CHANDLER TG CHANNEL MKII
The original Chandler Channel featured Chandler’s TG2 preamp (based on the classic EMI TG console of Beatles and Pink Floyd fame) married to a very musical three-band EQ. The TG Channel MKII adds more useful controls to round out a very desirable recording chain.
First among the improvements is a dedicated 1/4-inch DI jack input, which bypasses the mic input transformer and directly accesses the high-impedance microphone circuitry. Great news. Another major addition is an extra mid boost EQ band (the original only had mid cut, which is retained here). Up to 18dB of gain is available at 1.2k, 1.8k, 2.2k, 3.9k and 5.8k EQ points and a high ‘Q’ switch is also provided for this band. The range of the other EQ bands has also been altered to accommodate the additional mid boost band: the new high shelving filter no longer doubles as a midrange control and the new mid cut starts at 350Hz (but is otherwise identical). So, in effect, the MkII sports a fully revised equaliser section, though it still uses the same inductor-based circuitry as the MkI.
The previously light build quality and comparatively wobbly faceplate have thankfully been replaced with a much more solid feel and a far thicker steel front fascia. The external power supply of the Channel MkII can still service an additional Chandler rack unit and the smaller funky pot caps – which grace Chandler’s mixers – now also inhabit the MkII’s more crowded front panel. Sonically, the unit lives up to Chandler’s growing reputation – the mic pre delivers a wonderful, slightly coloured texture (especially at high input gain settings) and is ideally suited to pop and rock recording, where it can confidently claim to compete with the likes of Neve and API on an equal footing. The EQ is frankly one of the best I’ve heard, and with the incorporation of the new EQ band, the TG Channel MKII is one of the more creative and musical pieces of kit built this side of the ’60s. – Greg Walker
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