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Just one compressor short of a good nights sleep Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 17th August 2008
  #31
Gear Maniac
 

Hi guys , I think you may have mis-read something , I have worked with the Stc on many occasions and I'm fully aware of its capabilities.
My quest is really for a tube based comp to add an additional taste to my forthcoming set up.
At the moment the Requisite, Manley vari mu and the Pheonix seem like all good options.
I'm not very familiar with the requisite , does anybody know if it would hold it's value like the other 2 boxes if my mastering adventure doesn't work out?
I would also like to point out that as I'm dealing with an english company for my gear the Pheonix has an advantage being made in England should parts need to be replaced, I presume this can be accomplished and returned at greater speed.
Old 17th August 2008
  #32
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by finetuner View Post
Not sure how to read this. Do you mean as an alternative or to complement?


Hi Gary,
I've been on the same quest. Looking for something different to complement my STC. I've tried the Vertigo for instance and couldn't get enthusiastic about it for mastering. Tried both Elysia's and while the Alpha is probably the best and most versatile compressor ever, i ended up with the Weiss DS1.
I've sort of decided that i just don't like the sound of transformers in most analog devices and attributes like 'glue' and 'color' sound like mud or smear to me. All transient killers...

While a package deal is very interesting, my advice would be to get to know that STC better in practice first. You'll learn to get some 'character' out of it when needed.

my two cents.

You can read it both ways. It would work fine as a complement as it is more coloured but still very well mannered. or as an alternative if you like clean but find the STC-8 too clean................
Old 17th August 2008
  #33
Lives for gear
 
ISedlacek's Avatar
Just few days ago we had a grand compressor party here (a friend of mine wanted to select a compressor):





As you can see - Gyraf G10, Vertigo VSC-2, Thermionic Phoenix MV and API 2500 were present at this party. Since he was mostly into dance/trance music, we tried mostly that. Our combined impressions in short:

1) API 2500 - lot of buttons and possibilities to play with. Nice, but slightly "synthetic" sounding comparing to the others (especially in HF). A bit coloured overall and slightly less 3D.

2) Phoenix - nice, mellow, creamy sound. Easy to set. Very smooth. Rather modest sound size - does not make things sounding "bigger" (unlike Gyraf) - even with more saturation. And a bit "one trick pony" - nice sound, but rather the same overall.

3) Vertigo - after trying for a while, the friend immediately exclaimed - "wow ! now - this sounds great, so full and precise - immediate mastering quality. Impossible to make it sounding bad with practically any setting"

4) Gyraf G10 - big warm sound, not so slow as Phoenix. Needs a bit more tweaking and experiments to make it sounding right for a given track. Big/warm/creamy.

In the end he has taken API (money money money ....), but has some clear visions for a future upgrade.

BTW - I used to have STC-8 here ... never liked it too much .. sounded a bit "boring" to me ... When I compared it to Vertigo, I said good bye to it very quickly ...
Old 17th August 2008
  #34
Gear Maniac
 

Hi , I appreciate your post, pics and comments . It's funny how one mans meat is another mans poison . I mean, I love the Stc8 and I don't find it boring at all. It's proved very useful on a variety of styles when I have worked with it .
I think it's really hard to come to a conclusion from other peoples experiences as I have read some posts stating the very same thing you have said about the Stc but directed at Vertigo. And other posters saying that the Phoenix is excellent and when you fully understand it you can set it for transparency and color with the output and gain knobs .
Would it be fair to say that if your tests were performed with another genre , it's possible a whole new set of conclusions could have been reached ?
Old 17th August 2008
  #35
Gear Maniac
 

I meant to ask , does anyone know what the retail price is for the Vertigo?
Old 17th August 2008
  #36
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcopop View Post
Hi , I appreciate your post, pics and comments . It's funny how one mans meat is another mans poison . I mean, I love the Stc8 and I don't find it boring at all. It's proved very useful on a variety of styles when I have worked with it .
I think it's really hard to come to a conclusion from other peoples experiences as I have read some posts stating the very same thing you have said about the Stc but directed at Vertigo. And other posters saying that the Phoenix is excellent and when you fully understand it you can set it for transparency and color with the output and gain knobs .
Would it be fair to say that if your tests were performed with another genre , it's possible a whole new set of conclusions could have been reached ?
Yes, for sure. If all the four were tested thoroughly on all possible set of samples and genres, the impressions would be certainly more detailed and complex.

Actually, except API (which I tried less detailed), I did that myself before.

As for STC-8 - it is nice, fo sure, but it never made me smile after using it, unlike Vertigo or Gyraf

PS: if I am correct, Vertigo retail is 3940 EUR
Old 17th August 2008
  #37
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ed littman's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdg View Post
i had mine modded with 1.5:1 and 3:1 ratios (and the stock 6:1)

made it 1000% more useful for mastering..
but still often, i use it more for a line amp, then compression.
sounds like this mod
PSW Recording Forums: Brad Blackwood => Custom pair Chandler LTD-2

did Chuck do the mod?

I still find mine without this mod quite useful...as long as i don't hit to hard.
Ed
Old 17th August 2008
  #38
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WunderBro Flo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcopop View Post
Hi Rock, the way you are describing the Vertigo is very similar to how I would describe the Stc 8 , has it's own vibe yet can be worked hard while keeping transparency . What do they retail for may I ask ?
One of my biggest problems is that I'm ordering everything in one go from the same company in England , which gives me a big discount . I'm talking everything except monitors and acoustics . I have been givin a 13 % discount by this company because of the order size , I'm sure they can order anything in for me, but as a point of honor because of the very fair deal I would have to order from them . I do appreciate you pitching in with the Vertigo and I think the updates will prove very appealing to a lot of M.E's , I have included the Manley Backbone as part of my order , had this not the same m/s and parallel options I would be seriously considering Vertigo over the comp I already know and trust the stc8.
I think the only way to decide for or against the Vertigo is testing it. Worst case scenario is 100.- Euro spent on shipping. If you try it out and find out you love it to death like I (and ISedlacek) do, you will simply not want anything else instead of it.
You should really spend some time with each unit you are considering, ideally side by side. You will definitely find out you do not need many of them because there will be one or two that will give you exactly what you want.
Rock!
Pat

ps - I think there are not many dealers who sell the vertigo, it´s more like getting it directly from the manufacturer or their distributors. They are a very small company and at the same time the most brilliant equipment designers (and restaurators) I have ever come across.
Old 17th August 2008
  #39
jdg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed littman View Post
sounds like this mod
PSW Recording Forums: Brad Blackwood => Custom pair Chandler LTD-2

did Chuck do the mod?

I still find mine without this mod quite useful...as long as i don't hit to hard.
Ed
yah. he did. he's a star.

im not clad in outboard processing, so, the mod totally extended the value of these comps.
Old 17th August 2008
  #40
Gear Maniac
 

Hi Rock,
I do agree that a shoot out is without doubt the best way to reach my conclusion . thanks again for your input .
Gary
Old 18th August 2008
  #41
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kosi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcopop View Post
Hi , my name is Gary and I'm in the process of putting together a mastering facility in Berlin.


Heres what I'm currently considering as the last comp :
Thermionic Phoenix
API 2500
Chiswick Reach

Gary.
Hi Gary, if you like, you can hop over to Kreuzberg, I have an API 2500, Thermionic Phoenix and some other goodies.

cheers,
kosi
Old 18th August 2008
  #42
Gear Maniac
 

Hi kosi , that sounds like it could be an ideal invitation. I would be delighted to stop in when you have some free time, just let me know when,
cheers,
Gary.
Old 18th August 2008
  #43
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MattGray's Avatar
 

Verified Member
+1 for the Phoenix, I've never felt it needed to be faster than the 1 setting on the release to me any faster & it wouldn't sound like an mu. The HPF options on the mastering edition is fantastic (Linear, 75 or 150Hz). It is a relatively clean sounding compressor although the character of the compression & the nature of a vari-mu is all there. I find the way it compresses is very musical, if you need more glue a click of the attack, release or threshold will change the sound & gel things more. I prefer to leave the attack & release a bit more open with the input wound up +4 or more & the 75Hz HPF is almost always in. If it's calibrated really well the Link switch also sounds better in as it tends to solidify the centre image in a nice way without compromising the width.

The only thing I don't like about the Phoenix is the build quality, while it all works, measures & sounds flawless, I've found the knobs & stepped pots to be a bit on the cheap side, with no indicator marks on the top (only on the side) which is annoying on a sloping rack in front of you. Also the right meter on mine tends to show GR sometimes when there is no signal going through it. I have to tap the glass to get it to settle occasionally. Apart from those small things, I'm very happy with the Phoenix. I believe the Chiswick Reach was also designed by Vic Keary of Thermionic Culture fame & is very similar, however it doesn't have the S.C. filter options. A sales Rep at VK said that the build quality & components of the Chiswick Reach was better quality though. I never got to try one as I really needed the S.C. filters.

Speaking of the Phoenix, has anyone tried different valves & care to share their findings?

Matt
Old 18th August 2008
  #44
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kosi's Avatar
I am sure, that a combination of STC8 with Phoenix sounds very good.

When I bought my Phoenix, I tested it against the Gyraf and the decision wasn't easy. The Gyraf has this impressive warm character, but is always very coloured and was pretty hard to setup, I tested one of the first generation, maybe, this has changed meanwhile.
The Phoenix is all charm, easy to dial in and can sound from nearly invisible to heavy smashed.
The only thing I missed, was a HPF in the sidechain, but 2 weeks ago I wrote Thermionic and now I get a mod kit for my Non mastering version

In my opinion, the Gyraf was the one trick pony and the Phoenix more versatile .
But like I said in the beginning, they both are very good to combine with very fast compressors.

I also would like to hear the Vertigo !
Old 18th August 2008
  #45
Gear Maniac
 

Hi Matt ,thanks for the feedback.
Funny you mentioned the Chiswick , I am looking at this comp very seriously also . It's a 3 rack unit though , more expensive than the Phoenix by about 500 euro , I was not aware till now that there was a difference in the build quality , thanks .
Old 18th August 2008
  #46
Gear Maniac
 

I have read by other forum users that the Chiswick support is not the best and this (if true) is a concern being in Berlin.
Old 18th August 2008
  #47
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WunderBro Flo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcopop View Post
I have read by other forum users that the Chiswick support is not the best and this (if true) is a concern being in Berlin.
Same what I have heard about the Chiswick. The unit gives tech trouble on a regular basis and there is no support from anyone - meaning a local tech would have to find out how the beast works, where troubles are and think of a way to fix them. It might cost more money for tech time over the years than the buying price...FunkyJunk had one for sale for little money last year, I was interested but did not buy it because of the lack of support.

Rock!
Pat
Old 18th August 2008
  #48
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Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcopop View Post
I have read by other forum users that the Chiswick support is not the best and this (if true) is a concern being in Berlin.
It's quite possible, VK was looking into the possibility of getting a mod done for me that would include a HPF option for the S.C. & Chiswick Reach just never got back to us to say if it was possible. So I moved on the Phoenix instead, when I say the build quality isn't great with the Phoenix, it's mostly ergonomics as the unit tracks perfect from L to R & the switches are fantastic. I'm just not a fan of the threshold pots or the plastic knobs on the front panel. All things that I'll replace with a good tech when I get to it. In the meantime it's being used on so many projects lately, I couldn't bear it to be out of the rack for long. For the record the Phoenix is 3 RU as well...

I haven't heard the Requisite L2M but it could be interesting, in Australia it doesn't look like anyone is distributing it, same with the Gyraf. I got to try the Vertigo but to be honest I thought it was a bit on the bright side (but in a nice way), clean but just not the right colour & it lacked character for me. A bit of an expensive one trick pony in my book.

Matt
Old 18th August 2008
  #49
Gear Addict
 

Hey Matt ....

Have you tried the Manley Vari-Mu ?

if so ... how does it compare to the Phoenix ...

Thanks !
Old 19th August 2008
  #50
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ISedlacek's Avatar
I just posted samples of two tracks processed by API 2500 and Vertigo HERE
Old 19th August 2008
  #51
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airmate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kosi View Post
Hi Gary, if you like, you can hop over to Kreuzberg, I have an API 2500, Thermionic Phoenix and some other goodies.

cheers,
kosi

Quote:
Originally Posted by kosi View Post
I also would like to hear the Vertigo !


Hi Kosi, if you like, you can hop over to Kreuzberg, I have a Vertigo and some other goodies.

cheers,
airmate hehheh
Old 19th August 2008
  #52
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ISedlacek's Avatar
That´s nice )) This is how it should be ... two sound alchemy passionates meet ...
Old 19th August 2008
  #53
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airmate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
That´s nice )) This is how it should be ... two sound alchemy passionates meet ...
this is just fun.
kosi an me know each other for quite a few years, and he is already aware that i purchased the vertigo. heh
Old 19th August 2008
  #54
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MattGray's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by SUPADUPA View Post
Hey Matt ....

Have you tried the Manley Vari-Mu ?

if so ... how does it compare to the Phoenix ...

Thanks !
Actually no I didn't get to try out the Manley, I've heard them on many mixes though. Generally speaking they can sound a little murky in the low end with the newer versions from the stuff I've heard & read.

I believe the original Manley Vari-Mu's with the 6386 tubes were the best units. Also all the units slightly vary in sound depending on whether it's a mastering version or modded with the S.C. HPF, T-Bar or M/S options. But I've also heard from users who have the newer models with all the options that they can still sound sludgy in the bottom end. It's for this reason I decided to try out the Phoenix mastering edition, it has none of these side affects. I can't actually tell you the differences from personal experience as I've never compared them side by side & there is too many Manley Vari-Mu variations in circulation to draw one final conclusion anyway.

Matt
Old 27th August 2008
  #55
Gear Maniac
 
PrinsJan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kosi View Post
I am sure, that a combination of STC8 with Phoenix sounds very good.

When I bought my Phoenix, I tested it against the Gyraf and the decision wasn't easy. The Gyraf has this impressive warm character, but is always very coloured and was pretty hard to setup, I tested one of the first generation, maybe, this has changed meanwhile.
The Phoenix is all charm, easy to dial in and can sound from nearly invisible to heavy smashed.
The only thing I missed, was a HPF in the sidechain, but 2 weeks ago I wrote Thermionic and now I get a mod kit for my Non mastering version

In my opinion, the Gyraf was the one trick pony and the Phoenix more versatile .
But like I said in the beginning, they both are very good to combine with very fast compressors.

I also would like to hear the Vertigo !

Can you tell me more about the mod kit please ??
Old 27th August 2008
  #56
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcopop View Post

Heres what I'm currently considering as the last comp :
Thermionic Phoenix
API 2500
Chiswick Reach
Nah, considering what you already have I would recommend this:
Danfield Audio

It's basically an SSL type sound with a very handy HP filter knob for the detection circuit.
Old 27th August 2008
  #57
kjg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
Nah, considering what you already have I would recommend this:
Danfield Audio

It's basically an SSL type sound with a very handy HP filter knob for the detection circuit.
Looks nice. Are these stepped controls? Do you know what price range, Lagerfeldt?
Old 27th August 2008
  #58
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
First and foremost, it sounds nice too. :-)

You can get detented pots if you like, yes. Also you can get custom frequencies for the HPF.

The standard version is USD $3,110 (EUR €2,100) exclusive of VAT (which can be left out for export buyers).

Again, it's an SSL master bus compressor type sound. Perfect for "glue" type compression of 1-2 dB but also capable of being controlled and firm if necessary. I think it works very well in front of another compressor such as the STC-8/M or similar.
Old 28th August 2008
  #59
kjg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
First and foremost, it sounds nice too. :-)

You can get detented pots if you like, yes. Also you can get custom frequencies for the HPF.
Thank you, Lagerfeldt. Decent price - assuming it is really nice. You heard it? Similar to SSL G or X-Logic?
You mean that instead of one fully variable knob up to 800Hz it could be, say, four fixed frequencies? Not sure if I would want that though.. Although nice for recalling, I think I'd always want the setting in between... Well, maybe 75, 150, 300, 600 would be fine actually.

I'm orienting to buy two/three hardware compressors and one EQ as a "startup chain". I'm making a shortlist for an investment due in about a year.

I'll be buying Flux Solera+, Epure Limiter and Epure EQ for in the box.
Sonnox Limiter will be there, too. And PLParEQ. That will roughly cover my ITB, and clean/LP EQ needs.

The outboard comp/eq I'd want to keep under 10000 euro for now.
How about this one (Danfield 726), API 2500, and maybe TFPRO P38?
Nice range of flavors, right? That would be 6.2K, roughly. I guess I could also get 1 STC-8/M.. Same range of flavors, but in one better box?
I guess that would be more transparent/flexible compression, but less character... Maybe STC 8/M would be the first addition after this. (2nd shortlist..)
Add a Great River MAQ-2NV (or another eq in that price range) and that's makes about 10K.

Ideally I'd like the EQ to be switchable between linked/unlinked, and fairly neutral to slightly warm in the mid and high. Not muddy (warm...) in the lows.
Gyraf G14 looks like a great option, too. Although it is stereo, not 2 channel. That's ok, though. I just don't want two unlinked channels like Ibis for example.

Thoughts?

How is the rebuilding of your studio going, Lagerfeldt?

thank you,
Klaas-Jan Govaart
Old 28th August 2008
  #60
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjg View Post
Thank you, Lagerfeldt. Decent price - assuming it is really nice. You heard it? Similar to SSL E or G/X-Logic?
You mean that instead of one fully variable knob up to 800Hz it could be, say, four fixed frequencies? Not sure if I would want that though.. Although nice for recalling, I think I'd always want the setting in between... Well, maybe 75, 150, 300, 600 would be fine actually.
Yes, of course I've heard it. :-) Similar to the SSL Type 4000 master bus comp, which is emulated in the Waves G-Master Bus Compressor.

Fixed yes,

1: off
2: 60
3:100
4:160
5:200
6:300

or something else. I'm thinking of lower freqs, just to keep the subs out, e.g. 40 Hz, even though it won't matter much with a 6dB/Oct filter.

In fact I'm considering changing my G SSL custom master comp with a fixed 6dB/Oct filter @80 Hz, transformer balanced outputs and all detents with a Danfield 726 just for fun.

Quote:
I'll be buying Flux Solera+, Epure Limiter and Epure EQ for in the box.
Sonnox Limiter will be there, too. And PLParEQ. That will roughly cover my ITB, and clean/LP EQ needs.
What can I say, except you've done your homework! You might want to add one other type of plug-in to that list soon, although I can't reveal what just yet (signed a NDA). Hit me up soon. But definitely get the Flux Epure, Flux Solera+, Epure Limiter and Sonnox Oxford Limiter.

Quote:
The outboard comp/eq I'd want to keep under 10000 euro for now.
How about this one (Danfield 726), API 2500, and maybe TFPRO P38?
Nice range of flavors, right? That would be 6.2K, roughly. I guess I could also get 1 STC-8/M.. Same range of flavors, but in one better box?
If you can only get one, get an STC-8. It can be both transparent and somewhat colored (KI/HARA). Having the /H or /M version is very nice but after buying the /M version for mastering myself I *don't* think it's necessary with the detents. In my opinion you will be happier saving the extra money for other gear. YMMV of course, and if your budget is big enough then by all means get the /M version like I did.

I'd say the Danfield 726 pretty much fills out the same role as an API 2500 (this being a bit more colored and more flexible perhaps). So I wouldn't get both the 726 and the 2500.

Quote:
Ideally I'd like the EQ to be switchable between linked/unlinked, and fairly neutral to slightly warm in the mid and high. Not muddy (warm...) in the lows.
Gyraf G14 looks like a great option, too. Although it is stereo, not 2 channel. That's ok, though. I just don't want two unlinked channels like Ibis for example.
You'll want a Gyraf Gyratec G14. Tape Op review called it "The best equalizer. Ever.". I tend to agree. The G14 has fantastic low freqs, with fullness and punch - lots of "core" and absolutely no mud. It has amazingly pleasant and clear mids, and without a doubt the best high frequencies I've heard in any box - silky smooth air. Things that just aren't possible in digital or most other hardware equalizers. And the passive/parallel design is very important for me when mastering (e.g. if I want just to use 1 band of high boost but nothing else - I don't want the low end to change). For mastering you will be happy with a stereo unit, it's more precise in L/R tracking, and more intuitive while working. If you wish to do unlinked corrections, then use a digital eq for that. Just my 2 cents.

Quote:
How is the rebuilding of your studio going, Lagerfeldt?
Very good thanks, I'll soon be posting the final pictures in a couple of weeks. The studio is operational now, except for the isobooth.
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