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
Chameleon Labs 7602 MkII Alternatives? Single-Channel Preamps
Old 31st May 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 
tweakeasy's Avatar
 

Chameleon Labs 7602 MkII Alternatives?

Perhaps I should have posted this in the Low-End section, but I wanted High-End responses.

The Chameleon Labs 7602 MkII is available for around $970 US with the Carnhill transformer factory mod.

Wondering what else is worth considering in that price range?

Thanks guys!

Michael
Old 31st May 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Well, I'm not high end but I'd say Great River or Sebatron.
Old 31st May 2009
  #3
Here for the gear
 
tweakeasy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IzovAge View Post
Well, I'm not high end but I'd say Great River or Sebatron.
Ha, I'm not high-end either by a long shot but I'm trying to get as close to it as I can for my money.

Were you referring to the Sebatron Proxima? Only pre of theirs I can see of a similar price.

I'm assuming with the Great River you were referring to the MP-500NV? It looks to be a solid unit but would have the additional cost of having to be racked.
Old 31st May 2009
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

The Great River unit I was referring to was the ME-1NV. It looks like Sebatron has quit making the single channel in the VMP series. You might be able to find one used or save just a bit more to get the 2 channel (not a bad idea).
Old 1st June 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
The 7602 has an EQ....the other two don't. They really don't compare at any price.

IMHOP you can't find a similar product that competes with the Chameleon
Old 1st June 2009
  #6
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffmo View Post
The 7602 has an EQ....the other two don't. They really don't compare at any price.

IMHOP you can't find a similar product that competes with the Chameleon
Agreed...

If you are looking for just a preamp, then there are certainly better choices for the Neve sound (Avedis MA5 - $775).
Old 1st June 2009
  #7
Here for the gear
 
tweakeasy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
Agreed...

If you are looking for just a preamp, then there are certainly better choices for the Neve sound (Avedis MA5 - $775).
So in terms of getting a decent unit WITH eq then it's either the CL or stepping up in price considerably to something like the Sebatron vmp-2000eVU hey? Is there a MASSIVE jump in quality between those units?

I think I would prefer to have something with outboard eq as currently I'm only using my MOTU 828 Mk3's eq.

Thanks for your help guys, I'm obviously showing how little I know about this but it's the best way to learn. "Straight from the horse's mouth".
Old 1st June 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 
lowfreq33's Avatar
 

I'm sure I'll get flamed for mentioning this in the high-end forum, but in the $500-$800 price range the Presonus Eureka is actually not bad. I picked one up at a significant discount on a whim, and I have to say I was surprised at how decent it sounded. It doesn't compete with anything high end, but you could certainly do worse for the price. Much better than any of the Focusrite stuff in the same range.
Old 1st June 2009
  #9
Here for the gear
 
tweakeasy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IzovAge View Post
It looks like Sebatron has quit making the single channel in the VMP series... save just a bit more to get the 2 channel (not a bad idea).
I'm liking this idea more and more. The vmp-2000eVU looks nice.

If it was between that and the Thorax, what would you go?
Old 1st June 2009
  #10
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

A completely modded Chameleon 7602 MKII is a thing of beauty.

The Carnhills do a fair amount for the sound, but it's the rest of the equation that make them so wonderful.

War
Old 1st June 2009
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
RUSCO's Avatar
The Sebatron is a cool preamp. Lately I have been running stem mixes through and it stacks up very well. Love it on vocals. The air EQ switch is handy for a lot of sources too.
If you hook up two channels together you can get a huge amount of control.

I don't think you need the VU version.
Old 2nd June 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfreq33 View Post
I'm sure I'll get flamed for mentioning this in the high-end forum, but in the $500-$800 price range the Presonus Eureka is actually not bad. I picked one up at a significant discount on a whim, and I have to say I was surprised at how decent it sounded. It doesn't compete with anything high end, but you could certainly do worse for the price. Much better than any of the Focusrite stuff in the same range.
I won't flame you. I consistantly recommend the Eureka for folks in that price range. I'm curious to knowthe difference between the Eureka and the Studio Channel...if any.

The Chameleon is a really unique piece at its price rance. As Tony poined out you can get a pre that gets closer to the 10xx, but as a package the 7602 really feels so close to a 10xx.

Now...please don't run off screaming I said it was as good as.....because i didn't. To me a session done on an 80 series desk has an immediately recognizable sonic footprint. And no a 7602 isn't "the same". But it feels and reacts in asurprisingly similar way.
Old 2nd June 2009
  #13
Here for the gear
 
tweakeasy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
A completely modded Chameleon 7602 MKII is a thing of beauty.

The Carnhills do a fair amount for the sound, but it's the rest of the equation that make them so wonderful.

War
What other mods besides the Carnhills are you referring to?
Old 2nd June 2009
  #14
Here for the gear
 
tweakeasy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RUSCO View Post
I don't think you need the VU version.
That's funny considering your profile pic.

Which model Sebatron do you have?]

I've come across the Thorax for even less than the VMP-2000eVU. I know that they are very different machines, but think it could be worthwhile having the better EQ plus the compressor of the Thorax, as I don't have EQ and compressor other than the onboard of my MOTU 828 Mk3.

The sound of the Thorax has been described to me as "dark" on vocals, I'm wondering if then this would be a bad match with the mic I have coming (BLUE Cactus) as it is also described as having a "dark" sound.

This is all quite a lot to get my head around.
Old 2nd June 2009
  #15
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tweakeasy View Post
What other mods besides the Carnhills are you referring to?
We not only replace the transformers with Carnhill, but also replace capacitors with tantalums using Neve values, as well as replace and re-bias the output transistor (using new old stock Motorola 3055 ala Neve 1073).

It is amazing what comes back when the whole thing is done.

War
Old 2nd June 2009
  #16
Lives for gear
 
lobsterinn's Avatar
Warhead is right - I have one with those mods done and it makes me really happy. I'm not sure what he is charging, but you should be able to get that done for less than $970.

I would not consider the Presonus Eureka to be in the same league, however. It is great in the <$500 range, though.
Old 2nd June 2009
  #17
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lobsterinn View Post
Warhead is right - I have one with those mods done and it makes me really happy. I'm not sure what he is charging, but you should be able to get that done for less than $970.
I think you are referring to the XMOD, which is done by Chameleon Labs at the factory... It's a fancy name for having Carnhill Mic Input and Output transformers installed. MAP pricing is $968 for those units, but a dealer may be able to save you some money (or not)... And wouldn't you know it, both Warren and I are dealers for this stuff, so you shouldn't have to go too far. heh

Also, in my opinion, it is an absolute must to get the external PSU for these units (which is around another $100).
Old 2nd June 2009
  #18
Lives for gear
 
lobsterinn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
I think you are referring to the XMOD, which is done by Chameleon Labs at the factory... It's a fancy name for having Carnhill Mic Input and Output transformers installed. MAP pricing is $968 for those units, but a dealer may be able to save you some money (or not)... And wouldn't you know it, both Warren and I are dealers for this stuff, so you shouldn't have to go too far. heh
Actually I had all the mods done the Warren referred to by his alma mater. I was wrong about the pricing though - it looks like you guys are all about the same for that. I just got a crazy deal on mine due to rebates and a discount at the time.

Sorry about my confusion. It is totally worth the investment for the upgrades, IMHO.
Old 3rd June 2009
  #19
Lives for gear
 
MadGuitrst's Avatar
Okay, so how much to mod my 2 original 7602s?
Old 3rd June 2009
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
I think you are referring to the XMOD, which is done by Chameleon Labs at the factory... It's a fancy name for having Carnhill Mic Input and Output transformers installed. MAP pricing is $968 for those units, but a dealer may be able to save you some money (or not)... And wouldn't you know it, both Warren and I are dealers for this stuff, so you shouldn't have to go too far. heh

Also, in my opinion, it is an absolute must to get the external PSU for these units (which is around another $100).
No, he's talking about the Premium mod that Front End Audio and Zen Pro Audio do. It puts in the Carnhills, but also puts in the proper tantlum caps and discreet output driver as well. This is above what Chameleon Labs does with their X mod. I have the fully modded unit and it is indeed wonderful.
I think we're going to do some comparisons in TapeOp some time in the future.

Kirt Shearer
Old 3rd June 2009
  #21
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbshearer View Post
No, he's talking about the Premium mod that Front End Audio and Zen Pro Audio do. It puts in the Carnhills, but also puts in the proper tantlum caps and discreet output driver as well. This is above what Chameleon Labs does with their X mod. I have the fully modded unit and it is indeed wonderful.
I think we're going to do some comparisons in TapeOp some time in the future.

Kirt Shearer
Paradise Studios
I'm familiar with the mods involved with the 7602... I was actually the first person to do these and other mods, and document it on the internet when it was first released.
Old 3rd June 2009
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
I'm familiar with the mods involved with the 7602... I was actually the first person to do these and other mods, and document it on the internet when it was first released.

Oh, okay. Your post didn't reflect that.


Kirt Shearer
Old 3rd June 2009
  #23
Lives for gear
 
lobsterinn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
I'm familiar with the mods involved with the 7602... I was actually the first person to do these and other mods, and document it on the internet when it was first released.
In that case - thank you for your work and innovation!

Your mods really make this thing shine.
Old 3rd June 2009
  #24
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadGuitrst View Post
Okay, so how much to mod my 2 original 7602s?
$349 per unit if you send your own unit.

It's $299 when bought with a new 7602 MKII.

I have both modded and stock units on the shelf shipping.

My tech's mod is based on original Neve drawings.

War
Old 4th June 2009
  #25
Lives for gear
 
JoFo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
We not only replace the transformers with Carnhill, but also replace capacitors with tantalums using Neve values, as well as replace and re-bias the output transistor (using new old stock Motorola 3055 ala Neve 1073).

It is amazing what comes back when the whole thing is done.

War
cool. I have a pair of original 7602's and I didn't know about the mod.
does anyone have or know of any sound clips with the Mod vs the stock?

cheers,
joel
Old 4th September 2015
  #26
bringing this back from the dead...

I've been considering picking up a pair of 7602's. I've used the original model before and it's great. Plus at that price point (as mentioned above) it's tough to find a decent preamp with eq. I was considering going with a Vintech 1272, but the only other decent pres I have are a pair of Warm TB12's. I have some eq but nothing great - a pair of old Urei 527 but they are more of an effect eq, the trans coloration is nice though, and 4 band eq on a 16 channel behringer board. The 7602 sounds great just as a preamp, and the eq has always worked well for me. if anyone has any newer recommendations I should consider, I'd be glad to take a look.

for anyone who is knowledgeable about the 7602 - what are the differences between the first model and the MKII? all that i know of are the impedance switch (awesome) and that the power supply is internal vs. the rack mounted style for the first model. Any major tonal differences? Also as far as the mods go is either model preferred? Rough estimate on parts? I have a local tech who could do the work for me.
Old 5th September 2015
  #27
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Aside from the power supply and impedence switch, there is nothing else to worry about concerning changes to these units.

War
Old 24th September 2017
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
Aside from the power supply and impedence switch, there is nothing else to worry about concerning changes to these units.

War
Hey War, just checkin this thread as I too used to have a 7602 mkii I kinda dug, and was interested in the X-Mod version. Really more for just the eq. Would you say the x-mod enhances the eq portion as well? Or more of the pre-amp section. I'm guessing both but not sure...

Also, since I saw them initially about a year ago I've been really interested in the Chameleon Labs 560 500-Series EQ Module's. However there's been zero talking on these. Just noticed on your site there's an ETA of 10/01/17. Is this legit? Or just an auto generated date or something? Thanks!
Old 25th September 2017
  #29
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by szyam View Post
Hey War, just checkin this thread as I too used to have a 7602 mkii I kinda dug, and was interested in the X-Mod version. Really more for just the eq. Would you say the x-mod enhances the eq portion as well? Or more of the pre-amp section. I'm guessing both but not sure...

Also, since I saw them initially about a year ago I've been really interested in the Chameleon Labs 560 500-Series EQ Module's. However there's been zero talking on these. Just noticed on your site there's an ETA of 10/01/17. Is this legit? Or just an auto generated date or something? Thanks!
The mods encompass all audio in those 7602 units.

Chameleon says the EQ's are about to ship, after about a 2 year wait. I will believe it when I see it, lots of inquiries on these for sure.
Old 25th September 2017
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
The mods encompass all audio in those 7602 units.

Chameleon says the EQ's are about to ship, after about a 2 year wait. I will believe it when I see it, lots of inquiries on these for sure.
Haha, thanks. Yea I'm with you. They've been awfully quiet on line, and pushing back those dates quite a bit.

I'm hoping the best for them. New ownership and many changes hopefully means they took their products back to the drawing boards, for the better.

That product (among others) could be quite cool. I don't need more pre's, but did like those units. If the eq's are nice, that price point is great.

Thanks!
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
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
dickiefunk / Low End Theory
4
heisleyamor / So Much Gear, So Little Time
3
BatMeckley / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
6
DivineMusic / So Much Gear, So Little Time
7

Forum Jump
Forum Jump