The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Sontec 432c EQ, The “Holy Grail” for mixing... Equalisers (HW)
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Sontec 432c EQ, The “Holy Grail” for mixing...

Having recently had an album mastered at Sterling Sound I’m strongly considering purchasing a Sontec 432 Parametric Equalizer for mixing after seeing the Sontecs in use there on my music. It’s quite an expensive piece of gear, (gonna sell some camera gear I’m not using to get to the 10k zone) but it is the Holy Grail of equalizers, right?

Wondered what your thoughts would be for using it in my mixing chain because it’s a “mastering” unit right?
I think it is the best EQ I’ve ever heard. Months ago I watched in awe as my mastering engineer for the project spun the switches, selected frequencies and made cuts and boosts on his Sontec, that were jaw dropping because they sounded so darn good. I’m still shocked by how good the EQ worked!

I like being able to recall the cuts and boosts. I’m considering also a Sontec 250EX but have never heard one used in person, and the Sontec 250 is not recallable because it has pots not rotating switches. However it is a very well respected EQ also.

Any Gearslutz users using a Sontec 432 in their mix bus? Is it worth the extra money over the Sontec 250?
Old 6 days ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Sontec 432

the 432 is fine,
Sterling is a class act.

but a 250ex, functioning properly, is a sweeter sounding unit
(1 less discrete op-amp per channel).

either unit, consider replacing the unreliable Sontec amps with Quad/Eight AM10's.
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Gear Head
The MEP250 is the mix version of the MES432, and I think the basic sound should be almost the same on both units. The manual recommends the 250 also for "entry level mastering studios" as a mastering EQ. On the 250 you have a more flexible high and low shelf. So I would defenitely go for the 250 for mixing. The 432 is great for mastering but would be overkill for your purpose. I have a 2015 model of the 250 and never had the slightest problem with it, while my Manley Massive Passive were broken twice (small issues fixed under warranty). The newer (HS2030) op-amps seems to be more stable than the old ones. Some people say that the old (HS1000) sound better, but for me the new models sound perfect, creamy and very musical. I wouldn´t change the op-amps as long as they work fine. Good luck!
Old 6 days ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParkRun View Post
Having recently had an album mastered at Sterling Sound I’m strongly considering purchasing a Sontec 432 Parametric Equalizer for mixing after seeing the Sontecs in use there on my music. It’s quite an expensive piece of gear, (gonna sell some camera gear I’m not using to get to the 10k zone) but it is the Holy Grail of equalizers, right?

Wondered what your thoughts would be for using it in my mixing chain because it’s a “mastering” unit right?
I think it is the best EQ I’ve ever heard. Months ago I watched in awe as my mastering engineer for the project spun the switches, selected frequencies and made cuts and boosts on his Sontec, that were jaw dropping because they sounded so darn good. I’m still shocked by how good the EQ worked!

I like being able to recall the cuts and boosts. I’m considering also a Sontec 250EX but have never heard one used in person, and the Sontec 250 is not recallable because it has pots not rotating switches. However it is a very well respected EQ also.

Any Gearslutz users using a Sontec 432 in their mix bus? Is it worth the extra money over the Sontec 250?
Hey ParkRun,

I find it one of the best sounding eq's.. mixbus or mastering.. Nice unit.

Although I'd suggest you to go with a CAG HDE 250A (now there's the option to have xformer on the I/O, switchable in or out.. Very clever).

The old sontec's are great sounding but some (most) of them have issues with the pwr supply..

The Custom Audio Germany 250 is built by Steffen (great engineer and skilled tech), I can only say that the quality it's TOP notch.. and the eq is fantastic! I've used one on the last record I've produced. I'm in love with the unit (the one I've used didn't have the xformer option).
I know he has the option of building the 250 with elma switches, not cheap, but still well below any working sontec unit.

I'm very picky and I try to buy only quality pieces, like Avedis stuff, Crane Song, ATC etc.. I'd never suggest something that is not incredibly well built.

I don't have any financial interest nor affiliation with these brands, I'm just a (picky) sound engineer that make its living with this job.

You can save a lot of $$ and maintenance troubles and get that sound.
also you could add a tube eq (like the stellar Gyraf G23-S) or whatever piece of gear you need and still being well below the price of an original sontec.

I hope this helps,



Cheu
Old 6 days ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Sontec Mastering EQ the real Holy Grail of Equalizers

Old 5 days ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 

I seriously wouldn’t look past Buzz Audio and Tim’s Sontec near Masterpiece in Frequency design!
It’s a must see prior to purchasing a Sontec, and I say this for a reason, the repair costs that are
Involved with Sontec Eq....could cost you half again! The REQ 2.2 might just be the perfect answer
For you!

Just some warning!
www buzzaudio.com also used at Sterling Sound
TLB
Old 5 days ago
  #7
Here for the gear
 
Mootiv's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Hey ParkRun,

I find it one of the best sounding eq's.. mixbus or mastering.. Nice unit.

Although I'd suggest you to go with a CAG HDE 250A (now there's the option to have xformer on the I/O, switchable in or out.. Very clever).

The old sontec's are great sounding but some (most) of them have issues with the pwr supply..

The Custom Audio Germany 250 is built by Steffen (great engineer and skilled tech), I can only say that the quality it's TOP notch.. and the eq is fantastic! I've used one on the last record I've produced. I'm in love with the unit (the one I've used didn't have the xformer option).
I know he has the option of building the 250 with elma switches, not cheap, but still well below any working sontec unit.

I'm very picky and I try to buy only quality pieces, like Avedis stuff, Crane Song, ATC etc.. I'd never suggest something that is not incredibly well built.

I don't have any financial interest nor affiliation with these brands, I'm just a (picky) sound engineer that make its living with this job.

You can save a lot of $$ and maintenance troubles and get that sound.
also you could add a tube eq (like the stellar Gyraf G23-S) or whatever piece of gear you need and still being well below the price of an original sontec.

I hope this helps,



Cheu
+1 on everything Cheu says!

I also have a CAG HDE250 with switchable trafos and its one of the best investments I’ve ever made! And I’m picky too

I combine it with a Silver Bullet, a Bettermaker 502p, a TK-lizer and a TubeTechSMC 2B (half eq/half comp).

Definitely the CAG HDE250 has won its place as the main eq in my system.

Cheers!
Old 4 days ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Ben F's Avatar
I haven't found an EQ that matches the Sontec top end. The sound is in the HS-1000/HS-2000 amplifiers. The clones don't have these- that is the main difference. Personally I think the 432/462 high shelf is better than the 250ex as they use their amplifiers on the shelves.

For mastering, I think the 462 is the winner. The 432 is limited in comparison. For mix bus, a 250ex would be fine.

However, you WILL need a tech or someone that is prepared to pull their hair out in frustration due to the unreliability of the mastering units. You could get lucky but servicing them is a nightmare, and support non existent. The 2 Sontec 462s here have been in the workshop more than any other equipment. If you can live with that, they are a stellar and I would say sonically unmatched equaliser. I am also rather fond of the new SPL-PQ which does stack up very well in comparison.
Old 4 days ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
I haven't found an EQ that matches the Sontec top end. The sound is in the HS-1000/HS-2000 amplifiers. The clones don't have these- that is the main difference. Personally I think the 432/462 high shelf is better than the 250ex as they use their amplifiers on the shelves.

For mastering, I think the 462 is the winner. The 432 is limited in comparison. For mix bus, a 250ex would be fine.

However, you WILL need a tech or someone that is prepared to pull their hair out in frustration due to the unreliability of the mastering units. You could get lucky but servicing them is a nightmare, and support non existent. The 2 Sontec 462s here have been in the workshop more than any other equipment. If you can live with that, they are a stellar and I would say sonically unmatched equaliser. I am also rather fond of the new SPL-PQ which does stack up very well in comparison.
Have you tried the CAG version?
Do you know that you could put different opamps in that version?

Love the Sontec btw, but most of them are not very reliable (actually a PITA, as you said need a tech frequently), plus are incredibly expensive used.



Cheu
Old 3 days ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Ben F's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Have you tried the CAG version?
Do you know that you could put different opamps in that version?

Love the Sontec btw, but most of them are not very reliable (actually a PITA, as you said need a tech frequently), plus are incredibly expensive used.



Cheu
I’ve built a clone based on the same circuit.

They don’t sound the same as a real Sontec. More like a GML. It’s a bit misleading to sell as a Sontec clone. It is really just a T-filter equaliser.
Old 2 days ago
  #11
Gear Nut
 
Tadaki's Avatar
sontec 432c and 430b here, and use them in my mix bus, too.
I am also having 2×MEP250c(old model), but for HS-1000 op amp only.
I don't use MEP250 in any chain, because 432c/430b has different in sound, and better for recall.
You probably should get MEP250ex some times for HS-2000/2030 op amp (just in case).
I never have any trouble with my 432c/430b. If you know the tech you can trust, I don't think repair cost
wouldn't go that much, when something happend. But, the op amps(s) are really really hard to find...
Also, some of the units are still #3 HOT, so please be careful, when you set up with unbalanced unit after the sontec.
462c9 is cool, but if you do M/S mix, I think you should have 2 separate channel, imho.
I also recommend you GML9500(another great holly grail, imho), and EAR825q(sounds great, but not stepped).
Anyways, good luck!

Last edited by Tadaki; 2 days ago at 07:16 PM..
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump