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Hendy Amps Michelangelo Equalisers (HW)
Old 14th February 2015
  #1
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Hendy Amps Michelangelo

I am actually having cognitive dissonance about this next post because I want
to keep this box a secret weapon but the more evolved part of me must share
with my Slut brothers and sisters so here we go...........

Some weeks ago I saw a article with Dave Mcnare and noticed something in his Plan-A that I Did not recognize?
I know every piece of mastering kit being produced or do I........
I saw a blue box with 6 knobs with a logo I couldn't quite make out?
I had to blow the picture up a little and sharpen the image.....
Michelangelo? I did a search for Michelangelo EQ and found my way to Chris Henderson's website Hendyamps.com
I emailed and asked if a curious engineer could get a demo of his lovely looking EQ? After a great conversation a unit was on the way!
Upon plugging in the unit a week later I commenced to master a track starting just with the Michelangelo and some compression. Every adjustment of the seemingly simple controls caused me to smile and swear. I was able to do the majority of the shaping of the track with 6 knobs very quickly. The controls are as such....
Aggression: a saturation control that adds a very lovely soft Saturation and when used with taste can bring life to a sterile ITB mix.
Low: A giant tight low end shelf ( just a dap will do ya)
Mid: A very very wide bell at a undisclosed frequency center. a little boost of this inflates a track in a way I have never heard. (worth the price of the box itself!) There is a switch below that tightens the bandwidth which is useful on some program.
High: a high shelf of exceptional smoothness
Air: The clarity boost of my dreams, magic pixie dust....(best high boost of any EQ I have used and bests the Soma subjectively.
Gain: Gain of the gods......I prefer this gain over every thing in the chain.
Notice I am being rather non technical in my descriptions here because
this is a romantic piece of gear and using it is like playing and instrument as
opposed to a matter of intellect .
I find myself now using the Michelangelo for major broad shaping and using the Soma for cuts!
Using the the Hendyamps unit provides more width, clarity and warmth
in one box with very quick and simple operation allowing me to do my job much more efficiently than ever before. Hell my intern shaped a track in about 5 minutes just by twisting the knobs for a while....
Very impressive and feels to easy.
I will add more later as I have to get to work but suffice to say I purchased the unit........
Attached Thumbnails
Hendy Amps Michelangelo-img_1120.jpg  
Old 14th February 2015
  #2
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Giuseppe Zaccaria's Avatar
 

There you go man...i knew that was some to check out when i shared the post on fb, but that day i was busy and then forgot about it.
So you went trying it and came up is one of the most amazing eq on the market, isn't it??
I just now went on Hendyamps website and looks pretty interesting the thing.
Also if McSnare wrote those lines we best believe its flippin good!
Im not in the position where i can try it before buy it cause im in Rome, so im going let you tell us more.
This is certain an 'add only' eq, wonder if the circuit is in parallel like the Clariphonic or not.
best
Old 14th February 2015
  #3
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The Hendy sounds amazing in cuts as well its just that I am addicted to the boosts! As for the circuit I know that Chris uses much less negative feedback
than most designers and tunes everything by ear. He has damn good ears!
Old 15th February 2015
  #4
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TEEO's Avatar
Thanks for this review, and that you did not kept this secret !
I am also very interested by this eq, i have been waiting users feedback since i saw it.
the hendyamps gear's seem really great!
Old 15th February 2015
  #5
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It is somewhat confounding how four eq controls with no frequency selection
can be so effective..
It is simply euphonic.
I think Chris over at Handyamps has got a very refined esthetic sense and
tunes these circuits with a great pair of ears.
I could not be happier with this unit and at the price it is a major deal.
Old 16th February 2015
  #6
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Really Digging the Combination Of the Michelangelo and the Soma!

Yin and Yang actually and in combination with the Foote P4 I feel like
my chain just enlarges tracks effortlessly....

More to come.
Old 17th February 2015
  #7
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oh no, nomatic, not again!
you kill my bank account...

whats about the creamliner? you will not replace him with a creamer now?
Old 17th February 2015
  #8
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Yes.........

I did not expect to purchase!
While there are similarities in the saturation function the Hendy is primarily
a eq a fabulous one at that.
The Sonic Farm is awesome and I will get the preamp version when I recover
from this unanticipated expense..
Old 17th February 2015
  #9
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Verified Member
Damn.
I was trying to keep quiet about Chris's magic eq wonderfullizer....
Since the beans have been spilled, I must concur with Nomatic.
I have been working with Chris on a few of his boxes for the last few years and I think the eq is super special. His Analog Channel is just as amazing in a slightly different way. Chris has great ears and instinct coupled with a desire not to copy but do things creatively and differently, circuit topology wise, than anything else out there.
I like to say Chris's eq is what you always want or think a Pultec is going to be, but never quite is. Taking nothing away from a Pultec, those boxes are great in their own unique way. The Michelangelo is worth it for the price of the Air band alone!
As an aside, I switched back to the prototype which is very slightly different than the production model. After some carefully level matched comparisons and a longer term swap of units, I felt there was some little something I liked more about the prototype, but the production model is amazing in every way.
I guess my secret weapon is not secret anymore...but I'm very happy for Chris.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
Hendy Amps Michelangelo-img_2108.jpg  

Last edited by mcsnare; 17th February 2015 at 08:58 AM..
Old 17th February 2015
  #10
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the recommendation of nomatic (who seams to have very similar preferences) was enough for me to place a order- my stepped michelangelo will arrive in about 5 weeks!
Old 17th February 2015
  #11
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how i love this place guys!!
Old 17th February 2015
  #12
TRW
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Fascinated by this box and the forthcoming Analog Channel...

Quick question & thanks both for the reviews so far...

Are those pots cut & boost? The labels are 0-100... centre detented? or are you both on the switched version? Have either of you tried the pot version and if so, or perhaps Chris from Hendy can comment... what is the matching of left and right like?

Also one last question, how much gain is available on the trim pot? Can you boost as a line-amp even without using the bands? Would be nice to push my chain with some tubes as well as the class-A JFET I have now...

The box seems good value if it sounds as special as you both suggest... I've been looking at a Gyraf G14 or perhaps an SPL Passeq... tried the Buzz/CurveBender/MassivePassive etc and like them all for different things but none of them made me grin like a pair of the mastering stepped Pultec re-issues from DC/SJ...

This thing has my interest.

TELL US MORE! :-)

Thanks
-Tom
Old 17th February 2015
  #13
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Hey TRW,

The Box is a incredible value!
The pots stereo track perfectly and are boost and cut.
at 12 o'clock or 50 on the dial it is flat relatively speaking no detent.
(I don,t need steps on this box personally cause it takes just a few turns
while close listening to get where you need.)
the gain trim according to Chris is to reduce gain if one is boosting
the aggression knob. I love the gain wide open with a little aggression.
The Michelangelo has speed up my workflow by about 20% as it gets me
closer to the sonic picture in my head quicker than before.
Sorry to Dave for outing this box but I want Chris Henderson to get
recognized for being the badass he is....
Thanks Dave also for your work helping beta this unit cause it something I
have been trying to get someone to build for years.
Old 17th February 2015
  #14
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Here is some additional porn for y'all.........
A view from the Mothership...
Attached Thumbnails
Hendy Amps Michelangelo-img_1166.jpg   Hendy Amps Michelangelo-img_1158.jpg  
Old 17th February 2015
  #15
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teebaum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomatic View Post
Hey TRW,

The Box is a incredible value!
The pots stereo track perfectly and are boost and cut.
at 12 o'clock or 50 on the dial it is flat relatively speaking no detent.
(I don,t need steps on this box personally cause it takes just a few turns
while close listening to get where you need.)
the gain trim according to Chris is to reduce gain if one is boosting
the aggression knob. I love the gain wide open with a little aggression.
The Michelangelo has speed up my workflow by about 20% as it gets me
closer to the sonic picture in my head quicker than before.
Sorry to Dave for outing this box but I want Chris Henderson to get
recognized for being the badass he is....
Thanks Dave also for your work helping beta this unit cause it something I
have been trying to get someone to build for years.
i asked for a stepped michelangelo - perfect recall is important for me.
do you think the gain-range is perfect for mastering or should i ask for a lesser gain-range of the filters and the trim?
Old 17th February 2015
  #16
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I have used 75% of the gain range on the air before but in general practice
you could go half of the boost cut and use 24 position greyhill or elma...
Old 17th February 2015
  #17
TRW
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Thanks - I'm going to email Chris & get some info as it would be nice to have some more technical details about the box.

The Aggression control and output trim makes sense, is it kinda Culture Vulture triode-y when pushed?

The unit seems intriguing and it's nice to see some heavy endorsements.

Compared to the SOMA, how is the flat box tone and impact of each of the EQ bands? I'm concerned about the lack of freq choices but it seems simple is not a restriction here... I quite like that, plus I can't afford a SOMA and I'm looking for a sweetener...

What are the strengths of the low band compared to a Pultec, or the REQ/Soma vibe?

Cheers
-Tom
Old 17th February 2015
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomatic View Post
I have used 75% of the gain range on the air before but in general practice
you could go half of the boost cut and use 24 position greyhill or elma...
great!

i think i will choose 50% gain-range, but i'm in contact with chris about this to find a perfect solution.

afaik chris use the best switches around - elma

Last edited by teebaum; 17th February 2015 at 04:40 PM..
Old 17th February 2015
  #19
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To Compare the Soma and the Hendyamps is like different planets.
The soma is very clear and slightly enlarging but not clinical.
The Michelangelo is more colored in general but in a way I want to use on
every source so far. The low end is bigger and clearer than a pultec but since
is does not have a cut and boost in the low band I use the Soma to cut within its Boost sometimes with great result. The Flat boxtone is just lovely ...
It is warm without being sluggish and adds a width and depth just by running audio through.
The Hendy for boosts with M/S tweaks in the Soma is really fun...
Old 17th February 2015
  #20
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teebaum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomatic View Post
To Compare the Soma and the Hendyamps is like different planets.
The soma is very clear and slightly enlarging but not clinical.
The Michelangelo is more colored in general but in a way I want to use on
every source so far. The low end is bigger and clearer than a pultec but since
is does not have a cut and boost in the low band I use the Soma to cut within its Boost sometimes with great result. The Flat boxtone is just lovely ...
It is warm without being sluggish and adds a width and depth just by running audio through.
The Hendy for boosts with M/S tweaks in the Soma is really fun...
can you compare the creamliner with the boxtone and the "agressive"-parameter of the michelangelo?
is there a reason to use creamliner and michealangelo in the same chain?
Old 17th February 2015
  #21
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teebaum's Avatar
-

Last edited by teebaum; 17th February 2015 at 05:17 PM..
Old 17th February 2015
  #22
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TEEO's Avatar
Quote:
can you compare the creamliner with the boxtone and the "agressive"-parameter of the michelangelo?
is there a reason to use creamliner and michealangelo in the same chain?
This is a very good question! An answer that also i really would like to know.
Old 17th February 2015
  #23
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They are similar in some ways as saturation goes but I will try to make subtle distinctions.
In Triode mode (transformerless) the creamliner has perhaps just a little less grain and more low midrange but here we are talking very subtle. The Hendyamps saturates a touch more forward and the differences in transfomers is apparent in context of the topology.
The Michelangelo uses Jenson's (broad and airy in context) and the Sonic Farm Cinemag when engaged is slightly darker than eletronically balanced ). I would say I get a slightly increased sense of loudness with the saturation character of the Hendyamps. Overall the whole circuit , saturation and EQ produce very finished and sweet picture. The Michelangelo is much more than just a color box....

Last edited by nomatic; 17th February 2015 at 11:27 PM..
Old 18th February 2015
  #24
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JRigby's Avatar
 

Hendyamps gear wins. I Have the da Vinci, and my roommate has a rembrandt. I don't ever want to use any other preamp for anything. It's all about the lack of negative feedback in the circuits. Finally someone who realizes how much negative feedback sucks.
Old 18th February 2015
  #25
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Another magic box.
The tracking and/or mix engineer didn't get the vibe right.
Old 18th February 2015
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomatic View Post
They are similar in some ways as saturation goes but I will try to make subtle distinctions.
In Triode mode (transformerless) the creamliner has perhaps just a little less grain and more low midrange but here we are talking very subtle. The Hendyamps saturates a touch more forward and the differences in transfomers is apparent in context of the topology.
The Michelangelo uses Jenson's (broad and airy in context) and the Sonic Farm Cinemag when engaged is slightly darker than eletronically balanced ). I would say I get a slightly increased sense of loudness with the saturation character of the Hendyamps. Overall the whole circuit , saturation and EQ produce very finished and sweet picture. The Michelangelo is much more than just a color box....
analog stage looks also interesting - do you know the sonical difference?
Analog Stage | Hendyamps
Old 19th February 2015
  #27
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Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
analog stage looks also interesting - do you know the sonical difference?
Analog Stage | Hendyamps
The Analog Stage sounds amazing. It has some sounds that you can't get with the eq. I had both for a while and actually had more to do with helping develop the AS.Ultimately, when the eq was available, I felt the AS was slightly redundant, but I'd use it for mixing in a heartbeat. Also very useful for mastering and I did use it on several mastering projects before I got a hold of the eq. The smile curve is super cool sounding, in particular.

Dave
Old 20th February 2015
  #28
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This stuff looks great, I'm also super hot for the Little Gorilla guitar amp, anyone tried that? (Not for mastering, of course...)
Old 20th February 2015
  #29
TRW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomatic View Post
To Compare the Soma and the Hendyamps is like different planets.
The soma is very clear and slightly enlarging but not clinical.
The Michelangelo is more colored in general but in a way I want to use on
every source so far. The low end is bigger and clearer than a pultec but since
is does not have a cut and boost in the low band I use the Soma to cut within its Boost sometimes with great result. The Flat boxtone is just lovely ...
It is warm without being sluggish and adds a width and depth just by running audio through.
The Hendy for boosts with M/S tweaks in the Soma is really fun...
Thanks for this... kinda what I expected. Bigger than a pultec is a bit of a concern! but clearer good...

-T
Old 20th February 2015
  #30
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It doesn't take much low end boost to do the trick!

The mid control in its wide q position actually touches the first harmonic of the bass and kick in such a way that i dont need very much bass boost.
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