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Thread: 1998 to used 2013

  1. #1
    CoolCat's Avatar
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    1998 to used 2013

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    I grabbed a Focusrite Platinum Voicemaster today. $80...1998 ish...

    After reading 100 posts or so, the positives the negatives, the beginners and the ones comparing it to a Focusrite Red, it was all interesting. My favorite poster was one who bashed this unit severely & repeatedly, and in the end hadnt ever tried it.

    But many years have gone by in HR land and this somewhat "bastard child" of the family of Focusrite was only $80, in minnt condition I might add...at least visually. This unit was used in a studio voiceover environment, and it was used for years I was told, but no problems to speak of. The person just going to software and not so much need for hardware these days was mentioned.

    So of course after grabbing the unit, and driving off, the first stop light was to flip it over, to see the underside... Made in England...cool. The seller gained some credibility. Focusrite is supposed to be made in England.

    First noticed in this world of plastic gear, the Focusrite Platinum Voicemaster, is all metal. nice.
    Also noticed is the paint and knobs are in perfect condition and smooth to the feel, 12 yrs later-ish.
    A $1500 Focusrite with plastic cheap flimsy knobs were noticed at GC, I was amazed(let down) how cheap the knobs felt and the crooked pot-stem intrigued me for a bit. Then I noticed all the pots on the unit felt cheap and flimsy.
    This Platinum Voicemaster the pots feel solid, smooth and made with some kind of rubber material like you should find on a $1500 unit. strange, yes?

    anyway, I'm going to plug in the $80 version of this bastard, and compare sounds to my plastic $70 UX2 with software LA2A with Vintage Pre-Amps/EQ's....

    I noticed they had a Focusrite Platinum Voicemaster in the rack at the big studio I had the pleasure to visit today also, amongs the real LA2A's and numerous Distressors and SSL 4000 etc..et.. that kind of made me smile, a psychology thing I guess when you see the pro's owning the same bastard unit.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-HG

  2. #2
    Chili's Avatar
    Chili is offline Site Moderator
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    I have a Platinum Twintrack. I like the way it sounds, but have recently moved over to a UAD Apollo. I like that way better and will be selling the twintrack.

    $80 is a good price.

  3. #3
    CoolCat's Avatar
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    I hear you. Its all relevant isn't it.

    Fiddling with this for a few hours. It works, for $80 no problems.

    BUILD: Very well built, imo.
    SOUND: It wasn't a WOW! unit,
    EASE OF USE: It took some effort to get something decent and at first several attempts it was kind of tough. There's 17 knobs and 14 buttons, so its not a One Large knob type unit. Reminded me of a Joe Meek VC1Q...same era.

    I still like the Joe Meek flavor to have around, this compliments it as seems clean, but not as easy to dial in a great tone as on the ISA ONE.

    I do have a concern of company's when they start down that "cost engineering mentality though"..it starts with outsourcing, next thing you know they are changing compnents and the knobs fall off. haha This unit does not have the cheap build, it could go live in a rack and do well.imo.

    This one is built like a tank. Build is really good, the Tones.. I could match with my software. Too many knobs for me. In software I can set somethign and save it, with this I'd need a notebook to keep track of all the 17 settings etc... Analog gang would love it! very analog-ish which is cool.

    Focusrite Preamplifier

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-HG

  4. #4
    CoolCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chili View Post
    I have a Platinum Twintrack. I like the way it sounds, but have recently moved over to a UAD Apollo. I like that way better and the twintrack.

    $80 is a good price.
    ok, so you already have exp with the abundance of tweaking.... Tweakz also chose the VM Pro after a long tryout, said "people with money for separate units arent shopping for the platinum series." Good article.

    It was interesting flash through the years kind of gear day..I always enjoy it.

    I would bet people who couldnt get a decent tone from these things was due to them giving up. The units can get a good tone with some work. ..you can make a lot of bad tones with it too.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-HG

  5. #5
    Chili's Avatar
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    Yeah, some of the swtiches are flaky. There are parts available on the internet to replace them, but I have to decide if it's worth my time to open it up and replace a couple of switches versus selling at a discount.

    I like the sound of the optical compressor. Used it mostly on bass.

  6. #6
    CoolCat's Avatar
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    Thanks Chili, interesting idea., was just thinking about going through with a bass today to mess with this strip unit some more.
    The bass amp thread, had me seeking a bass preamp and running it into a Carver PA I have being unused too. $80 might be a nice live bass preamp? Or trade it in...after playing with it a bit more.

    I agree with you, checked out the UA Apollo , software rack and dynamics. the ergonomics of everything in the box is great for HR especially. Looks great, hard to justify starting hardware collection when you can have 10qty v- LA2A's and 24 channels of 14 band eq and Multiband Compression, v-Neve pre's all in the box etc..etc.. Its the way to go. The UX 2 has a great set of v-Gear and Reaper is loaded too.

    the Analog gang is probably loving grabbing $600 old gear like the Focusrite Platinums, for $80 CL or $199 GC used.
    I might like it to have the plugs in the front too, especially for a bass live rig-pre.

    However, there's no CPU demand on these outboards and other than recalling settings with 17 knobs and 14 buttons...

    Closely inspecting the SSL 4000 board and watching a youtube on it, the channel strip of the SSL:
    Preamp>Compresor>Gate/Expander>Filter/Shelve>Parametirc EQ's>Mid Band Q> Fader

    theres the inserts and a bunch of patching ...

    Focusrite Voicemaster, does the similar approach, as does all the other "Channel Strips". I like the concept of the strips for HR. I didnt even see the engineers coming close to using all the SSL4000 channels. HR to have one good strip is great, a few even better.
    but is it better than Virtual aka v-Gear...?

    After some more time with it, I understand why some really disliked this series and some were ok with it, its all about the fine adjustments and struggle. Looking at the ISA One theres 2qty knobs! the LA2A 2qty knobs! These Platinum Series have 17 or more!!

    crazy..

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-HG

  7. #7
    Chili's Avatar
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    I see my unit is a little different in features than yours. Mine has a notch filter but nothing else for EQ. Looks like the voicemaster has a whole parametric eq section. It might work as a DI into a PA amp. You'll lose any flavoring provided by a real bass amp, but that may not be a bad thing. I think you would get all tone from the guitar. That could be cool.

    If you have a PA amp and speaker already, you may also consider using a bass amp modeler. You could use the Line Out directly into the carver.

  8. #8
    CoolCat's Avatar
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    a pic for future info seeking users..

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-HG

  9. #9
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    large pic
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    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-HG

  10. #10
    2infamouz is offline Junior Member
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    That's a nice find. Things are clearly made with cheaper components these days. It's pretty sad that this 13ish yr old recording channel could quite possibly outlive a new one purchased today.

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