Originally Posted by phild
Wow, cool! I absolutely take back everything bad I said about you.
I'm on a whole new learning curve these days...luckily part of my interest in this vocation is taking things as far as they can go. Yes, this backfires sometimes and always costs me a lot of money (mine). But it's fun.
The CL1B is case in point. I totally understand the interest in the CL1B - after hearing it. It's going to take so much work and money to get two going properly for mastering. I'll have a look at the xformer, PSU, pots, noise, (etc forever) and then get a second one to match it!
and the spare rackspace...OMG!
I hear you on the calibration....looks like I'm going back into tubes. I got out of tubes for that very reason! But I think it will be worth it in this case.
I just can't at all get into a lot of the current mastering gear that's available these days. Plus everyone uses the same stuff - so I am pursuing and rebuilding gear that is a bit more uncommon (read: not made anymore).
The CL1B is part of the mission for me.
Actually, your old CL1A
is probably better than the 1B?
If it's anything like gtr amps hand-wired is always better than surface mount PCB's?
Thanks for the secrets.
Hey Phil, we spoke on the email years ago about the Kultube, I've got a pair of CL1A's and it's been one of the best purchases I've ever made. Ben's right about what they do sonically, though I find that they sound pretty different in MS to stereo and I mainly use them stereo as I find in MS they seem to sound a bit thinner. Also you've got to watch what you connect them too as there can be impedance issues - so be warned. Getting detents on the inputs may not be a bad idea, but I find that they're easy enough to cal and don't drift much at all.
I'm using EH tubes on mine (ip and op) and I find that they're great, you may have to go through a few pairs to get good matching however and their 12au7 seem more prone to problems. At unity I measured -92dB noise floor which is pretty astonishing for tubes!
Re the calibration it's a bit of a fiddly process - not too hard, just fiddly, and beware that the meters tend to move from their null position if you move bump or angle the box in a rack - once you get em on zero they tend to stay, and a gentle tap of the plexiglass may work for a bit of vernier scale work!
I very often have them late in the chain, and not moving too much, however in MS you can go a bit wilder sometimes with great results - you may even find that things like the snare can be made to seemingly pop out more rather than less. The compression characteristics are actually quite interesting. I generally find I use low ratios, slow attack, fast release for smoothing duties, and manual - fixed/man is a whole new ballgame (very interesting though).
They do have a real sound, so don't work on everything, and the super HF is elevated slightly - try running some tones up there!
Like you the OCL-2 did nothing for me, I just couldn't get it to do anything good at subtle settings and it was too easy to hear it doing stuff if I gave it some. Wasn't that keen on it's tone, but hey Calbi has one so what do I know!
I like having the tubes on the outside as in situ nothing goes near them, and the other day a 12au7 was making little noises down around -80, so I just whipped in another one - problem solved. I don't have many noise issues with mine except dud tubes occassionally - so you may not need to toally rebuild...
Not sure if the trannies are the same on the CL1B, mine are large round potted types.
Actually I'm a bit evangelical about the CL1A's perhaps I shouldn't be writing this...
As an afterthought, don't spose you'd care to tell us about that Muth eq, is it the old top and bottom unit they have at Sterling?