Originally Posted by shelterr
....This sentence "I go to their places and I can't hear anything" is hilarious to me because you are somehow claiming that you hear music in the correct way and all of your buddies have messed up systems...
Several of my buddies DO have messed up systems... a lot of places I go to have very poor monitoring. It's not just a question of what one is used to, but a question of the ability of the monitoring system (speakers, room, etc) to communicate sound accurately.
One friend of mine (who is a brilliant musician) has a pair of cheap monitor speakers, placed in a very poor position, in a horrible untreated, asymmetrical room... stereo imagining is horrible, there is a tremendous mud issue, overall terrible frequency response and representation etc... very warped and inaccurate... but he loves it and feels it's excellent. Fine, you could say it works for him because that's what he's used to, but the bottom line is that his monitoring system likely doesn't reveal even half of what is going on with the audio. It's like he's watching a movie with very dirty sunglasses on. I don't think it would be at all possible to assess fine subtleties of high-end gear on his system.
Even myself, I remember back some years ago when I had less experience and a lesser quality monitoring situation, there are some assessments I had made that I would not at all agree with today. And most often what I was incorrect about was feeling that certain colored gear was "clean" and "clinical"... and that's because I just wasn't hearing on an accurate enough level. I remember working with an Avalon pre, Amek 9098 pre/eq, etc, and feeling these were ultra clean... but of course they are not... sure, put one up against a 1073 or 550A even on a not so great monitoring system and they will seem "clean" by comparison, but then put them up on a great monitoring system, and maybe throw a GML in there for comparison, and then you realize just how very colored they are. The same would hold true for the 32EQ. Compared to something that is truly
"clean", the 32EQ is a color monster.
This is all subjective and everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but my main issue here is the comparison of the 32EQ to a Mackie eq. The QUALITY of the 32EQ is extremely HIGH... undoubtedly. VERY rich fidelity. Whether you prefer it or not is another story. The quality of an old Mackie eq is extremely poor, it is pretty much void of any level of fidelity. One has nothing to do with the other. Just because a unit may seem clean or even a bit clinical does not mean it's poor. How do you feel about GML gear? I personally feel it may be some of the best stuff on the planet, but some folks would consider it too clean, clinical, etc.
So what I'm saying here, there is a difference between "quality" and "character". A 32EQ offers VERY high "quality" sound, but it may have a "character" that some do not prefer. An old Mackie eq is of very poor "quality", regardless of character.
Anyway, I personally happen to really love the 32EQ, it's quite unique in that it offers excellent transient response while having an overall "sweet", colored character to it. Many / most units that have a pleasant color usually lack good transient response. I happen to enjoy / desire good transient response, at least with the majority of the gear I'm using for an average mix. Others may prefer the opposite and that's totally cool.