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Hand Crafted Labs/HCL Solution S2 tube compressor and Affinity A2 tube preclip inside Dynamics Plugins
Old 16th May 2011
  #1
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Lightbulb Hand Crafted Labs/HCL Solution S2 tube compressor and Affinity A2 tube preclip inside

I did a remix (or rather a re-arrangement) of a Paul Simon song for a contest. From the original I kept only the vocals and a short bit of guitar (towards the end), discarded the rest and replaced it with my own tracks. The HCL Solution S2 tube compressor/leveler is all over that tune. I used it on everything except piano (because I ran out of S2's - I only own 6 of them heh ). I tracked the bass (a Brubaker 6-string) through the HCL Affinity A2 into Massive Passive (for 33Hz low cut) into HCL Solution into Neve Portico 5042 in bypass (because I'm a dumbass and forgot to "engage tape" ). Also there's an S2 on the 2-bus as well. The files are a mixed tune before the mastering plug - one with S2 on 2-bus and the other without for comparison (I did run them through a Waves L3 to bring the levels up - if necessary, I can upload files without the L3). I screwed up the mix a little (mixing in an acoustically untreated room and guessing a lot) but had no time to fix it, sorry.

The "mastered" track is here: Valentine Azbelle Paul Simon Love Is Eternal remix If you happened to listen to it and don't hate it, please click the "Vote" button, if it's not too much bother (and if you like it enough, please do share it with your friends - I could use the votes).

For your reference the original Paul Simon track is here: Paul Simon - Love Is Eternal

If you've ever been HCL-curious (or never heard of HCL until now) here's your chance to gain some insight.
Old 16th May 2011
  #2
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The file without the S2 on the 2-bus (it won't let me attach both files in the same post).
Attached Files

Love Is Eternal VA mix 01 L3.mp3 (8.50 MB, 4999 views)

Old 16th May 2011
  #3
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The file with the S2 on the 2-bus.
Attached Files
Old 17th May 2011
  #4
JDM
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Sounds great! Groovy rendition!!

I voted for ya, but will have to wait until I get home to use my real email to confirm.

I own the S2 and A2 as well (also Faust) and find them all spectacular. Next purchase will be the Varis and soon lol. After that, hopefully Albert will have an EQ in the works!
Old 17th May 2011
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDM View Post
Sounds great! Groovy rendition!!

I voted for ya, but will have to wait until I get home to use my real email to confirm.
Thank you for the kind words and the vote. I really appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDM View Post
I own the S2 and A2 as well (also Faust) and find them all spectacular. Next purchase will be the Varis and soon lol. After that, hopefully Albert will have an EQ in the works!
Yeah, I got the Faust as well - the A2, S2 and Faust seem to be the standard selection of HCL gear. heh And I am waiting for my VariS, which is supposed to arrive tomorrow! I'm all giddy with excitement. Once I get the VariS I may run this tune through it to compare with the S2.
Old 24th September 2013
  #6
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Does anybody know any substitution tubes 6H14 for HCL Solution S2?
"....Russian 6H14? equivalent whose Cyrillic letters become 6N14P in the Latin alphabet."

What are the best tubes for S2: Siemens, Philips, Mullard?
Old 24th September 2013
  #7
contact BOWIE for all the info you need on tubes.
Old 24th September 2013
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyglover View Post
contact BOWIE for all the info you need on tubes.
I think David may have better things to do...
Old 24th September 2013
  #9
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I would contact Albert at HCL. He would know best. Although I'm not convinced different tubes would yield an improvement. The gear was designed to work best with those particular tubes and other - supposedly "better" tubes - may provide more harmonics but mess up the compression curves. Of course nothing wrong with a little experimentation.
Old 18th April 2014
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simma Lugnt View Post
Does anybody know any substitution tubes 6H14 for HCL Solution S2?
"....Russian 6H14? equivalent whose Cyrillic letters become 6N14P in the Latin alphabet."

What are the best tubes for S2: Siemens, Philips, Mullard?
"Yes the 6N14P is a very close substitute to the ECC84, danzup is confusing it with the 6P14P, which is an EL84 substitute."
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/tubes...14p-audio.html

ECC84 is the equivalent I'm pretty sure.
In fact I have a pair of bugle boys that I found less glassy and more natural sounding than the russian tubes the S2 came with.
I believe Albert said that ECC88 runs a little hotter so sound is rich but life might be shorter.
Actually I just bought some other ECC84 for more colour
Good to play with it....
Old 22nd April 2014
  #11
Actually its the ECC88 that's a sub not ECC84 ....
Old 8th September 2014
  #12
Here for the gear
I bought a Solution S this year. Nice sound, really. Good price. I replace 2 tubes (with ECC84 Mullard, the sounds is better with a sweeter sound)
But the Vu-Meters are real bull****. It's a cheap chinese model.
They move too fast, not the same way on the two channels. I wrote a lot to HCL : no real after sale service : "maybe it's the shipping, you can send it back".
But if it's the shipping, the trouble won't be solved.
A friend of mine bought a Solution S two months ago : same trouble with the Vu.
They are very fragile and shoddy.
and the after sale service is poor. I own a lot of sound devices (Manley, Neve, SSL, Avalon, Tube-Tech...) and the Vus are working perfectly, day after day, year after year.
So, the first and last HCL experience.
Old 10th September 2014
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rroland View Post
I bought a Solution S this year. Nice sound, really. Good price. I replace 2 tubes (with ECC84 Mullard, the sounds is better with a sweeter sound)
But the Vu-Meters are real bull****. It's a cheap chinese model.
They move too fast, not the same way on the two channels. I wrote a lot to HCL : no real after sale service : "maybe it's the shipping, you can send it back".
But if it's the shipping, the trouble won't be solved.
A friend of mine bought a Solution S two months ago : same trouble with the Vu.
They are very fragile and shoddy.
and the after sale service is poor. I own a lot of sound devices (Manley, Neve, SSL, Avalon, Tube-Tech...) and the Vus are working perfectly, day after day, year after year.
So, the first and last HCL experience.
Hm... That's uncharacteristic of Albert. I've always had my questions answered in great detail. I have 6 Solutions - all meters seem to be working fine. But then I hardly ever look at the meters anyway. I also have the Affinity (the pre) and one meter on that stopped working some time ago. But that was one of the first units Albert had made - I've had it probably for over 10 years now, and the meters Albert uses for this line have changed since then (possibly more than once). Anyway... Personally I use my ears - if it sounds good I don't care about how much the needle moves. Not that a malfunctioning meter is not a valid concern, but if I read your post correctly, Albert did offer you to send it back for a repair? How is that "no real after sale service"?
Old 4th October 2014
  #14
Here for the gear
Quote:
Hm... That's uncharacteristic of Albert
I can speak only for my experience.
A friend bought a Solution S few month later and same trouble with the Vu. And Albert seems to discover the trouble . I won't send it to repair (expensive shipping, custom taxes, and the packaging is so bad that I'm afraid that the trouble remainswhen I 'll receive the HCL back).
A real help should be to send me better Vu (or to put better Vu in the new engine stuff).
Old 4th October 2014
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rroland View Post
I can speak only for my experience.
A friend bought a Solution S few month later and same trouble with the Vu. And Albert seems to discover the trouble . I won't send it to repair (expensive shipping, custom taxes, and the packaging is so bad that I'm afraid that the trouble remainswhen I 'll receive the HCL back).
A real help should be to send me better Vu (or to put better Vu in the new engine stuff).
Bad packaging??? Now that's something I find hard to believe. I have received almost a dozen pieces of gear from HCL and every one of them was double boxed with bubble wrap on the inside of the inner box and stiff foam padding in the outer box. I can't imagine better packing.

If all you want is a different Vu perhaps you could ask Albert specifically for that. He does go out of his way to make customers happy (at least in my experience). Of course as any manufacturers he may not want to authorize any part replacement without looking at the unit first (which is totally understandable) but it doesn't hurt to ask.
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