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Anyone used the SPECK ASC EQ? DISTRESSOR?? R84 Ribbon??

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by J-3, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    Hey guys just got my Great River MP-2NV in and I am already wanting to get a good EQ and comp to go with it. I have seen where the Speck ASC and RNC comps are recommended to use with the GR. (Mercenary Audio) Anyone out there use these pieces and what do you think about them??? Will I really hear a substantial sonic improvement over my UAD cards Pultec eq and LA-2A/1176 LN comps? (I do use my Waves Ren eq's/comps quiet a bit too) I've been told out board eq and comp kills "in the box" stuff but havn't seen for myself. I almost feel like the Speck and RNC is a down grade from the MP-2NV because of the money difference...should I hold out for more expensive EQ and Comp? Any comments/opinions appreciated. Thanks.
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    I would say yes. You made the choice to wait and save up until you could afford The GR NV, so you deserve to match that up with a great comp and eq.

    Don't igonore the fact that great hi-end gear attracts clients.
  3. vpoulos

    vpoulos Guest


    As you point out, the ASC is not a cheap EQ. But it's not 1K per channel.

    The list / street price of the standard ASC is $645 / $445. That's less than $900 for a matched pair.

    The output transformer verison is $749 / $545.

    Vince Poulos
    Speck Electronics
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member


    Oh well it sounds like $2000! For some reason I was thinking that was the price. I think the pair I reviewed were the ones with xformers .. that;s probably what had me thinking "more expensive"... still at $750 ea, it's a great price. .. sorry!
  6. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    Thanks guys. Lots of info here. The GR EQ looks awsome but out of my price range considering the recent purchase of the GR pre and R84. I think I can still swing the Speck and RNC however. I'm thinking they might be a good place to start and both be very useable. Then down the road if (when) I realize the importance of good out board EQ and Comps I can upgrade and keep these guys for extra channels. I guess I'm mostly wondering if there are other alternatives in the price range and if I'm better off with the outboard gear or better plugs in the "box". Thanks again.
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I can tell you that the Speck EQ will satisfy. You will not need or want to upgrade them in the future. They work very well. I thought the ASC compared very favorably to the EQs in my Amek Neve 9098's.

    Save your money on the compressor and do that in the computer... the UAD card will sound way better than any cheap compressor ...
  8. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    Well, I'm pretty sold on the EQ so far. I just talked with someone at Mercenary and he thought the RNC would sound way better than the UAD comps. Sounds like Kirk and Audiogaff disagree. Anyone familiar with the RNC and UAD comps care to chime in? Perhaps I could go for 2 Specks and just use waves and UAD for comps. I'm not real into heavy compression. I try to get by with just 3 or 4 db if possible. I'm recording Rock and Country Rock mostly. Thanks guys.
  9. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    The RNC is a good comp. If it was a true two channel unit w/link and had an internal power supply with balanced connections, I'd likely own one.

    The UAD plugs are decent sounding, but they are still plugs. I wouldn't say either are worth bragging about nor is one really better than the other, just different.

    Neither are a match for a great sounding analog hardware comp or as good as the hardware the plugs try to emulate. The use of comps is very often more than just the control of dynamics and peaks.
  10. lofi

    lofi Guest

    go for speck with transformer !
    I own and use one and it is great !

    I am also interested in RNC but cannot comment as I never used it. but hey for the price I think it is a good choice and I will buy one be cause I want to compress while recording - small amounts & clean as possibile - I think RNC will be good for that.

    "Don't ignore the fact that great hi-end gear attracts clients." well I think AudioGaff is quite wrong about that. the only thing my customers usually recognize in my studio is a shure sm58 mic I hardly use anymore :D

    great "hi-end mixes" and personality attract clients !!!!

  11. Bhennies

    Bhennies Guest

    I owned two speck ASC's (matched and racked pair from mercenary) and I currently own two RNC's. THe specks are fantastic pieces of gear. HOwever, I basically decided that a Rhodes piano and NS10's (I traded) were a far better addition to my studio, as I wasn't using the outboard gear so much any more. THe SPeck's are certainly high end gear and I agree with Kurt that you will most likely be satisfied for the long term with your purchase.

    I also like the RNC's, although the lack of balanced input/output is quite annoying, as they really gave me a lot of trouble with my patchbay (I was told by FMR audio that RNC's don't like patchbays after they started to make strange noises). Also, the functions reset everytime you power them off, which can get pretty annoying as I often use the" supernice setting" or bypass them. They sound pretty good though, nothing to complain about and man are they cheap!!!

    p.s. if you go with the RNC's, check out funklogic.com as they make nice little rack units for racking two RNC's side by side- they even make 5-rack lunchboxes now- really cool stuff.
  12. ozraves

    ozraves Active Member

    On the Speck Model ASC, I found the cool thing to be the simulated inductor circuits. They put a nice musicality on anything. I'd probably recommend the standard Model ASC. I think you'd be happy for a very long time with the standard Model ASC.

    The Pultec EQ in your UAD card is pretty darn good so don't think it's lowly just because it's a plugin.

    The FMR RNC is a good compressor. The UAD card compressors are pretty good as well. I think a better solution for tracking is to probably get an Aphex Dominator off of eBay which you should be able to get for about $200 or thereabouts. It's a limiter.
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    If you can find it the Aphex Compellor is very cool too! Cookie Marenco turned me on to it ....
  14. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    Hey guys thanks. Well, I went to order my R84 and 2 channels of Speck EQ but the guy I was ordering from changed my mind. He said he probably wasn't going to carry the Specks anymore b/c they don't sound much better than plugins. (his words). I called Mercenary to ask their advice and he thought the Specks were good but thought I could better spend the money elseware. Both guys I called thought I might get more use out of a Distressor and use EQ in the box. I would definitly prefer to use EQ in the box when mixing simply because I feel it's better to eq in the mixdown stage NOT when tracking in. I'm shure this is debateable though. Any one know of any good (musical) EQ plugs for Nuendo PC?

    Now I'm trying to decide if I should go for

    A Distressor
    Replace my MK012's with Neumanns or Josephsons or Earthworks
    Get 2 R-84's for Gtrs and drum overheads
    Another Pre amp to compliment my Great River MP-2NV (say a Sebetron or 610 or used Manley)
    A big ass TV....Just kidding......kinda

    Thanks for words of wisdom.
  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Did you hear what that guy said? "The y don't sound much better than plug ins".

    That's another way of saying "They are better than plug ins".

    Plugs are great once your in the box, but it's great to have a couple of channels of great EQ in your front end as well.

    As for the Distressor .... well a lot of people like it, I don't hate it but i don't get it either. Compression with distortion?
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Did you hear what that guy said? "They don't sound much better than plug ins".

    That's another way of saying "They are better than plug ins". The differences in ok gear and great gear are often very little. It's the accumulation of a little here, a little there that all adds up to make great sounding tones.

    Plugs are great once your in the box, but it's great to have a couple of channels of great EQ in your front end as well. By dialing in the good tones when you track, you free computer resources at mix time improving the overall sound.

    As for the Distressor .... well a lot of people like it, I don't hate it but i don't get it either. Compression with distortion? Consider an EL OP or if you can find them a pair of LA3's or 1176's
  17. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    I vote for the Distressor. Plugs are useful and I love my new Waves Renn Maxx stuff. But running my bass (or a kick or snare, etc.) through a great compressor (almost all of which distort or color the sound in some way) does something to the sound I've yet to find with plugs.

    Distortion is my friend - I especially loved (and miss) the 2" 24 track distortion of the 70's.
  18. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    The Distresor is an awesome unit and has become an industry standard just like the SM57. Is it perfect? No, and many times it is not the best tool for the job, but is is an excellent and flexable too that will serve you well for many years. I would easily choose one channel of it over two chanels of a speck eq.
  19. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    Cool thanks guys. Yep it looks like a tool I would use more than eq. I much prefer to use eq while mixing, it just seems to make more sense to me. The distressor however, could be used to fatten things up on the way in and give some more life to the tracks its on. At this point I'm wondering how if I'm gonna really want 2 of them since I do a lot of stereo micing on gtrs, drums, ac etc. I could pick up 2 and forego the R84 that I've been wanting to pickup.... More thinking to do.
  20. Aziel

    Aziel Guest

    I dont think he is wrong...that depends on what kind of client you are dealing with...if you have a Producer as a client with some budget, maybe he got knowledge enough to dicern the type of gear you have and what he needs...now, if you have a bunch of kids recording wild songs it`s another story...just a thought... :cool:

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