We built a limited-edition (50pcs) production run of Manley-branded Mini Massives in late 2012. These units are identical to the Langevin version, save for branding and cosmetics. The original Langevin text is printed below for reference.
The Langevin Mini Massive is the little brother to Manley's Massive Passive EQ. This new EQ is based on the same passive EQ sections as the Massive Passive's Low Band and High Band and shares most of the same components and circuit layout. The Mini Massive is smaller at only 1U high and about half the price and includes some new features, refinements and a new level of clarity fit for mastering at its best.
Hutch re-visited the 4 lowest shelf settings, and the 4 highest frequency shelf settings, plus added new higher Q bell shapes for the 4 highest frequencies. This gives even more opportunities for Pultec-like fatness and beyond in the deep lows. The new high frequency curves are designed for air, sweetness and sparkle. Compared to the Massive Passive, the toggle switch that selects between Bell and Shelf, has become a 3 position switch, to introduce the new higher Q Bell curves on the 4 highest frequencies. These features give the Mini Massive even more power and flexibility to achieve that elusive big round tight bottom and silky atmospheric top.
BANDWIDTH affecting the new BELL 2 Curves (left), new SHELF 2 Curves (right):
The Mini Massive uses 4 of the new Manley Rapture® Amplifiers for gain. These came about in the long search for the cleanest and most musically involving gain stage we could get and were originally intended for a cost-no-object digital / analog converter. These are further augmented by both series and shunt power supply regulators, to provide a refined low noise power supply. Like the Massive Passive, huge headroom is available and the Mini will output +30 dBv balanced into 50 Ohms. And rather than using unstable cross-coupled outputs to drive balanced or unbalanced loads, the Mini Massive can accommodate balanced, or unbalanced +4, or unbalanced -10 loads, and each one is always driven optimally. It plays well with others.
And for those who would prefer the sound and ease of interface that transformer-coupled outputs provide, we have made the same transformers as used in the Manley Massive Passive a stock item here in the Langevin Mini Massive EQ. These can add a subtle degree of warmth and smoothness when used in the signal path. A 3-way toggle IRON switch on the back panel switches the transformers into the circuit or bypasses them or forces them into a more vintage-like flavor for even more fat and aggressive colors.
Of course, for those who want a Mono 4-band EQ only need to patch the output of Channel 1 into the input of Channel 2. The low band ends at 1K and the high band begins at 560. Shelf frequencies still go that far and still offer dramatic curves.
The Mini Massive is the EQ for those who consider the Massive Passive too big, too expensive, or too colored or maybe not the first choice for extreme lows or extreme highs. The Massive Passive was designed to be a tube EQ with character and with the creative potential of forgotten passive techniques. The Mini Massive is a clean, lean machine, with the same EQ performance, and then some, where we wanted it most. And like the Massive Passive, it cannot be the one EQ appropriate for anything and everything (there is no such device), but it will be the first choice EQ for most things.
Check out these MiniMassive guts from November 2005.
Number of Channels: 2 solid state makeup gain
Number of EQ selections: Total 96 (48 per channel)
Low Shelf/Low Bell: 11 positions (22 Hz -1 kHz)
High Shelf/High Bell 11 positions (560 Hz - 27 kHz)
High Bell2 4 positions (8.2 kHz - 27 kHz)
Bypass Method: True Hardwire Bypass via relays
Maximum Input for 1% THD Balanced +26 dBm; Unbalanced -10 dBv +12 dBm
Maximum Output (50 to 20kHz): Balanced +4: +30 dBm; Unbalanced +4: +24 dBm; Unbalanced -10: +18 dBm
THD & Noise (1kHz @ +4 dBm): 0.007% (noise dominated)
Frequency Response: 5 Hz to 90 kHz (±0.5 dB transformers bypassed; +0.5 /-3 dB via transformers)
Noise Floor: -78 dB (ref to +4 dBm)
Signal to Noise Ratio: 108 dB typical (ref to +30 dBm)
Input Impedance: 20 kOhms
Output Impedance: 60 Ohms direct; 300 Ohms via transformers
Power consumption: 15 Watts
Operating mains voltage: Units' power transformers are wired for original destination country's mains voltage: 100V, 120V, or 220-240VAC as indicated on the serial number badge. Power transformer must be rewired on the pcb in order to change mains operating voltage. Fuse must be changed to appropriate value.
Mains Voltage Frequency:
Fuse Values S/N up to LMINI151: @ 100 - 120V operation: 1A; @ 220 - 240V operation: 500mA
Fuse Values S/N after LMINI151: @ 100 - 120V operation: 400mA; @ 220 - 240V operation: 200mA
Fuse Size: 5mm x 20mm SLO-BLO (time delay) type (BUSSMAN GDC Series)
Size (1U): 19" x 1.75" x 10"
Weight: Unit 12 lbs. Shipping Weight: 16 lbs.
Specifications subject to change because they just might.
We frequently get asked a number of questions regarding Langevin, including the proper pronunciation of the name. (the 'g' is soft like in 'gelatin' or 'orange').
Langevin was one of the original pro audio manufacturers dating back to WWII. In that era there were far fewer audio manufacturers and Langevin gear was very popular and especially respected in the broadcast industry. There were very few recording studios then and most of them relied on Langevin, Altec, Fairchild, and other great brands as well as home-made gear. Early Langevin equipment was vacuum tube based and later became mostly discrete transistor based. Today, you can often find vintage Langevin pieces still in use after all this time.
Are these the exact same circuits as the vintage pieces?
The mic preamplifier and EQ borrow some ideas from the old circuits but are not identical at all. We designed new gain blocks to deal with the balanced/unbalanced saga better than they used to in the olden days. And of course, we use new parts! Transistors, pots and most components have become significantly improved over the last 30 years. The limiter is a blend of the old discrete style of Langevin discrete and the also vintage 'LA' series of Levelling Amplifiers. Manley developed a similar opto-based limiter and has used it in the Manley ELOP® Limiter, Langevin ELOP® Limiter, Langevin Dual Vocal Combo, and the VOXBOX® limiter / de-esser section.
What's the difference between a Manley Pultec or ELOP® Limiter and a Langevin one?
The Manley units are all-tube while the Langevin units have all-discrete make up gain amplifiers. The EQ or limiting and metering sections are all the same Manley-to-Langevin. Your choice becomes between the sound of discrete transistor cicuitry in the Langevin gear or vacuum tubes with and without transformers in the Manley gear. Different flavours, but all build side-by-side with all high quality parts and reliable construction techniques at the Manley Labs factory. Take an on-line factory tour here!
Do we support any of the vintage Langevin products?
Sorry, no. We just bought the name and rights to use any of the old circuits. We didn't build the old stuff and never have had parts or real documentation. The usual experts on vintage gear and restoration are your best bet.