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EMT 250 and EMT 251 -- what's the difference?
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Tetness
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2nd August 2006
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EMT 250 and EMT 251 -- what's the difference?

How does one compare to the other? Which is more desirable of the two? How much should one pay for one of these now days? Are they worth it? Or can you can you get close enough with a good outboard verb? Thanks for you answers in advance.
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2nd August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetness
How does one compare to the other?
They are both useful and sound good.

The EMT 250 though is a cut above.

Of any digital reverb i've ever used is the closest sounding to a real plate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetness
Which is more desirable of the two??
Read above.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetness
How much should one pay for one of these now days? Are they worth it? Or can you can you get close enough with a good outboard verb? Thanks for you answers in advance.

How much?

You know what they say...if you have to ask....

EMT 250-$7k-$10K

EMT 251- $3.5k-$5k

No outboard reverb unit sounds exactly.

The Dynatron 255 is probably the closest but lacks the girth.

The Altiverb impulses are good but lack the bloom.
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That's a good question. I never knew the diff, but the 250 seems to be the one most people talk about. They both look like R2D2. Hard to find a good one, and once they die, there's no resurrecting them.

I used to sell good condition used 250s in the late '90s for twelve grand.

Yes!

$12K.

There's no other classic outboard verb that sounds quite like it, although the AMS RMX16 might be considered to be in the same school. For fat, short drum-room ambience they rule.

I use the Altiverb EMT250 IR for snare on most of my mixes. Wish I had the real little robot, though!
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I think there was a thread about this a while back. You might want to do a search.

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Tetness
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Thanks for the info! Anyone have any leads to an EMT140 or 250?
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Isn't there someone who is making a 140 clone now? I know for any purists it is not going to be the same but from the little I hear about it, it was reviewed pretty favorably. Can't remember the name of the company, sorry.
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They both sound excellent. The 250's seem to be the most revered. I had the pleasure of using a 251 w/ with 250 EPROMS. It doesn't get much better in terms of sound. As far as things to look out for, just make sure the LCD isn't bad. I've also been informed the barings around the fan can become striped after awhile and cause a great deal of noise. I met a GS member who happens to know this cat in LA who is Mr. EMT apparently. He is one of the few who is properly trained to service EMT products. If you have any detailed questions and need some answers, drop me a line and i'll foward you this guy in LA's info.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GL Respect Due
know this cat in LA who is Mr. EMT apparently. .
David Kulka.

He posts here sometimes.
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^There you have it. If you need information regarding EMT products, give that cat a shout.
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I love the 250

it's been on almost every record i've made since about 1978


i don't much like the 251 at all
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetness
Thanks for the info! Anyone have any leads to an EMT140 or 250?
http://www.proaudiodesign.com has a 250 listed. my good deed for the day.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raal
http://www.proaudiodesign.com has a 250 listed. my good deed for the day.
Shhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!


(I am working on acquiring this guy.)
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I have one ......location Slovenia, Europe......i bought it from national television....they wanted to disassemble it and use the heatsinks for the power amps , i had difficult time to persuade the technicians that i want to buy it.........i guess i am the luckiest guy.........
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Shhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!


(I am working on acquiring this guy.)
PAD reports both the 250 and 251 sold 'yesterday'. Did you get it?
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250.............

It is on the way to David Kulka for recapping.

Another of David's customers bought the 251 and it is on the way to David, also.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetness
Thanks for the info! Anyone have any leads to an EMT140 ..?
PAD still has jhof the 140's from the hit factory. If you're getting them, try to get one o the Martech upgraded one's, I think I did like 4 of them, but I got one of those now, so who knows how many are left. I could tell you which one's sound great if they have marked where they were living, but I think they were just yanked out and shipped north. They have loads of entire spare EMT140 tube amps as I switched some from mono to stereo and some from tube to SS while I maintained them all thru the 90's-00's - those went up north w/ the rest o the shop. But beware, you'll be dealing w/ PAD. Be sure you get everything. Mine lacked the remote and the PS for the motor. Luckily I knew the studio that got the console from St. 3 and I had to deal w/ them to get the remote by swapping A-panels on our SSLs. Helpful guys down there at Soup Kitchen - not as true in Boston, but YMMV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHunter
They both look like R2D2. Hard to find a good one, and once they die, there's no resurrecting them.
No so true. Fortunately every time the one I had to deal with 'died' it usually was a ribbon cable inside being the culprit - even though I had replaced almost all o em after like the 4th death in 6 years, they just kept on going pffft. Hopefully thats all your problems will be if yours dies cause they ain't fun to work on
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EMT's seem to be all the rage these days. Recently there was a long thread here about EMT's and other vintage digital gear, to which I added a long winded reply addressing some of the above points. http://gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...t=77676&page=3

I've never run into problems with ribbon cables with 250's or 251's. All the problems we've seen have been in the power supply, digital board, RAM, converters, and the ill-fated 251 LCD display.

And yes, gregor z...you are the luckiest guy!
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As a post script, and since these units seem to be "in the news" again lately, I'd like to say a few words about the designer of the 250 and 251.

Though EMT was a German firm, they hired an American, Dr. Barry Blesser, to perform the design. At the time, Barry was a professor at MIT. Designing the very first professional digital reverb in the early 70's, with the limited chip technology then available, must have been a tremendous challenge. Barry has told me that he spent much time wrestling with a fundamental problem in digital reverb design -- emulating the 3 dimensional properties that make a room sound like a "room" as opposed to, let's say, a plate.

Barry wrote a landmark AES paper on digital audio in 1978, was involved with the founding of Lexicon, and served as an AES president in 1980.

Here's an archived audio recording of a talk he gave in 2000, at the Boston AES section. In it he discusses the future of pro audio and the impact of fast changing technology on what he calls career "threads". The Q&A session that follows it is interesting too. http://www.dplay.com/aes/blesser.html

Barry is truly a gentleman and a scholar. I have tremendous admiration for him and his work. Isn't it amazing that 30 years later, the 250, with hundreds of discrete logic IC's, no microprocessor, and minimal RAM, is still considered one of the best sounding reverbs that money can buy?
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TC Electronic actually does a pretty good emulation of the EMT250, they call the algorithm DVR2. It used to only be available in the System 6000 and the Reverb4000 (which I own) but they have seince made it available for the PowerCore and ProTools. TC was calling it an extremely accurate recreation of the EMT250, and I quote like it myself. Some of the reviews of the Reverb4000 have centered on the DVR2 reverb such as this one:

http://www.proaudioreview.com/march0...ectronic.shtml
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No one ever seems to talk about the poor 252....
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So what does 70's digital reverb sound like?
I hear so much about it, but I've never heard it..?
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Before I took the plunge on the 250, I looked for months for a 252. In hindsight, I think the 250/251 self-contained design will work better for me in my studio, so I am happy I didn't find one. They seem to rarely come available in the US. It would be interesting to know how many of the 252's were manufactured. If only about 250 of the 250's were manufactured, I would think there were way less than 100 of the 252's, just based on availability today..........but I'm guessing.
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