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Author Topic: Knif Soma in the house.......  (Read 17132 times)

Michael Hynes

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Knif Soma in the house.......
« on: July 14, 2012, 10:13:16 am »

I have the mythical Knif Soma EQ in my shop for review upon which I will shoot it out with the much
loved Buzz Req......
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Hermetech Mastering

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Re: Time for a Cage Match
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2012, 11:54:53 am »

Cool, cant wait to hear your views!

Michael Hynes

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Re: Knif Soma in the house.......
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2012, 08:40:43 pm »

After spending a couple days with the Soma I am quite taken with it. In direct comparison with the Buzz
I would say that the Knif is clearer and more precise sounding although not quite as bold. The Buzz sounds
thicker in midrange boosts and the variable saturation is quite handy in some situations but overall the Req is looser and more relaxed in Low boosting. The high frequency section of the Soma is sweeter subjectively than the Req and the low frequency in boosts are tighter and more extended at the same time. Very difficult to make this unit sound bad! The midrange or any frequency choice for that matter seems to become more defined and interesting when processed through the Knif. The M/S in the Soma is really useful and has become default on the first record done on this box. There is something bordering on metaphysics with the way the passive coils, Tubes and amorphous core transformers enhances the program material without leaving a clue on how it was processed. Jonte Knif has created something special here to be sure.
All this being said the Buzz is a great piece and one of the best mastering EQs ever built but I fear I must own
a Soma.

More to come......
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Hermetech Mastering

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Re: Knif Soma in the house.......
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2012, 02:10:22 am »

Thanks for posting your findings Michael! I'm pretty sure Eric uses one, and is also very happy with his. If I ever get the funds together for a full parametric, it'll probably be this one.

livingstone

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Re: Knif Soma in the house.......
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2012, 12:25:09 am »

After spending a couple days with the Soma I am quite taken with it. In direct comparison with the Buzz
I would say that the Knif is clearer and more precise sounding although not quite as bold. The Buzz sounds
thicker in midrange boosts and the variable saturation is quite handy in some situations but overall the Req is looser and more relaxed in Low boosting. The high frequency section of the Soma is sweeter subjectively than the Req and the low frequency in boosts are tighter and more extended at the same time. Very difficult to make this unit sound bad! The midrange or any frequency choice for that matter seems to become more defined and interesting when processed through the Knif. The M/S in the Soma is really useful and has become default on the first record done on this box. There is something bordering on metaphysics with the way the passive coils, Tubes and amorphous core transformers enhances the program material without leaving a clue on how it was processed. Jonte Knif has created something special here to be sure.
All this being said the Buzz is a great piece and one of the best mastering EQs ever built but I fear I must own
a Soma.

hahah some words sounds definitively familiar !  ;D
btw drive it a bit if your set up allow it to get some thickness out of the inductors, it works pretty well in some cases
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: Knif Soma in the house.......
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2012, 01:04:09 am »

Looks like a very good design, tubes right?

How's the M/S section?

Best, JT
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livingstone

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Re: Knif Soma in the house.......
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2012, 03:01:14 am »

Looks like a very good design, tubes right?

right, but it's surprisingly transparent for a tube unit, well what is commonly thougth of a tube devices


How's the M/S section?

cleverly
it is done using the I & O  Lundhal xformers wiring, no more components added
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Michael Hynes

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Re: Knif Soma in the house.......
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2012, 09:10:08 am »

The M/S section seems very transparent as I tested quite a bit back and forth. Ergonomically speaking
having the channels stacked vertically is great for channel matching and much more intuitive than L/R
for Mid Side. I must admit the first record to be completed thru the Soma sounds stunning and was processed
in M/S with small changes. As for sonics......
I don't have a Sontec to compare directly but we are easily in this league if memory serves and I would venture to say this is now my favorite EQ for working with program. A very clean and precise sound that
does not lack soul. Elements sound more integrated without so much of a overt signature
as far as circuit design. For instance the Bax EQ is a useful tool but I can hear a sort of high speed opamp
kind of thing with no boost or cut that manifests as a sheen that irritates me sometimes.
I will be putting in a order for a Soma soon and hell I may need to get one of Jonte's Vari-Mu IIs
Its that good!

Sorry for the crappy pics.......
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Michael Hynes

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Re: Knif Soma in the house.......
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2012, 08:22:01 am »

Well.......

The clients are quite happy with the first masters processed by the Knif.
I will be ordering one in a week or so US dollar willing!
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: Knif Soma in the house.......
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2012, 08:31:55 am »

Nice review thanks.
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Michael Hynes

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Re: Knif Soma in the house.......
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 05:37:39 pm »

BTW....

The 27K wide bell smokes!
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PBM

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Re: Knif Soma in the house.......
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2012, 12:27:44 pm »

BTW....

The 27K wide bell smokes!

Been a bit busy so I've missed this thread. Couldn't agree more: I've had the Soma here for a year now (Fred and I got our orders in early having played with a prototype over 18 months ago) and it gets used on pretty much everything: which means a lot of jazz and female vocals, but also indie guitar stuff and even some very heavy rock. I didn't do any kind of shoot-out with the Buzz, but I had one in here previously for a try-out, loved it, and wasn't quite tempted to buy, whereas the Soma sort-of insisted ... The high shelves are indeed very nice, but just as nice is the low-band - I think it's really quite special; brings out a jazz bass growl sooooo well. And the upper mids for vocals ...

We were about to put in an order with Jonte for the Vari-mu when our dCS a/d-d/a set up starting playing silly buggers. All fixed now but in the meantime we put a demo Forsell MADA-2a in the chain and that was just as insistent. So all change here for the moment - but later in the year maybe ...

Incidentally, Jonte is hugely talented, very musical, obsessive in the right way (e.g. the build quality of his pieces) - and a very nice bloke to boot.

Cheers,

Eric




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Michael Hynes

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Re: Knif Soma in the house.......
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2012, 02:07:52 pm »

I have used just the Soma and some Sonoris mastering EQ for minor surgery on several projects now with
great success. I have already sold my Bax cause I can't listen to it in the chain anymore and am on the
edge of selling the Buzz. I also agree about the lowend! This EQ has the most lovely extended clear bottom
of any unit I have heard. I would put the high frequency boost up there with the best in the world but
the bass on this is sublime. I have a feeling I will get the Vari Mu soon as well..........
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PBM

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Re: Knif Soma in the house.......
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2012, 04:14:55 pm »

I have used just the Soma and some Sonoris mastering EQ for minor surgery on several projects now with
great success. I have already sold my Bax cause I can't listen to it in the chain anymore and am on the
edge of selling the Buzz. I also agree about the lowend! This EQ has the most lovely extended clear bottom
of any unit I have heard. I would put the high frequency boost up there with the best in the world but
the bass on this is sublime. I have a feeling I will get the Vari Mu soon as well..........

Nice - that saves me some time as the Bax had been on my `listen soon' list. I use the Sonoris EQs too (I think the SPEQ is wonderful for the kind of work we do). I actually have a classical project to master for Pieter this week: shall I used the SPEQ or the Soma? Decisions, decisions ...

Cheers,

Eric
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Michael Hynes

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Re: Knif Soma in the house.......
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2012, 01:19:57 pm »

Just sent off a very big check!
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