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Brent Averill 3405 and Drawmer 1960 anyone familiar?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Jason James, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. Jason James

    Jason James Guest

    Hey guys, just borrowed these two units from someone and was wondering if anyone is familiar with them. The Brent Averill says "made from 3405 Neve modules" on the front. Aparently it isn't made any longer. The Drawmer 1960 is a Tube Comp and Pre.

    First, is the Drawmer a Tube Pre and Tube Comp, or Tube Comp, solid state pre? What other units would be on the same level as this? Manely? UA? SEB?

    Second, I know the Averill stuff is supposed to be nice but I'm wondering why they discontinued this unit. Is the current Neve package they have better?

    Lastly, Anyone know approx what these things are worth. I'm thinking about trading a Handmade Warwick Streamer Pro 5 String bass in great shape for one or both of these units. Either this or sell the bass on Ebay with some other stuff and get the Great River NV 2 an RNP and a TLM 103. Thanks for the input guys.

  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I owned a 1960 for several months. I hated it. I traded it in on a Manley EL OP.. now were cookin' with gas! The pre on the 1960 was noisey and the compresson was so heavey handed. Not transparent at all. Great if you want lots o' "squish" I suppose. The 1969 is supposed to be a big improvement.

    Neve 3405, no direct expierence with that but it sounds like it was made from a broadcast range console by the number. Still good stuff. Better than the arr-enn-peee but ... oh well, you know. The NV 2 is killer. I would look for a U87 instead of the TLM 103. I don't care for the Neumann or AKG "cheapies", any of the TLM or C2000 / C3000, or "solid tube"stuff. I think you would be way better off with a Studio Projects C3 instead of any of those and you would save a bundle too.. my fraction of a US dollar.

    [ October 28, 2003, 03:32 PM: Message edited by: Kurt Foster ]
  3. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    The Drawmer 1960 has been around a long time and was considered real good stuff 15+ years ago. But like Kurt, I never really liked it either. I like it even less today. Don't know the current value. Do a google search and see what pops up.

    Around 1973 Neve produced the 3405. The 3405 was used in 8026 consoles and a beavy of broadcast and custom consoles. Many of them of were custom made for BBC Radio/TV consoles. It has a Class-A mic pre and Class-A/B output and is another flavor of the unique Neve sound. It is worth having in your rack.

    Back in 1999 Brent sold the 3405 Vintage Neve 2 Channel/w Power Supply Pre for like $750. I'm quite sure he doesn't sell them any more because parts to configure and refurbish them are either obsolete, too hard to find or too expensive to deal with.
  4. Jason James

    Jason James Guest

    Ok did some digging and thought I'd let you know what I came up with. First the Averill 3405. They still make them but they're not listed on the website for some reason. Talked with someone at Brent Averill, he said it was out of a broadcast board and the low end wasn't as tight as the othe Neve but he said it still was a very nice unit. (of course).

    The Drawmer is what gets me. You guys say it flat out sucks, but I find where so many pro use it. Eric Clapton, Dolly Parton, Byran Adams, Sheryl Crow, Tony Bennett, Kenny Logins, Madonna, Kathey Mattea just to name a few. And it's not like "oh we used one for a wierd synth overdub for Madonna" but rather these guys are using it for a main vox pre / comp ect. And we're not talking 15 years ago we're talking on recent recordings and tours (past few years anyway). I'm not saying you guys are NUTZ (which I think we all are, IMO $2000 plus for a mic pre is crazy. :eek: :s: ) Anyway, why do you think these things suck so much? They still sell new for just shy of $2500. Thats a little newer version, the one i'm looking at dosn't have the bass roll off or the mic pre clip led. Not sure what was changed internally. (I'm going to call Fletcher and see what he knows)

    ANYWAY, My options are trade the bass for the Brent and Drawmer (plus a litte $ perhaps) , pick up a TLM 103 and possibly a RNP OR sell the bass and other stuff and try to pick up a Great River NV 2, RNP and TLM. In your opinions which combo would be the best for all around. (I want another TLM to have two matching mics for stereo).

    Kurt, I tried the U87 and found I didn't really like it for my voice. I know its awesome but I preferred the 103 to it and its a great work horse for lots o stuff.

    Thanks guys
  5. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    When did Kurt or I say that that it flat out sucked? Big difference in not liking something and having it flat out suck. Are you sure you got your model numbers correct? Drawmer makes both the 1960 and the newer Mercenary 1969. Two completely different sounding units. How do you know those artists you listed used the Drawmer? and which one did they use? Even if they did, that dosen't mean much. Those people like what they like, Kurt likes what he likes and I like what I like. As far as I had heard, Fletcher hates the the 1960 which is one reason why he was involved in the newly designed 1969 unit.

    We didn't tell you to not buy the 1960, we just told you our experiences and feelings about it. There are many choices available that do the same thing as the Drawmer 1960. I happen to think that the 1960 unit doesn't rate very high among those choices. You and others may think differently. So what?
  6. audiovalley

    audiovalley Guest

    For what it's worth, I had a 1960 for three years before selling it and getting a 1969,
    I prefer the pres on the 1969 and the compressor in the 1969 is great, i use it everyday for stem mixes, 2-bus sometimes, i feed my soundfield mic into it , and i use the compressor on drum overheads.
    in ottawa this summer a bunch of the higher end studios had a mic pre party and the 1969 suprised a lot of people. (we have a gt vipre, a vox box, api 7600 ' s , a great river mp 2nv, and a ua6176, there were also neve 1272s, a focusrite producers box and the new summit pre /eq at the shout out and the drawmer sounded great in comparison to some pretty famous gear.
    it's pricey but i am very happy with it, the front panel di with eq is great for lots of mucking around as well.

    good luck,

  7. white swan

    white swan Guest

    I borrowed a 1969 for a week and couldn't get into it at all.

    But I would never say it sucks. Because in my case, I never know if a crappy result is a function of the gear or a function of my inability to use it properly! :p
  8. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Hey Swan, I asummed that you were a guy, but after the Miss Swan who doesn't quack postings and reading many other postings with all the low self esteam comments, you got me wondering? Not that there is anything wrong being a girl...
  9. white swan

    white swan Guest

    No offense taken, A.G.

    You've got plenty of company. Not too many humans can tell the sex of a swan without specialized training! :h:

    (Funny how when I write something intelligent everyone assumes I'm a guy! But yeah, I'm testosterone-challenged.)
  10. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    That's what was missing. One of those damn cute hearts that all you girls usually use to give us guys a clue. You do seem very intelligent. I guess I can strike that blond image of you out of my head.

    What are you wearing....
  11. white swan

    white swan Guest

    Just some cheap (off the) rack crap! ;)

    (I am brunette, but always fantasized about being a redhead...)
  12. Jason James

    Jason James Guest

    Hey guys, this isn't an x rated post is it? I thought that was another site. :)

    Ok, did some digging on the 1960 and heres what I came up with in case anyone is interested. Supposedly it was used by Eric Clapton, Bryan Adams, Madonna, Sheryl Crow, Dolly Parton, Tony Bennett, Kenny Logins, Kathey Mattea and on and on.... Talked to Fletcher yesterday and he said the whole 1969 thing came about when he was helping on a Keith Richards album. The producer wanted to use a 1960 on every track. (supposedly he multed to other boxes with out the producer knowing.) My thought is that if its true these guys used it and the producer was good enough to get hired for a Keith Richards CD then it must be a pretty good unit. BUT, I've also learned that you can ask 5 differnt "in the know" guys/gals a question about pro gear and they'll give you 5 different answers. If I was laying out $2500 for a new one I would definitly get something else. However, I'm trading some gear and might get this in a trade.
    Heres the scary part. I have now demoed a Grace 201, a Trident S20, a Brent Averill Neve 3405, and the Drawmer. All against my Allen and Heath. I can hear sonic differences b/t the pres but I don't know if I can hear $2k of diffenece. Perhaps my ears just arn't trained enough. I have other recordists and clients come in and I show them my Mic Pre Shootouts I've done and they all say...."Yep, sounds like an acoustic gtr." Then I point out the diffeneces and they go "oh yeah, I think I hear what your talking about." Just seems nuts to spend lots-0 $ on gear that most can't even hear a vast improvement over. I'm hopeing that when you add this nicer tone to a lot of tracks that the tone is significantly better over all.

    Anyway, I think I've just learned that everyone hears and likes things diffently than others. What one guy likes, one guy hates. Every piece
    of gear that anyone buys should be done SOLEY on the basis of getting it in YOUR studio and playing with it for a day or two (at least). It would be nice to read bbs and talk to guys in the know to help narrow down the field of the many mic pres etc. But thats just not a feasable thing to do. When I buy I'm buying from someone who has a kick ass return policy and if i don't like it after a week or two it's going back and we'll try something else. Ok, off to play with these things some more...........

  13. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Wow! My favorite color is Red... I like frumpy cloths on girls when they type on their PC late at night...
  14. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Vast improvement requires you use a mic that matches up well with the preamp, that the mic is the right place, that the monitors are capable of hearing the differences between them and that the room you listen in is treated so that it is not adding to or taking away from the tone as well as any details. And yes, it does take some time to learn to listen. A lot of the differences in great pro gear can often be subtle. It is the subtle things that can make the biggest difference in the end result.
  15. bradavenson

    bradavenson Guest

    I have found that when you are using a few different mic pres for your tracks that when it comes time to mix, things seems to sit together better without as much EQ. You aren't putting the same coloration on all your tracks so things stand out more in the mix.

    I have the Brent Averill 3405's in my rack and I like them quite a bit. Enough I bought two more of the modules to rack up.
  16. Jason James

    Jason James Guest

    Hey fellow Austinite. (I've noticed there are several people from Austin on this board) What you said about different pres on different tracks helps them stand out makes perfect sense. I have, however, heard the complete opposite too. I've heard guys say that using a certain type of pre across a lot of tracks helps glue the tracks together with little eq at mixdown. Again, everyone hears differently, likes different things etc.

    Also, as far as room, mic placement, mic seletion etc I understand. My room is treated to the hilt, but i've only been using a TLM 103. I'll start checking out differnt mics on these pres. I did use the Averill on the 57, DW snare combo last night and it was perhaps the best snare sound I've ever pulled out. Was it the snare, the heads, the player, the mic placement, the mic pre. I dunno but I bet the pre had something to do with it. I did hear a really nice female vox coming thru the Mackies last night. I was going thru the TLM/Averill combo. I tried an old 414 on the Vox and didn't like it as much. Today I'll try some other things. Thanks for the input guys.

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