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Manley Massive Passive vs EMI Curve Bender Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 11th March 2016
  #1
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Manley Massive Passive vs EMI Curve Bender

So I wanted to add in some super flavorful EQs to my analog mastering chain and I either want to add on the Massive Passive or the Curve Bender. I figured I'd ask the community what some of your uses for either of those units have been and which ones you prefer for different situations. Alternatives to the two above are also welcome!
Old 11th March 2016
  #2
I have a curve bender. Studio owns the Manley mastering version.

Both are great. Manley is cleaner. Curve bender is cool because you can do serious gains without it sounding bad.

If you could have only one, I'd buy the Curve Bender. Lots of Manleys around nowadays. Be different! (I did. no regrets)
Old 11th March 2016
  #3
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I am also interested in both of these.....
Old 11th March 2016
  #4
Both fabulous. Both pretty flexible. The Manley is more flexible but as a result I prefer the curve bender for tracking. Manley lives on my mixbus. Curve bender lives in our mastering room nowadays but I wish I had rack space for it in studio A.

Wait... this is the High End. You need both.
Old 11th March 2016
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chase.bencin View Post
So I wanted to add in some super flavorful EQs to my analog mastering chain and I either want to add on the Massive Passive or the Curve Bender. I figured I'd ask the community what some of your uses for either of those units have been and which ones you prefer for different situations. Alternatives to the two above are also welcome!
I have the Massive Passive and it's awesome but in order to get colour out of it you need to push the tubes a little - also use the transformer-coupled outputs.

Old 12th March 2016
  #6
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I have both and if I had to choose one it would be the curve bender. It's just magical. The tone you get from it, even with all bands bypassed is gorgeous. It leaves on my 2-bus. The massive I tend to use on instruments like piano, acoustic guitar, sometimes vox... Not on the 2-bus anymore.
Old 14th March 2016
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmichaelwenz View Post
I am also interested in both of these.....
Me, too. :-)
Old 15th March 2016
  #8
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I'm very fortunate to have both. The Curvebender is by far the more intuitive and predictable unit as most EQ's are. It does what you think its going to do with a wonderful tone and solidity. I am very much in love with what it can do and its an easy unit to set and forget.

The Massive Passive is a much more sophisticated EQ in terms of operation because of the band interaction. It is more organic and subtle sounding, almost invisible at times but harder to control because the curves change depending on what the other bands are doing. Its powerful but has less instant gratification for me.

If I could only have one it would be the Chandler.
Old 20th September 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staudio View Post
I'm very fortunate to have both. The Curvebender is by far the more intuitive and predictable unit as most EQ's are. It does what you think its going to do with a wonderful tone and solidity. I am very much in love with what it can do and its an easy unit to set and forget.

The Massive Passive is a much more sophisticated EQ in terms of operation because of the band interaction. It is more organic and subtle sounding, almost invisible at times but harder to control because the curves change depending on what the other bands are doing. Its powerful but has less instant gratification for me.

If I could only have one it would be the Chandler.

I have both as well and I guess I use the massive passive more then the chandler.... I love both though! If I had to had to pick one I would get the massive passive
Old 21st September 2016
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OurDarkness View Post
I have the Massive Passive and it's awesome but in order to get colour out of it you need to push the tubes a little - also use the transformer-coupled outputs.


Interesting, I got to where I didn't love the color of the unit and slowly stopped using it. Then I tried it unbalanced and fell in love with it again. I really preferred that unit without the iron - the HF became crystal clear and wonderful sounding the the LF lost its murkiness and the weird softness I perceived. Its very much worth checking out for people who haven't before.

Btw....I see you are in Greece. I was just in Crete for a short family trip...lovely place.
Old 19th May 2018
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OurDarkness View Post
I have the Massive Passive and it's awesome but in order to get colour out of it you need to push the tubes a little - also use the transformer-coupled outputs.

Can I ask what you mean by "Using the transformer coupled output"? Do you mean as opposed to not using them?
Old 19th May 2018
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan4Studios View Post
Can I ask what you mean by "Using the transformer coupled output"? Do you mean as opposed to not using them?
There are two outputs (XLR and 1/4 inch jacks) in the Massive Passive. One of them is transformer coupled (XLR), the other is not (1/4 inch jacks).
Old 20th May 2018
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OurDarkness View Post
There are two outputs (XLR and 1/4 inch jacks) in the Massive Passive. One of them is transformer coupled (XLR), the other is not (1/4 inch jacks).
Right, okay, that's what I thought you meant lol. Thanks. Right now im basically torn between getting a Massive Passive or a Curve Bender. Im basicallly jumping in ang investing In A new interface, Mic, EQ, Preamp, and a Buss Compressor and Im pretty well decided on everything but the EQ lol. Any Opinions on the MP vs the CB?

Last edited by Plan4Studios; 20th May 2018 at 03:20 PM.. Reason: Wrote Tone Bender instead of Curve Bender
Old 20th May 2018
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan4Studios View Post
Right, okay, that's what I thought you meant lol. Thanks. Right now im basically torn between getting a Massive Passive or a Tone Bender. Im basicallly jumping in ang investing In A new interface, Mic, EQ, Preamp, and a Buss Compressor and Im pretty well decided on everything but the EQ lol. Any Opinions on the MP vs the TB?
Have never used a Curve Bender but I have only heard praise about it.

Here's a video of it in action:



Do you use a compressor or EQ for tracking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan4Studios View Post
Any Opinions on the MP vs the TB?
It seems to me that the MP has a steeper learning curve to get the results you want whereas the CB is more "direct". What is the compressor that you are going to use it with?
Old 20th May 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OurDarkness View Post
Have never used a Curve Bender but I have only heard praise about it.

Here's a video of it in action:



Do you use a compressor or EQ for tracking?



It seems to me that the MP has a steeper learning curve to get the results you want whereas the CB is more "direct". What is the compressor that you are going to use it with?
Ya, Ive seen this video. Ya, one thing Ive sort of heard about the CB is that maybe its more forgiving. I am getting a Neve Portico MBP. And currently I have an Ashly SC-50 Comp as my main comp, and an RNLA, and an Ashly CL52E! That aside, I do like to track with compression forsure but usually very gentle just to keep a bass or a vocal levelled. That being said, If I had something I really liked and it worked with the sound Im not afraid to hit a compressor abit harder, but generally I save the heavy stuff for In the Box! And I havent really tracked with much EQ mostly because I dont have any good hardware Eq, And my PC and Interface arent really that great at the moment. I run a 2012 I5 and a Roland Octa-Capture. Will be upgrading to Antelope and an I9 Intel!
Old 21st May 2018
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan4Studios View Post
I am getting a Neve Portico MBP.
Awesome unit! Do tell how it works with the Massive Passive or the Curve Bender. What kind of audio material are you going to process with those, if I may ask?
Old 21st May 2018
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OurDarkness View Post
Awesome unit! Do tell how it works with the Massive Passive or the Curve Bender. What kind of audio material are you going to process with those, if I may ask?
Well I mainly record Rock, Punk, Metal, and Hip-Hop, but that being said Im trying to build a nice Studio and I have a love and an open mind to recording just about anything. Right now I would have to rent a studio or a space to track drums as my studio is based out of my condo right now!

So, to make matters harder , somebody reccomended to look into the Maselec MEA-2 Mastering EQ and it looks awsome from what Ive seen and read so far. Definately the more transparent of the Three as I think its Solid State but dont quote me.
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