Originally Posted by AB3
Mike - do you think you need a matched pair, or are they all relatively close?
Also - how do you like it on vocals?
If you were planning to buy a pair for stereo use, I'd ask for a matched pair. I think even then you will need to use tones if you want the L/R truly exact. I bought mine several months apart and there are some subtle level differences between the two - not tonal.
Also, it's not detented, so you should be workting that way anyway. I know I can get mine calibrated to be exact and I think Greg said he could explain to to me over the phone, but I haven't bothered becuase I use them every day and it's not that big a deal.
You can definitely see little changes when you watch the meters while running tones through it, but the descrepancy isn't audible. If I have to work quickly sometimes I skip cheking it them with tones and it's never been a problem.
It sounds amazing on vocals. I love it on bass. I've gotten great snare sounds. I've gotten great guitar sounds, including heavish rock sounds.
It's very simple to use, however it took me a little while learn when I prefer the passive or the agressive EQ or the two different mic impedances. The two input transformers is obvious enough to learn the tones at first listen.
My point is, that there are a lot of little subtle variables that all add up. It's a much more sophistacted piece than it looks. Depending on what mic you try and the cumulative effect of the various little details in options, you can end up with a pretty significant vibe difference.
Michael Brauer said the tone of his has improved with age. He says he's certain becuase he doesn't change the way it's set. He said it's definitely not a learning curve thing.
I had the same experience, but I use it in so many different ways, that I think for me it was a learning curve thing.
I remember very specifically the mix where I really understood the vibe difference, in context, between the passive and the agressive EQ option. I usually end up with the agressive option and in this case, even though I was bossting the right high frequency, with the right Q, the vocal just sounded brittle eventhough in most cases the agressive mode doesn't sounded brittle not matter how much you add. After sitting for a while frustrated with the vibe of the vocal, I switched it to passive and it was perfect. That was the moment I understood viscerally what the difference was and I hadn't realized that I didn't really know the tonal difference yet.
But as an overall vibe the way I think of it is my "beautiful" piece. If someone said, make it sound "green" or whatever, I'm not sure what I'd use, but if someone said make it sound "beautiful" I'd go right for the QTII. I think it's a funtion of running through three tube circuits in a row. It's not layering on tube "warmth" because tubes aren't warm, transformer are. But the tubes do have a euphonic quality that does get layered and and that's what makes for it's "beautiful" vibe. Think black Mercedes, you know what I mean? It's not easy to describe.
I get a ton of mileage out of mine. Be sure to check out the compressor's "average" setting. That's one of the two options that the ES-8 in the QTII has that the ES-8 stand alone model doesn't have. It's and RMS rather than peak response and is my favorite setting.