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AValon VT737 vs. Millenia STT-1 vs. Pendulum Quartet vs. Ma

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by WARangel, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. WARangel

    WARangel Guest

    . . . Manley Vox Box.

    I am ready to commit up to $3000-$3500 to get a channel strip/combo that will really excel in getting the big, warm, present and defined vocal recording sound.

    Would love to be able to get away with the tried and true Avalon VT737 . . . but wonder if the extra cost is worth going further up for the Millennia, PEndulum and Manley [and opinions between them] - How big a bang in further getting that big, warm, present, and defined pro vocal sound do the others deliver over the AValon and each other?

    P.S. Yes, plan and expect the boxes would be great with other instruments - acoustic guitar, bass, etc. also - but nailing that vocal, as close as possible with minimal need for further processing, is the goal.

    P.S. Mics I use for vocals is the AT4050. Will likely add a CAD M9 or AEA or a Ribbon, but my philosophy and what I understand is that these units can make average makes great, providing great flexibility vs. having just one $2-3 grand mic.
  2. trock

    trock Active Member

    Hi War

    i have the AT4050 mic also. i was in the same boat as you just a while ago and i almost got the 737sp.

    instead i got an Avalon M5 Pre, and the 747sp and chained them. the comp on the 747 is the same as the 737 but the M5 is far better than the pre on the 737, and the EQ on the 747 is different, not sure if it is better or not.

    i run this into either my 2480 and out an AUX to a TC M3000 or through an RME Fireface 800 to Cubase SX 3, where i have some WAVES or UAD-1 studio, and an AUX to the M3000

    for acoustic and/or vocals i couldn't be happier.

    if you want to check out someone's finished product with just a 737 and a 2480 with onboard effects check out this guy


    hope this helps
  3. WARangel

    WARangel Guest

    It helps in showing that you felt the 737/747 was not enough on its own to satisfy.

    Have you ever had a chance to check out the PEndulum, Millennia, Vox Box or other next level strip?
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    There is a song I recorded with the Millennia STT-1 on the Reviews forum ... check it out!

    I personally really like the Millennia .. Just the way it is built inspires confidence ... the build and feel of the controls is about as good as it gets ... even better than my MP2NV. I love the Millennia for acoustic guitar, vocals and especially on bass. The opto compressor is among the best of this type I have ever used .. and I think the compressor alone is worth price of the STT-1.

    I haven't heard the Pendulum Quartet, but it is only fair to mention it sells for almost twice the price of the STT-1.

    As far as the Avalon ... I think the Millennia beats it hands down ... I don't care for the high frequency eq section on the Avalon stuff ... it has always sound kind of "plastic like" to me .. The Millennia high freq section is much smoother sounding to my ears.
  5. WARangel

    WARangel Guest

    Yes, your clip really impressed me for how big and warm the sound was with little to no eq and processing [I believe there was little to none].

    It's my understanding that the Pendulum Quartet II is over $4,000 list while the original Quarter is around $3,000 list.

    HAve you ever heard the Vox Box?

    P.S. Yes, I have ruled out the VT 737 as I believe all the others are another level up, but now its an issue of figuring out how the others differ in terms of performance and sonic quality and how easy it is to get such performance and sonic quality.

    P.S. More Millennia Recordings, if you have them, pretty please :lol:
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Thanks, this was done through cheap converters too! I used Alesis AI3 converters into an older version of Cubase, (Cubase VST 5.1).

    No EQ or plugs were used ... the compression you hear is all from the STT-1. Listen to the solo ... that's a bass played an octave up with lots of squish from the comp (I was pulling 10dB out when tracking) ... notice the lack of breathing and pumping and how natural it sounds.

    This is the only all Millennia clip I have ... I did this song soley as a demo for the Millennia.
  7. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Uhhh, no. The 'Quartet' sells for $2,650-... so unless LaGrou gave you one for $1,325 so you'd talk about it all the time, the Quartet is NOT almost twice the price of the STT-1.

    The Quartet lists for $3,250 but "streets" for $2,650... the Quartet II lists for $5,250 and "streets" for $4,500

    Yes. I'm not a fan... but others are. I find it very washy and indistinct... but a whole lot of people like that. I found the STT-1 to be sterile, cold and boring... even after swapping the tube to a Telefunken tube [which I just find incredible... swapping the tube out on a brand new box to try to make is sound like something decent... but maybe that's just me]

    The Quaretet and the Quartet II are two entirely different units... one does not replace the other. I'm not going to bother to do an extensive "compare and contrast" [I think I did one of those a while ago on one of the 'GearSlutz' forums if you want to do a search there]... the differences are indeed palpable... both are great, neither is better though one is far more comprehensive.
  8. WARangel

    WARangel Guest

    Okay, I will search on Gearslutz.

    But in sum, are you saying that the Quartet does not have the sonic weaknesessed you find in the Vox Box and Origin, ie. is more defined and present than Vox Box and more "lively"/less sterile and musical than Origin?
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Yes, I misspoke .. I was intending to speak of the Quartet II ... the "Fletcher" model .... and as noted it is almost twice the price of the STT-1. Sorry for the error ...

    As far as "sterile and cold" ... don't take my word for it, listen to the clips I posted ... make up your own mind. Keep in mind, in most instances, gear dealers usually don't have much of anything good to say about product lines they don't carry ..

    BTW, my criterea for chatting things up goes a lot further than getting a good price on something ... if this were the case, I would be telling you all how great the Presonus M80 is all the time ... you should see the offer they extended to me on the review unit I had ... none the less, I told them I wasn't interested and sent the unit back ..

    Manufacturers often offer an "accomodation price" on review units to writers / reviewers. This price usually reflects the dealer cost, so essentially the manufacturers get what they would normally get for the unit and they don't have to bear the added expense of return shipping the unit (manufacturers pay the shipping costs both ways) and restocking it, only to have to sell it at a reduced price, as used. So it is a "win / win" convinence to the manufacturer as well as the reviewer ..
  10. Klusenwiig

    Klusenwiig Guest

    Umm...maybe a very stupid question, but here goes: how do you know what types of tube to exchange in your box ?

    I have just gotten a Millennia NESQ -2. In fact so new that I haven't tried it yet.

    But the idea of changing tubes to get a different sound or character is interesting !

    I should maybe do a serach on this, but is there a guide on tubes somewhere ? what is considered good and what is bad ? or is it just to look at the price tag ?

  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    You can get the correct Telefunkin tubes directly from Millennia. The STT-1 I received came with extra Telefunkin tubes but I never tried them. I've been meaning to try them out, just out of curiosity but to tell the truth, I have been very happy with the sound of the ORIGIN the way it came with the "stock" tubes ... I really don't see any necessity to change them.

    I also don't think that Millennia thinks this is a necessary thing either, rather they do it as an accommodation to customers who want to experiment.
  12. Klusenwiig

    Klusenwiig Guest

    cool, thanx !

    Seems a bit weird that they would put dodgy tubes in the units shipped, no ?

    But can I use different tubes other than Telefunken ?? Is there some sort of the incredible hulk tubes ?

    or is that just myth ?

    Anyways, it would be nice to read up a bit on tube. Which ones people consider more "colourful" or "better" sounding...
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    The Telefunkins are regarded as "the Hulk" tubes ... another good choice is NOS GE tubes.
  14. Klusenwiig

    Klusenwiig Guest


    what about the ECC 81 ECC 82 ECC 83 ??

    the guy that sold me the Millennia raved about these...
  15. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    Sure, every opinion should be taken with a grain of salt. Keep in mind also, though, that some dealers...especially relatively small ones...oftentimes don't carry certain lines for a reason. As for Fletcher's ethics and bias specifically, keep in mind that he just said that he's "not a fan" of a product he does carry, and often has good things to say about products he doesn't. Also keep in mind that a lot of this is subjective, so it's not a case of Kurt being "right" and Fletcher being "wrong" or vice versa...the best way to determine if a piece of equipment is right for you is to try it out for yourself.

  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    First, I never said anything about any particular persons ethics, Duardo made the link to Fletcher, not me .. Please do not attempt to place words in my mouth ... I can speak for myself. I did point out that some people (especially gear dealers) have an agenda. I don't profit or benefit in any way when I "talk about" a piece. I do not get free gear and I do not get paid to write reviews.

    I find it interesting that it seems to be OK with Duardo when it is insinuated, " LaGrou gave you one for $1,325 so you'd talk about it all the time" (which is not true) but has a problem with my comment, "Keep in mind, in most instances, gear dealers usually don't have much of anything good to say about product lines they don't carry .." I leave it to all of you to decide which was the more innocuous of the two comments.

    However, I do agree with Duardo on one thing here, .... don't take any one persons word for it because the best most of us can do is relate our own personal experiences. This is one reason why I try to post audio examples of the stuff I endorse ... and recently I have noticed that even some magazine reviews are beginning to do this as well.
  17. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    I know that you didn't say anything about ethics...but when you said what you said about dealers, wasn't that in response to Fletcher's post?

    Sorry, I missed that insinuation entirely...when I read it I just thought he was taking issue with the statement you made regarding the price of the two units. I don't think it was cool for him to reply you had ulterior motives either.

  18. trock

    trock Active Member


    as for me, the M5 and 747 together sound incredible so far, i am NOT however and expert. for my taylor direct (haven't tried mic'ing yet) i haven't heard a better sound out of my guitar yet

    will let you know as i go farther into these units
  19. ferohh

    ferohh Guest

    which guitar

    Hi Mr Kurt,
    which guitar did you use on the RNP vs. Millennia HV-3 ?
    great work.
    I love your
    The Lucky One track.

    So, Is the Millennia HV-3D preamp great like the one you used?

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