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Sebatron vs Pendulum vs Avalon?? channel or pre

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by trock, May 18, 2005.

  1. trock

    trock Active Member

    Aug 20, 2004
    I am looking very hard at Sebatron right now for either a dual Pre 2000e VU or the Thorax channel strip. I have not made up my mind yet what my goal is. My DAW is SAW and the comp's and EQ on the channels are very very good so i am leaning towards a dual pre.

    2000e VU

    I also have an Avalon M5 right now. my mics are

    AT 4050
    AT 4040

    in terms of channel strips i have been looking at

    737sp(or SM)
    Pendulum Quartet

    Sebatron is very new to me but i like the reviews and i like the price point.

    has anyone by chance A/B the thorax against

    Quartet or 737??

    and the 2000e VU vs MD1-P (pendulum)

    I have also looked at John Hardy and GR, but am curious about Sebatron right now??

    anyone using would be great

    more info:

    This is too stereo mic an acoustic guitar (taylor 314ce or alvarez) and for male vocals ( in the range of dave mathews)

  2. JBsound

    JBsound Guest

    I don't have much experience with the Sebatron. But I can tell you that if you have the M5 right now that you are wise into looking into tube gear like the Sebatron and the Pendulum.

    I don't think you'd be too happy with the 737 since you have the m5. I hear a ton of favorable reviews about the quartet and the mdp-1 by pendulum. There also seems to be a lot of buzz about the thorax right now.

    I would probably go with a stereo pre similar to the 2000e or the mdp-1a.
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Kurt has a Thorax! 8)
    Tell us about the Thorax Kurt! :D Please, please, please!
    I don't think he's had it long, that's why I'm getting so exicited to hear what he thinks after he has a chance to play with it some.
    So, what do you think Kurt? Tell us, I can't sleep at night. I have to hear about the Thorax :!:
  4. Arrowfan

    Arrowfan Guest

    I have a Sebatron VMP2000e. Its one of the best pieces of gear I've ever bought.

    Per channel
    XLR in, XLR out, TS/TRS in, TS/TRS out
    -30db, -15db, 0db
    EQ High:
    flat, Bright, Air
    EQ Low:
    flat, deep, cut

    Phase invert
    Phantom power
    Output Level

    All parts are high quality. The Output Level knob is a pleasure to use - heavy and smooth just the way we like it. Minute adjustments can be made and heard, which for volume is crucial.

    The flexible I/O for each channel makes complex configurations possible ... chain 2 channels together, D.I., parallel with different settings, etc. Addditionally, both the XLR and jack outputs are active at once - you can use it as a signal splitter.

    Important: unlike many other tube pres, the VMP series pres do not have a "gain" control - there is no cheapo op-amp to sully your signal, just massive tube gain. Sure, there could be an additional tube gain stage just for "drive" but thats what guitar amps are for.

    If you want tube drive sound you either:
    1) patch 1 ch. into the other and use the Output Level of the first channel (and the input pad of the 2nd) to set your drive...

    2) or you just deliver a feisty hot signal into a single channel with Pad at 0db (no attenuation). Volume in determines "drive" while Output Level is as its name suggests.

    But the Sebatron tube pres really shine when doing transparent preamp character. They deliver massive gain (60db) with very low noise and make any mic sound much better. Warm, even, tube gain.

    (IMO) By far the best tone comes from a signal that is loud but not overdriving... makes a C414 sound like a U87. A really nice 'gold' channel: mic->Seb ch.1 -> FMR RNC (analog compressor) -> Seb ch.2 -> audio interface

    [first channel boosts mic signal, compressor limits the peaks so you can turn it on up, audio hits 2nd channel in the sweet spot for that gorgeous warm, present, silky clear sound]

    The EQ switches are a nice touch. Since I typically record as dry as possible, I thought I wouldn't use them much but if you know you're recording acoustic guit, and you know you'll end up EQ-ing it with a classic slope - you might as well flip on the Low Cut switch and either Bright or Air. It sounds better than any non-DSP driven plugins anyway. Air seems to be a cross between a very high EQ and a harmonic exciter since it actually adds freqs above 22Khz! The unit actually outputs freqs up to 40Khz.

    Its a fantastic unit, truly.

    The only drawback of the 2000e is the omition of the VU meters. I didn't think I'd miss them, but there are plenty of occasions when they'd come in very useful. I think the VU's are only an extra $100, which if you have the cash, is worth it IMO.
  5. sdelsolray

    sdelsolray Active Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Pendulum products are considered among the finest gear on the planet. I have a MDP-1a. The same pre is used in the Quartet. Stunning, sensual, euphonic, perfect. The Quartet blows the Avalon 737 out of the water. Dunno about Pendulum vs. Sebatron gear, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if you considered the Pendulum gear superior after trying them side by side.
  6. Arrowfan

    Arrowfan Guest

    Yes, I'm sure the pres mentioned -Avalon and Pendulum- will have better reviews overall. They also cost twice -or more- the price of the seb!

    If cost isn't an issue ... no reason not to get the best of best.
  7. sdelsolray

    sdelsolray Active Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I don't know how the Seb would stack up against a Pendulum. The Pendulum Quartet sure oupaces the Avalon 737SP in every department (pre, eq and comp) plus the Quartet has a deesser. The Avalon M5 (or 2022) is an exceptional preamp, very different than the pre in the 737.

    A Quartet runs about $2,650 street. The Pendulum Quartet II is more, much more, although it is said it is not a replacement for the original Quartet, but a complimentary piece.

    Again, dunno about the Seb products in comparison. They are less expensive.
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