Opinions on EQ???

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Cucco, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Okay guys -

    I'm in the process of taking a plunge on a good outboard EQ. You'll see what my budget is by the choices I've listed below. I'm familiar with all of them except the Crane Song.

    So, here's the list (and some comments):

    Millennia NSEQ 2 - I like the twin topology architecture and I do like it's smoothness overall

    Z-Sys ZQ 2 - digital is a plus for cable runs and easy recall

    Crane Song Ibis - ??

    Weiss Mk2 (standard version) - again, digital is easy to recall and cabling is easy.

    I will eventually be expanding my rack to include more than one EQ, but I am looking to see what you more experienced guys would consider to be a good first step into a mastering EQ.

    For compression/limiting I'm good for the moment with my Manley VariMu and the ART ProVLA which I rebuilt (sounds a THOUSAND times better now! Smooth, clean and actually fast enough now to do some real damage! I replaced the OpAmps and capacitors throughout the entire piece as well as used Mullard tubes.)

    Opinions???

    (Don't be afraid to tell me that something like the UAD card or similar would be a good value. I have no objections to a plug-in EQ so long as it's a viable replacement for its hardware counterpart. Unfortunately, I haven't found anything that is a viable replacement for outboard comp/limiting.)

    Thanks!!

    J.
     
  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    I tried a stack of 'em over the last couple years and settled on the Ibis. Even sold my GML (as it just sat there with it's colorful knobs collecting dust).

    Transparent as hell when you need it - Colorful beyond what you'd ever hope for when you want it (the "Color" control is pretty unique and usefull).

    The NSEQ was pretty cool also - Although it was very HOT also... :lol:

    Seriously, that was actually a disadvantage from the start... The Mu, the Bryston, etc. - I've already put the HVAC guy's kids through college. I admit that I was "hoping" to prefer a solid state unit.

    Sidenote - The Mu comes back Tuesday or Wednesday after Paul's capable hands put in the HPF on the sidechain... I'll let you know...
     
  3. xxm

    xxm Guest

    You will probably get some better answer than mine from people who did a-b these eq. I only used the Weiss once on a full project and was very impressed.

    Since you obviously are looking for something transparent you should have a ear for the algorithmix red or blue. (pay attention that their demo lasts one week only!) I was really impressed from them... and for the price compared to the outboard gear.

    Vincent
     
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Thanks for the info!

    Paul has my Mu right now too. It got shipped back yesterday. He had to replace 10 caps on the left channel as well as the input transformer for the left channel and the tube for the left channel (apparently the right side was JUST fine...)

    I was going to do the T-Bar mod (I have one of the original ones with the 6386 tubes - serial 112!! Paul had an extra 6386 laying around so he threw it in for me) but I'll wait til the 6386s die.

    Anyway -

    I made a rash decision after I made this post last night. I figured since I was already familiar with all of the EQs except the Crane Song (and thanks Vincent - I should have mentioned I was also considering the Algorithmix - I tried the Red and the Orange late last year and really liked them), I purchased one on Ebay last night about 5 minutes after posting this.

    I got it for $2700 so I figure I'll try it out and see what I think. For the price I paid, I should easily be able to sell it with little to no loss if I don't like it.

    We'll see how it goes, but I am certainly sure I'll like it. I mean, hell, I've used their spider once and it made me change my religion about mic pres in general...if only I had that kind of dough!

    J

    PS-

    The heat factor is a big one for me. Fortunately, my mastering suite is under ground so for the most part it stays cool, however, the AC does a far better job on the upper floor so I'm kinda screwed if I over heat the room.
     
  5. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    $2700 - That's a better-than-reasonable price tag.

    And keep in mind that it's a transferable lifetime warranty - If something doesn't sound up to spec, they'll fix it.

    I'm still waiting on my new HEDD from them... :evil:

    I was just there last Wednesday too... Kept "dropping hints" at Dave... And then Scott... And then the guys in the machine room... Then the secretary... Shouldn't be long now...
     
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Nice...

    I'm afraid that I'll become obsessed with CS too and then make yearly, monthly or weekly pilgramiges to upper Wisconsin...

    At least their gear looks cool as hell!

    Next step is a pair of B&W 802s.....hello 7th mortgage.... :?
     
  7. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    It's a great ride - We (My brother-in-law and I) trailered the bikes "up nort" and rode 200 miles (each way) from where we were staying in the Boulder Junction area, up around the Lake Superior Circle Route to Superior.

    The "Circle Route" takes you along around 75 miles of Lake Superior shoreline. You don't get to see an awful lot of it, but it's some really pretty country... And cooool... It was in the mid 90's inland, but when you were near the lake on and off, it shot down to the lower 70's (at 65 MPH, that's a wind chill factor probably close to 40-45 degrees).

    (Dead Link Removed)
     
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

     
  9. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Oh my goodness...

    It came back today...

    I have 3 projects lined up that all have bass drops in them...





    It's... Amazing.


    I'm - Spee - Chless -


    :-?
     
  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mine came back today too...

    I LOVE it. The sound of those original 6386s is so silky smooth. You can really get loads of limiting out of this box without much artifact. It truly is amazing!

    I would also have expected a box with that much in the way of tubes and transformers to be far more colored than it is, but I can actually get a rather clean sound out of it when I want to!

    The sad thing is, I had a mastering job this past week (a mastering job from hell!!!!!!!). It would have REALLY come in handy on this job. (Jesus rock stuff - really bad Jesus Rock stuff!!!)

    I'm curious John - where did you get your desk?? It looks kinda like an Argosy but not quite.

    J.
     
  11. Aitzi

    Aitzi Guest

    have you any further informations for pimping my ART ProVLA
    i would be very interessted in testing this option.


    I ve tryed nearly all Software comps but noone is really an alternative to an outboard stuff.
     
  12. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    It's a (slightly modified) Sterling Modular Master Plan D
    http://www.sterlingmodular.com

    It's "big" furniture, but it's made out of a skeleton of sorts - No resonant cavities and few reflective surfaces (and 48 rack spaces).
     
  13. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Thanks John - I'll check them out.

    Aitzi -

    The biggest improvements that I got from my VLA came when I put in the new OpAmps. As soon as I can dig out the paperwork from DigiKey showing which OpAmps I bought, I'll post it here.

    J.
     
  14. Aitzi

    Aitzi Guest

    would be great

    best regards
    thomas
     
  15. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Well....

    I got it in today and hooked it up.

    I have to say, it's a tad contagious. I hooked it up and let it get warm for about an hour (a VERY long hour!!!!)

    Bear in mind, I'm pretty familiar with Weiss EQs, the Millennia and a little familiar with the Z-Sys.

    This thing ROCKS. Never has subtle been so obvious and so subtle at the same time. I don't know how to describe it - every change I made (even some rather extreme ones) was there, and easy to hear (even the little ones, like .5 dB steps) yet no matter how dramatic the change, it sounded musical. The highs never got brittle, the lows never got tubby.

    I don't know of any EQ like this. Perhaps the Weiss LP, but that's a LOT more money (and obviously well worth it.)

    Color me hooked on the green knobs. Perhaps there's an STC-8 in the near future.

    :D :D :D
     
  16. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    It really disappears doesn't it...

    I'm one of those "dial in the settings while it's not playing" types. So I tend to turn off the track I'm working on, set up the chain the way I think it needs to be and then hit "play" and tweak.

    With the Ibis, sometimes I have to bypass it on and off to make sure it's really doing what I set out to do - Not that it isn't an obvious change, but it just doesn't sound processed... You can A/B back and forth and it's so obvious - but at the same time, it just isn't there. Never had a unit like that.

    I think you made a fine choice... And it came in pretty quick, eh?
     
  17. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey John -

    I can't believe this, but I took a bunch of schematics drawings from numerous companies to a local woodworking shop.

    The gentleman that owns the shop has committed to building my a desk which is kinda like a hybrid between yours and the Argosy console for a cool $399! Yup...$399!!!

    It will be made out of Spruce and hand lacquered (with 6 coats of varnish). The delivery time should be around 3 weeks. Once I have pics, I'll post them here.

    I love it when sh!t falls in place!! Now I have enough money for a UAD card too!
     
  18. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Okay, now you suck. :lol:
     

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