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Author Topic: AMS Neve 2254R reissue Review request  (Read 6823 times)

JGauthier

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AMS Neve 2254R reissue Review request
« on: September 19, 2009, 06:41:29 pm »

I just bought a pair of original 2254As and Ive been wanting to hear about the reissues since inception. Im starting this thread in HOPES of encouraging a review.

With them finally being out and about- I would LOVE some reviews and input as to their sound, relative to both vintage and current AMS offerings. Owning Averill, Neve and AMS- I will say I love them all! And each has its own detractors and benefits- I think Ive read JJ is not diehard on the Neve comps and they do leave their mark. But I would be interested to see if ANYBODY is really excited to pay more for a reissue than the originals sell for... And if its worth it! Less maintenance but what about mojo? That intangible word wallowing in bullsh*t that makes prices jump... mojo. But damned if Neve doesn't have it!

But most of all- is it what you expect from a 2254E? I know their are deadish threads on the "other" website, but its a bit too expensive for a bedroom piece... Any professionals get a chance to run it around?

Ill change the title once someone chimes in... If someone chimes in...  Shocked
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seedyunderbelly.com

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Re: AMS Neve 2254R reissue Review request
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 08:05:38 am »

Hi J,

I have heard the re-issue 1073 next to vintage ones-  

I thought that one very clean or distant sources they sounded very close-  really close--

However  on material  with more aggravated high end/high mids  ie elec guitar/ snare   the new ones sounded flat  while the old ones  had much more imagination in that region--ie:  more harmonic content and saturation-  sounded scary/alive and interesting next to the re-issues clean and flat without "harmonic imagination"..

I am aware that the amplifier section in 2254  is simialar   --  I can not say for sure without hearing them however-  I think you catch the drift of me near conjexture...?

j


Do not even worry about such things  just be glad you got the right one!

JGauthier

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Re: AMS Neve 2254R reissue Review request
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2009, 02:51:55 pm »

seedyunderbelly.com wrote on Fri, 25 September 2009 05:05

Hi J,

I have heard the re-issue 1073 next to vintage ones-  

I thought that one very clean or distant sources they sounded very close-  really close--

However  on material  with more aggravated high end/high mids  ie elec guitar/ snare   the new ones sounded flat  while the old ones  had much more imagination in that region--ie:  more harmonic content and saturation-  sounded scary/alive and interesting next to the re-issues clean and flat without "harmonic imagination"..

I am aware that the amplifier section in 2254  is simialar   --  I can not say for sure without hearing them however-  I think you catch the drift of me near conjexture...?

j


Do not even worry about such things  just be glad you got the right one!


Absolutely! I was interested in the new ones because my Mentor wont buy ANYTHING vintage. To much too fast for anything to be fussy or EVER go wrong- Im sure you know the pace...

And I have BAE 1073s here and while I think they are stellar and the preamp section is very close, the EQ is not as sweet (I know its edgy by nature) as the originals. It took a LONG time for me to really realize it though- years. Mainly because the BAEs are awesome in their own right, relativity aside.

But damn if this 2254 doesn't have a little magic (its 1272s I assume)- as you described it was perfect- that the BAE, chandler and in your opinion AMS versions (1073s) don't... The 2254 sounds like a board. The others sound like outboard...

It really is strange that even WITH the variance on vintage  Neve, there is often a slight though ever distinct difference of musicality...

I have an AMS 33609jd which I LOVE... (I know different beast completely) but whatever that 2254A has going on is exactly what I miss in digital audio. Its just so different when you own something vs renting- I tend to pay more attention...

OK sorry but I really like the comps!

So thats really my motivation behind the 2254R- I want my Mentor to buy a pair but he wont unless they are in current production. And trust me- he wont and doesn't need to!
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seedyunderbelly.com

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Re: AMS Neve 2254R reissue Review request
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2009, 03:13:16 pm »

Hi J,

If your mentor won't buy anything vintage  He is really missing out!

But I guess there has never been a better time than now   -- or back in the day! --but not the middle  haha--  To "Be that way"

FWIW I have been told that the 33609 JD is an exception-  of which there are few about reissues..

VERY FEW-  If you as a rule Avoided re-issues  you would be doing better than most people can do with their wits intact!  imo--  Maybe %95?  

Then come the real question..  What TO USE?

Of course Good Vintage examples of good designs either well maintained with adequate spares  or the willingness to find the correct people to keep them tip top'd  top'd and tail'd  -you know what I mean-

****This is an important point  because of the fear of the unknown  either in parts - sound or expense  keeps people from diving in to the old classics-   If you take fixing the stuff right and seriously there is really  a small amount of things that go wrong on any unit-  after repairs/refurb  plus one or two more issues  TOPS(usually)  You Have a (what I call) Newly stabilized unit!  

Don't fear the reaper!

On the other hand  since there are so many compelling reasons to buy new ---Reliability and Maintenance NOT being one of them imo  for the "big boy" Reasons stated above-  (exception being Tape Machines-or if you are in a remote local)

Buing new has appeal--  For one  all of the great new stuff being produced!

I love so many new things on their sonic merits  that is enough for me--  However  I think being skeptical of anything IN PARTICULAR  re-issue stuff is quite warranted

I learned this a long time ago  in regard to Guitar related things..

I had a thought   that I have posted before It Is perfect for this re-issue idea

Nothing sounds like Nothing   Read that 3 or four different ways  and you catch my drift!

So  what you should do  for your mentor  is arrange for  demo of "new" 2254 against your vintage one --  

Proof is on the pud.

Even the most finicky outbaord or guitar amp is easy to fix and stabalizes  after !!!His apprentice!!!  Offers to deal with the sending for him just once or thrice per purchase--

good luck  and I did not mean to be a "know it all"  I do find this view under-represented though..

!j

JGauthier

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Re: AMS Neve 2254R reissue Review request
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2009, 07:49:43 pm »

Great response!

And in my Mentors defense- he opened his studio in the early 1970s, is a guru with tape, and toured with some acts we ALL know back in the day. He knows EXACTLY what hes missing! But when you are in full production literally non-stop, any time you can get away with plugs its better recall, less work and over all faster (if you can make plugs work for you).

He leaves all the gear chasing and BS to me and sends anyone who cares about that crap to me. He has incredible mics (ALL vintage but only cause he bought them NEW iun the 70s), wonderful tuned room... Christ, I just need a couple comps and EQs (plugs OR outboard) and I can make a record with that...

If the core is fabulous, there way less need for gear! Not that you dont know but I had to mention WHY he wont buy it!

But overall- Im with you. I want to enjoy what Im doing and am less interested in the big money corporate/Label pace, though Ill take the work! But part of my whole presentation is vintage gear, and I miss the shit out of it when Im at his spot- but more out of comfort and familiarity.

And dont get me wrong- hes got racks but new racks. API, Chandler, UA, milennia, Lexicon etc..

I just am in LOVE with the bottom on these 2254s. Its so good its stupid! And the best part is they never go back to a rental agency!

Oh and I concur about the 33609JD which is why I bough a new one- plus vintage prices are pultec stupid on those right now... Its my utility box for sure.

See this is pathetic... This thread is now my babbling and still no review! If someone posts a specific review Ill be deleting my worthless posts so the thread wont be a mess! But Im not holding my breath... I wouldn't pay that much for one either though!
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seedyunderbelly.com

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Re: AMS Neve 2254R reissue Review request
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2009, 11:39:34 am »

Hi J,
I think what you posted is useful. Fwiw,  If you have not tried this try it-  Put the 2254 on mix bus  for more slow tempo or open arrangement / not dense -- Maybe an "Accoustic" track    --  some things like that-  Think  Velvet Underground to singer/songwriteer/folk   range.  even Piano/vox etc.

It is amazing How it Condenses and collects/ holds together the mix in a large way while not being the elephant in the room-

I have a harder time getting it to work on fast tempo over dense guitar stuff  but for slower or more open things it can be magic!

Also  fwiw-  I have not tried this  but My friend likes to use it on snare etc.

For the record J,

What have you been liking  it on?

j

JGauthier

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Re: AMS Neve 2254R reissue Review request
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2009, 07:03:11 pm »

So far-

The obvious "bottom end of the rythm section"

Bass
Kick

I liked it on snare but I like the 1176 better most of the time (combined with the joemeek SC2 to pop it if need be)

Accordion hasn't been right yet- accentuates the bottom end too much. Its not supposed to be thumpy! The 33609 always wins for that.

The B3 organ is STUPID GOOD through it. I track a lot of B3. Perfect! The 33609 is now a 2nd try on that...

Toms were good but the Joemeek is the #1 for that (I bus them to it in stereo- MONSTER)

Vocals- it just beat out my original LA2A and 1176 and absolutely stomped them this time. But the song prior it was the opposite. So I would say vox it can be wonderful if you want to get that gravel pushed up with an EQ the smoothed out with the 2254.

Piano we have a C7 and it was too STRONG for the track (and a bit edgy- the attack is so strong on it!) and the 2254 buttered it up, and really let the bottom energy through. I LOVED IT but had to use the 8200 for a GIANT roll off the bottom shelf plus a wide Q second freq and a boost on top- a BIG BOOST! But the GML can do those with no problem.

Synths strings- awesome. F'ing awesome... Im very lucky to track orchestras every couple months with my Mentor so I cant wait to hear it on a real section!!! Its not for traditional classical music so I can actually try some compression! But I almost never get to actually mix those... Just the tracking dates. Plus the client does the finals at their facility.

Strangely I have tracked NO GUITARS acoustic or electric since I got it so I haven't even started that fun.

Ive got a blues band and I may get their record for mix. I do get to track them but that will be in A and my room is a few blocks away from studio A so I wont have my racks for tracking. I used to be a much better tracking engineer than mix engineer- I was always too married to the original room and sound but I could capture it perfect- I just refused to let go... I dont even want to use isolation unless they force me... And I want to cut the vocals live as well. Overdubs suck- they are prevalent but suck. Bleed baby- bleed!

And lastly I have a singer Im going to bring in for a lullabye Im recording. He has a GIANT voice and the most ridiculous range... (hes also kind of a pain in the ass and curses constantly- can you imagine "go to sleep my baaaaaaaby... fucking cock I missed the damn interval"...) BUT I cant WAIT to hear the 2254 on him- its gonna be ridiculous... Its a single electric guitar and vox so I will be able to really make them HUGE with out interfering!

Jesus... I need help. I cant talk to my Mentor about gear much- hes just not interested... So I open the gates and BLLLLLAAAHHHHHH! Thats what you get!

I like your idea of on a master bus but my issue is the top end... Its sooooooo different after that box its almost sonically shocking to me. But I do have the 8200 to boost it back up.

Im also worried that if I used it on the rythm section as usual it would just be too bottom endy! Speculation of course- Ill have to try it before I say a damn thing! EDIT- Ill try it on the master bus of the lullabye- that fits your descrition perfectly now that I think about it!

I will say I have absolutely had to make an effort NOT to overuse it because sonically its just so damn entertaining!

OH and you mention fast guitars- I was going to try it JUST for thickening and a HAIR of reduction. Do you find it still too slow for that? I do a shitload of serial compression (a buch doing a little instead of one doing a lot) and would use something else to catch peaks as a limiter. I just keep thinking the meat it give would just sound awesome! If not compression then even inline bypass?








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seedyunderbelly.com

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Re: AMS Neve 2254R reissue Review request
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2009, 09:49:42 pm »

Hi J,

I think that it would be too slow if it was accross the bus  of a fast guitar type track  it might be fine on the individual  tracks though  I have had a little luck with that-   And do not worry about the high end thing imo it sometime brings more to the party that it take--  you'll know right away if it is right or not..

I never hear anyone talk about or even "get" 2254  so Blah on!  it is fun to hear about--  I love that thing-

I was LUCKY enough to lend it to ZMIX years ago  and it came back sounding twice as good-  wow  I bet the caps are "Vintage" again---  That man has the magic touch--

*also J  if yours is really dark..  you may consider replacing the caps..  I know that it changes thing  I my case it was for the better..  who knows..

-j






JGauthier

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Re: AMS Neve 2254R reissue Review request
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2009, 04:32:33 pm »

Mr. Belly!

I am with you on too much is never enough!

Im not sure if they are too dark yet- but next to digital and GML, they are pretty freakin dark. BUT I looooooooove it so Im not sure its so much an issue as a consideration or relativity! They were recapped in 2000 I think and I hate to do anything unless I have a serious problem that makes the audio sound bad.

Im about to take 3 days off which will be a good thing- Ill have fresh ears when I come back. Im mixing a record, and over half way through, and Im afraid Im changing the continuity too much by using the 2254 so much on the bottom... But it sounds good so Im letting it go on for now, just trying to be careful!

The songs were so different to begin with it took a few tries just to get a continuity down- I dont want to create a new rift...

But I cant stop throwing it on everything for a minute just for fun!
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Steve Hudson

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Re: AMS Neve 2254R reissue Review request
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2009, 01:01:25 pm »

I've had a pair of 2254e's for about five years now and they are a great flavor to have in my dynamics rack. I find it interesting that they are sometimes described as "dark" because my pair came out of a mastering suite at Mediasound; how our tastes change as gear designs change! If they had been considered "dark" back in the '70s, would they have been used for mastering? No doubt they are not bright but they sure are smooth. I would also be curious how the reissue matches up with the original.
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JGauthier

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Re: AMS Neve 2254R reissue Review request
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2009, 03:20:00 pm »

Steve Hudson wrote on Sat, 03 October 2009 10:01

I've had a pair of 2254e's for about five years now and they are a great flavor to have in my dynamics rack. I find it interesting that they are sometimes described as "dark" because my pair came out of a mastering suite at Mediasound; how our tastes change as gear designs change! If they had been considered "dark" back in the '70s, would they have been used for mastering? No doubt they are not bright but they sure are smooth. I would also be curious how the reissue matches up with the original.



I think the semantic debate over the use of the word "dark" on these is thus-

The bottom is HUGE. The mids are thick. The top RELATIVELY is not as hyped as the lows and mids. In the 70s there was no top end... Not like digital. Of course there were great recordings with wondeful high freq representation but not like digital. Not even close. I like you was alive for both and of course the transition between.

So IMHO- both my 1073s and my 2254As are dark. But Im not implying the top is gone as much as the mids and bottom dominate the spectrum. If you put them up next to anything digital- they sound dark.

And BTW- if these were really such fundamental mastering comps- they would still be prominently used as such... But we all know there are much better options now. I know Fletcher doesn't like the "dark" description as well but its really a legitimate one.

So IMHO its really a debate of semantics- does dark mean rolled off or does dark mean the highs are less relatively prominent entirely?- which is not the same thing as rolled off.

Of course since it IS sematics its not worth debating too much! But I did want to clarify.

I think they absolutely suck on the master bus for mix or master but thats just my opinion (and mine do have a stereo link). Its does some very cool stuff to the track but overall its just not right...

But Ive got a lullabye to finish and Ive been told to try it on slow content material, so Ill try again! They sound LOVELY!

Agreed its SMOOOOOOOOOOOOOTH and I also hope we get some real reviews of the reissue!
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kats

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Re: AMS Neve 2254R reissue Review request
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2009, 08:49:57 am »

JGauthier wrote on Mon, 05 October 2009 14:20

 In the 70s there was no top end... Not like digital. Of course there were great recordings with wondeful high freq representation but not like digital. Not even close. I like you was alive for both and of course the transition between.




Like you, I had a pulse back then but I never got the memo...
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