July 12, 2007

Vintage Designs releases cool shit under radar, film at 11...

by Chris Randall

I like to think of myself as relatively on-the-ball when it comes to this sort of shit, but somehow this company managed to evade my attention entirely. I just discovered that they make stuff, and it doesn't appear to be bad. VintageDesign website is here and some of their products are available at Mercenary Audio on this page.

Anyone have any experience with their products, namely the active summer and the CL1 pictured above? Do tell...



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Jul.12.2007 @ 8:19 AM
the casiotone
Actually i just bought it and also bought their 1073 and 1081 clones.
I really didn't had a lot of time (or proper conditions) to test them, since i got it for my studio, wich is in re-construction, but for now all i can say is that it -definitively- is worth every euros (or dollars in your case) it costs.
I mean, this thing is bloody amazing, you'll take like 2 seconds with it to get that. I was going to buy a 33609JD -wich i've tried- but i took a chance with this and i'm so glad i did.
And it costs like half the price of the 33609
I can't exactly put in words how they sound, but "polite" and "bite" comes to mind (yeah, i know they are -somehow- contraditory terms, but it's exactly that). Oh, and it works perfectly on just about anything you throw at it.

I really don't know what to say... just get it, it's one of the best deals ever.

'Bout the 73/81 - they don't sound EXACTLY like neve, but i tend to prefer them against the real thing.
if you have any specific questions, just ask



Jul.12.2007 @ 10:29 AM
i know the mercenary guys have been talking about them quite favorably lately on gearslutz. then again they sell them so...

Jul.12.2007 @ 1:51 PM
Chris Randall
Well, I've spent enough time with Fletcher to know that he wouldn't have _any_ problem talking shit about something, and that Mercenary wouldn't carry something if he didn't think it was worth what it cost.

That's interesting to hear, though, casiotone. I've been eyeballing a 33609 as well, and the CL1 definitely caught my eye because of the price. I think, when I'm ready to take that particular plunge, I'll get a demo unit and shoot 'em out.



Jul.12.2007 @ 3:34 PM
They make good stuff IMO. I know a guy who uses the summer in his studio and he's very pleased with it but I haven't tried it myself. I'm thinking about reviewing some of their newer stuff on my blog.

Jul.12.2007 @ 5:31 PM
the casiotone

The CL1MK2 is definitively a better deal than the 33609. It actually sounds better (yeah, i know it's always relative, but i'm saying it in some kind of esoteric absolute term).
Anyway, i did a couple of sessions with it and used it in vocals, drum bus (both as a parallel bus NY style and master drum bus) and master, and the felling i was getting from it was always "is it doing something?", and you put it in bypass and everything just falls apart!
I'm not exactly and un-experienced user with compressors, and i have quite a few decent pieces (LA2A, purple mc77, distressors, 2500, etc) and this became my favourite compressor in just a couple of hours.
I'm sorry if i can't give you a better idea, but english is not my native language so i have an hard time trying to express complex toughts like audio nuances and shit and as someone said, "talking about audio is like dancing about architecture ".

Anyway, i know i don't post much, but i do read your blog a lot -so, i'm kinda aware of your necessities. Be it the electronic or the tom waitish stuff you do, it will fit you just right.
Of course, there's nothing like trying it. I personally had to learn to do a lot of guess work - since i live in the ass of europe - and i've also learned i trust a lot on fletcher opinion (i never talked to The Man, but i read a lot of his posts), because it is a bit a reflexion of my own but with A LOT more experience.

I belive someone should make the "Fletcher's seal of approval" or something. That would solve most indecisions from audio nerds...

BTW, how's the machinedrum working for you? That was something that i wass keeping an eye for, and i bought based on your toughts about it. Actually... thanks, i love it.
Oh, and i love your plugins.. .thanks for that too!



Jul.12.2007 @ 5:32 PM
the casiotone
I actually meant it's a better deal then the 33609JD! i never heard a 33609 *original* so i can't really comment on that...

Jul.12.2007 @ 7:01 PM
I like that little summing mixer.

Fletcher tried to kill me once. He later recounted that I was an MBA from Alesis. I was standing next to the guy who took a picture of his sculpture: an ADAT and a Mackie 1604 impaled on a spike with the title "Shit on a Stick." As soon as the guy next to me snapped the pic, Fletcher came after us with crazy eyes, spilling the beer in his left hand. We ran away like little girls. I've since tried to use my honorary MBA on resumes, but HR people say it doesn't count.


Jul.13.2007 @ 11:18 AM
stiff competition among superb companies at that price point. my shootout would be a lot wider than 2 makes if I were dropping 4k about now.

Jul.14.2007 @ 9:28 AM
I have the CL1mk2 unit for more than a year now thru a trade with KSP8.

I'm digging the color of the unit and its compression. However, the knobs are very fiddly, and the power supply is a wall wart unit (and there's no on/off switch). I realize that the newer units are using a nice P.S box.

For stereo compression, you have to match L/R with a sine tone, since the marking are not accurate.

My 1st channel now has quite a bit of hiss/noise so I can only use 1 channel of the unit.

It's for sale, if anyone is interested.


Jul.14.2007 @ 4:46 PM
the casiotone

Well, Ribbonmic, so a lot have changed with the new units.
There's a link switch and most of the controls are by steps (except the make up gain).
The PSU is fine and powers two units.
Overall construction is not brilliant but sturdy. I admit the knobs and switches could be a little better - i prefer the chandler ones, have less "clunk" in them, but that's just a minor problem for me.
Are you sure you have the MK 2 ?

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