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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => Brad Blackwood => Topic started by: Ged Leitch on January 29, 2006, 09:21:29 pm

Title: Sontecs...
Post by: Ged Leitch on January 29, 2006, 09:21:29 pm
Anyone know any good sites on the good ol net that feature the Sontec equaliser range?
All I found with google was an interview in SOS with an ME from Sterling raving about them, but they dont seem to feature on the web much?
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on January 29, 2006, 09:47:45 pm
What do you need to know about them? As an owner, I've had to learn quite a bit about them...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Ged Leitch on January 29, 2006, 10:03:33 pm
bblackwood wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 02:47

What do you need to know about them? As an owner, I've had to learn quite a bit about them...


Ah, a sontec owner!(envy Mad )
Basically was interested in some specs etc, thought they'd be a pdf or something available on a site, but alas no...
  I got to admit Brad, from the only photo i've seen they sure look like a piece of fine art!
  Reading the sterling ME interview, it's obvious the sontecs sound the business! due to the sheer volume of chart hits they've been used on.
  Just curious about these EQ's, as seems like everyone is raving about manley massive passive, Weiss etc.

Dont even mention the price... Mad
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Adam Dempsey on January 29, 2006, 10:07:41 pm
Not having used a Sontec and having wanted to read up on them anyway, Google 'Sontec Mastering':

"ITI, Sontec, and the History of Parametric EQ"
by Will Shanks (with thanks to Bob L, Ron Kramer and Don Grossinger)
http://www.uaudio.com/webzine/2004/december/content/content4 .html

(the pic I assume from Bob's suite, given the plants in background..?)


and I knew they were still mentioned at Gateway:

http://www.gatewaymastering.com/masttech.asp

and a great trip back to 1993 with a Mix interview with Bob:
http://www.transparentcable.com/products/reviews/full_review s/ref_philipde_mix.html




Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Ged Leitch on January 29, 2006, 10:10:20 pm
Adam Dempsey wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 03:07

Not having used a Sontec and having wanted to read up on them anyway, Google 'Sontec Mastering':

"ITI, Sontec, and the History of Parametric EQ"
by Will Shanks (with thanks to Bob L, Ron Kramer and Don Grossinger)
 http://www.uaudio.com/webzine/2004/december/content/content4 .html

(the pic I assume from Bob's suite, given the plants in background..?)


and I knew they were still mentioned at Gateway:

http://www.gatewaymastering.com/masttech.asp

and a great trip back to 1993 with a Mix interview with Bob:
 http://www.transparentcable.com/products/reviews/full_review s/ref_philipde_mix.html







Excellent!!!
cheers Adam, many thanks.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on January 29, 2006, 10:23:13 pm
Ged Leitch wrote on Sun, 29 January 2006 21:03

Ah, a sontec owner!(envy Mad )

I have two, actually, and love them more than any other piece.

Quote:

Basically was interested in some specs etc, thought they'd be a pdf or something available on a site, but alas no...

See below for a pic of the original 'drop sheet'...

index.php/fa/2282/0/

Quote:

I got to admit Brad, from the only photo i've seen they sure look like a piece of fine art!

Yah, they do look kewl (imo).

Quote:

Dont even mention the price...  

Hey, I bought my last one used for $7k and it's basically mint. But unless you have some spare opamps (good luck finding them), I can't recommend buying one.

But man they sound good!


Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on January 29, 2006, 10:27:50 pm
This is a crappy picture a buddy took shortly after I got the new Sontec, if it helps:

index.php/fa/2284/0/
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Ged Leitch on January 29, 2006, 10:52:47 pm
AAAArgh...your killing me here Laughing

many thanks for the pics Brad,
think i'll hang em on my wall and dream about them!
cheers.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: TotalSonic on January 29, 2006, 10:56:03 pm
bblackwood wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 03:23


Quote:

Dont even mention the price...  

Hey, I bought my last one used for $7k and it's basically mint. But unless you have some spare opamps (good luck finding them), I can't recommend buying one.



Yeah - a tech here in NYC I use told me that he has a shelf full of them - all currently non-functioning - and all in need of opamps.  

edit: Just talked to the tech and apparently these are compressors and not eq's that he has - and apparently they need a heckuva lot more fixed on them than just op amps.  He actually described the eq's as "easy to fix."

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Noah Mintz on January 29, 2006, 11:05:41 pm
I replaced all my amp cards with the Steve Firlotte one's. They don't sound exactly the same but my Sontec still sounds like hot butter EQ. I still have a slight oscillation at 60hz at -80db in the 2nd Channel but it's of no consequence since I use it in M/S.

I'm in love with my Sontec. I feel very privileged to have one.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on January 29, 2006, 11:11:10 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Sun, 29 January 2006 21:56

bblackwood wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 03:23

But unless you have some spare opamps (good luck finding them), I can't recommend buying one.



Yeah - a tech here in NYC I use told me that he has a shelf full of them - all currently non-functioning - and all in need of opamps.  

There are several guys making replacement opamps: Steve Firlotte, Chris Muth (iirc), and Steve Haselton. Perhaps more. None of them, as far as I'm aware, sound exactly like the original HS1000 (which I love and use). Hopefully it will be a long time before I find out what the replacement opamps sound like in mine...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Boyd on January 29, 2006, 11:27:48 pm
I would love to hear a Sontec sometime.  Has anybody ever compared it to a Maselec MEA-2?  I sprung for one last summer and I love it.

I don't expect they are the same - just curious.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: David Glasser on January 30, 2006, 12:06:00 am
Bob Boyd wrote on Sun, 29 January 2006 21:27

I would love to hear a Sontec sometime.  Has anybody ever compared it to a Maselec MEA-2?  I sprung for one last summer and I love it.

I don't expect they are the same - just curious.


I used to have a Sontec 432 which I bought new. Sounded great. Started having repeated problems with it and burned up a couple op-amps. Burgess repaired it fairly quickly (!) but I was leery of it f**king up again so I sent it to my partner Charlie at our (original) studio in Virginia since he's nearer to the Sontec office. Naturally it's been trouble-free since then, but in the meantime I replaced it with a MEA-2. They do sound different - the MEA-2 is probably more neutral sounding but I've never found anything that I couldn't do equally well with either EQ. The Maselec is built much better than the Sontec and is way more reliable (and cheaper).

Sontec made a disc-cutting version with program and preview signal paths - this would be ideal to use in a surround setup for the front & rear L/R channels. I wish Maselec would offer a similar unit.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: dcollins on January 30, 2006, 12:14:00 am
bblackwood wrote on Sun, 29 January 2006 20:11


There are several guys making replacement opamps: Steve Firlotte, Chris Muth (iirc), and Steve Haselton. Perhaps more. None of them, as far as I'm aware, sound exactly like the original HS1000 (which I love and use.


Everyone that has seen the schema of the "reverse engineered" HS-1000 had to have their eyebrows professionally lowered.

Must be a whole is greater than the sum of the parts thing...  They do sound good, and I would be interested to hear a fair comparison between it and the Maselec.

DC
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Viitalahde on January 30, 2006, 02:38:02 am
Since Brad has a real one and I have something that was inspired by  the MEP-250A (this one uses Forssell JFET amps):

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v240/virtalahde/Sontec_front.jpg

..It'd be pretty damn interesting to do a sound comparison! Say, the same kind of a treatment to show off the charasteristics. A deep low mid cut and a huge presence boost?
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: dcollins on January 30, 2006, 03:44:59 am
Viitalahde wrote on Sun, 29 January 2006 23:38

Since Brad has a real one and I have something that was inspired by  the MEP-250A (this one uses Forssell JFET amps):



Which has nothing in common with a HS-1000

Could be better, could be worse.......

DC
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Viitalahde on January 30, 2006, 04:00:55 am
dcollins wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 08:44

Which has nothing in common with a HS-1000


I know, and that's why I refuse to call this a Sontec EQ (well, at The Lab I do since people know what I'm referring to), but I am aware of a ME or two who list their clones as Sontecs.. It's a Sontec inspired EQ with Forssell amps.

Originally I was interested in the topology simply because it was different from any other parametric eq I had seen so far. This was not the three-op-amp state variable filters in series but a parallel thing with T-filters. Very nice. Since they had a good reputation, I thought to give it a shot.

I have not heard a real Sontec and that's why I suggested the sound comparison.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: nmw on January 30, 2006, 06:25:56 am
ive a real one here i picked up fairly locally, by pure chance and in seemingly bad shape but that turned out to only need some TLC. was a great day and my GML went to someone new to fund it.

i just got some PCBs to start looking at building a DIY version of the 250a though not sure when im going to have time to embark on it. hobby time is limited at the moment.

Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Gold on January 30, 2006, 10:45:27 am
David Glasser wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 00:06

 I wish Maselec would offer a similar unit.


Me too. But then he would have to do that for the compressor and the console. I spoke to him about it and he said no one would pay for a four channel disk cutting system. Just use a delay. He happens to be right in my case. I use four outputs from a DAW not a delay.

I'm just waiting until I can put together an A/B system that's worth doing at the right price. I have waited a long time already. I am resigned to using two channel processing with preview offsets though.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: EP on January 30, 2006, 01:34:22 pm
dcollins wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 08:44

Viitalahde wrote on Sun, 29 January 2006 23:38

Since Brad has a real one and I have something that was inspired by  the MEP-250A (this one uses Forssell JFET amps):



Which has nothing in common with a HS-1000

Could be better, could be worse.......

DC



Very true.
Since there are a ton of busted real Sontecs that need different opamps to function, it might be interesting to hear the differences in these two units, and the general character of the clone w/ forssell JFET's.

I am going to build up a six channel eq with those same boards someday soon, so for me it is simply an interest in what Jaakko's sounds like anyways.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Mark Wilder on January 30, 2006, 01:57:52 pm
I'm more than happy to help out with the listening test.  I have a Sontec MES462C9 (6 band) and a Maselec MEA 2.  I know they're not the same (6 band vs. 4 band) but you might find it interesting.  Let me know what you want and I'll try to get to it by the end of the week.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Viitalahde on January 30, 2006, 03:35:01 pm
Mark Wilder wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 18:57

I'm more than happy to help out with the listening test.


Very cool!

Let's see.. I could dig up something that could be used as the source file for this. I'll do the EQ'ing, mark down what I did and put the stuff up on my site?

EDIT: Ok, you were talking about the Sontec MES vs. the Maselec? In that case, you do the thing and I'll imitate.  Cool
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on January 30, 2006, 03:50:49 pm
Viitalahde wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 14:35

Mark Wilder wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 18:57

I'm more than happy to help out with the listening test.


Very cool!

Let's see.. I could dig up something that could be used as the source file for this. I'll do the EQ'ing, mark down what I did and put the stuff up on my site?

I'll do that with mine, a standard 432c9...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Phil Demetro on January 30, 2006, 05:01:34 pm
If anyone is interested I'll help out with my MES-432-C-12 (it came from Sony, incidently)

and if you really want to bust things wide open - mine has the  Black Gate capacitors (but just a standard power cable - sorry!)

Phil Demetro
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: TotalSonic on January 30, 2006, 05:08:38 pm
bblackwood wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 20:50

Viitalahde wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 14:35

Mark Wilder wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 18:57

I'm more than happy to help out with the listening test.


Very cool!

Let's see.. I could dig up something that could be used as the source file for this. I'll do the EQ'ing, mark down what I did and put the stuff up on my site?

I'll do that with mine, a standard 432c9...


If you guys need a source file I could upload to my server a track (or part of a track) I've recently mixed for my string quartet - it's at 24bit/88.2kHz. - but could downsample prior to uploading if you needed me to for sake of file size considerations.

I'd also be glad to throw my Medici in the mix as a way of throwing in a comparison of apples to pears admidst these fuji vs. braeburn tests.  Seems the variable introduced not only would be the eq's but also what converters people use - but I guess we could just list what was part of this and evaluate the chain and not just the eq itself.

I suggest whatever source file is used is having it start with a brief 1k tone to make sure that things are level matched in people's tests (i.e. capture back at "unity").

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on January 30, 2006, 06:39:32 pm
To do this accurately, you'd really have to simply run the audio through at unity and level match them with a tone at the head, as insuring the curves match perfectly is no easy task. Especially considering the 250 and 430 series EQs are electrically similar, but not identical and the 250 uses pots while the 430 uses switches...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Viitalahde on January 31, 2006, 02:45:46 am
bblackwood wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 23:39

Especially considering the 250 and 430 series EQs are electrically similar, but not identical and the 250 uses pots while the 430 uses switches...


And I have switches in mine, with my "own" scale. 11 Q values for example.

This should be interesting..
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: joeaudio on January 31, 2006, 08:13:14 am
I cut my teeth on a four channel Sontec EQ at a
new Jersey mastering house
Maybe it just all the years of experience but
but I find I can get the sound I'm looking for on the Maselec in about half the time.
It's cheap (comparitively) you can buy one and Lief is always
willing to talk to engineers about his gear.
Sontec Shmontec if a good enginneer can't make a track sound good
through an MEA-2 it's time to go to welding school.

Joe Yannece
Classic Sound Mastering
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on January 31, 2006, 08:25:12 am
Viitalahde wrote on Tue, 31 January 2006 01:45

bblackwood wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 23:39

Especially considering the 250 and 430 series EQs are electrically similar, but not identical and the 250 uses pots while the 430 uses switches...


And I have switches in mine, with my "own" scale. 11 Q values for example.

But there's no guarantee the curves will line up. We can do the math and see if any of the curves (should) line up...

joeaudio wrote:

Sontec Shmontec if a good enginneer can't make a track sound good through an MEA-2 it's time to go to welding school.

Where did anyone speak ill of the Maselec?

People do have preferences, you know...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: joeaudio on January 31, 2006, 10:21:20 am
I didn't mean for my statement to come off that way.
I guess I find the reverance for these old EQ's
(no parts, next to impossible to repair etc.) a little
annoying when there are so many alternatives.
If you want to cut lacquers to make a living you
have to buy a 30-40 year old machine that will be a bear
to maintain and there are no alternatives. They IMO are to
be revered.

Joe Classic Sound
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Olhsson on January 31, 2006, 11:35:29 am
Collins, weren't those things called "gyrator" eqs or something like that?
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: ammitsboel on January 31, 2006, 11:45:41 am
joeaudio wrote on Tue, 31 January 2006 14:13

Sontec Shmontec if a good enginneer can't make a track sound good
through an MEA-2 it's time to go to welding school

Hmmm... I think there is more to it than just that.
I haven't tried the Sontec, but I'm very careful with the MEA-2

/Henrik
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: zetterstroem on January 31, 2006, 07:51:36 pm
the last time i listened to the maselec it sounded %
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: zetterstroem on January 31, 2006, 07:53:16 pm
Phil Demetro wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 23:01

If anyone is interested I'll help out with my MES-432-C-12 (it came from Sony, incidently)

and if you really want to bust things wide open - mine has the  Black Gate capacitors (but just a standard power cable - sorry!)

Phil Demetro



where did you exchange for BG's ?? input.... psu... all over???

i experienced a long burn-in time with them.... did you??
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Jerry Tubb on January 31, 2006, 08:59:02 pm
bblackwood wrote on Sun, 29 January 2006 20:47

What do you need to know about them? As an owner, I've had to learn quite a bit about them...


Just for grins, here's a scan of a polaroid, of a sweet sounding Sontec I had back in the early '90's. Not a 430 series... I forget the model number.

I borrowed it from Ray Benson who got it from the late great Denny Purcell.
We both used it for a few years until the pots wore out.


index.php/fa/2289/0/
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Ed Littman on January 31, 2006, 09:10:06 pm
zetterstroem wrote on Tue, 31 January 2006 19:51

the last time i listened to the maselec it sounded %
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on January 31, 2006, 09:23:56 pm
Jerry Tubb wrote on Tue, 31 January 2006 19:59

Just for grins, here's a scan of a polaroid, of a sweet sounding Sontec I had back in the early '90's. Not a 430 series... I forget the model number.

That's an MEP-250C.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Phil Demetro on January 31, 2006, 09:29:21 pm
I put the BG throughout the entire unit
It was seriously expensive, too!

I would probably do it again if I had the choice but my budget did not include doing all of my outboard gear.

On recollection I don't recall a burn in time that was very long.
There were some slightly nerve-wracking moments as the caps are physically much larger than the stock caps were - so they look a bit crowded on the PCB.

it was instantly sweeter, airier, softer on first listen. That much I do remember. It was an improvement. I'll say that.

On a daily basis it amazes me how unobtrusive it is.

On the other hand, if it died i would seriously consider the GML or the Maselec - and probably be cool with it. There's a guy in LA who uses all Maselec gear and some of his stuff can sure sound good to me. But maybe it's been modded as the sonic footprint of his work sure doesn't sound like my experience - at least the few times I've had with the maselec?

For others that are curious about the sontec- it does not sound anything like the Avalon or a Massive Passive. It sounds like a Sontec.

Funny though - It takes me longer to dial in my "final" setting on the Sontec than other EQ's because everything sounds so good on the thing that it's hard to get a bad sound out of it. So, I have to agree with Joe Yannece there even if that's not his entire reasoning? Maybe Joe can elaborate?

It would be cool to use two Sontec or Sontec/ITI units like Ludwig used to use or Jensen & Marino and Brad Blackwood. A really powerful combo of EQ choices there.

Sontec esoterica:
does anyone know where I can get the "tension-springs" that are part of the switch that creates the tight fit feel when you lock into the frequency? I have one switch that's starting to feel a bit loose or sloppy. Do those springs have an official name?
I'll need to track some down at some point.

Phil  
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: dcollins on January 31, 2006, 09:36:52 pm
Phil Demetro wrote on Tue, 31 January 2006 18:29


does anyone know where I can get the "tension-springs" that are part of the switch that creates the tight fit feel when you lock into the frequency? I have one switch that's starting to feel a bit loose or sloppy. Do those springs have an official name?



These guys should have something that works:

http://www.mcmaster.com/

Trouble is finding the right one!  I think they call it an "extension" spring.

DC
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Phil Demetro on January 31, 2006, 11:18:34 pm
Dave Collins! of course he knows!

"extension springs"? ....unoffensive enough?
now if you can just get me a line on some HS1000's?

btw, Dave do you use a Sontec these days?
what's your  personal "back up plan EQ" suggestion for sontecs that go south?


thanks again.

phil
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: dcollins on February 01, 2006, 01:49:24 am
Phil Demetro wrote on Tue, 31 January 2006 20:18


"extension springs"? ....unoffensive enough?



Personally, I've never been offended by a spring.  Unless you count the ones that shoot off and hit you in the face.

You need to take your spring out, get the dimensions, and see if Macmaster has anything like it.  It's not critical, as long as it's close it should work.

Quote:


now if you can just get me a line on some HS1000's?



I think there's some out there.

Quote:


btw, Dave do you use a Sontec these days?



Nope, just the Davelizer, NSEQ-2 and the TF Pro P9.

Quote:


what's your  personal "back up plan EQ" suggestion for sontecs that go south?



Oh, you just call Burgess, he'll answer on the first ring, and get a RO# -- they are more than happy to overnight a unit to use while yours is being repaired -- and in a day or two it comes back with all the latest factory updates.

DC
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: JGreenslade on February 01, 2006, 03:54:27 pm
Bob Olhsson wrote on Tue, 31 January 2006 16:35

Collins, weren't those things called "gyrator" eqs or something like that?


It's a lesser-known fact, but the correct term for an EQ based on gyrator circuits is "gyratory equaliser".

For anyone reading that's unaware: a gyrator is an active circuit that mimics the inductive properties of, you guessed it, an inductor.

Some links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyrator
http://www.forsselltech.com/schematics/Gyrator1.htm

The Sontec 430 is quite unlike any transistor-based EQ I've ever heard; it has an "organic", almost "valve-like" quality to it, and I can see why it's a cult item.

You can usually spot a 430-owner from noting the size of their wrist - those attenuators require real muscle!

Justin
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: dcollins on February 02, 2006, 12:04:22 am
thermionic wrote on Wed, 01 February 2006 12:54

Bob Olhsson wrote on Tue, 31 January 2006 16:35

Collins, weren't those things called "gyrator" eqs or something like that?

It's a lesser-known fact, but the correct term for an EQ based on gyrator circuits is "gyratory equaliser".



The Sontec does not use gyrators.  It's based on a type of notch filter called a T network.

http://www.massenburg.com/cgi-bin/ml/parametric.html

Personally, I've never seen the appeal of gyrators. If you want a inductor, why not just use one?

DC

Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Olhsson on February 02, 2006, 12:09:43 am
dcollins wrote on Wed, 01 February 2006 23:04

...If you want a inductor, why not just use one?
Exactly!
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: jazzius on February 02, 2006, 02:32:16 am
OK, silly question of the day #1 coming up: If the Sontecs are so special, why isn't someone building something similar? Isn't the Massenburg mastering EQ similar?.....if it's not as good, why not (both were designed by Georgy-boy, weren't they)?

How does the Avalon 2077 stack up?

Or the SPL monster?

What about the new Manley EQ?

So many questions, so little coffee!

Darius
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: zetterstroem on February 02, 2006, 06:19:45 am
Ed Littman wrote on Wed, 01 February 2006 03:10

zetterstroem wrote on Tue, 31 January 2006 19:51

the last time i listened to the maselec it sounded %
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: zetterstroem on February 02, 2006, 06:22:34 am
jazzius wrote on Thu, 02 February 2006 08:32

OK, silly question of the day #1 coming up: If the Sontecs are so special, why isn't someone building something similar? Isn't the Massenburg mastering EQ similar?.....if it's not as good, why not (both were designed by Georgy-boy, weren't they)?

How does the Avalon 2077 stack up?

Or the SPL monster?

What about the new Manley EQ?

So many questions, so little coffee!

Darius


the eq's you listed have nothing in common soundwise imo.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Ged Leitch on February 02, 2006, 06:38:54 am
Yeh, but no harm in testing those EQ's either, just to see how they all compare, after all it's different strokes for different folks.
Personally i love these Hi end gear comparisons.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Viitalahde on February 02, 2006, 07:52:50 am
I am already confused of who's doing what and am I doing something?  Rolling Eyes  

Maybe I'll just go and read more Chuck Norris facts:

http://www.chucknorrisfacts.com/
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on February 02, 2006, 07:55:25 am
I don't know - were we comparing the sonic signatures of a Sontec and a clone?

Doesn't matter to me, I love mine!
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on February 02, 2006, 08:00:05 am
jazzius wrote on Thu, 02 February 2006 01:32

OK, silly question of the day #1 coming up: If the Sontecs are so special, why isn't someone building something similar?

Very few people know what's in the HS1000. That's the core of the sound.

Quote:

Isn't the Massenburg mastering EQ similar?.....if it's not as good, why not (both were designed by Georgy-boy, weren't they)?

Yah, they were both designed by GM, but they do not sound alike. At all. When one of my Sontecs was acting up about a year ago, I had a 9500 in to try out and shipped it back. Didn't dig it.

I've been looking for someone interested in building accurate HS1000 copies. It's really a matter of pulling info from as many sources as possible and seeing what happens. Only time will tell. If the HS1000 can be recreated accurately, nothing is stopping someone from building a new Sontec from scratch...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: nmw on February 02, 2006, 11:50:40 am
thats interesting you should say that brad,
i was just coming on to ask peoples thoughts ref the 9500 as ive been offered a very new one as a swap for my 430b.
i picked up my 430 in a rather sorry seeming state selling an 8200 to fund it. some inspection proved that short of a good clean, a dust out and some TLC it was fine. anyways i really like the sound, i find it more rewarding than the 8200 however the dark shadow lurking of the HS1000 and what a frazzle here will mean (expensive doorstop time) meant that my initial thoughts were that the 9500 isnt a bad eq and so it may be a nice swap out.
certainly the holding of breath each time i turn on the sontec wont be missed

i had always assumed the 9500 was a step up from the 8200 not only in terms of operation but also sound, given the 8200 wasnt bad it seemed there perhaps wouldnt be much in it. what was it about the 9500 that you didnt enjoy. perhaps a swap out isnt such a good idea even with the worries of ownership.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on February 02, 2006, 11:55:44 am
nmw wrote on Thu, 02 February 2006 10:50

i had always assumed the 9500 was a step up from the 8200 not only in terms of operation but also sound, given the 8200 wasnt bad it seemed there perhaps wouldnt be much in it. what was it about the 9500 that you didnt enjoy. perhaps a swap out isnt such a good idea even with the worries of ownership.

The 9500 had a glare in the upper midrange, even when everything was set flat, that I do my best to avoid - and it was there on everything. Just sounded hard and made gtrs zip too much.

Hold on to your Sontec would be my advice. You may consider leaving it on all the time (that's what I do) - my oldest one has been turned off only about 5 times since I got it in the mid 90's and it still has the HS1000's that came in it.

Hold on to your Sontec for now - perhaps there will be an HS1000 recreation soon...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Mark Wilder on February 02, 2006, 12:59:12 pm
OK, I'm back.  What did I miss?
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Boyd on February 02, 2006, 02:46:34 pm
bblackwood wrote on Thu, 02 February 2006 10:55

nmw wrote on Thu, 02 February 2006 10:50

i had always assumed the 9500 was a step up from the 8200 not only in terms of operation but also sound, given the 8200 wasnt bad it seemed there perhaps wouldnt be much in it. what was it about the 9500 that you didnt enjoy. perhaps a swap out isnt such a good idea even with the worries of ownership.

The 9500 had a glare in the upper midrange, even when everything was set flat, that I do my best to avoid - and it was there on everything. Just sounded hard and made gtrs zip too much.

Hold on to your Sontec would be my advice. You may consider leaving it on all the time (that's what I do) - my oldest one has been turned off only about 5 times since I got it in the mid 90's and it still has the HS1000's that came in it.

Hold on to your Sontec for now - perhaps there will be an HS1000 recreation soon...

Since getting the Maselec  MEA-2, I'm using my 9500 less.  It can be great but like most boxes, it doesn't work on everything. The 9500 can quickly bring something out in a mix which can be good or bad depending on the content.  

As far as "glare" goes when set flat, I definitely don't have that impression at all.  If the bands are bypassed, it's extremely transparent to the signal path.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: ammitsboel on February 02, 2006, 04:15:39 pm
Bob Boyd wrote on Thu, 02 February 2006 20:46

As far as "glare" goes when set flat, I definitely don't have that impression at all.  If the bands are bypassed, it's extremely transparent to the signal path.

Maybe Brad got a funky unit?
What do you think of the MEA-2 in bypass?

To me the MEA-2 is SSL/industrial sounding even in bypass. Maybe you have to work in a more complex way when using units like this? to me it sounds like the circuit design and all the feedback is weakening the sound so you will need some serious juicy shit to make up for it.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Boyd on February 02, 2006, 04:53:31 pm
ammitsboel wrote on Thu, 02 February 2006 15:15

Bob Boyd wrote on Thu, 02 February 2006 20:46

As far as "glare" goes when set flat, I definitely don't have that impression at all.  If the bands are bypassed, it's extremely transparent to the signal path.

Maybe Brad got a funky unit?
What do you think of the MEA-2 in bypass?

To me the MEA-2 is SSL/industrial sounding even in bypass.

The MEA-2 doesn't have the absolute transparency that the 9500 has in bypass.  I feel a very subtle presence boost when I engage it but it's rarely a problem and just provides a little "openness" to most material.  I almost hate to mention this because I would never want it to keep someone from listening to it.  I like the Maselec EQ.  I have run material through it with no EQ.

Definitely not the most colored item in the analog rack.  If I need transparency, there's always the Weiss LP.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on February 02, 2006, 05:27:34 pm
Bob Boyd wrote on Thu, 02 February 2006 13:46

As far as "glare" goes when set flat, I definitely don't have that impression at all.  If the bands are bypassed, it's extremely transparent to the signal path.


Bob Boyd wrote on Thu, 02 February 2006 15:53

I feel a very subtle presence boost when I engage it but it's rarely a problem and just provides a little "openness" to most material.

Sounds like you're hearing what I heard...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Boyd on February 02, 2006, 05:53:06 pm
bblackwood wrote on Thu, 02 February 2006 16:27

Bob Boyd wrote on Thu, 02 February 2006 13:46

As far as "glare" goes when set flat, I definitely don't have that impression at all.  If the bands are bypassed, it's extremely transparent to the signal path.


Bob Boyd wrote on Thu, 02 February 2006 15:53

I feel a very subtle presence boost when I engage it but it's rarely a problem and just provides a little "openness" to most material.

Sounds like you're hearing what I heard...

Ah...  Just re-read my post above and it seems I used too many pronouns!

For the record, the Maselec is the one with the subtle presence boost when it's engaged with no EQ dialed in.  You can't bypass the individual bands of the MEA-2 like you can on the 9500.  If you turn your monitoring up (with nothing playing) on the 9500 you will hear the noise floor change considerably as you switch the bands in and out (with gain set to "0").  That might be one explanation for the bloom you perceived in your program material.  I never have a band "in" if it doesn't have any gain.

This is a classic case of why someone should spend some time with the units before deciding.  The 9500 / Maselec question seems to be a logical comparison when there really is none.  They are completely different.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: compasspnt on February 04, 2006, 02:53:16 pm
All of this talk about the great old Sontecs, and the potential obsolesence of same, made me wonder about the Tim de Paravicini 825Q.

http://mercenary.com/ear825dualma.html


I know I absolutely LOVE his other pieces, of which I have many.

Outside of our own gear (about which I cannot objectively speak, and comparisons to which are invalid coming from me, for that reason), I think it is the best, or at the very least amongst the best, anywhere.

Does anyone here use this 825?

Has anyone here compared it to a Sontec?
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: mcsnare on February 04, 2006, 10:27:21 pm
I've often wondered about those. I'm very familiar with the EAR 660 which is the bomb on a lot of things, mastering included. I've used the Pultec copy a few times and thought is is great also. I'm also curious of any of you guys has this piece and what you might compare it to.
Dave McNair
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on February 04, 2006, 10:50:52 pm
I'd be stunned if any of the EAR EQ's sounded like a Sontec.

They may sound great, but I doubt they have that same exact vibe...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: joeaudio on February 05, 2006, 09:25:17 am
zetterstroem wrote on Wed, 01 February 2006 00:51

the last time i listened to the maselec it sounded %
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: zetterstroem on February 06, 2006, 11:50:07 am
joeaudio wrote on Sun, 05 February 2006 15:25

zetterstroem wrote on Wed, 01 February 2006 00:51

the last time i listened to the maselec it sounded %
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: joeaudio on February 06, 2006, 06:25:52 pm
zetterstroem wrote on Mon, 06 February 2006 16:50

joeaudio wrote on Sun, 05 February 2006 15:25

zetterstroem wrote on Wed, 01 February 2006 00:51

the last time i listened to the maselec it sounded %
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: ammitsboel on February 06, 2006, 06:54:19 pm
Joe, we are allowed to have different opinions on this forum... or are we?

If you disagree then why don't you tell us what it is that makes you like this EQ so much? Tell us something that we might haven't thought about so we can take it into consideration.

As for me I like it for it's stability and rock solid way of EQ'ing. But I dislike it for it's way of weakening and flattening the sound.

Best Regards
Henrik
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: joeaudio on February 06, 2006, 07:04:08 pm
ammitsboel wrote on Mon, 06 February 2006 23:54

Joe, we are allowed to have different opinions on this forum... or are we?

Best Regards
Henrik


Saying a piece of gear has a slightly harsh high end or
particular compressor tends to pump and the the like
are opinions. Calling the Maselec MEA-2 crap
ia talking out of your ass. Some inexperienced reader might think that's true.
Listen I'm cool.
I'm wasting time instead of making momey

Thanks Henrick,

Joe
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: ammitsboel on February 06, 2006, 07:15:08 pm
Thanks Joe, I've added a few things to the earlier post. I hope that you will answer them.

Best Regards
Henrik
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: lagerfeldt on February 06, 2006, 08:34:16 pm
Henrik, it was nice to check out the big differences between e.g. the Masalec and the Gyraf 14 at your place.

Obviously those are two utterly & completely different machines, but it exemplified some of the things which makes the Masalec good and vice versa. I think it sounded great and could do some amazing stuff but I also think I follow what you mean about flattening, but I guess that's in comparison with something like the G14? Perhaps overrated (or overpriced) about the Maselec could be a word, I dunno.

Unfortuntaley the G14 isn't that good for surgical stuff. BTW I was think of getting two Pultecs based on Jakobs design.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: e-cue on February 07, 2006, 12:04:04 am
zetterstroem wrote on Mon, 06 February 2006 08:50


no actually i think it sounds crap....


I'm going to agree with you there.  I've used several different units (ones that were in Studio B and Studio E at the Enterprise, and a couple from Audio Affects) and couldn't get any usage out of them.  Not on my 2mix, not on individual instruments- no where.  Big disappointment.  I tried them on everything you can imagine.  They were definately the least used EQ's in the racks there, To me, they were plastic sounding, NOTHING LIKE AN SSL (I don't care what Leif Mases might have done to SSL's in the past), and more like a weakling version of a Speck eq in terms of sonics.  They also do not have the same character as the Sontec (at least the one at Precision Mastering in Hollywood).  YRMV, or perhaps I'm "talking out of my ass" because I don't like the unit.
Rolling Eyes
I was actually interested in checking out the UAD version of what I thought was a model of a Sontec (at Namm they had a screen that superimposed the Sontec over their mastering EQ).  I started chatting it up with the guy at the booth and he lost a sale when he wouldn't really say what EQ's they referenced but then went so far to say "Like a Maslec, only better".  Maybe they got lucky, but if they modeled a Maselec, it's of no use to me.  It's now on the bottom of my 'things to check out' list.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: zetterstroem on February 07, 2006, 05:35:18 am
joeaudio wrote on Tue, 07 February 2006 00:25

zetterstroem wrote on Mon, 06 February 2006 16:50

joeaudio wrote on Sun, 05 February 2006 15:25

zetterstroem wrote on Wed, 01 February 2006 00:51

the last time i listened to the maselec it sounded %
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: jazzius on February 07, 2006, 07:43:16 am
I love my Cranesong Ibis.......Brad, how does your Sontec compare to your Ibis?..........Darius
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on February 07, 2006, 08:01:22 am
jazzius wrote on Tue, 07 February 2006 06:43

I love my Cranesong Ibis.......Brad, how does your Sontec compare to your Ibis?..........Darius

Very different boxes. The Sontec, while not heavily colored, isn't as 'transparent' as the Ibis when the coloration is off on the Ibis. Ibis can be a little hard on the top end, if anything the Sontec is a touch soft. The Sontec does all the heavy lifting around here, the Ibis primarily handles coloration (plus I dig the midrange on it).
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: jazzius on February 07, 2006, 02:59:37 pm
Brad, thanks....shame these Sontecs don't come up second hand very often (and are potentially unrepairable!).......D
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: JGreenslade on February 07, 2006, 05:08:28 pm
Quote:


if anything the Sontec is a touch soft


That's the thing that got me on the Sontec; it's "solid state", but not as we know it...

I can well imagine that a unit such as a GML 9500 blows away the Sontec if measured by a test set, but the Sontec's definitely got a certain "soft" touch to it that I don't recall witnessing on other transistor-based units.

Justin
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Olhsson on February 07, 2006, 06:28:13 pm
I've found the older GMLs with the toggle switches sound pretty amazing. I'm told the newer ones aren't as good but I haven't actually played with one.

I would never take sweeping generalizations too seriously because gear frequently interacts making multiple opinions absolutely correct within their respective contexts.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bodyslam on February 08, 2006, 02:10:17 am
compasspnt wrote on Sat, 04 February 2006 11:53

All of this talk about the great old Sontecs, and the potential obsolesence of same, made me wonder about the Tim de Paravicini 825Q.

http://mercenary.com/ear825dualma.html

I know I absolutely LOVE his other pieces, of which I have many.

Does anyone here use this 825?

Has anyone here compared it to a Sontec?


Yes, we use the 825 (as well as lots of other pieces of Tim's kit) and absolutely love it. Actually, I acquired the 825 in exchange for a Sontec. I've had a couple of the Sontecs, and didn't care for them. (I'm speaking of the mastering EQ...I also have experience with the MEP-250C, but not in mastering.) Sold the first one. The second one, being the original 4-channel version for LP work, had two channels with the original amps and two channels with the latest amps. Different sounds, neither one to my taste.

My friend and colleague here in the Bay Area, Ken Lee, also uses the EAR 825Q.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Riccardo on February 08, 2006, 02:19:17 pm
Bodyslam wrote on Wed, 08 February 2006 07:10

compasspnt wrote on Sat, 04 February 2006 11:53

All of this talk about the great old Sontecs, and the potential obsolesence of same, made me wonder about the Tim de Paravicini 825Q.

http://mercenary.com/ear825dualma.html

I know I absolutely LOVE his other pieces, of which I have many.

Does anyone here use this 825?

Has anyone here compared it to a Sontec?


Yes, we use the 825 (as well as lots of other pieces of Tim's kit) and absolutely love it. Actually, I acquired the 825 in exchange for a Sontec. I've had a couple of the Sontecs, and didn't care for them. (I'm speaking of the mastering EQ...I also have experience with the MEP-250C, but not in mastering.) Sold the first one. The second one, being the original 4-channel version for LP work, had two channels with the original amps and two channels with the latest amps. Different sounds, neither one to my taste.

My friend and colleague here in the Bay Area, Ken Lee, also uses the EAR 825Q.




http://www.ear-yoshino.com

p.s. Paul I think the link to Tim's on your website is no longer active.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: jrussell on February 08, 2006, 03:50:36 pm
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Noah Mintz on February 08, 2006, 09:58:40 pm
I'd have to agree that pretty much there is no top end ($5+) eq that sounds like shit. They just couldn't sell if it did. I think if you're using a Maselec, Sontec or GML and it doesn't sound good then there is something wrong with it. It just might not be the EQ for you.

I have both the Sontec and the GML 9500. They are both very complimentary to each other but very different. I look at the GML as EQing purified water and the Sontec as EQing clairified butter. (The Massive - which I don't own - I'd classify as EQing double cream butter). Brad I know you weren’t into the 9500 but I'm surprised about the mid EQ sound you were getting from it. The closest thing I have to the GML is the Weiss. The GML is not a vibe EQ and tends to have no sound of its own.

Noah
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: compasspnt on February 08, 2006, 10:25:57 pm
What if I wanted to EQ Half and Half?

Or Soymilk?
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on February 08, 2006, 11:25:45 pm
Noah Mintz wrote on Wed, 08 February 2006 20:58

Brad I know you weren?t into the 9500 but I'm surprised about the mid EQ sound you were getting from it.

Hi Noah, nice to chat again.

Yah, to me the 3-4k area on the 9500 was a touch harsh. Not bad, but obvious...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: dcollins on February 09, 2006, 01:17:20 am
jrussell wrote on Wed, 08 February 2006 12:50

I remember showing it to Burgess & he was curious about it, he flipped the freq knob around quickly & said something to the effect of "oh yeah... I know what he's doing" & a couple of other comments, before dismissing it.



He must save a bundle on test equipment.

Quote:


FWIW I'm not passing judgement on the Maselec, I thought it sounded fine.  Burgess' words, not mine.  I still use a Sontec every day though, but you gotta have a good tech.


Can't you just fill out a form on the Sontec website?

DC
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: dcollins on February 09, 2006, 01:29:04 am
compasspnt wrote on Wed, 08 February 2006 19:25

What if I wanted to EQ Half and Half?

Or Soymilk?


Mmmmmmm....Half and half....

I've heard that Soy makes your brain shrink.  Is it true?

I don't mean your brain, but in general.

They seemed to vindicate having fat in your diet today, if one is to believe the news.  

I think we'll start seeing sticks of butter sold just like frozen bananas at theme parks........

DC

Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Garrett H on February 09, 2006, 06:15:40 am
dcollins wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 00:14

 Everyone that has seen the schema of the "reverse engineered" HS-1000 had to have their eyebrows professionally lowered.

DC



Dave, what does that cost these days?
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Mark Wilder on February 09, 2006, 09:57:03 am
I have both the EAR 825Q and the Sontec MES-462C9.  

These are dramatically different tools.  There's never a moment when I'm confused about which one to use.  

The 825Q is tube, has fixed Q, has no overlapping frequencies in the peak/dip bands.  To me, it's very reminiscent of using Lang/Pultec combinations.  I use the EAR to caress a mix.  

The Sontec has a different signature, and is more flexible for those projects that need flexibility.  I use the Sontec to fix a mix.



Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Boyd on February 09, 2006, 10:29:59 am
Can anyone here draw any comparisons between the EAR and the Massive Passive?
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Olhsson on February 09, 2006, 11:09:51 am
I understand the latter is mocha.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: dcollins on February 10, 2006, 02:03:17 am
Garrett H wrote on Thu, 09 February 2006 03:15



Dave, what does that cost these days?


The costs are more like stability at low gains, extra stages and short-circuit protection. Is that a Z5U in there?

Seems to work though.

DC



Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: jfrigo on February 10, 2006, 11:55:47 am
Bob Boyd wrote on Thu, 09 February 2006 07:29

Can anyone here draw any comparisons between the EAR and the Massive Passive?


The EAR is not as colored and adjusting one band doesn't change the one next to it.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 10, 2006, 12:38:35 pm
bblackwood wrote on Wed, 08 February 2006 22:25

Yah, to me the 3-4k area on the 9500 was a touch harsh. Not bad, but obvious...


Isn't 3-4kHz a bit harsh by nature, when boosted on any EQ?

After all that's the range that the (human) ear is most sensitive.

What makes the Sontec different in this range, less harmonic distortion?

Curious


p.s. noticed there's an ITI (230) on eBay at the moment.

p.s.s. anyone know of a website that discusses the history and evolution of the Sontec, ITI, and Massenburg EQs, or am I lookin' at it?
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Boyd on February 10, 2006, 01:18:48 pm
Jerry Tubb wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 11:38

bblackwood wrote on Wed, 08 February 2006 22:25

Yah, to me the 3-4k area on the 9500 was a touch harsh. Not bad, but obvious...


Isn't 3-4kHz a bit harsh by nature, when boosted on any EQ?

After all that's the range that the (human) ear is most sensitive.

What makes the Sontec different in this range, less harmonic distortion?

Curious


p.s. noticed there's an ITI (230) on eBay at the moment.

p.s.s. anyone know of a website that discusses the history and evolution of the Sontec, ITI, and Massenburg EQs, or am I lookin' at it?

Yeah, but I know exactly what Brad is talking about and even though there a lot of things I like about the 9500, I hardly ever add gain with mine in that range.  That area on the Maselec, by contrast, is completely different.  Much more smooth.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Boyd on February 10, 2006, 01:20:35 pm
jfrigo wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 10:55

Bob Boyd wrote on Thu, 09 February 2006 07:29

Can anyone here draw any comparisons between the EAR and the Massive Passive?


The EAR is not as colored and adjusting one band doesn't change the one next to it.


Interesting.  Thanks for the info Jay.

Worth a listen you think?
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: jrussell on February 10, 2006, 01:31:36 pm
http://www.uaudio.com/webzine/2004/december/content/content4 .html
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 10, 2006, 01:37:41 pm
jrussell wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 12:31

 http://www.uaudio.com/webzine/2004/december/content/content4 .html


Gracias.

a short, but informative page.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on February 10, 2006, 01:41:04 pm
Jerry Tubb wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 11:38

bblackwood wrote on Wed, 08 February 2006 22:25

Yah, to me the 3-4k area on the 9500 was a touch harsh. Not bad, but obvious...


Isn't 3-4kHz a bit harsh by nature, when boosted on any EQ?

I mean with no boost or cut applied - just the sound of the box at unity...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Boyd on February 10, 2006, 02:03:11 pm
bblackwood wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 12:41

Jerry Tubb wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 11:38

bblackwood wrote on Wed, 08 February 2006 22:25

Yah, to me the 3-4k area on the 9500 was a touch harsh. Not bad, but obvious...


Isn't 3-4kHz a bit harsh by nature, when boosted on any EQ?

I mean with no boost or cut applied - just the sound of the box at unity...

That's the part that really seems strange to me.  Mine is transparent.  I've also ready stories when BL had dared people to tell if it's in line on not.  I'm guessing something was wrong with that unit.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on February 10, 2006, 02:07:30 pm
Bob Boyd wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 13:03

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 12:41

Jerry Tubb wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 11:38

bblackwood wrote on Wed, 08 February 2006 22:25

Yah, to me the 3-4k area on the 9500 was a touch harsh. Not bad, but obvious...


Isn't 3-4kHz a bit harsh by nature, when boosted on any EQ?

I mean with no boost or cut applied - just the sound of the box at unity...

That's the part that really seems strange to me.  Mine is transparent.  I've also ready stories when BL had dared people to tell if it's in line on not.  I'm guessing something was wrong with that unit.

Considering others have heard the same thing, I'm thinking some people just dig it, some don't...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: mikepecchio on February 10, 2006, 02:07:55 pm
Bob Boyd wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 13:18


Yeah, but I know exactly what Brad is talking about and even though there a lot of things I like about the 9500, I hardly ever add gain with mine in that range.  That area on the Maselec, by contrast, is completely different.  Much more smooth.



I never tried the 9500 but Ive used an 8200 alot.  I am familiar with the subtle GML "zippyness" in the upper mids.  But for the most part I am fond of it. It can help "wake up" a stale, lo-fi mix without sounding like an exciter.  I can see why someone working on acoustic music or consistantly very well recorded material would see this as a fault but for me it has usually been a benefit.

By the way, I think it is also present to some extent in the mic pre and mixers that use the 9202 opamp (I think that is the model#) sony music in NYC recently built a 36 input custom console based on the GML mini-mixer modules. they were well aware of the "sheen" these circuits produce. word is the hip hop guys love it.

mike p
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: ammitsboel on February 10, 2006, 03:59:47 pm
Bob Boyd wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 20:03

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 12:41

Jerry Tubb wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 11:38

bblackwood wrote on Wed, 08 February 2006 22:25

Yah, to me the 3-4k area on the 9500 was a touch harsh. Not bad, but obvious...


Isn't 3-4kHz a bit harsh by nature, when boosted on any EQ?

I mean with no boost or cut applied - just the sound of the box at unity...

That's the part that really seems strange to me.  Mine is transparent.  I've also ready stories when BL had dared people to tell if it's in line on not.  I'm guessing something was wrong with that unit.
It could be anything... really! what you chose to hear defines your sound. What you chose to hear is also defined by what you chose as monitor.

mikepecchio wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 20:07

I am familiar with the subtle GML "zippyness" in the upper mids.
Sounds like higher order distortion. I have enough of that in my digital equipment... might be a different distortion though.

Best Regards
Henrik
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on February 10, 2006, 08:22:12 pm
Jerry Tubb wrote on Fri, 10 February 2006 11:38

p.s. noticed there's an ITI (230) on eBay at the moment.

And some think Sontecs are hard to get parts for...

Quote:

p.s.s. anyone know of a website that discusses the history and evolution of the Sontec, ITI, and Massenburg EQs, or am I lookin' at it?

Well, there are a few guys like myself who have learned tons over the years, partly by necessity and partly by curiosity. And aside from the post above with some info from various sources there's this from GM:
Quote:

Thanks for the opportunity to document the early days of the Parametric EQ. In fact, the question of "...how much of the modern-day 4 op-amp state-variable-filter-based parametric EQ..." I designed is answerable: little...sort-of. Our topologies were and are invariably based on single-opamp designs based on "T" filters. I did in fact coin the term "parametric" and published the first description of the device in a 1972 AES preprint, which is still available. Burgess Macneal might wish to be heard on this as well, but I think the following is pretty accurate.

In my informed opinion only four people could possibly lay claim to the modern concept: Bob Meushaw, Burgess Macneal, Daniel Flickinger, and myself; I don't know Dan, and I understand that he's (wisely, perhaps) been out of audio since somewhere around the time of the Ike Turner/Bolic Sound debacle.

Our (Bob's, Burgess' and my) sweep-tunable EQ was borne, more or less, out of a idea that Burgess and I had around 1966 or 1967 for an EQ that would avoid inductors and switches, both expensive and seemingly-flawed items in that day. In 1964 or 65 we had built a console for Recordings Incorporated of Baltimore that utilized the first Fairchild monolythic IC's, both 709's and 716's. The performance was woefully inadequate, and our later designs were built around discrete-transistor op-amps.

Somewhere around 1967, Bob Meushaw (an old friend of mine from Poly, who went on to Princton and has since disappeared into the anonimity of the National Security Administration) built a three-band, frequency-adjustable, fixed-Q, IC op-amp-based EQ based on passive 2 resistor/2 capacitor or 3 resistor/3 capacitor "T" filters - a design basically taken out of a 1940's Bell Labs filter handbook. The user interface was embryonic - boosts and cuts were done by independent controls - and the high-end EQ was a wierd, three-pole "T filter". The performance was flawed - the op-amps were really noisy and the three-pole HF section had a overly-sharp, asymetrical bell-curve. But in 1968 I started doing recordings using this prototype, and started discovering advantages of using it rather than the available EQ's of the day: Fairchild console modules, Altec graphic EQ's, and Lang or Cinema Engineering program EQ's.

By 1969 I was spending all of my time designing circuitry sufficient to get to an elegant user interface: we perceived this as three controls adjusting, independently, the parameters for each of three bands for a recording console. This console was for ITI, which had absorbed Recordings Incorporated, and the device was by no means the raison d'etre for ITI. It's pathetically intelligence-challenged chief exec, Jack Best, imagined himself to be a visionary captain of industry (Jack had slipped some cash to Spiro Agnew - remember him? - in trade for a position on the CAB), and was producing and distributing business programs on cassette. He needed studios with consoles, and I had an opportunity. I remember agonizing over the topology for the EQ for months, and asking everyone I knew for help. One person comes to mind: there was a well-known engineer working next door at Aircraft Armaments who looked at the goals and stated that he felt that the circuit solution was impossible or impractical. His hame was Walt Jung and he went on to write the "IC OpAmp Cookbook" a few years later.

Incidentally, during that time I was taking Electrical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, a school that was as medieval, apathetic and oppressive as schooling in the 60's could get. I got into a row with a 'professor', who looked at a schematic for a gyrator that we had built and declared it "of theoretical interest only", and "impractical" to implement. Seeing this as a sign, I dropped out of college.

The first and only ITI console (which later sank into the cold depths of the Baltimore harbor, but that's another story), and then the ME-230 Parametric EQ, used a discrete op-amp, which was designed by Chick Sauter, a video electronics design engineer, from whom I learn much. This discrete op-amp had 2N4250A PNP inputs and MPSU06/56 outputs, and at least two *more* gain stages inbetween, and was not particularly stable. But was magnitudes quieter than the available IC's of the day, and had at least 6 or 8dB more headroom due to the higher (+/- 28v) rails. Certain Los Angeles engineers (Rik Pekonnen / Allen Sides) still think that this was the cleanest EQ I've ever built. I think they've been smoking something.

I remember the ITI console being finished sometime in 1969 (although I may be off a year), and I did alot of recording on it, although I don't remember anything we did finding a large market. Also, our choice of a Beyer input transformer limited the low-end performance, so it wasn't particularly a "hi-fi" console. But I was certainly doing recording with it long before I saw my first Flickinger console at the New York AES in 1971, the show at which we introduced the ME-230. I remember little from that show save comments such as, "where are the click-stops?" Deane Jensen (my childhood neighbor and friend) took pictures of the console around this time, but God knows what happened to them.

I wrote and delivered the AES paper on Parametrics at the Los Angeles show in 1972 (I'd be delighted to forward a PDF of it to anyone who's interested). Two things of note. First, it's the first mention of "Parametric" associated with sweep-tunable EQ. Second, we missed the submission deadline and Burgess and I type-set (on an early IBM typesetter) and printed the pre-prints ourselves (we had a process darkroom and printing plant for record labels and jackets), under the guidelines of the AES; there's a Chemco exposure control strip on the final paper. We never thought of patenting or copyrighting anything; Jack Best couldn't claim the slightest use to anything I was doing.

Several things come to mind from that period:

I met a brilliant engineer, David Blackmer, at the session at which I delivered the first paper; he was delivering one of his early papers on either his VCA (which changed the industry) or noise-reduction (which was somewhat flawed compared to Ray Dolby's). I came away from the chance encounter and spent the next four or five years digging to dynamics controllers, inspired by Blackmer's work, mostly for API at that time.

The first commercial parametric sold was to Gerhard Lehner of Barclay Studios in Paris (where I would later work after moving there in 1973).

Some years later I came to the aid of...was it Bill Thompson of Ashley Audio? Ray Dolby's attorneys were trying to "mine" the Dolby circuit patents and levy a fee of...geez what was it? 5c per band for a 1/3rd octave EQ's? I had previously implemented the circuit that Dolby engineers had patented in 1976; it is fundamental in the implementation of "reciprocal" curves. Luckily, it was described in an ITI manual which predated Dolby's patent, thus establishing "prior art".

After I moved to Los Angeles in 1975 I redesigned the basic discrete op-amp. For all of the GML and Sontec designs (Burgess and I, among others, own the company jointly, though you'd never know it) I designed two significant revisions. The first had truly stupendous HF response; it featured a 2N5566 dual J-FET running at an ungodly high current, and a highly-linear second stage which featured the dominant pole. It was ridiculously fast (150mHz gain-bandwidth, 600v/us slew rate) and stable (no instability over a 60dB gain-variation range) as it was unreliable (from smoking to out-and-out explosions). We've long since gone to a fast, very-high-gain NPN input stage, keeping the high-voltage gain 2nd stage for GML designs, although the design evolves as semiconductor manufacturers obsolete discrete parts.

Finally, what I'm proudest of is less in designing devices alone, and more in exploring the ever-expanding applications and uses of gear, and then applying that knowledge to designs.

George Massenburg

George has been pretty tight-lipped over the years about the HS1000 - the only part difficult to find for the Sontec EQs. While I understand his opinion that his current products are superior, I don't buy his claim that the only reason people still like Sontecs is because "they are cheaper". The aren't, and they can be a pain to keep repaired, but those who use them know they are worth it. I'm also of the opinion that he should be more forthcoming with information concerning the Sontec line as it remains popular and he is the gatekeeper...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 11, 2006, 12:28:10 am
Holy Flying Geronimo Brad!

Thanks for sharing... great info.

Maybe one day, someone (namely GM) will publish a full history, complete with photos, specs, etc. of the ITI, Sontec, GML lineage... but probably only us geeky MEs & AEs would care.

Although I'm a happy NSEQ-2, GML 8200 & Avalon 2055 owner, I still miss the smooth sound of that old Sontec (250?) we had back in the early 90s. IIRC it was one of the very first, very low serial #, if not the very first one. The newer ones don't sound the same.

Cheers
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Andy Krehm on February 11, 2006, 09:36:18 pm
Has anyone tried SPL's PQ Mastering Equalizer? Even better, how does it compare the the Sontec, Masalec and GML?

Second question: Has anyone had the opportunity to A/B the MDW Parametric EQ plug-in as a TDM plug-in vs the MDW EQ in the TC6000?

Thanks,

Andy
Silverbirch Productions
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Boyd on February 11, 2006, 10:05:11 pm
Andy Krehm wrote on Sat, 11 February 2006 20:36

Second question: Has anyone had the opportunity to A/B the MDW Parametric EQ plug-in as a TDM plug-in vs the MDW EQ in the TC6000?

Thanks,

Andy
Silverbirch Productions

George confirmed to me that the MDW Hi-Res EQ in the 6000 and for TDM are coded the same.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Andy Krehm on February 12, 2006, 01:34:07 pm
Bob Boyd wrote on Sat, 11 February 2006 22:05

Andy Krehm wrote on Sat, 11 February 2006 20:36

Second question: Has anyone had the opportunity to A/B the MDW Parametric EQ plug-in as a TDM plug-in vs the MDW EQ in the TC6000?

Thanks,

Andy
Silverbirch Productions

George confirmed to me that the MDW Hi-Res EQ in the 6000 and for TDM are coded the same.


Thanks for info, Bob.

I looked on your site (nicely done, except would have liked to see pics of your studio!) and see that you use Pro Tools. I'm assuming that you don't have the MDW plug-in for PTs or you would have offered your observations on the difference between the two, if any.

The reason I am asking these questions is because I have one seemingly missing piece of gear in my otherwise reasonably complete gear list and that is a precision analog eq, which is why I am following this link.

I'm trying to decide if my Weiss EQ1-MKll-DYN-LP, MDW Parametric (now in PTs or TC, if I decide to buy it), TC EQ (in TC 6000) is enough for precision work or whether the addition of  one of the following, SPL's PQ Mastering Equalizer, Masalec or GML (and I suppose one could add the STC-8 to the list) would make my work better/easier.

I also have the Manley MP and the rare but unique sounding  NightPro EQ1-D so I'm not wanting for "colour".

I must admit, without bringing another eq unit here, I'm happy with the sound of what I'm doing and don't really feel like I'm lacking any equalization options but since so many of you have a precision outboard analog unit(s), I'm wondering what I'm missing!

Opinions welcomed!

Andy,

Silverbirch Productions
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Boyd on February 12, 2006, 03:30:08 pm
Andy Krehm wrote on Sun, 12 February 2006 12:34

Bob Boyd wrote on Sat, 11 February 2006 22:05

Andy Krehm wrote on Sat, 11 February 2006 20:36

Second question: Has anyone had the opportunity to A/B the MDW Parametric EQ plug-in as a TDM plug-in vs the MDW EQ in the TC6000?

Thanks,

Andy
Silverbirch Productions

George confirmed to me that the MDW Hi-Res EQ in the 6000 and for TDM are coded the same.


Thanks for info, Bob.

I looked on your site (nicely done, except would have liked to see pics of your studio!) and see that you use Pro Tools. I'm assuming that you don't have the MDW plug-in for PTs or you would have offered your observations on the difference between the two, if any.

The reason I am asking these questions is because I have one seemingly missing piece of gear in my otherwise reasonably complete gear list and that is a precision analog eq, which is why I am following this link.

I'm trying to decide if my Weiss EQ1-MKll-DYN-LP, MDW Parametric (now in PTs or TC, if I decide to buy it), TC EQ (in TC 6000) is enough for precision work or whether the addition of  one of the following, SPL's PQ Mastering Equalizer, Masalec or GML (and I suppose one could add the STC-8 to the list) would make my work better/easier.

I also have the Manley MP and the rare but unique sounding  NightPro EQ1-D so I'm not wanting for "colour".

I must admit, without bringing another eq unit here, I'm happy with the sound of what I'm doing and don't really feel like I'm lacking any equalization options but since so many of you have a precision outboard analog unit(s), I'm wondering what I'm missing!

Opinions welcomed!

Andy,

Silverbirch Productions

I haven't heard the SPL (but, of course, would love to).  Given what you've listed, I think the Maselec MEA-2 would be a nice addition.  You could also try something more active sounding like the API 550m.  Dashes of that piece from time to time are really great.

The Maselec can handle more workload (and nicely), the 550m is usually a compliment to what I'm doing elsewhere.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Phil Demetro on February 12, 2006, 04:04:52 pm
In a perfect world I have to agree with Brad that as the "gatekeeper" George Massenburg should relinquish some control, sell, etc. his interests in the Sontec designs. If so many people are interested in the EQ and there is a demand for them then why shouldn't he? I wouldn't call it impeding progress but...I sure wish he would just 'sell out".

I spoke to GM about a year ago when he called here with some questions about a sick 9500 that was in the Lacquer Channel North studio. He asked what was in the signal chain - I told him and his first remark was "well there's the problem right there - get rid of the Sontec". The conversation went on in a really humourous way but it had a defensive tinge to it. Being a Sontec owner myself I went on to defend what an amazing equalizer I thought it was. The best sound, the best ergonomics, the big knobs, and at some point - used by everyone who is anyone (I also use neve, focusrite, api and a bunch of generally disapointing digital. Just not the same). It is only the Sontec that makes it onto every job.
George made a real effort to be polite on the issue (given that he is probably so sick and tired of everyone telling him how great the EQ is) but he really let it be known that a lot of the baggage he has with it seems mostly inter-personal with Burgess MacNeal. Build quality issues were mentioned (a big bone of contention there) and, of course, the availability of certain parts. Some are just not made anymore. It was obvious that there was not a lot of interaction between the two men happening at that point.

Although the following is only SPECULATION on my part - who can argue with his reasoning? That's what makes it so tough to get information from GM. The whole topic is almost like a painful divorce with the Sontec being the "kid" from the past. And GM obviuosly wants to more on! As long as there are working Sontecs then fewer people will be checking out the GML - not to mention which I'm sure he makes more $$$ from compared to a just a % of what he gets/owns from Sontec. He won't fix them because he feels it's not his problem to clean up someone else's mess. I'm sure it's bothersome to him that a majority of the big name, older school guys, especially, prefer his Sontec design to the 9500. But the issue won't seem to die either - this is helluva long thread which is proof enough! (Actually i'm curious how many people on this forum even own a Sontec?)

In the end we didn't agree about the value of the Sontec but not before i suggested a new GML eq that had really big knobs on it!

I get bummed thinking about the possibility of my working life without a Sontec.
the Maselec and 9500 are great tools but, to me, not the same.

I'd really love to get another MES432C!

Phil
Title: Sontec
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 18, 2006, 06:29:08 pm
Well here she is boys... I pulled the trigger... just couldn't resist!

oops! Didn't realize the pic was so big, I'll post it later tonight.

cheers

[edit - got it jay-tea, and congrats!]

index.php/fa/2410/0/
Title: Re: Reality Check: Cash Flow -vs- Equipment Costs
Post by: mcsnare on February 18, 2006, 06:57:47 pm
I am SO JEALOUS I could scream........
Dave
Title: Re: Reality Check: Cash Flow -vs- Equipment Costs
Post by: Phil Demetro on February 18, 2006, 07:21:14 pm
I'm so jealous and I OWN one!

Nice going!
I replaced the knob covers on mine with different colours just so I  could not make this mistake of using the wrong bands from left to right

phil
Title: Re: Reality Check: Cash Flow -vs- Equipment Costs
Post by: mcsnare on February 18, 2006, 11:20:32 pm
It looks like it'll be pretty easy to use, cause it's already marked with the correct settings...
Dave
Title: Re: Reality Check: Cash Flow -vs- Equipment Costs
Post by: bblackwood on February 19, 2006, 10:49:39 am
Interesting, it looks as if that unit has 1dB steps.

Let us know when you fire it up, Jerry...
Title: Re: Reality Check: Cash Flow -vs- Equipment Costs
Post by: Andy Krehm on February 19, 2006, 12:32:31 pm
Phil Demetro wrote on Sat, 18 February 2006 19:21

I'm so jealous and I OWN one!

Nice going!
I replaced the knob covers on mine with different colours just so I  could not make this mistake of using the wrong bands from left to right

phil


I''ve got a serious case of "eq envy" because I'm looking for another analog eq and have the budget but have no idea where to find a Sontec in good working order!

Can anyone give me any ideas?

Andy

Silverbirch Productions
Title: Re: Reality Check: Cash Flow -vs- Equipment Costs
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 19, 2006, 01:22:43 pm
Thanks for the Congrats guys... feels like a pig in shyte, sounds like a dream!

mcsnare wrote on Sat, 18 February 2006 17:57

I am SO JEALOUS I could scream........
Dave


Music to my ears.... just kidding Dave, if anyone deserves to own one of these babies... it's you. I've had my feelers out on this one for years, and finally got lucky!


Phil Demetro wrote on Sat, 18 February 2006 18:21

I replaced the knob covers on mine with different colours just so I  could not make this mistake of using the wrong bands from left to right


although the "rainbow" treatment sounds like fun, how could you miss with knobs this big?


mcsnare wrote on Sat, 18 February 2006 22:20

It looks like it'll be pretty easy to use, cause it's already marked with the correct settings...


Didn't Burgess mark the proper settings at the shop? Smile

They look like dried grease pencil (or worse, china marker) marks from several years ago, don't affect the sound though!  Any tips for removing those, without harming the paint?


bblackwood wrote on Sun, 19 February 2006 09:49

Interesting, it looks as if that unit has 1dB steps. Let us know when you fire it up, Jerry...


They are indeed marked in 1 dB steps, may be the distinction between the 432C & the 432C9?

I'll shoot some tones and pink noise thru her later today, check the analyzer and report back on the steps.

Took the top off last night (no smoke) and found an extra "module" taped on the inside... good news.

Also found the serial numbers on the boards, very very clean inside.

IIRC this unit is about 8-10 years old, actually used it a time or two back when it was new... know the original owner.

Brad, maybe we should move the remainder of this thread over to the "Where Are The Sontecs?" topic for cohesiveness?

Cheers
Title: Re: Reality Check: Cash Flow -vs- Equipment Costs
Post by: bblackwood on February 19, 2006, 02:02:14 pm
Jerry Tubb wrote on Sun, 19 February 2006 12:22

They look like dried grease pencil (or worse, china marker) marks from several years ago, don't affect the sound though!  Any tips for removing those, without harming the paint?

I'd try some alcohol...

Jerry Tubb wrote:

bblackwood wrote on Sun, 19 February 2006 09:49

Interesting, it looks as if that unit has 1dB steps. Let us know when you fire it up, Jerry...

They are indeed marked in 1 dB steps, may be the distinction between the 432C & the 432C9?

You know, if memory serves, all of the 12dB units were 1dB steps, the C6's were 0.5dB steps through-out, and the the C9 is a mix - 0.5dB steps to about 3dB then 1dB steps beyond that. I wasn't aware that the 432C (1dB steps) was built after the mid-eighties, however...
Title: Re: Reality Check: Cash Flow -vs- Equipment Costs
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 19, 2006, 05:37:50 pm
bblackwood wrote on Sun, 19 February 2006 13:02

You know, if memory serves, all of the 12dB units were 1dB steps, the C6's were 0.5dB steps through-out, and the the C9 is a mix - 0.5dB steps to about 3dB then 1dB steps beyond that. I wasn't aware that the 432C (1dB steps) was built after the mid-eighties, however...


Yes, confirmed that it is in 1dB steps... less flexible than 0.5 dB steps...

I'll use it for a few weeks, and decide whether it needs a 0.5dB mod.

The good news: all the bands, freqs, Qs, shelves, etc working fine, seems very stable... and I got a great deal.

Thanks for the input, and of course cheers.
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 21, 2006, 05:16:14 am
OK I know you guys are getting tired of my babbling blatherskite about my newly acquired Sontec 432... but I mastered my first CD with it on Monday night...

This thing sounds incredible... rich and defined... a giant leap forward.

Cheers
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Bob Boyd on February 21, 2006, 10:05:39 am
That's awesome Jerry.  Congrats!!
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Phil Demetro on February 22, 2006, 07:30:15 pm
Jerry,

Sontec still working? Sure looks like the previous owner took care of it!

Here's my "colors of the rainbow" Sontec. I wonder if that makes mine more "rare" -  hence more valuable?  (I'll spare all of you a smiley faced emoticon!)

Inspired by the ITI/GML 8900/Sterling Sound thing - and everyone thought I could tell the bands apart! Imagine.

Sure is good fun keeping this thread going...

see ya,
Phil

index.php/fa/2449/0/
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on February 22, 2006, 09:39:31 pm
Phil's sporting the 'alternative lifestyle' Sontec...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: nmw on February 22, 2006, 09:50:08 pm
lol,
where did you get the caps from. who makes those knobs anyways?
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: compasspnt on February 22, 2006, 11:27:54 pm

I can understand changing the knobs when they look awful (first thing I did with STC-8, for instance), but on a Sontec???

They are perfect "The Way We Were!"  (Which was mastered through one anyway.)


Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 22, 2006, 11:44:27 pm
Phil Demetro wrote on Wed, 22 February 2006 18:30

Jerry,

Sontec still working? Sure looks like the previous owner took care of it!


Yes Phil, works & sounds like a dream, thanks for asking.

Used it on four records this week already.

Phil Demetro wrote on Wed, 22 February 2006 18:30

Here's my "colors of the rainbow" Sontec.


Oooooh Nice.... de colores.... now I'm jealous!

Just curious if you modded yours for 0.5dB boost-cut?

In Sontec Heaven...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Phil Demetro on February 23, 2006, 01:55:33 am
I knew the caps would get a reaction...
Thanks to everyone who had fun at my expense! I hope you all feel better.

Having and "Alternative lifestyle Sontec" is finally legal in Canada - well  not quite legal but it won't get me busted.

The caps I got from Elma Electronics? These are the "collet" style knob caps and like eveything else getting tougher to source.
I gave all my spares "caps" to my good mate Noah. He has a vintage Sontec - a modded "4 channel" one. Bas*#$%!
The order clerk at Elma was cool. He actually knew who Burgess MacNeal was when I told him what the caps were for. He told me that he had quite a bit of experience on a "NEV" console!  I just didn't have the heart to correct his pronunciation!

I haven't had the 1/2 dB step mod done to mine. Sure sounds like  good idea. Mine is the 12x 1db steps one. With the C range amps. Trust plays a really big factor here. Who can do the job reliably? Better yet, who can do the mod reliably in under 18 months? For instance:
I have a focusrite 330 comp out getting the "oceanway" mod and it's taking a long time. The other guys joke that I should take it off my gear list until it actually comes back. It has been that long!

It's weird how people talk about their possessions like they were alive.

Phil

Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on February 23, 2006, 07:00:41 am
Phil Demetro wrote on Thu, 23 February 2006 00:55

I knew the caps would get a reaction...
Thanks to everyone who had fun at my expense! I hope you all feel better.

I do actually, thanks! And thanks for being a good sport.

I have also seen guys use red, black, grey, and white caps on the Sontec, but I've never felt the need to change them out. I mean, it looks so sweet stock.

As for modding the Sontec, you're right - if ever the analogy of 'playing with fire' applied, it's this case. All it takes is one mistake (or not) and *poof*, you're calling everyone one you know looking for spares...
Title: Sontecs, was 'The curse of being dependant on one machine'
Post by: Jerry Tubb on August 22, 2006, 10:27:54 am
bblackwood wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 08:32

Well, the only piece I'd rather not have if at all possible is the Sontec, which appeared to be sick the other day. After a few little checks I managed (with help from the great Chris Muth) to find the issue and correct it. That being said, I own two Sontecs, just in case...


I'd like to hear a little more about that Brad, I've got one extra "module" for my Sontec, just in case. I suppose that's where the hallowed HS-1000s are (?). Once in a while when I'm changing one of the "shape" knobs I get some funny sounds, but when the switch gets seated properly the noise goes away... other than that it's been perfect, two owners, very low mileage before I got it... now it stays on and in the analog signal path at all times.

JT
Title: Re: The curse of being dependent on one machine
Post by: bblackwood on August 22, 2006, 10:45:33 am
Jerry Tubb wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 09:27

I'd like to hear a little more about that Brad, I've got one extra "module" for my Sontec, just in case. I suppose that's where the hallowed HS-1000s are (?). Once in a while when I'm changing one of the "shape" knobs I get some funny sounds, but when the switch gets seated properly the noise goes away... other than that it's been perfect, two owners, very low mileage before I got it... now it stays on and in the analog signal path at all times.

Well, the two big things that can go wrong with the Sontec are the HS2000s going bad (those are the modules in my EQs', a later version of the HS1000 - the HS1000 is a large potted module, the HS2000 is a card) and the switched going bad. Chris Muth can rebuild HS2000s, though it's good to have spares around, but when the Shallco switches go bad, it's way expensive to repair.

My issue was was appeared to be some DC in the right channel. After going through some exercises to try to narrow it down, I started swapping the HS2000's around to see if we could isolate a bad card. The action of removing and replacing the card must have wiped a touch of oxidation off the contacts as the noise immediately went away. All cards were then pulled and the contacts thoroughly cleaned and all is well again...
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: Jerry Tubb on August 22, 2006, 11:25:33 am
bblackwood wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 09:45

The action of removing and replacing the card must have wiped a touch of oxidation off the contacts as the noise immediately went away. All cards were then pulled and the contacts thoroughly cleaned and all is well again...


Ahh that's good news, thanks for the tip Brad.

Still, swapping those cards around has to feel a bit risky.

Nothing like a steady hand and a sharp eye!

Mine must be the HS2000 cards, I'll post a pic later if that's OK.

Man I love this EQ, last night did a project where a typical EQ would be:

+1dB at 70Hz for some more oomph in the bass
+1dB at 350Hz for some vocal warmth & fatness
+1dB at16kHz for some nice air on top

all on wide Qs (or Shapes), sounds like a dream.

JT
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on August 22, 2006, 11:32:04 am
Jerry Tubb wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 10:25

swapping those cards around has to feel a bit risky.

Nah, no biggie, unless there's a problem with the card. If there is a problem, I'd rather find out when I'm working on it than during a session!
Title: Re: The curse of being dependent on one machine
Post by: Jerry Tubb on August 23, 2006, 03:30:18 am
bblackwood wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 09:45

 ...Chris Muth can rebuild HS2000s, though it's good to have spares around...


Is that a recent development ? If so, that really good news !

Makes the possible volatility of the 432C less of an issue.

I'm sure Chris' services are expensive, but no doubt worth it.

Thanks for the info... JT
Title: Re: The curse of being dependent on one machine
Post by: dcollins on August 23, 2006, 03:32:29 am
Jerry Tubb wrote on Wed, 23 August 2006 00:30

bblackwood wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 09:45

 ...Chris Muth can rebuild HS2000s, though it's good to have spares around...


Is that a recent development ? If so, that really good news !

Makes the possible volatility of the 432C less of an issue.

I'm sure Chris' services are expensive, but no doubt worth it.




Does he have sufficient spares for the bent paper-clips that hold those opamps in there?

DC
Title: Re: The curse of being dependent on one machine
Post by: Jerry Tubb on August 23, 2006, 03:48:55 am
dcollins wrote on Wed, 23 August 2006 02:32

Jerry Tubb wrote on Wed, 23 August 2006 00:30

bblackwood wrote on Tue, 22 August 2006 09:45

 ...Chris Muth can rebuild HS2000s, though it's good to have spares around...


Is that a recent development ? If so, that really good news !

Makes the possible volatility of the 432C less of an issue.

I'm sure Chris' services are expensive, but no doubt worth it.




Does he have sufficient spares for the bent paper-clips that hold those opamps in there?

DC


So far my biggest issue has been pulling it out of the rack, lifting the hood and adjusting the tension on the knobs ; - )

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on August 29, 2006, 02:34:18 am
So I pulled out my Sontecs' spare opamp today, examined it closely, and noticed they had scratched the part numbers off of many of the components, to make it difficult to copy or repair.

Interesting strategy at the time, but has it punished Sontec owners in the long run?

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on August 29, 2006, 07:26:15 am
Jerry Tubb wrote on Tue, 29 August 2006 01:34

So I pulled out my Sontecs' spare opamp today, examined it closely, and noticed they had scratched the part numbers off of many of the components, to make it difficult to copy or repair.

Interesting strategy at the time, but has it punished Sontec owners in the long run?

Yes, absolutely. Made recreating the HS2000 nearly impossible (well, that combined with the fact GM wouldn't help out). Luckily, Chris Muth spent the time and energy reverse engineering it for us...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on August 30, 2006, 07:21:30 pm
Just a question, how does the MEP 250EX compare sonically to the 430/432C's? Do they use the same opamps? HS1000 & HS2000?

Someone has stated that the main difference is not the sound of the units, but that the 250EX has infinitely variable pots whereas the 430/432's are detented making it best for mastering because of the recall capability.

Would you agree with this? has anyone compared the sound of the 250EX with a 432C?

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mikepecchio on August 30, 2006, 08:08:48 pm
Matt_G wrote on Wed, 30 August 2006 19:21


Would you agree with this? has anyone compared the sound of the 250EX with a 432C?



I was just thinking the same thing.  I work with a GML8200 and the no-steps issue doesn't bother me that much at all.  I too have eyed the 250. has anyone listened to them side by side?

mike p
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on August 30, 2006, 10:31:43 pm
Matt_G wrote on Wed, 30 August 2006 18:21

Just a question, how does the MEP 250EX compare sonically to the 430/432C's? Do they use the same opamps? HS1000 & HS2000?

Someone has stated that the main difference is not the sound of the units, but that the 250EX has infinitely variable pots whereas the 430/432's are detented making it best for mastering because of the recall capability.

Would you agree with this? has anyone compared the sound of the 250EX with a 432C?

As someone who owns both, I can say they do not sound the same. The 250EX is a great EQ, but doesn't sound as good as the 432. They both use HS2000s, but the 432 uses 3 per channel while the 250 uses 2 per channel, indicating circuit differences. I once ran a song through both at unity to see which one sounded better, then passed it around to a few friends after renaming the files - every one preferred the 432...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Viitalahde on August 31, 2006, 09:21:11 am
Does the 250EX use Sontec op-amps in the filters, too? At least the 250A seems to use an IC op amp only.

But certainly, there is a major difference in filter circuits for 432 and 250 EQ's.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Dave Davis on September 06, 2006, 10:07:52 am
I've not heard a 250 that really sounded much like the mastering versions, A or EX.  When I came here I was looking at some (I had one of the first ITI "Sontec's" back at QCA), but they just don't do it for me.

-d-
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 06, 2006, 12:53:09 pm
Last year I had the occasion to use a later version of the 250. It was all good & fine, nice warm color, but overall didn't really float my boat. I much preferred our GML 8200 over it.

Back in the early '90s I had the use of an early 250C that sounded absolutely amazing, silky high end, warm low mids, etc. It had belonged to Denny Purcell who gave it to Ray Benson, who let me use  it for a good while, but eventually the pots wore out and sadly it was removed from service... don't know if Ray still has it around.

That said, none of the 250s I've used really sound like the 432 series... not really in the same class. If they share some of the same parts, I can see the logic of buying a 250 to use for parts for the 432.

Drinkin' Sumatra and Ramblin'
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Podgorny on September 09, 2006, 01:34:13 am
I'm a late-comer to this particular thread, but I thought I'd share an interesting GM/Sontec story.

My boss has had a Sontec MEP-250c since the eighties.

In any case, he tells a story about assisting George Massenburg, and at one point having George remove the Sontec from my boss's rack, and then place it in the nearest trash receptacle, while saying something about getting "a real EQ".

We have an 8200, but the Sontec still gets its fair share of use.



Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on September 09, 2006, 07:10:42 am
Podgorny wrote on Sat, 09 September 2006 00:34

In any case, he tells a story about assisting George Massenburg, and at one point having George remove the Sontec from my boss's rack, and then place it in the nearest trash receptacle, while saying something about getting "a real EQ".

I suppose it would be hard not to be bitter if your older designs were so much better than your newer ones...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: compasspnt on September 09, 2006, 10:51:50 am

Stop talking about Rupert's designs that way...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mcsnare on September 10, 2006, 11:41:17 pm
I used a MEP-250 in a studio the other day. JEEZ I forgot how good the top on the sucker is. Did I mention I'm really sick of all you guys with Sontecs talking about 'em?
Dave
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 11, 2006, 12:48:24 am
mcsnare wrote on Sun, 10 September 2006 22:41

I used a MEP-250 in a studio the other day. JEEZ I forgot how good the top on the sucker is. Did I mention I'm really sick of all you guys with Sontecs talking about 'em?
Dave


How did it compare to the NSEQ-2 with the Forsell board mod Dave?

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mcsnare on September 11, 2006, 06:48:22 am
JT, I didn't have 'em side by side, but I'd say that the low end of the NSEQ-FF is as good or better than the Sontec. The top is very pure and silky, but without that little softening and added texture that Sontecs have. I also just used the MEP-250 on a vocal overdub (remember those?) which is a different animal than 2 mix, but still had forgotten about that little added 'Aphex' that they have. Damn.
I think that's just about enough talk about Sontecs. Brad better lock this thread.
Dave
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 12, 2006, 07:33:02 pm
mcsnare wrote on Mon, 11 September 2006 20:48

 Damn.
I think that's just about enough talk about Sontecs. Brad better lock this thread.
Dave


Don't lock the thread just yet as my new Sontec MES-432C will arrive early next week & I want this forum to stay alive so I can brag about mine Very Happy

I have to say I found mine in one afternoon, I did a google search for studio's with Sontec's & then I emailed them. I probably sent out about 30 emails, most didn't even reply & the ones that did said that they would never sell & that you could pry the thing out of their cold dead fingers. Just as I was about to give up hope, I got an email from one of the studios, asking what my budget was. I made an offer & they agreed to sell it to me.

See pic below, mine has a little bit of heritage attached to it, it used to belong to famous producer Sandy Pearlman (The Clash, Blue Oyster Cult) before it's current owner & the unit bears Sandy's signature on the top. It's never blown any cards & still has a spare opamp board taped to the inside just like Jerrys & was built in 1984. I'll send better pics & comment on it's sound once it arrives next week. Can't wait to hear it...

Matt

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mcsnare on September 12, 2006, 11:57:33 pm
I was just kidding. I love seeing people talk about their Sontecs. Looking forward to getting your impressions when it arrives.
Dave
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: jdg on September 13, 2006, 01:25:53 am
good grab man!

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Viitalahde on September 13, 2006, 01:35:29 am
Very good! I wish lots of trouble-free years with it!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ged Leitch on September 13, 2006, 07:27:56 am
.

Excellent news Matt!

Hope you enjoy using it as much as I enjoy looking at Jpegs of it!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ed Littman on September 13, 2006, 08:45:27 am
Quote:

I made an offer & they agreed to sell it to me.



If you don't mind......what was your offer?
Ed
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: carlsaff on September 13, 2006, 03:21:47 pm
Matt_G wrote on Tue, 12 September 2006 18:33

I did a google search for studio's with Sontec's & then I emailed them. I probably sent out about 30 emails, most didn't even reply & the ones that did said that they would never sell & that you could pry the thing out of their cold dead fingers. Just as I was about to give up hope, I got an email from one of the studios, asking what my budget was. I made an offer & they agreed to sell it to me.


I am stealing this brilliant idea... when I have the money for a Sontec lying around, that is.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 13, 2006, 06:55:01 pm
carlsaff wrote on Thu, 14 September 2006 05:21

Matt_G wrote on Tue, 12 September 2006 18:33

I did a google search for studio's with Sontec's & then I emailed them. I probably sent out about 30 emails, most didn't even reply & the ones that did said that they would never sell & that you could pry the thing out of their cold dead fingers. Just as I was about to give up hope, I got an email from one of the studios, asking what my budget was. I made an offer & they agreed to sell it to me.


I am stealing this brilliant idea... when I have the money for a Sontec lying around, that is.



I thought it was worth a shot & I was just lucky enough that it paid off for me. It's better then waiting around for one to show up on ebay & then competing with every other person who wants one. But trust me if anyone did my approach right now, they wouldn't get anywhere, I exhausted google & only one person was willing to sell.

Try again in a year or so & yes be prepared to have a nice wad of cash, they seem to sell between $7000-12000US, mine was in the middle.

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 13, 2006, 07:24:30 pm
I am trying to find out whether the 432C has a switchable power power supply as I will need to run mine at 240V. Would anyone in the list that owns one know? I'd prefer to not use an external transformer if possible.

I know with the GML boxes the power supply is external & is selectable to 240V. Jerry said that his powersupply has internal shielding which mine doesn't, was this something that was added later or is it a mod that someone has done themselves?

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: vile_ator on September 14, 2006, 07:18:05 am
Listen to this.  About 5 years ago a local mastering lab went out of business.  The owner was in a divorce and the ex-wife went down to a pro audio shop and consigned all his gear that she had appropriated.  There was a Sontec 432 in there, a Weiss EQ 1, Meyers HD1s, lots of stuff, all cheap.  I told the shop owner I wanted that Sontec and said I would be right back to pay for it.  Well when I returned, he sold it out from under me! But I can understand how the new buyer was on his case to let it go.  It was priced around 2500 dollars.  I picked up the Weiss for 1500.  I feel sorry for that guy.


Colin
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 18, 2006, 08:38:12 am
Well my Sontec arrived today, very well packed & the condition of the unit was even better then I'd hoped. I set it up right away & ran it through some tracks I was mastering, a country track & a RnB track. Man this thing sounds incredible, I thought the Weiss had sweet top end, this thing sounds smoother then a babies ass! The mids are present without being harsh & the lows are full & warm. I know it sounds clich
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 18, 2006, 08:41:49 am
one more close up of the bands...


index.php/fa/3466/0/

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Andy Krehm on September 18, 2006, 09:32:52 am
Matt_G wrote on Mon, 18 September 2006 08:38

Well my Sontec arrived today, very well packed & the condition of the unit was even better then I'd hoped. I set it up right away & ran it through some tracks I was mastering, a country track & a RnB track. Man this thing sounds incredible, I thought the Weiss had sweet top end, this thing sounds smoother then a babies ass! The mids are present without being harsh & the lows are full & warm. I know it sounds clich
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on September 18, 2006, 10:17:25 am
Congrats, Matt!

First thing before you stick it into service is to run some tones and make sure the knobs are lined up where they should be. When my first one arrived, both channels were off a little bit...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 18, 2006, 10:55:06 am
Andy Krehm wrote on Mon, 18 September 2006 23:32


When you roll your first mix through your ATR 1/2" with Aria electronics polished off by the Sontec, I guantee you will be ecstatic!


Thanks Andy, yes even through the Studer followed by the Sontec I was stoked... So the half inch ATR with ARIA which should arrive in the next few weeks should be a very beautiful thing.

Quote:

BTW, I have tried to look at your gear list on your website a couple of times (since we corresponded re the ATR) and have never been able to scroll down on that page. I use Internet Explorer 5.0, and while that may be an older version, 99.9% of the websites I look at work fine with it so you might want to figure out the problem.


Hmm I just checked it out with the old Mac version of Explorer (5.2.3) & on my PC with Explorer 6.0.29 & it displays & scrolls fine.

Quote:

Mathew Gray Mastering is the the only studio in Australia with both an ATR-102 1/2" with Aria Electronics and a Sontec Equalizer. (if you're not, I'm sure we will hear about it shortly!).


I am pretty sure I will be the only one with the ARIA equipped ATR. As for the Sontec I only know of 1 other mastering studio in the Country (NSW) that has one & that's William Bowden. He picked up most of the old gear from Festival Studios after it closed down & the Sontec was a part of that lot. Not sure what model it is though. I've tried emailing him but didn't get a response. Anyway I am sure I'm the only one in Queensland with one.

Quote:

So what's next for you (since you seem to be in gear acquisition mode?)


Next up is a baby, my first one which will be due Jan 28! I think that will slow down my spending spree for a while Wink Actually I am getting a custom desk made to house all my gear in front of me, which is getting built next month, then I'm relocating all my computer gear into an adjacent room. Next year I think I'll upgrade the monitoring path, my Dyn's are pretty good with a Velodyne DD12 but I would love to try either ATC's or some Lipinski's & then change my DAC-1 for a Cranesong Avocet. Then I'd like to get a Neve Masterpiece with Lavry Golds & then... the list goes on Wink

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 18, 2006, 10:56:56 am
bblackwood wrote on Tue, 19 September 2006 00:17

Congrats, Matt!

First thing before you stick it into service is to run some tones and make sure the knobs are lined up where they should be. When my first one arrived, both channels were off a little bit...


Thanks Brad, actually it was one of the first things that I did after I set it up. To my surprise it was dead on!

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 18, 2006, 12:59:31 pm
Congrats Matt!

She looks like a real beauty, bet she sounds that way too.

Very smart strategy on your part, how you located her and all.

Welcome to the new Sontec owners club : - )

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: ericjenson on September 19, 2006, 12:50:42 am
ok, i will somehow some way acquire one of these boxes.

i don't know how yet, but it will happen.

and if suddenly i'm mastering records that sell 6 mill or more then i'm sorry to say there is no need for us as MEs anymore,

all anyone needed apparently was a sontec.


(please excuse the sarcasm) Smile



i have heard one of these delightful boxes and i can say that on the high end of the sound they are so SWEEEEEET!(seriously)

makes me want to abandon what i'm doing as an ME and just study, so that one day, i can give you all, the rebirth of the Sontec.

so that you all can go on to master platinum records and i can charge a somewhat modest fee for my "giving back" to the community.

i don't disagree with anyone that this is the "holy grail";
but, please, can we try to keep some kind of realistic perspective.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: present on September 19, 2006, 06:20:27 am
Apparently this thread is getting on Eric's nerves and I don't blame him...

What do you do when your arsenal of eq's ain't all that?
I've got this parametric made by an obscure english manufacturer, Audio Developments. It's from 1978. Not that bad actually. But magical sweet hi shelving or peaking? Nah...

So what do you do? I tend to cut other frequencies so that there's a nice high-end residue. I try to not even touch freqs above 6 kHz.

Rogier
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: ericjenson on September 19, 2006, 09:24:05 am
present wrote on Tue, 19 September 2006 05:20

Apparently this thread is getting on Eric's nerves and I don't blame him...
Rogier


it's cool, i'm just jealous. Smile

i truly am happy for those of you who have found your sonic(sontec) bliss.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: present on September 19, 2006, 10:24:23 am
ericjenson wrote on Tue, 19 September 2006 15:24

present wrote on Tue, 19 September 2006 05:20

Apparently this thread is getting on Eric's nerves and I don't blame him...
Rogier


it's cool, i'm just jealous. Smile


Yeah, me too.



Jealousy is fun! Very Happy
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Phil Demetro on September 20, 2006, 10:39:21 am
All this talk of Sontecs and people wanting them so badly  has got me thinking about the value of them... especially as they are not made anymore. In fact I just received a phone call from a mysterious ME about where to find a Sontec .

I walked next door to the second Lacquer Channel studio and asked Noah if he'd sell his Sontec to me for 25K.
He said "no way. It's not for sale". He went on to say that there was nothing to replace it with and also that it was something that set mastering engineers apart.

"Yeah, but you could buy another GML or an Avalon with the money you have leftover..."  

"Nope, no way".

This defies logic but makes perfect sense to me.

It's become a bit like used Neves but moreso as there were obviously fewer  made and the Sontec never made big inroads to recording studios.

Everyone has their  price. I know what I paid for mine & I know what's it's worth to me.
So, what's yours worth to you?

A fairchild isn't worth anywhere near 30K to me - but a Sontec?  30K 's in the ballpark.
I might sell for 25K but not less... even then..... I can relate to Noah. Mine is not for sale either - even at 30K  - for now.

What would I pay if another one presented itself?  provided I wanted another  ( i personally prefer the sontec/ff315 combo over 2 sontecs) ...prolly up to 15K for VG/ex condition - working - 432C

Sontec owners?

Phil
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on September 20, 2006, 10:56:44 am
Phil, I'd rather not discuss it (for what I'd think are obvious reasons), but yah, I'm always considering yet another one...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Noah Mintz on September 20, 2006, 11:12:35 am
I think it's also important to note that the 'outside world' (yes there is world outside mastering), for the most part, have no idea what a Sontec is. Most engineers have no clue unless they have intimate knowlege of high end mastering. It's neat though explaining to an engineer that it's the holy grail of EQ... I feel like I'm putting them in the know.

I think as mastering engineers we can be very insular. There are lots of EQs that are just as good as the Sontec, but not as unique and rare... but that's what makes it special.

Noah
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Noah Mintz on September 20, 2006, 11:14:40 am
Come on Brad... how much would you sell your soul for?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on September 20, 2006, 11:26:01 am
Noah Mintz wrote on Wed, 20 September 2006 10:14

Come on Brad... how much would you sell your soul for?

Oh, no - I'd never sell mine, I'm talking about discussing what I'd be willing to pay for one...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Phil Demetro on September 20, 2006, 11:29:31 am
bblackwood wrote on Wed, 20 September 2006 10:56

Phil, I'd rather not discuss it (for what I'd think are obvious reasons), but yah, I'm always considering yet another one...


No problem, Brad. I know the reasons you mean.  I'll talk numbers no problem but I realize that might make others uncomfortable.

But this is a serious question for me lately. We have some stuff here that is irreplaceable. Everything else... whatever....

The value of the unit is something I have been thinking about given a close approximation of having our insurance policy renewed and, of course, the aquisition of a number of Lacquer Channel's assets.

I'd still really like to know what yours is worth to you? - Perhaps  some other time?

Phil
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on September 20, 2006, 12:06:37 pm
Phil Demetro wrote on Wed, 20 September 2006 10:29

No problem, Brad. I know the reasons you mean.  I'll talk numbers no problem but I realize that might make others uncomfortable.

It's not that, I just don't want people starting to think they are worth $25k and artificially inflate the price! I'm not going to sell mine, but I may want to buy more...

Quote:

I'd still really like to know what yours is worth to you? - Perhaps  some other time?

I wouldn't sell at any price at this point.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Phil Demetro on September 20, 2006, 01:03:52 pm
Quote:


I wouldn't sell at any price at this point.


Good news, Brad! I think maybe we've entered into "priceless" territory, then?

Fine by me.
Someone make me an offer!  

Phil
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 20, 2006, 01:38:40 pm
Noah Mintz wrote on Wed, 20 September 2006 10:14

how much would you sell your soul for?


Now that brings up the whole Faust scenario:

A young Mastering Engineer sells his soul to Mr. XXX in exchange for all the coolest mastering gear, including multiple Sontecs (with spares), a great facility filled with stunning sounding rooms, a client list par excellence, wall to wall gold & platinum records, a staff of engineers to handle all the pesky session details where the M.E. in question strolls in, turn a few EQ knobs, tweaks the compression, makes a few suggestions regarding loudness, exchanges pleasantries with the clients, orders a cappuccino for everyone, hops in his Ferrari and speeds away to the golf course for a round with Willie Nelson, then to his Lear Jet to spend the weekend at Cabo San Lucas.

The M.E. also sports a fat bank account, complete with retirement plan, health benefits, and portfolio of energy investments, a drop dead gorgeous nympho trophy wife, attends all the high brow music society & symposium events, usually gives a lecture on the latest trend, accepts numerous awards for his mastering abilities, is recognized as "Mr. Faust" by everyone, gets a semi-weekly full body massage, works out daily at the best health clubs, has that sun belt tan, and a tailored black leather wardrobe.

Sort of a hybrid of a young Bob Ludwig, Donald Trump, and Johnny Depp character, living the quintessential jet-set American Dream.

In his gear lust for Sontec EQs, he's bought up all the non-working units around the globe for peanuts, had them repaired by the best tech geniuses, and markets them to hungry MEs for Fairchild-like prices... with financing available, at 28% per annum.

Just when he's at the summit of his game, and life just couldn't get any better, he drops dead of a heart attack, falls through the trap door, and finds himself amongst the sulphuric flames, face to face with Mr. XXX who demands his soul in payment for living the ultimate hipster M.E. life, albeit cut short. He starts clicking his heels together, mumbling to himself "there's no place like home", wishing he was back in his spare bedroom studio, working ITB for free.

But alas, his wish is futile and he is gored thru the belly by the long black horns of Mr. XXX, who with a snapping motion, slings him into the lake of fire, and laughs maniacally as the M.E. turns to ash and sinks slowly out of sight. At the last possible instant, a flaming skeleton hand appears just above the surface and tosses a Sontec op-amp to Mr. XXX who delightfully proclaims "My Precious"!

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: turtletone on September 20, 2006, 03:05:02 pm
I heard sontec's gives it's user a brain virus. Something in the vapors of the op amps when they heat up.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: ammitsboel on September 20, 2006, 03:42:09 pm
I'm sure you will get "poisoned" if you use one.

Mike, I really like that funky waving turtle.
How did you come up with the name Turtle Tone?

Turtle Tone is a good name, I Love You Baby beats it though... hehe

Best Regards
H
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: turtletone on September 20, 2006, 04:58:23 pm
It was that or Turtle Tweeker.

I had a pet turtle in my studio. A client just came up with the name and it appeared on a CD without my knowledge. After about the 5th credit I realized it was no longer in my control so I went with it.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on September 20, 2006, 05:45:00 pm

Good heavens guys! I'm late coming to this thread, but comeon! There ARE other EQ's out there besides Sontec. Again and again, its not (necessarily) the gear, +2 at 4k doesn't sound "sweet" on any device unless it needs it. Hit the right frequencies on a good box, thats the secret.


bab
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: ammitsboel on September 20, 2006, 06:37:11 pm
The best EQ is no EQ

Thanks, Michael "Turtle Tweeker" Fossenkemper.
Did you tweak your turtle?

H
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: ericjenson on September 20, 2006, 09:47:17 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Wed, 20 September 2006 16:45


Good heavens guys! I'm late coming to this thread, but comeon! There ARE other EQ's out there besides Sontec. Again and again, its not (necessarily) the gear, +2 at 4k doesn't sound "sweet" on any device unless it needs it. Hit the right frequencies on a good box, thats the secret.


bab



applause Very Happy
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on September 20, 2006, 11:18:13 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Wed, 20 September 2006 16:45


Good heavens guys! I'm late coming to this thread, but comeon! There ARE other EQ's out there besides Sontec. Again and again, its not (necessarily) the gear, +2 at 4k doesn't sound "sweet" on any device unless it needs it. Hit the right frequencies on a good box, thats the secret.

Hey, nothing wrong with someone finding a box that works for him. Some of us have found a box that seems to work on most every project, one that has all the  positive attributes and none of the negatives we've experienced with other boxes. Certainly you aren't suggesting that any EQ would work with at the same freq/gain/slope, so why this post?

Some of us simply want to discuss something we're fond of...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dcollins on September 20, 2006, 11:36:25 pm
I think it's clear that you cannot be a Professional Mastering House without owning a Sontec.

DC
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on September 20, 2006, 11:48:30 pm
dcollins wrote on Wed, 20 September 2006 22:36

I think it's clear that you cannot be a Professional Mastering House without owning a Sontec.

FINALLY, someone who understands...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: ericjenson on September 21, 2006, 12:03:09 am
other than the merits of the Sontec's sounding so sweeet!(i'm a believer, obviously)

what else can be said for a box that's:
1 hard to find(and rediculously expensive(priceless) if you can find one),

2 has parts that are irreplacable if broken,(due to deliberate secrecy regarding the inner workings)

3 the original inventor, who's still alive, doesn't seem to want to do anything about helping to make this fine piece more available to those that truly admire and respect it's power?

damn! envy again, but i had to say it.

before i'm crucified for this, i'd just like the record to show that FWIW, i'm not hatin' on you guys.

i would kill for one, so all you Sontec owners, watch your back.  Twisted Evil

when i finally get one and i come parading thru here with it, don't shoot me down.

Lucky bastards  Cool  

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 21, 2006, 02:28:39 am
ericjenson wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 14:03

other than the merits of the Sontec's sounding so sweeet!(i'm a believer, obviously)

what else can be said for a box that's:
1 hard to find(and rediculously expensive(priceless) if you can find one),


Wasn't that hard to find one, I spent maybe 3 hours one afternoon on Google & while they are expensive I wouldn't say "ridiculously expensive" they are no more so then a new GML 9500 or a Lin Phase Weiss for that matter & it sounds sweeter to my ears. Besides they have increased value since their new price 10 years ago ($5000) & will probably continue to do so, so what a great investment. If I did ever part with it I would at least get equal or more for it then I've paid for it.

Quote:

 2 has parts that are irreplacable if broken,(due to deliberate secrecy regarding the inner workings)


While mine & Jerry's do have a spare opamp card. I'm going through & converting all my Sontec settings to Q-Clone so if ever the day comes that I have to send it away to get it repaired, I can still have a virtual version available to get me by. Surprisingly Q-Clone through a high quality set of converters sounds extremely close to the original item being converted through the same set of converters (in this case the Cranesong HEDD@96kHz). With all the possible settings it will take sometime to store them all, but I look at it as an invaluable safety back up. It's also been a good way to check the calibration, accuracy & Q slopes etc.

and before anyone asks, no I won't give you a copy of the impulses unless you want to help pay off a chunk of my Sontec Wink

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 21, 2006, 02:34:54 am
So Matt,

How was the Wedding night?

Have you used her on a session yet?

Enquiring minds want to know...

Cheers JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: ericjenson on September 21, 2006, 02:39:33 am
Matt_G wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 01:28


While mine & Jerry's do have a spare opamp card. I'm going through & converting all my Sontec settings to Q-Clone so if ever the day comes that I have to send it away to get it repaired, I can still have a virtual version available to get me by. Surprisingly Q-Clone through a high quality set of converters sounds extremely close to the original item being converted through the same set of converters (in this case the Cranesong HEDD@96kHz). With all the possible settings it will take sometime to store them all, but I look at it as an invaluable safety back up. It's also been a good way to check the calibration, accuracy & Q slopes etc.

and before anyone asks, no I won't give you a copy of the impulses unless you want to help pay off a chunk of my Sontec Wink

Matt



is Q-clone really that good?

now you're giving me ideas,  
i know someone with a Sontec nearby. Twisted Evil
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 21, 2006, 02:40:29 am
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 07:45


Good heavens guys! I'm late coming to this thread, but comeon! There ARE other EQ's out there besides Sontec. Again and again, its not (necessarily) the gear, +2 at 4k doesn't sound "sweet" on any device unless it needs it. Hit the right frequencies on a good box, thats the secret.


bab


Right, with any EQ (even with a Sontec) too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. But what I am finding is that it can be a lot more forgiving in the mids & highs then a lot of other EQ's & that's worth discussing here. It still brings a smile to my face whenever I dial in some highs & I'm really appreciating the contribution it can make to the sub frequencies too.

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 21, 2006, 02:58:56 am
ericjenson wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 16:39



is Q-clone really that good?

now you're giving me ideas,  
i know someone with a Sontec nearby. Twisted Evil



Haha, well you would need to occupy your friends studio for probably 2 weeks to get every possible combination that a real 432 provides. I also think it could be a bit of stretch to be able to capture the full 11Hz - 25kHz range that the analog item provides with Q-Clone. But that doesn't mean you couldn't get some pretty useable realistic responses from it. The main thing that lets Q-Clone down if you want to use it without original hardware is the GUI. To dial in the right curve is both time consuming & finicky. If you have the real device, it's fast & sounds stellar.

Quote:

So Matt,

How was the Wedding night?

Have you used her on a session yet?

Enquiring minds want to know...

Cheers JT


Oh yes, it has been in use quite a bit over the past few days & I'm sure people will get sick of hearing about it. But if I could describe it in 3 words I would say "smooth, musical, transparent". You don't need much either 1db of the 10kHz shelf & the 50Hz shelf with a db or 2 in the mid frequency of your choice on the right mix can take it from sounding good to expensive. I don't know why but I also find that I don't have to work as hard in other areas of the chain after it's been through some Sontec treatment. With pieces of this quality I can understand why less truly is more.

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on September 21, 2006, 06:52:23 am
Matt_G wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 01:28

Besides they have increased value since their new price 10 years ago ($5000) & will probably continue to do so, so what a great investment.

Err, no. The 432 series EQs were selling for $12k new before Burgess left us...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 21, 2006, 08:39:18 am
bblackwood wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 20:52

Matt_G wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 01:28

Besides they have increased value since their new price 10 years ago ($5000) & will probably continue to do so, so what a great investment.

Err, no. The 432 series EQs were selling for $12k new before Burgess left us...



Ok, Jerry said that his friend bought the Sontec he now owns new for $5k about 10 years ago. Maybe he just got a good deal back then.. Jerry are you sure?

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 21, 2006, 11:00:21 am
Matt_G wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 07:39

bblackwood wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 20:52

Matt_G wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 01:28


Besides they have increased value since their new price 10 years ago ($5000) & will probably continue to do so, so what a great investment.

Err, no. The 432 series EQs were selling for $12k new before Burgess left us...

Ok, Jerry said that his friend bought the Sontec he now owns new for $5k about 10 years ago. Maybe he just got a good deal back then.. Jerry are you sure?


No I'm not sure Matt... everyone's memory is a little foggy, mixed with rumor, legend, hearsay, and reluctance to speak clearly about it.

What I've heard, was that mine was bought new, in the mid '90s, 10-12 years ago for about $5k, might have been slightly higher (6-7k), I didn't see the actual invoice, and the original owner, an old school southern guy, here in Austin, who for a short while decided he would go into the mastering bizness, didn't like to revealing much information.

I was allowed to use it a few times on some analog tape to digital transfers, at his studio, turning a few of the knobs, under close scrutiny I might add, being green with envy, thinking how ironic life can be that someone in Austin, other than myself would own such a fine EQ. A "privileged few" were able to use the unit on sessions, maybe even McSnare remembers using this particular one (?)

To many old school southern guys, before the new millennia with brutal honesty being the norm, it used to be considered a little rude to talk loudly about dollar figures, so I generally don't press the topic.

One story told me by a good friend: at the time when the unit was new, they noticed an odd level drop when passing stereo signals through the unit, sent it back to Sontec, who promptly returned it after testing, said it was in perfect working order. My pal tested it himself, same level drop, popped off the top, noticed a connection to one of the XLRs, pin 2 & 3 was reversed, fixed that problem and Shazaam! ...level problem solved. Apparently Sontec had neglected to do a stereo to mono check on the unit. Maybe that explains the good deal pricing, dunno.

If Brad sez they were going for 10-12k when Burgess stopped production, I'd be inclined to believe him.

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Gold on September 21, 2006, 08:50:35 pm
As I remember it there were a number of models. The most common was the one with three bell bands and a low and high shelf that had a couple of frequencies each. This one went for about $6500 in the late 1990's. Then there was the six band ganged stereo with four bell bands and two shelving bands with lots of frequencies. That one was about $12,000. There were also the four channel ones for disk cutting. And he would make you whatever you wanted.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Mark Wilder on September 21, 2006, 09:41:53 pm
I have the 462C9, which is 6 parametric bands and 2 shelves, stereo ganged.  I think it was between 11 and 12 thousand when we got them new in 1994.

What makes this model very impressive is the frequencies on the shelves, which there are numerous options on each.  A very powerful tool.  the 432's shelve at 50/100 and 10k on top, if I remember correctly.  

I never hear anyone talk about this model?!?!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 21, 2006, 09:58:05 pm
Mark Wilder wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 11:41

I have the 462C9, which is 6 parametric bands and 2 shelves, stereo ganged.  I think it was between 11 and 12 thousand when we got them new in 1994.

What makes this model very impressive is the frequencies on the shelves, which there are numerous options on each.  A very powerful tool.  the 432's shelve at 50/100 and 10k on top, if I remember correctly.  

I never hear anyone talk about this model?!?!


Hi Mark are you saying that the 432C9 has more shelving frequencies then a standard 432C? Mine is the standard 432C & it has 1db +/- 12db steps. There is 2 shelves, either 50Hz or 100Hz low shelves & a 10kHz high shelf. It has 6 parametric bands Lo = 11Hz-570Hz, Mid = 125Hz-6.8kHz & Hi = 3.4k-25kHz. The Q is a 4 way switch on each band which is stepped 5,6,11,15db/octave.

Would be good to know the differences between all the models, Bob Boyd asked the question what was the differences between the 430B & the 432C for instance. I thought the main differences between the 432C, C6 & C9 was the stepped gain increments?

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bob Boyd on September 22, 2006, 01:33:30 am
This whole thread has gotten me curious so I've been reading up on these the last few days.

Notice Mark mentioned that he had a 462C/9 not one of the  432 models.

This one seems to be a special beast indeed and in searching the net, Mark's is the only one I've seen show up.  The 462 does not have separate left and right controls like a 430 or 432.  The 462 is a stereo unit and each pot controls left and right simultaneously.

I've come to the conclusion that this thread alone may go down as the single most comprehensive place to not only read up on Sontecs but actually see some of the best pictures available on the internet.  

Thanks to everyone who provided picts - especially Matt's clear closeups!

(Matt, your ego can take pride in knowing that when I brought your picture up, it was larger than my Maselec sitting right in front of me!)

Mark, for the sake of adding to a very comprhensive thread so far, is there any way you could take a good close up picture of your 462?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 22, 2006, 02:02:07 am
Bob Boyd wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 15:33

This whole thread has gotten me curious so I've been reading up on these the last few days.

Notice Mark mentioned that he had a 462C/9 not one of the  432 models.

This one seems to be a special beast indeed and in searching the net, Mark's is the only one I've seen show up.  The 462 does not have separate left and right controls like a 430 or 432.  The 462 is a stereo unit and each pot controls left and right simultaneously.


Wow now that is a seriously rare beast indeed! I didn't catch the '6' in Mark's post. That sounds like the ultimate Sontec!


Quote:

 Thanks to everyone who provided picts - especially Matt's clear closeups!

(Matt, your ego can take pride in knowing that when I brought your picture up, it was larger than my Maselec sitting right in front of me!)


Haha.. thanks Bob, well I may not have the best Sontec, but I may have the best photographed Sontec on the net Wink

Quote:

Mark, for the sake of adding to a very comprhensive thread so far, is there any way you could take a good close up picture of your 462?


Yes I'm sure we'd all love to see a nice close up of your rare beauty Mark.

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 22, 2006, 03:27:41 am
* you've heard Stereo Mastering *


* you've heard Stems Mastering *


* you've even heard Separation Mastering *



but you haven't heard it right without...







 ((( Sontec Mastering )))  

~ the professional choice ~


Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: present on September 22, 2006, 03:36:27 am
 Laughing  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 22, 2006, 04:07:44 am
Bob Boyd wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 00:33

Thanks to everyone who provided picts - especially Matt's clear closeups!


ahem...

since everyone ignored my silly Faust/Sontec story...

and I'm getting a little jealous about Matt getting all the Sontec attention...

here's a another sexy pic of mine, enjoy : - )


index.php/fa/3510/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Viitalahde on September 22, 2006, 04:42:53 am
Sweet pic!

Does the bubble wrap on the right contain spare HS op-amps?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 22, 2006, 04:51:15 am
Viitalahde wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 03:42

Does the bubble wrap on the right contain spare HS op-amps?


Yes Jaakko! but alas, only one.

I removed it from the chassis, and it now resides in a top secret vault, guarded by a fellow named Vinnie  : - )

cheers JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: e-cue on September 22, 2006, 05:48:08 am
kinda looked like drugs...  

but I'm sure pure black tar hair-ron is cheaper than those mystery opamps these days...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bob Boyd on September 22, 2006, 07:24:08 am
Viitalahde wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 03:42

Sweet pic!

Does the bubble wrap on the right contain spare HS op-amps?

That bubble wrap may hold the key to the 'Sontec sound'!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Gold on September 22, 2006, 07:28:54 am
Mark Wilder wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 21:41

I have the 462C9, which is 6 parametric bands and 2 shelves, stereo ganged.  I think it was between 11 and 12 thousand when we got them new in 1994.



Yeah, that's the one. I didn't remember it right even though I've seen one a number of times recently. Wasn't in my room though. That was the big one.  I kept a price list that I got at an AES around for years. I think it went into deep storage a couple a apartments ago.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bob Boyd on September 22, 2006, 07:29:53 am
Jerry Tubb wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 03:07

Bob Boyd wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 00:33

Thanks to everyone who provided picts - especially Matt's clear closeups!


ahem...

since everyone ignored my silly Faust/Sontec story...

and I'm getting a little jealous about Matt getting all the Sontec attention...

here's a another sexy pic of mine, enjoy : - )



Cool pic.  Great addition to the thread.  Funny, isn't it?  I look at that and feel shocked someone can't figure that out.

I thought the Faust story was funny. I was going to make a crack about being glad that I used a Maselec!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on September 22, 2006, 09:23:37 am
Here's the only pic I have of a 462 - perhaps Mark can share some of his beauty!

index.php/fa/3511/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Mark Wilder on September 22, 2006, 09:56:14 am
That's 2/3rds of the ticket.

I'll try to take a picture of it later, my client is right outside the door.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on September 22, 2006, 10:03:21 am
Mark Wilder wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 08:56

That's 2/3rds of the ticket.

I'll try to take a picture of it later, my client is right outside the door.

Sweet. Here's a shot from your room, but little detail can be seen...

index.php/fa/3512/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: David Glasser on September 22, 2006, 11:20:12 am
Mark Wilder wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 19:41

I have the 462C9, which is 6 parametric bands and 2 shelves, stereo ganged.  I think it was between 11 and 12 thousand when we got them new in 1994.

What makes this model very impressive is the frequencies on the shelves, which there are numerous options on each.  A very powerful tool.  the 432's shelve at 50/100 and 10k on top, if I remember correctly.  

I never hear anyone talk about this model?!?!


Jim Wilson, who recently joined us from Yes Mastering in Austin has one of these. I remember looking at one in '95 but ended up buying a 432C6 for $6800. It's now in Charlie Pilzer's room: I was having a raft of problems with it but it seems to be behaving now. I replaced mine with a  - reliable! - Maselec, and more recently added a Massive Passive (mastering version). As good as it is, I don't miss the Sontec.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Mark Wilder on September 22, 2006, 01:29:47 pm
Here it is.  I shrunk it a bit.  If you're looking for the full blown jammies, pm me.  I have this photo and two halves.

The picture on the website is "stylish" but not very informative.

My only to complaints are the faceplate metal is very soft and the unit is slowly sinking into my console and because there are so many options, it takes a month to dial in a tune.  Other than that...

this unit replaced two 432's about a dozen years ago.  Very funny stories for another time.

index.php/fa/3513/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Mark Wilder on September 22, 2006, 02:04:31 pm
So, he files are too big to send thru pm, so send me your email and i'll hit you externally.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 22, 2006, 02:29:03 pm
Thanks for the pic of the 462 Mark, you da man!

Looks like the same freq centers as the 432, with additiona knobs forl Lo-Mid and Hi-Mid choices, very cool.

I would also really enjoy the additional freqs on the Hi & Lo shelves...

and of course the 1/2 dB steps of the C9 models.

but who's complainin'?

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Mark Wilder on September 22, 2006, 02:51:36 pm
Yeah, but it's only half steps for the first 3 db.  Oddly, there are times where you'd like a few more halves.

The real genius is the hi/lo shelves.  Very powerful tools.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: EP on September 22, 2006, 05:16:34 pm
Mark Wilder wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 19:51


The real genius is the hi/lo shelves.  Very powerful tools.


Ok I gotta ask: How does the 825 vs the sontec / sound / get used /in your rig: generally and the shelving bands in particular? I know these sorts of comparisons are usually a bit silly but as you have both eq's right there  Rolling Eyes
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Mark Wilder on September 22, 2006, 06:02:52 pm
I almost never use the Sontec and EAR back to back, it's either one or the other.  They are both very different and I feel, never compliment each other.  The EAR is just a beautiful piece and sounds best with all the amps open, even if just a smidge.  The Sontec lends itself to a more offensive approach, where I just dive in band to band until I bend the music the way I like it.  I often play in the tighter Q's, but not always.  The shelves are the first thing I go to for correction.  I can often retilt the mix, and with options on the low shelf to 640 and the high shelf to 1K you can do a lot of tilting.  Also, the low shelf has a little extra pop at the frequency selected, so if let's say you want to add a half at 70c, it feels like there's an extra "bump" right at 70, as if there's a slight lift before the shelf flattens out.  The EAR doesn't feel like that at all.  

Sometimes I'll do a song twice, once through what works on the Sontec, and once through what works on the EAR and create a hybrid.

I hope I answered your question.  Gotta Go.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mcsnare on September 22, 2006, 07:03:15 pm
Yeah Jerry, I remember the one you are talking about. I used to rent it from Wink on a regular basis. I never dug the hi shelf that much but the hi mid set to somewhere around 10- 16, SWEEEET!
Dave
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: compasspnt on September 22, 2006, 07:09:07 pm
Mark Wilder wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 13:29



index.php/fa/3513/0/


Them is a awful lotta knobs!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Noah Mintz on September 22, 2006, 07:41:30 pm
Ok, here's mine. A little bit out of focus... I just got the Nikon when this pic was taken.

index.php/fa/3515/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Noah Mintz on September 22, 2006, 07:46:12 pm
And here is Phils

index.php/fa/3516/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: ericjenson on September 23, 2006, 03:03:18 am
ok,
now i want one just cause they look cool. Cool

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: ammitsboel on September 23, 2006, 05:36:36 am
Mark Wilder wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 00:02

The Sontec lends itself to a more offensive approach, where I just dive in band to band until I bend the music the way I like it.  I often play in the tighter Q's, but not always.  The shelves are the first thing I go to for correction.  I can often retilt the mix, and with options on the low shelf to 640 and the high shelf to 1K you can do a lot of tilting.  Also, the low shelf has a little extra pop at the frequency selected, so if let's say you want to add a half at 70c, it feels like there's an extra "bump" right at 70, as if there's a slight lift before the shelf flattens out.  The EAR doesn't feel like that at all.

This information could be candy for the Sontec cloners.
Maybe the opamps are slightly reactive in the circuit(in the right way)? or/and the Q's are very special?

H
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: JGreenslade on September 23, 2006, 08:38:00 am
dcollins wrote on Mon, 30 January 2006 05:14

bblackwood wrote on Sun, 29 January 2006 20:11


There are several guys making replacement opamps: Steve Firlotte, Chris Muth (iirc), and Steve Haselton. Perhaps more. None of them, as far as I'm aware, sound exactly like the original HS1000 (which I love and use.


Everyone that has seen the schema of the "reverse engineered" HS-1000 had to have their eyebrows professionally lowered.

Must be a whole is greater than the sum of the parts thing...  They do sound good, and I would be interested to hear a fair comparison between it and the Maselec.

DC



Better than cosmetic surgery!

If the op-amps aren't potted, I can't see any logical reason why an op-amp can't be cloned 100% (I've done it myself btw - I mixed up my reverse-engineered units with originals and couldn't tell the difference - it wasn't a Sontec and I don't intend to say whose op-amp it was - : )  The real issue here is going to come down to using transistors from the same OEM run isn't it?

If Burgess scratched off the transistor values, there's a really easy way to ID them: buy a $100 component analyser such as an Atlas Peak. The Peak will tell you every parameter you need to know about the transistor such as pin-out, type, Vbe, Hfe, etc etc

Once you know the transistors, the only enemy with regards to authenticity will be the PCB layout. Again, if the board ain't potted, cloning the original shouldn't be an issue.

I'm inclined to think DC has a  point with the "sum of the parts" comment. Let me know if I'm missing something here.

Justin
Title: Re: Where are those Sontecs?
Post by: bblackwood on September 23, 2006, 08:48:19 am
thermionic wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 07:38

If the op-amps aren't potted, I can't see any logical reason why an op-amp can't be cloned 100% (I've done it myself btw - I mixed up my reverse-engineered units with originals and couldn't tell the difference - it wasn't a Sontec and I don't intend to say whose op-amp it was - : )  The real issue here is going to come down to using transistors from the same OEM run isn't it?

AFAIK, all HS1000's were potted, HS2000's aren't.

Quote:

If Burgess scratched off the transistor values, there's a really easy way to ID them: buy a $100 component analyser such as an Atlas Peak. The Peak will tell you every parameter you need to know about the transistor such as pin-out, type, Vbe, Hfe, etc etc

Once you know the transistors, the only enemy with regards to authenticity will be the PCB layout. Again, if the board ain't potted, cloning the original shouldn't be an issue.

Several of the transistors are no longer made.

Chris Muth has reverse engineered it and by all accounts has nailed it sonically, but does not build HS2000's, he simply repairs them.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: JGreenslade on September 23, 2006, 10:12:34 am
Quote:

Several of the transistors are no longer made.


Considering the majority of valves used in pro audio are NOS and haven't been made since the seventies, surely there are a few stockpiles of these transistors about? I've yet to find a transistor I can't source at least a few hundred of.

FWIW, when I first came across a Sontec in the mid '90s (a vinyl cutting facility) I was told it had been ordered from the US at a cost of $12,000USD - I'm trying to remember which model it was. I seem to remember Sontecs remained in the HHB catalogue up until relatively recently.

Justin

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mcsnare on September 23, 2006, 12:31:26 pm
What would one have to do to get Burgess to build a new one?
Dave
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bob Boyd on September 23, 2006, 01:38:34 pm
Evidently, find him.

And even then...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: compasspnt on September 23, 2006, 04:19:07 pm

It is more likely that Bill Putnam will build you something.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 23, 2006, 08:51:19 pm
compasspnt wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 15:19


It is more likely that Bill Putnam will build you something.


Does Burgess have any sons to resurrect the company?

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mcsnare on September 23, 2006, 09:07:07 pm
He really should hand off the tradition to SOMEBODY. Maybe I should talk to those guys at UA.......
Dave
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on September 23, 2006, 09:37:32 pm
Jerry Tubb wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 19:51

compasspnt wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 15:19


It is more likely that Bill Putnam will build you something.


Does Burgess have any sons to resurrect the company?

For those that don't know, BM is only 25% of the ownership of Sontec. IOW, what happens isn't only his call...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 23, 2006, 11:04:56 pm
bblackwood wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 20:37

Jerry Tubb wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 19:51

compasspnt wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 15:19


It is more likely that Bill Putnam will build you something.


Does Burgess have any sons to resurrect the company?

For those that don't know, BM is only 25% of the ownership of Sontec. IOW, what happens isn't only his call...


oops, I should have used the term offspring or progeny  instead of "sons", unintentional gender bias.

I suppose George M is another 25% ownership?

I opened our GML 8200 the other day, the modules are sealed in black plastic.

Wonder if Burgess & Co. would sell Sontec for the right offer?

Although having the company defunct, or at least dormant somehow adds to the mystique & legend... the EQ sounds just as great either way.

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: compasspnt on September 24, 2006, 12:42:53 am

...

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 28, 2006, 02:07:56 pm
compasspnt wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 23:42


...




Very well put Terry, I agree wholeheartedly : -)

Anyway like I said the biggest issue I've had with my 432 is keeping the "Shape" knobs adjusted tightly, where they give you that decided "click" to the different settings. They tend to get mushy feeling and eventually the switch starts turning behind the faceplate. The weirdest knob assembly I've ever seen.

But I think I've finally got the Procedure figured out (w/o removing the lid):

1. make a mental note of which Shape (5,6,9,11,or15) the knob is set.

2. carefully pry off the black knob cover with a pocket knife, careful not to scratch or disfigure.

3. loosen the brass nut in the knob with a 9mm socket, careful not to lose the washer underneath, remove the knob.

4. find a 9/16" nut underneath, wiggle to confirm the switch behind the faceplate isn't twisted around. use a socket to tighten, very tight in my case, careful not to scar the paint on the faceplate. wouldn't want to mar the holy grail, even in a non-visible place, sacrilege I say!

5. replace the knob, washer and 9mm nut, align the mark to the proper Shape, tighten the nut. after confirming the knob and switch click properly to the correct settings, align the mark on the cover, snap into place.

6. if things still don't feel right, you may have to remove the lid and check the adjustment of the nuts and washers inside.

anyone else?

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on October 28, 2006, 12:57:35 am
dave-G wrote on Fri, 27 October 2006 14:36

Wow, I really read the thread-title the wrong way, kinda like a stoner-dorm-room political slogan poster or T-shirt/bumper sticker kinda thing ...  You know, "Free Sontec" as in "Free Mumia" ...  

I was picturing Burgess as Che Guevara, but maybe this guy'll have to do: (sorry, George)

index.php/fa/3647/0/


Outrageously Funny !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

POST OF THE YEAR !!!!!!!!!!

Thanks.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on December 11, 2006, 04:04:57 pm
I hear that Jack the Bear has acquired a Sontec 432 !!!

Congrats to Tony !

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Noah Mintz on December 11, 2006, 05:57:15 pm
Jerry Tubb wrote on Mon, 11 December 2006 16:04

I hear that Jack the Bear has acquired a Sontec 432 !!!

Congrats to Tony !

JT


fuck that. i'm selling mine now.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: turtletone on December 11, 2006, 06:36:37 pm
hahahaha.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Adam Dempsey on December 11, 2006, 08:40:07 pm
Jerry Tubb wrote on Tue, 12 December 2006 08:04

I hear that Jack the Bear has acquired a Sontec 432 !!!

Congrats to Tony !

JT


Let the cat right outta the bag why doncha... Smile
Yep, and he'll be on holiday when it arrives (a C/9 model I think), so we get to unwrap, check & install! A few rack changes to accomodate as of course it'll take pride of place above the console. Welcome Sontec to Melbourne, only the 3rd in Oz!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Gold on December 11, 2006, 09:25:21 pm
Jerry Tubb wrote on Thu, 28 September 2006 14:07



4. find a 9/16" nut underneath, wiggle to confirm the switch behind the faceplate isn't twisted around. use a socket to tighten, very tight in my case,


I would suggest a custom modification. Lock washer.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on December 13, 2006, 08:31:29 pm
Adam Dempsey wrote on Tue, 12 December 2006 11:40

Jerry Tubb wrote on Tue, 12 December 2006 08:04

I hear that Jack the Bear has acquired a Sontec 432 !!!

Congrats to Tony !

JT


Let the cat right outta the bag why doncha... Smile
Yep, and he'll be on holiday when it arrives (a C/9 model I think), so we get to unwrap, check & install! A few rack changes to accomodate as of course it'll take pride of place above the console. Welcome Sontec to Melbourne, only the 3rd in Oz!


Tony is such a copy cat seriously, he just couldn't hack it that I got one before him so he has searched the globe to get one for himself out of envy. Wink

Just joking, big !!CONGRATS!! to Tony M! He will love it, make sure he posts some pics here once it arrives Adam.

I got my Christmas present early this week, I finally got my ATR after 6 months of waiting... It is the first ARIA equipped ATR-102 half inch machine in Australia. Fully rebuilt from ATR Services with brand new Flux Magnetics heads. This machine sounds unbelievable! I have to put in a good word about ATR Services too, Andrew & the team there were so helpful & the service was a real credit to them. I highly recommend them.

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on December 14, 2006, 08:44:42 pm

http://cgi.ebay.com/Sontec-HS-2000-Spare-OpAmp-for-MEP-250C- DRC-202-etc_W0QQitemZ130059278643QQihZ003QQcategoryZ23792QQs sPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Mark Wilder on January 01, 2007, 04:16:08 pm
I'm in the process of that New Year's, straighten up thing and I came across this photo of my room with TWO 432's in the desk.  These units are long gone as they were loners from Burgess while he made up our current batch of EQ's.  As a matter of fact, everything but the speakers are gone!  I thought the photo was pretty interesting (from many perspectives!).

Sorry for the bad scan.

Just wanted to share.

index.php/fa/3955/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Phil Demetro on January 01, 2007, 10:54:42 pm
Mark Wilder wrote on Mon, 01 January 2007 16:16

I'm in the process of that New Year's, straighten up thing and I came across this photo of my room with TWO 432's in the desk.  These units are long gone as they were loners from Burgess while he made up our current batch of EQ's.  As a matter of fact, everything but the speakers are gone!  I thought the photo was pretty interesting (from many perspectives!).

Sorry for the bad scan.

Just wanted to share.

index.php/fa/3955/0/


Happy New Year Mark!

I am fairly certain I have one of those Sontecs now... according to Burgess.

(The Sonic desk on your computer monitor makes brings back some nostalgia)

Phil
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Mark Wilder on January 02, 2007, 08:43:27 am
Yeah, I haven't mastered a project on Sonic in quite some time.  I still have it though, for when I need to restore an old project.  Then I bounce it over to Sequoia.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Gold on January 02, 2007, 09:07:40 pm
Is that a Cello console? If so how did it sound?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Mark Wilder on January 02, 2007, 10:27:28 pm
Gold wrote on Tue, 02 January 2007 21:07

Is that a Cello console? If so how did it sound?


Good eye.  As far as I know, it was the only one ever made.  It sounded ok for what it was.  It had some issues that were never really addressed.  But, functionally, the best desk I ever used, period.  The top section was for monitor, the lower section was gain pre and post inserts.  The insert loop was all hard wired and switchable between EQ, Comp, EQ->Comp, Comp->EQ.  The gain pre and post was 0, 6db, 12db, with attenuators on the side.  It was a dual buss, that's why there's 2 Sontecs and 2 Tubetechs.  Live mastering direct to Umatic.

Eventually, the A buss started sounding different than the B Buss, then one of the amps really started sounding bad.  Cello was out of business so we were going to send it to the west coast for repair, but instead it was sold (I had no idea).  I think it went to the recording museum in Queens(?) and it was going to be modified for LCR recording.  Last I heard.

It was replaced with some GML modules which definitely sounded better.  Then I moved over to the SPL (first the DMC, then the MMC-2).

We still have a few Cello Studers floating around. Never had any EQ's at Sony.  Did have one at Polygram.

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Gold on January 02, 2007, 11:25:01 pm
Mark Wilder wrote on Tue, 02 January 2007 22:27


We still have a few Cello Studers floating around.


How do they compare to the stock A80VU electronics? Has anyone around there ever fixed one? I have a set sans PSU that I have a feeling is dead. I got it out of a "deep storage" pile. It would be nice to get it going. I know there was never any documentation for them.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: turtletone on January 02, 2007, 11:28:26 pm
hahaha. I almost bought that Cello console. A guy here in NYC bought it from sony. He had so much old gear it was just crazy. anyway he wanted something like 45 grand for the thing (insert rolling eyes). I ran some stuff through it and found that it wasn't quite all up to snuff. Started the process of seeing if it could be fixed up and ran into several walls so I passed on it. Thank GOD. It seemed like it was a great console for it's day, but kind of limited for something today. If I recall through my digging, there were two others built. I have no idea if those are still around. It's built like a tank I can say that much, also weighs about the same too. Don't know whatever happened to that thing after I passed on it.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Mark Wilder on January 03, 2007, 08:56:06 pm
I would rather have the stock electronics myself.  The Cello tape electronics were a little bright for me.  Alignments were always a challenge because when you set level, then HF, you'd have to go back and reset level.  The bands were all interdependent, so to get a flat alignment, you'd have to keep bouncing back and forth between tones until they all settled at zero.  My set also picked up a bit of RF.  I'd have to do a machine waltz until I found a null point in the room.

We alway had them serviced by Cello (I think).  If I remember, the one who did all the work was JB.  At one point I had the name of someone who was servicing Cello (after they closed).  I found it in a Stereophile magazine a few years ago.  But it's long gone now.  

I might be able to help you figure out if they're dead or not.  PM me.

That's a good story about the console.  45 grand, or anything near it, seems a bit high, even if it were in full working order.  
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mikepecchio on January 04, 2007, 09:30:49 am
I have worked on Cello gear.  It is not all that mysterious inside. and the lack of schematics is not that big of a deal. the amps are not potted, the component lables are not scratched off, the layouts are neat and not too cramped.  I was able to trace out the circuits with little difficulty. Your mileage may vary.  I think any real tech could probably fix it. feel free to contact me.

mike p
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: crumar0 on January 04, 2007, 04:19:41 pm
index.php/fa/3963/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: crumar0 on January 04, 2007, 04:22:14 pm
Probably we should examine the sontec opamp. It has 3 gain stages and a darlington output stage. Need more high res images. What are the component values ?

Anyone interested ?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on January 05, 2007, 12:36:22 pm
Adam Dempsey wrote on Mon, 11 December 2006 19:40

Jerry Tubb wrote on Tue, 12 December 2006 08:04

I hear that Jack the Bear has acquired a Sontec 432 !!!

Congrats to Tony !

JT


Let the cat right outta the bag why doncha... Smile
Yep, and he'll be on holiday when it arrives (a C/9 model I think), so we get to unwrap, check & install! A few rack changes to accomodate as of course it'll take pride of place above the console. Welcome Sontec to Melbourne, only the 3rd in Oz!


Well ???

Waiting on the other shoe to drop.

Cheers JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Adam Dempsey on January 05, 2007, 06:57:54 pm
Still being sorted...  Wink
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on January 06, 2007, 10:00:42 am
crumar0 wrote on Thu, 04 January 2007 15:22

Probably we should examine the sontec opamp. It has 3 gain stages and a darlington output stage. Need more high res images. What are the component values ?

Anyone interested ?

Lots of folks are - the HS2000 is tough to come by.

That being said, several folks know all the component values and have laid out new cards, though I doubt they'll be sharing their hard work freely. Fact is, several guys are making replacement opamps for Sontecs, though I've never heard them. I'll stick with HS2000's as long as I can...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on January 06, 2007, 11:30:11 am
bblackwood wrote on Sat, 06 January 2007 15:00

crumar0 wrote on Thu, 04 January 2007 15:22

Probably we should examine the sontec opamp. It has 3 gain stages and a darlington output stage. Need more high res images. What are the component values ?

Anyone interested ?

Lots of folks are - the HS2000 is tough to come by.

That being said, several folks know all the component values and have laid out new cards, though I doubt they'll be sharing their hard work freely. Fact is, several guys are making replacement opamps for Sontecs, though I've never heard them. I'll stick with HS2000's as long as I can...


fwiw I've spoken regarding this stuff to Dan Zellman (the main tech for Walter Sear's place and Looking Glass Studios, and formerly one of the developers for URS) and he stated to me that him getting a Sontec EQ back up running while not totally easy was still definitely doable.  What he said was impossible was getting the Sontec Compressors going - apparently he has a few of them just sitting on his shelves with little hope of ever being restored.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: crumar0 on January 09, 2007, 06:18:47 am
The outcome would be a self serviceable OpAmp with a guide like replace defective few cent Transistor Q10 with pn4250 without sending the gear for servicing.

See redrawn schematic of Sontec Opamp (HS2000). Need more highres images !

Best regards
Andreas Wei
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on January 09, 2007, 10:07:57 am
On my Sontec's HS2000 Op-Amps, the component values are intentionally scratched off to make it difficult to recreate.

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: punisher on January 09, 2007, 07:46:42 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Sat, 06 January 2007 11:30

he stated to me that him getting a Sontec EQ back up running while not totally easy was still definitely doable.  



Like me in a threesome with Lindsay Lohan and Rosie O'Donnell
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Adam Dempsey on January 09, 2007, 08:06:04 pm
Jerry Tubb wrote on Sat, 06 January 2007 04:36

Adam Dempsey wrote on Mon, 11 December 2006 19:40

Jerry Tubb wrote on Tue, 12 December 2006 08:04

I hear that Jack the Bear has acquired a Sontec 432 !!!

Congrats to Tony !

JT


Let the cat right outta the bag why doncha... Smile
A few rack changes to accomodate as of course it'll take pride of place above the console. Welcome Sontec to Melbourne, only the 3rd in Oz!


Well ???

Waiting on the other shoe to drop.

Cheers JT


It's arrival's probably a couple of weeks away. Thing is we had a certain unit but then the guy pulled out and we found a 4 channel 432 for an even better price, well serviced by Steve Firlotte but with the orig op amps - and spares. Suffice to say we're told by its seller, Joe Gastwirt, it's history includes the Beach Boys, The Grateful Dead, Grant Lee Buffalo, Emmylou Harris, and many more!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on January 09, 2007, 08:49:14 pm
punisher wrote on Wed, 10 January 2007 00:46

TotalSonic wrote on Sat, 06 January 2007 11:30

he stated to me that him getting a Sontec EQ back up running while not totally easy was still definitely doable.  



Like me in a threesome with Lindsay Lohan and Rosie O'Donnell


hee hee - no, I think he meant a lot easier (and probably a bit more appealing) than the likelihood of that.

Honestly - Dan is probably one of the best techs in NYC with around 40 years of experience under his belt.  Neve consoles, Studers, SSL, NTP's, and ummm yeah, Sontecs - he's worked on them all.  He's done work for Masterdisk, Coral Sound, Celebration Sound, Tony Visconti, etc. etc.

Heck, in one emergency house call he fixed the transport of my JH110 from memory without a schematic even though there had been numerous things that had gone wrong with it - even got the locator going which had been down for years - all in a matter of minutes.  

So when Dan tells me it isn't a problem - I tend to believe him.  

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: punisher on January 09, 2007, 09:14:25 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Tue, 09 January 2007 20:49

punisher wrote on Wed, 10 January 2007 00:46

TotalSonic wrote on Sat, 06 January 2007 11:30

he stated to me that him getting a Sontec EQ back up running while not totally easy was still definitely doable.  



Like me in a threesome with Lindsay Lohan and Rosie O'Donnell


hee hee - no, I think he meant a lot easier (and probably a bit more appealing) than the likelihood of that.

Honestly - Dan is probably one of the best techs in NYC with around 40 years of experience under his belt.  Neve consoles, Studers, SSL, NTP's, and ummm yeah, Sontecs - he's worked on them all.  He's done work for Masterdisk, Coral Sound, Celebration Sound, Tony Visconti, etc. etc.

Heck, in one emergency house call he fixed the transport of my JH110 from memory without a schematic even though there had been numerous things that had gone wrong with it - even got the locator going which had been down for years - all in a matter of minutes.  

So when Dan tells me it isn't a problem - I tend to believe him.  

Best regards,
Steve Berson



Not dissin' ur tech man buddy and I'm glad u got a sense of humour. As New Yorkers say "F&%K em' if they can't take a joke!".

Just on a slight deviation back on the topic regarding these Sontecs. Has anyone had any issues with having 1db steps as opposed to .5?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on January 10, 2007, 09:00:22 am
punisher wrote on Wed, 10 January 2007 12:14


Just on a slight deviation back on the topic regarding these Sontecs. Has anyone had any issues with having 1db steps as opposed to .5?



I'll speak for myself here, the only bands I ever really wish were .5db stepped are the shelves, because they don't have a variable Q. With the parametric bands it's workable with the variations available in the Q. Meaning if I add 1db & it's a little too much for my taste I make the 'Q' tighter. But in most cases I'm using the Q on 5,6 or 9 if I want less then a db I use 9,11 or 15 on the Q. Not the ideal solution but it does work in most cases.

In my book the Sontec's stongest points is what it adds not subtracts. I usually prefer to use wider Q's on the Sontec for broader colour, If I want to take something out or get surgical I use the Weiss in M/S or the MDW EQ.

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: crumar0 on January 10, 2007, 03:02:51 pm
Scratched off values appear to be no dead end though !

Many Sontec Opamps in working equipment have flaws, like oscillations, etc. I am not convinced of many repair attempts (Seen service repair bills with guesswork of replacing a capacitor and resoldering solder points).

The following steps lead to success:

1.) with high-res images supplement posted schematic, connections, resistors and most capacitors should be right  
2.) examine some probably not scratched off transistor values, there is always hope
3.) measure the pn-junctions at some transistors in doubt (cheap multimeter required), certifies npn, pnp polarity
4.) probably lift off one pin of some unknown ceramic capacitors, if there are any, to determine their capacity (LCR-Meter required, if not at hand, test it with a demo LCR-Meter at an electronic store)
5.)  at this point, we got a damn good (95%) approximation, with standard low noise, high ft and hfe, sometimes matched amplifier transistors, which should work better than most used stuff sold today
6.) if 100% approximation is required, of course the transistors should be desoldered at one point and hfe measured (capacitance values of the transistors are also important, etc.)

To go ahead I would be in need of detailed pictures like the posted one, because the circuit traces are often obscurred by components. Any help welcome !

Andreas

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on January 10, 2007, 03:40:45 pm
crumar0 wrote on Wed, 10 January 2007 14:02

To go ahead I would be in need of detailed pictures like the posted one, because the circuit traces are often obscurred by components. Any help welcome !

How about this?

index.php/fa/4010/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on January 10, 2007, 03:41:15 pm
And this?

index.php/fa/4011/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on January 10, 2007, 08:24:46 pm
Matt_G wrote on Wed, 10 January 2007 08:00

punisher wrote on Wed, 10 January 2007 12:14


Just on a slight deviation back on the topic regarding these Sontecs. Has anyone had any issues with having 1db steps as opposed to .5?



I'll speak for myself here, the only bands I ever really wish were .5db stepped are the shelves, because they don't have a variable Q. With the parametric bands it's workable with the variations available in the Q. Meaning if I add 1db & it's a little too much for my taste I make the 'Q' tighter. But in most cases I'm using the Q on 5,6 or 9 if I want less then a db I use 9,11 or 15 on the Q. Not the ideal solution but it does work in most cases.

In my book the Sontec's stongest points is what it adds not subtracts. I usually prefer to use wider Q's on the Sontec for broader colour, If I want to take something out or get surgical I use the Weiss in M/S or the MDW EQ.


I would agree with Matt here, 1 dB steps is no problem, esp when used in tandem with another EQ. The NSEQ-F has superfine steps as does the Z-Sys EQ, if I need to split hairs, can just use one of these along with the Sontec.

It would be nice to have other choices on the shelves, such as 12.5k and 16k on the top, rather than just 10k, but overall no problema.

Today I mastered an acoustic songwriter record, found that using +2 at 70Hz on the low end, +1 at 16k on the highs, with possibly a 1dB mid cut at 600 worked just great, & sounds incredible, without compromise... Viva la Sontec!

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: JLM Audio on January 12, 2007, 07:17:33 am
Jerry Tubb wrote on Thu, 11 January 2007 11:24

Matt_G wrote on Wed, 10 January 2007 08:00

punisher wrote on Wed, 10 January 2007 12:14


Just on a slight deviation back on the topic regarding these Sontecs. Has anyone had any issues with having 1db steps as opposed to .5?



I'll speak for myself here, the only bands I ever really wish were .5db stepped are the shelves, because they don't have a variable Q. With the parametric bands it's workable with the variations available in the Q. Meaning if I add 1db & it's a little too much for my taste I make the 'Q' tighter. But in most cases I'm using the Q on 5,6 or 9 if I want less then a db I use 9,11 or 15 on the Q. Not the ideal solution but it does work in most cases.

In my book the Sontec's stongest points is what it adds not subtracts. I usually prefer to use wider Q's on the Sontec for broader colour, If I want to take something out or get surgical I use the Weiss in M/S or the MDW EQ.


I would agree with Matt here, 1 dB steps is no problem, esp when used in tandem with another EQ. The NSEQ-F has superfine steps as does the Z-Sys EQ, if I need to split hairs, can just use one of these along with the Sontec.

It would be nice to have other choices on the shelves, such as 12.5k and 16k on the top, rather than just 10k, but overall no problema.

Today I mastered an acoustic songwriter record, found that using +2 at 70Hz on the low end, +1 at 16k on the highs, with possibly a 1dB mid cut at 600 worked just great, & sounds incredible, without compromise... Viva la Sontec!

JT

To change HI and LO Shelfing on the 432 into 1/2dB steps only 2 resistors per left and right channel need to have there values changed. Same can be done to make the 3 mids bands 1/2dB steps. This could be wired to a switch on the back panel so it was switchable between 1 and 1/2dB steps easily.

To change HI shelving freq from 10kHz change C10 which is 3.9nF to 2.7nF for 12.8kHz or 2.2nF for 16kHz. This could also be made switchable.

So for about $10 in parts and a hour or two of a tech's time you can have a super pimped 432 and be king of the mastering EQ hill.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on January 12, 2007, 11:07:15 am
Hosef wrote on Fri, 12 January 2007 06:17

So for about $10 in parts and a hour or two of a tech's time you can have a super pimped 432 and be king of the mastering EQ hill.


Thanks for the interesting mod tips there JLM.

I'll have to think pretty hard before modding my 432.

As it is, it's cherry & stock, a thing of beauty... a work of art... a piece of history.

I've got some great techs here, will consider it... 12.8k and 1/2 dB steps would be  nice though.

BTW intersting looking Mastering Console on your website.

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on January 29, 2007, 11:37:15 am
couldn't let this thread get too far from the front page...

i might be able to get a (seemingly) good deal on a PEQ250...can any of you guys tell me anything about this model? i read the whole thread yesterday and didn't see it mentioned. and unsurprisingly google wasn't much help. anyone? am i nuts for even thinking about it?

thanks
scott
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on January 29, 2007, 11:44:22 am
Are you sure about that model number? I'm no expert, but I'm only aware of two studio models (the MEP2-50C and the MEP-250EX). The mastering EQs are all MES-XXX.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bob Boyd on January 29, 2007, 12:05:21 pm
If you look at the MEP models, they look like early GML 8200's.  The MES series has a look (and being a former 9500 owner, I'm guessing sound) to it's own.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on January 29, 2007, 12:17:45 pm
i swear that's what it said on it...i know just enough about sontecs (all of which i learned here) to think it was odd, cause i too thought the model numbers all started with M...

maybe i'm going totally blind though, who knows. anyway, if i can get a listen to the thing, what am i listening for? i'm a total n00b, i only know plug in eq really. so it's not like i have the critical ear for these things like you guys do. but i would of course like to avoid buying a really pretty boat anchor...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on January 29, 2007, 12:28:36 pm
Bob Boyd wrote on Mon, 29 January 2007 11:05

If you look at the MEP models, they look like early GML 8200's.  The MES series has a look (and being a former 9500 owner, I'm guessing sound) to it's own.

Well, the 250C does look similar (concentric knobs) to the GML 8200 (which came later), but the 250EX uses 3 knobs/band and looks quite different. The 250EX was the last studio EQ they made - basically the same circuit as the 250C but breaking out the knobs for easier use.

IMO, neither of the Sontec MEP EQs sound anything like the GML stuff, though they do sound similar to the MES series EQs.

Here's what they look like:
GML-8200
http://www.euphonicmasters.com/misc/8200.gif

Sontec MEP-250C
http://www.euphonicmasters.com/misc/250C.gif

Sontec MEP-250EX
http://www.euphonicmasters.com/misc/250EX.gif
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on January 29, 2007, 12:42:14 pm
the one i saw looked like the MEP250C but with the alt lifestyle colored knobs.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on January 29, 2007, 12:46:29 pm
MoreSpaceEcho wrote on Mon, 29 January 2007 11:42

the one i saw looked like the MEP250C but with the alt lifestyle colored knobs.


You mean like this one?

index.php/fa/4136/0/

Great sounding EQ BTW.

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on January 29, 2007, 01:03:28 pm
yeah that's it i think.

you guys are supposed to be talking me out of this.

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on January 29, 2007, 01:10:20 pm
It was a greaaat sounding EQ, but the pots wore out, rendering it unusable.

Try before you buy if possible.

Cheers - JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on January 29, 2007, 01:14:51 pm
thanks JT.

what would you think a reasonable price would be, assuming the thing actually works?

btw, i thought your Faust story was great! this thread has everything...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: compasspnt on January 29, 2007, 07:34:17 pm
The 250's are nice, but they are NOT the 4xx's.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on January 29, 2007, 07:51:26 pm
MoreSpaceEcho wrote on Mon, 29 January 2007 12:14

thanks JT.

what would you think a reasonable price would be, assuming the thing actually works?

btw, i thought your Faust story was great! this thread has everything...


Thanks, yeah my imagination gets carried away sometimes.

As far as price, heck I dunno, there's a Sontec MEP 250EX on eBay today bidding for $1650, seems like a reasonable price.

And like Terry said, although the 250s are great, they're not in the same league as a 432.

Cheers - JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on January 31, 2007, 01:50:57 pm
Jerry Tubb wrote on Tue, 30 January 2007 00:51

MoreSpaceEcho wrote on Mon, 29 January 2007 12:14

thanks JT.

what would you think a reasonable price would be, assuming the thing actually works?

btw, i thought your Faust story was great! this thread has everything...


Thanks, yeah my imagination gets carried away sometimes.

As far as price, heck I dunno, there's a Sontec MEP 250EX on eBay today bidding for $1650, seems like a reasonable price.


Actually final price with shipping and tax turned out to be $1850, which based on past auctions seems to be an average price for one.  I know because I was the winning bid!

but -
Gosh darn it Jerry! - I wasn't planning on making any big purchases this month!  let alone an eq as the API 5500 just got here a couple months ago - I just saw your post and after reading all this drooling over Sontecs  put down an impulsive bid that I figured probably would be too much of a low ball to win!  Guess it's time for me to get off my butt sell some gear that's been collecting some dust here to cover it!!  (like my Filtek MKIII's that haven't been used on a master since I got the API's).

Quote:


And like Terry said, although the 250s are great, they're not in the same league as a 432.


Still interested in checking this baby out - at the minimum I expect it will make a nice secondary eq to my Medici - and if it actually sounds really nice maybe I'll see whether I can get at least the gain pots modded to switches (although I figure this could be expensive to do).

Best regards,
Steve Berson


Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on January 31, 2007, 03:09:48 pm
congrats! i hope it's in perfect shape...

i'm gonna check out the one i saw tomorrow...i wasn't planning on spending any money either, but...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on January 31, 2007, 03:23:43 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Wed, 31 January 2007 12:50

Still interested in checking this baby out - at the minimum I expect it will make a nice secondary eq to my Medici

Based on my experiences it will kill the Medici.

Quote:

and if it actually sounds really nice maybe I'll see whether I can get at least the gain pots modded to switches (although I figure this could be expensive to do).

Unless it's broken it will sound very good, though not quite the same as the 43X series. Adding switches would be insanely expensive (new chassis, plus each switch will run you a good $250 each (using cheap switches)).

The 250 series EQs are a bit of a pain to use in mastering, but it can be done, and they do sound very good...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on January 31, 2007, 03:34:48 pm
MoreSpaceEcho wrote on Wed, 31 January 2007 14:09

congrats! i hope it's in perfect shape...

i'm gonna check out the one i saw tomorrow...i wasn't planning on spending any money either, but...

Before you buy, pop the top and see what type of opamps are in it - unless they are HS1000's or HS2000's, walk away. Anything older than that will be literally impossible to find.

HS1000:
http://www.euphonicmasters.com/misc/HS1000.gif

HS2000:
http://www.euphonicmasters.com/misc/HS2000.gif
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on January 31, 2007, 03:58:44 pm
bblackwood wrote on Wed, 31 January 2007 20:23

TotalSonic wrote on Wed, 31 January 2007 12:50

Still interested in checking this baby out - at the minimum I expect it will make a nice secondary eq to my Medici

Based on my experiences it will kill the Medici.


really??  "kill"?  Sorry, this I've got to hear for myself!

While the Medici has some things that  occasionally make it less versatile (i.e. a little bit pillowy on the bottom so when I want hard edged thump I usually use something else, it's not always the best for shelving chores, and low mid boosts can get slightly honky sometimes) I still haven't heard anything with as sweet of upper mid boosts as the Medici (and the "sheen" option is mighty cool on the highs too).

Hopefully your right though, in which case I figure I got a bargain!

Quote:

Adding switches would be insanely expensive (new chassis, plus each switch will run you a good $250 each (using cheap switches)).


I'm wondering whether I could pull out the switches on my Filteks then for this - they're pretty small so I figure I wouldn't need a new chassis.  Would be a shame to break up such nice eq's though (which I most likely need to sell to finance the Sontec purchase - I hate having interest accumulating on the credit card and make a policy never to do so).

Quote:


The 250 series EQs are a bit of a pain to use in mastering, but it can be done, and they do sound very good...


Cool!

Anyway - a question to Sontec owners out there -
How do the "shape" numbers correlate to bandwidth in octave or Q????


Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on January 31, 2007, 04:27:30 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Wed, 31 January 2007 14:58

How do the "shape" numbers correlate to bandwidth in octave or Q?

On the studio version shape = Q. It'll be marked from about 0.4 to 4, IIRC.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on January 31, 2007, 10:39:54 pm
bblackwood wrote on Wed, 31 January 2007 20:34

Before you buy, pop the top and see what type of opamps are in it - unless they are HS1000's or HS2000's, walk away. Anything older than that will be literally impossible to find.


thank you very very much.

i think it is likely an older model...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on February 01, 2007, 07:37:14 pm
well, i got it. dunno what i was thinking with the PEQ business, it's an MEP250A. serial #922. opamps are HS1000s. the right side seems fine, the left side though is wonky...low end distorting like crazy...i guess i'll leave it on and see if it mellows out after awhile. if not i'll try and post a clip of the distortion and beg you guys for advice.

i got it at guitar center so i can return it no worries.

it sure LOOKS nice...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on February 02, 2007, 12:10:58 am
so here's what my awesome new eq sounds like...

http://www.rohdelikat.com/crag/yikes.wav

there's about 4 bars of bypass then i kick it in. lookout. this is just the left channel...any thoughts anyone? easily fixed or return this thing immediately?

thanks
scott
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on February 02, 2007, 12:40:03 am
MoreSpaceEcho wrote on Fri, 02 February 2007 05:10

so here's what my awesome new eq sounds like...

http://www.rohdelikat.com/crag/yikes.wav

there's about 4 bars of bypass then i kick it in. lookout. this is just the left channel...any thoughts anyone? easily fixed or return this thing immediately?

thanks
scott


ouch.  I'm not a tech so I have no idea based on the sound what the problem could be - but considering that you still can return it, and considering that the makers of this box not only no longer support it but haven't even made schematics of it available at all, and that several of the parts are proprietary and extremely rare  - personally I'd return it while you still can.  However - if you're in the NYC area pm me as I know of a good tech who can probably take a look at it for you to see if it is indeed fixable.

Nice track until the eq kicks in btw!  I like the upright bass and thump on the kick you've got...

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: compasspnt on February 02, 2007, 01:51:02 am
Scott, we can fix it if you really want to keep it.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 02, 2007, 03:41:35 am
MoreSpaceEcho wrote on Thu, 01 February 2007 18:37

well, i got it. dunno what i was thinking with the PEQ business, it's an MEP250A. serial #922. opamps are HS1000s. the right side seems fine, the left side though is wonky...low end distorting like crazy...


How do you like the sound of the working side?

sweet? warm? phat? silky?

Could be a simple repair on the other side.

You could (carefully) switch the opamps around to see if the problem changes.

Post a Pic!

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on February 02, 2007, 11:54:53 am
thanks guys.

jerry, i messed around with the good side for a bit and it is indeed lovely...all i had to do was a db or two shelf at 10k and i was sold. it really sounded just like i thought it would. i can only imagine what a 432 sounds like. wait, i can only imagine what this one sounds like in stereo...

terry, by 'we' do you mean The Assembled Brain Trust at Mastering Demystified or My Team Of Reclusive Tech Geniuses at Compass Point?

steve, i'm in boston, so not far from you. i have a tech friend here, i'm gonna see if he can at least put it on the bench and see where the trouble lies. i have 30 days to return it, so i have a little leeway here...

glad you liked the track, you should hear the other 8 minutes of it! a band from here called club d'elf. unbelievable bassist and drummer, best i've ever worked with by far. mssr fossenkemper did the mastering on their recent disc...

thanks again guys, i really appreciate the help.
scott
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on February 02, 2007, 12:15:17 pm
MoreSpaceEcho wrote on Fri, 02 February 2007 16:54

thanks guys.

jerry, i messed around with the good side for a bit and it is indeed lovely...all i had to do was a db or two shelf at 10k and i was sold. it really sounded just like i thought it would. i can only imagine what a 432 sounds like. wait, i can only imagine what this one sounds like in stereo...

terry, by 'we' do you mean The Assembled Brain Trust at Mastering Demystified or My Team Of Reclusive Tech Geniuses at Compass Point?

steve, i'm in boston, so not far from you. i have a tech friend here, i'm gonna see if he can at least put it on the bench and see where the trouble lies. i have 30 days to return it, so i have a little leeway here...


Cool - but if after he looks at it things are sitll inconclusive PM me if you still need the contact of a great tech who has indeed worked on a number Sontecs before.

Quote:


glad you liked the track, you should hear the other 8 minutes of it! a band from here called club d'elf.


Nice.  I've heard the name before as they sometimes play places like Tonic here but never got a chance to hear their stuff before.  Seem like theres lots of good  off the beaten path stuff coming out of Boston now (i.e. Beat Circus, Kayo Dot, Humanwine, Count Zero, the reformed Mission of Burma) even if it doesn't always garner mainstream attention.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on February 02, 2007, 12:24:45 pm
wow you know kayo dot? the erstwhile bassist from my band used to play drums for them. alas i think they are no more. but yeah there's loads of good bands here, all under the radar pretty much...but i get to work on a lot of cool stuff, i'm lucky.

will definitely PM you if we can't figure it out here. thanks!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on February 02, 2007, 12:51:55 pm
Try swapping the opamps, one at a time, and see if the problem follows the opamp. It's the likely culprit...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on February 02, 2007, 01:03:27 pm
and if that's the case i have a sexy looking boat anchor, correct?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on February 02, 2007, 01:11:11 pm
MoreSpaceEcho wrote on Fri, 02 February 2007 18:03

and if that's the case i have a sexy looking boat anchor, correct?


or a really nice mono eq in a stereo rack unit.

There are indeed reverse engineered replacement opamps out there but they will still sound different so you'd probably have to replace both sides.  Also - expect expense and lots of delay if you do commit to repairing.  Depending on what you paid for the unit and what a repair is likely to cost you might want to look into putting the cash into something else that would work from the get go.  Lots of good options out there now.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on February 02, 2007, 01:31:59 pm
ok i swapped out both sets of opamps and it's not that, so that's good news i guess.

you think i should just smack it, fonzarelli-style?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on February 02, 2007, 01:49:56 pm
No, take it to a competent tech or return it.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: JLM Audio on February 03, 2007, 06:48:50 am
Quote:

there's about 4 bars of bypass then i kick it in. lookout. this is just the left channel...any thoughts anyone? easily fixed or return this thing immediately?


When you say bypass do you mean you are using the EQ IN /OUT switch on the MEP250A for the above test?

If so the HS1000 are fine as they remain inline with the MEP250 has the EQ switched out. This would limit the fault to cheap NE5534A and TL071 opamps which are easy to get. Try turning each band on the bad side to extreme boost. 4 of the bands should make no difference to the distortion but one should make the distortion much worse. That test will narrow you down to 1 x NE5534A and TL071 costing about $6. This type of fault can also be caused by one of the frequency pots going open circuit.

If you are getting distortion with the EQ switched to OUT it will usually be a HS1000.

Quote:

Thanks for the interesting mod tips there JLM.

I'll have to think pretty hard before modding my 432.


Golden Rule to modding expensive gear is make sure it can be removed without a trace and drill nothing.

Quote:

As it is, it's cherry & stock, a thing of beauty... a work of art... a piece of history.

I've got some great techs here, will consider it... 12.8k and 1/2 dB steps would be nice though.



I hear the words "cherry & stock" from 1073 Neve owners all the time. But once we recap and rebuild the module to new spec it isn't long until the owner is booking in the rest of the desk in to have the same done because of the sound improvement. The 432 has only 9 electro and 1 tant caps that need to be changed per channel. 5 of these caps effect the sound of the LO control and the other are power supply related. So 432 are cheap to keep in perfect electrical condition. We also now have a test and re-bias setup jig for HS2000 15 and 13 transistor open card opamps so they can be repaired to as new as well as fairly cheaply.

I do totally understand these are peoples pride and joy and cost lots of $$$ but keeping them in "cherry & stock" condition and not updating the 25year old electro caps is like not changing the oil in a Ferrari for 25 years and wondering why the engine seized. Smile

Quote:

BTW intersting looking Mastering Console on your website.

JT


Thanks. Yes we have just upgraded the monitor section to 0.5dB steps on the newer ones. Most guys like the offset remember by pushing the monitor input switch you are listening to again feature. So as you tweak you can keep at the same monitor level without any thought.

Below is a mock up of 5 small consoles that we are building at the moment.

index.php/fa/4211/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on February 03, 2007, 10:23:30 am
Hosef wrote on Sat, 03 February 2007 11:48


When you say bypass do you mean you are using the EQ IN /OUT switch on the MEP250A for the above test?


yep.

thanks a ton for that info joe! i'm hopefully going to bring it to my tech friend tomorrow, we'll see if we can get it sorted.

cheers
scott
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dcollins on February 05, 2007, 02:06:31 am
Hosef wrote on Sat, 03 February 2007 03:48

That test will narrow you down to 1 x NE5534A and TL071 costing about $6. This type of fault can also be caused by one of the frequency pots going open circuit.



Dios mio!

It's not all discrete Class A?
Must be for the DC servo....

DC
Title: Burgess Macneal
Post by: Matt_G on February 08, 2007, 07:04:06 am
Well I had the most amazing phone call today from Burgess Macneal himself. I couldn't believe it when he called me out of the blue today. He said that he had been following this thread & that he wanted to contact the Sontec owners personally to assure them that he is alive & well & is available to service the Sontecs should anyone need spare opamps etc. He asked if I needed anything & went on to say that he is looking to make some new Equalizers. I wasn't 100% sure whether he meant 432's I think he was more referring to a newer design based on the old with improved reliability.

Brad, I believe that you are next on his list to call, so let us know what he says. He talked with me for over an hour. I still can't believe it actually, it was very re-assuring that he is still around & servicing Sontecs & should be releasing something new soon.

Matt
Title: Re: Burgess Macneal
Post by: bblackwood on February 08, 2007, 09:50:10 am
Santa Vaca!
Title: Re: Burgess Macneal
Post by: Bob Boyd on February 08, 2007, 09:56:27 am
Matt_G wrote on Thu, 08 February 2007 06:04

Well I had the most amazing phone call today from Burgess Macneal himself. I couldn't believe it when he called me out of the blue today. He said that he had been following this thread & that he wanted to contact the Sontec owners personally to assure them that he is alive & well & is available to service the Sontecs should anyone need spare opamps etc. He asked if I needed anything & went on to say that he is looking to make some new Equalizers. I wasn't 100% sure whether he meant 432's I think he was more referring to a newer design based on the old with improved reliability.

Brad, I believe that you are next on his list to call, so let us know what he says. He talked with me for over an hour. I still can't believe it actually, it was very re-assuring that he is still around & servicing Sontecs & should be releasing something new soon.

Matt

Are you sure that wasn't a competitor just screwing around with you?


Smile
Title: Re: Burgess Macneal
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 08, 2007, 10:09:21 am
Matt_G wrote on Thu, 08 February 2007 06:04

He (Burgess)said that he had been following this thread & that he wanted to contact the Sontec owners personally to assure them that he is alive & well & is available to service the Sontecs should anyone need spare opamps etc.


Maybe Mr. MacNeal could join the forum and add some comments to this thread, provide us with some more info.

I think many of us would like more spare HS2000 opamps.

Consider that an Invitation Burgess! And BTW Thanks for such a great Equalizer!

TotalSonic wrote on Wed, 31 January 2007 12:50

Actually final price with shipping and tax turned out to be $1850, which based on past auctions seems to be an average price for one.  I know because I was the winning bid!


Congratulations Steve !  I know you'll enjoy it, be sure and let us know how you like it.

Cheers - JT
Title: Re: Burgess Macneal
Post by: bblackwood on February 08, 2007, 10:17:01 am
Bob Boyd wrote on Thu, 08 February 2007 08:56

Are you sure that wasn't a competitor just screwing around with you?

Hehe, no, I'm on the phone with Burgess now...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on February 08, 2007, 10:19:34 am
dios mio indeed!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on February 08, 2007, 11:17:19 am
Ok, just got off the phone with Burgess - the guy has the mind like a steal trap, even remembering our phone calls from 6 and 7 years ago! Anyway, he's back and ready to help out Sontec owners with repair/service as needed, so now more than ever buy these glorious boxes as they are now supported again!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on February 08, 2007, 11:33:20 am
bblackwood wrote on Thu, 08 February 2007 16:17

Ok, just got off the phone with Burgess - the guy has the mind like a steal trap, even remembering our phone calls from 6 and 7 years ago! Anyway, he's back and ready to help out Sontec owners with repair/service as needed, so now more than ever buy these glorious boxes as they are now supported again!


Brad -
Did he give permission to you to post his contact info (phone, address, email)??
Or can you PM me this?

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on February 08, 2007, 11:39:10 am
For now I'll PM the info to those who need it, though it's likely a good idea to call only if you need service. He's gotta be slammed trying to catch up with everyone..
Title: Re: Burgess Macneal (Hooray!)
Post by: esstek on February 09, 2007, 01:05:56 pm
Did Burgess offer any explanation, or reason, why Sontec had, for all intents and purposes, simply vanished? I couldn't believe it when I called a year or two ago and the phone number had been disconnected. I've known Burgess for almost 30 years (Nashville @ Quadrafonic, Woodland, Emerald & Masterfonics), and it really saddened me when I thought something bad might have happened to him/Sontec. Thanks for the wonderful news that he is OK, and still very much interested in pro audio!

Kerry



Matt_G wrote on Thu, 08 February 2007 06:04

Well I had the most amazing phone call today from Burgess Macneal himself. I couldn't believe it when he called me out of the blue today. He said that he had been following this thread & that he wanted to contact the Sontec owners personally to assure them that he is alive & well & is available to service the Sontecs should anyone need spare opamps etc. He asked if I needed anything & went on to say that he is looking to make some new Equalizers. I wasn't 100% sure whether he meant 432's I think he was more referring to a newer design based on the old with improved reliability.

Brad, I believe that you are next on his list to call, so let us know what he says. He talked with me for over an hour. I still can't believe it actually, it was very re-assuring that he is still around & servicing Sontecs & should be releasing something new soon.

Matt

Title: Re: Burgess Macneal (Hooray!)
Post by: bblackwood on February 09, 2007, 01:08:21 pm
esstek wrote on Fri, 09 February 2007 12:05

Did Burgess offer any explanation, or reason, why Sontec had, for all intents and purposes, simply vanished? I couldn't believe it when I called a year or two ago and the phone number had been disconnected. I've known Burgess for almost 30 years (Nashville @ Quadrafonic, Woodland, Emerald & Masterfonics), and it really saddened me when I thought something bad might have happened to him/Sontec. Thanks for the wonderful news that he is OK, and still very much interested in pro audio!

There is a valid reason and after hearing his side (and combining it with the stories I got from two of the other partners over the years) it makes perfect sense.

Suffice to say it's not really our business, but he's back and ready to make good on the lost time!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mcsnare on February 09, 2007, 02:39:50 pm
I hope he plans to use the original HS-1000 circuit or at least make new ones for 430 owners.
Dave
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on February 09, 2007, 11:56:25 pm
Burgess was kind enough to send me the original literature on the MES-462 as a pdf. Here is the cover sheet as it's not possible to attach pdf's. If anyone would like a copy of the full size pdf I've uploaded it to You Send It for you to grab http://download.yousendit.com/87CC8CF12FD246DB

If this link expires send me a PM if you would like me to email it to you.

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on February 10, 2007, 11:37:15 pm
I got my Sontec MEP250EX in yesterday and just got to working with it today.  
Got quite a bit luckier than Mr. More Space Echo in that it all sounds great and in working order - with the exception of the bypass switches which in order to engage you have to keep pressed down - and the right side gets attenuated when in bypass mode.   Not a big deal right now as the eq itself sounds really nice - although I'm thinking of getting a true hard wire bypass installed at some point - along with possibly getting either different value gain pots so that the range isn't as wide or replacing the pots with stepped switches if I can source appropriate parts cheap enough so that recalls can be done a bit better than as it exists with every control continously sweepable.  

Guess it might sound like sacriledge to mod a Sontec to some - but since this is just a 250 and not a 432 this idea doesn't phase me if I can get the ergonomics a little better - i.e. the knobs do seem a little touchy on this thing - a lot of them were loose and not pointing to the appropriate place so I had to tighten them back to the proper point - and the silk screening doesn't have as many indication points as I would prefer.

Anyway -
Apparently this unit was worked on a year and a half ago by Burgess himself who fixed the power supply but also apparently took 10 months to get it back to the original owner,  along with unexpectedly changing the bypass switches to where they don't really function.  The owner replaced it in his rack in the meantime with a Massive Passive so ended up wanting to get rid of it for some extra cash.   I opened it up and it looked extremely clean and there was even an extra HS2000 opamp wrapped in bubble wrap and taped to the top (sorry - don't email about this because it's not for sale!).

Anyway - even though guess I'm a just a "junior member" of the Sontec owner's club seeing that I don't have one of the coveted 4xx's I still can hear what the fuss is all about - this thing is awesome for smooth wide boosts for large spectral reshaping without ugly resonances or things breaking up - even bringing up the high shelf up 4dB at 6kHz sounded smooth and open.

I took a few quick snapshots - sorry for the poor quality of the photos:
inside -
http://www.totalsonic.net/sontec_inside.jpg

In the rearranged rack:
http://www.totalsonic.net/rack3.jpg

Closer up in the rack:
http://www.totalsonic.net/sontec.jpg

Anyway - a few questions to folks on the history of Sontec.  When was the 250EX introduced?  When did all production stop?  When did George Massenburg stop working for Sontec and go for it on his own?

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 11, 2007, 01:11:48 am
Lookin' Good Steve, Congrats!

I don't know Sontecs' history as well as some, but I do remember using a 250EX about ten years ago, shortly after the pots went south on the 250C we were using.

Maybe we could get Burgess (please) to join the forum and give us some direct answers.

Looks like your building a formidable rack there.

Cheers & Enjoy! - JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on February 11, 2007, 07:52:34 am
TotalSonic wrote on Sat, 10 February 2007 22:37

I got my Sontec MEP250EX in yesterday and just got to working with it today.

Excellent - that's a great sounding EQ. It really does sound fairly similar to the 432, so you're in the ballpark.

Quote:

Anyway - a few questions to folks on the history of Sontec.

Ok, I'll give it a shot, though these are all guesses...

Quote:

 When was the 250EX introduced?

I think it was late 80's early 90's.

Quote:

When did all production stop?

I could no longer get in touch with them after about 2003 or so. But Burgess is BACK!

Quote:

When did George Massenburg stop working for Sontec and go for it on his own?

Well, I think his first product was the 8200, so that was released in 1982 (that's GMLs numbering scheme), so sometime before that.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on February 11, 2007, 12:52:41 pm
bblackwood wrote on Sun, 11 February 2007 05:52


I could no longer get in touch with them after about 2003 or so. But Burgess is BACK!



Whaddaya mean, Burgess is BACK! ?

bab
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 22busy on February 11, 2007, 01:04:57 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Sat, 10 February 2007 22:37

I'm thinking of getting . . . either different value gain pots so that the range isn't as wide or replacing the pots with stepped switches if I can source appropriate parts cheap enough so that recalls can be done a bit better than as it exists with every control continously sweepable.


Nice score and nice eq.  Also good idea to have greater resolution on the boost/cut pots but the ones in the stock unit have a center tap to ground so normal off-the-shelf pots won't work. Also, there's not much room for stepped attenuators.

Hope you can find a suitable solution. Let us know.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on February 11, 2007, 02:58:15 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Sun, 11 February 2007 17:52

bblackwood wrote on Sun, 11 February 2007 05:52


I could no longer get in touch with them after about 2003 or so. But Burgess is BACK!



Whaddaya mean, Burgess is BACK! ?

bab



Hi Bab -
Read the previous couple of pages on this thread - Burgess actually phoned Matt Grey & Brad here letting them know his contact info and that he was available to repair Sontec gear, and that he was contemplating making new gear also sometime in the near future.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on February 11, 2007, 03:07:45 pm
22busy wrote on Sun, 11 February 2007 18:04

TotalSonic wrote on Sat, 10 February 2007 22:37

I'm thinking of getting . . . either different value gain pots so that the range isn't as wide or replacing the pots with stepped switches if I can source appropriate parts cheap enough so that recalls can be done a bit better than as it exists with every control continously sweepable.


Nice score and nice eq.  Also good idea to have greater resolution on the boost/cut pots but the ones in the stock unit have a center tap to ground so normal off-the-shelf pots won't work.


Yeah - but I figured Mouser or Digikey must have some kind of compatible equivalents.  Anyone know part possibilities I should look into?

Quote:


Also, there's not much room for stepped attenuators.



Noticed it's pretty tight spacing to the card also.  

I do have a pair of Filtek MKIII eq modules that have stepped switches that look fairly small that I could possibly cannibalize for this - but first I'd need to see if this is really possible. second I'd feel really bad destroying a really nice pair of eq's that while I've barely touched since getting my API5500 (and will probably even use less now that the Sontec is here too) someone else might find good use for, and third I was kind of planning of selling it to help finance the Sontec purchase, whose cost currently lingers on my credit card accumulating interest.

But if I do break it up there's 12 switches on the pair so I figure I could do all the gain switches on the Sontec and still have 2 left so I could replace the input pots on my Medici too, as this is another place I'd like to have quicker recalls - running tones, while being a no-brainer, can occasionally interupt a sessions work flow a little more than I like.

Guess I'll have to talk to my tech and see what he thinks about my ideas - they may or may not work.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Viitalahde on February 11, 2007, 03:20:38 pm
Steve, 04 series Elma rotary switches would fit there, but your tech (or you) would need to figure out a way to attach the PCB's to the front panel since you'd lose the support of the solder pins of those pots..

Look at my Sontec inspired JFET EQ for inspiration:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v240/virtalahde/Sontec_top.jpg

The thing is messy but it works very well and is silent..
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on February 11, 2007, 03:26:48 pm
Viitalahde wrote on Sun, 11 February 2007 20:20

Steve, 04 series Elma rotary switches would fit there, but your tech (or you) would need to figure out a way to attach the PCB's to the front panel since you'd lose the support of the solder pins of those pots..

Look at my Sontec inspired JFET EQ for inspiration

The thing is messy but it works very well and is silent..


Jaakko -
thanks much for your suggestion.
Your eq looks beautiful - nice work!

Does anyone know a place in the USA that sells the Elma's (hopefully relatively inexpensively)?

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Viitalahde on February 11, 2007, 03:52:19 pm
For any questions, PM or e-mail me, I'll be happy to answer. Never worked inside a real Sontec but I could help you calculate the stepped attenuator values.

My frequencies are tuned to semitones. C-2, D#-2, F-2 etc for one band, C#-2, E-2, G-2  for the next band where it overlaps..
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: drpat on February 15, 2007, 09:07:40 am
...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Adam Dempsey on February 16, 2007, 08:45:57 pm
index.php/fa/4343/0/

All's good! And being a 4 channel unit, the unused opamps are disengaged internally as spares. (Now also with all the digital gear in the side rack and clocking off the Lavry Gold - huge difference in imaging and depth. We're loving it. Pro pics coming to the website soon).
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 16, 2007, 09:06:52 pm
Finally Adam !

Congrats to Deluxe Mastering... fine additions to a formidable rack.

Give my best to Jack the Bear : - )

JT

p.s. you taking any bids on the extra op-amps? ; - )
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Adam Dempsey on February 17, 2007, 12:38:00 am
Thanks, Jerry. Will do.
Op amps staying right here though. Smile
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on February 17, 2007, 01:40:15 am
Adam Dempsey wrote on Sat, 17 February 2007 11:45

index.php/fa/4343/0/

All's good! And being a 4 channel unit, the unused opamps are disengaged internally as spares. (Now also with all the digital gear in the side rack and clocking off the Lavry Gold - huge difference in imaging and depth. We're loving it. Pro pics coming to the website soon).


Hi Adam, give my congrats to Tony, wow a Sontec & a Lavry Gold in one week! very nice indeed Smile Tony & I had a good conversation on the phone the other night, he's a good man. All the best to you & Deluxe on the new acquisitions.

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Phil Demetro on February 17, 2007, 12:04:04 pm
Adam Dempsey wrote on Sat, 17 February 2007 00:38

Thanks, Jerry. Will do.
Op amps staying right here though. Smile
fyi, the side rack:

index.php/fa/4342/0/  


Totally none of my business but I would leave some space between some of the gear.  Not sure if PSU or transformer fields are an issue but are any of those units hot to the touch? The AD gets at least as hot as the radiator in my home!

R U guys ever gonna run that EQ as a program/preview?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Brusby on February 17, 2007, 09:07:41 pm
Adam Dempsey wrote on Sat, 17 February 2007 05:38

index.php/fa/4342/0/  



Careful with that Lavry Gold A/D.  They run VERY hot and as an old tech friend told me many years ago, heat=death.

Oh, just noticed it's got the new power supplies which run cooler. . . nevermind Cool  
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bob Boyd on February 17, 2007, 11:08:23 pm
I actually had the same thought on leaving some space when I saw that picture.  My Gold DA924 can really cook.  I have a space above and below it now.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Adam Dempsey on February 19, 2007, 03:22:22 am
Matt_G wrote on Sat, 17 February 2007 17:40



Hi Adam, give my congrats to Tony, wow a Sontec & a Lavry Gold in one week! very nice indeed Smile Tony & I had a good conversation on the phone the other night, he's a good man. All the best to you & Deluxe on the new acquisitions.

Matt



Thanks Matt, yes he's put a lot of work into this place and we're very happy to be a part of it.

The Lavry Gold was actually added a couple of months ago. It's a MkIII which, from reports, runs cooler than the Mk II. It seems fine but yes some half RU vented spacers may be the go. Credit to Byron here, too, who did the PTHD clock sync set up.

Phil Demetro wrote


R U guys ever gonna run that EQ as a program/preview?


The 432 - yeah Phil, it's 4 channel but we had the other opamps disengaged to be kept as spares.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Phil Demetro on February 19, 2007, 06:08:05 pm
Adam Dempsey wrote on Mon, 19 February 2007 03:22

Phil Demetro wrote


R U guys ever gonna run that EQ as a program/preview?


The 432 - yeah Phil, it's 4 channel but we had the other opamps disengaged to be kept as spares.


Nah, forget spares. I'm sure the EQ is fine.
If it's worked this long...

I have my doubts about repairing them desite recent news about service but you could still back to 2 channel if something goes?

Be all that you can be and go 4 channel.

That's what i would do but can't.

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on April 06, 2007, 06:06:42 pm
It's like it's becoming the new 670...

index.php/fa/4793/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on April 06, 2007, 06:49:36 pm
Ouch -
Heckuva lot of cash considering you could get 2 units also fully recallable and with much easier to get forward support for at the same price - but guess if ya gotta have it and you have the money it all makes sense.  

In other Sontec news - I spoke yesterday with Dan Zellman about getting my MEP250EX's modded with switches to replace the gain pots and to have a true relayed bypass switch put in also.

He seemed pretty confident he would be able to do all this with out having to put everything into a new chassis - and also at a price that wouldn't break the bank... I'll let people know how this goes after I meet with him next week.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: jdg on April 06, 2007, 07:21:53 pm
well from the ebay id of the winner, it looks like was doug mcbride has himself a new toy Smile
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Phil Demetro on April 06, 2007, 08:12:52 pm
bblackwood wrote on Fri, 06 April 2007 18:06

It's like it's becoming the new 670...

index.php/fa/4793/0/


From looks alone I'd say mine has a sweeter top end!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Gold on April 06, 2007, 09:15:38 pm
If that's a two channel model it went for almost twice the mid 1990's retail price. Ouch. Too bad I don't own one. It would almost be time to sell.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Gravity 8058 on April 07, 2007, 11:45:33 am
Yeah, I'm still staggering from the blow of that price as well -- but I've been looking for one for 4 years and didn't want to wait another 4.  I talked at some length with the tech that recently serviced it -- Stephen Haselton ex-Mastering Lab. He was a very sharp guy.  He assured me that it's in top shape and I'll get the printout of his tests.  He also assured me that it's got all original and fully functioning amp's.   I know what they listed for back in the day, but I feel it's worth more to me at this stage. I've owned 5 ITI eqs and a Sontec 250C, and a Sontec 250EX. But I had one of my ITI MEP 230's recapped the other day -- it's now the best sounding eq I've got (Avalon 2055, Massive P, NSEQ, API, Neve, Chandler.....)

Burgess was always very helpful servicing my ITI's and Sontecs in the past so I guess I'm gambling a little that were I to loose an op amp, he might be able to help out now that he's back amongst the living.  Otherwise I'll go crying to Chris Muth.
I've got family in Virginia on the other side of the mountain, so I figure I'll just pop by Burgess' house with some lemonade and pecan pie.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: livingstone on April 25, 2007, 07:29:39 am
i've seen these HS1000 on ebay this morning, perhaps some of you will be interested

http://cgi.ebay.fr/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150116 012297&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:FR:1
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on April 29, 2007, 03:34:17 am
Brad Blackwood wrote

FYI, Burgess is building NEW HS1000s and HS2000s for roughly $100/each...


So Brad, I transplanted this info from another forum, thought it belonged in the "official" Sontec thread.

Guess that means there will be a lot of Sontecs put back into service.

Good news for the music & audio world.

Since having the 432 in my chain for over a year now, I've had many unsolicited compliments from clients about the sound quality.

Now that Burgess is active again, I suppose he can give those of us with 1dB steps, half dB steps : - )

All the Best- JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ged Leitch on May 08, 2007, 02:20:53 pm
Jeez louise!!

This thread has gotten crazy, All good stuff though!

**WARNING - PLUGIN COMPARISON ALERT*!!

By the way guys, I have been trying out the demo of Tritone digitals Angeltone Equalizer.

This features actual IR's from ahem, a "Sonny", As well as other outboard EQ's.

I did my usual tests, and came back the next day to see if it was just me wanting it to sound as good as it did but hey!

The "Sonny" model sounds superb!! The bottom end in particular was very very musical, Which i know apparently is one thing in particular Sontec owners like about them.

I was able to use cuts and boosts and not go "...Hmmmmm"

Basically it sounds Better than any EQ plug i've tested,
whether it actually sounds like a sontec I dont know but it does the job!!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: hnewman on May 25, 2007, 09:41:42 am
Am having a serious wonder about that MEP 250EX on ebay, with one distorted channel.  

Anyone know where one could find the schematics this this fellow?  Is there a means where any joe blow can contact Burgess about looking at one of these?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on May 25, 2007, 09:58:28 am
Check your PM's...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: ak on May 31, 2007, 04:41:52 pm
hi ,

would be interested to know what switches sontec use.
Shallco ?
greetings

andreas

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on May 31, 2007, 04:46:03 pm
Yah, they are Shallcos.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: coffeeman on January 04, 2008, 06:39:01 am
Hi all, I recently changed the caps in the power supply of my Sontec MEP 250 EX and just thought I would check the power outputs from the LM317 and LM337 ... it seems for some reason the + and - volts have different readings (about 8 volts different). Can anyone tell me what they should be? For the time being I have set them both to +- 18 volts and it seems to be working OK but I just want to be 100% sure because a friend of mine told me that the setting should be + and - 28 volts as he has a Sontec Compressor but with HS2000 in them I think? But this to me seems rather high? I am sure you know that the 250 EX uses HS 2030 opamps (and not the HS2000 opamps).

Thanks for any assistance.
Kind regards
Craig

[By the way Burgess Macneal if you are reading this forum please contact me on coffeeman@fastwebnet.it because I have sent several messages but have no reply. It is regarding the two opamps I bought from you about several months ago ... they eventually did arrive but you have not billed me for them as yet.]  
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Steffen on January 04, 2008, 06:50:39 am
coffeeman wrote on Fri, 04 January 2008 12:39

Hi all, I recently changed the caps in the power supply of my Sontec MEP 250 EX and just thought I would check the power outputs from the LM317 and LM337 ... it seems for some reason the + and - volts have different readings (about 8 volts different). Can anyone tell me what they should be? For the time being I have set them both to +- 18 volts and it seems to be working OK but I just want to be 100% sure because a friend of mine told me that the setting should be + and - 28 volts as he has a Sontec Compressor but with HS2000 in them I think? But this to me seems rather high? I am sure you know that the 250 EX uses HS 2030 opamps (and not the HS2000 opamps).

....  


not sure for the ex version but the 250A uses +/- 28V for input buffer plus mixamp (HS1020,HS1050) and +/-18V for filter and servo opamps.

steff
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: coffeeman on January 06, 2008, 07:22:47 am
Thanks for your reply Steffen... and by the way the secondary voltage is +- 15 volts (from the 7815&7915) and that is why I believe the main voltage may be different for the EX? Anyone else have any ideas on what the actual voltage should be coming out of the LM 317/337 for the the Sontec MEP 250 EX? Any advice would be greatly appreciated...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on January 06, 2008, 08:29:00 am
Since both the 43X and the 250 series use the same amplifiers, I imagine they require the same voltage from the PSU. Your best best is to contact Burgess.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: coffeeman on January 07, 2008, 05:12:29 pm
Thanks but I was not aware they were the same amplifiers with codes like HS 1000 , HS 1020 , HS 1050 , HS 2000 and HS 2030 one would assume there must be some difference? By the way I have tried several times to contact Burgess Macneal on the last email address I had, but never received a reply. Calling him from Italy is a little problematic with times zones,etc...but I suppose that is what I will have to do...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: j.ho on January 13, 2008, 11:06:27 pm
Just came in last week from Burgess (props to Brad!)


index.php/fa/7188/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on January 13, 2008, 11:12:20 pm
Congratulations!  You're gonna LOVE this eq!  (at least I do).  Seriously - the high shelf alone is enough to make you ooh and ahh.  I just hope to finally get my tech to finish the mods that got started last year sooner than later.

Anyway - I've posted a page on the Sontec MEP250-EX with all the available ITI Audio brochure info that I got at AES at
http://www.totalsonic.net/sontec.htm

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: lowman on January 26, 2008, 04:46:13 pm
Hey guys,

I'll be mixing in a room with an mep-250c in the rack. Any recommendations on where it would be most useful in a mix?
General sweetening? Lead vocal? Problem resonances? Bottom end?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on January 26, 2008, 10:59:28 pm
lowman wrote on Sat, 26 January 2008 14:46

Hey guys,

I'll be mixing in a room with an mep-250c in the rack. Any recommendations on where it would be most useful in a mix?
General sweetening? Lead vocal? Problem resonances? Bottom end?


I've never actually used a 250, but I would think in a mixing app, anywhere you'd use a GML, like on the stereo bus.

I wake up every day thankfull I am a Sontec owner.

bab
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ben F on February 04, 2008, 09:55:33 pm
Anyone know if the 250C uses HS1000 op-amps, and the approximate date of manufacture? I like the layout more than the 250EX, and it would match the ITI 230 visually  Smile
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dcollins on February 04, 2008, 11:47:57 pm
I think it's interesting that Joe Gastwirt - for who I have the highest professional respect - removed all the Sontec opamps in his eq's in favor of the Steve Firlotte models.

And he probably has some originals he'd sell.

DC  
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ben F on February 05, 2008, 12:32:40 am
dcollins wrote on Tue, 05 February 2008 15:17

I think it's interesting that Joe Gastwirt - for who I have the highest professional respect - removed all the Sontec opamps in his eq's in favor of the Steve Firlotte models.

And he probably has some originals he'd sell.

DC  


That's interesting. So if Steve knows how the op-amps work, does the inward connections EQ have a similar sound?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on February 05, 2008, 12:45:47 am

Does anyone actually know the components used in the HS1000? How have people duplicated them? For those who don't know, the numbers have been scratched off the components so identifying them is difficult, if not impossible.

I wonder if placing them under some kinda CSI forensic black light might work?

bab
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: zmix on February 05, 2008, 11:17:06 am
Ben F wrote on Tue, 05 February 2008 00:32

dcollins wrote on Tue, 05 February 2008 15:17

I think it's interesting that Joe Gastwirt - for who I have the highest professional respect - removed all the Sontec opamps in his eq's in favor of the Steve Firlotte models.
And he probably has some originals he'd sell.
DC  

That's interesting. So if Steve knows how the op-amps work, does the inward connections EQ have a similar sound?



Ben,

I'd take Dave Collins' post to mean that Mr. Gastwirt preferred the sound of Steve Firlotte's opamps over the original opamps in his Sontec EQs.

In most audio gear the actual circuit design has more effect on the sound than the parts used.   Burgess MacNeil recently replaced the 5534 opamps in his MEP-250ex tuning circuit amplifiers with his own discrete opamp.

The ITI, GML and Sontec use a very unique filter design. I wouldn't characterize the Inward Connections EQ as similar.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on February 05, 2008, 05:14:49 pm
Ben F wrote on Mon, 04 February 2008 21:55

Anyone know if the 250C uses HS1000 op-amps, and the approximate date of manufacture? I like the layout more than the 250EX,


huh - I would think the concentric knobs for Q and frequeny control would be a lot harder to see what's what at a glance - or change without bumping the other - than the seperate pots  for these on the 250EX.

I believe the 250EX has a number of changes in the design that make it a bit less prone to needing maintainence.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on February 05, 2008, 05:16:30 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Tue, 05 February 2008 00:45


Does anyone actually know the components used in the HS1000?


I believe Chris Muth, Steve Frilotte, Dan Zellman, and possibly some others have indeed reverse engineered the HS1000.  I believe one or two of the components can only be sourced as NOS currently though.  Replacement HS1000's are also now available through Burgess.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ben F on February 05, 2008, 05:22:18 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Wed, 06 February 2008 08:46

bigaudioblowhard wrote on Tue, 05 February 2008 00:45


Does anyone actually know the components used in the HS1000?


I believe Chris Muth, Steve Frilotte, Dan Zellman, and possibly some others have indeed reverse engineered the HS1000.  I believe one or two of the components can only be sourced as NOS currently though.  Replacement HS1000's are also now available through Burgess.

Best regards,
Steve Berson


Thanks for the information Steve, do you have an email for Burgess?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on February 05, 2008, 05:59:32 pm
Ben F wrote on Tue, 05 February 2008 17:22

TotalSonic wrote on Wed, 06 February 2008 08:46

bigaudioblowhard wrote on Tue, 05 February 2008 00:45


Does anyone actually know the components used in the HS1000?


I believe Chris Muth, Steve Frilotte, Dan Zellman, and possibly some others have indeed reverse engineered the HS1000.  I believe one or two of the components can only be sourced as NOS currently though.  Replacement HS1000's are also now available through Burgess.

Best regards,
Steve Berson


Thanks for the information Steve, do you have an email for Burgess?


info at iti-audio dot net

Be aware that he's not by any means the type of person who spends much time on a computer - so if you can't reach him via that
- get a USA friend to call him at (the toll free in the USA only line) 888-410-4842 and see if they can provide you with an International calling #.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Silvertone on February 09, 2008, 07:11:55 am
TotalSonic wrote on Tue, 05 February 2008 16:16

bigaudioblowhard wrote on Tue, 05 February 2008 00:45


Does anyone actually know the components used in the HS1000?


I believe Chris Muth, Steve Frilotte, Dan Zellman, and possibly some others have indeed reverse engineered the HS1000.  I believe one or two of the components can only be sourced as NOS currently though.  Replacement HS1000's are also now available through Burgess.

Best regards,
Steve Berson



Hi Steve,

I just asked Chris yesterday if he was rebuilding these anymore. He said, "no, not now that Burgess is re-making them". Then I asked if he had gotten any from Burgess and he said "no, and I've been waiting quite a while". I told him he could be waiting for a  long time and Chris said "I've been waiting for 15 years for Burgess to get me a few different things". We both had a good laugh.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: hnewman on March 02, 2008, 01:38:37 pm
Is anyone here lucky enough to have a full schematic for the Sontec 250-EX?  I have the hand drawn 250A version that is online, but I specifically need to see the layout of the EX frequency cards.  

Failing that, anyone know which is the feedback bus resistor?

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on March 02, 2008, 06:10:50 pm
If your 250 is sick, why not call Burgess?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ben F on June 10, 2008, 10:43:45 pm
I was pleasantly surprised to read a fantastic interview with Burgess at AES in Audio Technology magazine this month:

http://www.audiotechnology.com.au/current.html

Goes though his life history and how the company came about, plus an in depth history of ITI/Sontec.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Hallams on June 10, 2008, 10:53:02 pm
Ben F wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 12:43

I was pleasantly surprised to read a fantastic interview with Burgess at AES in Audio Technology magazine this month:

http://www.audiotechnology.com.au/current.html

Goes though his life history and how the company came about, plus an in depth history of ITI/Sontec.


Yes, saw that online,  waiting for my copy to arrive. Should be a good read.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on June 11, 2008, 01:58:05 am
Ben F wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 12:43

I was pleasantly surprised to read a fantastic interview with Burgess at AES in Audio Technology magazine this month:

http://www.audiotechnology.com.au/current.html

Goes though his life history and how the company came about, plus an in depth history of ITI/Sontec.



Yeah picked up a copy yesterday, nice pics & an excellent read. About time he got some recognition & a decent interview Smile

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Adam Dempsey on June 11, 2008, 05:36:21 am
Yes, a great piece, just grabbed a copy of the mag today. Kudos to Andy Stewart.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on June 11, 2008, 11:10:16 am
Out of curiosity has anyone ordered one of the new ITI or Sontec's that Burgess is selling? I'd be interested to see if he is actually making good with the orders & getting them done. I'd be also keen to hear how they compare to the original classic units.

From reading the interview it sounds like a few of the original parts are no longer made so some new parts (carefully selected) have made their way into the new builds.

So who will be the first to try/hear one of the new Sontecs/ITI's?

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bob Boyd on June 11, 2008, 11:37:41 am
Hey Matt,

I just got my new MEP-250EX in from Burgess yesterday.  Gonna be a great compliment to the rack.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on June 11, 2008, 11:40:14 am
Bob Boyd wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 10:37

Hey Matt,

I just got my new MEP-250EX in from Burgess yesterday.  Gonna be a great compliment to the rack.

Congrats, that's a great EQ!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bob Boyd on June 11, 2008, 11:45:18 am
Thanks man!  Loving it so far.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Phil Demetro on June 11, 2008, 01:22:52 pm
Bob Boyd wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 11:45

Thanks man!  Loving it so far.


Curious....as I am thinking about the ITI.

Is it "new" new or "n.o.s" new?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: zmix on June 11, 2008, 01:45:05 pm
Phil Demetro wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 13:22

Curious....as I am thinking about the ITI.

Is it "new" new or "n.o.s" new?


New, as in n.e.w....
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Phil Demetro on June 11, 2008, 02:04:34 pm
zmix wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 13:45

Phil Demetro wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 13:22

Curious....as I am thinking about the ITI.

Is it "new" new or "n.o.s" new?


New, as in n.e.w....


I guess my next questions would be:
Is that a good thing & did something change design-wise?

I don't totally expect an answer...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: hnewman on June 11, 2008, 02:54:39 pm
I've been using a new 250EX since last year, it works as advertised.  I don't have an original to compare it to, but I can say that I like it quite a lot.  I did a really simple mod that changed the granularity of the controls from 12db to about 6db, which was a huge improvement, it was virtually unusable as a mastering tool before the change (even now I find I spend a lot of time rocking the pots between 0 and 1/2, and they don't track very well in that range).

I am not sure about this, but I think mine is perhaps a refurbished unit rather than one using all new parts, Burgess was not clear about this.  
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Phil Demetro on June 11, 2008, 04:55:29 pm
hnewman wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 14:54

I am not sure about this, but I think mine is perhaps a refurbished unit rather than one using all new parts, Burgess was not clear about this.  


Haha.. really? No kidding!
Way, way, way back when I wondered why my Sontec was coming from Sony, NYC?

Why not a brand new one in a box, I thought? Very Happy

I'm not looking for another Sontec EQ but the ITI might be cool. I heard a very well maintained one recently. But I'm extremely gun shy about how they might be put together.

Thanks a lot for you reply
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bob Boyd on June 11, 2008, 06:21:16 pm
Phil Demetro wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 12:22

Bob Boyd wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 11:45

Thanks man!  Loving it so far.


Curious....as I am thinking about the ITI.

Is it "new" new or "n.o.s" new?

I guess anything is possible but I've seen no indication that anything has been recycled here.  In fact, I waited a few extra weeks while while new faceplates were being machined.  Works great so far.  Sounds great.  Kinda cool that he was able to use the Sontec logo.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Phil Demetro on June 11, 2008, 06:43:20 pm
Bob Boyd wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 18:21

Phil Demetro wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 12:22

Bob Boyd wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 11:45

Thanks man!  Loving it so far.


Curious....as I am thinking about the ITI.

Is it "new" new or "n.o.s" new?

I guess anything is possible but I've seen no indication that anything has been recycled here.  In fact, I waited a few extra weeks while while new faceplates were being machined.  Works great so far.  Sounds great.  Kinda cool that he was able to use the Sontec logo.


Bob, Would you mind posting a full 16 bit hi-res clip on the sontec through your Lavry's converters, A-weighted, (& clipped, naturally), with the L and R sides inverted, the DC offset, on a fixed 32-bit float mixer? Oh...and Pwr-3 dither with a printout from Spectra Foo?

I want to make sure this thing sounds as good as everyone says!

Nah, how about a picture?
Yeah! A picture!

Please?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bob Boyd on June 11, 2008, 07:22:37 pm
Smile I'll try to post something soon.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bluecouchstudios on June 11, 2008, 10:12:39 pm
Matt_G wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 10:10

Out of curiosity has anyone ordered one of the new ITI or Sontec's that Burgess is selling? I'd be interested to see if he is actually making good with the orders & getting them done. I'd be also keen to hear how they compare to the original classic units.

From reading the interview it sounds like a few of the original parts are no longer made so some new parts (carefully selected) have made their way into the new builds.

So who will be the first to try/hear one of the new Sontecs/ITI's?

Matt


Matt,

I also received a new 250EX about a month ago.  It's been nothing but amazing.  I heard he sold out of the current run but there may be more coming later this year.

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ben F on June 11, 2008, 10:14:44 pm
Matt_G wrote on Thu, 12 June 2008 00:40

Out of curiosity has anyone ordered one of the new ITI or Sontec's that Burgess is selling? I'd be interested to see if he is actually making good with the orders & getting them done. I'd be also keen to hear how they compare to the original classic units.

From reading the interview it sounds like a few of the original parts are no longer made so some new parts (carefully selected) have made their way into the new builds.

So who will be the first to try/hear one of the new Sontecs/ITI's?

Matt


Well hopefully Adams 432D9 will be here soon, Burgess said it is nearly ready. In terms of build differences:

- The tuning amplifiers which were originally IC based are now discrete, which has less noise, 6dB more headroom and greater reliability

- The switches are no longer made and have been replaced by Shallco

- They are now modular enabling boards to be easily swapped between units for customisation and repair


Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bluecouchstudios on June 11, 2008, 10:29:44 pm
hnewman wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 13:54

I've been using a new 250EX since last year, it works as advertised.  I don't have an original to compare it to, but I can say that I like it quite a lot.  I did a really simple mod that changed the granularity of the controls from 12db to about 6db, which was a huge improvement, it was virtually unusable as a mastering tool before the change (even now I find I spend a lot of time rocking the pots between 0 and 1/2, and they don't track very well in that range).

I am not sure about this, but I think mine is perhaps a refurbished unit rather than one using all new parts, Burgess was not clear about this.  


I have actually been able to use it with the 2 db steps so far.  With the Sontec sound, I've found that I can get a way with a little more than I could with my Avalon (most of the time).  I actually did a test when I first got it where I added a 1 db shelf at 10k and tracked the change on L/R.  It was only .1 db off at 10k.  Pretty good without detents or a mark for 1 db or 10k!  (No, I didn't sweep the entire range.)

One thing I find interesting about the 250EX is that top 2 and bottom 2 bands are not additive.  Meaning that if I add a 10k shelf of 2 db using the top shelf and then a 2 db bell at 10k using the 2nd band, it changes the sound some but I'm not getting 4 db at 10k.  I'm only getting a 2 db change at 10k, with some slight effects (I still haven't completely figured this out yet, but something does change).  On the other hand, the 482 is additive.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bluecouchstudios on June 11, 2008, 10:38:21 pm
Speaking of the 250EX, saw this off GS.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&i tem=330243672046
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on June 12, 2008, 08:16:19 am
Ok so it seems Burgess is really pulling this off & getting new Sontec's out the door & into the masses. Everyone seems to have chosen Sontec's over ITI. Anyone heard one of the new ITI's?

Also what is the main differences between the Sontec & ITI designs? Is the sound of the ITI simply different OP amp cards & nothing more?

I guess what I'm asking is if I ordered a set of 6 x ITI OP amp cards & slotted them into my MES-432C will it sound more like an ITI? Maybe I should shoot an email to Burgess & ask the question.

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Adam Dempsey on June 12, 2008, 10:23:25 am
Hey Matt/others, does this help..? Seems to be the options. It may have been included on an earlier page here, but still, as we're keeping this thread a most concise web resource on Sontec...
We've absolutely no qualms with the (orig) 432C.

index.php/fa/9127/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bluecouchstudios on June 13, 2008, 09:43:07 am
Matt_G wrote on Thu, 12 June 2008 07:16

Ok so it seems Burgess is really pulling this off & getting new Sontec's out the door & into the masses. Everyone seems to have chosen Sontec's over ITI. Anyone heard one of the new ITI's?

Also what is the main differences between the Sontec & ITI designs? Is the sound of the ITI simply different OP amp cards & nothing more?

I guess what I'm asking is if I ordered a set of 6 x ITI OP amp cards & slotted them into my MES-432C will it sound more like an ITI? Maybe I should shoot an email to Burgess & ask the question.

Matt


I'm not sure of the exact differences.  Maybe just the amps -- which are different than op amps.  When I called him, the Sontec was all he had available.  That's what I wanted to try anyhow (due to the legend), so I bought one to try it and loved it. I'm not sure when he will make another run of the ITI.  I believe the DUOs are next.  However, I would think the boxes would be a good compliment for each other and having a DUO unit (rather than the 2 separate boxes) would defeat that purpose.

If you are really interested, I would call him if you can.  He will probably answer the phone and you'll be able to find out more information... probably more than you wanted. Smile
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on June 13, 2008, 09:43:44 am
Thanks Adam, from reading that press release it would seem that the OP amp cards are the key to the different sounds. Would be great to have a 'Duo' unit or the duo mod done to a classic unit. I've contacted Burgess regarding replacement cards. Will report back what I find out.

Cheers,

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on August 01, 2008, 07:39:49 pm
Thought a link to this fine article on Burgess belongs in this definitive Sontec thread. OK with you Brad?

http://euphonicmasters.com/misc/BURGESS.pdf

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on August 01, 2008, 08:01:51 pm
Fine by me!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mcsnare on September 18, 2008, 12:30:22 am
Talked to Burgess today and my 432C9 is done, ready and waiting to ship! Now all I have to do now is plan the bank job. Which is better small branches or the big downtown main locations?

Dave
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ben F on September 18, 2008, 02:27:48 am
bluecouchstudios wrote on Fri, 13 June 2008 23:13

Matt_G wrote on Thu, 12 June 2008 07:16

Ok so it seems Burgess is really pulling this off & getting new Sontec's out the door & into the masses. Everyone seems to have chosen Sontec's over ITI. Anyone heard one of the new ITI's?

Also what is the main differences between the Sontec & ITI designs? Is the sound of the ITI simply different OP amp cards & nothing more?

I guess what I'm asking is if I ordered a set of 6 x ITI OP amp cards & slotted them into my MES-432C will it sound more like an ITI? Maybe I should shoot an email to Burgess & ask the question.

Matt


I'm not sure of the exact differences.  Maybe just the amps -- which are different than op amps.  When I called him, the Sontec was all he had available.  That's what I wanted to try anyhow (due to the legend), so I bought one to try it and loved it. I'm not sure when he will make another run of the ITI.  I believe the DUOs are next.  However, I would think the boxes would be a good compliment for each other and having a DUO unit (rather than the 2 separate boxes) would defeat that purpose.

If you are really interested, I would call him if you can.  He will probably answer the phone and you'll be able to find out more information... probably more than you wanted. Smile


I have been using the ITI-230 and the Sontec 432C9. The ITI is much darker and sounds like it has more distortion, but very musical and great for colour. The Sontec is cleaner and more refined. I think perhaps the re issues could be a little cleaner than the originals due to new parts- much like comparing a new Mini Moog to an original, even though they are the same circuit the capacitors age and generally roll off the top end, so they can sound warmer.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on September 18, 2008, 03:22:34 am
I wonder how this will affect the value of a "vintage" 432? Tons of great new ribbon mics and tube mics flooding the market didn't seem to do a damn thing to the value of a U47 or RCA 44. Oh well, at least I didn't buy a house in 2005.

bab
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: zmix on September 18, 2008, 09:54:07 am
mcsnare wrote on Thu, 18 September 2008 00:30

Talked to Burgess today and my 432C9 is done, ready and waiting to ship! Now all I have to do now is plan the bank job. Which is better small branches or the big downtown main locations?

Dave



Can't wait to hear it , Dave..!

PS: Have you been watching the news?

The banks don't have any money in them.....



Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on September 18, 2008, 11:19:11 am
mcsnare wrote on Wed, 17 September 2008 23:30

Talked to Burgess today and my 432C9 is done, ready and waiting to ship!


Aha, the plot thickens!

Congrats Dave, let us know when the newborn arrives.

Best - JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ben F on September 18, 2008, 08:46:03 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Thu, 18 September 2008 16:52

I wonder how this will affect the value of a "vintage" 432? Tons of great new ribbon mics and tube mics flooding the market didn't seem to do a damn thing to the value of a U47 or RCA 44. Oh well, at least I didn't buy a house in 2005.

bab


Perhaps it won't be the 'ultimate' EQ any more because they are available...to be the ultimate, especially on Gearslutz, it has to be super rare and super expensive, like a Fairchild 670 or Pultec.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mcsnare on September 18, 2008, 09:08:02 pm
They haven't been unavailable new for THAT long. Maybe 8 or 10 years? And at the length of time it takes to get one (about a year or so however Burgess says this will shorten) they are not exactly readily available now!
Chuck since you've pointed out the fallacy of my bank job idea, now I'm thinking convenience stores.

Dave
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on September 18, 2008, 10:39:33 pm
Dave -
congratulations on your soon to be newborn!  Cool
Sounds like your gear list at Scott's is getting pretty darn impressive.  

Anyway -
Was over at Dan Zellman's shop recently where he showed me a few of the original ITI Audio 130 eq console modules that he was working on - as well as Tony Maserati's ITI 230 - which  definitely has a way beefier looking power supply than my more current 250EX does.  I'll try and take some pics for this thread if they're still there when I drop by his shop next.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: compasspnt on September 19, 2008, 12:22:32 am
mcsnare wrote on Thu, 18 September 2008 21:08

...now I'm thinking convenience stores.



Much more convenient.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Sonovo on September 19, 2008, 07:33:48 pm
Dave,

you're really rolling man!

New room, new EQ, what else is in the pipeline, eh...?

Congrats, looking forward to hear your impressions of your new rack bling  Cool.

Give my regards to Richard and Scott.

Cheers,
Thor

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mcsnare on September 19, 2008, 11:19:19 pm
Hey Thor!
Looks like you are grooving along pretty well also. I'll say hi to Scott and Richard for ya.
Dave

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Silvertone on September 28, 2008, 08:12:19 am
Congrats Dave. Please let us know how it is and if there are any "issues" with it out of the box.

I may want to order one myself but I've been on the fence (due to the past).
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ben F on September 28, 2008, 09:47:32 pm
Silvertone wrote on Sun, 28 September 2008 21:42

Congrats Dave. Please let us know how it is and if there are any "issues" with it out of the box.

I may want to order one myself but I've been on the fence (due to the past).


The only issue with our 432C/9 after shipping was a loose connector from the main board to the shelves, causing a band pass filter effect on the left channel. Took 5 minutes to fix. Other than that it was perfect.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 29, 2008, 02:36:32 am
Hey Ben, I didn't realise that your unit was one of the new models? Would be interesting to hear it compared to the vintage ones.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: yeloocproducer on November 10, 2008, 03:50:35 am
Any word on the sound of the new 430/432s?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: compasspnt on November 10, 2008, 08:58:39 am
There seem to be many questions, few answers...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bluecouchstudios on November 10, 2008, 10:05:15 pm
compasspnt wrote on Mon, 10 November 2008 07:58

There seem to be many questions, few answers...



Call Burgess.  He'll give you his best estimate of a shipment date.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Silvertone on November 11, 2008, 07:18:27 am
bluecouchstudios wrote on Mon, 10 November 2008 21:05

compasspnt wrote on Mon, 10 November 2008 07:58

There seem to be many questions, few answers...



Call Burgess.  He'll give you his best estimate of a shipment date.




Ah yes, but will his answer be the one you want to hear?

Good luck!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 22busy on November 11, 2008, 07:35:47 pm
Almost hate to post this because Burgess is probably busy enough as it is, but after reading several posts about problems in the past, I gotta say my recent experiences with him have been great and he's been a real pleasure to deal with.

Just about a year ago I got a new 462, which I'm pretty sure is the first mastering Sontec made since Burgess ceased operations quite some time ago.  The EQ has been a wonderful piece of gear to use and the comments I've gotten for the work done with it have been universally positive.

Burgess is a bit quirky, as I'm sure he'll be the first to admit, but, almost all my friends are too, so that's nothing new to me. I really like him personally and have enjoyed dealing with him professionally.  

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Adam Dempsey on November 11, 2008, 11:35:03 pm
Congrats, what a beast, eh? We got an original (serviced) 462C9 a little while ago, complementing the 432. Tony & I love the extra shelf freqs, as much for the high shelf's lower freqs as for its higher options, though mainly parametric use, by far. And the 432 just misses that important 110 Hz.  Wink
I've done a few projects using almost exclusively the 462 and the Vertigo comp.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on November 22, 2008, 05:26:51 pm
http://cgi.ebay.com/Sontec-Parametric-Disk-Master-EQ-MES-430 B_W0QQitemZ250329229198QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0 ?hash=item250329229198&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparm s=72%3A1234%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

bab
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on November 22, 2008, 10:55:04 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Sat, 22 November 2008 17:26

 http://cgi.ebay.com/Sontec-Parametric-Disk-Master-EQ-MES-430  B_W0QQitemZ250329229198QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0  ?hash=item250329229198&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparm s=72%3A1234%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

bab


Tempting - but no power supply included, along with some strong early bidding, kind of makes it less compelling.  Even though I have 4xx envy sometimes I still am happy at least owning a Sontec "Jr." - which even though is a lot harder to recall and side match does at least have the advantage of more freq options with the shelves, and to having 5 bands instead of 4 (or 3 + shelves in the case of this unit).

Best regards,
Steve Berson  
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bob Boyd on November 23, 2008, 11:17:01 am
Why do people bid 5, 6, 7 days out on anything??  One of the great mysteries of the universe.  I'm always amazed that people haven't figured out that it's pointless to bid early on anything on ebay - it only bumps the price early on.  If I want something, I place one bid about 10 seconds before the auction ends.

I don't know if I could watch someone like this buy a car. Oh, the carnage.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on November 23, 2008, 02:25:42 pm
hey, is that a 4 channel unit with PV/PGM?

bab
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mcsnare on November 23, 2008, 02:42:00 pm
Yes that is a 4 channel one. See the 4 xlr ins and outs on the back panel?

Dave
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on November 23, 2008, 06:33:52 pm
Bob Boyd wrote on Sun, 23 November 2008 10:17

Why do people bid 5, 6, 7 days out on anything??  One of the great mysteries of the universe.  I'm always amazed that people haven't figured out that it's pointless to bid early on anything on ebay - it only bumps the price early on.  If I want something, I place one bid about 10 seconds before the auction ends.


I always thouht it was the owner having a cousin in another city/state doing a fake bid to drive the price up!

Yeah although this EQ is tempting to bid on, you'd have to get a power supply, and who knows what condition it's in.

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mcsnare on November 23, 2008, 07:44:10 pm
Yeah, but with a 4 channel one, you have the option of jumpering it together to get a pseudo 462. Then there is the matter of how many 430's are there that still have all 4 channels working?!

Dave
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on November 23, 2008, 08:28:30 pm
Though I never cut Lacquer with 'em, we had two 4ch. 430's at my former place of employ. I thought they sounded a little darker than the 432, but that may have been age related.

Prettay...prettay good.

bab
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on November 23, 2008, 11:22:47 pm
Yes it's very very tempting.

Should be fun to watch the last few minutes of bidding and the final sale price!

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on November 24, 2008, 02:58:22 am
Seems there's a DRC-202 compressor on ebay right now as well -
http://cgi.ebay.com/SONTEC-DRC-202-Compressor-GML-Neve-SSL-M ANLEY-AVALON_W0QQitemZ330288048536QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Defa ultDomain_0?hash=item330288048536&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&a mp;_trkparms=72%3A1234|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318

I've never seen or heard one in person - but interesting to me that the front panel layout looks similar to the later GML 8900.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Steffen on November 24, 2008, 03:33:21 am
from the pics I noticed that the 430B has non discrete filter sections. somebody know
wich quad opamp chips are used in this model (TL074 I guess)? it´s not readable on the pic.

steff
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on November 24, 2008, 09:06:56 am
Bob Boyd wrote on Mon, 24 November 2008 02:17

Why do people bid 5, 6, 7 days out on anything??  One of the great mysteries of the universe.


Let me enlighten you, quite often it's friends of the seller or fake bids from the seller's other ebay account. They do this to create some bidding hype to generate interest & to also get the price up... mystery solved   Surprised
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on November 24, 2008, 11:19:55 am
and since ebay's new privater auction system it is hard to figure out who is shill bidding and not.
in the past you could do a search and see a certain ebay id always bidding on one sellers items and never winning etc.
sure sign is when you bid on something as the first bidder and magically someone else bids 5 minutes later
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bluecouchstudios on November 24, 2008, 07:19:35 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Mon, 24 November 2008 01:58

Seems there's a DRC-202 compressor on ebay right now as well -
 http://cgi.ebay.com/SONTEC-DRC-202-Compressor-GML-Neve-SSL-M  ANLEY-AVALON_W0QQitemZ330288048536QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Defa  ultDomain_0?hash=item330288048536&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&a mp;a mp;_trkparms=72%3A1234|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318

I've never seen or heard one in person - but interesting to me that the front panel layout looks similar to the later GML 8900.

Best regards,
Steve Berson


It's a similar concept but I've heard that comparing it to the GML is like comparing the GML EQ to the Sontec EQ.  Now all we're missing is someone selling a Sontec Mic Pre.    Very Happy
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dcollins on November 24, 2008, 10:03:49 pm
Steffen wrote on Mon, 24 November 2008 00:33

from the pics I noticed that the 430B has non discrete filter sections. somebody know wich quad opamp chips are used in this model (TL074 I guess)? it´s not readable on the pic.



They are 5533's which is a dual in a 14 pin package.  Equivalent to a 5532.


DC
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: mcsnare on November 25, 2008, 09:22:28 pm
Well then it can't possibly sound good.

Dave
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on November 26, 2008, 07:41:02 pm
bluecouchstudios wrote on Mon, 24 November 2008 19:19

 Now all we're missing is someone selling a Sontec Mic Pre.    Very Happy


Well whaddaya know - there's one on ebay now! -
http://cgi.ebay.com/Sontec-MPA1-2CH-Microphone-PreAmp_W0QQit emZ190269569032QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=it em190269569032&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1 234%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1308

and an MEP250EX reconditioned by Inward Connections here -
http://cgi.ebay.com/Sontec-MEP-250EX-Parametric-EQ-Recent-Ov erhaul_W0QQitemZ180309155296QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDom ain_0?hash=item180309155296&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_tr kparms=72%3A1234%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

Best regards,
Steve Berson  
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bluecouchstudios on November 27, 2008, 01:51:53 am
How funny.  I actually have a Sontec Mic Pre in for demo and it's 2-channel but a full rack space (not a half rack).  And yes, it sounds great though I have yet to really put it through the paces yet.  And no, Burgess is not producing these again (yet).

On the EQ, I would never buy a Sontec EQ that was serviced by anyone but Burgess or Chris Muth.  And here is the reason why (from that description), "Added Balanced Output Transformers.".  Translation: doesn't sound the same.  Burgess intentionally avoids transformers in his design. It is part of the Sontec sound.  To modify it in this way is a crime.  Whoever buys it should send it to Burgess 1st thing and have those mods reversed.  Crazy.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Viitalahde on November 27, 2008, 02:18:34 am
I might have asked this before, but what about the DRC-202?

There doesn't seem to be many around. I think I saw one on sale recently, but other than that, they seem to be pretty rare.

Is it up to today's standards?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Rick O'neil on November 27, 2008, 07:31:36 am
i used two sontec  drc  for ten years(the 4 channel disk cutting version )
i never convinced myself i new how to run them properly  ..you know ?

i always had my doubts whether it was me or them , then when i left that place and there was a drought of analog limiters on the market for 5 or six years i started to wonder if i should chase   a sontec up  because it was way  better then a urei or a dbx

but then something happened and every body started making great limiters  
now we are so spoilt for choice with really great limiters that work the way you think they should
  i know that a sontec limiter is the last thing i need  !

i always thought  the sontec controls were very similar to a gml  without the instant satisfaction the gml gives when you use it.

oh yeah no output control and  no bypass   so it always sounded quieter  when you used it !
and yeah the opamps blew up  switches clicked etc etc
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Viitalahde on November 27, 2008, 07:36:50 am
Yeah, I kinda figured they must be pretty unreliable.

A friend has a GML compressor in the rack, now that I remember. I think I need to pay'em a visit.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dcollins on November 28, 2008, 08:36:08 pm
Viitalahde wrote on Wed, 26 November 2008 23:18

I might have asked this before, but what about the DRC-202?

There doesn't seem to be many around. I think I saw one on sale recently, but other than that, they seem to be pretty rare.

Is it up to today's standards?


If the compressor was any good, you would see them around.

Wrt, modifying the Sontec eq's, it's worth noting that Joe Gastwirt removed all the original opamps and replaced them with Inward Connections models.

The more I think about the Sontec, there's nothing "magical" there, just a competent design, with some reliability issues in the implementation.


DC
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bluecouchstudios on November 29, 2008, 01:21:35 am
dcollins wrote on Fri, 28 November 2008 19:36


If the compressor was any good, you would see them around.

Wrt, modifying the Sontec eq's, it's worth noting that Joe Gastwirt removed all the original opamps and replaced them with Inward Connections models.

The more I think about the Sontec, there's nothing "magical" there, just a competent design, with some reliability issues in the implementation.


DC


I don't think many of the compressors were made, but I could be wrong.  However, it is a very unique design and that may be the reason that people didn't like it... it wasn't conventional.

On the EQ, from what I understand, they are amps not op amps.  And they ARE much of the sound of the unit and will make a difference in how it sounds.  Ask anyone who has replaced their amps in a Sontec before.  Even amps made 99% the same can sound different, particularly at different ages.  

And I still don't buy the reliability issues.  I think it's just like any other news today.  The 1% that break get all of the attention while 99% are still running fine.  I'm  just skeptical of anything "commonly known" without any facts to support it.  

I can tell you that I love my Sontec 250.  It is the best EQ I've ever heard.  The others were not even close.  I hope I do well enough to own the mastering version someday.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Rick O'neil on November 29, 2008, 02:24:10 am
yeah they had a different limiter design ... crest factor ..?

i didnt like the sontec limiters because  in ten years i could never get them to do great things Sad
maybe it was me but i  kinda like to think not Smile
and you  really did never know when an amp would pop  which it did in the middle of at least three sessions i can recall  so i stand by the reliability call
(we had two so thats 8 channels of amps to worry about !

or yeah no bypass was a drag untill we modded them
once they had a true bypass  ( about 8 years in ) so i could really hear what they were doing i stopped using them altogether  Sad

i loved the eq because i could  not get it to do  bad things ! , so you  just forgave the fact that  and it popped amps  once a year and the stepped attns  went click  and pop in between  tech bench  services .

if i found sontecs  under my  christmas tree i would keep and cherish the disc cutting eqs  for the long haul but  the disc cutting limiters would be on evil bay before new year Smile

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Viitalahde on November 29, 2008, 05:52:30 am
dcollins wrote on Sat, 29 November 2008 01:36

The more I think about the Sontec, there's nothing "magical" there, just a competent design, with some reliability issues in the implementation.


I've never faced/heard a real Sontec EQ myself, only my implementation. I do like the simplicity of the design. While mine does sound good, the better I get the less I seem to use it and I might even find digital alternatives I like more. Depends on the project. This doesn't say anything about Burgess's products of course.

The BPEQ I have great hopes for. I'm starting with it real soon after I've finished a pretty damned impressive sounding passive EQ I've been working on for months. I think the BPEQ is going to beat the old EQ hands down, and a part of this is the actual layout - Lacy's layout is really well done. I was never too happy with the mechanical construction of the old one. This time I'm not going to go the all discrete route since it serves no purpose here. Precision is what's going to count in the filters, and I'm going to do some testing there. 5534, AD797, OPA627.. I'm not going to leave anything out.

Well, I went off-topic. But this thread is 28 pages long so I quess it already holds plenty of discussion for the Sontecs.


Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on November 29, 2008, 03:34:47 pm
I'm sure you mean the limiter and not the EQ too, with regards to reliability?

I think they have a total of nine Sontec EQ's at my former place of employ, and in 18 years, I think I saw only one break down. The HS*** amp module.

I think the EQ's are very reliable, who's with me?


bab
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on November 29, 2008, 03:51:10 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Sat, 29 November 2008 14:34

I think they have a total of nine Sontec EQ's at my former place of employ, and in 18 years, I think I saw only one break down. The HS*** amp module.

I think the EQ's are very reliable, who's with me?

bab


My 432C has been in daily use for almost 3 years with no issues.

I also think that to many of us that use Sontec EQs daily there is a little bit of magic in this box ; - )

Needless to mention the thousands of records they've been used on.

Cheers - JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Viitalahde on November 29, 2008, 04:12:52 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Sat, 29 November 2008 20:34

I'm sure you mean the limiter and not the EQ too, with regards to reliability?


Sure, I meant just the limiter.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Steffen on December 14, 2008, 04:57:11 pm
does somebody have a pic of a 462 where the frequencies of the  himid band are
readable? (must be something from 900 to around 9000 Hz ??)  Cool

thaaanx in advance,

steff
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on December 14, 2008, 05:57:13 pm
Steffen wrote on Sun, 14 December 2008 15:57

does somebody have a pic of a 462 where the frequencies of the  himid band are
readable? (must be something from 900 to around 9000 Hz ??)  Cool

thaaanx in advance,

steff


700Hz - 9980Hz

index.php/fa/10686/0/

Hope Burgess won't mind... JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Steffen on December 14, 2008, 06:11:35 pm
Jerry Tubb wrote on Sun, 14 December 2008 23:57

Steffen wrote on Sun, 14 December 2008 15:57

does somebody have a pic of a 462 where the frequencies of the  himid band are
readable? (must be something from 900 to around 9000 Hz ??)  Cool

thaaanx in advance,

steff


700Hz - 9980Hz
.....

Hope Burgess won't mind... JT



top! thanx Jerry
Title: Sontec 250-C Gain Range Modification
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on January 06, 2009, 05:34:05 pm
First, I want to say how incredibly useful this thread is, what a wealth of information on Sontec EQs.

Anyway, I recently bought a 250 C and halved the gain range on it. The mod was insanely easy (10 resistors and 30 mins of soldering) and the pots are now quite usable for mastering. I am probably also going to exchange the pots with (custom made) ones that track significantly better.

I'm wondering: Is there any way to mod the frequency sweeps & Q control to be more precise? Any way to have a single control for both channels? As it is, those pots track quite badly, making it an EQ for wide boosts/cuts only, definitely not for surgery.

Title: Re: Sontec 250-C Gain Range Modification
Post by: Ben F on January 06, 2009, 10:34:44 pm
24-96 Mastering wrote on Wed, 07 January 2009 09:04


I'm wondering: Is there any way to mod the frequency sweeps & Q control to be more precise? Any way to have a single control for both channels? As it is, those pots track quite badly, making it an EQ for wide boosts/cuts only, definitely not for surgery.




Hi Robin,

A single control for both channels would be possible using a dual-gang pot, however the tracking would still be inaccurate due to the resistance on the carbon wipes. The only way to eliminate this is to use stepped switches with resistors. You may be able to find some better quality POTS through another manufacturer, although I believe it would be difficult to find the type of dual function ones used. This is why the 250EX has separate Q controls.

The other option is to use it in M/S mode and let one channel do the heavy lifting.


Title: Re: Sontec 250-C Gain Range Modification
Post by: hnewman on January 06, 2009, 11:16:51 pm
Where are all the new Sontecs?  My understanding is a bunch of the new 4xx series are out in circulation, I'd love to hear firsthand reviews, especially from anyone in a position to A/B it with an original.
Title: Re: Sontec 250-C Gain Range Modification
Post by: Steffen on January 07, 2009, 07:21:16 am
Ben F wrote on Wed, 07 January 2009 04:34

24-96 Mastering wrote on Wed, 07 January 2009 09:04


I'm wondering: Is there any way to mod the frequency sweeps & Q control to be more precise? Any way to have a single control for both channels? As it is, those pots track quite badly, making it an EQ for wide boosts/cuts only, definitely not for surgery.




Hi Robin,

A single control for both channels would be possible using a dual-gang pot, however the tracking would still be inaccurate due to the resistance on the carbon wipes. The only way to eliminate this is to use stepped switches with resistors. You may be able to find some better quality POTS through another manufacturer, although I believe it would be difficult to find the type of dual function ones used. This is why the 250EX has separate Q controls.

The other option is to use it in M/S mode and let one channel do the heavy lifting.





I´m with Ben on this.even with well matched pots it is still a pita to make them track,
especially the more you turn the f-pot clockwise. the range is just to large (frequency ratio > 1:50)
switches is the way to go.


Title: Re: Sontec 250-C Gain Range Modification
Post by: Steffen on January 07, 2009, 07:32:21 am
and regarding full stereo operation...guess what me is working on:   Very Happy Cool



index.php/fa/10845/0/
Title: Re: Sontec 250-C Gain Range Modification
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on January 10, 2009, 01:05:39 am
Ben F wrote on Wed, 07 January 2009 04:34



The other option is to use it in M/S mode and let one channel do the heavy lifting.





Good idea for now. Thanks, I hadn't thought of that.

Switches would of course be nicer... I'm considering the possibility. I.e. turning the 250c into a 43250c Smile Might be too expensive though, but that would be sweet!
Title: Re: Sontec 250-C Gain Range Modification
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on March 12, 2009, 03:03:59 am
I guess this is a stupid question, but here goes anyway.

Are the amps in the Sontec mic pres interchangeable with the ones in the Sontec EQ's?

bab
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bob Olhsson on March 12, 2009, 11:20:50 am
There has always been plenty of terrible gear manufactured. Only the really good stuff ever stayed out of the dumpster beyond a few years. Stuff isn't good because of when or by who it was manufactured.
Title: Re: Sontec 250-C Gain Range Modification
Post by: bblackwood on March 12, 2009, 01:04:01 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Thu, 12 March 2009 02:03

I guess this is a stupid question, but here goes anyway.

Are the amps in the Sontec mic pres interchangeable with the ones in the Sontec EQ's?


Hrm, I seem to recall different opamps being in some of the other Sontec gear, though I could be dead-wrong on that one.

If it's an HS1000 or an HS2000, I think it works regardless.
Title: Re: Sontec 250-C Gain Range Modification
Post by: Phil Demetro on March 12, 2009, 01:57:43 pm
I'm not really expecting an answer to this but has anyone put the older HS1000 amps (from the 430) into a newer the 432?
Title: Re: Sontec 250-C Gain Range Modification
Post by: bblackwood on March 12, 2009, 02:06:28 pm
Phil Demetro wrote on Thu, 12 March 2009 12:57

I'm not really expecting an answer to this but has anyone put the older HS1000 amps (from the 430) into a newer the 432?

Has someone made a daughter card to allow this?
Title: Re: Sontec 250-C Gain Range Modification
Post by: Phil Demetro on March 12, 2009, 02:33:11 pm
bblackwood wrote on Thu, 12 March 2009 14:06

Phil Demetro wrote on Thu, 12 March 2009 12:57

I'm not really expecting an answer to this but has anyone put the older HS1000 amps (from the 430) into a newer the 432?

Has someone made a daughter card to allow this?


Hi Brad,
Not that I'm aware of. I ask because I prefer the sound of the 430 to the 432 (a bit soft for me). Plus we've got a bunch of NOS 1000's...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: eyemat on August 28, 2009, 07:06:24 am
Hi guys,
i'm a happy new owner of a 430 B !!!
If anybody have some litterature on it, thanks to share it !

some picts for who is interested...

Mathieu.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on September 04, 2009, 02:45:28 am
Hi Guys, just thought I'd mention that I had to get my Sontec EQ serviced this week as it began introducing some high frequency modulation noise even without any frequency gain boosted. So it had to be done, my tech re-capped the power supply, treated all the connections & shallco switches with Pro Gold spray to clean all the contacts & it's now back in the rack as of yesterday.

First test was to check that the oscillation was fixed, sure enough it was completely gone. Today I used it on a job for the first time since the service & WOW what a pleasant surprise! everything just sounded more lively but in the best possible way... clean, clear, musical, tight, all while producing a beautiful depth & sound stage. I can honestly say that this is the best I've heard this Sontec sound & wished I had of serviced it years ago. The Buzz & API 5500 didn't get a look in at all on these tracks today, they just tended to detract from the beauty of the Sontec.

Just had to say this as for those of you who have a Sontec & have been reluctant to have it serviced out of fear of changing the sonic signature... Fear not, obviously leave the OP amp cards well alone but cleaning the contacts on all the switches & recapping the power supply has brought this EQ back to life! I'm definitely in love all over again...

Matt
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on July 08, 2010, 07:15:43 pm
432C9 on ebay, 23 hours to go and no nibbles yet?

heres someones chance to get one for $7.5K, never seen one listed that low, not even once, ever!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=28052 9268107&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_1193wt_913

bab
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: jdg on July 08, 2010, 07:36:04 pm
arg! ....holding out for a 430 (at least, lately, that what i keep telling myself)
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: hnewman on July 08, 2010, 08:08:05 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Thu, 08 July 2010 19:15

432C9 on ebay, 23 hours to go and no nibbles yet?

heres someones chance to get one for $7.5K, never seen one listed that low, not even once, ever!

 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=28052 9268107&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_1193wt_913

bab


This is right in the ballpark of what they are asking for a brand new unit.  I don't know which devil I'd prefer, new or used.

I would have been all over this a year ago, but I think I'm done EQ shopping.  I hope it goes to a good home.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on July 08, 2010, 08:08:44 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Thu, 08 July 2010 19:15

432C9 on ebay, 23 hours to go and no nibbles yet?

heres someones chance to get one for $7.5K, never seen one listed that low, not even once, ever!

   http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=28052 9268107&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_1193wt_913

bab


I'd say it's not too smart to "nibble" with ebay bids until 1 minute before auction is due to end.  Placing bids earlier than 1 minute (or less) before ending just drives up the price for no reason.   The only reason to jump on something is if a "Buy It Now" option exists.  

Rogue is a pretty reputable store here in NYC so if they are saying it is in good condition (which they do for this item) I'd tend to believe them.  I have a feeling this auction will end higher than the starting bid though - and if it does go a bit over $7500 I got to say that getting a Buzz REQ2.2 with the mastering options seems to me a better value right now.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on July 08, 2010, 09:43:36 pm
I've been buying gear from Rogue forever. But I am not sure they really know how to check out a Sontec...7500 for not certain condition sontec  vs as Steve said...A Buzz with all the options.

Hmm but it is a Sontec...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on July 08, 2010, 09:54:06 pm
dietrich wrote on Thu, 08 July 2010 21:43

I've been buying gear from Rogue forever. But I am not sure they really know how to check out a Sontec...7500 for not certain condition sontec  vs as Steve said...A Buzz with all the options.

Hmm but it is a Sontec...


Well - if you were seriously interested I figure you could call them up to set up a demo and actually go over to my 30th Street to check it out (unless this is a consignment for an off site item).

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on July 08, 2010, 10:18:12 pm
Yes a visit would make sense. Tough summer budget item...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on July 09, 2010, 12:31:59 am
Strange they didn't put it in the "Equalizer" section of eBay!

JT

bigaudioblowhard wrote on Thu, 08 July 2010 18:15

432C9 on ebay, 23 hours to go and no nibbles yet?

heres someones chance to get one for $7.5K, never seen one listed that low, not even once, ever!

  http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=28052 9268107&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_1193wt_913

bab

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ben F on July 09, 2010, 01:08:07 am
I'd be more inclined to get a new 432 for $8400...the re issue is perfect!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: livingstone on July 09, 2010, 10:32:44 am
Ben F wrote on Fri, 09 July 2010 00:08

I'd be more inclined to get a new 432 for $8400...


me too,

if you count the starting price + servicing cost to have it verified at least,
you're even closer to a brand new one,
wich make this auction worthless exept of course for a compulsive buyer who want it right now.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Adrian Morgan on July 09, 2010, 12:06:25 pm
Agreed, the "re-issue" (more like part new, part NOS) is really really great.   Bad time to buy a used one!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Adrian Morgan on July 09, 2010, 12:24:13 pm
Plus the added 12K / 8K switch comes in very handy on the high shelves with the new models.index.php/fa/15061/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bonati on July 09, 2010, 01:33:42 pm
Adrian - alright man! Great to see that pic. The only Sontec in the 'burg that I know of...

(400 series that is - I know you're out there Steve!)
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on July 09, 2010, 03:18:34 pm
Bonati wrote on Fri, 09 July 2010 13:33

Adrian - alright man! Great to see that pic. The only Sontec in the 'burg that I know of...

(400 series that is - I know you're out there Steve!)


Well - apparently Joe Lambert has a "431C" at his place (according to his website) - and Greg Vaughn has a MEP250 listed in his gear list as well.  I know Alex Saltz at APS over in Astoria also has a MEP250EX.  So there's a few of them out here.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bonati on July 09, 2010, 04:47:19 pm
Yeah, but Williamsburg, man. The McCarren Park posse. JL is right down the street from me here in Dumbo.

But if I buy a Sontec it'll put my dreams of a studio La Marzocco FB/80 commercial espresso machine on hold. It's a tough call - got me up nights. I'm convinced both are essential.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on July 09, 2010, 05:06:08 pm
Bonati wrote on Fri, 09 July 2010 16:47

Yeah, but Williamsburg, man. The McCarren Park posse. JL is right down the street from me here in Dumbo.


Oh - I get it now.  I'm in Greenpoint plus since I just have a "Sontec Jr." with my MEP250EX I doubly don't count then as being part of the "cool kids" club.   Razz

Quote:

But if I buy a Sontec it'll put my dreams of a studio La Marzocco FB/80 commercial espresso machine on hold. It's a tough call - got me up nights. I'm convinced both are essential.


I think you definitely need to go for both!

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Phil Demetro on July 09, 2010, 07:46:38 pm
Adrian Morgan wrote on Fri, 09 July 2010 12:24

Plus the added 12K / 8K switch comes in very handy on the high shelves with the new models.index.php/fa/15061/0/


OMG!!!!
A 315!
Smile

Now we're talking!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bonati on July 09, 2010, 08:06:10 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Fri, 09 July 2010 17:06

Oh - I get it now.  I'm in Greenpoint plus since I just have a "Sontec Jr." with my MEP250EX I doubly don't count then as being part of the "cool kids" club.

Oh you're in the club. Greenpoint's close enough. Paul too.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on July 09, 2010, 08:45:14 pm
Phil Demetro wrote on Fri, 09 July 2010 19:46



OMG!!!!
A 315!
Smile

Now we're talking!


Well what really makes Adrian super cool (besides all the awesome stories he can tell from back in the day when he was Tom Coyne's assistant) is he has a 330mk1 just like me.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: jdg on July 09, 2010, 10:12:24 pm
Bonati wrote on Fri, 09 July 2010 13:47


But if I buy a Sontec it'll put my dreams of a studio La Marzocco FB/80 commercial espresso machine on hold. It's a tough call - got me up nights. I'm convinced both are essential.


you need a 3 group?  expecting a lunch rush?  Twisted Evil

impress a real coffee nerd with one of these:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2477/3558341522_67f7e1389d.jpg?v=0

vintage caravel lever espresso machine.



Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Gold on July 09, 2010, 10:30:36 pm
But I don't have a Sontec. There is a sontecish in the works.  It doesn't count though.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bonati on July 10, 2010, 01:06:34 am
Quote:

you need a 3 group? expecting a lunch rush?

Hell yeah - I want commercial size. I have made four espressos in a row for clients before. It's a good break in the session. I've never had an intern but I like the idea of one starting out as a barista and working their way up. "You can't touch the lathe if you can't pull a decent shot."

Back on topic: How long are people waiting for their new Sontecs these days? Has anyone seen a new 4 channel unit?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: jdg on July 10, 2010, 07:54:48 pm
i own a bakery, we have a 3 group la marzocco.
we never use the 3rd group, and we actually sell coffee.

and those la marzocco's pull "ok" shots.

a manual lever is the way to go for actual coffee craftsmanship.

otherwise you might as well drive a prius around a race track Wink


on topic:
i heard it was a 9-12week wait for a new 432
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bonati on July 10, 2010, 11:58:18 pm
jdg wrote on Sat, 10 July 2010 19:54

on topic: i heard it was a 9-12week wait for a new 432

Wow, that's way faster than I thought. I assumed it was about a year. Glad I'm wrong about that.

Quote:

a manual lever is the way to go for actual coffee craftsmanship.

My local shop, Oslo, has a three group commercial lever machine - amazing. Don't know the make. But the Marzoccos are pretty standard at the artisan coffee shops around here and the shots are consistently great. But so is the operator, roasting, grind, etc.

Quote:

a manual lever is the way to go for actual coffee craftsmanship.


Been thinking about sending the Rancillio gear down the studio and getting a La Pavoni for home. Will look into the machine you posted - thanks!

Adding espresso machines to this Sontec thread just took it to the next level.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on July 11, 2010, 07:57:04 am
Due to only 1-2 attended sessions a month I found it easier to buy cases of Ily's ice coffee in a can to offer out. I of course drank most in a few weeks...

I put my own sontec fund back six months by purchasing sometimes else that also needs a specialist and much more than op amp work... the v12 makes me feel a little guilty, good thing the drive to studio is less than 2 milesindex.php/fa/15070/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Macc on July 11, 2010, 08:49:31 am
Beautiful!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on July 11, 2010, 03:44:15 pm
Nice Dietrich -
I think that's the same ride that Jim Shelton (former owner of Europadisk) has.  Call me crazy but I'd still prefer a Sontec 432 in excellent shape (and sticking to the G train) over a Jag in ok shape.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dcollins on July 11, 2010, 03:44:39 pm
dietrich wrote on Sun, 11 July 2010 04:57

Due to only 1-2 attended sessions a month I found it easier to buy cases of Ily's ice coffee in a can to offer out. I of course drank most in a few weeks...

I put my own sontec fund back six months by purchasing sometimes else that also needs a specialist and much more than op amp work... the v12 makes me feel a little guilty, good thing the drive to studio is less than 2 miles


I had that same car.  When it ran it was fun; torque for days.  Then there was the other 75% of the time.  I fancied myself a decent mechanic and had repaired other semi-exotic cars, but the Jaguar demoralized me.

A one point I just put my entire tool-kit in the boot.  Passengers would comment on the clattering of chrome moly when cornering.

How many fire extinguishers do you carry?


DC
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on July 11, 2010, 04:29:45 pm
steve-did jim have same? i thought he had a convertible?

dc-yes fire extinguisher always in the back seat. need to change all the fuel rail hoses asap. do not need another v12 going up.

its my third series xj(both others xj6).this one euro spec made for west germany. just missed inspection/emissions by one year...lucky for me
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dcollins on July 11, 2010, 05:41:13 pm
dietrich wrote on Sun, 11 July 2010 13:29


dc-yes fire extinguisher always in the back seat. need to change all the fuel rail hoses asap. do not need another v12 going up.



I once had it backfire and set the air filter on fire.  That was a new one.


DC
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dave-G on July 12, 2010, 01:56:49 pm
dcollins wrote on Sun, 11 July 2010 17:41

I once had it backfire and set the air filter on fire.  That was a new one.

Etymology in action?

When I was 15, I was the kid who knew how to drive, and a friend and I once took off for a ride with a few others in his vacationing parents' XJ-something (a nice one with some fancy special-edition name). It was all good fun and mayhem, up until it started stalling.  We ended up pushing it along the shoulder to a nearby Exxon service station where I knew the mechanic.  He was sympathetic except that we all had to chip in to pay him in cash and weed to fix it over the weekend before my friend's parents got back to town.

I'd rather push a Sontec than drive a Jaguar.

-dave
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on July 12, 2010, 03:13:19 pm
This xj12 was in better shape than the Sontec on ebay....easy choice this time anyways.
I might be sold on the Buzz anyways....
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on July 12, 2010, 03:28:31 pm
dietrich wrote on Mon, 12 July 2010 15:13

This xj12 was in better shape than the Sontec on ebay....easy choice this time anyways.
I might be sold on the Buzz anyways....


The Buzz has HPF's and saturation options as well as more flexible high and low shelf freq points that the Sontec just doesn't have - at street price still under the $7500 asking price for the one on Rogue.  Plus would be under warranty and in new condition.  Seems to me to make more sense as well.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: hnewman on July 16, 2010, 08:36:46 pm
Back to the Sontec for a moment, if you will.  This auction listing is fairly hilarious and worthy of a read.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=12059 6819624&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Gold on July 17, 2010, 01:30:58 pm
That's a nice lot for someone who knows what to do with it.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on July 17, 2010, 01:44:01 pm
Gold wrote on Sat, 17 July 2010 13:30

That's a nice lot for someone who knows what to do with it.


Bet that Sontec side-car would sound excellent - but sounds like building a psu for it would be a bit of a p.i.t.a. though.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Gold on July 17, 2010, 02:16:39 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Sat, 17 July 2010 13:44

but sounds like building a psu for it would be a bit of a p.i.t.a. though.



Not too bad. 32v isn't a standard PSU voltage but you could modify 28v supplies without too much trouble. The rest of it is easy.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on July 17, 2010, 05:24:56 pm
nice supply of 8 op amps in questionable working condition as well.

auction will go higher than expected.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on July 17, 2010, 06:05:51 pm
dietrich wrote on Sat, 17 July 2010 17:24

nice supply of 8 op amps in questionable working condition as well.

auction will go higher than expected.


DRC's from my understanding are a bear to get working and keep that way.  I usually see a different one or two popping up at Dan Zellman's all the time.  Got to say I prefer the layout of the EX over the earlier models as well.  Having a center detent to bypass the band and separate knobs for the Q and freq center choices to me makes it a lot more user friendly.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Sontec 432 c/9 inside
Post by: Vegas on July 17, 2010, 08:01:37 pm
Maybe someone can clear this up for me. I am about to buy this 432 and there are some loose cables inside the unit. They seem to be doubles of the cables coming from the knobs to the main boards, Was this for a lathe setup?

Also, I've included some pics of the components. I dont see anything that says HS2000 so if anything looks out of place to someone who knows these inside and out I would be greatly appreciative!index.php/fa/15113/0/
Title: Re: Sontec 432 c/9 inside
Post by: bblackwood on July 17, 2010, 08:03:40 pm
Yah, that was most likely for a cutting lathe.

The HS2000's are the three daughter cards at the bottom right of each main-board in the pic.
Title: Re: Sontec 432 c/9 inside
Post by: Vegas on July 17, 2010, 08:15:15 pm
Thanks man.. I do notice differences between the left and right side of the HS2000's. The top one on the right has a different color component than the rest. I guess this probably means its not all original. I do know Chis Muth maintained this unit at Sterling years ago.
Title: Re: Sontec 432 c/9 inside
Post by: mcsnare on July 18, 2010, 05:12:12 pm
That's a 4 channel 432 with 2 missing motherboards. The missing boards are what the unconnected connectors go to. It's not unusual for an old 4 channel Sontec to have the 2 channels used as preview for the groove pitch computer to be missing. I've also seen stock HS-2000's with different looking components, so I wouldn't make too much of that.

Dave
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Vegas on July 18, 2010, 07:28:07 pm
ah..that makes sense. Thanks for inspiring a little confidence..Ive been looking for one of these for about 5 years and now its mine!

cant wait to hear this thing..
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Adrian Morgan on July 19, 2010, 01:25:09 pm
Ooo, careful about purchasing that one.  Those switches look like the ones Burgess was using before the Shallcos.  They tended to get very dirty and noisy and are a major pain to clean (not to mention expensive).  You might be able to have Burgess replace them with Shallcos however.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Adrian Morgan on July 19, 2010, 01:27:39 pm
Doh, my bad nevermind me!  I was looking at the Q switches... didn't notice the Shallcos below it for freq & gain.   Not sure what those Q switches are though!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on August 10, 2010, 01:34:46 pm
Bite the bullet. Sontec MEP250C with Firlotte transformers(and not sure what other mods) in transit to me.

I found the UAD MP to be so close to the MP hardware and its gone...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: hnewman on August 11, 2010, 08:49:46 am
Interesting to hear that the software massive passive is faring well against the hardware.

I recently bought a 250c and found the controls to be absolutely brutal, much worse than the 250ex.  Am in the process of having it's organs harvested and transferred to a new boxes with switches, will let you know how it works out.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on August 11, 2010, 09:27:43 am
please keep us in the loop how it goes with the box change
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on August 11, 2010, 11:27:43 am
too good to be true...
the 250c....before popped into the chain..my noise is -90...
i put it in and -60....
trying to return it.
the sound still what i expected in a good way but the noise...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Garrett H on August 11, 2010, 12:59:51 pm
So what's the consensus on the 250C?  

Sounds good BUT

Concentric knobs annoy people (but API 550 is ok?)
Noise Floor too high at -60  (but an OCL/2 at -59 is ok?)

I just want to know if these issues with the 250C are fatal or only fatal when its on the 250C while being acceptable with other gear.

GH
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on August 11, 2010, 01:02:47 pm
there is something fixable on this 250c that is causing extra noise. but the sound...yes not the control of the mastering versions ...main advantage with a 250ex would be the zero detent. concentric does not bother me at all...

still might return the unit if no help from seller on the noise issue....
if for tracking would deal with it. but once you get the meters out..
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: hnewman on August 11, 2010, 01:34:59 pm
dietrich wrote on Wed, 11 August 2010 11:27

too good to be true...
the 250c....before popped into the chain..my noise is -90...
i put it in and -60....
trying to return it.
the sound still what i expected in a good way but the noise...


Is the rest of your signal chain balanced, unbalanced, or a combination thereof?  Try buffering it with balanced connections.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on August 11, 2010, 01:44:57 pm
hnewman wrote on Wed, 11 August 2010 13:34

dietrich wrote on Wed, 11 August 2010 11:27

too good to be true...
the 250c....before popped into the chain..my noise is -90...
i put it in and -60....
trying to return it.
the sound still what i expected in a good way but the noise...


Is the rest of your signal chain balanced, unbalanced, or a combination thereof?  Try buffering it with balanced connections.


path is all balanced. I even went around mastering chain as well and plugged direct into the monitor controller as well. noise at the top end of frequencies.

maybe you want to swap it for your nseq-ff?
Confused
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on August 11, 2010, 02:02:10 pm
Something's wrong with that 250 if it's that noisy.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on August 11, 2010, 02:13:17 pm
I could use it as-is on most electronic mastering jobs here as long as I was not pushing it too much but that is not good enough....
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on August 11, 2010, 04:03:51 pm
dietrich wrote on Wed, 11 August 2010 14:13

I could use it as-is on most electronic mastering jobs here as long as I was not pushing it too much but that is not good enough....


Something is definitely wrong because I'm getting a noise floor of around -80dBFs with it routed through my Manley Backbone and my ADC full open (and I usually capture with about 3dB of attenuation set on my ADC instead).

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on August 11, 2010, 04:29:18 pm
I have -89dBFs with hardwired chained all bypass. Popping gear in-everything in except the sontec I am around -87.
well... looks like keeping the sontec on now for hours ..somehow  at -83 now...

I am not going to question ...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: compasspnt on August 11, 2010, 05:07:49 pm
Warm noise tends to rise upwards towards the ceiling, whereas cool noise falls down to the floor.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: David Glasser on August 11, 2010, 05:10:56 pm
Much like internet forums, where hot air rises (and soon displaces all breathable air)
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Gold on August 11, 2010, 05:46:14 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Wed, 11 August 2010 16:03


Something is definitely wrong because I'm getting a noise floor of around -80dBFs



I can't take it. This drives me nuts. I'd leave it alone 'over there' but this is totally meaningless. You must use a reference standard that means something like dBu, dBV, dBv, VU(we know the common reference voltage).
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on August 11, 2010, 05:58:49 pm
For your reference, noise from my 250C:

complete chain in bypass: -97dBfs
only 250C switched in: -93 dBfs

For Paul's peace of mind: ADDA set to -15dBfs = +4dBu

PS: I recall there was a common problem with the 250Cs that gain pots could "turn noisy" over time. This should be so especially around unity position, IIRC.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on August 11, 2010, 06:33:56 pm
thanks Robin x2.

Seems correct the +4 change after  being warmed up when put into the signal.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on August 11, 2010, 07:00:12 pm
hnewman wrote on Wed, 11 August 2010 14:49

Am in the process of having it's organs harvested and transferred to a new boxes with switches, will let you know how it works out.


That's very interesting. Are you doing it yourself or are you having it done?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: hnewman on August 11, 2010, 09:07:25 pm
I think all the 250 series are unbalanced, I figured this out the hard way.   Regardless, I agree with Brad, something is wrong.  My 250ex is quite quiet as long as it's situated properly.

Having someone else switch in the switches, I lost my soldering privileges years ago, after "improving" a mid sixties silverface super reverb.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on August 12, 2010, 08:17:02 am
Gold wrote on[/quote




I can't take it. This drives me nuts. .



the 250c had 30% more noise than I would like it to. now it has 3% more noise that I like a unit in the chain to have...
that worse?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on August 16, 2010, 08:40:16 am
hnewman wrote on Thu, 12 August 2010 11:07

I think all the 250 series are unbalanced, I figured this out the hard way.   Regardless, I agree with Brad, something is wrong.  My 250ex is quite quiet as long as it's situated properly.


I was surprised to find that my 432C was unbalanced on the input side even though it has XLR in & that it was wired for pin 3 positive! Didn't notice until I hooked up a set of API550M's which also have an unbalanced input, when I had them in series they cancelled each other out... The 432C is balanced out though.

Had mine all re-wired for pin 2+ now & it's all working swell with all my gear now. Though I sold my 550M's for a 5500.. which I personally preferred when I had them side by side.



Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ruairi O'Flaherty on August 16, 2010, 09:35:13 am
hnewman wrote on Thu, 12 August 2010 11:07

I think all the 250 series are unbalanced, I figured this out the hard way.   Regardless, I agree with Brad, something is wrong.  My 250ex is quite quiet as long as it's situated properly.


The 250 schemos I've seen were differential in and unbalanced out.  The GML IIRC has differential in and an impedance balanced output.  

Cheers,
Ruairi

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on August 16, 2010, 10:56:45 am
Ruairi O'Flaherty wrote on Mon, 16 August 2010 09:35



The 250 schemos I've seen were differential in and unbalanced out.  



Yup - that's what's going on with my 250EX as well.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Phil Demetro on August 16, 2010, 12:11:11 pm
Matt_G wrote on Mon, 16 August 2010 08:40

 was surprised to find that my 432C was unbalanced on the input side even though it has XLR in & that it was wired for pin 3 positive!The 432C is balanced out though


Interesting. This is a first I've come across. Had someone been inside the unit doing repairs perhaps??
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: David Glasser on August 16, 2010, 01:43:41 pm
No, that's the way they were designed and built.

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Laarsø on August 17, 2010, 01:55:43 am
Sontec's MES (Mastering Equalizer w/Switches) has balanced or unbalanced inputs (as ordered) and ordinarily unbalanced outputs.  This is a single-ended design.  If your studio doesn't need balanced signaling, you will be fine without it on the Sontec inputs.

Burgess had the HS-1000 tuned by ear at the Mastering Lab by Massenberg and Sax.   The result - a transistor eq with a tube sound.  

Sherwood's tube eq as I understand it also had no transformers.  

Burgess has extolled the Manley transformers as being "well shielded."

Firlotte has made a popular op amp replacement for the MES, however, he also like using iron in his "maidens."

Laars
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Laarsø on August 17, 2010, 01:04:49 pm
I heard that Sontec's MES has balanced or unbalanced inputs (as ordered) and ordinarily unbalanced outputs.  This is a single-ended design.  If your studio doesn't need balanced signaling, you will be fine without it on the Sontec inputs.


The HS-1000 was tuned by ear at the Mastering Lab by Massenberg and Sax.   The result - a transistor eq with a tube sound.  

Sherwood's tube eq as I understand it also had no transformers.  

Firlotte has made a popular op amp replacement for the MES, however, he also I think likes using iron in his "maidens."



Laars
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on August 17, 2010, 07:49:07 pm
whats the consensus of hs1000 vs firlotte op?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Wook on August 17, 2010, 08:49:35 pm
The Mastering Lab EQ has always been using solid state amp designed by Sherwood Sax from its start. We are using own transformer-less tube electronics but not on the EQ. And our EQ has nothing to do with Sontecs.

Sunny
The Mastering Lab.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on October 19, 2010, 12:51:27 am
Hey everyone, there's a few things I'm wondering about. Can anyone help?

- has anyone modded (or considered to mod) their Sontec 4x2 to have a "hardwire" (relais or switched) bypass? If so, can you give details?

- what dimensions are the 4x2 models? (depth and height)

- Phil (and whoever else has colored knob caps): where / how did you obtain / order them?

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Phil Demetro on October 19, 2010, 11:07:25 am
24-96 Mastering wrote on Tue, 19 October 2010 00:51

Hey everyone, there's a few things I'm wondering about. Can anyone help?

- has anyone modded (or considered to mod) their Sontec 4x2 to have a "hardwire" (relais or switched) bypass? If so, can you give details?

- what dimensions are the 4x2 models? (depth and height)

- Phil (and whoever else has colored knob caps): where / how did you obtain / order them?




I got the knob covers through Elma many years ago. The salesman told me that that was the last of their stock. I'm sure they would have found another source by now?
It's worth it because I don't get the bands mixed up now.

For all the money I spent/wasted on mods I would say with certainty to don't bother with a bypass/relay/etc for the Sontec. It'll get used on everything you master so there's no point in bypassing it. I can't hear it when it's in anyway. Can you bypass it at your console?

I moved the PSU out of mine. New chips, new caps. I've got a good one.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on October 19, 2010, 11:28:00 am
It appears Elma still makes the collet knob caps in six different colors: http://www.elma.com/Admin/ProductionFiles1//ProductTypeFile/ 137/English/MechanicalComponents.pdf
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on October 19, 2010, 01:09:21 pm
bblackwood wrote on Tue, 19 October 2010 17:28

It appears Elma still makes the collet knob caps in six different colors:   http://www.elma.com/Admin/ProductionFiles1//ProductTypeFile/ 137/English/MechanicalComponents.pdf


Thanks! I came across this but assumed they're available in large quantities only.

Phil Demetro wrote on Tue, 19 October 2010 17:07


I got the knob covers through Elma many years ago. The salesman told me that that was the last of their stock. I'm sure they would have found another source by now?
It's worth it because I don't get the bands mixed up now.



Was it a specific person or did you just phone them? On Elma's web site they state that switches & covers need to be ordered in quantities of 100... just asking in case it matters who you contact.

Quote:


For all the money I spent/wasted on mods I would say with certainty to don't bother with a bypass/relay/etc for the Sontec. It'll get used on everything you master so there's no point in bypassing it. I can't hear it when it's in anyway. Can you bypass it at your console?



I run a straigh chain, no console. But thanks for the advice, I think I'll indeed try it out first as it comes.

Quote:


I moved the PSU out of mine. New chips, new caps. I've got a good one.



Can I ask why you moved the CPU? Heat?


Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on October 19, 2010, 01:13:46 pm
Oh, I forgot to proudly announce:

I'm buying a Sontec 462-C9 Very Happy
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on October 19, 2010, 01:23:26 pm
24-96 Mastering wrote on Tue, 19 October 2010 12:13

Oh, I forgot to proudly announce:

I'm buying a Sontec 462-C9 Very Happy

Very good, you'll love it.

As for Elma - call them directly, they sell in small quantities to individuals. It's how I've gotten all my Elmas...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Laarsø on October 19, 2010, 02:20:34 pm
Wook wrote on Tue, 17 August 2010 19:49

The Mastering Lab EQ has always been using solid state amp designed by Sherwood Sax from its start. We are using own transformer-less tube electronics but not on the EQ. And our EQ has nothing to do with Sontecs.

Sunny
The Mastering Lab.



Thanks for clarifying this, Sunny.  I was not making this up from scratch, however.  Our friend in this matter is under strong impression that while TML eq's development was not in cohoots with Massenberg or ITI, the Sontec HS-1000 amp was indeed auditioned and to some extent tuned by Massenberg (and Sax (D.?)) at TML.  It is all the more noteworthy that all three designers' eq's, who were shooting for cost-no-object performance, were each, early on, choosing the trafo-less and solid state tops, as you have indicated,  and with different sounding results, even though, the point about the voicing of the HS-1000 op amp being done at TML was that it was made to sound good there, and the room (amps and limiters?) was already tube/trafoless - even if the Sax eq was only partially that.  

How early on were third party "store-bought" processors added to the rack?  Are any of these run stock?  (e.g., EAR)
 



Best regards,
    Laars
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: jdg on October 19, 2010, 04:59:33 pm
24-96 Mastering wrote on Tue, 19 October 2010 10:13

Oh, I forgot to proudly announce:

I'm buying a Sontec 462-C9 Very Happy



new or used?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ben F on October 19, 2010, 06:56:09 pm
The bypass is quite transparent, certainly no cause for modification.

Congrats on purchasing the best mastering EQ ever made!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on October 19, 2010, 07:31:52 pm
Ben F wrote on Tue, 19 October 2010 18:56

The bypass is quite transparent, certainly no cause for modification.


fwiw - I'm not sure what is stock on the 4xx series - but the bypass that came stock on my MEP-250EX was a "soft" one and certainly not "transparent" by any means.  I had mine modded by Dan Zellman to replace the 2 per channel soft bypasses buttons with a single button true "hard" bypass - but now that I have the Manley Backbone I never use this as I can bypass it from the insert controller instead.  

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Adrian Morgan on October 19, 2010, 08:29:18 pm
No hard bypass on the new 432's either, although to me the 432 bypass does sound a lot more transparent than the 250EX.  The 432 here is on it's own insert on the Dangerous Master to alleviate the problem.
I would recommend trying a 432 before a buying 462 if you can.  The ability to dial a different setting for L vs R or M vs S is one of the most powerful uses of the Sontec sound in my opinion.  With the right support EQ you won't feel like extra bands are needed.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on October 19, 2010, 09:20:09 pm
bblackwood wrote on Tue, 19 October 2010 19:23



As for Elma - call them directly, they sell in small quantities to individuals. It's how I've gotten all my Elmas...


I've gotten in contact with them, thanks so much for your help (in the PMs too)!


jdg wrote on Tue, 19 October 2010 22:59


new or used?


(Slightly) used. I'm told the unit is in great condition.


Adrian Morgan wrote on Wed, 20 October 2010 02:29

No hard bypass on the new 432's either, although to me the 432 bypass does sound a lot more transparent than the 250EX.


That's encouraging. My 250C has a relay bypass mod, so I don't know what its original bypass sounds like, but when patched in with all pots at 0, the unit certainly isn't completely transparent.

Quote:


I would recommend trying a 432 before a buying 462 if you can.  The ability to dial a different setting for L vs R or M vs S is one of the most powerful uses of the Sontec sound in my opinion.  With the right support EQ you won't feel like extra bands are needed.


I don't have the option to try a 432 first, but I'm actually liking the idea of having a 462, not because of the number of bands, but because of ganged controls. The ability to operate the EQ without having to match sides should make for fast, intuitive fiddling. With my eyes closed and the other hand on the compressor, if I want Smile

Lack of separate L/R & M/S settings (in one of 4 EQs) is a price I'm willing to pay for that.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on October 19, 2010, 09:35:45 pm
PS: now I have to figure out if and how I want to colorize my Sontec. There are 8 bands and 6 knob colors (red, yellow, green, grey, black, blue). Does anyone have any ideas?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Jerry Tubb on October 19, 2010, 11:00:35 pm
24-96 Mastering wrote on Tue, 19 October 2010 20:35

PS: now I have to figure out if and how I want to colorize my Sontec. There are 8 bands and 6 knob colors (red, yellow, green, grey, black, blue). Does anyone have any ideas?


perhaps follow GM's color scheme?

index.php/fa/15670/0/

JT
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on October 20, 2010, 02:39:16 am
Jerry Tubb wrote on Wed, 20 October 2010 05:00


perhaps follow GM's color scheme?



Heresy!

Fun aside, thanks for the suggestion, I'll sketch it up to see what it'd look like. Actually, Burgess recently told me he has been asked to dress up a 250 as a GML before.

Come to think of it, it's a bit vain to ask you and the forum for gear decoration ideas... I'll experiment a bit and will post some pics once the unit is done Smile
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on October 20, 2010, 08:54:11 am
I could cry with sontec envy this morning
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bonati on October 21, 2010, 01:56:02 pm
I'm with you Robin - the ganged controls on the 462 are really appealing, as well as all the shelving options. It's a big boy but I still feel like I could probably get pretty fast on it. I've noted Adrian's comments though - when I had the chance to use a Sontec it was never in M/S mode and now I regret not experimenting. Any other opinions on the 432s in M/S mode?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Macc on October 21, 2010, 01:57:35 pm
24-96 Mastering wrote on Wed, 20 October 2010 02:20

 I'm actually liking the idea of having a 462, not because of the number of bands, but because of ganged controls. The ability to operate the EQ without having to match sides should make for fast, intuitive fiddling. With my eyes closed and the other hand on the compressor, if I want Smile



I don't get why more people don't go for this. It's magic!

Do people really use different LR/MS settings that often? MS I get more, but I just handle that side of things ITB before the analogue chain. Aaaanyway - congrats yet again Robin, let us know how she handles Very Happy
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on October 21, 2010, 05:53:43 pm
Macc wrote on Thu, 21 October 2010 13:57



Do people really use different LR/MS settings that often? MS I get more, but I just handle that side of things ITB before the analogue chain.


Since I've gotten the Manley Backbone and can go from L/R to M/S and back for my Sontec MEP250EX at just the push of a button I'd say I do eq in M/S mode with it about 40 - 50% of the time - so yeah, it is in fact pretty often.  

Also - a couple of producers I work with regularly often do very wide L/C/R style mixes with completely different instruments coming out of L/R channels - and in these cases I've often found being able to do different eq's on L/R is invaluable.  

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Macc on October 21, 2010, 06:12:02 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Thu, 21 October 2010 22:53


Since I've gotten the Manley Backbone and can go from L/R to M/S and back for my Sontec MEP250EX at just the push of a button I'd say I do eq in M/S mode with it about 40 - 50% of the time - so yeah, it is in fact pretty often.  


Aye - if I had a Backbone or similar I might think differently, hehe.

Quote:

Also - a couple of producers I work with regularly often do very wide L/C/R style mixes with completely different instruments coming out of L/R channels - and in these cases I've often found being able to do different eq's on L/R is invaluable.  



Fair do's. When I have stuff like that I don't struggle taming it ITB and then covering the general/overall stuff with the ganged gear. BUT - I see your point, just discussing/waffling... Horses for courses Smile

Anyway - as Robin's about to find out, the real benefit of ganged control is being able to eq with one hand and flick through the latest copy of Razzle with the other. Ohhhhhh yeeeeeah  Cool
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: jdg on October 21, 2010, 09:17:57 pm
ganged stereo controls on an EQ are amazing.  you feel like a god

my short love affair with the gyraf EQ proved this to me. (and its the only thing i miss about that EQ)
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Andrew Hamilton on October 22, 2010, 12:58:19 am
At least with the Sontec, the ganged controls come with more bands per unit but, more importantly, more closely matched output at each step (between the left and right).  












Andrew
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Wook on October 22, 2010, 01:22:55 pm
Hey Laars
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on October 22, 2010, 06:43:47 pm
Macc wrote on Fri, 22 October 2010 00:12


Anyway - as Robin's about to find out, the real benefit of ganged control is being able to eq with one hand and flick through the latest copy of Razzle with the other. Ohhhhhh yeeeeeah  Cool


Am I glad you don't have three hands...

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on November 16, 2010, 07:02:55 pm
Hey all,

I managed to get ahold of some knobs and knob caps for my Sontec 462 (though not all colours, unfortunately) and had a bit of a play. Which one do you like best (poll)?


Sontec Red White Blue:

http://www.24-96.net/xchange/sontec_starsnstripes_2.jpg

http://www.24-96.net/xchange/sontec_starsnstripes_1.jpg




Sontec Black:

http://www.24-96.net/xchange/sontec_stealth_1.jpg

http://www.24-96.net/xchange/sontec_stealth_3.jpg



Sontec Original:

http://www.24-96.net/xchange/sontec_original.jpg



PS: Anybody got any yellow, green or glossy blue knob caps?


Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bblackwood on November 16, 2010, 07:20:01 pm
I love the look of the original, but it looks pretty awesome in all black.

Congrats!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: turtletone on November 16, 2010, 07:34:48 pm
The black looks super sexy.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: TotalSonic on November 16, 2010, 08:01:59 pm
Purely on looks wise I'd say I definitely prefer the new all-black knobs over the other choices - but on a daily use type of thing the red-white-blue might come in handy in terms of a quick glance down knowing exactly which band is which.  i.e. I'm glad for the MEP-250EX's black/green/yellow/red scheme as it keeps any confusion to a minimum.  Then again I really don't have a problem with my Medici's all black configuration either.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: aleatoric on November 16, 2010, 08:15:22 pm
What a beautiful EQ!  Congrats!  My vote is for solid black.  
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: compasspnt on November 16, 2010, 08:29:12 pm
I love the look of the solid black.

But the original looks like a Sontec.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dave-G on November 16, 2010, 09:18:27 pm
none more black.

Too bad it's not a 462 C11

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: jdg on November 16, 2010, 09:29:37 pm
all black but im just pissed thats not my EQ, so i'm gonna vote for puke color
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Allen Corneau on November 16, 2010, 09:41:45 pm
Either way, that 462 is one sexy beast!

Which I had one. Crying or Very Sad
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bonati on November 16, 2010, 10:09:41 pm
Robin - awesome! Congrats. How long did it take to get it? I love the 462.

I'm with the all black. It looks more like a weapon.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ben F on November 16, 2010, 10:16:19 pm
Meh...I dunno, the black makes it look a bit like a UAD plug-in. Does look the best though.

Love the original knobs and people know it's a Sontec. Anyway Robin stop fiddling with knobs and let us know your first impressions! Best air ever? Loving the midrange?

index.php/fa/15861/0/
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Andrew Hamilton on November 17, 2010, 07:40:29 am
You know how, at the beginning of Black Country Woman, when the engineer says there's an airplane, but, Jimmy Page says, "...nah, leave it"...?   In that same voice, I vote for leaving the Sontec knobs as-is.   They are already "ne plus ultra."  There's no better looking knob.  Like Mickey Mouse in spats and gloves.  And it was the knobs that were used when the thing was still becoming legendary.  Why hide that?  Any better can only be worse.   That ain't no 250-, 'neither!    Cool  





Enjoy,
    Andrew
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: blip on November 17, 2010, 08:36:44 am
FYI to anyone in the market for a used Sontec, this is likely a SCAM. http://london.craigslist.co.uk/msg/2008995320.html

The ad uses the exact pics, copy, etc. as when we sold that unit on ebay a while back. Beware.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bonati on November 17, 2010, 09:31:55 am
The dudes are right, I've come to my senses. I re-vote to leave as-is.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on November 17, 2010, 07:26:46 pm
Thanks for the comments everyone, much appreciated. I'll distill them down to this:

- red/white/blue wins for practicability/ergonomics
- black on black wins for looks/vanity
- original grey/black for status/tradition

At the moment, I'm leaning towards the black version... guess that says something about me ;) Maybe I can somehow get the colour pointer rings to be better visible for decent color coding.


Bonati wrote on Wed, 17 November 2010 04:09

Robin - awesome! Congrats. How long did it take to get it? I love the 462.


I got it second hand, so there was hardly any wait.


Ben F wrote on Wed, 17 November 2010 04:16

Anyway Robin stop fiddling with knobs and let us know your first impressions! Best air ever? Loving the midrange?



"ganged stereo controls on an EQ are amazing. you feel like a god" (McCaig, 2010). It's true, I'm loving the ganged controls to death. And the Shallco frequency switches feel great. I'm not sure why, but the fact that they go 'round and round', i.e. that there's no stop point on either end, somehow really does something for me.


Sound wise, I'm immensly impressed by how clean and precise the unit feels while at the same time being smooth, for lack of a better word. Musical may be a fitting term, whatever it means to you ;)


Reg. highs/air: To me, the unit comes with two distinct flavours:

The high shelve feels very precise, very neutral. Definitely less soft than that of the 250c. This one I'm only beginning to appreciate and find uses for, but I feel it has the potential to be much used once I get to grips with it.

Then there's the highest parametric band, which can be set to 25, 23, 21, 19 & so on kHz. This one I've found fantastic for transparent air so far. Boosting it at a very high frequency setting and playing with the Q control gives fantastic control over clarity. Does the 432 have the same frequency choices?


As for the rest of the bands: What can I say... so far, whatever band I dialled in sounded right on every job. Effortlessly. I haven't really felt the need to fiddle with any of the other EQs since the Sontec 462 arrived (except for the some Avalon2077 box tone or the Sontec250 tone & high shelve).

One thing I noticed is that I'm finding myself using the lowest band a lot to tweak the low end where previously I often preferred to cut with digital EQ.

Anyway, I've only had the unit for a few weeks now, but I can already say with certainty that it's the best thing since sliced bread. If you give me a few more weeks, I'll come up with some juicy adjectives too :)
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: hnewman on November 17, 2010, 08:56:54 pm
That's hot.  Jealous.  
Why not just get the matching coloured pointers for the frequency knobs?  Very functional yet very Night Rider.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on November 18, 2010, 08:50:56 am
hnewman wrote on Thu, 18 November 2010 02:56

That's hot.  Jealous.  
Why not just get the matching coloured pointers for the frequency knobs?  Very functional yet very Night Rider.


They don't make them, unfortunately. For the large 36mm Elma knobs, there's only red, grey and black.

I guess I could check the yellow pages for an airbrush / model painting service and have those pointers custom coloured.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: jackthebear on November 18, 2010, 04:08:05 pm
24-96 Mastering wrote on Thu, 18 November 2010 11:26



Anyway, I've only had the unit for a few weeks now, but I can already say with certainty that it's the best thing since sliced bread. If you give me a few more weeks, I'll come up with some juicy adjectives too Smile



It's a long honeymoon Robin.......no signs of ours fading at this stage.......
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Allen Corneau on November 18, 2010, 08:12:38 pm
jackthebear wrote on Thu, 18 November 2010 15:08

24-96 Mastering wrote on Thu, 18 November 2010 11:26



Anyway, I've only had the unit for a few weeks now, but I can already say with certainty that it's the best thing since sliced bread. If you give me a few more weeks, I'll come up with some juicy adjectives too Smile



It's a long honeymoon Robin.......no signs of ours fading at this stage.......



Oh, get a room you two!

Razz
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on December 08, 2010, 07:17:26 am
As much as I love the sound of my 250c, even with gain mod-matching frequencies side to side is not safe for mastering. I find myself barely pushing gains even when in instances where say a 2db boost is needed. Matching volumes by ear is ok. matching frequencies is near impossible without tedious metering.

Time to find alternative until find good 400 series
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Silvertone on December 08, 2010, 07:32:33 am
dietrich wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 06:17

As much as I love the sound of my 250c, even with gain mod-matching frequencies side to side is not safe for mastering. I find myself barely pushing gains even when in instances where say a 2db boost is needed. Matching volumes by ear is ok. matching frequencies is near impossible without tedious metering.

Time to find alternative until find good 400 series



Buzz Audio REQ 2.2 is worth a try... I reviewed it and ended up buying the unit especially after taking the unit to Masterdisk and comparing it to their Sontecs.  Made the choice rather easy after that.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on December 08, 2010, 08:16:51 am
Silvertone wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 07:32




Buzz Audio REQ 2.2 is worth a try... I reviewed it and ended up buying the unit especially after taking the unit to Masterdisk and comparing it to their Sontecs.  Made the choice rather easy after that.


Thanks Larry. If you were a little closer I would invite myself over to check out your Buzz.  I would have to sell the 250c+ my newly arrived Blue 315 to move up to the Buzz.
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on December 08, 2010, 12:49:40 pm
24-96 Mastering wrote on Wed, 17 November 2010 17:26

...
Does the 432 have the same frequency choices?




yups, 25,23,21,19 and so on, kilohertzes

bab
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Allen Corneau on December 08, 2010, 08:34:53 pm
Silvertone wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 06:32

Buzz Audio REQ 2.2 is worth a try... I reviewed it and ended up buying the unit especially after taking the unit to Masterdisk and comparing it to their Sontecs.  Made the choice rather easy after that.



I love to see a "462" version of the Buzz REQ 2.2...

Now that would be INCREDIBLE!!!!
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Silvertone on December 09, 2010, 07:52:46 am
Allen Corneau wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 19:34

Silvertone wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 06:32

Buzz Audio REQ 2.2 is worth a try... I reviewed it and ended up buying the unit especially after taking the unit to Masterdisk and comparing it to their Sontecs.  Made the choice rather easy after that.



I love to see a "462" version of the Buzz REQ 2.2...

Now that would be INCREDIBLE!!!!



Man you're not just kidding... that would be killer. That said, I'm happy with the way the Buzz works and the new filters are just great.

Hope all is well Allen, long time no speak... like Tape-Op in New Orleans before the levee broke (there's a song in there somewhere).
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Matt_G on December 09, 2010, 08:18:07 am
dietrich wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 23:16

 I would have to sell the 250c+ my newly arrived Blue 315 to move up to the Buzz.


Sounds like a worthwhile trade imo... If you can't justify the price of an REQ-2.2 how could you justify a 4xx Sontec? I have to say being lucky enough to have both in the rack I'm tending to lean more on the REQ-2.2 these days for most chores although the Sontec's low & high end can be hard to beat on some projects.

Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Ed Littman on December 09, 2010, 08:42:33 am
dietrich wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 08:16

Silvertone wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 07:32




Buzz Audio REQ 2.2 is worth a try... I reviewed it and ended up buying the unit especially after taking the unit to Masterdisk and comparing it to their Sontecs.  Made the choice rather easy after that.


Thanks Larry. If you were a little closer I would invite myself over to check out your Buzz.  I would have to sell the 250c+ my newly arrived Blue 315 to move up to the Buzz.


Your welcome to come visit & hear mine. I'm 25 min west of the GWB.
Ed
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: dietrich on December 09, 2010, 09:01:19 am
Matt_G wrote on Thu, 09 December 2010 08:18



Sounds like a worthwhile trade imo... If you can't justify the price of an REQ-2.2 how could you justify a 4xx Sontec? I have to say being lucky enough to have both in the rack I'm tending to lean more on the REQ-2.2 these days for most chores although the Sontec's low & high end can be hard to beat on some projects.



Its the lure of a 400.
Looks like I have a Buzz coming in a week or two on loan(possible purchase).
But thanks Ed for the invite! your room looks nice and open

D
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Allen Corneau on December 09, 2010, 10:47:50 am
Silvertone wrote on Thu, 09 December 2010 06:52

Hope all is well Allen, long time no speak... like Tape-Op in New Orleans before the levee broke (there's a song in there somewhere).


I've been off the forums for a while but I'm getting back into it. I'm good (getting married next year), business is picking back up from the 2009 slump.

I sure miss the ol' Tape Op conferences. They were a lot of fun.



Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bonati on February 25, 2011, 11:20:50 am
Is there any difference in sound between the 432 series and the 482 series?
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: 24-96 Mastering on February 25, 2011, 06:47:38 pm
Bonati wrote on Fri, 25 February 2011 17:20

Is there any difference in sound between the 432 series and the 482 series?


As far as I'm aware, the 432 and 462 circuits and components are identical. But best ask Tony Mantz aka Jack the bear, he has one of each...
Title: Re: Sontecs...
Post by: Bonati on February 26, 2011, 03:21:17 pm
24-96 Mastering wrote on Fri, 25 February 2011 18:47

But best ask Tony Mantz aka Jack the bear, he has one of each...

I know - ironically as soon as I posted this he answered the same question over on Gslutz...