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Millennia NSEQ-2 with Fred Forssell board

wow, pretty nice sounding eq. doesn't sound anything like the stock version. very sweet midrange, actually sounds sweet all around. Just had a listen to Dave Mcnair's and was quite impressed. Pick up a used one and pop in the $800 board and you've got a nice eq.

Comments

FredForssell Fri, 10/27/2006 - 14:47
Hey guys,

Thanks for the kind words about my replacement main board the NSEQ-2.

Brad is correct in that I am working on an entirely new mastering eq which will use the replacement board as its main amplifier board, but the new EQ is at least a year away and will be very expensive... lots more expensive that an NSEQ-2 with a replacement board installed.

So, if you already have an NSEQ-2, or if you have purchase one on the used market you can greatly improve its sonic quality by installing the replacement board right now.

And not to worry... Forssell Technologies Inc is a blue LED free zone. I hate those things and you won't ever see one on our products. With the gear in my studio that has blue leds, I cover them with console marking tape so I don't have to look at them.

Cheers,

Fred Forssell

FredForssell Sat, 10/28/2006 - 16:05
So I take it that your new eq will be more than just a re-work of the NSEQ-2?

Yes. The new EQ is a completely new design. Unlike the NSEQ-2, it will use all discrete JFET filter amplifiers, have 5 bands per channel, all bands will be fully parametric, the two lowest bands and the two highest bands will be switchable from peak/dip to shelving response, and it will have a bunch of other things that I'd prefer to not mention just yet.

The new EQ is an EQ designed for mastering (unlike the NSEQ which I designed as a tracking EQ), so all functions will be stepped switches (21 pos for boost/cut, 24 pos for freq, and 6 pos for Q) using high quality Elma rotary switches. It will be housed in a 3U chassis with large knobs and graphics on all functions.

But as I said before... it will be expensive. Way more expensive that an NSEQ-2 with the mod board installed. And it won't be available until at least Sept 2007, if all goes well.

Sorry Michael but I don't understand your second question.

Cheers,
Fred

FredForssell Thu, 11/02/2006 - 07:32
No. They are (or were when I was part of MM) the exact same pot. The mastering version simply used a version of that pot with a detented section added.

But as I said, that was then. I have nothing to do with MM and have no contact or communication with them at all, so I have no idea what they are now doing with the products. Therefore, as always, YMMV.

I can take a stock unit and make is a mastering unit because I have the detented sections for the pots. I often do this with EQs that I've added my new main PCB to. Most of the people buying the new pcb are mastering people and they want the stepped controls for mid-band freq and Q. Mastering people also typically want the vastly improved sonic quality, selectable boost/cut gains, and elimination of the tube section that the my pcb offers.

I hope this helps to answer some of your questions.

Thanks,
Fred Forssell

anonymous Thu, 11/02/2006 - 09:23
FredForssell wrote: Mastering people also typically want the vastly improved sonic quality, selectable boost/cut gains, and elimination of the tube section that the my pcb offers.

OK Fred, That Does It !!!

I've delayed gratification long enough, send me one of the PC boards, I'm ready.

(seriously, I'll call you this afternoon with an order)

Cheers JT

anonymous Fri, 11/10/2006 - 02:56
Michael Fossenkemper wrote: Jerry, let us here about it when you get it.

Our Forssell mod board for the NSEQ-2 arrived a couple days ago, and we installed it tonight after our sessions. Austin's venerable audio guru Chet Himes actually did the install back in our shop tonight as a gesture of friendship. Nick acted as the helper, and I "supervised"... which means I impatiently looked over Chet's shoulder and asked "whaddaya doin now ...are you sure the soldering iron is hot enough ...make sure you follow the wiring diagram... what does that green wire do... and being a general nuisance.

Reminds me of a story; many years ago back in Lubbock, I used to teach guitar at Perkins Music Company. Mr. Perkins was a fine gentleman and guitar repairman. He kept a sign over the workbench that read:

Guitar Repair - $10 per hour,

If you watch - $20 per hour,

If you help - $30 per hour!

He did some fine fret work, but didn't like anyone "supervising".

So taking my cue from Mr. Perkins, I finally left Chet & Nick alone to do the mod job, and went to my office to do paperwork.

After the mod was finished, we set it in the rack, made the connections, and powered her up. Opened the session I had done earlier yesterday, and went to a familiar song to test the EQ.

Set the "TT" switches out to Balanced, yoohoo! no more level loss!

Set the Range to 6dB, so each click of the knob yields about 1/4 dB of boost or cut, talk about your fine tuning!

And started EQing the song, a relatively thin acoustic guitar and vocal number:

Highs: added a dB at 16k... Nice and Silky sounding, not harsh on either bell or shelf... very kewl.

Low Shelf: added a dB at 100Hz on down... big warm and punchy without losing clarity or adding rumble.

Low Mid knob: added a half dB at about 120Hz on the very widest Q setting, nice, warm, and fat without being boomy or muddy. Very well defined!

High Mid knob: first added a half dB at about 2.8k on a wide Q, brought up some nice presence on the vocal and guitar, WITHOUT BEING HARSH or THIN! couldn't believe it!

Then I changed the setting to + 0.5dB at about 300-400Hz to fatten up the vocal... nice and warm without being clouding or murky!

Next checked the x10 buttons on the parametric knobs, works fine.

Set the Range switches to 12dB instead of 6dB, works great.

Tested the in/out hardware Bypass buttons, ...oh yeah!

Next chance I have, will shoot some tones & pink noise through her just to plot exactly what the settings yield. But that's really not even necessary, the mod transforms this EQ into a totally different beast... just turn the knobs till it sounds good. In fact, on the test song, I couldn't find a setting that sounded bad or harsh, or cloudy, different settings just change the character and/or color of the material to taste... Amazing!

The previous incarnation of the NSEQ-2 was excellent, a nice pristine sounding EQ, good for doing corrective EQ, but sounded slightly "clinical" and could get a little harsh or cloudy beyond a dB or so of change... and not all settings were complimentary to typical program material. Mine had the unbalanced inputs, with a 6dB level loss, which always bothered me a little because I'd have to make it up elsewhere in the chain. Also rarely ever used the Tube side... a bit too much color for most mastering work, and of course the resulting heat.

So it took us about an hour to do the mod, and we experimented with the knobs and sound for about an hour. As others have stated, this mod completely changes the NSEQ-2 into something totally different, surprisingly so. A great EQ for contour, shaping, all with a very musical character... and for about 800 bucks, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

I ordered the mod via telephone, talked directly to Fred (a super guy BTW), he sent it out the same day, it arrived well packaged, undamaged, & came with complete installation instructions.

Over the next few weeks, as I use it on a daily basis, and as I learn more about what it does, will report back with more specific details.

First Impression... A Complete 10.

JT

anonymous Thu, 11/16/2006 - 23:13
Been using the NSEQ-F all week.

McSnare & TurtleTone are right... it sounds outrageous... like buttah!!!

Fat, warm, silky, musical, kinda like a Sontec.

Go ahead and pony up for the mod board guys, you won't regret it.

BTW I shot some pink noise thru her the other night, will post the freq centers on the parametric bands foirst chance I get.

JT

FredForssell Fri, 11/17/2006 - 07:34
Hi guys,

Thanks for the kind words.

Jerry, I'm glad the new board is working well for you. That NSEQ-F name just might stick.

Michael, Tony did order a board and reports that it is installed and working well.

I really am glad that this mod board is working so well for everyone. I designed the board for my own use and I was really pleased with it, but I never know how the rest of the world will react to my designs. It really is nice to get a reality check from time to time as to how my designs are working for other people and you'all have help provide that to me. Thanks.

Cheers,

Fred

anonymous Mon, 12/04/2006 - 22:20
I'm glad people are digging this new board. I FREAKED when I first installed mine about 7 or 8 months ago. I've been raving ever since and people are finally giving it a whirl. A used NSEQ and Fred's board is the best deal in a high quality mastering eq of anything out there. I'm still heavily into mine and continue to find new ways to use it.
Tony, how do you like it?
Dave McNair

esencia Sun, 04/16/2017 - 01:46
powerestudio, post: 212426, member: 29065 wrote: anyone A/B this with IBIS??
I want to add a musical a definitive EQ for my setup, and IBIS and the NSEQ-2 FF are my top 2 most tentative alternatives...

This EQ should be my MAIN Eq for 2-bus processing, and I want it to be very musical (not surgical), as I'm producing soundtracks with lot of harmonics content.

Could your give me some thoughts about it?

DonnyThompson Sun, 04/16/2017 - 03:02
esencia, post: 449553, member: 50057 wrote: I want to add a musical a definitive EQ for my setup, and IBIS and the NSEQ-2 FF are my top 2 most tentative alternatives...

This EQ should be my MAIN Eq for 2-bus processing, and I want it to be very musical (not surgical), as I'm producing soundtracks with lot of harmonics content.

Could your give me some thoughts about it?
This is an old thread, Esencia... the last post before yours is over 10 years old (from 2006)- although in no way should that stop you from asking your questions - I just thought you'd want to know that you may or may not receive any specific replies from the contributing members at that time, as some of these members may not be around anymore.
Though again, no one is suggesting you shouldn't post your questions... you just might not get a response from a thread this old.
:)
-d

audiokid Sun, 04/16/2017 - 06:41
I like old posts revisited, as Donny said, nothing wrong with that. Especially if it brings back old members and continues evolving to date.

I've not used the FF version but have the NSEQ-4 which is amazing. I would expect it to be much improved over the NSEQ-2. Either way, the NSEQ is excellent throughout all freq. I did contemplate the Ibis. The BAX is another good one to look at. The filters on it are excellent.

esencia Sun, 04/16/2017 - 07:07
audiokid, post: 449556, member: 1 wrote: I like old posts revisited, as Donny said, nothing wrong with that. Especially if it brings back old members and continues evolving to date.

I've not used the FF version but have the NSEQ-4 which is amazing. I would expect it to be much improved over the NSEQ-2. Either way, the NSEQ is excellent throughout all freq. I did contemplate the Ibis. The BAX is another good one to look at. The filters on it are excellent.
I knew you owned one ! :) Recently I met (online) the guy who you sell it to ! (world sometimes is really small)

IMHO, I think that no one will be disappointed with these top level EQ (NSEQ-2, NSEQ-4, IBIS, Massive passive...).. I just wanted to have one really good one on my 2bus chain.. One that cannot be "emulated" easily with a plugin ( I own UAD platform).. But I don´t want to make a mistake about it.. I prefer to keep looking for until I feel I'm in the right track than make a "hype" decision..

I'm pending to test an IBIS unit and see how it works/sounds by myself, as I love the way Dave Hill designs things... but this week, someone offered me a NSEQ-2 with the Forsell modification applied. According to everything I read about that, it seems that with that mod, the unit is improved A LOT with a similar approach than NSEQ-4 (no valves).. That´s why I decided to ask you, as this forum is an endless place of knowledge and people with a lot of real experience.

My idea in the workflow that you well know Chris, is to have just 2 EQ.
One will be BAX eq for sure. No doubt about it.
But my "main" EQ, should be something "special", 99% musical (not surgical), and able to improves my 2-bus sound in analog domain before printing. Here , I was thinking about: IBIS, NSEQ2 FF mod, GML 8200?..

audiokid Sun, 04/16/2017 - 07:35
esencia, post: 449557, member: 50057 wrote: I'm pending to test an IBIS unit and see how it works/sounds by myself, as I love the way Dave Hill designs things... but this week, someone offered me a NSEQ-2 with the Forsell modification applied. According to everything I read about that, it seems that with that mod, the unit is improved A LOT with a similar approach than NSEQ-4 (no valves).. That´s why I decided to ask you, as this forum is an endless place of knowledge and people with a lot of real experience.

Crane Song, ... outstanding but I doubt would out perform a digital EQ (ITB).

I think the FF version of the NSEQ-2 is likely a good update but to my research dated opinions based on old posts over at gearslutz, long before the NSEQ-4 was built. The rails and specs of the NSEQ-4 has the FF beat. The bottom and top end of the NSEQ-4 is outstanding.

I also owned the SPL Passeq which has incredible bottom end control.This thing is fat and silk.

If you really want outstanding, go for Pulse Techniques EQ's. http://www.pulsetechniques.com/
NOTHING ITB will touch these EQ's. NOTHING. Pulse Techniques are all I want. Everything else, ITB.

audiokid Sun, 04/16/2017 - 08:44
esencia, post: 449557, member: 50057 wrote: But my "main" EQ, should be something "special", 99% musical (not surgical), and able to improves my 2-bus sound in analog domain before printing.

Then you want NEW Pulse Pultec EQ with either Valve or API tranny.

esencia, post: 449560, member: 50057 wrote: OMG
really???
Pulse Techniques (pulled eqs), as the unique EQ?
I wanted to have 4 bands and stereo processing... how many units do I need to support that? ($$$$$$$$) ?? :(

For analog correct?
I would start out with 2 NEW Pulse Techniques (NOT Vintage)) MEQ-5 , It has a beautiful mid range mojo. You can get 4 band EQ from Fabfilter that will smoke any Ibis, NSEQ etc ITB. Don't waste your time or money with analog multi-band EQ's.

The real mojo and what analog Pultec EQ's do cannot be emulated or lets say, not with the same mojo behind it.

As you build your business add NEW Pulse Technique EQP 1A3. Run from the vintage as its old build and antique crap needing maintenance.
Or start out with those if you want silky high end first. MEQ-5 are all I want. Everything other EQ > ITB.

audiokid Sun, 04/16/2017 - 09:02
esencia, post: 449562, member: 50057 wrote: Retroinstruments' stereo pultec approach is not valid?
Yes, New Pulse Techniques are retro (built to precise specs as vintage Pulse) but are new, quiet, not worn out vintage antiques needing a complete rebuilt.
You can buy example> Warm Audio pretend pultecs for cheap.
If you are doing this for fun, then buy all sorts of analog gear. Its all fun! But if you are doing this to improve your sonic footprint in a serious way... most analog (MIXING and MASTERING) gear today is in my opinion> a big waste of time and money. Other than those EQ's I mention... ITB EQ are superior when it comes to mixing and mastering. If you gave me an IBIS, NSEQ FF, 8200 etc etc etc... EQ's I would sell them and buy a Bricasti and MEQ-5's. I have no use for OTB EQ's anymore. All but few exceptions> Once ITB, stay ITB.

If we are talking about analog tracking equipment, then everything analog can have a use that won't degrade the mix or master.

audiokid Mon, 04/17/2017 - 07:05
esencia, post: 449553, member: 50057 wrote: I want to add a musical a definitive EQ for my setup, and IBIS and the NSEQ-2 FF are my top 2 most tentative alternatives...

This EQ should be my MAIN Eq for 2-bus processing, and I want it to be very musical (not surgical), as I'm producing soundtracks with lot of harmonics content.

Could your give me some thoughts about it?
esencia
You are wanting mojo (very musical (not surgical)

none of the EQ's you mention have any mojo. They are transparent per-say, and without question to me... can all be emulated ITB for peanuts ($) compared to these very expensive EQ's.

pcrecord, post: 449571, member: 46460 wrote: I know the Manley also get some love : https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MPMaster
and also the SPL passeq : https://spl.info/en/products/processing/passeq/overview.html
(even if it seems out of a spaceship ) ;)

SPL also make the PQ but I never had any feedback on it : https://spl.info/en/products/processing/pq/overview.html

I used a SPL Passeq for years, its choice for dialing in bass.Has no mojo.

The PQ is a surgical mastering EQ, has no mojo.

Manley, again, beautiful EQ but has no musical mojo either.
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