|NEOTEK SERIES 1E
$1300 Two channels racked with internal mains and 48V phantom power supplies. Please ask for pricing on modifications and any desired special features.
- Mic & line level inputs
- 4-Band EQ (switchable in or out of circuit) with +/- 12dB gain on each band
- High Frequency Band is sweepable from 1kHz - 20 kHz and is selectable
as either a shelving EQ or as a low pass filter
- High-Mid Frequency Band is sweepable from 400Hz - 8kHz
with a switchable narrow or broad/shelving Q
- Low-Mid Frequency Band is sweepable from 50Hz - 1.2kHz
with a switchable narrow or broad/shelving Q
- Low Frequency Band is sweepable from 20Hz - 500 Hz and is selectable
as either a shelving EQ or as a high pass filter
- Pan pot modified to be the output attenuator
- Polarity reversal
- XLR mic and line level inputs & +4 dB output in a 3-space rack is standard
- One year rack component warranty and six-month module warranty
- Fourteen-day satisfaction guarantee
The Series One was the first major console endeavor from Neotek, and saw their design come into being in Chicago in the late 70's. The Series 1E channels were the upgrade version for the Series 1 and feature an expanded filter section. Like the Series 1, the preamps are quiet and life-like and excel on anything needing a warm and natural feel. With the line level inputs, you can run your computer and samplers through these to give them an added boost or do a bit of filtering.
The EQ on these is absolutely stellar! It's very smooth and is usually described to us by clients and customers as "very musical" yet a very powerful tool for critical sound shaping and filtering. It has a sweepable low end shelving EQ (very big and round) which by pulling the center pot becomes the HPF. The sweepable low-mid range is either again nicely round or by pulling the center pot becomes much more surgical with a tighter bandwidth to carve things up a bit and clean out some mud. The high-mid band is very nice on guitars and percussion and is either a sweepable shelving EQ, or can be switched to a tighter bandwidth to become more surgical. Finally the bright yet not brittle high end is sweepable up to 20 kHz (VERY nicely smooth), or can also be switched into circuit as a LPF. Please take note of the overlapping frequencies on each band, showing just how flexible the EQ is on these, especially for a vintage channel strip EQ.
Like their Series 1 counterparts, these really seem to mix down well and you can do a lot of tracks with these, yet still end up with a very true and uncluttered sound when it comes time to mix. We highly recommend these modified with Sowter or St. Ive transformers switchable in and out of circuit to give them the option of a thicker texture. Jensens sound pretty fine too, but seem to sound more transparent. Lastly, replacing the stock opamps with Burr Brown opamps gives them a warm boost but takes a bit away from the natural clarity and open feel of the preamps (can be done at no additional cost.) These are very flexible and offer serious bang for the buck!
Quotes From Other Engineers:
- "I did a few tests with the Neotek Series 1E units with a pair of sm58 on vocals. I have been listening to the units in A/B comparison with an Amek DMCL preamp (pure path series, compressor section out). The Neotek sure runs in the same league, at least [ed. note- the Amek-DMCL MSRP without the digital option is $2,995]. The Amek unit really improved my recordings. Neotek series 1E are the next step forward. Definitely good quality. The preamp sound has a strong body that I wasn't expecting that much, though it's really welcome. The definition is here too but never gets harsh nor soft. It sure will be a good alternative to the Amek unit and to the other preamps I will purchase later. I have been working with plug-ins for too many years now and time has come to go back to the real thing: this means external units for me.
The EQ section is a dream. No need to worry about the settings, I trust my ears. Each mid section provides 2 Q-shapings just by pulling out the gain pot, so I don't need to search for the button since everything is in the same spot: sweep, gain & Q shaping. This is no full parametric EQ - I don't mind because I don't like tweaking pots for hours looking for the precise Q and getting nothing good (aka non-musical) - but the EQ on the Neotek can kill any resonant frequency with the sharp Q or add/remove some bottom or presence with the broadband Q. The high section is brilliant too: it provides a beautiful air sensation when set high (over 10k) and can add a really nice presence to a voice when set to 4~6k. "Nice" means the sound in itself: these highs are amazing. The low section is nice too and can be used (as the high section) either as a shelf or cut-off filter. Low presence or cut-off, sounds really good too. So, the EQ can be quite surgical but the most important is that it is really musical and very easy to set up. It would have been perfect with a "0db position lock" (don't know how to say it in english) on the EQ gains, but it'll do. Some folks around mentioned the overall quality of Neotek and this is definitely not a one trick pony; it lives in these units too, that's Neotek sound signature. So: good preamp & magic eq.... jack pot! Something that sounds like modern and vintage at the same time... Neotek!
So, I'm very glad about this purchase. I like the black metal faceplate of the rack too. Nice look. Now I'm looking forward to the next recording session, which will happen soon.
Thanks again for this transaction."
- "Neotek EQ's are some of the best EQ's I've ever encountered, very musical and flexible. The pres are transformerless and sound great (hold their own with any pre out there). Not as colored as a Neve...but has nice lows and smooth highs. Other engineers I know ranked them right up there with his Helios, API, Neve 1057 pres. I use these pre's on everything."
- "The simple, very clean signal path contributes to the overall elegance of how the sound is handled. Neoteks are like a direct line between microphone and tape machine. They sound great. I have a long association with Neotek. I've used them in many studios and I like them a lot. I've lived in Chicago for 20 years, and I've owned a Neotek for 10 years. I should point out that, for the money I had available, I had the choice of an old, discrete console or any currently-produced console, but I chose Neotek because of the my past experiences with them. They're the best desks being made."
- "Well, the description you have is pretty accurate. I mean, if you listen to Albini, he kind of says it all. It has its own characteristic, which is not really coloring the sound but adding a bit of warmth that does not sound compressed or artificial. Even when you use the EQ, it really sounds natural. I use Pro Tools and I like getting the "real" sound in and if I want to color it later I can. It kind of keeps me in check also. So many times you can get spoiled with other stuff and the performance later comes back to haunt you or it might sound sweet to begin but when you have to put it all together it seems you have to really start Eqing (in a bad way). With the Neotek stuff the "natural" characteristics of each instrument seem to stay true to itself. Very hard to explain as with anything but I love mine and would never think about getting rid of the pair!