Manley Labs Massive Passive Mastering EQSKU: MMMMSMPXX-P
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Manley Mastering Version Massive Passive Stereo Tube EQ
WITHOUT breaking your bank account thanks to these interesting mechanically detented knobs for the GAIN and BANDWIDTH controls! These knobs are of our own design. They are a clever two-part metal design using a ball and spring detent system. They ensure repeatability and a good, positive feel, without the incredible cost and space problems tons of Grayhill switches would have caused.
The Massive Passive is a passive design and not a "true parametric". A true parametric implies non-interacting controls. In the Massive Passive, the "GAIN" and "BANDWIDTH" controls DO interact (on purpose). We cannot create a "GAIN" switch that is set up for "consistent" 1/2 dB steps. When you change the "BANDWIDTH" the step size must and will change. On the regular version, you get a full 20dB boost or cut only when: the bandwidth is fully clockwise (narrow) in bell mode or fully counter-clockwise in shelf mode. Here on the Mastering Version, this maximum boost or cut is 11dB. Conversely at the widest bell, the maximum boost or cut is 6dB and the narrowest shelf maxes out at 12 dB. A similar situation is also true for the bandwidth detents. So in this new Mastering Version, do not expect a certain dB change per step as it will vary according to where the bandwidth is set. But whatever the step sizes are, they will be repeatably 16 steps. The FREQUENCY select is already detented as it is and always has been a Grayhill switch. It also interacts in shelf mode.
On a similar note, the Massive Passive is a "parallel design" and not the conventional "series design". This means the bands interact with each other too. It is possible, to set a band to boost 20 dB but if another band is boosting near or at that frequency, very little will happen. On a conventional EQ the two bands "add" and you would be boosting 40 dB into clipping. Because the bands interact, predictable step sizes are unrealistic, however, with the Mastering Version, you will be able to repeat settings (if you log them of course). The price paid for interacting bands, is a better sounding EQ and bizarre looking settings (on purpose).
Unlike virtually every other EQ, the Massive Passive allows much more EQ without sounding "processed". Where 5 or 6 dB is about all one could attempt with other EQs in mastering, the Massivo amazes engineers with how much EQ they can do and get more "natural" results at the same time. We could have squeezed 11 position Grayhill switches in the modules if we had wanted 1/2 dB steps but then the maximum range would have become only 5.5 dB. Remembering what we stated above, the minimum range would then become about 1.5 dB with approximately 0.2 dB steps. This approach would have essentially thrown away most of the useful range the unit is capable of. Going with these special mechanically detented knobs which use the same pots underneath that the normal Massivo uses, we get nearly all the range of the normal version, but with the repeatability of the detents.
We have also custom tailored the FILTERS in the Mastering Version specifically for Mastering purposes, moving them lower and higher than the normal version, with mastering engineers specifically in mind. If you are looking for drastic effects (like telephone sounds) then get the normal version. These filters are really geared for mastering engineers.
Additionally, the Master Gain Trim controls in the Mastering Version are true 11 position 1/2 dB stepped Grayhill switches set up for a range between -2.5 to +2.5 dB of master gain trim. This allows more confidence in left/right matching and calibration.
The best advice is, before you decide, or even form an opinion about whether to go with a normal or mastering version Massivo, is to use a regular Massive Passive for a session or two in your own room. We have seen in the past that the only engineers who have asked about a mastering version had yet to try the Massive. Using your previous extensive and intensive experience with other EQs may be a mistake, especially if you expect the Massive Passive to be roughly similar to them. It isn't. Please, try it first, then decide.
GOT THE PICTURE?
The MASSIVE PASSIVE is a two channel, four band equalizer, with additional high pass and low pass filters. "Passive" refers to the tone shaping part of this clever new EQ design not using any active circuitry. Only metal film resistors, film capacitors and hand-wound inductors sculpt the sound, kinda like a Pultec EQ on hyper-steroids. Super-beefy, hugely-high-headroom Manley all-tube make-up gain amplifiers deliver your tunes into the next realm. "Massive".... it's a fitting word for this beast. You'll need to experience this.
Creating natural, organic, acoustic tone can only be done with an equalizer that treats the signal with natural methods. The Massive Passive uses simple passive components and exploits their natural qualities rather than forcing a complex circuit to meet an arbitrary clinical or scientific goal. Manley knows that recording and mastering equalizers are used by artists for artistic goals and we balanced this design with a little more art than science. The Massive Passive is intended both for the most radical EQ sometimes needed for tracking as well as the most subtle shadings for vocals and mastering. It is designed to be a fundamentally different EQ but incorporates the best strengths of Pultecs, choice console EQs, parametrics and graphics. The difference is that the Massive allows twice as much EQ with half the coloration. It allows huge HF boosts without sibilance problems and unbelievable fatness without mud. This is unique. Being different also gives it some quirks and idiosyncrasies that will spark your creativity and sense of audio adventure. We could attempt to use dozens of superlatives to describe the sounds, but really, you have to experience it yourself. Words cannot do it justice. The astute reader will notice a lack of "buzz words" and that the Massive Passive is not built around gimmicks, plagiarisms, or conventional techniques. However, it is built to complement our Variable Mu® Limiter Compressor for instance.... This combo could just be the ultimate processing chain. It's already a Mastering fave. To this end we finally have a new dedicated Mastering Version Massive Passive Stereo EQ available too.
There are 5 High Pass Passive Filters and bypass, plus 5 Low Pass Passive Filters with bypass. We made them extra steep. Why? So you can remove the garbage and not mess up your music. The way these filters interface with the parametric EQ bands simply sound beautiful. The highest Low Pass filters get even steeper. Attack drums, guitar stacks, and other tough jobs. Make "telephone" voice sounds for special effects.
High Pass Filters = 22, 39, 68, 120, 220 Hz, OFF
Low Pass Filters = 6 kHz, 7K5, 9 kHz, 12 kHz, 18 kHz, OFF
LOW - 22, 33, 47, 68, 100, 150, 220, 330, 470, 680, 1K
LM - 82, 120, 180, 270, 390, 560, 820, 1K2, 1K8, 2K7, 3K9
HM - 220, 330, 470, 680, 1K, 1K5, 2K2, 3K3, 4K7, 6K8, 10K
HI - 560, 820, 1K2, 1K8, 2K7, 3K9, 5K6, 8K2, 12K, 16K, 27K
Each band can be bypassed or set to boost or cut. This provides twice the control resolution over conventional EQs. It also eliminates the problem of a center detent not guaranteeing flat response.
Each band is capable of 20 dB of boost or cut combined with amazing headroom and freedom from clipping.
Steep LP and HP filters for maximum effectiveness and achieved passively for minimal coloration. Low Pass Filters get progressively steeper as the frequency point rises. All of the High Pass Filters, and the Low Pass 6K, 7K5, and 9KHz Filter slopes are 18 dB/octave, the Low Pass 12kHz filter has a 24dB/octave slope and the 18kHz filter has a 60 dB per octave slope.
Modular design that allows future upgrades and special functions. The Massive Passive is an "EQ platform" with room to grow.
Transformer balanced floating outputs for ease of installation and a touch of desirable flavor. These too were custom designed for the Massive Passive to accommodate the huge boosts possible.
Manley quality, Manley engineering, and the "Manley Sound".
- All-Passive tone sculpting circuitry
- Unique Shelf curves use the "bandwidth" control
- Overlapping and Interleaved Frequency choices
- Every band switchable to shelf or bell
- Vacuum tube make-up gain and line drivers
- Parallel symmetrical topology
- Premium components throughout
- Passive HP and LP Filters plus gain trims
- Ins & Outs Balanced XLR & 1/4" (accepts unbalanced)
- Level +4 dBu nominal, internal switches for -10 operation
- Bypass Switch bypasses EQ & tube circuits (not hardwire)
- 44 Frequencies (roughly 1/4 octave spacing)
- Frequency Range: 22 Hz to 27 kHz
- EQ Boost/Cut Range : 20 dB boost, 20 dB cut
- Nominal Q range: 1.5 to 3 (uniquely active in shelf modes)
- Frequency Response: ±2 dB: 8 Hz to 60 KHz
- Maximum Output @ 1.5% THD +37 dBv; +26dBv @ 20 Hz
- THD & Noise (1KHz @ +4 dBu): 0.06%
- Noise Floor (referred to +4dBu): -85 dB (A Weight)
- Dynamic Range: 120 dB
- Tube Complement: 2 x 12AX7 EH, 4 x 6414 for serial MSMPX### after 2/2004
- Tube Complement: 2 x 5751, 4 x 6414 for serial MSMP### until 2/2004
- Power Consumption (120/240VAC): 72 watts
- Unit is factory set for 100V, 120V or 220-240VAC operation for original destination country's mains voltage.
- Operating Mains Voltage changeable with power transformer changeover switch and fuse value change.
- Mains Voltage Frequency: 50~ 60Hz
Series . Model Massive Passive Mastering EQ Weight 27 lbs. Dimensions 19" x 5.25" x 10" (WxHxD)
The manufacturer's warranty covers parts and labor for 90 days from date of purchase. A further optional limited 5 year transferrable warranty is available upon proper registration of ownership within 30 days of date of first purchase. The warranty excludes damage from misuse, abuse, and contains other exclusions.