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Manley 16x2 Tube Mixer + Custom Mods

The Manley 16 x2 Mixer - Tubes on the 2-Buss!

Tubes on the 2-Buss! For years a small studio has had two choices. But not really. Does one spend big bucks for a big console or petty cash for a mini mixer with a mini sound? One is overkill and the other killed the music. These days, studios based around workstations need a simple but superb mixer, and many had hoped for it to have that Manley sound. They asked. We responded.

The 16x2 comes in 3 flavors:

1) The LINE version has 16 line inputs, with one aux send per channel. The LINE version is intended for workstations and allows users to avoid the digital mix buss which is often less than great sounding. Folks with huge expensive keyboard rigs who have inexpensive mixers that just ain't cutting it have also been grabbing up the Manley 16x2 LINE version mixers.

Line Channel View Pictured Above.

2) The MIC version has very low noise mic preamps with up to 60 dB of gain selectable on a rotary switch which replaces the aux knob. The XLR has the appropriate 2400 Ohm impedance and switches to 68K for the 1/4" plugs. (so yes you can run line level signals into it.) The MIC version also has phase reverse and inserts on every channel.

Mic Channel View Pictured Above.

3) The 8+8 version mixes it up, with 8 mic channels and 8 line channels (shown above). Great for location recording, keyboard rigs and general purpose tasks. The reviews are coming in stellar!

8+8 Meter/Monitor Section Pictured Above.

Rear Panel Detail of a 16x2 (8+8) Pictured Above.

Above is a rear view of a Manley 16x2 (8+8) Mixer.

The top 1-8 channels are MIC channels. So if you had a 16x2MIC, all 16 channels would look like that with your Direct Outs and Inserts. And your phantom power switching on each bank of four.

The bottom 9-16 channels are LINE channels. They have Direct outs but no Insert as there's nowhere to insert anything in between in a LINE channel...

Note the SOLO binding post for linking bunches of Manley 16x2's together.

Then on the 2-Buss section pictured below here on the left, you have your R&L Main mix outputs, Main and Mini Monitor outputs, Tape playback L&R, as well as your pair of External Inputs.

And there's your AUX send for the LINE channels....

What's in this thing?

The channel input jack is a Neutrik Combo which accepts XLR or 1/4" phone plugs. It is perfectly happy with either balanced or unbalanced sources. In the MIC version, the XLR has the appropriate 2400 Ohm impedance and switches to 68K for the 1/4" plugs. There are balanced direct outputs on every channel post fade and pre cut for multi-track recording.

Each channel uses the best sounding chips we know of (Burr Brown INA103, OPA2604, Linear Technology LT1010) in Hutch's circuits with exceptional headroom and very low noise, real pro level input and output levels, and bulletproof Manley quality throughout. Spec-wise know of no mixer ever with better headroom or higher output levels and, well, this mixer's subterranean noise floor and crosstalk figures are simply quite amazing. The signal path has just 3 superb polystyrene caps from input to output. No carbon resistors, just 1/2 watt metal film, Bourns conductive plastic pots, Grayhill stepped attenuators, etc. All the good stuff.

Sorry we didn't make this thing all-tube for "ad appeal" and sales hype. We certainly could have, but this puppy would have grown into the size of a small house, and needed an accompanying 5-Ton AC unit. However, the tube mix amps/line drivers are right at the end and impart that "Manley Sound" to your final outputs with all the richness, loudness and BIG sound you expect from us. Built like a tank and easy to service.

Mutes and Solos use superior relay switching techniques not crummy FETs or CMOS switching. Please! The Solo is of the "mute everything else" type. The buttons are EAO Series 19 and light up to indicate Mute and Solo. Insert and Phase Reverse also use high quality relays and both functions have tiny switches and red LED's to clearly indicate when they're selected.

The master section provides mixdown to 2 channels achieved with similar tube circuits as used in the Massive Passive, featuring two each 12AT7 NOS Phillips & 6414 NOS GE or Raytheon dual triodes. External inputs allow two or more mixers to be combined for 32 or more channels with a mini-banana post linking the Solo functions. There are both transformer balanced and transformerless unbalanced (+4dBm) outputs with tons of headroom. Max output level is +36dBu, about 10dB better than million-dollar consoles. The master section has an aux mix gain (master effects send) in the LINE version and an Ext input gain in the MIC version. There are two sets of monitor outputs, MAIN and MINI, so you can feed two different sets of power amps or powered speakers. We included MUTE and DIM buttons plus a rotary switch to monitor the main mix, the mono mix, 2 track tape playback (more balanced inputs), the Ext inputs (for linked consoles or effects returns), and the aux mix (only on LINE version).

The dedicated power supply unit cranking out all the necessary filtered and regulated DC voltages to power up this beast is external further reducing noise and heat.

Below the optional Rack Mount Faceplate for any of our mixers is shown.

16x2 LINE Version Pictured Below

How they come stock: 3 Basic Flavors

1) Line Version: 16x2 LINE model

XLR/1/4" combo inputs,direct outputs post fader balanced 1/4" One mono Aux mix, stereo Ext input (for linking) (no gain trim), stereo Tape return, Mix gain with both XLR balanced and 1/4" +4 dBm unbalanced outputs. 5 position Monitor select including mono, 2 VU meters, Monitor level, mute, dim and Main/Mini outputs (unbalanced)

Each of the 16 channels has a volume control, pan and aux knobs plus lit EAO solo and mute buttons. Internal jumper to allow Aux to be Pre-Fade, Pre-Mute, or Post-Fade and Mute.

2) Mic/Line Version: 16x2 MIC model

XLR/1/4" combo inputs (XLR is 2400 Ohms, 1/4" is 68 kOhms), direct outputs post fader balanced 1/4", 1/4" insert, stereo Ext input (for linking) (with gain trim), stereo Tape return, Mix gain with both XLR balanced and 1/4" +4 dBm unbalanced outputs. 5 position Monitor select including mono, 2 VU meters, Monitor level, mute, dim and Main/Mini outputs (unbalanced). Master Aux gain of Line version becomes stereo Ext Input gain.

Each of the 16 channels has a volume control, pan and Mic Gain knobs plus lit EAO solo and mute buttons. Mic Gain rotary switch set up for 0db (unity), 15,20,25,30,35,40,45,50,55,60 dB of gain. Each channel has Phase Switch & Insert switch on mini toggles with LED status indicators. Internal jumper to allow Aux to be Pre-Fade, Pre-Mute, or Post-Fade and Mute. 48V Phantom power switch for each bank of 4 channels.

3) 8 Mic Channels and 8 Line Channels. 16x2 8+8 model

Channels 1-8 Mic Inputs are the same as the Mic Version and Channels 9-16 Line Inputs are the same as the Line Version.

So you wanna be different?

Here's a 4-Aux custom puppy we completed 10/2002. His name is 16x2x4.

This 16x2x4 is a 4-AUX-send 16 channels into tubes-on-the-2-Buss Line Mixer. The two microtoggles next to each dual-concentric AUX send select whether that channel's AUX goes to AUX 1, AUX 2, or Both for the lower pot, or AUX 3, AUX 4, or Both for the top pot. Cool huh? And very patriotic... Thanks to GMLfor letting us borrow some knobs...

The 16x2x4 carries at retail price of $11,500

And here is one like that one with Mic Inputs built in the summer of 2004:

This custom 16x2x4 MIC version was built with a stock 16x2x4 chassis married to two additional panels to hold the gain switches, inserts, and phase reverse switches. They are the ones with the yellow knob inserts. The whole chassis is internally braced and joined so what you see here functions as one complete chassis. This customer also wanted two headphone jacks on the front panel (yes the stock output stage can drive headphones). These headphone out jacks can be wired from after the tube stage to drive headphones, or before it to drive some other headphone amplifier. The four green knobs up top are the four AUX sends master levels.

Cool huh? That one ran about $16,000 bucks.

Here is a custom 24x2 built 9/2004 configured as 16 MIC channels plus 8 LINE channels:

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