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Will A Neve Shelford Make A SM7B Shine Single-Channel Preamps
Old 21st September 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 

Will A Neve Shelford Make A SM7B Shine

Hey guys & gals My first post in this awesome community so go easy on me I'm currently looking to pull the trigger on a Neve Shelford! Heard nothing but great things about this piece of gear and even watched a few Youtube videos on it but not many audio samples of how this unit sounds i can find on the internet! I have a pretty decent setup now with U87/Manley Ref C/SM7B, Avalon 737/MartechMss10, Lavry Blue converters.... The Neve looks to be a perfect fit for my setup with it being a box full of great shades of color and having the added comp and EQ is a huge plus for me when tracking. I know my other mics will really shine but i'm curious as to how much will this add in quality to my SM7B? Would love input from users who use the Neve Shelford... Thanks
Old 22nd September 2018
  #2
It will allow an sm7b to achieve its full potential. But I don’t think that’s the same thing as turning it into a better or different mic than it is. But you already have an 87 and a refc which are both very nice LDCs so of course the sm7 will have a place in most mic lockers.
Old 24th September 2018
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
It will allow an sm7b to achieve its full potential. But I don’t think that’s the same thing as turning it into a better or different mic than it is. But you already have an 87 and a refc which are both very nice LDCs so of course the sm7 will have a place in most mic lockers.
Thanks Nathan.. I did the right than by ordering 2 of these
Old 25th September 2018
  #4
Here for the gear
 

I bought a Shelford channel and I’m using a SM7b and it sounds great but I would like to know how it sounds with a U87...lol
Old 25th September 2018
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vox66 View Post
I bought a Shelford channel and I’m using a SM7b and it sounds great but I would like to know how it sounds with a U87...lol
Screen shot your settings for vocals using the SM7B so i have a starting point and can get right into tweaking when i get mine in lol
Old 25th September 2018
  #6
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cheu78's Avatar
There are also other options in the N realm..
An Aurora GTQC you'll have a nice channelstrip with 2 comps built in, a BAE 1023 (more freq points) or an Avedis MA5 + an eq of your choice (api550a or Avedis E27 or Crane Song Insignia or Pulse Techniques 500).. These will all make an SM7 sing ime.



Cheu
Old 25th September 2018
  #7
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crosscutred's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckyGold View Post
Screen shot your settings for vocals using the SM7B so i have a starting point and can get right into tweaking when i get mine in lol
You may find a screenshot less than informative with a hardware unit

on a more serious note, start with the settings flat, everything switched out.

Set the gain.

Listen.

Decide what you need.

Try every knob.... see what they do..... use them when you feel like you need that sound.

If you copy anyone else's setting for anything with sound you are starting with processing and that is destructive, start flat and take it from there based on what you hear.

the worst thing about plugins is that they come with presets loaded up when you open them so you either need to find "flat" or your starting point is influenced by someone else's idea of what sounds right using different programme material recorded in a different space, monitored in a different space.

Have fun!
Old 25th September 2018
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crosscutred View Post
You may find a screenshot less than informative with a hardware unit

on a more serious note, start with the settings flat, everything switched out.

Set the gain.

Listen.

Decide what you need.

Try every knob.... see what they do..... use them when you feel like you need that sound.

If you copy anyone else's setting for anything with sound you are starting with processing and that is destructive, start flat and take it from there based on what you hear.

the worst thing about plugins is that they come with presets loaded up when you open them so you either need to find "flat" or your starting point is influenced by someone else's idea of what sounds right using different programme material recorded in a different space, monitored in a different space.

Have fun!
Great advice... Thanks
Old 26th September 2018
  #9
Gear Maniac
The UA 610 (in present day variants) and SM7b is a combo I see in a lot of studios.

I have a SM7b, yet don't own a 610 but I've gotten vocal tracks that were recorded with this combo and I liked the sound.

With the same singer I couldn't replicate that sound with my SM7b and other preamps I have in the studio, converters were different too though.

might be something special going on with that combo?
I don't know, maybe I'll have to get a 610 in here to find out for myself,
especially as I was never all that happy with the results using a SM7b for vocals here...
Old 28th September 2018
  #10
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Plush's Avatar
Any good mic amp will show off the Shure SM7 to its full potential. That is the beauty part of great design on the part of Shure. Bros.
Old 28th September 2018
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Any good mic amp will show off the Shure SM7 to its full potential. That is the beauty part of great design on the part of Shure. Bros.
Yeah i think it sounds good with the shelford but your correct any good amp with high gain will be good with SM7B, the shelford maybe overkill for that mic. But with the LDC mics i tried so far it's pure magic!
Old 29th September 2018
  #12
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ruffrecords's Avatar
The only thing that will make any mic shine is putting some real talent in front of it.

Cheers

Ian
Old 29th September 2018
  #13
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dbjp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffrecords View Post
The only thing that will make any mic shine is putting some real talent in front of it.

Cheers

Ian
Old 29th September 2018
  #14
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Any good mic amp will show off the Shure SM7 to its full potential.
was wondering if there was something special going on with the 610 that makes it pair well with the sm7b, might be the EQ? input impedance?

I have great pres (1073's, V76, Avedis, etc) but when shooting out against other mics the sm7b has never ever become first choice because it usually needs some EQ work...
Old 29th September 2018
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mart View Post
was wondering if there was something special going on with the 610 that makes it pair well with the sm7b, might be the EQ? input impedance?

I have great pres (1073's, V76, Avedis, etc) but when shooting out against other mics the sm7b has never ever become first choice because it usually needs some EQ work...
I don't know what is about this combo but I like it very much as well. My guess is the LA-610 being bright and distorted overcompensates smoothness and darkness of SM7, there's simple mod to fix those "issues" but I hesitate to do it
Attached Thumbnails
Will A Neve Shelford Make A SM7B Shine-la-610-preamp-response.jpg  
Old 29th September 2018
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckyGold View Post
Screen shot your settings for vocals using the SM7B so i have a starting point and can get right into tweaking when i get mine in lol
Sorry no screen shots yet, I just started tweaking settings ..... lol

So many knobs to turn!!
Old 29th September 2018
  #17
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mart View Post
The UA 610 (in present day variants) and SM7b is a combo I see in a lot of studios.

I have a SM7b, yet don't own a 610 but I've gotten vocal tracks that were recorded with this combo and I liked the sound.

With the same singer I couldn't replicate that sound with my SM7b and other preamps I have in the studio, converters were different too though.

might be something special going on with that combo?
I don't know, maybe I'll have to get a 610 in here to find out for myself,
especially as I was never all that happy with the results using a SM7b for vocals here...
Always throught of the SM7b as a specialty mic. Never that fond of a 610 as a mic pre, although it's a fantastic bass DI. SM7b + 610 was a magic combination for me once. Background vox where I didn't want them to step on the main vocals. Smooth as silk. Actually, the first time I ever thought anything really positive about the SM7b.
Old 29th September 2018
  #18
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ruffrecords's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyjanopan View Post
I don't know what is about this combo but I like it very much as well. My guess is the LA-610 being bright and distorted overcompensates smoothness and darkness of SM7, there's simple mod to fix those "issues" but I hesitate to do it
The peak in the HF response in this graph:



is typical of many transformer input mic pres when fed from a relatively low source impedance. When fed from the source for which they were designed, generally 150 ohms, the response is much flatter.

Unfortunately the conditions under which the graph was obtained are not stated,

Cheers

Ian
Old 29th September 2018
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffrecords View Post
The peak in the HF response in this graph:



is typical of many transformer input mic pres when fed from a relatively low source impedance. When fed from the source for which they were designed, generally 150 ohms, the response is much flatter.

Unfortunately the conditions under which the graph was obtained are not stated,

Cheers

Ian
Interesting, it's from this website: LA-610 Simple improvements
Old 29th September 2018
  #20
Gear Head
 

Somebody called me a fruitcake so i wanted to have a little bit of fun This is the SM7B and Shelford going into a Lavry Blue. When i made this i only had the Shelford for a day so i'm still a bit of a newbie with this piece but tell me what you think...
Old 29th September 2018
  #21
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Plush's Avatar
Chucky--one stone cold freak !!

. . . and that's good.
Old 29th September 2018
  #22
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ruffrecords's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyjanopan View Post
Interesting, it's from this website: LA-610 Simple improvements
Yes, I visited that site a year or so ago. Clearly what they are trying to do is good but I am not convinced of their analysis. The original 610 had no compressor. It uses a 12AX7 for the first stage of the preamp and a 12AY7 as the output stage and EQ as shown in the attached schematic. The first 12AX7 is not involved in the EQ contrary to what is stated at foxaudio. They also say the comp bypass relay switches the output from the compressor output tube to the preamp output tube. This is very unlikely since the two tubes concerned are very different. What is more likely is that the compressor is configured between the preamp's 12AX7 stage and its output stage and the bypass literally just bypasses the comp so the preamp output stage is use din both cases.

The only thing that is not clear is the configuration of the output stage. The original 610 uses transformer as the plate load. Fox audio implies the transformer is capacitor fed from a regular resistive plate loaded stage which will have a lot less drive capability.

Turing to the response, the peak can also be caused by the the resonance of the transformer primary and the coupling capacitor. This seems to be borne out by the peak remaining at the same frequency when they change tube. The reduction in the peak is most likely due to the lower plate resistance of the 12AU7 dampening the resonance.

Either way, the output stage is still a bit of a mystery.

Cheers

Ian
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ua_610_micpre.pdf (16.9 KB, 16 views)

Last edited by ruffrecords; 29th September 2018 at 11:04 PM.. Reason: spelling
Old 1st October 2018
  #23
Here for the gear
 

I’ve used a Shelford with both a u87 and an sm7 and they both sound incredible! For me the diode compressor wasn’t great on vocals... but the eq and preamp are amazing for vox IMO
Old 1st October 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
I find the Portico II Channel is great with pretty much anything. Inc the SM7B I use mostly for vocals. The compressor is more flexible than the shelford. It's a bit cleaner but overall the extra band of eq + the frequency choices (i.e 12k on the high shelf) put the Portico II Channel above the shelford channel for me. It makes an SM7 sound amazing.

The Shelford is less a workhorse and more a luxury for those that possibly have a lot more hardware and know when/why they want that particular flavour, while the PII can be a workhorse, still provide transformer goodness + silk in both flavours and in the mix you can tweak with quality plugs (or even pass it back out and in again with decent converters).

Both great units of the highest quality though. If I just wanted that 'classic' SM7 rock chain I'd prob go buy a 1073 (not necessarily AMS), 1176 and skip an all in one channel, but for a flexible workhorse HQ doesn't damage your source type of thing, there's very little better than the Portico II imo. You can get heavier flavour elsewhere in separates land.
Old 1st October 2018
  #25
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyjanopan View Post
I don't know what is about this combo but I like it very much as well. My guess is the LA-610 being bright and distorted overcompensates smoothness and darkness of SM7, there's simple mod to fix those "issues" but I hesitate to do it
When did they start making 610s bright? I found them to be woolly, at least the new ones. That hi freq EQ is definitely needed.
Old 1st October 2018
  #26
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro5 View Post
I find the Portico II Channel is great with pretty much anything. Inc the SM7B I use mostly for vocals. The compressor is more flexible than the shelford. It's a bit cleaner but overall the extra band of eq + the frequency choices (i.e 12k on the high shelf) put the Portico II Channel above the shelford channel for me. It makes an SM7 sound amazing.

The Shelford is less a workhorse and more a luxury for those that possibly have a lot more hardware and know when/why they want that particular flavour, while the PII can be a workhorse, still provide transformer goodness + silk in both flavours and in the mix you can tweak with quality plugs (or even pass it back out and in again with decent converters).

Both great units of the highest quality though. If I just wanted that 'classic' SM7 rock chain I'd prob go buy a 1073 (not necessarily AMS), 1176 and skip an all in one channel, but for a flexible workhorse HQ doesn't damage your source type of thing, there's very little better than the Portico II imo. You can get heavier flavour elsewhere in separates land.
Yeah i can see how having a cleaner sounding unit with more EQ options can be a better match for SM7 but i can still get a really good sound with the shelford and SM7B! I don't use any of the silk options and and compress just a little bit adding some highs and losing some lows with the EQ!
Old 1st October 2018
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
When did they start making 610s bright? I found them to be woolly, at least the new ones. That hi freq EQ is definitely needed.
I don't know, had few of them and all of them sounded bright and little wooly indeed at the same time, all were MKII though
Old 1st October 2018
  #28
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyjanopan View Post
I don't know, had few of them and all of them sounded bright and little wooly indeed at the same time, all were MKII though
I'm only familiar with the early re-issues. Did they update the re-issue, when you say mkII? Or did you mean that mkII is the re-issue?
Old 1st October 2018
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
I'm only familiar with the early re-issues. Did they update the re-issue, when you say mkII? Or did you mean that mkII is the re-issue?
I'm talking about UA LA-610 MKII
Old 1st October 2018
  #30
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyjanopan View Post
I'm talking about UA LA-610 MKII
OK. I see what the mkII is, and why it's brighter: "Universal Audio’s historic 610 preamp design was slightly modified for the LA-610 MkII. Most notably, a subtle boost in the high-frequency character was added to compensate for the warmth that the compressor section offers."

I guess my assessment that the 610 re-issue is woolly (dark) is probably still correct.
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