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Anything like a CL-1B for around $1000? Single-Channel Preamps
Old 28th February 2018
  #1
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tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Anything like a CL-1B for around $1000?

Hey all,

Had a sort of "happy accident" recently — I was playing around with my vocal setup and discovered that I actually like the Softube CL-1B plugin a fair deal more than my hardware WA76.

The WA76 sounds great, but it's a little too "in-your-face," and I'm not really getting along well with the distortion it imparts. I'm realizing that an 1176-style comp might not be what I'm after. The The CL-1B plugin is thicker, smoother, cleaner, and pairs really well with my other hardware.

I would prefer a 19" rack unit, but 500 series is cool too. Trying to avoid anything that imparts overt distortion, and would really love attack + release controls. I've looked at the Buzz Essence, Retro Doublewide, TLA-100, and Crane Song Falcon. Anything else I should consider? Maybe a Distressor in Opto?
Old 28th February 2018
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkaitkai View Post
Hey all,

Had a sort of "happy accident" recently — I was playing around with my vocal setup and discovered that I actually like the Softube CL-1B plugin a fair deal more than my hardware WA76.

The WA76 sounds great, but it's a little too "in-your-face," and I'm not really getting along well with the distortion it imparts. I'm realizing that an 1176-style comp might not be what I'm after. The The CL-1B plugin is thicker, smoother, cleaner, and pairs really well with my other hardware.

I would prefer a 19" rack unit, but 500 series is cool too. Trying to avoid anything that imparts overt distortion, and would really love attack + release controls. I've looked at the Buzz Essence, Retro Doublewide, TLA-100, and Crane Song Falcon. Anything else I should consider? Maybe a Distressor in Opto?
Not interested in plugins?
Old 28th February 2018
  #3
Deleted User
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Get a WA2A. Upgrade all electrolytics to a better grade (Panasonic EE and FR). Most importantly, change out the first .02uf coupling cap from cheap-ass mylar to a 20,000pf CDE silvered mica cap. Your WA2A will get slightly brighter and clearer which is what you want because the CL1B is bright and clear.

I have both. I now use my upgraded WA2A almost as much as my CL1B. Forget the professional mod guys out there. I don't know of anyone doing the silver mica mod on WA2A's. It's completely over their heads.
Old 28th February 2018
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuXx View Post
Not interested in plugins?
I’m actually considering just printing with the UAD CL-1B for the time being, but ideally, I’d love to have a solid HW piece for tracking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
Get a WA2A. Upgrade all electrolytics to a better grade (Panasonic EE and FR). Most importantly, change out the first .02uf coupling cap from cheap-ass mylar to a 20,000pf CDE silvered mica cap. Your WA2A will get slightly brighter and clearer which is what you want because the CL1B is bright and clear.

I have both. I now use my upgraded WA2A almost as much as my CL1B. Forget the professional mod guys out there. I don't know of anyone doing the silver mica mod on WA2A's. It's completely over their heads.
Thanks for the suggestion! I’d love to get a WA2A or similar at some point, but as a primary vocal comp, I’d really like something with attack and release controls. But I’ll definitely look into the mods you mentioned when I’m ready to add something LA-2A-esque.
Old 28th February 2018
  #5
Gear Head
How about the Cranesong Trakker, used? This may just be slightly above your range, but IMO may be worth it if you can find a Cranesong Trakker used. These can typically be found for around $1500 used. Sorry, the slut in me wants to spend just a little more money. But the versatility is excellent IMO.
For vox, I record through a SCA J99 pre and then two Cranesong Trakker's. The first Trakker is set to LA2 type, with very light x2 knee, engaging at about -12dB. The second Trakker with heavier x6 knee, engaging at about -3dB to minimize overs. I try to impart some color, but still try to keep it relatively clean. I figure I have more time to impart more color post mix. You don't have to have the second Trakker if careful with overs, but this is my typical vox chain.
Post mix, I run through the HEDD192 to the Cranesong Trakker to get the color I want, while listening to the mix on the monitors. You can do numerous types of compressors, air etc...
Post, if I want even more color, I may run analog to SCA N72 pre and Trakker. What is nice about this post method is I have time to really dial in the color and can hear the effect in the mix.
Old 28th February 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grega60438 View Post
How about the Cranesong Trakker, used? This may just be slightly above your range, but IMO may be worth it if you can find a Cranesong Trakker used. These can typically be found for around $1500 used. Sorry, the slut in me wants to spend just a little more money. But the versatility is excellent IMO.
For vox, I record through a SCA J99 pre and then two Cranesong Trakker's. The first Trakker is set to LA2 type, with very light x2 knee, engaging at about -12dB. The second Trakker with heavier x6 knee, engaging at about -3dB to minimize overs. I try to impart some color, but still try to keep it relatively clean. I figure I have more time to impart more color post mix. You don't have to have the second Trakker if careful with overs, but this is my typical vox chain.
Post mix, I run through the HEDD192 to the Cranesong Trakker to get the color I want, while listening to the mix on the monitors. You can do numerous types of compressors, air etc...
Post, if I want even more color, I may run analog to SCA N72 pre and Trakker. What is nice about this post method is I have time to really dial in the color and can hear the effect in the mix.
This is a great suggestion. If I can swing the Trakker for $1500 in a month or two, that might be what I go for. A little more than I want to spend, but hey, if it gets me close to CL-1B territory for half the price, I'm all for it!
Old 28th February 2018
  #7
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When you love CL1B sound, why looking for something else? But I feel you, I have a stereo pair and many times prefer plugin to my HW versions as well. CL1B for me is a unit which you have to run only very gently. I don’t like it with anything more than 2dB lf gain reduction.
Old 28th February 2018
  #8
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkaitkai View Post
This is a great suggestion. If I can swing the Trakker for $1500 in a month or two, that might be what I go for. A little more than I want to spend, but hey, if it gets me close to CL-1B territory for half the price, I'm all for it!
I wholeheartly agree!
Go with a Trakker.. It's really fantastic and very versatile.. And even alone could do gobs of GR (if needed) without being heard..

Fantastic piece!



Cheu
Old 28th February 2018
  #9
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besider the trakker, the grace design m103 has a nice comp (and some more)...
Old 28th February 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
besider the trakker, the grace design m103 has a nice comp (and some more)...
That looks cool, although I'm not sure I'd need the pre or EQ. Is the comp basically the same circuit as the m102? If I could find an m102 used, I'd consider it.
Old 28th February 2018
  #11
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matucha's Avatar
Buzz SOC 1.1 can be found between $1100-1500 2nd hand, tremendous value, clean open sound, solid sounding compression, stereo. I prefer it to trakker for tracking, which is a tiny bit less open. It is also more versatile than really colorful optos, no problem using it on 2buss or even in mastering.

500 series buzz compressors should be very good too (i've never tried one though).
Old 28th February 2018
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkaitkai View Post
That looks cool, although I'm not sure I'd need the pre or EQ. Is the comp basically the same circuit as the m102? If I could find an m102 used, I'd consider it.
you'd like the pre/eq - but yes, the comp is the same as the m102 (as far as i know): i'm using the m103 mostly on classical singers, at times with silly amounts of compression and they still wouldn't complain (which is rare for classical singers...)
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