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Black Box Analog Design HG-2
Old 11th April 2018
  #121
Gear Nut
Just racked mine today. I seriously feel guilty using it.
It gets things sounding that much better that easy. No idea how I lived without it.

I really can't imagine anyone not liking this .
Old 11th April 2018
  #122
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by WunderBro Flo View Post
Has anyone compared the HG2 against the Vertigo VSM and the (much cheaper) elysia karacter?
i have both, and was using the karacter 500 on the mix bus. That's until I got the HG-2 which is another level .
Old 2nd June 2018
  #123
Hi guys! I just wanted to pop in and let you know that we're giving away the HG-2 plugin for free to every HG-2 owner. It also applies to new sales through the end of July but if you purchased a new HG-2 at any point, the plugin is yours.

Here is the link to details.
Plugin giveaway — Black Box Analog Design
Old 2nd June 2018
  #124
Quote:
Originally Posted by ovibis View Post
Just racked mine today. I seriously feel guilty using it.
It gets things sounding that much better that easy. No idea how I lived without it.

I really can't imagine anyone not liking this .
As a mixer, the first time we fired up the fully working prototype, I had serious thoughts about just burying the product and keeping it for myself. I don't think that would have made Robert very happy and it would have been the most expensive piece of gear known to man so it got to see the light of day
Old 2nd June 2018
  #125
Lives for gear
 
SmoothTone's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Box Analog View Post
Hi guys! I just wanted to pop in and let you know that we're giving away the HG-2 plugin for free to every HG-2 owner. It also applies to new sales through the end of July but if you purchased a new HG-2 at any point, the plugin is yours.

Here is the link to details.
Plugin giveaway — Black Box Analog Design
There's no obligation for talented gear designers to also be outstanding human beings, but it sure is welcome!

The HG-2 is doing a lovely job of brightening and enlivening some dull rock mixes here this week.

Last edited by SmoothTone; 2nd June 2018 at 01:44 AM..
Old 2nd June 2018
  #126
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothTone View Post
There's no obligation for talented gear designers to also be outstanding human beings, but it sure is welcome!

This HG-2 is doing a lovely job of brightening and enlivening some dull rock mixes here this week.
Wow, thanks for the kind words!

The HG-2 has been a success beyond what we ever expected when we set out on this crazy path so we wanted to say thank you and make sure everyone that has been a part of that also has the plugin.

I also should mention that this is only possible because of the generosity of Plugin Alliance. Those guys have been awesome and were under no obligation to work with us to do this but they did. Great vibes all around!

I'm glad to hear the HG-2 is putting in some work for you!
Old 2nd June 2018
  #127
Still loving it here. I did a private pack of chromatic sub kick/ 808 booms through it and it was beautiful. Retained all the proper low end but had a lovely, dusty, fuzz up top.
Old 2nd June 2018
  #128
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Box Analog View Post
As a mixer, the first time we fired up the fully working prototype, I had serious thoughts about just burying the product and keeping it for myself. I don't think that would have made Robert very happy and it would have been the most expensive piece of gear known to man so it got to see the light of day
well , thank God for that !
Old 2nd June 2018
  #129
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Box Analog View Post
Hi guys! I just wanted to pop in and let you know that we're giving away the HG-2 plugin for free to every HG-2 owner. It also applies to new sales through the end of July but if you purchased a new HG-2 at any point, the plugin is yours.

Here is the link to details.
Plugin giveaway — Black Box Analog Design
made my day. amazing gesture.
Old 2nd June 2018
  #130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_G View Post
Still loving it here. I did a private pack of chromatic sub kick/ 808 booms through it and it was beautiful. Retained all the proper low end but had a lovely, dusty, fuzz up top.
Glad to hear it!
Old 2nd June 2018
  #131
Quote:
Originally Posted by ovibis View Post
made my day. amazing gesture.
Awesome!
Old 12th June 2018
  #132
Gear Maniac
 
ilalin's Avatar
I was looking for a saturation plugin for a long time. Just yesterday I got the BW HG2 and all I can say it is incredible!
Going in at around -13 dB FS, it behaves really well...
Old 15th June 2018
  #133
Gear Head
 
coso's Avatar
 

The meters on my unit don't quite match its sonic quality. Each channel appears to be constructed in three sections which are not exactly aligned or consistently illuminated. I've attached a photo below.

Also, very occasionally the left or right end of the logo flickers as though a connection is loose. I worry for its longevity.

Has anyone observed similar defects? They are minor but I was anticipating a bit more precision at this price.

Attached Thumbnails
Black Box Analog Design HG-2-hg2.jpg  
Old 15th June 2018
  #134
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by coso View Post
The meters on my unit don't quite match its sonic quality. Each channel appears to be constructed in three sections which are not exactly aligned or consistently illuminated. I've attached a photo below.

Also, very occasionally the left or right end of the logo flickers as though a connection is loose. I worry for its longevity.

Has anyone observed similar defects? They are minor but I was anticipating a bit more precision at this price.

my meters look fine. same with the logo thing. You should contact them, they're really nice guys, I'm sure you'll figure it out.
Old 15th June 2018
  #135
Lives for gear
i'm sure that's an easy fix. meters on mine look fine.
Old 15th June 2018
  #136
Quote:
Originally Posted by coso View Post
The meters on my unit don't quite match its sonic quality. Each channel appears to be constructed in three sections which are not exactly aligned or consistently illuminated. I've attached a photo below.

Also, very occasionally the left or right end of the logo flickers as though a connection is loose. I worry for its longevity.

Has anyone observed similar defects? They are minor but I was anticipating a bit more precision at this price.

That's odd and I'm sorry your unit is doing that! The meters are constructed in three sections and slight variations in manufacturing (the led bars, not the meters) does mean that occasionally they are slightly out of alignment but any variation should be small enough that it isn't noticeable at all. It's unusual that yours would be out of alignment and even more unusual that the illumination wouldn't be consistent. The only solution is to swap out the meter unfortunately.

In terms of the logo flickering occasionally, the LEDs are all attached to the PCB in parallel so flickering isn't a sign of any loose connection. Like all parts, even LEDs have a certain number of failures and we actually lose and replace a few here and there during our multi-day burn in. Any that are going to fail usually do within the first day but on occasion, it is possible for them to fail later. Luckily, swapping them out is an easy fix. We had one batch of LEDs a few runs ago that had a strangely high failure rate so we switched suppliers and burned the units in longer but it's possible that your unit was from that run.

Neither of the LED issues affect the functionality of the unit or suggest any kind of potential for failure later so no need to worry there but we are of course happy to fix them for you.

Drop us a line and let us know what works for you.

Also, don't forget that we're giving away the HG-2 plugin to all HG-2 hardware owners!
Old 19th June 2018
  #137
Gear Head
 
coso's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Box Analog View Post

The meters: The only solution is to swap out the meter unfortunately.

The logo LEDs: swapping them out is an easy fix.
I'm in the UK, is there any way to swap these out without shipping the unit across the pond? Could it be done by a producer with a soldering iron and a steady hand or should it be done by a proper tech?

Old 19th June 2018
  #138
Quote:
Originally Posted by coso View Post
I'm in the UK, is there any way to swap these out without shipping the unit across the pond? Could it be done by a producer with a soldering iron and a steady hand or should it be done by a proper tech?

Absolutely. The meter plugs in with a harness connector so no soldering or desoldering needed at all. Getting to it does require popping out the circuit board that holds the tubes you see through the front panel but it's also connected with harnesses so it only requires a few screws. From there it's 4 screws that hold in the meter.

This board is also where the logo LEDs are so you could swap out the flickering LEDs at the same time.

I'll have to check with the shop to see if we have a new spare meter. If not I can certainly have an extra made on the next run. Drop me an email and we will figure out details. [email protected] or [email protected]
Old 26th September 2018
  #139
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Box Analog View Post
Absolutely. The meter plugs in with a harness connector so no soldering or desoldering needed at all. Getting to it does require popping out the circuit board that holds the tubes you see through the front panel but it's also connected with harnesses so it only requires a few screws. From there it's 4 screws that hold in the meter.

This board is also where the logo LEDs are so you could swap out the flickering LEDs at the same time.

I'll have to check with the shop to see if we have a new spare meter. If not I can certainly have an extra made on the next run. Drop me an email and we will figure out details. [email protected] or [email protected]
Sounds dangerous! Couldn’t someone get electrocuted touching a tube circuit that hasnt had time to discharge?
Old 26th September 2018
  #140
Quote:
Originally Posted by chudslayer View Post
Sounds dangerous! Couldn’t someone get electrocuted touching a tube circuit that hasnt had time to discharge?
Servicing should always be done by a qualified person and with the proper precautions taken.

The gear should always be given sufficient time to drain the caps and should be checked with a multi meter to confirm. I also suggest wearing a pair of surgical gloves which will insulate you from being shocked.
Old 10th December 2018
  #141
Gear Addict
 
Volt9's Avatar
Hey Guys,

Got some questions about the HG-2.

I was using ST Decapitator for the last year or so for only 1 reason: making my tracks sounds good on small speakers also.

No I recently start using Blackbox HG-2 and damn it sounds so nice on my masters. Very nice and subtle boost makes your mix just pops out of his shel and comes to live ... I love it!

I was using decapitator on every single track. Does or can the HG-2 on the master alone replace the decapitator?

Thanks!
Old 15th December 2018
  #142
Gear Nut
 
shamelesssounds's Avatar
 

Okay, the HG-2 hardware is finally here.

I was very curious
. how the hardware would sound compared to the
plugin
. and how the Michelangelo/HG-2 (HW) combination would work together.

. HG-2 plugin
. HG-2 Hardware
and
HG-2 (HW) + Hendyamps Michelangelo Combination.
Attached Thumbnails
Black Box Analog Design HG-2-screen-shot-2018-12-16-19.36.26.png  
Old 15th December 2018
  #143
Lives for gear
 
John Moran's Avatar
 

Verified Member
On this particular program material, I think the plug-in would be my choice in a mastering situation based on the loss of transient response vs the hardware. This program is loaded with fast notes.

It also seemed like too much low end was added with the hardware and more could have been cut with the MA. EQ may not be the right thing anyway since a lot of the low end bloom is likely generated harmonics from the Pentode setting.
It seems like the MA added to the transient softening a bit but I didn't spend much time on that track, was more interested in the plug vs hw.
I'm wondering how the plug and hardware would compare if matched by ear rather than matched settings.
In a perfect world, matched settings would be exactly that, but it never seems to be the case, so it's revealing to hear the differences in the matched settings.

The hardware and the plug-in tracks need to be level matched, the hardware is louder by a db or 2.
Thanks for running this comparo, it's useful.
Old 15th December 2018
  #144
Gear Addict
 
Magnus Lindberg's Avatar
 

Yea I'd redo the test, the hardware is more saturated/distorted than the plugin.
Other than that, how do they feel/sound when working with them on a mix?
Old 15th December 2018
  #145
Gear Nut
 
shamelesssounds's Avatar
 

thanks for listening. it was just a quick test during my first 30 pleasure-minutes with the hg2 (i received it today).
the plugin worked sometimes in parallel (20-30%), but I could never use it in series.
It didn't sound that interesting in series, I always thought.

But after using the hardware only 2-3 hours now, I can say the hardware
is quite what I expected to be. It reacts more organically even to more aggressive
settings, it does not change the image, does not damage the sound too "soon" and
sounds more open etc...

when i find some free time again, i will upload more results with matched level etc...
Old 15th December 2018
  #146
Gear Addict
 
Magnus Lindberg's Avatar
 

Nice. My exact impression with other plugin vs hardware tests i've done. The real analog thing just sounds more "expensive" and reacts more natural to various incoming signals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shamelesssounds View Post
thanks for listening. it was just a quick test during my first 30 pleasure-minutes with the hg2 (i received it today).
the plugin worked sometimes in parallel (20-30%), but I could never use it in series.
It didn't sound that interesting in series, I always thought.

But after using the hardware only 2-3 hours now, I can say the hardware
is quite what I expected to be. It reacts more organically even to more aggressive
settings, it does not change the image, it does not damage the sound too much and
sounds more open etc...

when i find some free time again, i will upload more results with matched level etc...
Old 16th December 2018
  #147
Lives for gear
 
Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
I'm purely curious as to what sorts of levels people are running in these comparisons. If running hardware at a "natural" nominal level of ~0VU @+4dBu, is the software being run equally, which would be akin to @-22 to -18dBFS?
(as many of these plugins have internal cal levels, in VU meter mode it'd look fairly conservative, rather than trying to max out in PPM mode, as some inexperienced users may be inclined to do).
Old 16th December 2018
  #148
Gear Nut
 
shamelesssounds's Avatar
 

---
Old 17th December 2018
  #149
Lives for gear
 
X-Pand Sound Mastering's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
I'm purely curious as to what sorts of levels people are running in these comparisons. If running hardware at a "natural" nominal level of ~0VU @+4dBu, is the software being run equally, which would be akin to @-22 to -18dBFS?
(as many of these plugins have internal cal levels, in VU meter mode it'd look fairly conservative, rather than trying to max out in PPM mode, as some inexperienced users may be inclined to do).
It should be done this way indeed. And I really started to enjoy more that plugin when I considerably lowered the input level (-16 dbfs or so) I was feeding it, otherwise some unusable distortion was present.
Old 17th December 2018
  #150
Lives for gear
Agree. Both the plugin and the hardware work better with lower input levels.
Topic:
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