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2Bus Hardware Decisions
Old 21st May 2020
  #1
Gear Head
 

2Bus Hardware Decisions

Hey fellow Slutz,
I have finally been compelled to make my first post. Ive been a lurker for many years and have learned many things, so I first must thank you all for the knowledge i’ve acquired through GS posts while obsessively researching my purchases! I have yet to be disappointed in results from adding outboard. I have great mics, pres, instruments, monitoring, and a treated room, but I am now looking for some more mojo and utility in the mixing or mastering (when I have to) stage, particularly on my 2bus.

My current mixbus signal flow:
Apollo 8p->Silver Bullet(Audioscape bus comp on insert)->Overstayer MAS->Apollo 8p

I am loving the aforementioned chain, but i’m looking for some more depth, width, saturation, tone shaping, vibe etc. beyond what I currently have. Plugins just aren’t cutting it after hearing so much great hardware recently and I want to invest in something I can touch. I work on a lot of different genres; funk, rock, indie, prog metal, acoustic, and electronic, so flexibility is definitely desired.

I have narrowed down a few things for 2bus:
- Neve 542’s (with Bento 2 or other small 500 series rack - i’m not sure if I want to take the total plunge into 500 series land yet) I figure this would replace my UAD ATR-102 plug that usually finds its way onto my mixes.
- Miad LCPQ4040’s (these seems like a fantastic option for my first outboard eq aside from the SB)
- Burl B2 ADC/DAC or other converters (worth the $ vs. Apollo conversion?)
- Hendyamps Michaelangelo
- Black Box HG-2
- RND MBP (do any MBP users use a SSL g-style comp before this unit?)

It’s also possible I could get more bang for my buck grabbing multiple cheaper units for running subgroups and tracking through as well...I have been looking at:
- Overstayer stereo FET comp (would this be able to fill the 1176 vibe for mono sources like vocals as well?)
- Serpent splices
- Drawmer 1978+1974
- Zulu
- Various audioscape comps
- Bereich Density’s

I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts, especially people with some of the aforementioned units. I have some more specific questions on some of the hardware, but this post is too long already. Thanks so much in advance!
Old 21st May 2020
  #2
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e-are's Avatar
You said you have pre's..do you have 2 of any? I use Vintechs and capi's on every mix. I use many buss compressors and 2 Zulu's so I'd say both will give you added color. Zulu will give you some compression as well. I really like Zulu but it can be very colorful. Sometimes too much color so I've placed 1 on a bus and use 1 to track with. I would say either would be a good step in the right direction.
Old 22nd May 2020
  #3
The Silver Bullet can provide all the depth and mojo you need. I have one and love it and use it on every mix. With all due respect, you might consider the notion that the added depth and width and vibe will come with improving your mixing chops, and not from some extra gear on the mix buss. I'm not saying this to be rude (frankly, you're probably a better mixer than i am ) but to temper your expectations.

Good luck!
Old 22nd May 2020
  #4
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by e-are View Post
You said you have pre's..do you have 2 of any? I use Vintechs and capi's on every mix. I use many buss compressors and 2 Zulu's so I'd say both will give you added color. Zulu will give you some compression as well. I really like Zulu but it can be very colorful. Sometimes too much color so I've placed 1 on a bus and use 1 to track with. I would say either would be a good step in the right direction.
I have a quite a few pre’s I could use, but the Silver Bullet and Overstayer MAS are performing that function very well! I’m definitely curious about the Zulu, but fear it may not be hifi enough for genres like metal or electronic. Do you feel the Zulu can function as a mild sweetener/transient eater at milder settings?
Old 22nd May 2020
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
The Silver Bullet can provide all the depth and mojo you need. I have one and love it and use it on every mix. With all due respect, you might consider the notion that the added depth and width and vibe will come with improving your mixing chops, and not from some extra gear on the mix buss. I'm not saying this to be rude (frankly, you're probably a better mixer than i am ) but to temper your expectations.

Good luck!
You aren’t being rude at all, buddy! I would first give that advice as a response to my question as well

I’m really happy with my mixes, but have the hardware bug BAD after getting a few pieces and doing blind tests against plugins. I’m really looking for that last 5% - not a cure all or mix-fixer (I know they don’t exist).

The neve 542’s seemed so appealing because I often use the UAD ATR-102 (mildly) on most mixes and really like the results. I do worry the cheaper bento 2 500 series rack may reduce the quality of the 542’s, though. I also usually use some mild eq’ing on the mixbus, so the LCPQ4040’s really seem like a great option that I could also use for tracking and mastering. The RND MBP also seems like a great all around unit, especially for mastering, but could be less vibey than I picture in my head. I also use many instances of 1176-style comps on my mixes and was figuring I could use the Overstayer FET or other clones for drums, vocals, bass etc. and impart some nice saturation across the whole mix. I’m really just trying to get the most bang for my buck and am stuck in analysis paralysis.

Thanks for the responses so far! I’d love to hear some feedback on some of the gear I listed in the OP. I guess I could narrow it down to a question: If you had 2-4k to spend on outboard, what would you get knowing what I already have? I’m really looking for utility, impact, vibe, and character whether it be classy or “destructive”.
Old 22nd May 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elisionary View Post
Hey fellow Slutz,
I have finally been compelled to make my first post. Ive been a lurker for many years and have learned many things, so I first must thank you all for the knowledge i’ve acquired through GS posts while obsessively researching my purchases! I have yet to be disappointed in results from adding outboard. I have great mics, pres, instruments, monitoring, and a treated room, but I am now looking for some more mojo and utility in the mixing or mastering (when I have to) stage, particularly on my 2bus.

My current mixbus signal flow:
Apollo 8p->Silver Bullet(Audioscape bus comp on insert)->Overstayer MAS->Apollo 8p

I am loving the aforementioned chain, but i’m looking for some more depth, width, saturation, tone shaping, vibe etc. beyond what I currently have. Plugins just aren’t cutting it after hearing so much great hardware recently and I want to invest in something I can touch. I work on a lot of different genres; funk, rock, indie, prog metal, acoustic, and electronic, so flexibility is definitely desired.

I have narrowed down a few things for 2bus:
- Neve 542’s (with Bento 2 or other small 500 series rack - i’m not sure if I want to take the total plunge into 500 series land yet) I figure this would replace my UAD ATR-102 plug that usually finds its way onto my mixes.
- Miad LCPQ4040’s (these seems like a fantastic option for my first outboard eq aside from the SB)
- Burl B2 ADC/DAC or other converters (worth the $ vs. Apollo conversion?)
- Hendyamps Michaelangelo
- Black Box HG-2
- RND MBP (do any MBP users use a SSL g-style comp before this unit?)

It’s also possible I could get more bang for my buck grabbing multiple cheaper units for running subgroups and tracking through as well...I have been looking at:
- Overstayer stereo FET comp (would this be able to fill the 1176 vibe for mono sources like vocals as well?)
- Serpent splices
- Drawmer 1978+1974
- Zulu
- Various audioscape comps
- Bereich Density’s

I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts, especially people with some of the aforementioned units. I have some more specific questions on some of the hardware, but this post is too long already. Thanks so much in advance!
Out of that list I’d probably go for the HG2, for the saturation part.
Maybe also some DIYRE colour modules with the 15ips tape card, M79 saturation card and the american mass drivr or the console xformer ctx.. and you can blend them any way you want and put them in series pushing one into the other..
although I’d look to add tubes to your signal path.. it might help..

Maybe also some Gyraf gear.. that has a certain softness, wideness, and tape-like qualities to it..although these are not saturators (he has one btw, but I’m not a big fan of knobs twisting).

Gyraf G22 varimu maybe and the G23-S tilt eq..



Cheu
Old 22nd May 2020
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elisionary View Post
You aren’t being rude at all, buddy! I would first give that advice as a response to my question as well
Well that's a relief!

In that case, the Chandler TG1 or the Zener are particularly 'vibey' units.
Old 22nd May 2020
  #8
Lives for gear
So I did an in depth shootout of saturation stuff about 6 months ago, so I can help and chime in. Btw, I followed LTL's shootout advice on 500 series power supplies, and the Heritage OST series is what I went for, based on combo of price and their seal of approval, been quite pleased, and quite affordable.

I'd start with a Bereich03 dual density module. Sure there's a slight waiting time, but its handmade after all. For $550 and dual channel, real bang for the buck, and these are popular for a reason, they are one of the best saturators I've laid my hands on. Compared a/b to the Overstayer MAS, it's identical on the normal setting for the MAS, though the MAS provides a few more filters and wet/dry. For drumbus, Bereich fatness and expands the size and provides crunch better than a lot of FET compressors, but without the compression artifacts. The fact that something so tiny, affordable, and simple could be that good is kinda crazy.

Zulu is another great device. Its easy to overuse and darken your sound or make it too lofi with overapplication. Can be tricky to gain stage because totally passive and sensitive to impedence factors which make it sound different depending on where its located in a chain. But price is right, dual channel, and its kinda great. Just a tiny dab. It has a lot more controls than the active Beriech, so more variation of tone, particularly in terms of darkening things ever so slightly for that tape sound, and it has more of a compression character than the Bereich. If you darken with Zulu, then use something like a Pultec on your mix to push the highs into that slight darkening, you get that classic technique that provided 'that sound' of silky highs on so many classic recordings. BTW, AML Pultec clones are stellar, and from a recent shootout by some folks on here, they said that in a/b test nearly indistinguishable from the new Pulse units at a fraction of the price.

I also really like the standard issue Culture Vulture. These have a mixed reputation on Gearslutz but mostly from almost a decade ago. I don't think most people knew what to make of saturation back then, times have really changed. This unit really holds its own against anything out there, it was ahead of its time, and whatever quality issues Thermionic had early on have been sorted. Totally diff yet complementary sound to the solid state stuff mentioned so far. People say it can't be subtle, but I don't think most realize there's a switch on it that makes it subtle! With triode, two types of pentode, and biasing control, tons of sound options. You can get them B-stock from UK distributors like SX Pro Audio or Soundpure for pretty cheap, or used of course.

I also really like the CAPI vp-28. Provides nice warm, thick, but also snappy sound of real hardware to anything that goes through it, mine has the newer dot op-amps, which sound hi-fi to me, unlike the 1731 I started with which I think is more suited to dirtying up guitars.

I sold the HG-2. My friend referred to the sounds I was hearing as being from a 'de-vintage-izer' unit, eek. What it really excels at is raising RMS levels, I could see it being super useful in mastering, especially for more modern oriented genres. Granted, I was trying it out mostly for its pentode options, as I had triode covered by other gear at the time, maybe its triode provided more wamrth than I realized at the time. I had a Summit TPA-200a/b doing triode duties for me at the time. That's also a stellar bit of kit for triode warmth, tho I eventually sold it when I realized the culture vulture could get its sound.

The RND 542 is nice, but in my book, non-essential, and two of them is also not the cheapest. The tape sim it provides doesn't sound much like tape to me, but oddly for a solid state unit, sounds kinda like triode tubes, but a little softer and less hairy, if that makes any sense, but given a choice, I'd take tube cause its a little more transparent and less heavy handed I think for equal warmth and glue. The transformer options were ok. I could see it being more useful than some of the others on vocals cause it's a soft sound overall, and its got a lot of adjustment parameters. Just seemed less necessary to me than the others.

I haven't tried the AML 1073eq units, but they look stellar, and I hear they are near indistinguishable from the real deal. I have used the AML pultec and diode bridge comp and was super impressed.

I tried the Silver Bullet, but under less than ideal circumstances. I'm curious from those who've used it, does it sound 'vintage', or rather a more modern take on neve and api? Most of the comments on this unit are in the Silver Bullet thread, which seems mostly fans, but getting anyone to speak about it comparison to other competitive gear seems quite rare, and often in threads full of fans, people rarely voice anything but sunny praise, so I'm curious how it holds up in comparison if one is looking for vintage warmth. I know the makers of the unit said they came up with it after considering the AML/capi approach less than suited to their needs, but my impression of these brands has been they sound very vintage, so I'm curious if the LTL gear sounds more so, or less so, particularly as the look of the unit is non-vintage.
Old 22nd May 2020
  #9
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Nick Morris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fromthepuggle View Post

I tried the Silver Bullet, but under less than ideal circumstances. I'm curious from those who've used it, does it sound 'vintage', or rather a more modern take on neve and api? Most of the comments on this unit are in the Silver Bullet thread, which seems mostly fans, but getting anyone to speak about it comparison to other competitive gear seems quite rare, and often in threads full of fans, people rarely voice anything but sunny praise, so I'm curious how it holds up in comparison if one is looking for vintage warmth. I know the makers of the unit said they came up with it after considering the AML/capi approach less than suited to their needs, but my impression of these brands has been they sound very vintage, so I'm curious if the LTL gear sounds more so, or less so, particularly as the look of the unit is non-vintage.
I can confirm the silver bullet is definitely ‘vintage’ sonically. The look is deceiving. Compared to any API, I bet you’d be more happy with the SB, and the neve side is great like you’d expect a vintage neve to be.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Classic's Avatar
 

Neve MBP did it for me during my mix bus search. Def adds weight and depth, and red silk can add a vibe.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #11
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elisionary View Post
- Miad LCPQ4040’s (these seems like a fantastic option for my first outboard eq aside from the SB)
I can confirm that the Miad's work exceptionally well alongside the Silver Bullet. (I have a pair. Wish I had more....)

To me, it looks like you're pretty set aside from another EQ. The only other thing I'd consider if I was in your shoes would be a Manley Vari-Mu. Cheers,
Old 23rd May 2020
  #12
Lives for gear
 
imloggedin's Avatar
You're forgetting the SSL Fusion which was just on sale. It has a nice drive, hf compressor, widener and EQ built in. You have much of its function covered already with the M-A-S and Bullet though (as well with the RND MBP). You really have everything you need for the mix bus besides widening if you want that touch of a finish (which isnt always useful). You may consider using an M/S eq for some widening instead on the master which is also a SSL Fusion feature (M/S insert).
Old 24th May 2020
  #13
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Out of that list I’d probably go for the HG2, for the saturation part.
Maybe also some DIYRE colour modules with the 15ips tape card, M79 saturation card and the american mass drivr or the console xformer ctx.. and you can blend them any way you want and put them in series pushing one into the other..
although I’d look to add tubes to your signal path.. it might help..

Maybe also some Gyraf gear.. that has a certain softness, wideness, and tape-like qualities to it..although these are not saturators (he has one btw, but I’m not a big fan of knobs twisting).

Gyraf G22 varimu maybe and the G23-S tilt eq..



Cheu
I’ve been looking at the DIYRE stuff and accompanying modules from LTLO. The Gyraf stuff looks killer, too!
Old 24th May 2020
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fromthepuggle View Post
So I did an in depth shootout of saturation stuff about 6 months ago, so I can help and chime in. Btw, I followed LTL's shootout advice on 500 series power supplies, and the Heritage OST series is what I went for, based on combo of price and their seal of approval, been quite pleased, and quite affordable.

I'd start with a Bereich03 dual density module. Sure there's a slight waiting time, but its handmade after all. For $550 and dual channel, real bang for the buck, and these are popular for a reason, they are one of the best saturators I've laid my hands on. Compared a/b to the Overstayer MAS, it's identical on the normal setting for the MAS, though the MAS provides a few more filters and wet/dry. For drumbus, Bereich fatness and expands the size and provides crunch better than a lot of FET compressors, but without the compression artifacts. The fact that something so tiny, affordable, and simple could be that good is kinda crazy.

Zulu is another great device. Its easy to overuse and darken your sound or make it too lofi with overapplication. Can be tricky to gain stage because totally passive and sensitive to impedence factors which make it sound different depending on where its located in a chain. But price is right, dual channel, and its kinda great. Just a tiny dab. It has a lot more controls than the active Beriech, so more variation of tone, particularly in terms of darkening things ever so slightly for that tape sound, and it has more of a compression character than the Bereich. If you darken with Zulu, then use something like a Pultec on your mix to push the highs into that slight darkening, you get that classic technique that provided 'that sound' of silky highs on so many classic recordings. BTW, AML Pultec clones are stellar, and from a recent shootout by some folks on here, they said that in a/b test nearly indistinguishable from the new Pulse units at a fraction of the price.

I also really like the standard issue Culture Vulture. These have a mixed reputation on Gearslutz but mostly from almost a decade ago. I don't think most people knew what to make of saturation back then, times have really changed. This unit really holds its own against anything out there, it was ahead of its time, and whatever quality issues Thermionic had early on have been sorted. Totally diff yet complementary sound to the solid state stuff mentioned so far. People say it can't be subtle, but I don't think most realize there's a switch on it that makes it subtle! With triode, two types of pentode, and biasing control, tons of sound options. You can get them B-stock from UK distributors like SX Pro Audio or Soundpure for pretty cheap, or used of course.

I also really like the CAPI vp-28. Provides nice warm, thick, but also snappy sound of real hardware to anything that goes through it, mine has the newer dot op-amps, which sound hi-fi to me, unlike the 1731 I started with which I think is more suited to dirtying up guitars.

I sold the HG-2. My friend referred to the sounds I was hearing as being from a 'de-vintage-izer' unit, eek. What it really excels at is raising RMS levels, I could see it being super useful in mastering, especially for more modern oriented genres. Granted, I was trying it out mostly for its pentode options, as I had triode covered by other gear at the time, maybe its triode provided more wamrth than I realized at the time. I had a Summit TPA-200a/b doing triode duties for me at the time. That's also a stellar bit of kit for triode warmth, tho I eventually sold it when I realized the culture vulture could get its sound.

The RND 542 is nice, but in my book, non-essential, and two of them is also not the cheapest. The tape sim it provides doesn't sound much like tape to me, but oddly for a solid state unit, sounds kinda like triode tubes, but a little softer and less hairy, if that makes any sense, but given a choice, I'd take tube cause its a little more transparent and less heavy handed I think for equal warmth and glue. The transformer options were ok. I could see it being more useful than some of the others on vocals cause it's a soft sound overall, and its got a lot of adjustment parameters. Just seemed less necessary to me than the others.

I haven't tried the AML 1073eq units, but they look stellar, and I hear they are near indistinguishable from the real deal. I have used the AML pultec and diode bridge comp and was super impressed.

I tried the Silver Bullet, but under less than ideal circumstances. I'm curious from those who've used it, does it sound 'vintage', or rather a more modern take on neve and api? Most of the comments on this unit are in the Silver Bullet thread, which seems mostly fans, but getting anyone to speak about it comparison to other competitive gear seems quite rare, and often in threads full of fans, people rarely voice anything but sunny praise, so I'm curious how it holds up in comparison if one is looking for vintage warmth. I know the makers of the unit said they came up with it after considering the AML/capi approach less than suited to their needs, but my impression of these brands has been they sound very vintage, so I'm curious if the LTL gear sounds more so, or less so, particularly as the look of the unit is non-vintage.
Thanks for your detailed response! I don’t think i’d have much use for the Bereich on the master because there’s so much overlap with the MAS which I already own and love. I’m really not interested in running through api or neve pres because honestly, I think the Silver Bullet sounds better than when i’ve tried that, especially with a full mix. It can go from crunchy vintage to modern, wide and thick. I don’t really see a need to add two more pres on my 2bus. I’d rather add an EQ like the Miad LCPQ4040’s, so i’d have more functionality, RND MBP for extra transformer goodness, bus compression, and widening capabilities, or the HG-2 or RND 542’s for more saturation and color. I’ll definitely keep in mind what you said about the Neve’s.
Old 24th May 2020
  #15
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic View Post
Neve MBP did it for me during my mix bus search. Def adds weight and depth, and red silk can add a vibe.
Have you used an SSL or other 2 bus compressor running into the RND MBP? I figure with the mix option it could be interesting with both compressors at mild settings.
Old 24th May 2020
  #16
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I can confirm that the Miad's work exceptionally well alongside the Silver Bullet. (I have a pair. Wish I had more....)

To me, it looks like you're pretty set aside from another EQ. The only other thing I'd consider if I was in your shoes would be a Manley Vari-Mu. Cheers,
I just made the decision that I need to pick up a pair of LCPQ 4040’s after talking to Michalis at Miad. He’s a super nice guy and the product seems really well made and insanely flexible as an EQ. If I only have a couple hardware EQ’s I feel like these would be a great choice. Do you find if you drive the transformers a bit you can get some pleasant saturation? I know it’s a mild and “Transparently colored” piece of kit, heh, but i’m still curious about the sonics in that regard.

As far as the Vari, do you find it works with genres like prog rock/metal or electronic? I see the new Manley’s have a sidechain option, but I’m worried it would be a bit too mushy on the 2bus for some styles. I have absolutely loved what i’ve heard demo-wise, but I really want it to have a lot of utility if i’m spending that much.

By the way, I blame you and Brad for helping me contract a bad case of GAS
Old 24th May 2020
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by imloggedin View Post
You're forgetting the SSL Fusion which was just on sale. It has a nice drive, hf compressor, widener and EQ built in. You have much of its function covered already with the M-A-S and Bullet though (as well with the RND MBP). You really have everything you need for the mix bus besides widening if you want that touch of a finish (which isnt always useful). You may consider using an M/S eq for some widening instead on the master which is also a SSL Fusion feature (M/S insert).
I never got to demo the Fusion, but I just never got that excited after hearing demos. I feel like I can do most of what it does ITB and with the SB and MAS. Also, the transformer option seems to add too much of a bump in the high end for me. I guess it’s something you’d have to mix into. Trust me, I really want to love it, but for some reason I just can’t get that excited about it. The RND MBP seems much more attractive...damn my expensive tastes.

I also want to apologize for what feels like spamming the thread with multiple replies. Is there a way to quote multiple people in one post?
Old 24th May 2020
  #18
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elisionary View Post
I just made the decision that I need to pick up a pair of LCPQ 4040’s after talking to Michalis at Miad. He’s a super nice guy and the product seems really well made and insanely flexible as an EQ. If I only have a couple hardware EQ’s I feel like these would be a great choice. Do you find if you drive the transformers a bit you can get some pleasant saturation? I know it’s a mild and “Transparently colored” piece of kit, heh, but i’m still curious about the sonics in that regard.
I’m not sure an eq like this (even if it sounds very nice) would help your “saturation” goals..
The effect from an eq like this is subtle, at best.



Cheu
Old 24th May 2020
  #19
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
I’m not sure an eq like this (even if it sounds very nice) would help your “saturation” goals..
The effect from an eq like this is subtle, at best.



Cheu
Totally. I’m definitely getting them for just the great EQ. I’m just always curious about what gear does when it’s abused a bit

I’m still looking for one more saturation/compressor unit, whether it be for 2bus or other groups/tracks, too.
Old 24th May 2020
  #20
Gear Addict
 
Classic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elisionary View Post
Have you used an SSL or other 2 bus compressor running into the RND MBP? I figure with the mix option it could be interesting with both compressors at mild settings.
I haven’t but I’m sure it’d be awesome! I use the MBP to mildly compress (1-2 dB at peaks, 1.5:1) then use an SSL comp plugin afterwards for 2-3db 2:1 for more of the glue thing. If I had the hardware, I’d probably do the same. MBP limiter is really transparent and could be helpful to feed into the SSL for some really smooth compression.
Old 24th May 2020
  #21
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic View Post
I haven’t but I’m sure it’d be awesome! I use the MBP to mildly compress (1-2 dB at peaks, 1.5:1) then use an SSL comp plugin afterwards for 2-3db 2:1 for more of the glue thing. If I had the hardware, I’d probably do the same. MBP limiter is really transparent and could be helpful to feed into the SSL for some really smooth compression.
Nice! How do you like the tone of the MBP with no other processing activated except with maybe the silk feature engaged? Have you used the compressor on drums, vocals, individual instruments, etc? I do some mastering, but i’d mainly use it as a mixing tool, so I’m wondering If it could work well in other places aside from the 2bus.
Old 24th May 2020
  #22
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic View Post
Neve MBP did it for me during my mix bus search. Def adds weight and depth, and red silk can add a vibe.
I was going to say this exact same thing. A big ‘aah’ moment for me for sure.
Old 24th May 2020
  #23
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elisionary View Post
I just made the decision that I need to pick up a pair of LCPQ 4040’s after talking to Michalis at Miad. He’s a super nice guy and the product seems really well made and insanely flexible as an EQ. If I only have a couple hardware EQ’s I feel like these would be a great choice. Do you find if you drive the transformers a bit you can get some pleasant saturation? I know it’s a mild and “Transparently colored” piece of kit, heh, but i’m still curious about the sonics in that regard.

As far as the Vari, do you find it works with genres like prog rock/metal or electronic? I see the new Manley’s have a sidechain option, but I’m worried it would be a bit too mushy on the 2bus for some styles. I have absolutely loved what i’ve heard demo-wise, but I really want it to have a lot of utility if i’m spending that much.

By the way, I blame you and Brad for helping me contract a bad case of GAS
Haha! Sorry about that... On the 4040, I don't find it particularly colored. It's just big, and euphonic sounding. Very sweet. And it fills in the spots that the Silver Bullet can't reach. I use the combo of both EQs together and it works well. I don't drive it particularly "hard", but it definitely getting healthy levels as it's usually the last thing in my mastering chain before the brick wall limiting.

I don't do much prog or metal. A bit of Electronic EDM. The Manley always works for me if you like it's "tone". Which I think one could definitely describe as "vintage". good luck with your search!
Old 24th May 2020
  #24
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleNorth View Post
I was going to say this exact same thing. A big ‘aah’ moment for me for sure.
Hmm, I may have to pick one up! All the demos sound fantastic, and I have only seen one or two negative reviews.
Old 24th May 2020
  #25
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Haha! Sorry about that... On the 4040, I don't find it particularly colored. It's just big, and euphonic sounding. Very sweet. And it fills in the spots that the Silver Bullet can't reach. I use the combo of both EQs together and it works well. I don't drive it particularly "hard", but it definitely getting healthy levels as it's usually the last thing in my mastering chain before the brick wall limiting.

I don't do much prog or metal. A bit of Electronic EDM. The Manley always works for me if you like it's "tone". Which I think one could definitely describe as "vintage". good luck with your search!
Thanks for the feedback! I feel like the RND MBP for 2bus may be more flexible then, or grabbing some 1176/la2a clones for individual tracks may get me further for now. Perhaps I could grab the manley in the future for some vintage color on less hard hitting and modern transient-heavy material.
Old 24th May 2020
  #26
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elisionary View Post
Thanks for the feedback! I feel like the RND MBP for 2bus may be more flexible then, or grabbing some 1176/la2a clones for individual tracks may get me further for now. Perhaps I could grab the manley in the future for some vintage color on less hard hitting and modern transient-heavy material.
I’d still look at real tube units for your 2bus, like the gyraf, which is dual mono (also for m/s if wanted/needed) And could used for tracking (also cascading the two channels) AND mixing and does something very special to the signal.

Also I would be wary of samples heard online since you don’t know nothing about.

Good luck!



Cheu
Old 25th May 2020
  #27
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imloggedin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elisionary View Post
I never got to demo the Fusion, but I just never got that excited after hearing demos. I feel like I can do most of what it does ITB and with the SB and MAS. Also, the transformer option seems to add too much of a bump in the high end for me. I guess it’s something you’d have to mix into. Trust me, I really want to love it, but for some reason I just can’t get that excited about it. The RND MBP seems much more attractive...damn my expensive tastes.

I also want to apologize for what feels like spamming the thread with multiple replies. Is there a way to quote multiple people in one post?
I am not sure if you have tested out the Fusion in person or just watched videos of it, but the transformer barely does anything. Its almost not perceptible. But you are right, for your current setup it probably wouldn't add much for you.
Old 27th May 2020
  #28
Gear Head
 

I just wanted to thank everyone for all the feedback and suggestions so far! For anyone still looking through this thread, i’ve narrowed my choices down to the Miad LCPQ 4040’s and the Neve MBP. I will likely pick up two 4040’s first because they will have a bit more utility than the Neve MBP for my current needs. I wish I could get both, but alas Covid has reduced many of my income streams :/

If there are any other suggestions i’d love to hear them, and i’m sure other lurkers researching units for the 2bus would appreciate it as well!
Old 27th May 2020
  #29
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Jantex's Avatar
 

I owned MBP for a few years but sold it last year. I didn’t find compressor that spectacular and hated the upper mid sparkle it imparted. Always kept trying it, but it mostly always ended up turned off. Somehow simply didn’t enjoy its box tone and compression characteristics. Also wasn’t a fan of silk. Blue ended up wooly and red too aggressive in a guitar kind of way. I had high expectations for it, but for me it didn’t deliver.
Old 27th May 2020
  #30
Gear Addict
I have the 542's on my 2 bus that's the first thing my sound hits after leaving the 5060. I go 542's into either my Wes Audio Dione Compressor or my Shadow Hills Vandergraph compressor then into my 1974 EQ. that's chain sounds great.


I also have the Neve MBP but I only use it in my mastering chain.
I have the Zulu too but I use it on my drum bus. It can make the sound dirty if that's the vibe you want or you can go hifi with a much cleaner sound.
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