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Manley Labs Dual Vocal Combo

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by nrgmusic, Apr 14, 2001.

  1. nrgmusic

    nrgmusic Guest

    Hey Fletcher et All,

    Has anybody tried out the new dual vocal combo from Manley Labs? any thoughts or opinions anyone would like to share would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Simon :)
     
  2. miketholen

    miketholen Guest

    My expirience w/Manley stuff is limited to the vari-mu , and Voxbox, I had them for about a month, They sucked compared to what I have (Telefunken,Helios,API,PYE...)
    It seems as though they spent alot of money/time designing the faceplate of these units. My tech opend the vox box to check it out and he found at the heart of the compressor- a $1.75 optical element!
    I'm not a tech or anything but these units seemed a bit OVERHYPED!
    I'll stick to my "old $*^t" and continue "cover engineering".
    Mike
     
  3. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2001
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    Originally posted by miketholen:
    My expirience w/Manley stuff is limited to the vari-mu , and Voxbox, I had them for about a month, They sucked compared to what I have (Telefunken,Helios,API,PYE...)
    My tech opend the vox box to check it out and he found at the heart of the compressor- a $1.75 optical element!
    I'm not a tech or anything but these units seemed a bit OVERHYPED!


    You are kidding right? :confused: Manley holds up to all of the high quality units out there, it is just a certain flavor, and a great one at that, not necesarily the be all end all. I guess 99.9% of us must be crazy to think it is quality...
     
  4. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2001
    I got one a couple of months ago, and I am extremely happy with it. As far as sound, I guess I'd call it really clear with a little extra-open top end, although it's very subtle and smooth. Just really good. The EQ sounds good for what it is, as well, although I don't use it much (most often as a low cut). The limiters are pretty much exactly as the literature states- wonderful for some things (they _really_ shine on vocals and bass), not for others. They're really fast- it's kind of amusing how spectacularly bad the limiters are for acoustic guitar! All in all, it's a great unit, and really solid. Oh, and it makes a 57 sound like God...

    Originally posted by nrgmusic:
    Hey Fletcher et All,

    Has anybody tried out the new dual vocal combo from Manley Labs? any thoughts or opinions anyone would like to share would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Simon :)
     
  5. miketholen

    miketholen Guest

    Kidding? NO!
    I must be crazy to love all that old $*^t!
    sorry but the Manley stuff just sounds lame to me. Looks cool though! LOL!!!
    I'm picky about gear but I'm not dumb, I let my ears make my first impression not looks!
    My Telefunken stuff sounds more detailed, has more punch,more headroom, and way more openess/air than anything Manley could ever dream about!
    when I had that crap I did many comparisons between them and I allways went for the Telefunken!
    Maybe I'm crazy but that's what I hear.
    later-Mike ;)
     
  6. As I have said earlier: At least the Manley "Pultec" insides looks like some kind of home-cooked DIY $*^t compared to a real Pultec... I would never ever dream of paying what they are asking for those fancy-looking boxes. There sure must exist some other brands that still build 'em in the finest of traditions.

    Please note: I'm not commenting on their (Manley's "Pultec") sound quality here.

    Just my 2c.

    /Mats
     
  7. hiraga

    hiraga Guest

  8. miketholen

    miketholen Guest

    Like I stated b4- I'm no tech- so sorry if I didn't come up w/the right part number(LD4).
    So then in your tach wisdom tell me why (in tech terms) does the manley sound so lame compared to my tele stuff.
    My tech is excellent-he trained under the man that designed the V72.
    So tell me about the "cheap" gain elements in my Tele stuff...
    Later-Mike
    ;)
     
  9. nrgmusic

    nrgmusic Guest

    Hey guys
    Thanks for the responses... am I getting the feeling here that Manley are not all there cracked up to be? Should I really be looking at Telefunken instead? I had always understood that Manley Labs product was of excellent build and sonic quality is this not so?? Aw hell head scratching stuff or what and Fletcher away too!! :eek:

    Simon
     
  10. regebro

    regebro Guest

    Originally posted by miketholen:
    My tech opend the vox box to check it out and he found at the heart of the compressor- a $1.75 optical element!

    This sound like a good place to quote the description of this forum.
    "Yeah, but how does it SOUND?" :)

    OK; I know that you think the sound sucks too. I wouldn't know, I have never used one. But I just find the occupation with the cost of a component rather interesting. A component is cheap because its easy to manufacture. That doesn't automatically make it *bad*.

    Just wanted to get that off my chest.
     
  11. miketholen

    miketholen Guest

    by syaying that the components were cheap, I was just trying to emphasize the fact that what looks great on the outside doesn't mean that they invested that kind of quality on the inside.

    another shameless plug http://www.tab-funkenwerk.com/

    mike ;)
     
  12. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    Originally posted by miketholen:
    So then in your tach wisdom tell me why (in tech terms) does the manley sound so lame compared to my tele stuff.
    My tech is excellent-he trained under the man that designed the V72.


    Mike, you have answered your own question. You happen to have an excellent tech for your "V series" modules, most folks don't. The "V series" stuff isn't exactly all that easy to work on, and the vast majority of the "V series" modules out there are so ^#$%ed up it's damn near criminal.

    The majority of the dealers dealing "V series" stuff do not perform the requisite maintenance prior to sale, the vast majority of them dust off the outside and sell crap that should have had maintenance 15-20 years ago...and still haven't.

    My point is, while your "V series" modules may be performing more to your liking than the Manley/Langevin stuff, that doesn't make the Manley/Langevin stuff bad...in most cases it's just a different tone/texture.

    Now, while I don't like certain items in the Manley/Langevin line (like the Manley "Vari-MU"...I find it turns the bottom into a mushy wash of blech), there are lots of other items in the Manley/Langevin lines that I think rock.

    The 'Massive Passive' is a perfect complement to things like a GML 8200 or an Avalon 2055, the mic amps sound rather opulent to me, I quite like their El-Ops and have found the Manley "Pultec Like" EQ's to be a marvelous complement to the real thing. They have different frequency selections than the original, so I have found them to make it easier to interweave tones...like getting a kick drum and a bass to really melt into one; vocals and guitars to work well together, etc.

    IMHO, the Langevin "Dual Vocal Combo" is a remarkable 'bang for the buck' buy. Jon Best gave the unit an excellent overview which I shan't repeat. All I'm saying, Mike, is that it's great that your "V series" modules sound so good and perform a service for you...but really, most of them out there suck hamster cock, and the Langevin "DVC" is an excellent "first good unit" that will serve it's owner for years without being 'outgrown'.

    As always...YMMV
     
  13. vanimal

    vanimal Guest

    Gee whiz Mike, you're giving us a hard time. That you prefer the sound of your 30-year old telefunken gear is totally fine. No problem. It is great gear. But it isn't made anymore and for guys who want some new gear, with real warranties and responsive customer service etc., built to also still be working in 30 years (we're halfway there and yes the first, admittedly most-ugly-inside units we built 15 years ago are all still out there working despite their appearance) that's where we, manufacturer of new tube gear, come in.

    Like I said, I have no problem with you not liking the sound of our gear. Everyone can have an opinion. I heard a Focusrite Red preamp sounding better than one of our preamps during a comparison in a studio once. It was the better tool for that day, oh well. She humbly states...

    I was also present at Fletcher's Boston Pre Party a few years ago and our unit really rocked out of that group. Oh well.

    What I have a problem with is you implying that we're a big sham. That's downright nasty and you cannot back that statement up.

    So ok, let's talk about limiter elements just for kicks. Optical-type limiters use either vactrols which are a nifty little LED/LDR encased 3 or 4 legged bugs or some other lamp-glowing panel/responding resistor thingy. The T-4 as used in original LA-series limiters was what they built in olden days and some folks still do.

    Over 10 years ago when the first Manley ELOP came out (and wowwweee those first units were especially ugly inside but thank goodness that 'designer' is no longer with us) we chose to go with the more modern VACTROLS LED/LDR type. There are many different types of VACTROLS all with different characteristics. We pay $1.66 for a VTL5C2 but there's four of 'em in a Voxbox. And we have to go through them all on a special jig to select and match them-- add some cost of this process.

    Hey! Wait-a-minute! How does this $4000 Voxbox cost that much based on a coupla $1.66 Vactrols? Hint: there's more than $1000 cost of OTHER parts in there too. To give ya'll an idea: the two 30uF 200V MultiCaps that all the tunes go through DO cost more than the pretty faceplate, just in case you were wondering. Oh, and BTW, I designed the Voxbox faceplate all by myself in about 30 minutes and I get paid peanuts so no, we didn't spend a lot of money or time on designing the cool faceplate either.

    Cost of one part in a unit does not set the tone for the whole piece. There are FET limiters out there. Cost of FET: less than a buck. There are limiters out there with dioides performing the limiting action. Cost of diode: less than $0.02. I remember buying 6386 tubes a few years ago for $1.00 each. Whatever guys. We're talking about one part out of hundreds in a piece of gear.

    Now I'm not going to go into what goes into costing a piece of gear in detail, but try to remember such heavy concepts as parts, labour, overheads, dealer margins, R&D, carrying all that inventory, advertising, California electricity, 11,000 sq. ft. building mortgage payment, 40 employees and their holidays and insurance, attentive customer service, and of course my hefty CEO salary (NOT!) :confused:

    I bet we could offer you guys way cheaper, real shammy boxes built in ChinA (not ChinO) with awful cheap parts and five minute warranties. No way. My heart is really in designing and building high quality processors here in the USA and I am really proud of where we have come in the last few years and the resulting increase in quality we have achieved.

    We're not trying to emulate "vintage" sound per se. We make our gear sound a certain way which some guys like and some guys might not. That's fine. I respect that you prefer your Telefunken gear. But don't for a minute think that there's no substance behind the Manley faceplate or the Manley company. That just ain't true at all.

    Anyone interested, our doors are open for factory tours if you find yourself in So Cal and want to see what it takes to maufacture all this gear, but short of that, check out our on-line factory tour at:
    Manley Factory Tour
    All the best guys,
     
  14. regebro

    regebro Guest

    And heres another question:
    How come so many people automatically assume that something that was designed ages ago sound better than what people design now?

    "The V72 was modeled on the basis of the V41 (developed in 1928 by Telefunken)".

    Did the guys in 1928 own some kind of magic knowledge that they took to their grave that means that we will never surpass their perfect designs? :)

    I'm sure the TAB-funkenwerk V72 sounds fantastic, I just find it hard to understand that it is actually a sales pitch that the design is old...

    Ah-well I'm just to un-conservative I guess.
    :D
     
  15. MPlancke

    MPlancke Guest

    Originally posted by EveAnna Manley:
    We're not trying to emulate "vintage" sound per se. We make our gear sound a certain way which some guys like and some guys might not. That's fine. I respect that you prefer your Telefunken gear. But don't for a minute think that there's no substance behind the Manley faceplate or the Manley company. That just ain't true at all.

    Mike, et al

    Just for the record I'd like to say that the folks at Manley are just about the easiest people on earth to deal with. Any service related issues are dealt with promptly and expertly. Hell, I can even talk to the CEO on the phone with out too much trouble. EveAnna actually rebuilt one of those orignal ELOP's that were built by that person who's no longer there for me. I'm sure it was a major nightmare to do, but you'd never know it talking to anyone there.

    I've got different gear to chose from including some Telefunken V72's, API's & NEVE's. I would never select an API for what I want out of a V72, two different animals.

    It looks like your company is building some V72 like mic pre products from original parts. To outright bash a competitors product is very, very bad in my book and you'll have a hard time convincing me to buy anything from you, even though I've heard nothing but good
    things about your relatively new product.

    Good luck.

    Mark Plancke
     
  16. miketholen

    miketholen Guest

    Whoa! Who ever said that I pimp gear for a living? I most certinly do not sell V72s' I just use Telefunken $*^t.
    Mike
     
  17. slantbat

    slantbat Guest

    George Massenburg just moved all the manufacturing of his products to the Manley facility. If they were building cheap crap, I doubt he would trust his name and company to someone like that. Sounds to me like their QC is second to none...
     
  18. vanimal

    vanimal Guest

    Yes actually last week George sent his tech, Jeffrey, out for the whole week to train our QC boyz how to test and align the GML products. He feels very confident that our guys have got it down pat enough that the finished products don't have to make a QC stop in Nashburg any more.

    Again, for those who have been asking, at this stage we're just building George's GML gear for him. Now we'll get to ship it straight out to his customers and dealers direct-from-Chino, but only to fill his orders. If you need to buy GML gear, please contact GML, LLC. (805) 492-8175
    Franks runs GML sales and he'll set you up with your local dealer.

    If you need GML service, contact Jeffrey in Nashville: (615) 790-1016

    Don't contact me to buy or fix GML gear. (some have tried... we're just building it not fixing it or selling it at this stage.)

    Further info at:
    GML - Manley Manufacturing Alliance Official Story
     
  19. miketholen

    miketholen Guest

    Did the guys in 1928 own some kind of magic knowledge that they took to their grave that means that we will never surpass their perfect designs?
    I have often wondered "How the ^#$% did they know in 1928 that this $*^t would sound so great in 2001?" and "Who the ^#$% were these guys?"
    Yes I think they knew some kinda magic that they took to the grave except for a few select cats who they taught (my tech being one of them).
    Why do I think they worked magic? Well no one has been able to come up with a design that would outperform or out spec these units.

    What I have a problem with is you implying that we're a big sham. That's downright nasty and you cannot back that statement up.
    EveAnna-I'm sure you have put your heart and soul into your co. and while your stuff is better than most it still doesn't stand up to the standards set forth by "you know who". like I said b4 -I have used the voxbox and found it to be with out sufficient gain, (your rolling your eyes right now!) w/out punch, w/BALLS...,I could go on and on and will if you'd like. My thoughts at the time on the unit were- "Man this thing looks cool as $*^t!" Clients will love it! and they did. Until I started a/bing it against other OLD $*^t (which by the way after reworked it will last ANOTHER 50 years.) They couldn't believe that the nice, pretty box could sound so dull and lifeless against that old ugly army box. I had to actually show them the knob I was turnning as to how to get "that sound"-the knob? a V76 Gain switch. Not a Manley. They had the same question "iIf this were designed so long ago then why does it smoke these new pieces? Don't people know what's up?"
    My answer?-NO.
    I don't mean to maliciously bash your co. but after buying 2 voxboxes and 1 vari-mu for about 10G I was expecting "The $*^t" did I get it? NO. But boy did they l;ook cool in the rack next to each other! (Oh, Brother)
    So for my money I will stick to reworking the OLD $*^t that whilr it doesn't look as cool but man when you listen back to what youv'e got on tape it will blow your head off!!!
    I would love to do a shootout with your gear and My Tele stuff. of course with you present. Cheers-Mike
    :D
     
  20. hiraga

    hiraga Guest

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