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Tell me about the Manley preamps Other Modular Audio Processors
Old 19th November 2014
  #1
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Tell me about the Manley preamps

So I am considering purchasing the Manley Core channel strip.

From what I can tell, the preamp is very close to the pre in the Manley Voxbox.

Can someone describe that pre to me, character wise?

I am getting the Manley Reference C mic, and this will all be for vocals only.

I know the Neve 1073 = Color, the Avalon 737 is transparent, is this Manley pre somewhere in the middle? If not, which does it lean towards?

Thanks
Old 19th November 2014
  #2
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Old 20th November 2014
  #3
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jmikeperkins's Avatar
The Manley pres I have used are certainly not as colored as a vintage Neve 1073 but are certainly more interesting than the Avalon. I would describe the Manley as clear sounding but in a slightly warm and pleasant way. I like their balance and overall tone. Manley stuff is also well made and durable. My only complaint is I think their pres are somewhat expensive, but every Manley product that I have ever used (and I own and use a Manley ELOP limiter on every session I do) has been a solid piece of professional gear that you could get a good sound out of.

The Manley Reference Cardioid mic may be just what you are looking for, and is certainly popular for getting a "modern" clear sound, but, geneally speaking, I would much rather use an old Neumann U87 or a newer Neumann M149 on a vocal, but that is just a matter of individual taste. I will say an old U87 and a Manley pre would make a great combo.
Old 20th November 2014
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmikeperkins View Post
The Manley pres I have used are certainly not as colored as a vintage Neve 1073 but are certainly more interesting than the Avalon. I would describe the Manley as clear sounding but in a slightly warm and pleasant way. I like their balance and overall tone. Manley stuff is also well made and durable. My only complaint is I think their pres are somewhat expensive, but every Manley product that I have ever used (and I own and use a Manley ELOP limiter on every session I do) has been a solid piece of professional gear that you could get a good sound out of.

The Manley Reference Cardioid mic may be just what you are looking for, and is certainly popular for getting a "modern" clear sound, but, geneally speaking, I would much rather use an old Neumann U87 or a newer Neumann M149 on a vocal, but that is just a matter of individual taste. I will say an old U87 and a Manley pre would make a great combo.
Thanks for your feedback. I'm tempted to go the BAE1073 DMP route but I want to get more info on the Manley first.
Thanks for the insight.
Old 20th November 2014
  #5
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Motoxxx's Avatar
 

There were some threads here about the Core that seems some users were less than excited about it. I would agree that the Manley stuff is really good, clear and slightly warm. I think the issues other people had with The Core were about the EQ and how the comp worked.
Old 20th November 2014
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoxxx View Post
There were some threads here about the Core that seems some users were less than excited about it. I would agree that the Manley stuff is really good, clear and slightly warm. I think the issues other people had with The Core were about the EQ and how the comp worked.
Yea, that's my only concern. Have not seen many reviews posted online about the Core other than what was on that thread.
Old 25th November 2014
  #7
Moderator
 
EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 

Hey guys, the first magazine review on the Manley CORE is out now in December 2014 issue of SOS! Here are some preamplifier highlights from the review.

Quote:
The preamp is a new implementation of
the Class-A circuit that Manley use in their
Voxbox and Mono and Dual Mono mic
preamps. The valves are run on a 300V plate
voltage, courtesy of the switch-mode power
supply, giving the Core’s preamp loads of
headroom and plenty of drive at its output.
The preamp features a 12AX7WA
(ECC83) dual-triode valve for gain, and this
is followed by a 6922 (ECC88) dual?triode
Quote:
It’s the valve preamp, though,
which to my ears makes the Core such
a great-sounding device. Underlying the
accuracy and clarity, there’s a depth that
gives a real weight and body to vocals,
acoustic instruments and percussion. DI’d
instruments also come out well: an electric
bass, with a bit of compression, sounded
very fine indeed, and I was astounded
by how good a sound I could coax from
a passive Lloyd Baggs iBeam under-saddle
acoustic guitar piezo pickup (with an
additional 20dB of gain). The direct out from
the preamp (O/P 1) sounded excellent, and
I used it quite a lot for acoustic guitar during
the test period. This worked well for me, as
it meant I could record a clean feed while
also recording through the Core with an
effects unit patched into the insert point.
Quote:
Conclusion
On the basis of its price and performance
alone, I’d have no hesitation in keeping
the Core as the primary channel strip in
my studio. On top of that, it is very well
thought out electronically and operationally,
delivering what Manley refer to as their
‘greatest hits’ in an easy-to-use package
that’s more than capable of producing very
professional-sounding results.
Although I’d have liked a bypass switch
on the EQ section, and a post-compression
make-up gain stage would have been nice,
there’s actually nothing about the Core
that would stop me from recommending it
if you’re in the market for a simple-to-use,
great-sounding, full-of-character channel
strip in this price range. So I’m going to do
just that, and recommend that you take
a very close look at the Manley Core.

Last edited by EveAnna Manley; 25th November 2014 at 01:14 AM.. Reason: formatting
Old 25th November 2014
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krush411 View Post
Thanks for your feedback. I'm tempted to go the BAE1073 DMP route but I want to get more info on the Manley first.
Thanks for the insight.
Manley preamps make a great complement to the Neve sound. The Manley are less colored (but far from as neutral as an Avalon) a bit faster sounding, and more spectrally balanced from top to bottom as compared to the Neve (and clones, which all slightly vary). For instance I would like Neve on kick but Manley on overheads, or Neve on electric guitars but Manley on acoustic or piano. Vocals could go either way. Either way you can't lose and you'll likely end up with both eventually.
Old 26th November 2014
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
kikin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
Manley preamps make a great complement to the Neve sound. The Manley are less colored (but far from as neutral as an Avalon) a bit faster sounding, and more spectrally balanced from top to bottom as compared to the Neve (and clones, which all slightly vary). For instance I would like Neve on kick but Manley on overheads, or Neve on electric guitars but Manley on acoustic or piano. Vocals could go either way. Either way you can't lose and you'll likely end up with both eventually.

Ive been doing that too using heritage 1073 on kick and snare and dual mono on OHs so far loving the sound. Also the dual mono shines on electric guitars if you push the pre a little sounds very nice.....
Old 27th November 2014
  #10
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Vintageidiot's Avatar
The Manley Ref Cardioid and a Manley tube pre are strikingly pro sounding. Polished like a mofo...I will never forget this experience. Through snapper amps into Proacs....crazy-real.
Old 27th November 2014
  #11
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matucha's Avatar
Manley Dual Mono Pre was my first pro preamp and I still have it and use it. It has more than one sound depending how you set it. The maximum gain is more agressive than mellower lower gain. It's a bit noisy at maximum 60dB setting, so not the greatest for low output mics on quiet sources (but who would want to do that?). To me at my favorite settings around 50dB it sounds neutral and balanced. For some (uses) that's quite unexciting, but when you need a touch soft and nice balanced neutrality DMMP works very well. And in my world there are many instruments that need exactly that.

On the other hand I don't use it much on things that need to be upfront. That's when Siemens V276 or V78 step in with more sculpted and compressed sound.
Old 27th November 2014
  #12
Don't own the core but have a lot of experience with the dual mono mic pre, and it was exactly as others have described. Great preamp.
Old 27th November 2014
  #13
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SighBorg's Avatar
 

I find the Mono/Dual Mono (mine is the 40db version) works best at the lower db setting on some sounds. The sources I like it the most on are: Slower Bass, Toms, & some kick drums. As a bass DI I think its the best ive run into yet... It makes some other DIs sound like a joke, but can get kinda sludgy on fast stuff.

On toms & hand drums at the lower db settings it sounds like the attack and tail are being contoured by a compressor, very cool sound. On slow songs you can get massive kick drum sounds too.

But some other sources the sound is too scooped or sludgy at the lower settings, and im not a huge fan of the way it does the more aggressive sound at higher settings. Mine is an older 6072 version without output transformers though.

People are right, at lower gain it has a depthy thing going on.
Old 28th November 2014
  #14
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malaclypse's Avatar
We use the Manley dual mono all the time and it is excellent. Very clear and hi fi sounding, but with a silky presence that makes the source kinda smooth and 3D.
Old 28th November 2014
  #15
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Piedpiper's Avatar
I agree with all the above comments. I love the Manley Dual Mono that I have. It's a beautiful balance of clean/neutral with a bit of natural tube warmth and silky sweetness. But it does have a range to its palette. To clarify the options of the Manley tube pre circuit, the input attenuation does just that, attenuates the input such that you can drive the input stage if you want or avoid same. The output gain setting adjusts feedback such that the lower gain setting increases the feedback and the character is cleaner but more dead, as it were. As you turn the output gain up, it reduces the feedback, letting the circuit breathe more with an increase in natural tube warmth as well as transient integrity. At the highest gain setting, it can start taking on an edge of harmonic distortion if you push into it.
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