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Author Topic: New Sontec  (Read 24758 times)

phonon

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New Sontec
« on: August 31, 2011, 07:56:22 am »

We are pleased to announce that we have just received a beautiful, new Sontec from ITI Audio.  It really delivers.  The new ones, even with the HS-2030 op amps, are the real deal.  I told Burgess that is sounds like a general purpose audio "betterizer."  Even at Unity Gain, the eq seems to make most program sound a little richer, more 3D, and more (transformerless) triode-like - but the effect is subtle and tasteful.  I have yet to find program that sounds better with it in bypass...   

Although this Sontec has that betterizing effect, it is also, curiously, the most transparent analog eq I've ever taken out of bypass.  Usually, even with GML 9500 or Prism MEA-2, I'd find myself doing some knob adjusting just to get back to the sound of when the eq was in bypass, so that I could proceed to any deliberate changes from there.  Not so, with the Sontec.  Taken out of bypass, one scarcely hears a change in balance (no brightening effect).  But the musical richness of tone does take over.  It's a bit creamier.  But quite naturally so.  Like you played the same performance, through the same mics, only on a better violin. 

The model I ordered is the MES-482D7.   This is a 4 RU, 8-band (in the form of 6 parametrics and 2 (12-freq) shelves) eq, with +/- 7 dB gain.   The first two clicks to the right or left are only 1/4 dB changes!  Then it goes to 1/2 dB and, finally, 1 dB steps.   In order to fit all the bands in a 4 RU chassis, each switch is ganged for left and right.  This means no M/S processing with it, but I only need to use one hand to dial in a setting.   And the channel matching is absolutely perfect, as evidenced on the 'scope (using a 10 kHz square wave), as well as on SpectraFoo (fed by a Lavry AD122MKIII).   The noise floor, when taken out of bypass, shows a few harmonics of the line, depending on how the chain is set up.   But this is because I ordered this Sontec with unbalanced inputs.  (The outputs of Sontecs are always unbalanced, unless specially ordered).   Also, those sidebands are down at -110 to -116 dBm, depending on the chain, and is, therefore, inaudible.   :-X

The eq operation is the best I've heard, hands down.  Usually, if I cut a low area (with a different eq), the high mids become more apparent.  I had attributed this to "unmasking," previously.  Now, I'm thinking it was just interaction.  This eq keeps the high mids full-bodied, even if I make the low mids lean.  Same with cutting highs.  The lows don't become dark.  They stay right where I put them.  This is a very good design - one I've sort of dreamed of having, since I began premastering, but was reaching for, as if at straws, previously. 


Burgess and Carolyn Macneal (his wife is a professional piano tuner and assembler at ITI) drove to Cincinnati to deliver the eq in person.  Actually, Mrs. Macneal dropped him off, since she knew her husband and I were going to talk about little other than electronics.   While he was here, I took him to see the new Scully (The Lathe) that's in the cutting room, here (still being set up, with help from Len Horrowitz, my landlord (Jim Bosken), Paul Gold, and Dietrich Schoenemann).   I also took Burgess next door, to QCA, to see their cool mastering room that still has the first Sontec MES equalizer (4-channel MES-430, serial number 101).   It even has ITI op amps in the advance path, while having been updated with Sontec op amps in the program path. 

If you are thinking about adding an analog eq, or replacing one, I strongly suggest you consider a (new) Sontec.   




Andrew
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livingstone

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2011, 08:10:06 am »

Congrats Andrew !!!
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bblackwood

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2011, 08:47:41 am »

Very nice, congrats and welcome to the 'club'!

You're going to love that box.
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Brad Blackwood
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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2011, 08:48:14 am »

If you are thinking about adding an analog eq, or replacing one, I strongly suggest you consider a (new) Sontec.   

That all sounds great, Andrew, thanks for posting.

The sorts of things you describe in the way the EQ works seem right up my street. I tried without success to get a review 'newie' sent over some time back (it wasn't refused, BTW, just not answered) - now the excitement has died down a little I might try again.
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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2011, 10:07:27 am »

Thanks Andrew for post,and picture of Burgess,make my day,my be even the week!!.
I'm more a instrument restorer than a ME,great to see state of art proaudio gear still alive and for real.

Luca
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josh00101

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2011, 10:46:02 am »

HI Andrew, Love the post! Do you feel that the sound of the eq "D Series" has improved from previous versions?  Compared to a 430(IC's in the tuning) or is it similar to the 432/C (without IC's in the tuning) ?

Josh
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Waltz Mastering

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2011, 01:59:24 pm »

Hi Andrew, Congrats.  Would you mind sharing the price for that beast.. if not it's understood.

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2011, 04:31:55 pm »

Absolutely amazing "sounding" (I mean from your description, never heard one in real life...) I'd also like to ask, if it's not too crass, about how much she set you back?

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2011, 04:32:42 pm »

Very nice, congrats and welcome to the 'club'!
Hey -- I thought you left the club.

Congrats, btw, Andrew.  That qualifies for EQ envy.

-Dave
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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2011, 04:33:38 pm »

Hey -- I thought you left the club.
Nope, had two, sold one. Have one on long term loan to a friend - still a Sontec owner...
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Brad Blackwood
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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2011, 05:41:05 pm »

Nice box Andrew. That's a lot of EQ. Got a permit for that?
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Paul Gold
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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2011, 06:17:35 pm »

Congrats Andrew, sounds like one-sexy-Sontec!

and welcome to the club indeed.

JT
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phonon

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2011, 06:42:23 pm »

Funny Paul!   I do have a State of Ohio vendor's license.  But the eq is being used without a permit...

Thanks, also, Brad, and Jerry, for club spirit.  I realize I'm a little late to the party, but maybe it's just beginning, now that Burgess has his second wind (or third???).   

Gregg, Tom, when I ordered this 8-band eq, it was 11.8k USD.   Thankfully, only 50% is required to begin construction.  The 432 is somewhat less expensive, since it is really a 6 band (with 2, simple shelves).   But Sontecs actually tend to increase in value, or at least hold their own, if you sell them many years later.   I bought this eq so that I wouldn't want to buy/upgrade to yet another one.  I'm hoping to make it a lasting addition to the console.   I have seen a few more expensive eq's, but none that I couldn't live without.  This one is just right.  Plays great with the other gear.  Feels good - the switches are solid and reassuring. 

Josh, I should imagine that the D's are more like the C's than the B's or "A."  However, each is somewhat different.  Burgess feels that the sound of the older ones is largely due to component ageing.  When the transistors are still "al dente," they are faster and less "warm" than when they have cooked for a decade or more.   I like this one's sound, already. 

It does take a while to build these.  He doesn't keep them stocked.  But it's well worth the wait.  And each time you talk to Burgess you learn many things electrical.  He even helped me with some unrelated gear issues I was having.   

Burgess was a lacquer cutter until ITI began doing stereo mastering.  Then he moved into equipment design, like eq's, mic pres, and other console circuits.  As you may know, already, Burgess explains that he and George Massenberg came up with the original parametric eq concepts for ITI, who didn't think it merited patenting.  Burgess came up with the name, even, and George came up with the key circuit, which he wrote down on a piece of paper one night and left stabbed to the door of their office.   They went to the same High School and worked together at ITI before it went out of business.  Then Burgess bought a bunch of their old schematics and a bunch of components from the auction and the rest is history. 

I am now trying to get him to make a simple cutter's eq (HP/LP, only) in a 4-channel 1 RU box.  If we can make it work, I think he'll have a niche for it, since many people would like to get the sound of his amps without having to buy the whole nine yards.  Le Must de Sontec?

My eqs, right now, are: Sontec, Massivo, SonicStudio HD, and, on rare occasion, Sonoris LP.    I upgraded the transfer DAC, in honor of the Sontec, to a Weiss DAC-1 MKII.   Love that DAC, btw - especially for thrill~listening. (;   However, for processing jobs, I'm still mostly monitoring with the Lavry Blues and find them quite adequate to resolve the analog chain's nuances.   Not as rarified, certainly, as Paul's Prism Dream DA, but, still, "pret-ty good." 

Andrew
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Gold

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2011, 06:53:58 pm »

I am now trying to get him to make a simple cutter's eq in a 4-channel 1 RU box.  If we can make it work, I think he'll have a niche for it, since many people would like to get the sound of his amps without having to buy the whole nine yards.  Le Must de Sontec?

Cool. What do you have in mind?

Quote
Not as rarified, certainly, as Paul's Prism Dream DA, but, still, "pret-ty good." 

I bought a second DA2 for monitoring but I'm still using the Blue. I haven't had a chance to put it in. I've been doing other stuff. I think I'll have a chance to stuff your EE board this weekend. I've been going crazy with the machine shop tools. They're more fun to play with than a new DA. The front panel will look home brew sweet.
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Paul Gold
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phonon

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2011, 07:16:51 pm »

Cool. What do you have in mind?

Still figuring out the corners for the HPF.  The low pass is probably going to be 15k, 16k, 17k, 18k, and 19k and off.  2nd order, Butterworth. 


Quote from: Gold
I bought a second DA2 for monitoring but I'm still using the Blue. I haven't had a chance to put it in. I've been doing other stuff. I think I'll have a chance to stuff your EE board this weekend. I've been going crazy with the machine shop tools. They're more fun to play with than a new DA. The front panel will look home brew sweet.


Am super-psyched about the Gold EE.   Have been trying to get that room up to speed.  The machine shop down the street fixed the focus rack, nicely.  Salvaged an old-school video cable from an eBay Trinicon camera and now the videoscope is working.  Still restoring the Ortofon drive package, but it might only need a transistor, now.   (photo, below, is of unmodulated grooves)  Got a Par-Metal chassis, arrived yesterday, that needs some XLR holes punched.  Waiting on the kill switch and new Shallco attenuators for the console.  Gotta get a preview machine, one day... 



Andrew
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Ben F

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2011, 08:08:15 pm »

Love that big Sontec logo! Looks like a better paint job (and hopefully better construction) than the last 482 reissue I have used.
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Gold

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2011, 01:17:33 pm »

Still figuring out the corners for the HPF.  The low pass is probably going to be 15k, 16k, 17k, 18k, and 19k and off.  2nd order, Butterworth. 

Those wouldn't be my choices. I'd start much lower. The last three will be pretty much useless. Records for all practical purposes go to 15k. It's a dirty little secret. I have an idea for an elaborate filter set for cutting. It's the project for "after the console is finished".
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Paul Gold
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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2011, 01:26:06 pm »

. I have an idea for an elaborate filter set for cutting. It's the project for "after the console is finished".
4 channel with the EE same box.
would it be 'Salt' or 'Gold'?
I can see a nice white ivory faceplate
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Gold

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2011, 01:37:42 pm »

4 channel with the EE same box.
would it be 'Salt' or 'Gold'?
I can see a nice white ivory faceplate

The filter set will incorporate the function of the EE but not say EE on it. Not at all similar to the Neumann EE77 circuit that i'm using for this.

The EE I'm making for Andrew is unbranded. Roger Foote did the layout and hard work. I can make a few here and there but I can't go into the vastly lucrative EE manufacturing business.
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Paul Gold
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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2011, 08:17:04 pm »

Congrats on your 482! If you haven't already, try a boost on the highest parametric band, at 25k, with medium Q, for a presence boost :)
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livingstone

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2011, 03:17:27 am »

Andrew, you'd almost made me consider to trade my blue 315 and ear 825 for some simplicity  ;)
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phonon

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2011, 07:33:25 am »

Love that big Sontec logo! Looks like a better paint job (and hopefully better construction) than the last 482 reissue I have used.


Hi Ben, Looks good and feels good.  And, it's not just paint; it's embossed.  Stevie Wonder could "read" it.   


Andrew
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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2011, 07:49:49 am »

Congrats Andrew...it looks great and must sound even better. When I have enough to spend on analog hardware a Sontec MES EQ will be at the top of my list as today I am all digital.

I would love you hear your experiences and joy when working with your new Sontec... ;D

Take care,
Mike
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phonon

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2011, 07:55:59 am »

Those wouldn't be my choices. I'd start much lower. The last three will be pretty much useless. Records for all practical purposes go to 15k. It's a dirty little secret. I have an idea for an elaborate filter set for cutting. It's the project for "after the console is finished".


That's interesting, Paul.  I'm not stuck with those numbers.  It's still in the droughting phase (pour another cold one, while we scribble stuff down).   
For what it's worth, the premastering processing is going to be in a different room, here, that has better acoustics. 
I am only going to be applying compatibility and protection processing in the mastering room.
My hope is that I can find settings on the low pass filter that are largely inaudible or have minimal impact on the program, but will be able to keep the heat down on the drive coils.  (Also working on getting this drive coil current - side chain Ortofon STL-732 added to the console that my landlord still has from his mastering days.)

The heads I have are ruler flat to 20k and 25k, respectively.  These are the Ortofon DSS732 and DSS731 models. 
The latter was designed to do quad-channel recording and is down 5 dB by 40kHz.   With 10 dB of motional feedback applied to the DSS732, the 70.7% corner is up to about 26 kHz.  Perhaps this is the Achilles heel of the Ortofon?  Too much hi fi for such a light-weight package?   :'(
Burgess noticed that the stereo Orto head is no larger in size than the old mono one he used to cut with. 
I've read that your SX-74 should be flat to within +/- 2B up to around 24 kHz.  If this is true, then I should have thought that a low pass filter which is -3 dB @ 19 kHz, would be ideal at keeping the music as sparkly as possible, while protecting the epoxy in that SX.   

Did you read about Stan Ricker taking apart his 68, with a fried right coil and mating the good half with a friend's 68 that had a fried left coil and got the good parts to work together per spec?

Andrew
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phonon

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2011, 08:08:43 am »

Congrats on your 482! If you haven't already, try a boost on the highest parametric band, at 25k, with medium Q, for a presence boost :)

Actually, my mastering guru, Dave Davis, already hipped me to that setting a couple of years ago, since he has been working with a 430 for the last couple of decades.   
Was the first thing I tried, and it really opens the windows on some ffrresh air.  Got to apply some to a 30 ips 1/2-track master the other day.  But I only boosted by 0.25 dB.  The Q was "6."    Glad to have the Dunlavy speakers that Dave also recommended (about 12 years ago) so that I could hear the details of that subtle tweak.
Interestingly, or not, Dave is not a die-hard analog fan.  But when it comes to analog parametrics, he seemed to like the Sontec.   
Everything the guy likes - from Mytek to Sontec,  Studer, and Weiss, I've agreed with, whole hog.     

Andrew
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Gold

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2011, 11:41:03 am »

I've been trying to avoid giving a snarky answer but you should really do some cutting before designing stuff for cutting. You have not considered the playback side of the equation. It's no problem getting that stuff on the disk. Getting it off the disk is another matter.
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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2011, 11:44:10 am »

Did you read about Stan Ricker taking apart his 68, with a fried right coil and mating the good half with a friend's 68 that had a fried left coil and got the good parts to work together per spec?

No, but that's as easy a repair as you could hope for. Most are not that easy. There are not adjustments in a rebuild. Either everything is right and fits and works or it doesn't. The Westrex is easier to fix but has to be tweaked to get it right.
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Paul Gold
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phonon

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2011, 01:00:44 pm »

I've been trying to avoid giving a snarky answer but you should really do some cutting before designing stuff for cutting. You have not considered the playback side of the equation. It's no problem getting that stuff on the disk. Getting it off the disk is another matter.

Right on.   It's well past snark week.  (:    I'll take some free lessons, though.
I know that pickups need to trace the wiggles and that fast and furious is no good for tracing. 
However, one of the veteran cutters I've been consulting with confessed not to use any low pass filtering on most cuts he did (70's-80's), since he didn't like what it did to the highs, although he did use the Neumann acceleration limiter (and sometimes the Ortofon STL) and also cut at reasonable levels - mostly full sides.   
(I was surprised to read that video can be cut to disc, if the grooves are small enough.) 
 
For fun, I just checked that RCA New Orthophonic Test Record, and, supporting your remark, (going from the top the the bottom) it only starts up at 15k.  Also, the 11k-15k tones are cut 6 dB lower than the second band of test tones (from 30 cps to 10k).
It mentions not wanting the playback needle to go for a skate.

On the other hand, when I look at Cat Stevens's Teaser and the Firecat, or Bob Welsch's French Kiss, there is good meat all the way to 21k, where the ADC chops off the feed to the Spectrum Analyzer.
The energy is a gradual slope down, if compared to white noise, from 2k, on up.   But I didn't see / hear any deliberate knee, along that slope, and when he sings, "Scentimental Lady...," the "S" is right up there with the rest of the spectrum.   Maybe they used a first order pass at 10k and no acceleration limiter???

Here's one for you Black Sabbath fans, if an LP plays for 20 minutes, how many times has the table turned?    8)


Andrew
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phonon

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2011, 01:04:54 pm »

No, but that's as easy a repair as you could hope for. Most are not that easy. There are not adjustments in a rebuild. Either everything is right and fits and works or it doesn't. The Westrex is easier to fix but has to be tweaked to get it right.

I don't know if two heads are better than one, but two bad heads can be as good as one good one...

In the article, he didn't seem to know about ABG in NYC.  He said that he'd otherwise have had to ship the head to Germany. 

He did say he liked to use the Orto head with a Pass Aleph0.


Andrew
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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2011, 01:12:47 pm »

Hearsay is not admissible in court. Great sounding records, sound great. No argument there. Those records were made by people who knew what they were doing. If you are prepping all the masters then you can make sure everything is okay. If you plan on taking in "flat cuts" then you will need to fix things. Big non white glove things.
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phonon

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2011, 03:36:32 pm »

Props to Dr. SALT.  Still gotta get up to see that 1" 2-track.    Speaking of which, I wanted to add that the veteran cutter I was
talking to who didn't use much if any low pass was pitching from tape, back then, - not a DAC.   Same for Cat and Bob Welsh cuts, of course. 
There's gotta be some free de-celeration built into a tape recorded chain, compared to a digital capture, in addition to the good eqing those pros got?

Also, he did use a Sontec! Which means he had access to shelves and bells in the cutting room.  I have no room for a Sontec in the SP console.  I have no room for even a 1 RU EEq in the Plan A.
 It's a 2-knife job.  Reminds me of Screen Actors Guild membership.  Can't cut signals without protective eq.   Can't build good protection until you cut just-good records.  Safe records: bad.  Risky but playable records: double plus good.


By the way, how much time/cost/sweat equity would it take to turn a 1/4" A80 2-track into a preview version?

Yes, I will do no "flat cuts" that aren't auditioned and examined from tip to toe.  Even Ricker says not to skip around previewing the material - but to
 look for any spikes in treble across the entire continuously examined tape/hd master.   We in premastering are used to this type of rigor.   
Only I was thinking I wouldn't need to learn anything for mastering, since I'd only have to scratch the surface of this particular Art.  (;



Andrew
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Gold

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2011, 04:34:54 pm »

By the way, how much time/cost/sweat equity would it take to turn a 1/4" A80 2-track into a preview version?

Technically it's easy. Practically it's impossible. You would just have to cut a hole in the deck cover to accommodate the preview head stack and plug it in. Finding a preview headstack or having one made would be impractical.

** I have never done it and I don't know whether the holes actually line up or there are other gotchyas
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Paul Gold
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aleatoric

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2011, 10:54:18 pm »

You bought my dream EQ!  Loving my MEP250EX but one day I hope to own a MES-482D7.  1/4dB steps for the first two clicks is amazing.  Enjoy!
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David Green

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Re: Sontec MES-432D9 arrived yesterday
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2011, 03:33:35 pm »

Sontec MES-432D9 arrived yesterday faster than expected. Front panel beautiful, Quiet, Sounds great.  I owned several Sontecs before (Including a 432/C9) and I could not be happier with this new one. 

I Called Burgess about 2 weeks ago and he said he can deliver in 2 1/2 weeks and I received it in under that. He was amazing to talk with and extremely generous with his time.
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bblackwood

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2011, 03:47:53 pm »

Very nice, David - congrats!
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Brad Blackwood
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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2011, 04:40:54 pm »

How does the new sontec sound in direct comparison with the Buzz?
I see you have a req 2.2 below and I have one coming on tuesday, just curious as not many folks
have both side by side.
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phonon

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2011, 04:43:31 pm »

Gorgeous, David. 



Andrew


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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2011, 04:56:30 pm »

Andrew, do you mind me asking what the turnaround time was for your unit?  Did it ship with a backup opamp?
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David Green

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #38 on: September 03, 2011, 05:39:49 pm »

How does the new sontec sound in direct comparison with the Buzz?

Very different.
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Table Of Tone

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Re: Sontec MES-432D9 arrived yesterday
« Reply #39 on: September 03, 2011, 06:18:02 pm »

Sontec MES-432D9 arrived yesterday faster than expected. Front panel beautiful, Quiet, Sounds great.  I owned several Sontecs before (Including a 432/C9) and I could not be happier with this new one. 

I Called Burgess about 2 weeks ago and he said he can deliver in 2 1/2 weeks and I received it in under that. He was amazing to talk with and extremely generous with his time.
How much did it cost, if you don't mind me asking?
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josh00101

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #40 on: September 03, 2011, 06:33:37 pm »

Thank you for the information. Been hearing a lot of great things about the new Sontecs.
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Michael Hynes

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #41 on: September 03, 2011, 08:34:33 pm »

Very different.

Could you be more specific?
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Alécio Costa - Brazil

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2011, 01:48:20 am »

Congrats, Andrew!
BTW.. I see you have 2 main analog equalizers.
Are both running at stereo mode or one unit is dedicated for M-S tasks?
Or do you prefer to do any M-S ITB before/after the analog loop?

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Alécio Costa Studio
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phonon

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #43 on: September 05, 2011, 08:04:28 am »

Andrew, do you mind me asking what the turnaround time was for your unit?  Did it ship with a backup opamp?
My unit took longer than anyone's else in Sontec history, so it's not really a good anecdote to go by. 
Let's just say, Barack Obama was already President when I ordered the unit.  (:   
The faceplate manufacturer had to train a new fabricator.  The circuit, which was for the first ever +/- 7 dB 482 unit had to be tweaked.  Etc... 
I knew going in that it would take some time to get the one I wanted.   It was a near-epic wait.  However, I'd order one all over again, if I only had the Rubles...
One good thing is I only had to put down half the money before it was delivered. 
So, the price isn't really as harsh on the wallet (in one go) as it would be to fork over all at once...  The longer it takes, the less the dollar's worth! (;

Don't order a Sontec if you need one on your desk by yesterday.  They build these models by hand, in batches of no more than about 4 or 6 at a time.  No eq's are stocked.  Components are not stockpiled, either.   


Andrew 
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phonon

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2011, 08:25:51 am »

Congrats, Andrew!
BTW.. I see you have 2 main analog equalizers.
Are both running at stereo mode or one unit is dedicated for M-S tasks?
Or do you prefer to do any M-S ITB before/after the analog loop?

Hi Alécio,
     I actually do very little L+R/L-R processing.   Sometimes, ITB before the analog gear, sometimes, after.  But I almost always have  the analog eq's running in L/R mode.
     I tend to think of M/S as a broad stroke and, as such, feel that good plugins can handle this just fine, especially considering the headroom and matrixing issues involved.  How is your mileage with it?

Andrew
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Ben F

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Re: Sontec MES-432D9 arrived yesterday
« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2011, 08:23:48 pm »

Sontec MES-432D9 arrived yesterday faster than expected. Front panel beautiful, Quiet, Sounds great.  I owned several Sontecs before (Including a 432/C9) and I could not be happier with this new one. 

I Called Burgess about 2 weeks ago and he said he can deliver in 2 1/2 weeks and I received it in under that. He was amazing to talk with and extremely generous with his time.

I notice the high frequency shelf switches have been moved to above the HF boost/cut dial. Looks really good there. Best HF shelf in the business!
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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #46 on: October 18, 2011, 11:52:38 pm »

Hey Andrew - it's been a bit since your last update. Any new Sontec insights recently? How much faster are you finding you can dial in the right setting with this EQ?
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phonon

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Re: New Sontec
« Reply #47 on: October 19, 2011, 07:13:24 am »

The 482 is doing great, Josh.   Having all those frequencies makes it easy to find places to bite down on a mix and be able to change the character favorably with only 1/4 dB cut or boost.   Also, I was never much of a shelver before working with the Sontec.    Now, it's a go-to solution, on its own, or with a bell.  It's a great tool and I've had only positive reviews from my clients since adding it to the chain.   In fact, I had a guy in Europe call who had me transfer files just so he could hear the eq, which he was considering adding to his chain.   At first, he didn't like the results, complaining about a harshness in the upper mids.   I wasn't  really bothered by what he was saying and figured that he just didn't like the Sontec for some reason - there are those who don't like it, or think they don't, for whatever reason.  So, then he calls back and explains that after he had a chance to listen to the flat transfers I had also sent, which completely bypassed the Sontec ins/outs, he realized that the sound he didn't like was my D/A/D chain!   But by listening again to what the Sontec was doing to that signal, he determined that he did like the eq and has ordered an identical unit (482D7) for his studio.   All's I had was a Weiss DAC and an AD122!   This guy was from Copenhagen and _only_ likes Digital Audio Denmark converters....   So...   The 8-band stays.  Also, just added a Weiss EQ-1 MKII and an SFC-2, so I'm not running an analog-only room.    The 1x sources go to the SFC-2 for upsample to 96k and then to the EQ-1 for M/S and then the DAC-1, still at 96k, for D/A to Massivo and/or Sontec.   I am in eq heaven.   What I can't achieve with these three, I don't need to achieve!   ;)


- Andrew
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