R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2 3  All   Go Down

Author Topic: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules  (Read 17217 times)

JGauthier

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 136
Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« on: September 04, 2008, 08:21:06 pm »

I thought I would do a short review on my quad eight MM61 pre/eq modules. Mine are mixed with am-3 and am-4 opamps so techincally they are like MM71s (am-4) and MM61s (am-3) had a baby! They came from the Wally Heider board in San Francisco.

Eq points (2 bands) with +12/-12 of gain:
high 1.5, 3, 5 and 10
low 40, 100

About 71db of gain in the pre

Gliss faders with cherry red knobs. Strips are chocolate brown.

Interestingly enough one of them has all am-3s and the other is mixed. BEFORE I opened them up to see which was which and what was inside, I decided I liked the channel 2, turned out with the AM-3s, better. They were both fully serviced so aging parts play less of a role.

The channel with am-3s has a grittier tone than the other, which I really like. Its subtle but there for sure. Again it could be something other than the opamps but thats the only specific difference between the two channels. And if the EQ is not inline, I still hear it so its not the eqs. Using them as a stereo pair is no problem- they sound great even with a minor difference.

The preamps are thick and round on the bottom ( not as tight as 1073s ) and smooth and slightly dark on top. The EQ is where the overall preamp sound really jumps for me. Push them and push them hard. They bring out the mid and top with a sweetness and natural tone. I really came to the conclusion of "natural" after tracking and reamping enough drum overheads to just fall in love. I like the low eq for 2 db of reduction but push the highs 4db at 5k standard- and I never push 4dbs during tracking... I do now. Sometimes they are a little wide in the Q and a second refining eq is needed.

I have never heard a hihat close with a more beautifull "natural" tone. Takes the edge off but retains a thick tonality. They are undoubtedly the goto for OH mics! Ive also really liked them on vox, acoustic (especially) and electric guitar, and occasionally bass. I haven't had the chance to use them on anything orchestral but bet they would shine on brass and woodwinds!

I did have the outputs balanced with Jensen transformers so Im adding to the mojo but they just kill me time and time again. The other thing I use them for is mastering. They are awesome color pres though I chase them with the GML 8200 to open up the top again. I also boost that magic 5k freq in masters as well. The mm61s to the bus comp to the GML seems to work very well to "undigitize" itb recordings. I even used them to repair a bad master on some old tapes from the 80s where the ME ruined the mixes by over scooping and killing the bottom end. Out of Capitol records surprisingly enough!

Let me say though, I do not call myself a mastering engineer but clients often insist on it since I can get pretty nice results and I get more work than I ever expected mastering tracks. The MM61 being a part of this for sure.

I'd love to hear from other Quad Eight folks! Especially with some of the other models- plus sphere and e-dyne too!

Im probably a little quad eight crazy right now waiting for my 712 master bus eq to get here! And be sure Ill have to write a review of that as well once I get a chance to run it through the paces!
Logged

Brian Kehew

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2914
Re: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2008, 09:21:34 pm »

Quad Eight have always been of excellent quality - I even think the Westrex era was not too bad. Happy they are finally getting more attention. Same as guitars, which were once only "Gibson and Fender" and consoles were only "API and Neve"...
Logged
Relax and float downstream...

bigaudioblowhard

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1314
Re: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2008, 03:36:43 am »

Brain, what do you mean Westrex? I thought Westrex was UK built Western Electric stuff?

I heard George Massenburg  loved MM61, did he do Linda Rondstadt at Capiol A on em? Sorry, I should know this.

bab

NelsonL

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1233
Re: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2008, 06:14:46 am »

I have a pair of AM10 based QE pres that are excellent. I believe they're essentially  the Pacifica pre.  Lots of headroom with a certain amount of character that never gets in the way.
Logged

Galil

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 122
Re: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2008, 12:04:00 pm »

I think that Brian meant Westar, which was a Misubishi era Quad Eight.

Galil
Logged

Steve Hudson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1013
Re: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2008, 03:46:47 pm »

NelsonL wrote on Fri, 05 September 2008 05:14

I have a pair of AM10 based QE pres that are excellent. I believe they're essentially  the Pacifica pre.  Lots of headroom with a certain amount of character that never gets in the way.


According to Peter Montessi at A-Designs, their P-1 500 form factor preamp is closer in tone to an original QE preamp. Their Pacifica preamp has an extended high end. I bought a pair of P-1s to do overdubs of sessions I tracked on a QE Coronado and compared the P-1 tracks with overdubs using A-Designs' Pacifica preamps and confirmed Peter's guidance. FWIW I think they're both great preamps.
Logged
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.  There's also a negative side."

- Hunter S. Thompson should have said this, but didn't

http://www.myspace.com/steventoddhudson

Brian Kehew

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2914
Re: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2008, 04:28:54 pm »

Galil wrote on Fri, 05 September 2008 08:04

I think that Brian meant Westar, which was a Misubishi era Quad Eight.

Galil


Exactly! Thanks.
Logged
Relax and float downstream...

Brian Kehew

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2914
Re: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2008, 04:32:30 pm »

Steve Hudson wrote on Fri, 05 September 2008 11:46

NelsonL wrote on Fri, 05 September 2008 05:14

I have a pair of AM10 based QE pres that are excellent. I believe they're essentially  the Pacifica pre.  Lots of headroom with a certain amount of character that never gets in the way.


According to Peter Montessi at A-Designs, their P-1 500 form factor preamp is closer in tone to an original QE preamp. Their Pacifica preamp has an extended high end. I bought a pair of P-1s to do overdubs of sessions I tracked on a QE Coronado and compared the P-1 tracks with overdubs using A-Designs' Pacifica preamps and confirmed Peter's guidance. FWIW I think they're both great preamps.


It's confusing to me then, as he used the name "Pacifica" which IS the name of a famous "Coronado-era" console (circa 1978-79). However, the Coronado consoles do not sound as good as the Pacificas, due to the (dBX?) VCA gain stage in the group fader automation. It's not a huge difference, but the preamps are the same AM10 in the two consoles, yet the Pacifica console has less "stuff to run through on each channel. I thought Peter's design WAS based on the Pacifica AM10 preamp? Is it not... then why use the name?
Logged
Relax and float downstream...

Steve Hudson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1013
Re: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2008, 05:02:34 pm »

Brian Kehew wrote on Fri, 05 September 2008 15:32

Steve Hudson wrote on Fri, 05 September 2008 11:46

NelsonL wrote on Fri, 05 September 2008 05:14

I have a pair of AM10 based QE pres that are excellent. I believe they're essentially  the Pacifica pre.  Lots of headroom with a certain amount of character that never gets in the way.


According to Peter Montessi at A-Designs, their P-1 500 form factor preamp is closer in tone to an original QE preamp. Their Pacifica preamp has an extended high end. I bought a pair of P-1s to do overdubs of sessions I tracked on a QE Coronado and compared the P-1 tracks with overdubs using A-Designs' Pacifica preamps and confirmed Peter's guidance. FWIW I think they're both great preamps.


It's confusing to me then, as he used the name "Pacifica" which IS the name of a famous "Coronado-era" console (circa 1978-79). However, the Coronado consoles do not sound as good as the Pacificas, due to the (dBX?) VCA gain stage in the group fader automation. It's not a huge difference, but the preamps are the same AM10 in the two consoles, yet the Pacifica console has less "stuff to run through on each channel. I thought Peter's design WAS based on the Pacifica AM10 preamp? Is it not... then why use the name?


Perhaps Peter meant that the P-1 would be closer to the Coronado preamp than the Pacifica preamp, though I simply asked him which of his two preamps would be closer to a QE, not knowing at the time I asked him that there were several different QE preamps.
Logged
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.  There's also a negative side."

- Hunter S. Thompson should have said this, but didn't

http://www.myspace.com/steventoddhudson

Brian Kehew

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2914
Re: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2008, 05:13:41 pm »

It may also be that outboard preamps (when pulled OUT of an original console strip) often sound quite cleaner and brighter.

Most people agree the older Q8 designs sound best, but there are also trade off's in features that make a later console quite nice over the early ones.
Logged
Relax and float downstream...

JGauthier

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 136
Re: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2008, 05:22:56 pm »

Brian Kehew wrote on Fri, 05 September 2008 14:13

... but there are also trade off's in features that make a later console quite nice over the early ones.


Thats definitely the truth! The EQ section on the MM61s is extremely limited relatively speaking. I find its not as much of an issue on the top end since Im in love with the 5k range on these and boost it regularly but there will be ZERO correction/surgery with these eqs. Just not possible. Extremely wide sculpting, but it sounds so good... and its my understanding the Q is relative to the boost so I won't complain any time soon!

My 712 master bus EQ showed up today! Ive been running it for hours on everything and having a blast. Its better than I expected- thats going to be a fun review! But Ive got to wait till the honeymoon is over... And I still want to pair it with my 8200 and see what happens, as well as which should go first most of the time.

I will say the 712 is sweeter than the MM61- a little smoother on top. But again, the 5k just kills me on the MM61s!
Logged

Silvertone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1105
Re: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2008, 08:05:38 am »

Scott Benson and I did some of the beta testing for Peter when I had the Pacifica console here at Silvertone. The rack unit that Peter was building was spot on to the original except for the top end. Which we found extended and brighter.

In the end we concluded that it was a great pre but different from the originals. In the end Peter sent Scott a free REDDI for helping and I as usual got nothing!

Those Quad Eight MM61's you are talking about were probably built by Electrodyne. They mixed and matched op-amps all the time in different modules. Kind of like Rupert Neve told me when they'd run out of one part they'd just "use what they could get". He even flew his wife to Texas one time to pick up parts he needed it had gotten that bad.

I will say that I think all the op-amps are so close as to be splitting hairs.. The edyne A1000, A2000, AM3, AM4 and later Quad Eight AM4, AM10 but then Mitsubishi killed it with the AM11.

Anyway I have a whole ton of extra AM4 op-amps should anybody need them, just contact me. As well as many Electrodyne Spare parts.

You probably all know that I don't think this gear is very good or worth too much, so please feel free to contact me and unload it at a reasonable price!

btw The Electrodyne site will be launched soon (everything is scanned) and there will be a lot of information and pictures there of Electrodyne built products including Langevin and Quad Eight!

This gear is still the biggest bargain in audio you will find today!
Logged
Larry DeVivo
Silvertone Mastering, Inc.
PO Box 4582
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
www.silvertonemastering.com
To see some of our work please click on any of the visual trailer montages located at... http://robertetoll.com/  (all music and sound effects were mastered by Silvertone Mastering).

Silvertone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1105
Re: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2008, 12:59:40 pm »

Here's a little Electrodyne and Quad Eight eye candy...

Sixteen Tube 201A mic pres (A&R  Studios 4 in rack), MM310's and MM311's (Bearsville and Warner Brothers)...

index.php/fa/9869/0/
Logged
Larry DeVivo
Silvertone Mastering, Inc.
PO Box 4582
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
www.silvertonemastering.com
To see some of our work please click on any of the visual trailer montages located at... http://robertetoll.com/  (all music and sound effects were mastered by Silvertone Mastering).

Silvertone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1105
Re: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2008, 01:03:01 pm »

Here's a little more...

Melcor AE20's, Edyne 201A's, MM61's (Hollywood Bowl console) and Q8 Am2B compressors (Oral Roberts console). MM100 mic pre's and 10013 and 10002 Reichenbach transformers, LA 602 Lunch Boxes (Capitol Records studio B console)....

index.php/fa/9870/0/
Logged
Larry DeVivo
Silvertone Mastering, Inc.
PO Box 4582
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
www.silvertonemastering.com
To see some of our work please click on any of the visual trailer montages located at... http://robertetoll.com/  (all music and sound effects were mastered by Silvertone Mastering).

NelsonL

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1233
Re: Quad Eight MM61 pre/eq modules
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2008, 06:19:52 am »

Steve Hudson wrote on Fri, 05 September 2008 12:46

NelsonL wrote on Fri, 05 September 2008 05:14

I have a pair of AM10 based QE pres that are excellent. I believe they're essentially  the Pacifica pre.  Lots of headroom with a certain amount of character that never gets in the way.


According to Peter Montessi at A-Designs, their P-1 500 form factor preamp is closer in tone to an original QE preamp. Their Pacifica preamp has an extended high end. I bought a pair of P-1s to do overdubs of sessions I tracked on a QE Coronado and compared the P-1 tracks with overdubs using A-Designs' Pacifica preamps and confirmed Peter's guidance. FWIW I think they're both great preamps.


I should have been clearer as I was refering to the console-- the A designs pre wasn't out yet when I bought these, so the Pacifica console has always been my personal reference point.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3  All   Go Up