Opinions on gear purchase

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by mhoggard01, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. mhoggard01

    mhoggard01 Guest

    I have the opportunity to purchase a preamp and compressor that I will be using for mutiple tasks, but primarily for vocals.

    The preamps I have to choose from are: Earthworks Lab 101, Drawmer 1961, HHB Classic 80, Avalon Vt 737sP, Manley VoxBox, Demeter VTMP 2B.

    The compressors are: HHB Classic 60, Joemeek, Drawmer MX30, Manley Stereo Variable E-MU, Emperical Labs Distressor EL8.

    I guess what I would like to know is your opinion on the best sounding preamp and compressor. I have done some blind comparison tests in my home studio and have my opinion, but I wanted to hear from the experts before I lay down the $$$.

    Thank you
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Not just one channel of variable emus, but two. With the twist of the knob, you can have more large, flightless birds in your mix than you know what to do with...(hint: they make tasty burgers!!!)

    Manley's twist on the variable emu is that they incubate the emus inside the box with extremely warm, but well controlled (thanks to the detented switches) tubes. You can go from plucked-clean to saturated with butter with the twist of just a few knobs.

    Be careful though with the "knee" control on these boxes. As emu's knees are inverted, it takes a little getting used to tweeking from hard knee to soft knee.

    As well, you'll find that the life of the emu is signicantly less than that of the average tube. Though they have been known to live as long as ten years or more when well cared for, there is a LOT of maintenance required. Fortunately the Special Edition Manely Vari-Emu has a removable bottom tray which easily allows you to remove droppings on a daily basis (and please do - with the warmth from those tubes, it's just not pretty...)

    One other side note - it's not a good idea to go replacing the Emus yourself. Manley has done an excellent job at the factory of matching your emus carefully. True you can go to just about any emu farmer and pick up emus (including NOS emus, but they have a tendancy to smell a little funny), but the best bet is to replace all the emus at the same time with matched emus. This can be very hard to do on your own as the plumage of the emu is not distinguishable between sexes.

    Okay - I'm sorry for that travesty of a post...

    All of the items in your message are considered great devices (though I would personally shy away from the HHB, Avalon, Joemeek and possibly the Earthworks...) any of the others should be fine. The Drawmer stuff is just cooooolll (though you can do better in their line up than the MX30).

    Just my $.02


    PS -
    It's the Manley Vari-Mu, unless you want birds :wink:
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    What about Cranesong? :wink:
    The Drawmer 1969 will provide you with a 2-channel pre AND compressor, DI, etc and it IS cool....
    And stay away from the Avalon 737.I had one and it was like having an albatross around my neck!!!
  4. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:

    I got about halfway through the third paragraph and was so confused I had to start reading it all over again. Somehow, the EMU joke went right by me until I read the word Droppings. Then I was thoroughly lost.

    Nice post!
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I've always liked a Manley man!

    Manley broad
    Ms. Remy Ann David

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