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Should I get Neve 33609 C or J
Old 19th June 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Should I get Neve 33609 C or J

Hey guys,
In my area there are Neve 33609 either C or J model for around $3200 and $3300. I'm wondering which model is the best or should I even consider getting it.

I mainly do electronica production and I know SSL type buss comp (I own GSSL type and xpressor) is great comp to go. Plus I'm a big fan of 500 series that I rather get several 500s than one boutique outboard.

However, I'm still tempted because
A. It's a legendary comp
B. I am thinking about expanding my career as producing other artist as well.

It's not that I have so much money lying around to spend but also thinking about getting this comp for resale value in the future.

I would really appreciate your input.
Old 19th June 2013
  #2
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Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Hi

Try to get an earlier one with metal knobs.... and original transformers.

Posted from my iPhone
Old 19th June 2013
  #3
Gear Addict
 
EisenAudio's Avatar
 

In my experience, the early metal knob versions (e.g. Iss 12) tend to be noticeably asymmetrical when stereo link is engaged (i.e. a dB of offset), and you can't just cal out the difference as stock, because there isn't any CV trim pot (RV2 on the newer C, J and J/D). I'm not sure if this is components aging or what. To correct for it, I'll typically replace certain sidechain diodes and transistors with sorted pairs and install a CV trim pot in place of R34, after which L/R matching can be 0.1dB. Meanwhile, the new units already match as tightly and tend not to sound much different than an original that has been properly rebuilt with appropriate capacitors.

As for C versus J, I prefer a C or J/D.
Old 19th June 2013
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EisenAudio View Post
In my experience, the early metal knob versions (e.g. Iss 12) tend to be noticeably asymmetrical when stereo link is engaged (i.e. a dB of offset), and you can't just cal out the difference as stock, because there isn't any CV trim pot (RV2 on the newer C, J and J/D). I'm not sure if this is components aging or what. To correct for it, I'll typically replace certain sidechain diodes and transistors with sorted pairs and install a CV trim pot in place of R34, after which L/R matching can be 0.1dB. Meanwhile, the new units already match as tightly and tend not to sound much different than an original that has been properly rebuilt with appropriate capacitors.

As for C versus J, I prefer a C or J/D.

Really appreciate your great info. What do you think about $3200 for C model? I s it a good value these days?
Old 19th June 2013
  #5
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Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EisenAudio View Post
In my experience, the early metal knob versions (e.g. Iss 12) tend to be noticeably asymmetrical when stereo link is engaged (i.e. a dB of offset), and you can't just cal out the difference as stock, because there isn't any CV trim pot (RV2 on the newer C, J and J/D). I'm not sure if this is components aging or what. To correct for it, I'll typically replace certain sidechain diodes and transistors with sorted pairs and install a CV trim pot in place of R34, after which L/R matching can be 0.1dB. Meanwhile, the new units already match as tightly and tend not to sound much different than an original that has been properly rebuilt with appropriate capacitors.

As for C versus J, I prefer a C or J/D.
Hi

Spoken like a true tech, as this fault, if a dB out constitutes a fault, is also on the 33314 and the (3)2264... horrid units that they are! heh

Few products are perfect and, while we are on the subject (in tech speak), you should have mentioned the difficulty to set the gain reduction meter - fixed by fine and course pots on later models - or the discrete component power supply that must produce a poorer noise floor than the LM317T used in the later units.

This is rather like my description, on my Neve Secrets page, of the many design faults of the 1073 yet, for some reason, the world and his wife are copying that circuit to line their pockets!

Why could this be? It's because studio owners aren't that interested in a dB or so stereo matching... they are interested in how the unit sounds and what it can do for their recordings.

And the original metal knob 33609's, for all their faults, sound fabulous as a pal of mine found out to his dismay, after purchasing a JD and a client brought an original unit in for his session. He was blown away by the difference.

Why the difference? Original Marinair output transformers are no longer available and the input and buffer transformers are Willesden/Belclere type rather than the original Marinair or St Ives. I don't think the discrete 440 versus IC with transistor output 640 matters a monkey, so little is the effect it has... and the 600 ohm input impedance on later units rather than 10Kohm? For why?

So I stand by my comment for the user... they aren't that bothered by matching as, personally, I doubt any Neve compressor matched exceptionally close in stereo until steps were finally taken....

Old 20th June 2013
  #6
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by idmmer417 View Post
Really appreciate your great info. What do you think about $3200 for C model? I s it a good value these days?
I think it is, I have a C and love it, thats is the last piece if gear that I would sell if I had starving. Amazing mids out of this box. I paid around 3300.
Atlanta Pro Audio had one for 5k a month ago, yes a C version.
Old 20th June 2013
  #7
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T_R_S's Avatar
i've used a metal knob 33309 and I am perfectly happy with my JD.
5K for C I have to ask WTF? not worth it IMO on the other hand I always thought 2.5k for 1073's was crazy as well way back when....
Old 20th June 2013
  #8
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nickelironsteel's Avatar
 

Erm the iss 12/metal knob/rev a
(Whats the consensus?) goes depending on the condition for up to 8 grand.
And rightfully so. Ive had the pleasure comparing them recently. Soprano lead singer no tool in the arsenal would work eq/dynamic eq/compressors then it went through the original metal knob BAM the sweetest tonebox ever for sweetening harsh things. Got a second one after that. Love em. excellent job geoff. Top 5 gear ever built. The later versione are placebos like plugins are.
Old 20th June 2013
  #9
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nickelironsteel's Avatar
 

I agree that the prices of the 1066/73 are through the roof. Especially with the 73 where the majority arent even marinair. Its cashing in on the name like the later 609 without the sound
Old 20th June 2013
  #10
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nickelironsteel's Avatar
 

(3)2264 why are those horrid units? I have my hand on a pair of the 3s geoff?
Old 20th June 2013
  #11
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Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelironsteel View Post
(3)2264 why are those horrid units? I have my hand on a pair of the 3s geoff?
Hi

That was me with tongue in cheek for dissing the metal knob units because stereo matching was a whole dB out!

If that's bad, so are the 32264's that use the same basic circuit!

Posted from my iPhone
Old 20th June 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelironsteel View Post
Erm the iss 12/metal knob/rev a
(Whats the consensus?) goes depending on the condition for up to 8 grand.
And rightfully so. Ive had the pleasure comparing them recently. Soprano lead singer no tool in the arsenal would work eq/dynamic eq/compressors then it went through the original metal knob BAM the sweetest tonebox ever for sweetening harsh things. Got a second one after that. Love em. excellent job geoff. Top 5 gear ever built. The later versione are placebos like plugins are.
Hi

Precisely my point of view and my pal confirmed it also.

The shame is they originally stuck the rather naff word "Classic" on them when there is nothing stopping them from ditching those ugly illuminated switches, dump the logic and relay card those switches needed (and that 600 ohm termination), dump the Willesden/Belclere's for the transformers they use in their 1073/1081, bring back the toggle switches for stereo linking, etc., but keep the improvements like extra trim pots and better PSU.

Then it really would be "Classic", would probably be cheaper to build as the parts removed would offset the extra transformer cost, and would sound very close to the originals.

Who knows... this is a voice in the wilderness pining over what could be with a little effort...

Old 20th June 2013
  #13
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
i've used a metal knob 33309 and I am perfectly happy with my JD.
5K for C I have to ask WTF? not worth it IMO on the other hand I always thought 2.5k for 1073's was crazy as well way back when....
Lol, I would not pay 5k either for a C, I was making a statement.
Old 18th June 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
 
skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_T View Post
Hi

Spoken like a true tech, as this fault, if a dB out constitutes a fault, is also on the 33314 and the (3)2264... horrid units that they are! heh

Few products are perfect and, while we are on the subject (in tech speak), you should have mentioned the difficulty to set the gain reduction meter - fixed by fine and course pots on later models - or the discrete component power supply that must produce a poorer noise floor than the LM317T used in the later units.

This is rather like my description, on my Neve Secrets page, of the many design faults of the 1073 yet, for some reason, the world and his wife are copying that circuit to line their pockets!

Why could this be? It's because studio owners aren't that interested in a dB or so stereo matching... they are interested in how the unit sounds and what it can do for their recordings.

And the original metal knob 33609's, for all their faults, sound fabulous as a pal of mine found out to his dismay, after purchasing a JD and a client brought an original unit in for his session. He was blown away by the difference.

Why the difference? Original Marinair output transformers are no longer available and the input and buffer transformers are Willesden/Belclere type rather than the original Marinair or St Ives. I don't think the discrete 440 versus IC with transistor output 640 matters a monkey, so little is the effect it has... and the 600 ohm input impedance on later units rather than 10Kohm? For why?

So I stand by my comment for the user... they aren't that bothered by matching as, personally, I doubt any Neve compressor matched exceptionally close in stereo until steps were finally taken....

Hi Geoff,

Is it possible/relatively simple to swap out the trannies in a 33609J with old Marinair's? Will they function correctly in the 'J' circuit and fit on the board?
If so, what would be the proper Marinair's for the job?

Looking at buying a 33609J and wondering if this is possible given that many seem to think the old Marinair transformers sound superior.

Also, other than the switches, are there any differences in the audio path between the 'J' and 'C' versions of the 33609?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Last edited by skybluerental; 18th June 2015 at 05:08 PM..
Old 18th June 2015
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skybluerental View Post
Hi Geoff,

Is it possible/relatively simple to swap out the trannies in a 33609J with old Marinair's? Will they function correctly in the 'J' circuit and fit on the board?
If so, what would be the proper Marinair's for the job?

Looking at buying a 33609J and wondering if this is possible given that many seem to think the old Marinair transformers sound superior.

Also, other than the switches, are there any differences in the audio path between the 'J' and 'C' versions of the 33609?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
Hi

It's not an easy modification... the Belclere/Willesden/whatever transformers they chose to fit in the 33609 (for reasons that fail me other than they are cheaper) fit directly to the PCB so Marinair/St Ives/Carnhill transformers won't fit easily because they will cover up the holes/pcb tracks and you would have to find some fiendish way to both mount and wire them without shorting or cutting tracks.

The output transformer is a Carnhill rather than the Marinairs fitted earlier and uses steel mounting screws through the laminations but deliberately not tightened enough to squish them and cause a shorted turn. The Marinairs had four threaded bosses that may or may not match the fixings of the Carnhills.

Te J's appear to have opted for a 600 ohm input impedance that you would need to snip off and I haven't studied the various issues of circuit diagrams. The PCB mounted transformers will have different loading than the traditional transformers and I know there is an extra trim pot for setting the meter calibration.

IMHO the change of transformers made a far greater difference to the sound compared to replacing a BA640 with a BA440 output amplifier.

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