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Manley vs. PreSonus
Old 20th March 2017
  #1
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Manley vs. PreSonus

Hi all, long time listener, first time caller. Building up a studio and need that centerpiece analog pre to handle vocals, guitar and acoustic drums.

I'm torn! I want either:

Manley VoxBox
Manley Core
PreSonus 600

Can someone help me decide which is the best? I would love to have a good compressor with my unit, and vocals are the most important piece. However I've read the VoxBox isn't ideal for non vocal stuff. I also understand it has a different amp under the hood than the core. Which is the most versatile, big and worth the money pre for my situation? What about the VoxBox makes it worth an additional 1k over the core and what the heck is the sonic difference between them?

Some background- I'm just getting into pro level recording but I've been playing and tracking forever..

Thanks everyone!


Avery
Old 20th March 2017
  #2
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I have the voxbox and core, both are great for vocals, bass and acoustic guitar, not a fan on electric guitar but they are amazing on electric bass.
Old 20th March 2017
  #3
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gorka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganymede1 View Post
Can someone help me decide which is the best?
I own and love the ADL600.
I`ve worked with the Voxbox once and thought it was a great piece of gear as well.

Their featureset is very different, so a recommendation is not easy in this case.

If you don´t need a stereo unit (for drums you would need several), try to get both Manleys for testing and see which suits you best.

If you plan to record in stereo, the ADL plus a dedicated set of Compressors could be a more flexible and maybe cheaper solution.

PS. if you´ve meant the ADL700, I´d prefer the Voxbox any time.
Old 20th March 2017
  #4
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Miles Flint's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganymede1 View Post
Can someone help me decide which is the best?
There's no absolute best, never... just different.
What mic(s) are you going to use?

I personally was disappointed by the ADL, the Voxbox is a different beats of course. Can not comment on the Core. If you need 2 channels, versatile, open and full sounding, maybe try a Great River MP2NV, or even better 2 SH MonoGama's in a Lunchbox.
Old 20th March 2017
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles Flint View Post
What mic(s) are you going to use?
I have a Nuemann 108, an a couple of Mid range Blue mics (model number escaping me at the moment).

Thanks everyone for the feedback, sounds positive for Manley, hopefully I can get my hands on a Core and a VoxBox to figure out the difference in sound...
Old 22nd March 2017
  #6
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Woodwindy's Avatar
I have 2 Cores and many other Manley pieces. I think the Cores are terrific, but the amount of gain they offer is an issue, since I use them with dynamic mics. I got a Cloud Lifter and solved the problem. Using the Core with a condenser mic should work very well, right out of the box.
The tone on this piece is quite good.
Old 26th March 2017
  #7
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I just sold my Core and bought a Voxbox. Did a quickie session yesterday with the Voxbox. I love the Core-super easy to use and dial in a great sound for vocals and bass. The Voxbox is a bit more versatile but honestly I didn't think was any better than my Core. I have to qualify this statement by saying I didn't play with it much. Just used it for bass through the DI and lead vocals. Sounded great. I'm just wondering if I even needed the Voxbox. I'll post on here later when I play with it more.
Old 26th March 2017
  #8
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dakun's Avatar
Get them ALL

But I would probably go with the Manley. I just love the sound of Manley's gear from what audio demo's I can find. Saving up for their Massive Passive, been dreaming of that EQ for years now.
Old 26th March 2017
  #9
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Rockabilly69's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JQ127 View Post
I just sold my Core and bought a Voxbox. Did a quickie session yesterday with the Voxbox. I love the Core-super easy to use and dial in a great sound for vocals and bass. The Voxbox is a bit more versatile but honestly I didn't think was any better than my Core. I have to qualify this statement by saying I didn't play with it much. Just used it for bass through the DI and lead vocals. Sounded great. I'm just wondering if I even needed the Voxbox. I'll post on here later when I play with it more.
I've owned my Voxbox for about 4 years and I can say without doubt it is a box that requires a lot of time to find the sweet stuff.
Old 26th March 2017
  #10
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Rockabilly69's Avatar
I own a Voxbox and an ADL600. I pair my ADL600 with a DBX160s compressor and it is a killer combo. Sounds great on everything. But I love my Voxbox. I love riding the Pultec mid cut just enough to put clarity into the low mid of a vocal, and the Voxbox sounds killer as a Bass DI
Old 26th March 2017
  #11
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JQ127's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockabilly69 View Post
I've owned my Voxbox for about 4 years and I can say without doubt it is a box that requires a lot of time to find the sweet stuff.
My use with the Voxbox was so cursory I shouldn't even have posted about it. I noticed the Core took a bit to find the sweet spot. I recorded vocals for my band through a Voxbox and loved the result though I wasn't engineering those sessions. I'm really psyched to play with the VB more. I also picked up a Manley TNT. There's a lot to explore on that puppy too I can see.
Old 26th March 2017
  #12
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I find it very diffacult if not impossible to find a better vocal pre than my 12 year old ADL600. Bouie helped me redo tubes with NOS tried and true beauties two years ago and even though I have several other high end pre options the ADL600 is still #1 for any vocal work in my studio. The noise floor with Peluso tube mics is very low so I never have to push gain at any time above 12 DBfs for peaks and then I can take care of any needed compression in post production with a little bit of LA2A and/or 1176 plugs.
Hugh
Old 26th March 2017
  #13
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Rockabilly69's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JQ127 View Post
My use with the Voxbox was so cursory I shouldn't even have posted about it. I noticed the Core took a bit to find the sweet spot. I recorded vocals for my band through a Voxbox and loved the result though I wasn't engineering those sessions. I'm really psyched to play with the VB more. I also picked up a Manley TNT. There's a lot to explore on that puppy too I can see.
I almost bought a TNT a few weeks ago when one was listed on another forum, but I held back because I want to buy an Aurora Stinger. The TNT get's great reviews!!!
Old 26th March 2017
  #14
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
I find it very diffacult if not impossible to find a better vocal pre than my 12 year old ADL600. Bouie helped me redo tubes with NOS tried and true beauties two years ago and even though I have several other high end pre options the ADL600 is still #1 for any vocal work in my studio. The noise floor with Peluso tube mics is very low so I never have to push gain at any time above 12 DBfs for peaks and then I can take care of any needed compression in post production with a little bit of LA2A and/or 1176 plugs.
Hugh


Hi Hugh,


I've seen multiple posts from you on the ADL over the past year. I gather you really dig it. I'd like to add one more 2 channel tube pre to my studio and have been considering the ADL based on it's versatility that users laud. Tell me, have you ever compared it to the Hamptone Tube pre? I think it's called the HVTP2 or something? If so which do you prefer? And sorry to the OP for the slight off topic question...
Old 26th March 2017
  #15
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bcgood's Avatar
 

ADL 600 has been discontinued. I personally would rather buy a new piece of tube hardware that has new tubes and some type of warranty. I would definitely go with the Core for the money, pretty hard to beat.
Old 26th March 2017
  #16
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Hello Funny Cat,
The only tube pre I have ever owned is the subject ADL600. From 1972 thru 1978 I worked in quite a few good studios as a producer that had lots of really good gear. To be honest with you for the life of me I can not remember the exact pres that were deployed however I do remember the difference a U47, U67 or the old battery compartment U87s sonically offered. The ADL600 when matched with my Peluso 2247SE, P67 or P12 is the sound I remembered and was looking for when I moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC in 1981. It took me more than 20 years for the new digital paradigm to come of age : but once it did I found what I was looking for.
Hugh
Old 27th March 2017
  #17
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gorka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
ADL 600 has been discontinued.
Not correct.
They´ve changed the design and moved production to China, see:
Thoughts on Presonus ADL 600

The layout of the old usa-made version is so puristic and clear that no technician should have a problem to repair it.

The build-quality of the newer Manley stuff is not up to par, imho.

Haven´t tried the china version but the original design is way underrated, not just on GS.
Old 27th March 2017
  #18
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorka View Post
Not correct.
They´ve changed the design and moved production to China, see:
Thoughts on Presonus ADL 600

The layout of the old usa-made version is so puristic and clear that no technician should have a problem to repair it.

The build-quality of the newer Manley stuff is not up to par, imho.

Haven´t tried the china version but the original design is way underrated, not just on GS.
How can one tell the difference between the older USA model and the newer design?
Old 27th March 2017
  #19
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gorka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
How can one tell the difference between the older USA model and the newer design?
From the outside, you can tell by the missing cooling fins and the made in china sticker. As discussed in the thread above.
Old 27th March 2017
  #20
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Cathedral Guitar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorka View Post
Not correct.
They´ve changed the design and moved production to China,
Are you sure it is still in production? Sweetwater, B&H, Musicians Friend all have it marked as Discontinued.
Old 27th March 2017
  #21
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gorka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathedral Guitar View Post
Are you sure it is still in production? Sweetwater, B&H, Musicians Friend all have it marked as Discontinued.
You´re right - that´s strange.

Maybe they sell the chinese version in europe only?
Old 28th March 2017
  #22
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Rockabilly69's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorka View Post
Not correct.
They´ve changed the design and moved production to China, see:
Thoughts on Presonus ADL 600The build-quality of the newer Manley stuff is not up to par, imho.
What??? Did you see this with your own eyes????
Old 28th March 2017
  #23
How is he going to record drums with one Vox box? I get using however many mics to be creative however most drum micing setups are at least 3-10 some more depending on how big the kit...

Can you solder or have an interest in DIY? This can make you get more bang for your buck... Also buying used can as well...

There are lots of units out here to choose from it's best to get all the units in your room and use them and compare your results and pick the best unit (s) for your sound and workflow...

For the drums i would suggest the Aurora Audio GTP8 and that's 8 channels or pure class a discrete transformer I/O coupled modern neve sound... Youbcoukd use this piece for everything...

Similarly ( flame suit on ) warm audio 412 preamp is 4ch pre based off an API like circuit and great sound quality for the price. 2 of these would be great for drums... Then you could go with the Aurora Audio GTQ2 which is a two channel pre + di ( guitars and bass ) + eq and filters.

Good luck and hope you find the sound you want
Old 28th March 2017
  #24
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gorka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockabilly69 View Post
What??? Did you see this with your own eyes????
What exactly?

If you´re asking about the manley statement, I have to correct myself:
I meant the newer and cheaper DESIGNS, like Nu Mu, Core etc. not the classic models.

Old 28th March 2017
  #25
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Rockabilly69's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorka View Post
What exactly?

If you´re asking about the manley statement, I have to correct myself:
I meant the newer and cheaper DESIGNS, like Nu Mu, Core etc. not the classic models.

What about the NuMu and Core build quality is not up to the snuff?
I've seen the inside of Core and the boards were cleanly laid out, the pots were still all sealed, the wiring clean, etc. And I own a Voxbox and have seen it's guts quite a bit lately as I replaced all the tubes within the last few weeks.
Old 28th March 2017
  #26
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gorka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockabilly69 View Post
What about the NuMu and Core build quality is not up to the snuff?
I've seen the inside of Core and the boards were cleanly laid out, the pots were still all sealed, the wiring clean, etc. And I own a and have seen it's guts quite a bit lately as I replaced all the tubes within the last few weeks.
I don´t know if there are any units on the market with pots that aren´t sealed but things like power supplies, grayhill switches, in- and output-transformers etc, in the ADL are better in my book .

Not talking about the Voxbox, which I liked a lot when I used it (see my first post here) and other "premium" range models.

I´ve had the Nu Mu here and was underwhelmed, both by sound and the overall appearance/quality.

YMMV as usual and I´m not at all against Manley, I love the massivo and their -now discontinued- Langevin stuff as well.
Old 28th March 2017
  #27
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Interesting...I thought the ADL600 was out of production also, but Presonus has a section on their website for discontinued products and the ADL600 and 700 are not listed there. They are listed as a current products on the website.
Old 28th March 2017
  #28
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Cathedral Guitar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougS View Post
They are listed as a current products on the website.
Yes, but when you click BUY NOW, the page loads that lists their authorized dealers, all of which seem to show it as DISCONTINUED -- except for Full Compass, which may have still some units left in stock. Sometimes a discontinued product stays active on the manufacturer to help all the dealers sell their remaining stock.
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