Calrec desks?
Mats Olsson
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#1
10th September 2002
Old 10th September 2002
  #1
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Calrec desks?

Whats the word on Calrec desks?

I am seriously considering getting one of these beasts, have found a nice one in good shape.

As always, all thoughts and opinions are more than welcome!

Speak please, I'm all ears

/Mats
#2
11th September 2002
Old 11th September 2002
  #2
You should know as a good Sweedish person, that Abba had one during the 1980's at their Polar studios in Stockholm.

Now you have made me think of a blond woman in thigh high boots a mini skirt and a fur coat!



Lots of project studios here in the UK have Calrec modules in them. They could be said to be the UK's project studio version of the Neve 1272. Highly respected.

Haydo!

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1
#3
11th September 2002
Old 11th September 2002
  #3
Lives for gear
 

What model Calrec console?

I may be the only person who's worked on all 3 of the big AMS/Calrec UA-8000 consoles here in the U.S.

Is that the model you're talking about, or one of the smaller ones?

Regards,
Brian T
Mats Olsson
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#4
11th September 2002
Old 11th September 2002
  #4
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Ahh, yes, Polar Studios. They still have that Calrec in Studio B. While Studio A have changed consoles a couple of times, the Calrec stays. I have been told that they also got some Calrec EQ's in Studio A (and that those EQ are identical to the one's in "my" console).

I do not know what model number the console is. I made my first contact with the broker today, and was told that the console is still in daily use at a corporate facility in London. This is very good news, it means that I can get over there and check it out and also talk to the current user. It also means that the console (probably) is in a working condition.

All other info I have on this particular console is a PICTURE and a brief desription:
32 inputs(all inputs are stereo with dual mics amp but can be used mono) - 8 groupos - 24 bus - 8 aux - 4 band sweep eq - RH patch - compact(2m) - direct out -

I am also considering another console: Amek Hendrix 32 channels in a 40 frame, dynamics, supertrue automation, patch bay. I have never used a Hendrix so I have to research this one as well.

I really appreciate any and all help I can get!

/Mats
#5
12th September 2002
Old 12th September 2002
  #5
I like the Hendrix myself.. that thing looks UGLY! (But it may sound fantastic..)

Hendrix has VCA automation (bypassable)
Make sure you get the dynamics (OK not amazing - expect flames from haters!)

Hendrix has GOOD bottom end control in the EQ section...IMHO

Dont listen to me about large frame desks, I dont like em...

#6
12th September 2002
Old 12th September 2002
  #6
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The only thing I know about Calrec is that they were loosely compared to Neve. I've used some of their older micpre/EQ modules a few times and I like 'em a lot. That console sure looks sweet. The wood for the armrest isn't beat up which probably means that it's low-miles or it's been well taken care of. And ya gotta dig the huge patchbay.
Mats Olsson
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#7
12th September 2002
Old 12th September 2002
  #7
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I have managed to get a little more info on the Calrec, it is probably a Series C2 console (whatever that means). All C2's where built to order, all they made are different from each other except that pre and filter sections are identical.

This particular desk has a very cool feature: there is a "lock door" button! (I bet Mixerman would kill for this feature).


Off-topic oddity: I saw a really wierd thing yesterday, a gorgeous old Neve from South Africa - all text was in africaans !


/Mats
#8
12th September 2002
Old 12th September 2002
  #8
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Mats Olsson


Off-topic oddity: I saw a really wierd thing yesterday, a gorgeous old Neve from South Africa - all text was in africaans !


/Mats

very similar to flemish :


volume knop moet naar rechts draaien om luidsprekers harder te laten gaan.

En de schuifjes die omhoog en omlaag glijden kunnen dienen om de verschillende geluidsbronnen met elkaar te mengen. Met als resultaat een mooie balans.
#9
12th September 2002
Old 12th September 2002
  #9
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Calrecs are VERY good...

A a Neve slut i can afirm they are the 2nd best thing to a neve. THe reason that many dont know about hem is cos they were primarily marketed to broadcast.

I know the desk that you are talking about.. i emailed Pierre about it too and he sent me the same pics and info too. you should contact Pierre or who ever the dealer is that you are dealing with and get a scomplete model number and serial number so you can get in contact with Calrec themselves and get an exact idea of what it is! They are pretty good with thtis sort of shit, as i bought some Calrec modules from a UK broker and they were 'as is' and had no documentation etc, i got in contact with them via email and they sent it all the way to Australia for NOTHING!!!!! u got alove that.... big ups and respect to CALREC!

If you are looking for neve type pres/EQ you need to find the ones that look like neves with the dual concentric knobs. I think they are the PQ 1000-1250 series.... but im not 100% sure..

Either way the Calrec ocmpressors and PRE-Eqs are VERY GOOD and on a par with Neve but just cheaper....they are sleepers!

Checkout Vintageking.com and brent Averill for more info...

PEACE
Wiggy

Mats Olsson
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#10
13th September 2002
Old 13th September 2002
  #10
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More info on the consoles:

The Calrec is made 1984. The pre + eq modules are called "PQ1253" (or "PQ1253-8")

The Amek Hendrix is made 1994

/Mats
#11
13th September 2002
Old 13th September 2002
  #11
Off-topic oddity: I saw a really wierd thing yesterday, a gorgeous old Neve from South Africa - all text was in africaans !

I have 2 x 1073's one has SA legending...

Jules
#12
13th September 2002
Old 13th September 2002
  #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wiggy Neve Slut
Calrecs are VERY good...


Either way the Calrec ocmpressors and PRE-Eqs are VERY GOOD and on a par with Neve but just cheaper....they are sleepers!

They're not really sleepers anymore, word's getting out-prices going up!

Anyone interested in Calrec modules might want to investigate Brent's headroom mod...

Good luck.
#13
13th September 2002
Old 13th September 2002
  #13
Gear interested
 

South African Neves

Hi Julian

The South African Broadcasting Corp had quite a few Neve's at one stage, but someone from LA came through about 10 years ago and bought all the unused stuff. Saw 3 empty frames lying in their basement about 8/9 years ago. The stuff that they still have is being kept very carefully right now. The SABC was a bastion of the apertheid government at the time so the faceplates were engraved in Afrikaans......

Regards
Peter
#14
14th September 2002
Old 14th September 2002
  #14
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IMO, the PQ1253 sounds excellent. I've tracked and mixed on the big Calrec UA-8000 consoles that also use that pre/EQ many times.

Some of the best sounding records I've made. I'm a fan of the things.


Regards,
Brian T
#15
20th September 2002
Old 20th September 2002
  #15
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The Specialist's Avatar
 

my .02 based on modules

I've used several Calrec modules and noticed that they sound a bit "faster" than everything else. Kinda like their slew rate was different (in relation to amps). They work sometimes, and don't work other times just like everthing else. They are never my first choice when tracking to a digital recorder, but their attack can lend a hand to an analog rig. If you want some thing to ring your neck in a mix, they do it quite well, but without apologies, not as tastefully as Neve, but nowhere near as slow as a V72 or old Ampex.

My .02, based on modules, not consoles

I definately think they are sleepers, but I don't think they sound like Neve in the EQ, or Pre department from my experience. Not
a bad thing, just different.

V
#16
20th September 2002
Old 20th September 2002
  #16
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by The Specialist
[B}

I definately think they are sleepers, but I don't think they sound like Neve in the EQ, or Pre department from my experience. Not
a bad thing, just different.

V [/B]
Hmmm... There are many different calrec modules. I think the ones that you are describing ar epossibly the IC versions. I had a couple of them (IC version) as well as Neve 1073's and Shep SN8's and the are characteristically exactly as you described them.

I tend to think of them more like the 'Baby V' Neve sound, as opposed to the flat out FAT king daddy class A sound of the 10xx series and the same of the Calrec PQ14/15 series.

FACT: Calrec and Audix started out as a primary contracting company for the BBC to provide Neve'esque consoles/compressors and limiters to the BBC at a reduced price. Both companies did many different ripp off versions of the Neve broadcast series modules like the 33314/5. These were the class A/B versions which still sound sweet as **** and no self respecting gearslut like ourselves would push away using them.
They often used the same St Ives transformers etc. as Neve did (which consitutes a large part of the 'NEVE' legendary sound. Their Eq is actually more usable IMHO than the 3 band 10XX series etc.

Calrecs current crop of mic-pres and channels strips and compressor are REALLY good and solid sounding. I have a mate who has one of their stereo compressors and i had achance to fiddle with it and its allmost as good as my fave 'al Smart c2'!!!

So do ya self a favour and check out any of them cos they are all pretty much the same in the same league sonicaly.. give or take about 1-15%. THe mjor difference is in price!!!!!!!!!
So Snap em up now b4 they are all gone! and whilst they are still relatively affordable.

PEACE
Wiggy

#17
20th September 2002
Old 20th September 2002
  #17
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Knox's Avatar
 

I have Calrec 1161s. I really like them and use them all the time. Though I would compare them to the 3 series Neve . . not the 10 series.
Mats Olsson
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#18
21st September 2002
Old 21st September 2002
  #18
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Please keep it coming!

I really appreciate all your personal experiences, thoughts and opinions.

I hope this console can be a good partner to our Radar.

BTW, I have also been offered to buy some (2 available now and probably 6 more available shortly) Calrec compressor modules that could be fitted to this console.


/Mats
#19
21st September 2002
Old 21st September 2002
  #19
There was a Calrec module filled / Neve frame hybrid console in London back in the mid-late 80's (at The Farm - Fulham, dunno where it is now) I mixed several tracks for the Soup Dragons first album on it.

It had a great 'sharp' cut to the HF EQ that I liked very much indeed.
Mats Olsson
Thread Starter
#20
21st September 2002
Old 21st September 2002
  #20
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Jules, how did you like the preamps ?

/Mats
#21
22nd September 2002
Old 22nd September 2002
  #21
I wuz juss mixing!



Sorry!

#22
23rd September 2002
Old 23rd September 2002
  #22
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The pre amps on mine are very good . . . . not amazing. I like them on electric guitars a lot. Though I tend to grab the 1073s more often for electric . . then remember the calrecs after the fact
#23
1st June 2006
Old 1st June 2006
  #23
Gear interested
 

Talking about this....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mats Olsson
More info on the consoles:

The Calrec is made 1984. The pre + eq modules are called "PQ1253" (or "PQ1253-8")

The Amek Hendrix is made 1994

/Mats

Hi Mats and all gear addicts,
i have a PQ1253 module and want to put it in rack, doing my own psu and wiring. Ok for that but i couldn't manage to find all the needed connections on the pinouts. Also a misunderstanding about the relay for Hi or Low Z input. Do you know the console in which the module was. Was there a master button to select hiZInput or LowZinput.
Very hard to get info by the net, even at Calrec's... shit!
If anyone have any infos, "i would be so excited, yeaheyeaheyeaheah" (sorry for intempestive Frank Zappa reminds)
Let me know guysthumbsup
Best
Guillaume
#24
20th October 2007
Old 20th October 2007
  #24
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Specialist View Post
I've used several Calrec modules and noticed that they sound a bit "faster" than everything else. Kinda like their slew rate was different (in relation to amps).
What about you people who use/used the consoles, are they fast sounding?

How good are they compared to soundcrafts, allen & heaths, and mackies?
#25
20th October 2007
Old 20th October 2007
  #25
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
There was a Calrec module filled / Neve frame hybrid console in London back in the mid-late 80's (at The Farm - Fulham, dunno where it is now) I mixed several tracks for the Soup Dragons first album on it.

It had a great 'sharp' cut to the HF EQ that I liked very much indeed.
I'm free?
#26
22nd October 2007
Old 22nd October 2007
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Hi
MUCH better than Soundcraft, Mackie and most other things.
The PQ1253 is one of a range of basically similar modules (-8) being the 8th variant of the basic 1253 but also related to several other series all with Lundahl transformers for mic input (2 transformers one for high gain the other for lower gain) and an electronically balanced line input.
The modules should be folowed with an amplifier with some gain as the modules themselves are designed to be run at -10 or -14 dB internally but many 'rackers' omit this and then complain about poor headroom. (your car won't run so well if you took the tyres off either!).
Stereo input modules had their EQ sections in a separate cardframe. Without it you are 'stuffed'.
Matt S
#27
2nd March 2008
Old 2nd March 2008
  #27
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
....The modules should be followed with an amplifier with some gain as the modules themselves are designed to be run at -10 or -14 dB internally ....
Hi Matt!
What kind of amplifier you suggest for this purpose?

Best regards
#28
2nd March 2008
Old 2nd March 2008
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Hi
It should have an unbalanced input. Gain variable from 6 to 16dB (which is selected to suit the amount of output you have preset the module to give) and a line driving balanced output which could either be a transformer or 'electronic' output, it is up to you.
The modules have some connections on one of the 41612 connectors which by linking different combinations will 'preset' the amount that the module will lower it's internal operating level.
The lower the level the more headroom but it makes it a little more noisy, it is the usual trade off.
Matt S
#29
2nd March 2008
Old 2nd March 2008
  #29
Gear interested
 

Can i ask if anyone has any experience of the later stuff in PQ series -1785/1895/2419

are they characteristically still warm & punchy like 1061s or cleaner? Do the later ones still use Lundahl transformers for mic input?

And like the earlier modules are they meant to be folowed with an amp with some gain?

What should they be worth to now?!

lots of Qs!! ta
#30
2nd March 2008
Old 2nd March 2008
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Hi
I believe they will all use Lundahls but one of the mic transformers was 'phased out' at some time as Lundahl had a need to change the design (could not get the correct steel or something if I remember correctly).
Yes all should have a proper line driver to increase current capability and level to drive with sufficient headroom. The maximum you can get unbalanced from 16 Volt rails is +21dBu which is not sufficient for good headroom certainly compromising the capability of the modules. Balancing it gives 6dB headroom boost for starters.
Matt S
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