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Sontec 432: Acustica vs Nebula vs T-Racks vs Magpha
Old 25th October 2019
  #1
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b0se's Avatar
Sontec 432: Acustica, Nebula, T-Racks, Magpha, Crave, DMG, TDR, Fab Filter

Big Update: 28/10/19

Added:

1) CraveEQ (analogue mode)
2) DMG Equilibrium (analogue FIR w/long impulse)
3) TDR Slick M (insane mode)
4) Fab Filter Pro Q3 (Natural phase (analogue) mode)

Curves are even better matched now, Magpha now perfectly with Scarlet Classic, along with all other new additions, as seen here:





Grab the new files (with new randomised order) here:

Sontec 432 Test Two Files (Dropbox - 24/96 WAV).

Level matched to 0.1 LUFS.

Note: all replies before post 57 are for the original comparison below. So click here (post 57) to start the conversation using the latest files; EQ-A to EQ-H.

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---------- Original OUTDATED post for reference -----------------------------------

I've just been testing AlexB 432, Scarlet Classic, T-Racks 432 and Magpha EQ. The latter is of course not a Sontec clone, but it's damn amazing for multiple reasons.

Rather than report my own findings, I thought I'd share some files with you fellow audio slutz for a nice blind test as to make your own mind up



Extreme +5.5dB boost at 12K to open up that top end and test the plugins.

The curves are matched as closely as possible. Some notes:
  • 24/96 WAV files
  • Track taken from the mastering compressor thread (Paul G's POMChild)
  • StageOne version added, because you need to buy it. This is the version used with the EQs
  • T-Racks 432 curve isn't on the graph but it's matched also
  • Scarlet Classic: 96KHz, no preamp, only 1 band engaged
  • AlexB 432: 96KHz, single Nebula instance/band, Light version (cleaner)
  • MagphaEQ was designed to emulate smooth, transparent analogue hardware

The A/B/C/D files are level matched to within 0.1 LUFS.

Download the files here and share your thoughts.

It's not about getting it right or wrong, rather which sounds better/worse and why. One stands out as best to me, interested to hear what you all think. One stands out negatively also.

Last edited by b0se; 28th October 2019 at 12:52 PM..
Old 25th October 2019
  #2
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djrustycans's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
I've just been testing AlexB 432, Scarlet Classic, T-Racks 432 and Magpha EQ. The latter is of course not a Sontec clone, but it's damn amazing for multiple reasons.

Rather than report my own findings, I thought I'd share some files with you fellow audio slutz for a nice blind test as to make your own mind up



Extreme +5.5dB boost at 12K to open up that top end and test the plugins.

The curves are matched as closely as possible. Some notes:
  • 24/96 WAV files
  • Track taken from the mastering compressor thread (Paul G's POMChild)
  • StageOne version added, because you need to buy it. This is the version used with the EQs
  • T-Racks 432 curve isn't on the graph but it's matched also
  • Scarlet Classic: 96KHz, no preamp, only 1 band engaged
  • AlexB 432: 96KHz, single Nebula instance/band, Light version (cleaner)
  • MagphaEQ was designed to emulate smooth, transparent analogue hardware

The A/B/C/D files are level matched to within 0.1 LUFS.

Download the files here and share your thoughts.

It's not about getting it right or wrong, rather which sounds better/worse and why. One stands out as best to me, interested to hear what you all think. One stands out negatively also.

P.S. Ripple detractors - now is your time to shine
Hold up - you've changed the test! The letters are swapped now?!
Old 25th October 2019
  #3
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b0se's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by djrustycans View Post
Hold up - you've changed the test! The letters are swapped now?!
Yeah, realised I had another 432 plugin just after posting in the Scarlet thread. Changes - maybe :p
Old 25th October 2019
  #4
Gear Nut
 
dasdeck's Avatar
 

Ok, I like A, it is the brightest / lightest.

Where do I get the result?

edit: oh wait, C is also interesting. More transparent...hmm. sometimes A, sometimes C...
Old 25th October 2019
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
I've just been testing AlexB 432, Scarlet Classic, T-Racks 432 and Magpha EQ. The latter is of course not a Sontec clone, but it's damn amazing for multiple reasons.

Rather than report my own findings, I thought I'd share some files with you fellow audio slutz for a nice blind test as to make your own mind up



Extreme +5.5dB boost at 12K to open up that top end and test the plugins.

The curves are matched as closely as possible. Some notes:
  • 24/96 WAV files
  • Track taken from the mastering compressor thread (Paul G's POMChild)
  • StageOne version added, because you need to buy it. This is the version used with the EQs
  • T-Racks 432 curve isn't on the graph but it's matched also
  • Scarlet Classic: 96KHz, no preamp, only 1 band engaged
  • AlexB 432: 96KHz, single Nebula instance/band, Light version (cleaner)
  • MagphaEQ was designed to emulate smooth, transparent analogue hardware

The A/B/C/D files are level matched to within 0.1 LUFS.

Download the files here and share your thoughts.

It's not about getting it right or wrong, rather which sounds better/worse and why. One stands out as best to me, interested to hear what you all think. One stands out negatively also.

P.S. Ripple detractors - now is your time to shine
listening in native SR on ATC’s,

A: My pick; punchy, defined top, claps sound like the machine they were produced with
B: Too blurry, smeared…
C: I hear aliasing artifacts…
D: Good punch and ok highs, but (imo) too much rumble for mastering

Stage One: hmm, I hear some resonances, in this case not my fav.

Old 25th October 2019
  #6
Deleted f6fc2a4
Guest
from quick unblinded/uncontrolled comparison:

"A" sounds best to me. Reasons: more detailed, wider, better
instrument separation
Old 25th October 2019
  #7
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swartzfeger's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
MagphaEQ was designed to emulate smooth, transparent analogue hardware
@ b0se any chance of throwing Crave into the mix? Sorry trying to put more on your plate.

I was very impressed with Magpha but after comparing it to Crave, I found them remarkably similar and decided to pass on Magpha due to the price (plus the radio silence from the dev isn’t encouraging).

Regardless, excited to listen to these files after work!
Old 25th October 2019
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

thanks for the shootout
A > D > C > B
Old 25th October 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
 
candyflip's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by swartzfeger View Post
@ b0se any chance of throwing Crave into the mix? Sorry trying to put more on your plate.

I was very impressed with Magpha but after comparing it to Crave, I found them remarkably similar and decided to pass on Magpha due to the price (plus the radio silence from the dev isn’t encouraging).

Regardless, excited to listen to these files after work!
+1 for Crave in Analog mode
Old 25th October 2019
  #10
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b0se's Avatar
I was going to add Crave in analog mode but it crashes plugin doctor every time I try and load it (VST, VST3 and AU).
Old 25th October 2019
  #11
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alibling's Avatar
 

A then C

You PM the results ?

Thx !
Old 25th October 2019
  #12
C, A D, B.

I liked C and A; top end preferred on C for me. D and B muddier low end.

Two quick listens, so not laser-focused on it.
Old 25th October 2019
  #13
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b0se's Avatar
I'll pm everyone in the morning! G&T time
Old 25th October 2019
  #14
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rockguit's Avatar
 

Thanks! A>C>D>B for me.
Old 25th October 2019
  #15
Gear Nut
 

Quickly A>D>C>B
Old 25th October 2019
  #16
Gear Head
 

I did prefer A but I wast a bit conditioned by other people opinions I think. Since I heard the brighter claps I took it as my benchmark. I think I distinguish more depth as well. B was clearly less bright (and duller for this mix), the rest similar.
Old 25th October 2019
  #17
Gear Head
 

thank you b0se
my impressions, from good to bad
listening to treble: d a b c
listening to bass: a d c b - Today I would choose a d c b.
Old 25th October 2019
  #18
Gear Addict
 
candyflip's Avatar
If Crave isn't working, how about another go-to, TDR Slick M in Insane mode?
Old 25th October 2019
  #19
Gear Addict
 
mmarra's Avatar
Quick listen and I'm torn between A & D...I like aspects of both.
Old 25th October 2019
  #20
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djrustycans's Avatar
 

After further listening, A is still my fave and feels wider/more open.. C would be 2nd fave, followed by D then B!
Old 25th October 2019
  #21
tcc
Here for the gear
 

a d c b
Old 26th October 2019
  #22
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junior's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by b0se View Post
I'll pm everyone in the morning! G&T time
Please include me, thanks!
Old 26th October 2019
  #23
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swartzfeger's Avatar
Still haven't listened, but it seems like there's a nearly unanimous last place for eq B.
Old 26th October 2019
  #24
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swartzfeger's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by swartzfeger View Post
Still haven't listened, but it seems like there's a nearly unanimous last place for eq B.
These tests really highlight how poor of a listener I am (or maybe my tinnitus is worse than thought, or maybe we slut a little too hard over split hairs).

There's a blur/smear I hear in B in a particular part that A, C and D seem to retain or accentuate the texture.

The hats in C seem to be splashier/trashier (not a bad thing, but I'm not an expert in the genre), whereas D hats seem to be tighter/crisper than C.

A seemed to slightly honor/stay true to the voodoo that StageOne brought to the image a little more than C and D?

A, D, C and then B.

I would be happy with A, D or C. If you swapped one of those out for B, would I notice? I would like to think I would on my own material, but I have doubts that I would jump out of my seat demanding that my real 432 was sabotaged. I pretty much mix emotionally. Does it sound good? Does it move me, is it the vibe I want? Ok, move onto the next section.

I'm not equivocating in case I made the 'wrong' choice, just trying to be honest.

btw, thanks to @ b0se for this because all the harping I do over 'splitting hairs', these things are super fun and informative for me.
Old 26th October 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Did a quick compare ... using the Stage version as the Reference.

With +5.5dB @ 12k ... eq B sounded more natural. The bottom end seems less changed, and the mids seem less affected. [My guess is Scarlet4]

However ... A/B'ing to AlexB's S-432 eq +5.5dB @12k Q=9 hmmm, I like this better. But not a fair comparison ..... I did not exact level match ... PLUS

The AlexB 432 does things to the bottom end ... in a nice way.

If more time ... I'll try to do a more specific test.

Curious what plugs were used in the test.

Thanks b0se for doing this !
Old 26th October 2019
  #26
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b0se's Avatar
All PMs sent!
Old 26th October 2019
  #27
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sttae's Avatar
 

A, D , C then B
Thanks!
Old 26th October 2019
  #28
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PM received. Let’s just say I need to do more comparisons between Magpha and Crave.

For those that haven’t tried, Magpha is a full featured demo, it simply doesn’t save presets or remember settings. It’s a fantastic EQ. Incredibly smooth and effortless.

Maybe there will be a Black Friday sale for Magpha...
Old 26th October 2019
  #29
Deleted f6fc2a4
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by swartzfeger View Post
PM received. Let’s just say I need to do more comparisons between Magpha and Crave.

For those that haven’t tried, Magpha is a full featured demo, it simply doesn’t save presets or remember settings. It’s a fantastic EQ. Incredibly smooth and effortless.

Maybe there will be a Black Friday sale for Magpha...
Have been playing with Magpha this am. Very impressed.
This thread was an eye opener for me.

Black Friday is near, hope the dev is listening...
Old 26th October 2019
  #30
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ceejay's Avatar
BTW the DMG EQuilibrium could be included too (but too late i suppose), cause it has Sontec 250 emulated curves, and it's sooo smooth!
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