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Stitch333
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21st August 2006
Old 21st August 2006
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Calrec micpres

Being new to the board, Id like to say to everyone that I really appreciate and respect the experience that is floating through here. So, I thought I'd drop in and ask a question that it would seem only you all would have opinions on. Firstly, I always try and listen to gear before I use it in any situation but I cant seem to find any way to listen to Calrecs. Ive heard a lot of good things about the sonic characteristics and was wondering if anyone has had a chance to use them (specifically the 1347 micpre/eqs) and what they thought about them....
C/G
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21st August 2006
Old 21st August 2006
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You could contact David over at www.marquetteaudiolabs.com I know he adores the Calrec gear, services it and racks up the modules. His Mercury line also does a recreation or tribute of a Calrec inspired mic pre called the Grandpre. It is a starting point anyway.
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21st August 2006
Old 21st August 2006
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Thanks man...Im familiar with marquetteaudiolabs. My dude, Paul McCord at Gearbox racked up a pair of tele W695's for me and hes done the calrec stuff too so I got that part covered. Im a lil more curious bout how they sound tho. Have you used the Calrecs, Colin? I was told theyre like the 33114's (which I have used and dig). Im pretty sure the 1347 have the same eq points as the 33114 as well....
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22nd August 2006
Old 22nd August 2006
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Hi, I currently have two 1347 modules (unracked) and am keen to hear how they sound! I was wondering if anyone in the UK/Europe has experience racking Calrec modules!

Cheers,

Mark
eso
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22nd August 2006
Old 22nd August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch333 View Post
Being new to the board, Id like to say to everyone that I really appreciate and respect the experience that is floating through here. So, I thought I'd drop in and ask a question that it would seem only you all would have opinions on. Firstly, I always try and listen to gear before I use it in any situation but I cant seem to find any way to listen to Calrecs. Ive heard a lot of good things about the sonic characteristics and was wondering if anyone has had a chance to use them (specifically the 1347 micpre/eqs) and what they thought about them....
Hi,
I have 4 x Calrec 1347 pre/eq's that Matt Syson racked up for me. I haven't heard the 33114's, but they stand up well next to my other pre's (MSE VMA1's, Tube-Tech MP1A, Neve 34128's and Calrec 1253's).
The character is as you might expect for the design - a fairly balanced sound, punchy, and without excessive colouration. The Eq sounds good too.
Not my "go to" pre for elements I want to stand out in a mix, but a good all-rounder.
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22nd August 2006
Old 22nd August 2006
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how much gain do they get? was matt able to balance the outputs?
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22nd August 2006
Old 22nd August 2006
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....Eso, what would you say is the best application for these? Im trying to find some smacky pres to DI a sampler to a DAW n I found these for a song...
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22nd August 2006
Old 22nd August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch333 View Post
....smacky
maybe the wrong word...how about fat. No. wait. chunky? thats pretty good but also fat...
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22nd August 2006
Old 22nd August 2006
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Hi
No I didn't balance the outputs as in this instance it is only a short run to the patch and it's destination and they are happy to drive this, unlike the Audix mic pre modules which are -10dB and have a 10K minimum load requirement.
As the pres were designed as part of a desk, they would have been followed by a routing module.
Originally they would have appeared through a line amp with a LL1517 transformer which would have coloured them more.
Matt S
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Stitch333
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22nd August 2006
Old 22nd August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
Originally they would have appeared through a line amp with a LL1517 transformer which would have coloured them more.
Matt S
Please forgive my ignorance or redundency of earlier threads but would using a different lineamp transformer like a st. ives or jensen affect the color of the racked modules that dramatically?
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22nd August 2006
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It depends what you used.
The Calrec circuit and transformer was designed to minimise LF distortion.
A plain line amp followed by a transformer would be different.
Matt S
eso
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23rd August 2006
Old 23rd August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch333 View Post
....Eso, what would you say is the best application for these? Im trying to find some smacky pres to DI a sampler to a DAW n I found these for a song...
They are not particularly coloured, but still a good preamp and eq.

The outputs are not balanced on mine, but when going straight into A/D converters from the preamp there is enough level to get close enough to 0dBfs without clipping the mic pre.

I like them on drums, (toms and overheads mainly) and clean electric guitar, but they can be used on most sources. If you're looking for a lot of colouration then I would try something else.

The mic pre's are good for 80dB of gain.
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23rd August 2006
Old 23rd August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eso View Post
If you're looking for a lot of colouration then I would try something else.

The mic pre's are good for 80dB of gain.
Any suggestions for the above mentioned job im doing (dumping tracks off a sampler into protools)? I dig pieces that have a unique sonic quality{who doesn't}... Its just the price-to-quality ratio thats sellin me on these calrecs I found...can I find a pair of micpre/eq's of this character for under $800? I know someone's got an opinion on this....
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24th August 2006
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eso, how do the 1347's compare to the 1253's? are they basically identical (save for the eq section) ? I would really like to know how they stack up agains the pq-15 though.
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24th August 2006
Old 24th August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch333 View Post
.Have you used the Calrecs, Colin? I was told theyre like the 33114's (which I have used and dig). Im pretty sure the 1347 have the same eq points as the 33114 as well....
No, I have never tried them, but have always been very curious about them. I believe it it is the PQ1061 I was interested in trying. Some are discrete and some are not, I just can't remember which are which at the moment.
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24th August 2006
Old 24th August 2006
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24th August 2006
Old 24th August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper View Post
I think there's a Calrec desk here:

http://www.excellorecording.com/
Thats a ******** board...an not in that special olympics way

I think I delivered to them when I was working at ToySpecialist in NYC (R.I.P.)
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25th August 2006
Old 25th August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch333 View Post
Thats a ******** board...
How do you mean?
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25th August 2006
Old 25th August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch333 View Post
I cant seem to find any way to listen to Calrecs. Ive heard a lot of good things about the sonic characteristics and was wondering if anyone has had a chance to use them (specifically the 1347 micpre/eqs) and what they thought about them....
I bought a pair of PQ15s(s) earlier this year. I sold them soon after. But not because they weren't killer sounding, only because they weren't what I was looking for at the time. I did a lot of research into them, though. All I was able to find out is that the PQ15s is the more sought after mic pre. The eq was allright. But the major sell on that unit is the mic pre. It sounds Neve-ish, but it's definitely got some other mojo. Good low mid "warmth" and fullness. Top was clearer and more open than a 1073. The only thing about those is that they don't have a whole lot of headroom. There is a mod that Avedis (Avedis audio electronics) told me about that I did on both mic pres that gives you an additional 6db of headroom and also 6db of gain, which is fine considering you can knock the pre down far enough to accept line level sources. The gain is in 12db steps, but it has a stacked pot that allows the user to fine tune within those 12db steps. It is not a fader, but a continuously variable gain adjustment.

On the eq side of things, it has high and low pass filters and a three band eq with frequency points similar to that of some of the Neve broadcast modules which, in my opinion, is a good thing. There is a low shelf, a peaking mid band, and a high shelf. One thing I didn't like was that the mid band only went down to 700Hz (I think). The high and low pass filters work even if the eq is not engaged.

I actually bought them for the eq thinking that it would be good for mixing and/or eqing after other mic pres during tracking if the Calrec pre wasn't right for what I was doing. But I soon figured out that they weren't right for me. The guy I sold them to loves them.

Hope this helps,
-Aaron
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Stitch333
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25th August 2006
Old 25th August 2006
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How do you mean?
That looks like a very nice piece of gear
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25th August 2006
Old 25th August 2006
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Originally Posted by absrec View Post
I bought a pair of PQ15s(s) earlier this year. I sold them soon after. But not because they weren't killer sounding, only because they weren't what I was looking for at the time. I did a lot of research into them, though. All I was able to find out is that the PQ15s is the more sought after mic pre. The eq was allright. But the major sell on that unit is the mic pre. It sounds Neve-ish, but it's definitely got some other mojo. Good low mid "warmth" and fullness. Top was clearer and more open than a 1073. The only thing about those is that they don't have a whole lot of headroom. There is a mod that Avedis (Avedis audio electronics) told me about that I did on both mic pres that gives you an additional 6db of headroom and also 6db of gain, which is fine considering you can knock the pre down far enough to accept line level sources. The gain is in 12db steps, but it has a stacked pot that allows the user to fine tune within those 12db steps. It is not a fader, but a continuously variable gain adjustment.

On the eq side of things, it has high and low pass filters and a three band eq with frequency points similar to that of some of the Neve broadcast modules which, in my opinion, is a good thing. There is a low shelf, a peaking mid band, and a high shelf. One thing I didn't like was that the mid band only went down to 700Hz (I think). The high and low pass filters work even if the eq is not engaged.

I actually bought them for the eq thinking that it would be good for mixing and/or eqing after other mic pres during tracking if the Calrec pre wasn't right for what I was doing. But I soon figured out that they weren't right for me. The guy I sold them to loves them.

Hope this helps,
-Aaron
Thanks mang...I have to talk to my tech bout mods we can do to get additional gain. Even though you are talking bout different model, I'll bet the specs are similar (?). Im also looking more for the micpres than the eq so I'll def let y'all know how they sound...
#22
25th August 2006
Old 25th August 2006
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Calrec are amazing

I acquired 2 x PQ1061, and 8 x PQ-1253 mic preamps and 4 x DL-1656 compressors from old broadcast OB trucks.

They are all stupendous. I balanced the outputs of the PQ-1253s with Lundahl LL1517 transformers. For the PQ1061s I had a pair of transformers hand wound by Sowter - not cheap!! I then had wooden cabinets made for them by a guy in England who's name escapes me. Finally I wired them up to high quality power supplies I sourced from RS components in the UK.

The 1061s are beautifully warm and punchy while the 1253s are clean and serene - though lacking in headroom. Still they are fantastic on drums if you are careful. The compressors - are very transparent - perfect for vocals.

Check out pics on my website.

www.lachunky.com
Stitch333
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25th August 2006
Old 25th August 2006
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Originally Posted by LaChunkyStudio View Post
I acquired 2 x PQ1061, and 8 x PQ-1253 mic preamps and 4 x DL-1656 compressors from old broadcast OB trucks.

They are all stupendous. I balanced the outputs of the PQ-1253s with Lundahl LL1517 transformers. For the PQ1061s I had a pair of transformers hand wound by Sowter - not cheap!! I then had wooden cabinets made for them by a guy in England who's name escapes me. Finally I wired them up to high quality power supplies I sourced from RS components in the UK.

The 1061s are beautifully warm and punchy while the 1253s are clean and serene - though lacking in headroom. Still they are fantastic on drums if you are careful. The compressors - are very transparent - perfect for vocals.

Check out pics on my website.

www.lachunky.com
The studio and racks looks tight! Im getting more and more amped to get my hands on these after reading these responses. Just need to squeeeeeze as much headroom outem as possible I guess. Maybe a 2520? I'll leave it to the tech....unless anyones got an opinion?
eso
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26th August 2006
Old 26th August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stellar View Post
eso, how do the 1347's compare to the 1253's? are they basically identical (save for the eq section) ? I would really like to know how they stack up agains the pq-15 though.
The 1253's and 1347's are reasonably similar, except (as you noticed) for the extra EQ band on the the 1253's (4 as opposed to 3). They are pretty good units really for what they can be picked up for. Even with the cost of racking, if you get a few done at one time it works out quite reasonable per unit. Depends on what other pre's you have really.

I believe they are class A/B designs. Transformer balanced input on the preamps and 80dB of gain on both. Haven't really compared them in a shoot-out type of scenario to be honest, but they sound similar to my ears in many respects.

The only other Calrec pre/Eq's I've used was a few years back and I cannot remember the model number. They were in an old modular 24 channel mixing console in seperate wooden boxes, with dual concentric knobs and reverse faders. More character in the sound and the Eq was far less subtle.
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26th August 2006
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The Calrec PQ1253 and variants do not have poor headroom if used as intended.
They were designed to be run with 0 / -10 / -14db internally and the level was made up in the module that follows it. Hanging a naked LL1517 on the output is a bad idea as it needs a proper drive amplifier. It should be happy driving a load of 3K ohms or more (most line inputs) but not driving a transformer. The original Calrec circuit to drive the LL1517 is possibly the best and it allows the 1253 to run at it's 'depressed' level to regain the headroom.
Internally most of the range of modules are pretty similar, often using the same circuit board. Many use the same board but with links fitted instead of the controls. If headroom is an issue, fit the 'programming' link on the rear of the module and add 10dB elsewhere, either in it's line amp or on the unit it is feeding.
A similar situation exists with the Audix 35101/2 modules but the output will only drive 10K or more.
Matt S
#26
28th August 2006
Old 28th August 2006
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Balancing

Hi - there is an extra "B" sub-board on each of the 1253 modules. I have hung the lundahl transformer off the output of this board. There is a drive amplifier circuit on the sub-board - I think - am I right? If not can you give me an idea of where i can find a suitable circuit diagram??

The calrecs sound great - but they overload quite easily. Is this because of the transformer situation?
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28th August 2006
Old 28th August 2006
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Originally Posted by LaChunkyStudio View Post
Hi - there is an extra "B" sub-board on each of the 1253 modules. I have hung the lundahl transformer off the output of this board. There is a drive amplifier circuit on the sub-board - I think - am I right? If not can you give me an idea of where i can find a suitable circuit diagram??

The calrecs sound great - but they overload quite easily. Is this because of the transformer situation?
from the research Ive done, Ive gotten to a coupla pages outlining the calrecs
most of them are from Gyraf...
http://www.gyraf.dk/gy_pd/calreq/calrec.htm
This might help. Im a get Paul at gearbox to deal with mine. Thanks Paul!
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28th August 2006
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Hi
No it doesn't have a suitable line drive circuit on the module.
You got the modules 'on the cheap' and the original bits you need have disappeared with the desk chassis.
I believe the original Calrec circuit is patented and am not at liberty to give you a copy.
Matt S
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29th August 2006
Old 29th August 2006
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Here's an example of the Calrec output transformer driver circuit - you can find information about this topology at the Lundahl webpage - and possibly in the German-only patent for this type of negative impedance drive..

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...lrecUA8000.gif

IC1=NE5532
Gain=+4dB

Note: this is from an UA8000 desk.

Jakob E.
#30
31st August 2006
Old 31st August 2006
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Thanks for all the info on these boards. I have 4 of them and would love to get them racked up. So if I build the board from the diagram and use a LL1517 then everything should work fine, correct? I have some pq 1161 modules and think they (please don't flame me for this) any pre-amp I have heard. The 1272s are kind of muddy (though they have their uses) in my opinion and these (pq 1161)complement the APIs I have well (I think they have a little more open high end). I kind of liken them to a more punchy Hardy. I have not heard the 1253 or the 1347 but am interested in any more reviews of properly set up units. To hear that they do not have alot of headroom is curious to me, for this is very well made high end gear manufactured to meet very demanding specs.
Regards,
Mario
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