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el9 "mike-e" pre modeling
Old 3rd February 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
el9 "mike-e" pre modeling

this piece looks awesome. the literature says it models vintage units (as always w/ E.L.), but it doesn't go any further into specifics. empirical labs gear always becomes "classic" itself anyway, so it's not that important - but i am curious. what mic pres does this little beauty emulate and does it do it well? also, how would you rate this unit overall?
Old 3rd February 2009
  #2
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Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Gloves ➑️
this piece looks awesome. the literature says it models vintage units (as always w/ E.L.), but it doesn't go any further into specifics. empirical labs gear always becomes "classic" itself anyway, so it's not that important - but i am curious. what mic pres does this little beauty emulate and does it do it well? also, how would you rate this unit overall?
Not so sure the preamp emulates anything, other than extremely wide bandwidth and more dynamic range than any one microphone produced today will yield. The preamplifier uses a Lundahl input transformer, so in the manual, they do mention, in regard to the quality in IRON, that there is a very tight bass response behavior from the preamp. Also, something that is very noteworthy; the DI passes though the IRON.

That would of course not be emulation, but instead true performance from a no B/S Dave Derr Amplifier circuit. The pre spec's out at 3 HZ to 200K. Now what vintage preamp does that? With the optional transformer output, the preamplifier spec's out at 6 HZ to 80K. When messing with the Comp/SAT, you're looking at 3 HZ to 150K. Not much of a vintage sound to my ear, in fact it has no noise, no distortion, its very fast transient wise, and it feels balanced and BIG with every microphone I've used with it so far. When combining that with the Comp/SAT, its a WHOLE DIFFERENT SPORT!!!! +200K for the EL9!!!!
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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Chris's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I like now IRON is always capitalized.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
sounds like a pretty bitchin pre!! i want to read the manual - is it online yet? anyone have a pdf?
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell ➑️
Not so sure the preamp emulates anything, other than extremely wide bandwidth and more dynamic range than any one microphone produced today will yield. The preamplifier uses a Lundahl input transformer, so in the manual, they do mention, in regard to the quality in IRON, that there is a very tight bass response behavior from the preamp. Also, something that is very noteworthy; the DI passes though the IRON.

That would of course not be emulation, but instead true performance from a no B/S Dave Derr Amplifier circuit. The pre spec's out at 3 HZ to 200K. Now what vintage preamp does that? With the optional transformer output, the preamplifier spec's out at 6 HZ to 80K. When messing with the Comp/SAT, you're looking at 3 HZ to 150K. Not much of a vintage sound to my ear, in fact it has no noise, no distortion, its very fast transient wise, and it feels balanced and BIG with every microphone I've used with it so far. When combining that with the Comp/SAT, its a WHOLE DIFFERENT SPORT!!!! +200K for the EL9!!!!

I've been wondering about the line-in capabilities of the EL9. In the NAMM video, dave mentions that the lower, digitally stepped gain levels are for line sources. So, I wanted to know if there is a separate line-in XLR on the back, or if the mic-in XLR doubles as a line input? - similar to the design of the Portico's mic pres. It would be nice to use the comp section separately.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
ditto on the line-in issue
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmacko ➑️
I've been wondering about the line-in capabilities of the EL9. In the NAMM video, dave mentions that the lower, digitally stepped gain levels are for line sources. So, I wanted to know if there is a separate line-in XLR on the back, or if the mic-in XLR doubles as a line input? - similar to the design of the Portico's mic pres. It would be nice to use the comp section separately.
Its the same input, and you simply hit Line, to access Line Level signal into the box. There is only a Side Chain input, as well as the Link Input, on top of the lonely Balanced XLR connector for both mic and line. It also has a 1/4 TRS, but it is the same input as the XLR. So, unfortunately, the Comp/SAT can only be used following the mic or line amp.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Gloves ➑️
sounds like a pretty bitchin pre!! i want to read the manual - is it online yet? anyone have a pdf?
This is all I got at the moment for you.
http://www.wavedistribution.com/deal...ke_E_front.jpg
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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spitfire8898's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Adam, have you had a chance to get one of these in for a session yet? Inquiring minds want to know!
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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spitfire8898's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Maybe we should get you checked in to some kind of program? heh

Sounds like a nice pre!
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spitfire8898 ➑️
Maybe we should get you checked in to some kind of program? heh

Sounds like a nice pre!
That's a good call, addiction is a terrible affliction that plagues my inner soul.

However, its somewhat impossible to have any kind of "intervention" while I am continuing to work for Mercenary. Its kind of like, a Crack addict working at a Crack Factory. Ever seen New Jack City? I am kind of like Pookie on a crack binge, but not really. I can tell you from experience this is one of the best mic preamplifier's we now have in the studio. Can you say, "clutch"?
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I used this thing the other day (albeit for a short period of time) at Mercenary. Sounded pretty damned good with a UMT70. Will probably try to get one down here in my place sometime soon.

Ed
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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spitfire8898's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
LOL @ pookie!

All I know is that I want a stereo pair heh
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Eskimo Brain's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
man, if only the compressor had the opto mode, I'd be sold. that's where my distressor stays 90% of the time for tracking.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Love that dry/wet feature.
Print parallel comp. Nice!
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Finally joined to bump this. I'd love to hear more about it!
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogtones ➑️
Finally joined to bump this. I'd love to hear more about it!
What would you like to know?
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
It looks amazingly versatile (and your previous posts have definitely expressed this)--is there anything that you'd be reluctant to use it with? I'd love to hear any examples as the compsat intrigues me!
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogtones ➑️
It looks amazingly versatile (and your previous posts have definitely expressed this)--is there anything that you'd be reluctant to use it with? I'd love to hear any examples as the compsat intrigues me!
Thus far, no, there is absolutely nothing I wouldn't patch into it. I'll try and get some examples posted. I'm not promising anything either way, but I'll do my best. Honestly, I'd offer the send the unit we have here on demo to ANYONE that wants to try it out. That's really the only way to figure out if the box will work well for your applications. Listening to my examples aren't going to tell you squat about your music and applications.
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Sounds excellent. You may be hearing from me soon!
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Its kind of like, a Crack addict working at a Crack Factory. Ever seen New Jack City?
Hopefully everyone's not sitting around naked...
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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staudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duardo ➑️
Hopefully everyone's not sitting around naked...
Holy sh*t that is funny.
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #23
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell ➑️
like Pookie on a crack binge, but not really.
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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jjblair's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
BTW, those specs are impressive, but do they matter? What mic captures about 20kHz or has anything meaningful below 20Hz? Do we want to record stuff that low, either?
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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FadersmakmeHappy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hey Adam-

I have been eyeing the Mike E. Can you give me a ballpark reference for the pres sonic quality and characteristics? Super clean, colored and aggressive, etc?

How about the comp? I have a distressor already. Am I going to get a different flavor of comp?

The parallel comp feature is pretty cool.
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #27
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icebox's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well, I can't reference too many other pre's but I have owned Vintech, AEA and some Joemeek stuff. When I first plugged into this pre I was shocked at how clean my bass was. Incredibly strong. It's the saturation where the 'dirt' lies. It does compare to the distressor in a lot of ways(I own one as well) but with saturation it's a different thing to me. The mix knob is totally useful. i've been nuking acoustic guitars and slightly blending that in with the original signal. Crazy but thick! I'm no pro and I can't 'tech' talk very well. All I know is I've done sessions through all kinds of Avolons, Neve's, Great River etc. and I would NEVER say which one is best. But I can say the EL9 is by far my favorite. As clean or dirty as i want it.
Sorry man, probably not much help but I love this box. Absolutely love it!!
Old 20th March 2009 | Show parent
  #28
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FadersmakmeHappy ➑️
Hey Adam-

I have been eyeing the Mike E. Can you give me a ballpark reference for the pres sonic quality and characteristics? Super clean, colored and aggressive, etc?
Its not like anything you have in the Rack. There are no preamps that compare to it, but it stacks up to all the "high ender's" extremely well, in fact it may even surpass most. It got "girth" punch and character, even though its extremely true to the source. Its no slouch, and offers better than average S/N dynamic Range and frequency response. Its really fast, transient wise, and has a nice depth of tone and space without playing with the Comp/SAT. When getting into the Comp/SAT, its an entirely different sport.

Quote:
How about the comp? I have a distressor already. Am I going to get a different flavor of comp?
Yes, completely! To me, its a "hybrid" of the EL7 and EL8 with a Wet/Dry control. It can do pretty much anything from gentle to smashed and thick as brick. I absolutely love this thing for bass, kick, snare, vocals, room tracks, and string instruments. The preamp really shines mate's, your ribbons/dynamics will like what you are patching them into, and your condensers will thank for saturating them with the comp/SAT.

Quote:
The parallel comp feature is pretty cool.
Oh ya!!
Old 21st March 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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paterno's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've been using one for a while now, and I think it is really cool. Don't be misled by the concept of 'modeling' per se. I have no idea what other pre it sounds like or what it is 'supposed' to sound like. All I know is that I put a mic into it, dial in the Sat knob till it starts lighting up, set the compressor if I need it, and it sounds great !! It is dead simple. And it just plain makes things sound good.

I had one for a few weeks to check out and evaluate. I first started using it on overdubs - percussion and guitar mostly, and was really happy with the results. The compressor sounds really good, but it is not a Distressor. It is a different thing. What it does have in common: the compressor is super musical. I find that I never use the mix knob. I prefer the sound in the full 'compress' side, even if I'm not engaging the compressor [1:1 ratio].

What really sold me is how it sounds on bass. I used it on a tracking date, and I knew right then and there that I was not giving it back !! I used a DI into the pre, and I didn't have to do anything to it once I dialed in the Sat and a little compression. It was big and clear! Most of the time I'm not even Eq'ing.

The only way to really know is to demo one. But FWIW, I highly recommend it...

Cheers,
John
Old 21st March 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Addict
 
icebox's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I hear ya on the bass tone. Crazy good. It's not like plugging into something a getting what the box 'thinks' the tone should be. It IS the tone of whatever you plug into it.
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