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Pulse Pultec or 33609?
Old 24th May 2018
  #1
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eugtone's Avatar
Pulse Pultec or 33609?

I have money and room for about one more addition to my setup and pondering the impact of a better Pultec (Pulse EQP-1A3) vs getting a real 33609 (or something with authentic vintage Neve harmonics). Use case: mixing only - I want a 1990 rock album sound. I'm unsure what would make the biggest difference vs the current gear I have.

Current setup comp/eq:

outboard comp / warmth:
UBK fatso
RND 5043 portico
RND 542 x 2
1176 Rev H x 2
1178
LA3A x 2
Funky Junk 202

outboard EQ:
API 550B x 2
Warm EQP-WA x 2
RND 551 x 2

Warm got the harmonics on the 1176 clone totally wrong, so I'm wary about the Warm Pultecs, but haven't found a shootout that really convinces me drop the money on a Pulse or two. I wont' part with my 5043 - love it on lead synths, but I'm not getting 33609 bass harmonics from it. Pointers to convincing shootouts welcome - I have tried but not found any. Especially 33609. And WHICH 33609 seems to be a classic GS trove of conflicting advice.

Last edited by eugtone; 24th May 2018 at 02:26 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 24th May 2018
  #2
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DeadPoet's Avatar
I have a 33609J/D for years with which I'm totally happy. Don't care if it's not THE version of it, it works on my 2bus.

Have a pair of AML DIY 2254's as well but for 2bus-duty they are too thick to my taste.



Pultec-wise I have a Manley one and a pair of AML DIY's. The AML ones are REALLY great.



If you do like the 2254 and you're handy with a soldering iron (or know someone who does) you could check out the AML gear: 2 pairs of the 2254 AND the Pultec would run you about the price of a 2nd hand 33609 or one PulseTec



Herwig
Old 24th May 2018
  #3
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iangomes's Avatar
I have a metal knob 33609 and it definitely Turku has that rock drum sound. Makes things sound like a record.
Old 25th May 2018
  #4
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jono_3's Avatar
33609 J/D here. Deadly beast and highly recommended!
Old 25th May 2018
  #5
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by iangomes View Post
I have a metal knob 33609 and it definitely Turku has that rock drum sound. Makes things sound like a record.
Word to that.
After chasing that sound for years I finally broke down just grabbed a pair of racked 32264’s after:
I had the C and JD and just recently directly A/B compared the latest AMS 33609 “N” to a metal knob.
The new one and JD were so far off to the vintage one it actually pissed me off a little lol.
we even tried the Geoff Tanner “Mod” on the J/D version to absolutely no avail.
The acid test listening to kick and snare on drum buss.
With identical settings to the vintage one The newer units buried the transients in a kind of mushy way.the grab was off no matter what setting was used
Comparatively you could slam the VU’s on the vintage unit and it still sounded punchy, super cool.
Hands down The vintage just had that punch,classic grab.
3:1 ratio auto release 2 rules!

Last edited by RoundBadge; 26th May 2018 at 12:40 AM..
Old 25th May 2018
  #6
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eugtone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jono_3 View Post
33609 J/D here. Deadly beast and highly recommended!
Could I bother you to run your J/D on this file so that I can hear the difference - someone posted a 33609 but the links are dead. It would be really helpful to hear the difference between the 33609s, too if someone has a metal knob. Thanks!!

The Hardware Compressor & Limiter Comparison Thread (With Audio Files)
Old 25th May 2018
  #7
I vote for compressor. Especially if you are going for a stereo approach ie on a sub or master bus. There are some great units based on the Neev too from Buzz, Chandler, Vintech that are more than worth a listen (they may surprise you in an AB). Good luck!
Old 25th May 2018
  #8
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eugtone's Avatar
Which 33609 does Vai have here:
https://youtu.be/r5D0FfQkDWg?t=3m24s

That's the one I want. Not sure if he used in on guitars or just on the mix buss, but curious about its impact on Passion and Warfare.
Old 25th May 2018
  #9
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iangomes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
Word to that.
After chasing that sound for years I finally broke down just grabbed a pair of racked 32264’s after:
I had the C and JD and just recently directly A/B compared the latest AMS 33609 “N” to a metal knob.the new one and JD we’re so far off to the vintage one it actually pissed me off a little lol.we even tried the Geoff Tanner Mod on the J/D version to absolutely no avail.
The acid test listening to kick and snare on drum buss.
With identical settings to the vintage one The newer units buried the transients in a kind of mushy way.the grab was off no matter what setting was used
Comparatively you could slam the VU’s on the vintage unit and still sounded super cool.
Hands down The vintage just had that punch,classic grab.
3:1 ratio auto release 2 rules!
3:1 a2, eh? I'll try it out!

Also, silly as it is, metal knob 33609's are one of the best looking pieces of gear out there. :p
Old 27th May 2018
  #10
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iangomes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by eugtone View Post
Which 33609 does Vai have here:
https://youtu.be/r5D0FfQkDWg?t=3m24s

That's the one I want. Not sure if he used in on guitars or just on the mix buss, but curious about its impact on Passion and Warfare.
That's a first revision metal knob 33609.
Old 27th May 2018
  #11
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by iangomes View Post
That's a first revision metal knob 33609.
they've gotten super expensive.average 7.5-8.5k
Old 28th May 2018
  #12
33609, and order a pair of Stam Audio pultec....
Old 14th June 2018
  #13
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eugtone's Avatar
I booked some studio time to test 2254s and 32264s, but no studio in New Zealand has a 33609 that I can find. If you have one, especially if you have a metal knob, please would you consider taking a few minutes to run a short clip through it and post on the thread below so we can all hear the differences between these units? I think the input is well selected for 2-buss applications.

The Hardware Compressor & Limiter Comparison Thread (With Audio Files)

Thank you!
Old 14th June 2018
  #14
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
Word to that.
After chasing that sound for years I finally broke down just grabbed a pair of racked 32264’s after:
I had the C and JD and just recently directly A/B compared the latest AMS 33609 “N” to a metal knob.
The new one and JD were so far off to the vintage one it actually pissed me off a little lol.
we even tried the Geoff Tanner “Mod” on the J/D version to absolutely no avail.
The acid test listening to kick and snare on drum buss.
With identical settings to the vintage one The newer units buried the transients in a kind of mushy way.the grab was off no matter what setting was used
Comparatively you could slam the VU’s on the vintage unit and it still sounded punchy, super cool.
Hands down The vintage just had that punch,classic grab.
3:1 ratio auto release 2 rules!
How did the C rev compare to the metal knob??

I have an 83065, which is the console version of the metal knob 33609.
It is fantastic!
Tried a J and it just did not have the magic..........
Old 14th June 2018
  #15
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by skybluerental View Post
How did the C rev compare to the metal knob??

I have an 83065, which is the console version of the metal knob 33609.
It is fantastic!
Tried a J and it just did not have the magic..........
I haven’t tried the C in direct a/b comparison to the metal knob but I’m now a firm believer the metal knob and 32264’s were the real deals.
Old 14th June 2018
  #16
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jjblair's Avatar
I have a metal knob 33609b. It's useful for drums, but honestly, I've never cared for it on the mix bus, and it doesn't have a sonic character like an 1176 or even an 1178 that really adds something, to my ears. I find it more just useful to control how much snare I want in my OH's, because it can grab them so fast, or something else where I need transient or dynamic control. It's great as a compressor or limiter, but I wouldn't rely on it as a flavor box.

The Pulse Pultecs are fantastic, btw.
Old 15th June 2018
  #17
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dbjp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
I have a metal knob 33609b. It's useful for drums, but honestly, I've never cared for it on the mix bus, and it doesn't have a sonic character like an 1176 or even an 1178 that really adds something, to my ears. I find it more just useful to control how much snare I want in my OH's, because it can grab them so fast, or something else where I need transient or dynamic control. It's great as a compressor or limiter, but I wouldn't rely on it as a flavor box.

The Pulse Pultecs are fantastic, btw.
Yeah mixbuss not so much. But drums/percussion & pianos for stereo, plus a plethora of uses for mono materials mean it’s one of my favorite all rounders (minus mix buss).
Was very pleased to see Roundbadge’s post. I think I paid 6K for mine 6-7 years ago. Love the vintage inflation! Well, if you own them in the first place that is.
Old 15th June 2018
  #18
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As an owner of both I would go with the PULSE
Old 15th June 2018
  #19
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Pulse is great and really depends on how deep your pockets are and what is your immediate use?

Mono or a pair of pultecs?

Single sources or stereo?

If you need matched pultecs things get exy very fast with pulse eqs!

If you need a matched set of pultecs for 2 bus or other stereo sources I’d get the AML kits and then have them built with stepped pots for recall.

But of a pita but the price of a matched mastering pulse eqs is the same as a 33609 and a pair of built stepped aml pultecs.

That being said I’ve heard some clips of the vintech incarnation and I liked it on drums lots and thing that might get you in the ball park so maybe do some digging there also.

Wiggy
Old 16th June 2018
  #20
Gear Addict
 
eugtone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
I have a metal knob 33609b. It's useful for drums, but honestly, I've never cared for it on the mix bus
Thanks for the tip. Elliot Scheiner uses the 33609 on his mix bus and he has some of the best mixes I've ever heard, so I'd appreciate being able to hear a metal knob and C/J/N variants on a track that already has a lot of other compressors run on it, which is very handy for evaluating plugins too. Would really appreciate it if any 33609 owners we be willing to run it for us. Thx!
Old 16th June 2018
  #21
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by eugtone View Post
Thanks for the tip. Elliot Scheiner uses the 33609 on his mix bus and he has some of the best mixes I've ever heard, so I'd appreciate being able to hear a metal knob and C/J/N variants on a track that already has a lot of other compressors run on it, which is very handy for evaluating plugins too. Would really appreciate it if any 33609 owners we be willing to run it for us. Thx!
There's nothing wrong with it. It's just too transparent for my taste. It doesn't have the compression character or the sonic character I personally like on a mix comp. Elliot might like the thing I find boring. I've had this talk with Massenberg. his stuff always sounds great. He likes gear that sounds boring to me. He would never use a 1073, and I would never use a GML. His mixes never bore me though. Neither do Elliot's. It's the samurai, not the sword.
Old 16th June 2018
  #22
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RoundBadge's Avatar
I’ve been using an Unfairchild followed by 32264’s on mix buss a lot.
Tube Euphoria meets SS punch.
Old 16th June 2018
  #23
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

That’s just the UNFAIR mix chain!

We had a pair of 2264e’s in the Neve I used to work on and they were awesome in so many things!

I can only begin to think howctgat sounds with a UTS strapped onto it.

Wiggy
Old 16th June 2018
  #24
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eugtone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
It's the samurai, not the sword.
Absolutely. That being said, there is no comparison I can find online of a 33609 vs a UAD or plugin emulation, nor one for 2254 vs 33609s or the various 33609 variations. It woulb be great to fix that, given the price tag of a metal knob.
Old 16th June 2018
  #25
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DeadPoet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by eugtone View Post
That being said, there is no comparison I can find online of a 33609 vs a UAD or plugin emulation, nor one for 2254 vs 33609s or the various 33609 variations.
Damn, I used to have a UAD system and did some comparing back then - but never recorded that.


To my (not so high end) ears there is no comparison. On lower levels of reduction I can hear "a" difference but once you go into +4dB of more aggressive gainr reduction the software starts to sound splatty, peaky and thinner. My 33609J/D (with the output resistor mod) overcompresses as well but kicks stays hefty, rooms explode and the overall soundscape does not collapse.


This being said: the right samurai might find settings on the software that make it behave more like the hardware but I couldn't find them at that time.



Herwig
Old 16th June 2018
  #26
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggy Neve Slut View Post
That’s just the UNFAIR mix chain!

We had a pair of 2264e’s in the Neve I used to work on and they were awesome in so many things!

I can only begin to think howctgat sounds with a UTS strapped onto it.

Wiggy
It’s pretty nuts
Was never a big fan of the 33609 I had on mix buss.
But The 32264’s I got,the punchiest motherfking comps I’ve ever had.the 2500 ain’t got nuthin on these.
full Mix - @3:1,auto release 2,about a dB reduction after the uta.
nothing I’ve ever had does what they do.
Charlie Bolois just went through em. perfect.
Old 16th June 2018
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
Word to that.
After chasing that sound for years I finally broke down just grabbed a pair of racked 32264’s after:
I had the C and JD and just recently directly A/B compared the latest AMS 33609 “N” to a metal knob.
The new one and JD were so far off to the vintage one it actually pissed me off a little lol.
we even tried the Geoff Tanner “Mod” on the J/D version to absolutely no avail.
The acid test listening to kick and snare on drum buss.
With identical settings to the vintage one The newer units buried the transients in a kind of mushy way.the grab was off no matter what setting was used
Comparatively you could slam the VU’s on the vintage unit and it still sounded punchy, super cool.
Hands down The vintage just had that punch,classic grab.
3:1 ratio auto release 2 rules!
Since I been mixing ITB a lot , a been using a pair of vintage 32264a's across the buss and its been absolute magic! I got them powered with a original Neve 3605 (8068) power supply.. wow what sound! tone to die for .. **** I got to try auto release.. now thanks..
Old 16th June 2018
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelAngelo View Post
Since I been mixing ITB a lot , a been using a pair of vintage 32264a's across the buss and its been absolute magic! I got them powered with a original Neve 3605 (8068) power supply.. wow what sound! tone to die for .. **** I got to try auto release.. now thanks..
I got a 33609 metal knob, 4 32264a's.. I had 4 JD's and slowly sold them all.. they clear out suck.. I also tried the 32264a reissue..OMG horrible...
Old 16th June 2018
  #29
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelAngelo View Post
Since I been mixing ITB a lot , a been using a pair of vintage 32264a's across the buss and its been absolute magic! I got them powered with a original Neve 3605 (8068) power supply.. wow what sound! tone to die for .. **** I got to try auto release.. now thanks..
A2 yeah there’s something to it.
I’m thinking about the Fred Hill variable attack mod.whole other bucket of possibilities.
Old 16th June 2018
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
A2 yeah there’s something to it.
I’m thinking about the Fred Hill variable attack mod.whole other bucket of possibilities.
I had that done to 2 of my 32264a's 18 years ago.. by fred Hill.. was NOT crazy about it.. kind of taught me again, why mess with magic!

It wasn't like bad or anything, just never used it.. If you know what I mean.. You ever have certain gear around, you just don't use? I actually sold all that kind of gear 20 years ago.. and run very lean and mean these days..
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