‘B’, & ‘S’ versions of the V72, as well as the V70, V74A and V77B.
The TAB V76 is basically a pair of V72 modules placed in series with some extra control features. The V76 has more gain than a V72, (76dB compared to 34dB), and has a switchable input pad, which provides for 6 dB steps for gain in 12 positions. The designation V76/80 comes from the fact that there is a Low Shelf at 80 Hz, (the V76/120 has a shelf at 120 Hz).
At the dawn of the 1960s, AEG-Telefunken was a major manufacturer of broadcast equipment, and their systems were found in radio stations around the globe. The venerable V72 and its relatives were an important part of these facilities: rugged, dependable, quality units that stayed in operation for decades, and are still highly valued today.
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