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Thread: Neve-clone opinions?

  1. #1
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    Neve-clone opinions?

    Any of you experienced sound-meisters care to offer a comparison of Neve-clones or Neve-influenced pres?

    What difference do you hear between Neves, Vintechs, Chandlers, Averill-Neve's, and other Neve soundalikes?

    Help a Neve-Newbie choose the right one?

  2. #2
    Sal Vito is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    Originally posted by Deeper:
    <STRONG>... of Neve-clones?

    What's difference do you hear between Neves, Vintechs, Chandlers, Averill-Neve's, and other Neve soundalikes?

    Help a Neve-Newbie choose the right one?</STRONG>
    Hey... you might wanna retitle the thread "neve clone opinions?" You might attract more people that own 'em...

    Just a thought...

    That being said, here's some info on the x73 and some others
    http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ul...c&f=1&t=001215

    one that looks cool is the seventh circle pres... VERY close clone... good transformers... good price.

    BTW: Evidently ... There's a guy building the kits and selling them (with the company's blessing)....
    http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ul...c&f=1&t=001224

    Category 5
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    posted March 13, 2005 05:55 PM
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    Don't forget http://www.seventhcirclestudios.com/SCA/SCA.htm
    By far the most economical and flexible of the "big boy" pres. You can have up to 8 channels in the chassis, and select from an API type, Neve Type, and Jensen Dual Servo type.

    The API and Neves have been discussed to great lengths regarding their character, and the only thing ever agreed upon is that they sound superb. As far as the Jensen design, it pretty much falls into the above category of "transparent but euphonic". It isn't quite as invisible as the Millennia, but it's usage pretty much fits the same category...ultra clean gain. It also offers up to 80+ dB of extremely clean gain (and insane headroom) so if you use ribbons there will be a love affair between them and this pre.

    The Neve and API types are like $425 each (pre built) plus $350 for the chassis and PS. The Hardy twin servos are $525 each since you need two 990c op amps per channel.

    The SCA pres still aren't universally accepted because most people think they are kits only. They are available pre built at the prices I listed above. Knock off $50 for the chassis, and $125 per channel if you want to build them yourself.

    I have not found anybody who doesn't love all 3 flavors. In fact, their Neve clone is regarded by many as one of the best out there (whereas the NV is the ultimate variation, the SCA is one of the ultimate direct copys).

    Shane

    Shane

    Here's another good exhumed post from the archives related to 7th circle..


    http://www.3daudioinc.com/cgi-bin/ul...1&t=001037&p=2




    Category 5
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    Member # 1334
    posted December 11, 2004 06:07 PM
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    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by SoZo Amplification:


    Yes... i purchase FRED diodes from him. He has ALL the best parts available except my capacitors! lol Actually he's not too pricy. There are alot worse...!

    What design would you consider above a Neve or API design(sorry for my ignorance but I really dont know what would achieve the sound I hear on the recordings I love). But one thing I think I could improve on is:

    I see Seventh has Tantalium caps in the neve... FRIGIN YUK. Unless they are in the original? I would think the brand Sowter transformers ( i hear from my transformer guy their great!) that Great river uses would be an other tweak you can do.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    The tants are there just as in hte original circuit. No reason to think "yuk", they are there for a reason. I highly doubt you're going to improve the design by swapping out any caps. Tim has already thought all of that through. He is not compromising on components to save money. Also, there was one guy who used the Sowter transformers in that design and said it was a pain for a questionable variance on the sound, but if that's what you're going for I suggest getting the Great River. It was desigend around that specification and will probably offer the best performance. The N72 is good enough to leave the design alone. A great portion of the sound comes from the Carnhill (St. Ives) transformers. The rest of the circuit is identical in both design and spec to the original, and there's a reason for that.

    Tim also mentioned that that while the J99 is desigend around the 990c, the Forsell and Milennia op-amps work quite well in that ciruit. There is even a place for the Millennia's compensation cap (usually unpopulated).

    As far as the A12 goes (substituting op-amps), it really isn't designed to be transparent...it's designed to sound like an API. You could use a Millennia or Forsell op-amp in it (or 990c even) but I think the output impedance is too low for those designs to run optimally (noise wise). Also, the output transformer is the original API part, and has an iron core. If you're trying to clean things up you could substitute a Hi-Ni core transformer and a cleaner (and faster) op-amp to get a super clean version, but it would be a bit like a J99 with less gain, bandwidth, and more noise. It probably makes more sense to just build a J99 if that's the sound you're after.

    I run A12s with real 2520s (1973 console pull) and also with Tim's SC25 2520 replica and they sound different. The API op-amps are meatier and fatter, while the SC25s seem a little more nuetral and crisper in the highs. Keep in mind that since a great deal of the distortion comes from the output transformer (iron cores typically produce high amounts of distortion) both configurations sound like APIs.

    There is also supposed to be a new design from SCA based on a hi-fi preamp made popular by John Curl. All discrete, transformer in and optional transformer out...should complement the existing pallette quite nicely.

    Shane
    Sal Vito
    The Man of Sound
    salvito@hotmail.com
    312-409-0176

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    Thanks for the advice. I'll do it.

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    I don't exactly have much experience with my own Neve preamps...But I do have a Great River MP2NV. After listening to Lynn's preamps in paradise dvd, the GR sounds completely different from the Neve. I think it sounds a lot better. Is the GR based on a different model Neve than on the comparison dvd??

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by TomM:
    <STRONG>Is the GR based on a different model Neve than on the comparison dvd??</STRONG>
    No, your ears are just telling you what many of us already believe.

    The GR-2NV is, in my opinion, a better preamp than a 1073.

    It's got everything we love about the 1073: That dense midrange, the wonderful way it handles dynamic mics and the incredible color without all the noise, muck and general disadvantage of using a preamp that, while fine in it's own right, is 30 years old in design and manufacture.

    Every time I hear of a preamp that "promises to sound just like a Neve" I think to myself -- well, that's one I don't have to listen to, because I've found something much better.
    Jim Dugger
    Poorhouse Productions

    At 20 bits, you are on the verge of dynamic range covering fly-farts-at-20-feet to untolerable pain. Really, what more could we need?

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by Jim Dugger:
    <STRONG>The GR-2NV is, in my opinion, a better preamp than a 1073.</STRONG>
    Thanks for the input, Jim. I have not found one person who doesn't love the Great River.

    And yet, I have recently talked to two local (Nashville) engineers who own and love the GR-2NV, but are using other preamps for their lead vocal. (One favors the Vintech X73i for lead vocals and the other favors the Chandler LTD-1). Meanwhile, they are both putting the Great River to work on other tasks. (One prefers the GR on his drum overheads.)

    And from perusing recent posts by our host, Lynn, it appears he favors the Crane Song or the Groove Tubes Vipre for many of his vocal recordings. (And those two are not Neve soundalikes, I gather.)

    I'm just sitting here scratching my head trying to determine which preamp I should buy to get the best lead vocals.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Deeper:
    <STRONG>And from perusing recent posts by our host, Lynn, it appears he favors the Crane Song or the Groove Tubes Vipre for many of his vocal recordings. (And those two are not Neve soundalikes, I gather.)

    I'm just sitting here scratching my head trying to determine which preamp I should buy to get the best lead vocals.</STRONG>
    I do use the Vipre on vocals in a group. I don't recall using it for lead vocals ever. I may be wrong and will stand corrected if I have said in the past that I did.

    The CraneSong is wonderful. The Buzz is wonderful. The Chandler is wonderful.

    The TNT blew my socks off.

    That's where I stand right now. And I still love the 110 but I'm using it less for vocals these days.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Deeper:
    <STRONG>I'm just sitting here scratching my head trying to determine which preamp I should buy to get the best lead vocals.</STRONG>
    The one that sounds best...
    Jim Dugger
    Poorhouse Productions

    At 20 bits, you are on the verge of dynamic range covering fly-farts-at-20-feet to untolerable pain. Really, what more could we need?

  9. #9
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    Wireline is offline 3D VIP 2004, '05, '06, '08, '09, '10
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    Gotta wonder, though:

    - When (if ever) will the Neve mindset wear off (like the vintage amp phase, the rack of doom phase, and so on guitars players endure)?
    - I hope pretty soon, because I'm just now getting into the API clone craze, and once the Neve thing dies down a bit, proces will drop, and I'll be able to afford one...
    - Also gotta wonder: if/when it does die down, what will take its place?...if anything?

    All of that aside for the moment, which Neve (and clones) are we talking about? I've had very limited experience with them, but I experienced the 1073s sounding different than the 1272s, 1081, etc...
    Ken Morgan
    2010 3d VIP

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Wireline:
    <STRONG>Gotta wonder, though:

    - When (if ever) will the Neve mindset wear off (...</STRONG>
    The minute I buy one (at full price)

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