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Hendy Amps Michelangelo
Old 4th February 2019
  #871
Do you guys have an idea if dropping some Voshkod 6N2P with 6.3V heater tension would work ??
Old 4th February 2019
  #872
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Still the not extremly cheap TADs have no chance compared to my well selected pair of NOS unfortunately, which has much less smear and better transients while not being pushy like the TADS. Impressive how colored (and not in any good way to me) modern tubes sound in comparison still...

PS: unfortunately most NOS businesses seem to be a kind of big fraud often, so just buying something labelled as "NOS" can lead to high dissatisfaction and high wastage of money easily.
Or if you have a tube tester you get big stock of NOS and test/match everything yourself but it's a piece of work
Old 5th February 2019
  #873
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxnscratch View Post
Do you guys have an idea if dropping some Voshkod 6N2P with 6.3V heater tension would work ??
I got an answer from Chris, The pinout is different so it won't work unless we use an adapter.
Old 12th February 2019
  #874
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1. Yes, please try different tubes and please always report your findings! They really do all sound different and indeed the MA will display those differences in great detail, meaning different people will find different tubes to their liking and that is a good thing.
2. I personally like the JJ's because they always have a good sound with plenty of high and low extension, and they are easy to find and not expensive to replace. I've not really noticed the blurriness in the mids as some have noticed here (Well except for a batch I got a couple years ago...those did not sound right and the noise floor was about 5db higher than normal) but they are not quite as rich overall as something like the old mullards and such. However, I'll take the highs and lows of the JJ's over the mullards any day of the week. I have noticed that the JJ's can sound a little scooped compared to other brands though...just a touch. Overall they are the benchmark for me since they may not be the best at everything, but they are always very good with most everything.
3. The Tung Sol's I've used all had a super nice high end, but often I did not care for the low end response. They were very snappy but just didn't have as much girth as other tubes I liked (hard to explain exactly what I mean by that). Their noise floor was also really awesome or really horrid...never anything in-between. But the highs...just pristine.
4. With the TAD and Sovtek tubes I've always had an issue with their high mids as they just seem overly harsh to my ears. They are punchy as anything I've heard, but I cannot stand anything harsh sounding so I stopped using them. Maybe that has changed over the last several years...I wouldn't know. Oddly enough, even though the EH tubes are essentially the same as the other russians they nearly always seem to have a graininess about them that I only hear in EH tubes. Not sure why that is but I can always spot them immediately in our blind tests.

I'm very much enjoying reading this tube exploration/discussion!
Old 12th February 2019
  #875
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Thanks for posting your impressions too, Chris.

In the meantime Saxnscratch and me compared our TAD tubes and found quite big diffs. May it be due to lack of proper burn in or due to different selection, for us it was pretty much a hit or miss diff (flat and harsh vs. tight and 3D). Unfortunately even the good sounding TAD has not even a chance compared to some very well selected NOS (which was even less smeary, evenless harsh, even more tighter, and even more 3D and not in a subtle manner). For me a fact that makes proper tube comparissons even more complicated. In my experiences selection plays a role as big as those between diff manufacteurs, or even bigger because selection is what differs goid tubesfrom bad ones these days (where most tubes comes from the same factory). But even similar NOS from a reputated manufacteur can sound quite differently in a head to head comparisson. But selection is what makes tubes expensive, (and good sounding). So tubes can reallybe a lifetime activity without having a dealer with excellent taste and dedication.

Theres currently a article about the famous ECC83/12AX7 in the german "studio magazin" inkl. testing a lot of diff tubes from Sylvania, Sovtek, Honeymoon etc incl. some rare NOS incl Philips, Siemens, Valvo etc with measurements and by ear. Quite recommend read for those who have access (can be ordered online). Guess who wins by far...?
Plus an interview with a reputated local gear manufacteur who says how important proper burn in is with modern tubes. And selection, because of so much crap on the market these days .

Last edited by JP__; 12th February 2019 at 10:01 AM..
Old 12th February 2019
  #876
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendyamps View Post
2. I personally like the JJ's because they always have a good sound with plenty of high and low extension, and they are easy to find and not expensive to replace. I've not really noticed the blurriness in the mids as some have noticed here (Well except for a batch I got a couple years ago...those did not sound right and the noise floor was about 5db higher than normal) but they are not quite as rich overall as something like the old mullards and such. However, I'll take the highs and lows of the JJ's over the mullards any day of the week. I have noticed that the JJ's can sound a little scooped compared to other brands though...just a touch. Overall they are the benchmark for me since they may not be the best at everything, but they are always very good with most everything.
I enjoy the JJ's in mine and use it on the mix bus in front of a A Designs Nail. A really great combination.

Do you have (or recommend) a regular interval you replace tubes to keep them sounding at optimum?

What do the other users do in terms of regular replacement?
Old 12th February 2019
  #877
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Thanks for posting your impressions too, Chris.

In the meantime Saxnscratch and me compared our TAD tubes and found quite big diffs. May it be due to lack of proper burn in or due to different selection, for us it was pretty much a hit or miss diff (flat and harsh vs. tight and 3D). Unfortunately even the good sounding TAD has not even a chance compared to some very well selected NOS (which was even less smeary, evenless harsh, even more tighter, and even more 3D and not in a subtle manner). For me a fact that makes proper tube comparissons even more complicated. In my experiences selection plays a role as big as those between diff manufacteurs, or even bigger because selection is what differs goid tubesfrom bad ones these days (where most tubes comes from the same factory). But even similar NOS from a reputated manufacteur can sound quite differently in a head to head comparisson. But selection is what makes tubes expensive, (and good sounding). So tubes can reallybe a lifetime activity without having a dealer with excellent taste and dedication.

Theres currently a article about the famous ECC83/12AX7 in the german "studio magazin" inkl. testing a lot of diff tubes from Sylvania, Sovtek, Honeymoon etc incl. some rare NOS incl Philips, Siemens, Valvo etc with measurements and by ear. Quite recommend read for those who have access (can be ordered online). Guess who wins by far...?
Plus an interview with a reputated local gear manufacteur who says how important proper burn in is with modern tubes. And selection, because of so much crap on the market these days .
Yeah I always burn in the tubes I use, even when they are shipped to me "burned in". The TAD's I used were a few sets over a period of zero break in up to 5 days break in and while they did begin to mellow out a bit, I never did come to appreciate them. This was a few years ago, so maybe current production is a bit different now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by swafford View Post
I enjoy the JJ's in mine and use it on the mix bus in front of a A Designs Nail. A really great combination.

Do you have (or recommend) a regular interval you replace tubes to keep them sounding at optimum?

What do the other users do in terms of regular replacement?
My rule of thumb is to replace them when I start to notice it doesn't sound quite as good as I remember. For me, this ends up being every year or so depending on how long the gear has been turned on/off.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #878
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First in chain, last in chain, first in chain, last in chain. Doesn't anyone put it in the middle?

I'm excited to have a used MA (1/3rd gain version with pots and all the mods) arriving here Monday. The order of gear in my current chain is very carefully chosen through trial and error. I'm reluctant to change my first and last as those were the most consequential choices, so somewhere in the middle seems likely for the MA. Any advice or experience with that? I use a patchbay not a router BTW, and no parallel.

What kind of unit interacts well with the Hi/Lo Z switch - as in - do you like to follow the MA with a transformer balanced unit, electrically balanced, vintage, etc.?

I'm late to the MA game but I just read this entire 877 post thread. Phew! Lots of great info here, so thanks!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #879
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
First in chain, last in chain, first in chain, last in chain. Doesn't anyone put it in the middle?
I've tried my MA in all different places. In the middle of the chain was where there tended to be problematic interactions. First and last worked best; and last always just made more sense for my signal flow.

My MA - an original model HiZ only/no mods - has always sounded best following my API 2500. I can't explain it technically, I just used my ears.

One thing that has been an absolute revelation for me has been running my MA in parallel. I often found the MA to be a bit "too much" for my liking (again, HiZ only) and it was spending more time in bypass than not. Running the MA in parallel has taken the whole "painting with colours" thing to another level for me. It seriously adds to the versatility (for example, dialling in just the right amount of vintage mode). Highly recommended.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #880
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Mne is still right before the ADC, but I would not hesistate to try any other position in the chain when I would feel the need. I would put boxtone interactions over "theoretical usefull position in the chain" (e.g. EQ in front of comp) at any day and I find that adding a new piece of gear always means to rebalance out the chain by ear (and measurements). New gear often means selling another. Here the CompOne now has to go after adding the Pollock (any interest?). Notbecause one is better than the other, but I just couldntfound a place forboth within mychain.
Runing two separate chains may be a solution, ofcourse. But dialing in and maintanance onechain feels enough work tome personally.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #881
If I had all 8 items in my analogue chain engaged, in their typical order (I have a Crookwood console so can arrange the order as I like) the Michelangelo would be the 4th item. Obviously having all 8 pieces engaged is pretty rare, but it does happen.

As others have said, it's really about what comes before and after it in the chain. In terms of levels I tend to run the first "half" of my chain cooler than the second half, boosting the level after the MA with the Barry Porter and/or Knif Pure Mu--the Pure Mu and G21 like much hotter levels than the rest of my chain.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #882
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the MA also has a-lot of stereo cross-talk. It's part of what gives it the 'depth' effect, along with the saturation harmonics from the tubes. Those two effects combine hitting the relatively transparent Jenson transformer to give the 'aliveness' so many people respond to in this thread. . . changing the tubes changes the character of the harmonics, changing V3 changes the separation of the cross-talk. (slightly)

first/last/middle will depend entirely on your specific set-up. I eventually sold mine and replaced it with a knif Soma. the stereo field improved, although the MA was better for adding grit and texture to rock/blues tunes
Old 3 weeks ago
  #883
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While I am sure this true I don't feel like it is as extreme as you imply.
This being said I had a Soma and I sold that and kept the Michelangelo.....
Old 3 weeks ago
  #884
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loji View Post
the MA also has a-lot of stereo cross-talk. It's part of what gives it the 'depth' effect, along with the saturation harmonics from the tubes. Those two effects combine hitting the relatively transparent Jenson transformer to give the 'aliveness' so many people respond to in this thread. . . changing the tubes changes the character of the harmonics, changing V3 changes the separation of the cross-talk. (slightly)

first/last/middle will depend entirely on your specific set-up. I eventually sold mine and replaced it with a knif Soma. the stereo field improved, although the MA was better for adding grit and texture to rock/blues tunes
the soma and the michelangelo are so fundamentally different, I don't think they can replace each other.
they are both great equalizers
Old 3 weeks ago
  #885
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I've just had mine for a couple of hours. Sweet sounding box!

On program material it's a pleasure to play with but I'm so new with it that I can't add much to the conversation yet. Low and Air knobs make the strongest first impression on me.

Testing with tones - there definitely is significant crosstalk that predictably increases with frequency, maxing around -50dB at 20k when fed pink noise at 0VU = -18dB. See attached screenshot. I haven't noticed a perceptible narrowing of the stereo image on program material, at least not yet... in fact there's some subtle dimensional enhancement going on...

Also I see that lowering the Trim knob reduces top end quite a lot, and reduces the bottom some too.

Raising the Aggression knob reduces highs (or boosts everything else more) but not as much as lowering the Trim does.

I A/B'd it with the existing JJ tubes and then with a new set of same. New tubes sound a little more lively and punchy!

This thing is all about the 2nd harmonic - sounds so thick - I love it!
Attached Thumbnails
Hendy Amps Michelangelo-ma-pink-noise-crosstalk.png   Hendy Amps Michelangelo-ma-flat-1k-tone.png  

Last edited by Trakworx; 3 weeks ago at 01:24 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #886
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P.S. I suspect that perhaps comments in this thread about smearing of transients or narrow image may be rooted in use of the Aggression and Trim controls. The farther I turn those knobs the more detail I lose... but then again they also sound good in other ways...

I think if I'm careful with it this thing will shine.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #887
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I think what makes some impressions so different is that the MA is such an unique and powerful beast of an EQ. It can be a really colored mix-(bus) EQ (especially the MK1) or a quite transparent mastering EQ (especially later units) or a kind of fx unit in parallel as some use it.
Its boxtone is still an important part of my chain, but Im normally very shy using its knobs and barely ever touch trim, aggression, vintage, high z etc which just feels to colored for my likings. As do the stock JJs. I think its freq points are really well chosen to outbalance its own color.

I think its hard to compare a MA to a parametric passive tube EQ like the Soma. The MA is much more a broad colored brush than a unit that works in frequencies.
I also think that a lot depends on chain and levels (in my experiences much more than with other units). To me the MA is a real Diva, for thegood and for thebad which really needs a lot of care and attention to make it fit.
I really can see why some ppl sold it, especially in a more complex and flexible seutup. Its just not another piece of gear...


PS: I also own Chris' Pollock comp and think both can really shine together. They defininy share some characteristics and a beautiful unique tone (if set up well). But also can be overdone fairly easily. Both can really add an organic knd of naturalness without sounding too "vintage". They definitly can shine on many styles if you like this "organic" attitude, but may not suit some "modern" more digital or plastic styles. Both are very picky about the surrounding gear and I choose that for this purpose only.
I also really can recommend to invest in HQ (NOS) tubes for mastering work.

Last edited by JP__; 3 weeks ago at 09:32 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #888
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
I also really can recommend to invest in HQ (NOS) tubes for mastering work.
Do the HQ tubes last longer than the JJs? Seems like people are replacing the JJs annually. I wonder if that's because of the MA or because of the JJs... Replacing HQ tubes annually would be a bit costly...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #889
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I spent a few hours experimenting yesterday.

In Lo Z mode with Vintage switched off I didn't find it's boxtone to be objectionable when patched in series. In fact I like it a lot.

I tried it in 5 different spots in the chain - all of the spots where it made sense to put it. First and last were the only spots where it sounded right. Funny how that seems to be the case for a lot of people. Middle spots all made the mix sound somehow unglued.

First in chain is where I want to put it for practical reasons - I want to use it's broad stroke EQ before hitting the rest of my gear, and I want to hit the MA with a relatively low level so I can tweak the Aggression control a little without distorting too much.

But last in chain is really interesting because, like others have said, it somehow makes my other EQs work better. I can't quite wrap my head around how that's possible so I'm going to have to test it again today to make sure I wasn't having auditory hallucinations last night. If it holds true then I'll probably end up choosing last in chain even though it goes against my instincts to put an EQ last.

I spent 5 minutes setting the MA for a track I had previously mastered. When I compared the 2 versions I felt like I owed it to my client to remaster it for free. It makes me want to go back and redo everything I've ever done. I'm not being hyperbolic. It's that good.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #890
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
Do the HQ tubes last longer than the JJs? Seems like people are replacing the JJs annually. I wonder if that's because of the MA or because of the JJs... Replacing HQ tubes annually would be a bit costly...
I would expect the tubes back in the days at (much) better quality than modern ones, not only soundwise but also at build quality/selection. I havent really used the JJs long enough to experienced any slight worn out (same withthe Pollock). My some years old NOS still easily wins in a listening comparisson to brand new tubes, thats enough proof to me.
I personally would rate the differences in sound of different types/selections of tubes much higher than the results of some worn out.

To me the need to really change tubes every year or so just looks like cheap quality...

I own some nice reads about this topic too, but unfortunately its all german.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #891
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Awesome. Use what works

the MA was absolutely astounding on 1 or 2 out of every 7 client projects here, it was bypassed for the other 5 or 6 artists. (for me, you may vary)

I strongly agree on using NOS tubes to tailor it's tone to your working style and flavor...

However the unit is ran very high internally (the voltage hitting the tubes is high) Chris designed it that way on purpose, (just like the cross-talk is on purpose) some NOS tubes I found to burn out even faster than JJ's .. you can add 1-Ohm resistors to lower the voltage going to the tubes (which will extend their life, but also change the tone) ..

it is more instrument than EQ. if you're doing rock/organic music you owe it to at least buy on to demo long-term. I personally found it less beneficial in other genres.

I agree that -50dB of inter-channel noise is far from extreme, but it's not particularly quiet either. That comment was meant in light of, "where in the chain" ..

Are you using a dual mono-compressor? the channel correlation of your dynamics will change if you engage the MA before the comp.... are you using a precision analog M/S encode/decode? ... the MA will likely do better *after* these processors rather than before due to that high-freq channel bleed.

just something to be aware of. If it sounds better first in line, Great!

I found the MA was a beautiful lush, deep, organic, texture. Cannot be duplicated ITB, and that was wonderful

however in my use-case: it was never transparent enough, that lush texture softened the bass, decreased the mono compatibility/phantom center, and veiled the clarity/extension too often . I sent A/B versions with/without the MA to clients, and too-often they chose the without ... so off it went. Not without some head shaking however. Chris makes good and rather unique equipment. If your clients respond positively to it, cash in the bag.

Mine did not.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #892
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loji View Post
...just like the cross-talk is on purpose...
Did Chris say that? I must have missed it if it was in this thread, but it doesn't surprise me as I've long been a fan of a little well placed crosstalk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loji View Post
... if you're doing rock/organic music you owe it to at least buy on to demo long-term. I personally found it less beneficial in other genres.
I work mostly with Rock and all it's sub-genres, with a splash of Folk, Jazz and Hip Hop. Just a dash of Electronica and Pop. Zero Classical. I think I'll get a lot of use out of this here coloring box.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #893
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
Did Chris say that? I must have missed it if it was in this thread, but it doesn't surprise me as I've long been a fan of a little well placed crosstalk.



I work mostly with Rock and all it's sub-genres, with a splash of Folk, Jazz and Hip Hop. Just a dash of Electronica and Pop. Zero Classical. I think I'll get a lot of use out of this here coloring box.

Yep, Chris sure did say that. I extensively tested the MA out with a dedicated tube per channel in the gain makeup stage and also with one tube sharing the duties (where much of the crosstalk comes from) and unexpectedly enjoyed the single output tube far more sonically. So I ignored all advise to the contrary and went with my ears. There are other choices I made in that box (and in my preamps, compressors, and guitar amps) that generally go against most "best practices" in the industry because while the math looks "good" the sonics say something quite different in my experience. At the end of the day, I design gear that I need in my studio, and when I find a need I cannot fill elsewhere with gear already designed and for sale, I design what I believe will do the job I need in an inspirational and exciting way. Often, others find value in that tool as well and before you know it I'm selling another piece of gear to people across the earth...haha.

You know I actually love seeing the debates about all the different tubes people use in the MA because it constantly reminds me that different people all have different aesthetics that vary, and often cross over each other’s, but never completely. JP and others sing the praises of certain NOS tubes, others love the JJ's, and still others have their own preferences. I just like knowing that I have built a piece of gear that is so 3-D and alive that any tube change produces significantly different results - Many pieces of tube gear I have used do not. I also love the fact that running the MA at different points in the signal chain produces different results to be debated as well (I prefer first or last as well as the MA has a tendency to make gear later down the line often unnecessary...running first / or it seems to make my previous gear in the line so much better and easier to use...running last).

What is funny now is that I have been through so many pieces of gear (at one point 15 different pieces in the rack) and now, for the last two years worth of mastering projects I've worked on for everything from country, to synth based metal (huh??...lol), from indie to pop, from no label artists to BMG, Warner, etc major label work, I'm simply down to a Michelangelo and a Pollock for outboard gear and a single plugin for precision notching, low/high filtering, and limiting. All other gear I've either sold or re-purposed for mixing (my studio manager who does most tracking and mixing these days is quite thankful...lol).

Everyone has his/her own tastes and I'm always excited to see people find what speaks to them!

A couple of points:
1. Yes the MA has been described more as an instrument and yes I strongly agree. I design all my gear to be closer to a living being than piece of gear because to my ears, it always sounds better and is more enjoyable to use.
2. The MA's harmonic generation and low end response is always going to be interactive with gear preceding it, LoZ/HiZ setting, and how hard the tubes are driven. My sweet spot is to make sure source material driving the MA is -12 or lower unless I am after a lot of juicy fun on a project.
3. Aggression will cause a HF rolloff to a certain degree which can allow you to drive the highs and Air for a different feel, and it also can make the low end richer, but looser. It is completely interactive with the circuit as a whole.
4. Trim does roll off the highs a little but not a ton. Trim does interact in the circuit but not nearly to the degree that Aggression does.
5. One confusing thing to also remember is that there are a large number of MA versions out there, from custom modded versions to older ones missing different options/mods that have since become standard. Only the MA's that have Low shift, High Shift, LoZ/HiZ, and Air Shift are the matured/"final" version...and even then there are some that have significant differences under the hood in order to accommodate customer requests and other mods.
6. I do run the tubes hot for tone and yes they do have a tendency to wear out within about a year or so - But at $10 a tube, no worries. And in many cases the JJ's will outlast the NOS tubes because JJ sometimes (often) makes their tubes more robust and rugged than some NOS tubes. For instance, their 6V6 tubes will take way more plate voltage than most other brands and NOS 6V6's - mostly because their 6V6's aren't actually historical 6V6's, more like a cross between a 6v6, 5881, and 6L6 - Ha! They sound amazing though! Some NOS tubes however are quite robust and can last many years, so it really just depends on what you get. I’ve had tubes (JJ’s and every other brand) last for exactly 15 seconds, and others last 6 years. Average for me is about 1 to 2 years so I round down and say one year replacement recommended. Really, just have a second set on hand and try them out every so often and you will quickly see if you have tubes that should be swapped. Or don’t…lol…I’ve met some people that like the sound of older tubes in the MA. So who knows what will suit your tastes! Just don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun doing it!!



Trakworx, I hear your comment about re-mastering or re-mixing everything post MA so many times from so many people and it still makes me smile every time! I'm happy you love it!

Chris
Old 2 weeks ago
  #894
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Chris, are you running the MA and Pollock back to back in your setup?
I tried around a lot, but always found a solid state device as a buffer between transformer based gear significant better sounding. Tighter, less smeary, more open, less blurry lows...
I would love the idea of avery much reduced chain (tube comp and tube eq) but never was really happy with this. So any transformer based gear always means running a solid state device before/after is a necessity to me.
Still its not that easy to find solid state gear which sound isnt going into the way to much or which is capable to transparently interact with the complex loads of a transformer.
E.g. my VCA comp is always in, driving the Pollock, but Ratio turn down to 1:1 for just its buffer capalities.
This philosophy may lead to a quite unusual chain order, but just sounds best to my ears....

Love your philosophie to just trust your ears. I think a lot of ppl just think to much in theories when it comes down setting up a chain or modifying gears to taste.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #895
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Chris, are you running the MA and Pollock back to back in your setup?
I tried around a lot, but always found a solid state device as a buffer between transformer based gear significant better sounding. Tighter, less smeary, more open, less blurry lows...
I would love the idea of avery much reduced chain (tube comp and tube eq) but never was really happy with this. So any transformer based gear always means running a solid state device before/after is a necessity to me.
Still its not that easy to find solid state gear which sound isnt going into the way to much or which is capable to transparently interact with the complex loads of a transformer.
E.g. my VCA comp is always in, driving the Pollock, but Ratio turn down to 1:1 for just its buffer capalities.
This philosophy may lead to a quite unusual chain order, but just sounds best to my ears....

Love your philosophie to just trust your ears. I think a lot of ppl just think to much in theories when it comes down setting up a chain or modifying gears to taste.
I am running them back to back, hardwired now like this: DA - Pollock - MA - AD.
As for the buffer issue, I know exactly what you are talking about. Some tube gear can get a bit wonky on the impedance in and out which can and often do cause some loading issues. Also, some solid state gear can be a poor match with transformer balanced tube gear. In HiZ mode, the MA has a high impedance output which loads the MA down differently depending on the input impedance of the following gear, causing the need to drive it harder and generate more tube harmonic content. This is why I love the MA set to HiZ in mixing roles often because it gives me more mojo and fun. In mastering, I'm in LoZ mode much more often.
Now, with the MA (in LoZ) and the Pollock, both utilize a very low output impedance (for tube gear) because of a strange follower circuit coupled with an unusual output transformer. Add to it that each one has a proper HiZ input stage and the net result is that I've never had an issue running them back to back, and have never seen any improvement using another piece of gear in between...And I prefer the Pollock before the MA.

One big catch here is that the Trim control on the MA does actually affect the output impedance to a degree which can affect your results. On Pollock, the Gain control has no affect on output impedance. If I am wanting to make sure the MA interacts with other gear behind it as little as possible, I keep that Trim in the default position - All the way up.

Chris
Old 2 weeks ago
  #896
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Here its: Solid State Buffer > Pollock > Solid State Buffer/Solid State Buffer > MA > ADC (which is in fact another Solid State input). I can easily bypass both buffers between the two devices for easy comparissions, they kept always on in praxis.
The reason for two solid state devices between Pollock and MA ist that the first works great getting fed by the Pollock, but not that great feeding the MA (and the other way around). Dont really know why as impedances are quite simlair on paper...
So not every low impedance solid state output is equally reacting in my experiences. So sometimes transformers back to back would be a better sounding decision of course. All in all its mostly a taste based decision, in my experiences transformers tend to sound more colored back to back, too colored for my likings and needs. But quite some solid state in/outs tend to eat some music, so its often a very tight balancing act.

Somwtimes its a real pain finding a device that has great functionality and a great sound and a great boxtone within the chain. Not an easy task.
Sometimes I think about decoupling the buffering completly from the used gear with a hq box like this: https://www.abacus-electronics.de/pr...eiber-xlr.html
But on the other side, theres nothing transparent in audio. More boxes always means more sonic decrease, which holds me away from active mastering consoles too.


Regarding trim/gain: I also own a Rockruepel CompOne, a very puristic tube/transformer given piece of gear which in/out impedances are highly depending on levels. So, in daily use I once set them to a fixd setting (which sounds best to my ears) and then leave it like that. Makes things less flexible, but makes sure my chain/gear always behaves like expected. I think theres nothing more contra productive than chasing ghost while working ... Its much too easy to cheat ourselfs with unespected impedance interactions due to small level changes.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #897
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendyamps View Post
Yep, Chris sure did say that. I extensively tested the MA out with a dedicated tube per channel in the gain makeup stage and also with one tube sharing the duties (where much of the crosstalk comes from) and unexpectedly enjoyed the single output tube far more sonically. So I ignored all advise to the contrary and went with my ears. There are other choices I made in that box (and in my preamps, compressors, and guitar amps) that generally go against most "best practices" in the industry because while the math looks "good" the sonics say something quite different in my experience. At the end of the day, I design gear that I need in my studio, and when I find a need I cannot fill elsewhere with gear already designed and for sale, I design what I believe will do the job I need in an inspirational and exciting way. Often, others find value in that tool as well and before you know it I'm selling another piece of gear to people across the earth...haha.
I appreciate that philosophy. Ears rule. Too much "best practice" can lead to a sterile sound. If I want that I can just stay ITB. All of my favorite outboard gear has mojo factor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendyamps View Post
(I prefer first or last as well as the MA has a tendency to make gear later down the line often unnecessary...running first / or it seems to make my previous gear in the line so much better and easier to use...running last).
Yesterday, my first day using the MA in session, I mastered 16 songs (a Metal album and an Americana album) with it at the end of my usual chain. It imparts a nice finish in that spot. It certainly did "huge" really well - almost too well - on the Metal stuff! I was able to do about 90% of the EQ moves I needed with just the MA. Those simple controls can cover a lot of ground! Today I'll try working with it first in chain and see how that goes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendyamps View Post
My sweet spot is to make sure source material driving the MA is -12 or lower unless I am after a lot of juicy fun on a project.
-12 what? Peak?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendyamps View Post
3. Aggression will cause a HF rolloff to a certain degree which can allow you to drive the highs and Air for a different feel, and it also can make the low end richer, but looser. It is completely interactive with the circuit as a whole.
What's Aggression actually doing? The manual says "The AGGRESSION control alters the drive in the circuit, allowing you to push the tubes for extra saturation." It's not just a gain control though, is it? I recall you saying Aggression is a passive control...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendyamps View Post
Trakworx, I hear your comment about re-mastering or re-mixing everything post MA so many times from so many people and it still makes me smile every time! I'm happy you love it!

Chris


One more question if you don't mind: Where in the circuit are the Calibration pots? Right after the input transformers?

Thanks!

Last edited by Trakworx; 2 weeks ago at 05:37 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #898
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deuc647's Avatar
 

Any date on when the 2 channel Rembrandt v2 will be out?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #899
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Here its: Solid State Buffer > Pollock > Solid State Buffer/Solid State Buffer > MA > ADC (which is in fact another Solid State input). I can easily bypass both buffers between the two devices for easy comparissions, they kept always on in praxis.
The reason for two solid state devices between Pollock and MA ist that the first works great getting fed by the Pollock, but not that great feeding the MA (and the other way around). Dont really know why as impedances are quite simlair on paper...
So not every low impedance solid state output is equally reacting in my experiences. So sometimes transformers back to back would be a better sounding decision of course. All in all its mostly a taste based decision, in my experiences transformers tend to sound more colored back to back, too colored for my likings and needs. But quite some solid state in/outs tend to eat some music, so its often a very tight balancing act.

Somwtimes its a real pain finding a device that has great functionality and a great sound and a great boxtone within the chain. Not an easy task.
Sometimes I think about decoupling the buffering completly from the used gear with a hq box like this: https://www.abacus-electronics.de/pr...eiber-xlr.html
But on the other side, theres nothing transparent in audio. More boxes always means more sonic decrease, which holds me away from active mastering consoles too.


Regarding trim/gain: I also own a Rockruepel CompOne, a very puristic tube/transformer given piece of gear which in/out impedances are highly depending on levels. So, in daily use I once set them to a fixd setting (which sounds best to my ears) and then leave it like that. Makes things less flexible, but makes sure my chain/gear always behaves like expected. I think theres nothing more contra productive than chasing ghost while working ... Its much too easy to cheat ourselfs with unespected impedance interactions due to small level changes.
Yeah that is very strange since the MA and Pollock have literally the exact same input impedance and parts/circuit. I wonder if it has more to do with the solid state piece of gear following the MA or Pollock since with the Trim knob you can experience differences there? It is a balancing act for sure, but I haven't had any issues with the Pollock into the MA directly in my setup.

I also stay away from consoles for the same reason you do - I prefer hardwired. Now, I have been contemplating building a passive gear switcher with 6 or so rotary switches that will allow you to engage up to six units in any order you want simply by rotating that corresponding switch. It would all be hardwired and unbuffered/true bypass which I prefer, but I just haven't had the time to really get it designed and sorted.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
I appreciate that philosophy. Ears rule. Too much "best practice" can lead to a sterile sound. If I want that I can just stay ITB. All of my favorite outboard gear has mojo factor.



Yesterday, my first day using the MA in session, I mastered 16 songs (a Metal album and an Americana album) with it at the end of my usual chain. It imparts a nice finish in that spot. It certainly did "huge" really well - almost too well - on the Metal stuff! I was able to do about 90% of the EQ moves I needed with just the MA. Those simple controls can cover a lot of ground! Today I'll try working with it first in chain and see how that goes...



-12 what? Peak?



What's Aggression actually doing? The manual says "The AGGRESSION control alters the drive in the circuit, allowing you to push the tubes for extra saturation." It's not just a gain control though, is it? I recall you saying Aggression is a passive control...





One more question if you don't mind: Where in the circuit are the Calibration pots? Right after the input transformers?

Thanks!

Keep learning and enjoying your MA!!

-12db peak (in +4dbu). That is my starting point. Do I need more mojo? Well then push the level higher hitting the MA or raise Aggression....or both

Aggression interacts with the calibration controls and will increase their resistance to ground.
Calibration pots are right before the first tube gain stage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by deuc647 View Post
Any date on when the 2 channel Rembrandt v2 will be out?
Well I've actually released V2 as part of a whole new preamp format called "Mosaic": http://www.hendyamps.com/studiogear/mosaic/index.html

Basically I have moved to a format that allows you to customize a four channel preamp setup. You currently have a choice between two preamps: Rembrandt V2 and Mosfet High Voltage Solid State - You pick what combination you want for the four channels.
Each channel comes with an optical compressor
And each channel comes with either a tilt style EQ OR a DI - You pick the combination you want.
They all have a 20db pad which allows you to also use them as Line In if desired.

Over time I'll be adding new preamp designs to the format, but these two designs should cover literally every source imaginable, in ways that are quite stunning.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #900
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Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendyamps View Post
Aggression interacts with the calibration controls and will increase their resistance to ground.
You're quite mad, you know...


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