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Neve 33609/J, 33609/JD and 2254: Questions Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 25th April 2007
  #1
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Neve 33609/J, 33609/JD and 2254: Questions

hello fellow slutz.
i am interesting in hearing a bit more about the 33609.
i have read that it evolved from the 2254 and subsequently that there have been at least three models made: the 33609c, 33609j, and 33609jd.

for those that use the 33609 and have experience with the 2254:
what are the sonic differences in these units?
what would make you pick one over the other?
how are the models available today different sonically?
i know the technical differences from reading the AMS-Neve website and an earlier thread on the 33609, but i would love to hear how users feel those specifications translate into sound.

finally, Geoff, if you are here and you would be so kind to opine on this subject, which current model do you prefer and why?
is there enough difference between the two available models to justify purchasing one over the other?
and can you tell us a bit more about the evolution from the 2254?

any and all users of the 2254/33609 please chime in with your thoughts on these units!!


thanks in advance,
~j.d.
Old 25th April 2007
  #3
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Quote:
yes i have read that entire thread.
i am looking for more opinions and also for less empasis on the technical differences and more empasis on the sound quality differences.
i did do a search before i started the thread, but thank you for pointing this one out.
Old 25th April 2007
  #4
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Hi

I prefer my original 33609 (or 10/11/12... you don't hear much about them!)

Metalwork build like a brick sh*t house... if it dropped onto concrete it would chip the concrete!

Marinair Radar transformers

Discrete BA440 amplifier (not that this aspect is really that important)

Hand wired, point to point wiring from switches/connectors to gold solder pins on tne motherboard.

Machine turned aluminium knobs

As for evolution, the similarities pretty much end at the system for level control... the diode bridge.

The 2254 is a 1272 line amp with 60dB gain and two side chains controlling a diode bridge voltage controlled attenuator.

The 2262 was a pathetic Neve attempt at stealing the compressor market from Pye. I've seen a lot more Pye compressors than similarly packaged 2262's. The 2262 used a motherboard with new circuitry whereupon the only gain stage in the device was the 340/440 amplifier.

The 2264 was developed from the 2262.

The 33314 was developed from the 2264

The 33609 was developed from the 33314

Old 25th April 2007
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdjustice View Post
for those that use the 33609 and have experience with the 2254:
what are the sonic differences in these units?
The 2254 is a really nice vibe piece. Has the characteristic Neve sound with a chunky feel. One of my favorite comps.

The 33609 is faster and lighter sounding and probably to some a little more flexible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdjustice View Post
what would make you pick one over the other?
It depends on the application.

I love the 2254's on bass & vocals when mixing.

I like the 33609 better for a drumbuss or a mixbuss.

The old gearslut answer is you want & need both but if i could only have one for me it would be the 2254's.
Old 25th April 2007
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_T View Post
Hi

I prefer my original 33609 (or 10/11/12... you don't hear much about them!)

Metalwork build like a brick sh*t house... if it dropped onto concrete it would chip the concrete!

Marinair Radar transformers

Discrete BA440 amplifier (not that this aspect is really that important)

Hand wired, point to point wiring from switches/connectors to gold solder pins on tne motherboard.

Machine turned aluminium knobs

As for evolution, the similarities pretty much end at the system for level control... the diode bridge.

The 2254 is a 1272 line amp with 60dB gain and two side chains controlling a diode bridge voltage controlled attenuator.

The 2262 was a pathetic Neve attempt at stealing the compressor market from Pye. I've seen a lot more Pye compressors than similarly packaged 2262's. The 2262 used a motherboard with new circuitry whereupon the only gain stage in the device was the 340/440 amplifier.

The 2264 was developed from the 2262.

The 33314 was developed from the 2264

The 33609 was developed from the 33314

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
The 2254 is a really nice vibe piece. Has the characteristic Neve sound with a chunky feel. One of my favorite comps.

The 33609 is faster and lighter sounding and probably to some a little more flexible.

I love the 2254's on bass & vocals when mixing.

I like the 33609 better for a drumbuss or a mixbuss.

The old gearslut answer is you want & need both but if i could only have one for me it would be the 2254's.

thanks Geoff and Thrill, you guys are very helpful!!
this helps me understand some potential applications for each compressor....


cheers.
~j.d.
Old 26th April 2007
  #7
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Anderson's Avatar
 

I bought a "new" 33609JD about a year and a half ago and I don't think it's worth all this money frankly. It's good, but not exceptionnal... And not even close to the older "metal knobs" version which I was able to use recently for a few hours.

Never used a 2254, so I can't compare the units.

I also had a few tech issues with it: when I got it, stereo imaging was rather sloppy (and unit had no "depth"), and maybe 20 hours after I first plugged it, Channel B broke down, giving a constant -20dB compression whatever the settings.

It took Neve a LONG time to do something about it (months). They first said nothing was wrong with the unit, when IMVVHO it was pbly a defective side chain pb, and then shipped it back "repaired" without a word or explanation.

I plugged it, and it didn't work at all.

Sent it to my local tech which said something was wrong with the PSU connections. That could've been due to bad handling during shipping but... AFAIC, last time I buy Neve stuff.

Anyway, overall good unit, but not worth the €€€€. If I were you, there are loads of other units I would consider buying before investing a "new" 33609 ...

Of course YMMV...
Old 26th April 2007
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anderson View Post
I bought a "new" 33609JD about a year and a half ago and I don't think it's worth all this money frankly. It's good, but not exceptionnal... And not even close to the older "metal knobs" version which I was able to use recently for a few hours.

Never used a 2254, so I can't compare the units.

I also had a few tech issues with it: when I got it, stereo imaging was rather sloppy (and unit had no "depth"), and maybe 20 hours after I first plugged it, Channel B broke down, giving a constant -20dB compression whatever the settings.

It took Neve a LONG time to do something about it (months). They first said nothing was wrong with the unit, when IMVVHO it was pbly a defective side chain pb, and then shipped it back "repaired" without a word or explanation.

I plugged it, and it didn't work at all.

Sent it to my local tech which said something was wrong with the PSU connections. That could've been due to bad handling during shipping but... AFAIC, last time I buy Neve stuff.

Anyway, overall good unit, but not worth the €€€€. If I were you, there are loads of other units I would consider buying before investing a "new" 33609 ...

Of course YMMV...


Hi

There are gaps in your story... after the tech fixed the PSU did he say specifically what was wrong with it? Like a connector pulled out?

And do you still have and use the product?

Old 26th April 2007
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_T View Post
after the tech fixed the PSU did he say specifically what was wrong with it? Like a connector pulled out?

And do you still have and use the product?
Yes, I think he mentionned some kind of connector or connection that was defective.

I still have the product yes, and I use it now and then. It used to be mostly patched on the drum bus, but since I got the Buzz SOC (although those are very different beasts) it's kinda bus homeless.
Attached Thumbnails
Neve 33609/J, 33609/JD and 2254: Questions-gs-neve.jpg  

Last edited by Anderson; 26th April 2007 at 03:37 PM.. Reason: spelling, as usual.
Old 10th February 2018
  #10
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I own a pair of 2262's and am very familiar with both 2254's and older 33609's. The only similarity between a Pye compressor, which I've also used, and a 2262 is the shape and size of the box. I don't compare the electronics but use my ears and a 2262 sounds absolutely nothing like a Pye and doesn't go wrong like Pye's. To my ears a 2262 sounds similar to a 33609 with the same clarity and clean sound that that has and on gentle settings the same artefact free sound. A 2254 is a very different beast, much warmer and softer sounding which sometimes is good but sometimes not. It's compressor is also slower than the 2262 so across a mix it's very easy to find you can hear the compressor working before you realise it. Ideally have both or indeed an older 33609 and a pair of 2254's 2262's are much cheaper than 2254's.
Old 18th February 2018
  #11
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To me, 2254's and original metal knob 33609's sound nothing alike...
Old 18th February 2018
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iangomes View Post
To me, 2254's and original metal knob 33609's sound nothing alike...
+1
Something that I find like in between of these units somehow is the 10DC designed by Avedis for BAE.. thick, coloured in a nice way..finished for lack of better words.



Cheu
Old 18th February 2018
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
+1
Something that I find like in between of these units somehow is the 10DC designed by Avedis for BAE.. thick, coloured in a nice way..finished for lack of better words.



Cheu
Good that I have a stereo pair of this
They are amazing !

R.
Old 18th February 2018
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iangomes View Post
To me, 2254's and original metal knob 33609's sound nothing alike...
as based on the class A 1272, 2254 used Marinair LO1166, the metalknob is AB and uses LO1173... and yea I think the biggest difference in sound would be this.
Old 19th February 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Showcase View Post
as based on the class A 1272, 2254 used Marinair LO1166, the metalknob is AB and uses LO1173... and yea I think the biggest difference in sound would be this.
I feel like the action of the compressor is completely different too... not just the tone. Maybe I'm thinking of the sound of the limiter section specifically, though.
Old 19th February 2018
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iangomes View Post
To me, 2254's and original metal knob 33609's sound nothing alike...
Hi

They would not..... totally different circuitry.

2262 compressors designed to fit in Pye racks (Lord knows why = daft idea)were the foundation of the 2264, 33314, and 33609 circuitry.

Old 20th February 2018
  #17
The 33609 is a very nice sounding compressor but AMS\Neve level of QC can't be considered high end IMO
Old 21st February 2018
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TanTan View Post
The 33609 is a very nice sounding compressor but AMS\Neve level of QC can't be considered high end IMO
Wasnt it after the c revision it became AMS? If thats what you refering to is not high end?
Old 23rd February 2018
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Showcase View Post
Wasnt it after the c revision it became AMS? If thats what you refering to is not high end?
Yes it's AMS Neve, I have a 33609 JD which sounds great but it has some serious design\QC problems.

The caps pointers aren't aligned with the values printed on the front panel at all so it's impossible to write recalls, the only way to recall is to count and write the number of clicks moved on every pot because the pointer does not line up with the front panel.
Of course the first thing I tried was to realign the pointer but it's not consistently off, Like its 10% off then 15% off the 20% off with each click of the knob, the pointer is always in between values, it seems like AMS Neve has changed the rotary switches at one point to different ones with different range while the front panel artwork has not been changed to accommodate this (!!!)

For a mixing facility like I'm operating it's a real problem because I always have to double check when I'm recalling a song and write down the number of clicks I've moved for every switch.. It's not a thing one should expect from a unit with such price tag and honestly I don't have this problem with any other piece of gear in my studio with stepped pots, if we are paying the price of stepped pots we should get the functionality we are paying for.

The second problem I have (which I can live with) is when the unit is turned off and back on it doesn't save the last working operation status so I have to change it every time, the relays are being reset when I power off the unit, no last working memory which IMO it's a design flaw and not a fault in my unit, what's the point of changing the traditional and simple toggle switches to relays if it degrades its functionality ?

Third problem I have which is specific only to my unit, is that the GR meters are measuring very different GR behaviour (over 4dB gap) even when the unit is being fed with a -20dB 1Khz sine wave and all the switches on Ch1 and Ch2 are matched.

I find the level of design and quality control of the AMS Neve 33609 J\D to be unacceptable for this price tag.
Old 23rd February 2018
  #20
AMS Neve answer:

Hi Aran,


"
How old is the unit? Without having the serial number it’s difficult to know this. Could I have a picture of the front panel? The statement about not Recalling: The 33609 is fully analogue so Recall has never been used for the 33609.



The last issue could be to do with calibration and would need to come here for further investigation.



Regards,
"

Old 23rd February 2018
  #21
Gear Maniac
complete ignorance, feel your pain, wow

I have been thinking about making a diy solution for the faceplate. The stepped switches definitely have a different angle than the markings on the faceplate.
Recall nightmare
Old 23rd February 2018
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TanTan View Post
AMS Neve answer:

Hi Aran,


"
How old is the unit? Without having the serial number it’s difficult to know this. Could I have a picture of the front panel? The statement about not Recalling: The 33609 is fully analogue so Recall has never been used for the 33609.



The last issue could be to do with calibration and would need to come here for further investigation.



Regards,
"

Ye I have a JD myself, I totally agree with you about constantly having to go from position 1 and count forward to know 100% Im at the right knob position. ...and since its in a rack and powers on together with other things... this is pretty much the only unit I have to go and switch from bypass to IN every time, pretty lousy answer from AMS there, they know what you mean but try play stupid about the recall
Old 23rd February 2018
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Showcase View Post
Ye I have a JD myself, I totally agree with you about constantly having to go from position 1 and count forward to know 100% Im at the right knob position. ...and since its in a rack and powers on together with other things... this is pretty much the only unit I have to go and switch from bypass to IN every time, pretty lousy answer from AMS there, they know what you mean but try play stupid about the recall
Exactly !

I think they didn't try to play stupid but their rep has answered according to his knowledge which very obviously have nothing to do with the pro audio world.

Usually if a company is selling a product with terrible basic design flaws that haven't been noticed by the quality control department (if such exists) and can't be even understood by the tech support department there are major faults on all parts of the company's chain which usually points on something very very wrong going with the company's management.
I avoid buying any gear from AMS Neve until they'll come up with an acceptable explanation and solution on how to bring their mess into order, I suspect that would never happen.
Old 23rd February 2018
  #24
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Hi

I think the non-recalling issue is because of those big, ugly push buttons that appeared on the /J and /JD versions.

Unlike the original 33609 and their new version that mimics it, the J versions had momentary operation (non-latching) push buttons that needed CMOS circuitry to convert to alternating action. When the power turns off the CMOS turns off so requires an input from a switch to turn it on again when power is restored.

Those switches, PCBs, ICs and relays replaced a $1.50 toggle switch that does remember where you left it.

I don't know about knobs not lining up but my best guess is the knobs, that were grub screw or collet on early versions, are push on fitting on a splined shaft.

If the switches are PCB mounted it may be the knob is on a wrong spline position and needs pulling off and replacing so it lines up.

My 2c

Old 23rd February 2018
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_T View Post
Hi

I think the non-recalling issue is because of those big, ugly push buttons that appeared on the /J and /JD versions.

Unlike the original 33609 and their new version that mimics it, the J versions had momentary operation (non-latching) push buttons that needed CMOS circuitry to convert to alternating action. When the power turns off the CMOS turns off so requires an input from a switch to turn it on again when power is restored.

Those switches, PCBs, ICs and relays replaced a $1.50 toggle switch that does remember where you left it.

I don't know about knobs not lining up but my best guess is the knobs, that were grub screw or collet on early versions, are push on fitting on a splined shaft.

If the switches are PCB mounted it may be the knob is on a wrong spline position and needs pulling off and replacing so it lines up.

My 2c

Couldnt this be reversed by some simple mod, so it powers up IN
Old 23rd February 2018
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Showcase View Post
Couldnt this be reversed by some simple mod, so it powers up IN
Pass that on to AMS-Neve!

Old 24th February 2018
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_T View Post
Pass that on to AMS-Neve!

Just thought you might had a quick solution up your sleeve I will post a solution soon
Old 24th February 2018
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Showcase View Post
Just thought you might had a quick solution up your sleeve I will post a solution soon
Probably just a pull up resistor and capacitor or similar but I suspect it's a lot of modding to get it to work.

It's why I always hated those switches.....

Last edited by Geoff_T; 24th February 2018 at 02:11 AM..
Old 24th February 2018
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_T View Post
Probably just a pull up resistor and capacitor or similar but I suspect it's a lot of modding to get it to work.

It's why I always hated those switches.....
didnt found an obvious solution so... I just pulled off the in/out signals from the psu/relay pcb and put it straight to the ch boards for now, worked for me not using these two buttons ever
Attached Thumbnails
Neve 33609/J, 33609/JD and 2254: Questions-bypass-33609.jpg  
Old 25th February 2018
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Showcase View Post
didnt found an obvious solution so... I just pulled off the in/out signals from the psu/relay pcb and put it straight to the ch boards for now, worked for me not using these two buttons ever
Good idea!

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