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Author Topic: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....  (Read 10252 times)

dietrich

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The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« on: August 09, 2011, 08:57:22 am »

A 4 channel MES430 could be offered to me in the next few weeks. I already know what their asking price would be.....

Need to decide if makes sense for me to sell more or less all of my current EQs to purchase.

Just looking bounce off more brains
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2011, 12:12:35 pm »

Have you heard one? What other hardware EQ's do you have?

Get it in for a demo first before spending a dime.

All I can say is I have a T filter eq and it sounds very good indeed, in fact there is no other EQ
I have heard that sounds as good and is as flexible for mastering and all those I auditioned were all at least double it's price.
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2011, 12:42:12 pm »

It's a great fine EQ.

As with any major cash layout, see if you can test it for a day or two before purchase, just to make sure it's working, and you like it.

They look really good in the rack as well, bling factor.

JT
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dietrich

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2011, 12:43:06 pm »

I've used a 430 a few times in the past. Nothing quite like it. The REQ2.2 was closest in my experience. Owning a modified 250c was not the same

My usual EQ's in daily play  Focusrite Blue 315-Massive Passive-BAx. My Neumann w495 +Siemens 295 rarely used nowadays.

Still waiting test results from this unit..Do not need on the bench for mnths

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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2011, 12:47:53 pm »

I suspect you would miss your other eq options if you have to sell them.
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Matt_G

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2011, 11:17:54 am »

I've used a 430 a few times in the past. Nothing quite like it. The REQ2.2 was closest in my experience. Owning a modified 250c was not the same

My usual EQ's in daily play  Focusrite Blue 315-Massive Passive-BAx. My Neumann w495 +Siemens 295 rarely used nowadays.

Still waiting test results from this unit..Do not need on the bench for mnths

The other EQ's can be re-purchased later if you decide you miss them but original 430's in excellent condition don't come up all that often. The 432C I have was my first analog EQ purchase & I used it by itself in conjunction with some surgical digital EQ's to great effect for sometime. Now I have an REQ-2.2, API 5500, Neumann PEV, Neumann PEV-C & a Neve 32087 on the way. It's nice to have choices but if I had to live with one for a while it would still be the 432C.

Another thought may be to compare the price of the 430 you're looking to buy with a Knif Soma... If the Soma is a fair amount cheaper it may be worth considering that instead. But try before you buy..     
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livingstone

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011, 03:28:17 am »

Exept that the Soma is 2 channel Matt.
But Jonte could probably work out a custom 4 channel version but it'd be much bigger as the 4U case is already very FULL

i'll report about it when i'll receive mine probably by the end of this month.
i've sold the Etip in the meanwhile , and what i can say is i really miss it !


Dietrich, for the price that sell the W495stb you should keep it  and have the steps modified to 1db ;)
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Ben F

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2011, 09:05:22 pm »

A 4 channel MES430 could be offered to me in the next few weeks. I already know what their asking price would be.....

Need to decide if makes sense for me to sell more or less all of my current EQs to purchase.

Just looking bounce off more brains

There is really nothing like a Sontec 430. I've tried almost every EQ and the Sontec just becomes part of the music more than any other. It is the perfect balance between clean and musical. You only get a couple of chances to buy an original.

Personally I think that you will not need the Focusrite much.

The Sontec/BAX combination is killer, but I still think you need a colour EQ like the Massivo to go with them. So beg, borrow and work your arse off!

BTW Frederic I was soooo close to buying your Etip, but I looked at my family and thought we needed a holiday instead.
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jdg

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2011, 12:12:15 am »

if you get a sontec, what will email each other about!?
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Viitalahde

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2011, 01:11:42 am »

if you get a sontec, what will email each other about!?

Did you just accidentally a word?
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jdg

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2011, 01:30:13 am »

i hope dietrich can read my typing.... i can finally read his
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livingstone

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2011, 04:59:55 am »

There is really nothing like a Sontec 430. I've tried almost every EQ and the Sontec just becomes part of the music more than any other. It is the perfect balance between clean and musical. You only get a couple of chances to buy an original.

Personally I think that you will not need the Focusrite much.

The Sontec/BAX combination is killer, but I still think you need a colour EQ like the Massivo to go with them. So beg, borrow and work your arse off!

BTW Frederic I was soooo close to buying your Etip, but I looked at my family and thought we needed a holiday instead.

Maybe Dave Mc Nair could chime in as he has compared Sontec and Soma side by side.

about the Etip  Family first .... Gears after Ben it's the wise way.
i'm finishing a big studio upgrade before being maried soon !  ;)
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dietrich

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2011, 06:50:52 am »

if you get a sontec, what will email each other about!?
the search is still on for yours. I need to email that other possible source of a 'sort of working' 430.

Still waiting final word on the Sontec. I decision which to keep: BAx vs Massive is the question---- At least one of those+ the 315 has to hit the market
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dietrich

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2011, 09:01:16 am »

Adding to this with question to people with 400 series Sontecs and how much time they have spent on the bench.

another cutting room with a 430 is constantly dealing with the right channel low band on path A going out. This unit would most likely need some time with Mr Muth if I am able to bring it in. Asking price+Muth bench prices=.......
A Soma and Buzz?
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2011, 01:36:10 pm »

OK I'll play.

My 432 has been running nonstop for over 5 years with no issues.

I think I reseated the opamps once and tightened the knobs a couple times.

JT
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24-96 Mastering

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2011, 06:24:13 pm »

In my personal experience with Sontecs I've had a bunch of things go wrong. Nothing that couldn't be fixed, but enough to be a problem if you don't have access to a local tech. That's another thing that makes Sontec a bit of a religion to me. Source of great joy, but it makes you bleed & suffer too...
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Ben F

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2011, 08:42:34 pm »

In my personal experience with Sontecs I've had a bunch of things go wrong. Nothing that couldn't be fixed, but enough to be a problem if you don't have access to a local tech. That's another thing that makes Sontec a bit of a religion to me. Source of great joy, but it makes you bleed & suffer too...

Studio 301 bought a reissue 462 and they have had nothing but problems.

We have a reissue 432 at Sonamax and it's been perfect.

Quality control doesn't appear to be their strength.
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dietrich

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2011, 07:07:09 am »

My awaited MEA2 should arrive in the next week and will be curious my thoughts . but it is not 4 channels
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masteringhouse

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2011, 05:33:18 pm »

Another thought may be to compare the price of the 430 you're looking to buy with a Knif Soma... If the Soma is a fair amount cheaper it may be worth considering that instead. But try before you buy..     

Any further feedback regarding the Soma? This looks like a very interesting EQ!
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mcsnare

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2011, 02:31:48 am »

Maybe Dave Mc Nair could chime in as he has compared Sontec and Soma side by side.

about the Etip  Family first .... Gears after Ben it's the wise way.
i'm finishing a big studio upgrade before being maried soon !  ;)
I did recently have a Soma in my room for a few weeks. It's a really great eq. Very musical. Cleaner than you would expect an all tube L/C circuit. It has a very precise feel to it. The top end is like buttah. The M/S mode is killer. The only thing I would have wanted was one more band. I used it on a few projects, but usually defaulted to the Sontec in my desk.
I also recently bought a very clean 4 channel 430B and have been comparing to the modded 430B that I have been using. The modded one is a hair cleaner and very slightly punchier, but the stock is just so musical. There is a very subtle glue factor to it. So far the stock 430B/NSEQ-2FF is the magic combo. I think I like the totally stock 430B better, but I have been known to change my mind... One thing I am certain of is I like the 430 better than the 432's I've used, not that a 432 is bad! I would probably opt for a Soma over a 432 and deal with one less band.

Dave
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Bonati

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2011, 02:18:04 pm »

Hey Dave - did the 482 ever appeal to you? It seems like you've tried a lot of different Sontecs but never commented on that one.

I've always been slightly confused about the model numbers. Wouldn't the 4 channel you bought be a 434? What is the difference between a 432 and a 430? Do the letters ("B", "C", "D" - was there ever an "A"?) just designate the generation?

And what's with all these 4 channel units flying around anyway? I'm in the market if anyone is letting them go.
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masteringhouse

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2011, 02:40:50 pm »

I did recently have a Soma in my room for a few weeks. It's a really great eq. Very musical. Cleaner than you would expect an all tube L/C circuit. It has a very precise feel to it. The top end is like buttah. The M/S mode is killer. The only thing I would have wanted was one more band. I used it on a few projects, but usually defaulted to the Sontec in my desk.
I also recently bought a very clean 4 channel 430B and have been comparing to the modded 430B that I have been using. The modded one is a hair cleaner and very slightly punchier, but the stock is just so musical. There is a very subtle glue factor to it. So far the stock 430B/NSEQ-2FF is the magic combo. I think I like the totally stock 430B better, but I have been known to change my mind... One thing I am certain of is I like the 430 better than the 432's I've used, not that a 432 is bad! I would probably opt for a Soma over a 432 and deal with one less band.

Dave

Thanks for the info Dave.

I've been looking for an EQ that would compliment the Fearn VT4s I've been using but geared toward tailoring midrange. I've spoken to Doug about this but he's a bit too busy to take it on. This one seems like the ticket.
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phonon

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2011, 07:05:10 pm »

Hey Dave - did the 482 ever appeal to you? It seems like you've tried a lot of different Sontecs but never commented on that one.

I've always been slightly confused about the model numbers. Wouldn't the 4 channel you bought be a 434? What is the difference between a 432 and a 430? Do the letters ("B", "C", "D" - was there ever an "A"?) just designate the generation?

Hi Josh.   I can answer some of this for Dave M.

I believe that the letters are for the operational amplifier generation.  There were ITI op amps in the first MES units, then HS-1000, then HS-2000, and now a new(?) HS-2000....  Something like that.

(The old ITI and HS-1000 op amps that have been left on for 15-20 years won't be as fast or transparent in sound as the new models, or ones that might have been kept cool for most of their lives.  The theory is that the distinct junction between the N-type and P-type semiconductors gets vague over time, imparting a warmth that borders on near-, to actual-, coloration.   Some feel it's a veil.  Others feel it's a mystical sheen.  Ymmv, as well as that of various input program.)


The model number designation had not been decided on when the 430 came out.   Otherwise, it _would_ have been a 434.   The first number corresponds to the rack unit height (i.e., 4U).   The second number corresponds to the number of bands parametric (except for the 48x).  The last number signifies the number of channels (except for the vintage 430's, which would be 4-channel (obviously, primarily for disc mastering, with advance signaling)).

The 482 is marketed as an 8-band Sontec because the shelves have 12 selectable corner freqs.  The corners are so plentiful that it upgrades the shelves to "band" status.  (; 

The eq's that don't have switches, of course, use pots.  So, they are called, "MEP," for "mastering equalizer, with pots."   The MES is a "mastering equalizer, with switches."    Shallco and Elma make their switches.  Ag  contacts are used because the surface layer of Au can vaporize under the right malfunctioning signal condition.   :o

Burgess is a stand-up guy who is trying to make something fabulous that will appreciate in value over time.   His knowledge is vast and his ingenuity is still burgeoning.  The Holy Grail is the Sontec DUO, that has selectable ITI or Sontec op amps on demand.  This is still being developed, but they have recently made strides in getting some parts that had previously been made out of unobtanium.  The faceplate manufacturer is now retrained.  Burgess' own assistants are presently military-trained assemblers.  His overhead is fixed and reasonable.   So, although we live in a real world, with practical concerns all around, I think he has just begun to make his mark, all over again.  If you are thinking about a new Sontec, you will need some cash and to be patient.  But good things come to those who can wait... 





And what's with all these 4 channel units flying around anyway? I'm in the market if anyone is letting them go.

Yeah, what up with that?  A cutter's dream eq.  And, like the oldies, all the new ones also come with optical switching for bypass.   So, you can unbypass during a song, or set up a B path, with two MES-434's, and be able to process with analog eq on load-out to a previewing lathe, with custom eq for each song.   And with no clicks when (de-)invoking. 


Andrew
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Bonati

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2011, 10:51:08 pm »

Thanks Andrew - kick-ass post! One of those posts I copy & paste into a .txt doc for safe keeping. I didn't know that the DUO had never been released. I wonder if it might be slightly maddening to have to choose between the ITI/Sontec sounds everyday. Too many choices - I might fiddle around too much. I catch myself using Weiss gear like that sometimes. My eye is on the 4 channel unit or the 482. I'd probably try to order an extra faceplate for the 482 - I heard they "sink" pretty quick.
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dietrich

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2011, 09:01:30 am »

4 channel for me will be most useful really only when cutting a track side of a lacquer.
I think the 'option' of the extra channels is enticing
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Ed Littman

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2011, 09:21:18 am »

Thanks Andrew - kick-ass post! One of those posts I copy & paste into a .txt doc for safe keeping. I didn't know that the DUO had never been released. I wonder if it might be slightly maddening to have to choose between the ITI/Sontec sounds everyday. Too many choices - I might fiddle around too much. I catch myself using Weiss gear like that sometimes. My eye is on the 4 channel unit or the 482. I'd probably try to order an extra faceplate for the 482 - I heard they "sink" pretty quick.

Burgess was open to designing the duo so you can switch the ITI/Sontec cards per channel for more choices in m/s mode. add that to your maddness :o

Ed

24-96 Mastering

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2011, 05:47:24 am »

Thanks Andrew - kick-ass post! One of those posts I copy & paste into a .txt doc for safe keeping. I didn't know that the DUO had never been released. I wonder if it might be slightly maddening to have to choose between the ITI/Sontec sounds everyday. Too many choices - I might fiddle around too much. I catch myself using Weiss gear like that sometimes. My eye is on the 4 channel unit or the 482. I'd probably try to order an extra faceplate for the 482 - I heard they "sink" pretty quick.

Actually, at least on my 482/462, the faceplate is supported by the chassis lid, so there's no sag if you keep the lid on.
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phonon

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Re: The Almighty Sontec MES430 in reach....
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2011, 07:19:45 am »

And here I thought Josh was talking about the ITI recording console which did sink... to the bottom of a river when the studio built on a barge sank with all its other gear.

The new faceplates, including for the 48x series, are solid as an iron skillet, and the beautiful embossed legends will grace any rack space.

Wait 'til you hear about the new controls he's working on.  The Grail is ultimately a moving target, receding into the mists with developing technologies.

On the other hand, the original 430 which Dietrich is curious about, already happens to have M/S (ITI/Sontec "C")  DUO capability, since it was upgraded, years ago, with "C" series op amps for the program path, keeping the original ITI op amps in the preview path.  A repatching can, of course, then apply the Left Program and Left Preview as Left Program and Right Program, respectively.  The 2-channel DUO, however, using today's boards, is still a work in progress.   And the 482 can't be used for M/S eq, since, like the 462, the left and right are ganged on each switch.

Andrew
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