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Should i get the helios 69 mic pre/eq?
Old 14th July 2012
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Should i get the helios 69 mic pre/eq?

I need some help folks. I have the funds to purchase a demo of a Helios 69 Mic Pre/EQ which is based on the console that all my favorite bands recorded on so I really want it. Is it worth it? Also I am considering getting a compressor like an API 527 I tried a Brute and I hated it and I'm not to well versed on compressors (i.e. attack, decay, ratio, threshold and what those all mean and do) so would it do it any good to get a compressor as far as I can tell you take a high end compressor like the MCDSP 6030 Compressor Plug-in I can't tell a damn difference in them. But back to the Helios this is my chance to get this finally. Note I already have a 512c, and two harrison EQ's. two RPQ 500 AEA mic pre's, and a POS Brute which I can't wait to send back DO NOT GET IT!! so the question at hand is is it necessary to get another mic pre/EQ? Or should I invest in a dynamic processor? We are talking about spending about $1300.00 on the Helios Mic Pre/EQ. Any and all suggestions and advice would be extremely appreciated.
Old 14th July 2012
  #2
Gear Nut
 
GSOUND's Avatar
 

Hi

The Helios 69 mic pre has a really nice tone and cool eq! The mic pre is not as "in your face" sounding as a 512 or a 1073. A bit more relaxed/ softer sound, but really cool on certain voices and acoustic instruments.

Only thing to consider is that the mic pre does not have a lot of headroom compared to the 512!
It will distort really quickly even with minimum gain if your using a mic with a hot output level:/ That clipping can be cool on drums, but kindof ugly on a vocal. You might find yourself using a pad before the input of the mic pre to not make it crap out when recording vocals. For vocals I find myself using a Neve or API before choosing the Helios.
The midrange on the eq is really cool for woody sounding instruments!
Old 15th July 2012
  #3
I want to buy one for E-gutars. One of the best heavy guitar EQ's and I dig the distortion.
Old 15th July 2012
  #4
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cinealta's Avatar
 

You should ask John Kenn, I think he used it.
Old 15th July 2012
  #5
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
Type 69 , now for something completely different~!

In a nutshell, the Type 69 is it's own thing.
Neve, Api, etc, all have a certain something, but the Helios offers something a bit different.
I have 16, in my portable rig and love them.
Specifically purchased Helios because my favorite records from 70's the were made using a Helios console.
It's clearer to me, and is absolutely wonderful on acoustic instruments!
Although the EQ is limited, it's simple to use, and and sounds wonderful on just about everything.
I use the preamps for electric guitars as well, but on drums, and anything acoustic they really shine!

The pic shows #1 of the two Helios racks which is part of my remote rig.
Attached Thumbnails
Should i get the helios 69 mic pre/eq?-helios-32.jpg  
Old 15th July 2012
  #6
Gear Addict
 

I'm sure that this question has been answered ad nauseam on this board, but please humor me: How authentic are the latest 69s vs the original Helios products? Do they sound about the same? Or, are they just "different"?
Old 15th July 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 

The HELIOS (helios type 69) not to be confused with REALIOS (Anamod) is EXACTLY like the TYPE 69 Channel Strips except for a few added features (an added HI PASS filter for the low end which at times can be unbearable on these - the later version of the TYPE 69 desk had this HI PASS Filter added.. you can HI PASS at 0 - 80 - 40). I have no experience with the REALIOS.

And an added frequency on the MIDS at 16khz... they are built like tanks across the pond and in the USA, support via Vintage King is unparalleled.

I, like the original poster, was interested in these once I found out the list of bands that used the Basing Street models and further research, the list of bands that used HELIOS desks to produce some of the best classic rock in the world.

The PRE AMPs on their own are magical as well... Tony Arnold has or is about to release a HELIOS 780 compressor, which together with the PRE/EQ would make a complete channel strip.

If you are thinking about buying the DEMO unit, go for it before someone else scoops it up. My two HELIOS units are in the top 10 pieces of gear I own.

Jim
Old 15th July 2012
  #8
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
i'd like to get Tony's and Dave modules in here to compare to some type 79's I use.
lol they don't magically transform you into Zep IV, Beggars Banquet or Quadraphenia but they are great pre amps.
I had some of Tony modules and they sounded cool but evidently the lunch box wasn't setup correctly[sold] so I never got to hear them correctly.
Old 15th July 2012
  #9
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toneguru's Avatar
I have four originals modules. Two blackface and two silverface all with Lustraphones.

A good friend of mine is going to get some pre cut chassis's and wire the box so that the modules can sound optimal (level wise). Can't wait.

Has anyone had experience with the old and the new and also with using them direct 1/4". Any insight would be much appreciated.

- Cheers
Old 16th July 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
I don't have any right now, but I've had about six over the years...love them. I don't find the bottom end overbearing at all...I would say they are "cleaner" than the Neve and api's. Less mids than either, mybe a rounder top end...I heard someone describe them as "woody" once...and strangely, that's an excellent description. Love them on acoustics - the passive EQ hi shelf sounds great boosting acoustic instruments.
Old 16th July 2012
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimK View Post
The HELIOS (helios type 69) not to be confused with REALIOS (Anamod) is EXACTLY like the TYPE 69 Channel Strips except for a few added features
The question was - does it sound the same? Have you A/B'ed vintage 69 with reissue?
Old 16th July 2012
  #12
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adam_f's Avatar
FWIW: The Realios A9031 (Helios) pre-amp is based off the modules in Henry Hirsch's Helios console at his Waterfront Studio. I've compared them, and they got it right.

Side notes: The DI on the Realios A9031 is fantastic! Also the Realios A9052 EQ should be coming out any day now; again based off Henry Hirsch's Helios & I believe also Lenny Kravitz Helios console modules (I'm looking forward to trying it).
Old 16th July 2012
  #13
Engagement Manager
 
Sniperschool's Avatar
I've used a lot of original modules over the years and think the current Type 69 Pre/EQ's sounds great in comparison (I've got 4 channels)
Old 16th July 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
I think the eq's are brilliant but I am not especially excited by the pre's.

Good for everything except (imho), vocals, where I really want mid-forwardness.

Definitely good to have in the armoury though.
Old 16th July 2012
  #15
Gear Nut
 

See, I think totally the opposite. I like the pres more than the eq.
Old 17th July 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Loved Roundbadge's comment about magically sounded like the Stones or Zep.... but even without talent, you gotta admit the through is magical on these things.

Johnkenn, a channel on its own low end isn't overbearing however, an entire session tracked with the HELIOS does take some experience to WATCH the low end... it will build up across many tracks... just saying that why they added the Hi Pass on MKII of the Helios Type 69 (really no such thing as a MKII but the later ones did have the filter added).

For the record, I have never had both an original HELIOS desk and these 500 series units available at the same time but from what I remember, these things feel the same.

Jim
Old 17th July 2012
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Specifically purchased Helios because my favorite records from 70's the were made using a Helios console.
It's clearer to me, and is absolutely wonderful on acoustic instruments!
Old 17th July 2012
  #18
Gear Addict
 
danly's Avatar
 

I love reading about helios so keep em coming. Just want to tell the OP that if you decide to go with a compressor instead of a pre/eq, the distressor was my first 'real' comp, and I learned a lot about attack and release, etc, because it clamps so strongly, so you can really hear how it's changing the envelope.
Old 24th July 2012
  #19
Gear Addict
 
Arny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimK View Post
Loved Roundbadge's comment about magically sounded like the Stones or Zep.... but even without talent, you gotta admit the through is magical on these things.

Johnkenn, a channel on its own low end isn't overbearing however, an entire session tracked with the HELIOS does take some experience to WATCH the low end... it will build up across many tracks...

For the record, I have never had both an original HELIOS desk and these 500 series units available at the same time but from what I remember, these things feel the same.

Jim
Dear Jim,
Hope you and your close one's are all well.
You mentioned that on our version of the Helios Olympic EQ we have added 16k to our mid-range, I would also like to point out, we felt that these days to be limited by the lowest being only 60Hz on the Lo-EQ was a bit out of date for what a CD can handle, so we have also added 30Hz to our Lo-End.

Regards the Lo-End being a bit over bearing and could build up after several overdubs, this is because the EQ is not exactly flat when it is switched out, there is a very slight lift at 100Hz. we thought of adding another pole-pair to our EQ In/Out switch, but was asked if this inherent problem could be kept as it was part of the Character of the Helios/Olympic EQ, but could we incorporate a separate hidden switch.

So we have added a switch at the start of the Bass Boost pot, if you turn this fully anti-clockwise you will feel this switch come into play, therefore reducing the Lo-End build up across tracks.

One of the other considerations one has to take on board, is how close our components are to the original Helios/Olympic EQ, some are specially Manufactured, among the many, they include both Vishay EQ Pots 22k & 47k Switched, right down to the very expensive gold plated Elma Bass selection switch
(Elma Part # Selector Switch Type 04)
Products: Rotary Switches, Selector Switches, Selector Switch Type 01, Selector Switch Type 04, Selector Switch Type 06, Selector Switch Type 07R, Selector Switch Type 08, Rotary Switches (FEL)

No expense has been spared.

Best Regards

Tony.
Tony Arnold, (Director)
Helios Electronics Ltd
Home
[email protected]
Old 24th July 2012
  #20
Gear Addict
 
Arny's Avatar
 

After now testing prototype version 4 we are about to send out several Helios F760's Standard size, to fit into the Helios Racks, these are for our distributors to give the Go-Ahead, it has been very much approved by others involved in the UK.
Sorry this has taken so long but until our product is perfect we are not prepared to release it until many others outside of Helios have been satisfied.

We will be introducing our own version of the Helios Rack, which will incorporate "Summing to Stereo" C/W panning, as well a direct outputs, they should be very competitive financially, this will lead onto us later building full size mixers TBA later this year.

We will be continuing our 1U Twin Helios Type-69, but will also introduce our damage-proof flight case version, we made many of these years ago but have been asked to re-manufacture. (See picture).

We are about to introduce a Discrete Piggy-Back PCB which can easily be fitted to any of our Standard Helios Type-69's, they will be free as a kit to any owner of an original Helios Type-69, be it purchased new or second-hand, these can be used to boost the output by another 10dB depending on a clients chosen components.
We still have to carry out the final tests on these which should make them available in one month. (See picture)

The Helios all in one Mic/Pre + Olympic EQ one/slot module has been available for some time now.
After receiving many requests we have been asked to introduce some further ideas from our founder the late Richard Swettenham.
These units are now being designed and should be available during the next few months. (See picture)
(Give us your thoughts)

Best Regards

Tony.
Tony Arnold, (Director)
Helios Electronics Ltd
Home
[email protected]

Piggy Back

Things now and others to come in the 500 series.

The Helios Lunchbox can come empty or a custom choice
Old 24th July 2012
  #21
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
A lot of new stuff in the works~!

Wow Tony, I see you've been REAL busy these last few months.
Old 24th July 2012
  #22
Gear Nut
 

I am IN on the mic 500!
Old 24th July 2012
  #23
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Silvertone's Avatar
Can't wait to test the F760 Tony.

Sounds like you have a lot of exciting things in the works.

A small frame Helios console would be cool as hell.
Old 24th July 2012
  #24
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hobson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
A small frame Helios console would be cool as hell.
that's a big +1
Old 2nd August 2012
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
taherbert's Avatar
I can't comment on whether the Helios Type 69 sounds authentic, but I can say it sounds B-A-L-L-E-R! "Woody" is exactly the right word for it, like the body of an Old Martin, the cabinet of a Hi-Watt stack, or the shell of a thick-a$$ snare.

Fantastic on snare, acoustic or electric guitars and Vox depending on what you're going for. If you're using the line input the headroom is a little on the low side, but as a preamp it has plenty of juice in every situation I've used it on. It's pricey yes, but we use it on just about every single session.
Old 6th September 2012
  #26
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimK View Post
just saying that why they added the Hi Pass on MKII of the Helios Type 69 (really no such thing as a MKII but the later ones did have the filter added)
I bought two of the originals with lustraphone transformers and the schematic calls them "Rev 2". So yeah, not mark 2 but definitely revision 2 (pretty much the same difference imho)

The fact that the seller sat with NO buyers in the classifieds for weeks and couldn't sell the modules from the freakin MUSICLAND desk was amazing... And worked in my favor!

I'll also say the first one I bought was 100% original (no recap) and the 2nd was recapped with really nice caps. I mention this just to point out the recapped module definitely sounds BETTER.

On GS people often pontificate on leaving things untouched and not serviced which I find insane...

I wanted to have the two side by side so I held off recapping the first module (I bought them one at a time- the seller held the 2nd unit for me) so I could hear the difference as normally I just send things for service before even using them.

The recapped unit sounds bigger and has a superior top end- both what you would expect. Im also curious to see if I notice anything after the burn in as thats always a topic of debate!

I will say that these units sound freaking ridiculous and I understand all the drooling going on. I want to get a 500 series reissue in to hear side by side.

The mid range is just amazing...

And the preamps sound like a smooth tube pre with a tight solid state response...
Old 16th September 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Emwolb,

Welcome to the HELIOS club. Tony is a GEM for keeping these units in production. I happen to agree with you about vintage gear. I have a ton of it and in almost all instances, the VOS new units function so much better and made not sound as hot as leaving all original but, as you alluded to, in today's production the warts of the vintage stuff aren't worth it to me either.

I want to TAP Tony on the shoulder and ask him when the COMP for the 500 series is going to be ready.

Have to say that complete channel strips installed in a chassis is also a very tempting proposition.

Jim
Old 16th September 2012
  #28
Lives for gear
 
nobtwiddler's Avatar
It does exist...

Just in case any of you doubted its existence!

Give Tony a few more weeks, and all your wishes will come true.
Attached Thumbnails
Should i get the helios 69 mic pre/eq?-dsc06434.jpg  
Old 17th September 2012
  #29
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
Just in case any of you doubted its existence!

Give Tony a few more weeks, and all your wishes will come true.
I LOVE your Helios remote rigs!

Its not the RSM anymore, its the POM!
Old 18th September 2012
  #30
Lives for gear
 
nobtwiddler's Avatar
Blowme

Good one!

Haha
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