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Advice Sought....Pend MDP1 vs TG Channel?
Old 2nd July 2005
  #1
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oceantracks's Avatar
 

Advice Sought....Pend MDP1 vs TG Channel?

Let me give you the "givens" ....

1 I tend to like big, "in your face" sounds. I consider the TG2 pre to do this. I like the vintage tone, as you hear in the new Portico vs the cleaner more pristine (i.e. to my ears, "thin" sounds of some other popular pres).

2 Second given....this pre will be used for vocals (pop stuff...no metal, no rap) and for recording live guitar and direct bass.


With the TG Channel I get EQ, with the Pendulum I get two channels and though I have not heard it, the "open" version sounds like it would be a winner.

I 'm looking for the pre that will be the most versatile (from female breathy pop stuff to louder male rock) and sound the best also for direct guitar and bass ( I do both live guitar stuff and at times, direct).

I'm very limited right now microphone wise, just using my humble AT4047.

Thanks for any advice
TH
Old 2nd July 2005
  #2
84K
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We have 7 Pendulum Audio MDP-1's here at the studio. That gives us 14 of those pres. We felt we needed 14 of those pres. I guess I don't have to say anything more.

They get used, and usually destroy anything we test against on most applications. They are the perfect blend of fat tube, focused, warm and edgy. There is a line with all those elements. Most tube pres are not focused enough for me and too tubby. The Pendulum is exactly what I love about tubes and none of what I hate. Never fails us.
Old 2nd July 2005
  #3
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edIT's Avatar
 

I also have Pendulum MDP-1A. I love it. It's definitely in your face. I also love the fact that it can be real clean if you want it to be, and real colored and chunky sounding. Awesome pre, highly recommended. I used to have a pair of API 512c's and granted they are totally different beasts. I sold them and got the Pendulum, and haven't really missed them since.
Old 3rd July 2005
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

I'm surprised you find the pendulum "very clean"
have you ever tried gordon, GML, martech or the Lavry pre ?
To me these four are much cleaner than the pendulum.
Also there are numerous pres that are more colored than the pendulum.
To me the pendulum line is an "inbetweener " and never comes in first place in any shootout but i could call it a fair all purpose pre if i had to have only one.
Old 4th July 2005
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Johan
I'm surprised you find the pendulum "very clean"
have you ever tried gordon, GML, martech or the Lavry pre ?
To me these four are much cleaner than the pendulum.
I did pretty extensive shootouts of Gordon vs Pendulum Quartet II, set up in "MDP1" mode as well as many other setups. Also compared against several other pre's. I bought 4 channels of Gordon.

In every case, the tracks from the other preamps would be sounding just great, then I'd switch (blind) to the Gordon and it was no contest. The sound just LEAPED out of the speakers. Can't even explain it until you experience it. It's a completely new way of recording and listening to music for me, IMO on a similar level as moving from analog to HDTV.

Too bad Gordon doesn't seem to get much press here, I guess folks think it's a "clean" preamp -- This is not "clean", we're talking holographic.

Steve

PS Pendulum are outstanding products, I own one.
Old 4th July 2005
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegybug
I did pretty extensive shootouts of Gordon vs Pendulum Quartet II, set up in "MDP1" mode as well as many other setups. Also compared against several other pre's. I bought 4 channels of Gordon.

In every case, the tracks from the other preamps would be sounding just great, then I'd switch (blind) to the Gordon and it was no contest. The sound just LEAPED out of the speakers. Can't even explain it until you experience it. It's a completely new way of recording and listening to music for me, IMO on a similar level as moving from analog to HDTV.

Too bad Gordon doesn't seem to get much press here, I guess folks think it's a "clean" preamp -- This is not "clean", we're talking holographic.

Steve

PS Pendulum are outstanding products, I own one.
Well, they are just too damn expensive. Unless you are rich, or are making a fortune doing this, the cost is prohibitive. Might as well pick up a few original 251s and 47s to go with it

I have heard that they are wonderful....

TH
Old 4th July 2005
  #7
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natpub's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks
Well, they are just too damn expensive. Unless you are rich, or are making a fortune doing this, the cost is prohibitive.

TH
$1800 for a single channel doesnt strike me as outrageous, just high end. I mean, the Manley mono is $1450, Martech is $1950 a channel, and the DWFerne is $2300, a real whopper :-)
Old 4th July 2005
  #8
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I ain't rich, but I got rid of almost all my other preamps to get these Gordons, I would never have used them again.

No they're not cheap. The new models are less $$ than the originals, I think the 2-ch model is $2600 plus $300 for a controller than can run 4 channels. Not outrageous....

Steve
Old 4th July 2005
  #9
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oceantracks's Avatar
 

Yes just went to the Gordon site and saw the model 4 at 1800...that's doable...

I was ready to get a Chandler TG2 or TG Channel...but this thing really intrigues me, and has a 14 day money back. May have to do this.

Do you think it sounds good on electric guitars? I'm mainly using it for vocals and acoustic, but there will be times when I need to go direct for bass, and mic a small guitar amp. I know the TG is king for guitar amps...

Tom
Old 4th July 2005
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks
Do you think it sounds good on electric guitars? I'm mainly using it for vocals and acoustic, but there will be times when I need to go direct for bass, and mic a small guitar amp. I know the TG is king for guitar amps...
Tom -
I can't imagine anything the Gordon wouldn't sound great on. It's just a huge 3-dimensional soundstage, presents whatever source I've recorded as completely realistic. Whatever your guitar amp sounds like.... then that's what it will sound like through the Gordon (with decent mic of course) -- except it will be jumping out of the speakers, into the room

I mostly record M/F vocals and acoustic instruments too and am constantly amazed at the depth. I decided long ago to get all the realism I could on tracking, then I can always "color" it later if I want. Can't go the other way...

Steve
Old 4th July 2005
  #11
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oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegybug
Tom -
I can't imagine anything the Gordon wouldn't sound great on. It's just a huge 3-dimensional soundstage, presents whatever source I've recorded as completely realistic. Whatever your guitar amp sounds like.... then that's what it will sound like through the Gordon (with decent mic of course) -- except it will be jumping out of the speakers, into the room

I mostly record M/F vocals and acoustic instruments too and am constantly amazed at the depth. I decided long ago to get all the realism I could on tracking, then I can always "color" it later if I want. Can't go the other way...

Steve
Thanks Steve.

When I was younger and had some cash around as a bachelor, I was very into high end audio....the listening side...not the pro audio side. One of the top pre amps in the world for a stereo system was (and still is) made by a company called SPECTRAL. They believed in insane amounts of bandwidth...and that's how anything you played through their stuff (and great speakers) sounded...just WIDE OPEN. It seems as if GORDON is taking a similar approach, which would account for the size and detail you are getting. I love a big, fast and open sound (The opposite of the 1272 sound) so this sure sounds interesting. I need to do something very soon so I hope the order time isn't prohibitive on a Model 4. I just emailed Gordon.....I'll definitely leave impressions up here and in Lynn's forum if one gets in my hands soon. Thanks for all the info...

Tom
Old 4th July 2005
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks
One of the top pre amps in the world for a stereo system was (and still is) made by a company called SPECTRAL. They believed in insane amounts of bandwidth...and that's how anything you played through their stuff (and great speakers) sounded...just WIDE OPEN. It seems as if GORDON is taking a similar approach, which would account for the size and detail you are getting. I love a big, fast and open sound (The opposite of the 1272 sound) so this sure sounds interesting. I need to do something very soon so I hope the order time isn't prohibitive on a Model 4. I just emailed Gordon.....I'll definitely leave impressions up here and in Lynn's forum if one gets in my hands soon. Thanks for all the info...
You are welcome Tom, I hope you get a chance to try one. Last I heard new deliveries were a little held up because of component delays, maybe that's cleared up now. But at least he (Grant Carpenter - the designer) should be able to set you up with demo gear.

Funny you mention the Spectral... Grant's only dealer (besides his direct sales) is Goodwin's High End. Alan has said to me several times that Spectral is far the best amplifier available. And man does that shop have a choice among amps. The Spectral still require a specialized upstream input, not only from their preamps but also even to specific cables! Definitely hi-tech... and the price to prove it

Anyway, Gordon mic pre's are definitely in that universe, not the "transformer-ey/tube-y/we-will-color-your-sound-for-you/etc". Put your best stuff in it and the result is true to that. So since you know Spectral you already know what I'm talking about. We're using Gordon on our live system as well, don't even want to play acoustic anymore BTW I posted a review a while back on Lynn's site if you want to check that: http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ul...c&f=1&t=001218

Steve
Old 4th July 2005
  #13
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Fletcher's Avatar
Grant's a pretty cool guy, I've not heard the pre, but if it's as serious as Grant, then it's a serious pre to say the least.

'Clean' is a relative term... GML clean is different from Hardy clean which is different from Martech clean, Fearn clean, Pendulum clean and Millennia clean. The fact of the matter is that all these boxes are excellent units when employed in the right application... though one may indeed please the listener/engineer/producer/player more than any one of the others... it's all up to context and sense of aesthetic.

Let me also add that both the "full" and the "focused" setting on the Pendulum Audio "Q-II" are the pre-amp from an MDP... it's just that one is the pre-amp from the MDP-1A and the other is the pre-amp from the MDP-1B... and they're both rather different sounding.

For all I know the Gordon will make your music sing and dance like no other unit you will encounter for the rest of your days on Earth... or maybe there is something better for you out there... it's all up to the way you work, what you want to hear from the tools, the arrangement of the song, the mood and vibe of the song as well as your mood, and how you are interpreting the way to have the sonics support the musical statment.

Best of luck with the search.
Old 4th July 2005
  #14
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mr.gefell's Avatar
 

the gordon is the real deal. hands down,bow down,straight up!!!
Old 4th July 2005
  #15
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Dickens's Avatar
 

Are there dealers or is it direct purchase only?

Wow! How confusing this all is.
I've decided not to upgrade my computer this summer but instead improve on a great channel for recording vocals. I'm using a 002 and considering the TG-2 or possibly Quartet 1. Now the Gordon mic pre has my attention.
Old 4th July 2005
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickens
Are there dealers or is it direct purchase only?
Goodwin's High End is the only Gordon dealer AFAIK www.goodwinshighend.com. That's where I bought mine. They're in Waltham so maybe you could drop by. Probably be fun to go there just to gawk, they have some serious audiophile. here's a "listening room"



And of course Fletcher's shop is in your neighborhood as well, maybe get a chance to check out the Pendulums and other great equipment they have too. You could be busy...

Steve
Old 4th July 2005
  #17
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Dickens's Avatar
 

Thanks Speedybug.
Are you saying that Mercenary carries the Gordon?
I went to the website but did not see them listed.
Old 4th July 2005
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegybug
Goodwin's High End is the only Gordon dealer AFAIK
...
Old 4th July 2005
  #19
Gear Addict
 

MDP1 & TG Channel owner comments

i have both units here at Soundworks and just wanted to chime in.

i think the MDP1 is an awesome and very flexible piece. a no-brainer for vox because it can be forgiving or it can be pushed for a little tube grit. but in general it's a very hi-fi piece that sounds good on everything from vox to guitars to rhodes (direct) to drum overheads.

so far, i've found the EQ on the TG Channel to have some special applications, but by no means is it as generally useful or sweet as an API 550 or Neve EQ. i'm sure i'll get to know it better over time, but over the past year the applications haven't been as broad as the MDP1.

-tE

SAN FRANCISCO SOUNDWORKS
www.sfsoundworks.com
Old 5th July 2005
  #20
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Tony, it was my impression from speaking to the designer that the TG EQ was not intended to be some kind of surgical EQ (who would do that while tracking??)....but instead a general broadband PULTEC kind of approach to add air or ramp out some mud. Sounds pretty useful to me, but I haven't heard it. I thought the idea of having a little EQ on the way in would be useful. So far, I haven't heard anything that makes the singer quite as large as the TG stuff, but I am intrigued by the Gordon...

TH
Old 5th July 2005
  #21
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oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher
Grant's a pretty cool guy, I've not heard the pre, but if it's as serious as Grant, then it's a serious pre to say the least.

'Clean' is a relative term... GML clean is different from Hardy clean which is different from Martech clean, Fearn clean, Pendulum clean and Millennia clean. The fact of the matter is that all these boxes are excellent units when employed in the right application... though one may indeed please the listener/engineer/producer/player more than any one of the others... it's all up to context and sense of aesthetic.

Let me also add that both the "full" and the "focused" setting on the Pendulum Audio "Q-II" are the pre-amp from an MDP... it's just that one is the pre-amp from the MDP-1A and the other is the pre-amp from the MDP-1B... and they're both rather different sounding.

For all I know the Gordon will make your music sing and dance like no other unit you will encounter for the rest of your days on Earth... or maybe there is something better for you out there... it's all up to the way you work, what you want to hear from the tools, the arrangement of the song, the mood and vibe of the song as well as your mood, and how you are interpreting the way to have the sonics support the musical statment.

Best of luck with the search.
Fletcher is so right here...everyone is listening with different expectations. I've heard people swear by the TG for guitars, but think of it as a third or fourth choice for vocals. I tracked some Beatle-esque material with it on vocals and it was amazing. So it's what we use it for and what we like. Unfortunately, it's just very hard, unless you are very rich, to get two or three high end units in your room to compare, although at this point, that's what I'm going to ask of my dealer, where I've spent a fortune over the past two years. If they don't want to do it, I'll go somewhere else. This is all way to important to decide on the internet...

TH
Old 5th July 2005
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks
Unfortunately, it's just very hard, unless you are very rich, to get two or three high end units in your room to compare, although at this point, that's what I'm going to ask of my dealer, where I've spent a fortune over the past two years. If they don't want to do it, I'll go somewhere else. This is all way to important to decide on the internet...
Yes that's the deal. I put in a lot of work and some $$ to do my evaluations in my own place. I had already bought a few preamps over the years to compare with, and I was fortunate to have some really exceptional dealers that I'd worked with along the way. After getting a relationship going like that I arranged for some "rentals" where the price would apply to purchase if I bought it. Otherwise it was just a rental, and I paid shipping of course. Worked pretty well, as long as the box I wanted was available to be sent out like that.

Anyway, best luck with it, let us know how it goes for you.

Steve
Old 8th July 2005
  #23
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks
Tony, it was my impression from speaking to the designer that the TG EQ was not intended to be some kind of surgical EQ (who would do that while tracking??)....but instead a general broadband PULTEC kind of approach to add air or ramp out some mud. Sounds pretty useful to me, but I haven't heard it. I thought the idea of having a little EQ on the way in would be useful. So far, I haven't heard anything that makes the singer quite as large as the TG stuff, but I am intrigued by the Gordon...

TH
hi - i'm a big Chandler fan - we've got TG1's in both SSL mix rooms as well as the TG2's. i talked to Wade about the TG Channel while I was at AES and so I think I understand the concept. my point is that in my experiences both tracking and mixing, they *don't* sound like pultecs on the top end, and the mid range dip is interesting, but not something i was comfortable committing to in tracking. we've got pultecs, neve's, api's, massivo, gml, avalon all sitting here in the same rack. so i can tell you they are a unique piece. for my purposes, that's a good thing -- but i'll need to play with them more before i find their sweet spots. most of Chandler's stuff seems voiced for loud guitars, drums, and maybe 60's style vox. so keep that in mind.

-tE

Tony Espinoza
Mixer / Engineer
SF SOUNDWORKS
Old 29th March 2013
  #24
Gear Nut
 
RicardoWheelock's Avatar
mdp1a

Today I recorded male and female vocals for a great sounding project I am producing and I did a blind shootout between the following preamps:

1073DPA
UA6176
MDP-1
Purple BIZ mkII
CAPI 312 with gar1731

On the male the best sounding pre was the BIZ mkII but on female the MDP-1 was by far the best, and on the male the 2nd best was the MDP-1 and I am pretty sure it didn't won because I didn't wait the normal half hour tube gear needs to warm up...is absolute joy...I absolutely recommend Pendulum gear, specially the MDP1a
Old 29th March 2013
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicardoWheelock View Post
Purple BIZ mkII
Old thread, but just wanted to say, the Purple BIZ MK has some CHEST!!!
I love those things on drums!!!! Especially with Toms!

It makes a Tom Tom sound hearty and plentiful!!! Audio is fat and juicy like a stuffed turkey out of the oven. Damn, I love those things. Need a few soon,
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