Cranborne Audio Introduces EC2 two channel preamp - Page 4 - Gearslutz
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Cranborne Audio Introduces EC2 two channel preamp
Old 3 weeks ago
  #91
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogCake View Post
For someone who owns already a 500 rack, the mixer/headphone thing looks quite expensive.
Of course, someone without a 500 rack may look at the thing differently.
I'm in the latter camp without a 500 rack and I'm always trying to shoehorn the right number of preamps and headphone outs into my limited 3U/4U live 19" rack.

So for me, this 2+2 product is particularly interesting, but a lot rests on the quality of the headphone amps, which as you point out effectively amounts to £500 of the £1,100, £600 going towards the preamps. Although that's not quite a fair comparison as you'd need a minimum a 2U slot chassis to power the pre's so you'd have to budget £100-£200 for that.

But let's say the added cost of the two headphone amps is in the same ballpark as one Rupert Neve RNHD (£450) but the EC-2 gives you two separate h/p feeds and with all the convenience of being in the rack alongside the preamps and sharing the same power supply. That's much more appealing to me for live work (whenever this gets restarted!) than schlepping an extra unit, or needing a whole 1U just for my headphone amps.

Again, all this assumes the headphone amps are indeed 'reference quality' (as Cranborne claim) and can compete with other stand-alone units like the RNHP.

As it turns out, I'm lined up to give the EC-2 a test-drive next week so I will have a much better informed opinion then.

Last edited by James Lehmann; 3 weeks ago at 06:59 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #92
Gear Maniac
 
DogCake's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
the EC-2 gives you two separate h/p feeds and with all the convenience of being in the rack alongside the preamps and sharing the same power supply.
I perfectly understand your point.

However, I think that rather than two separete h/p feeds, one h/p feed and one line mixer with straightforward line output connectors in the back would have make the unit flexible enough to adapt to a wider range of scenarios.

As such, the unit would have worked as a monitor mixer for speakers too.

Of course, I am thinking in light of the way I would integrate the unit within my workflow.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #93
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogCake View Post
I think that rather than two separate h/p feeds, one h/p feed and one line mixer with straightforward line output connectors in the back would have make the unit flexible enough to adapt to a wider range of scenarios.
As such, the unit would have worked as a monitor mixer for speakers too.
Of course, I am thinking in light of the way I would integrate the unit within my workflow.
I get that totally - more of a 'monitor controller with a pair of preamps', rather than a 'pair of preamps with a pair of headphone amps'.

I guess Cranborne are a relatively new company so it will be interesting to see how their ecosystem of products develops. I would have thought that having developed this CAST protocol they must have a 3-year plan, so maybe that might already include a 19" monitor controller and a 19" multi-way headphone amp.

Personally, looking at where they've been at since 2018, I figured they were just going to base their operation entirely around the 500-series format so I'm happy to see they've branched into other platforms with the EC-2, even if it's clearly rather a niche product so far.

I'm certainly looking forward to getting my unit next week, even if CAST isn't really a part of the product that I will be testing. The EC-2 first has to do what I want it to in stand-alone mode for it to earn its keep in my set-up and before I think of expanding it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #94
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogCake View Post
I perfectly understand your point.

However, I think that rather than two separete h/p feeds, one h/p feed and one line mixer with straightforward line output connectors in the back would have make the unit flexible enough to adapt to a wider range of scenarios.

As such, the unit would have worked as a monitor mixer for speakers too.

Of course, I am thinking in light of the way I would integrate the unit within my workflow.
Its always hard man - we do struggle to know when to stop sometimes! Considering most 19" versions of 500 series preamps have no extra features, EC2 looks pretty packed out!

In terms of the pricing, its already been covered in other comments but yeah, that £500 is for all of that metalwork, power supply, power rails for the preamps, line out stages, the line mixer, knobs, etc - its not just for the HP amp circuitry. I would agree with you, £250 per heaphone amp is a bit steep!

There were tons of things we all wanted to add, but we settled on this layout - I've even surprised myself with how useful those 2 headphone amps are during my sessions - but of course, your setup needs something else and that's cool!

Out of interest, what would you use the summing mixer output for? - always good to hear how people are using stuff in their studio!

Thanks all,
Ells
Old 3 weeks ago
  #95
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
I'm certainly looking forward to getting my unit next week, even if CAST isn't really a part of the product that I will be testing. The EC-2 first has to do what I want it to in stand-alone mode for it to earn its keep in my set-up and before I think of expanding it.
Hey James!

Great to hear you're checking one out!

EC2 is first and foremost, 2 pretty nice preamps... so we look forward to hearing what you think of them!

Edit: Of course if you have any questions when you get the unit, please feel free to get in touch using a Contact form on our site (I get all those directly!) - or on here of course!

Thanks man,
Ells
Old 3 weeks ago
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ells View Post
Hey James! Great to hear you're checking one out!
EC2 is first and foremost, 2 pretty nice preamps... so we look forward to hearing what you think of them!
Ells
Well, I am kind of a split-personality voice-over artist/music producer so I guess the 'split-personality' of the EC-2 appeals to me!

First and foremost I am going to be seeing how cleanly your preamps perform at high gains with a range of gain-hungry dynamic mics (SM7B, RE-20, MD-441 etc) on voice-over, i.e. whether they live up to your rather bold claim of "the cleanest, most transparent preamps on the market". ('Mojo' is a bonus rather than a USP for someone in my field, but I look forward to experimenting with it nonetheless.)

But of course the overall functionality and ergonomics of the unit are also very appealing for my needs - if it fits in to my workflow as well as I think it's going to then it's probably going to be staying here!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #97
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Well, I am kind of a split-personality voice-over artist/music producer so I guess the 'split-personality' of the EC-2 appeals to me!
Thats great James!! Sounds good!

Well we have a lot of great VO artists that love the Mojo on their voice - it was a surprise to us! They use Thump for that nice comforting low end but they really enjoy how Cream can make a voice sound upfront and intimate! Many actually use Thump and Cream together with two Camdens for a polished sound straight out of the preamp.


But of course, a little goes a long way in your field!

Cheers mate!
Ells
Old 3 weeks ago
  #98
Gear Maniac
 
DogCake's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ells View Post

Out of interest, what would you use the summing mixer output for?
I understand all your points. (each of us would have make it differently according to his own needs)

Personally, I really like direct monitoring while recording. This is why I am so concerned about the mixer sections in the EC2.

So, I would use the stereo line output to feed speakers or a monitor controller.

Of course, this can be done with the N22 ... but what a pity not to have a pair of xlr in the back.

However, talking of direct monitoring, the lack of insert point in the preamp is the major issue with the EC2 in my opinion (as I have already mentioned in one of my posts above).

All the best
Old 3 weeks ago
  #99
Wonder if these ( ex soundcraft ) dudes are going to get back in the small console game? Seems to be a pretty big gap between ssl six and api box. I haven’t heard the pres yet personally but I’ve heard only good stuff. Between those and the mojo amp, I could see something cool, useful and not insanely expensive coming from these guys. Food for thought.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #100
Gear Head
 
trubshaw's Avatar
I used the EC2 today in a session recording violin and viola with a Neumann u67. Sounded really excellent. I preferred it to my Grace 201.
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