Based on the EMI TG12428 pre-amp made famous by EMI and Abbey Road Studios, the Chandler TG2-500 offers a classic British sound.
Today’s Hardware Focus is the Chandler TG2. Based on a classic British design, the TG2 has its roots in the EMI consoles developed in the late 60s and early 70s. A less well-known fact about this unit is that Chandler owner Wade Goeke went through a series of scrutinising tests lasting for a few years before he was happy with the sound of the unit and ready to release it into the world.
The Chandler TG2 is essentially a pre-amp, boasting a larger than life sound with a round low end, a characteristic rich sounding midrange and an airy top end. TG2 owner Alex B describes the sound of the unit as being “big, open, clear and detailed; sonically closer to Neve than API, but with a smoother harmonic content”. Indeed, the TG2 is not, by any means, a clean pre-amp, although versatility springs to mind when thinking of the unit.
As with any analogue pre-amp, colouration is achieved by driving the input hot and compensating by turning down the output. What we’ve noticed is that the slight distortion it adds to the signal, that infamous transistor fizz, has a very musical feel to it, as Alex describes: “It sounds musical yet polite at the same time, with tons of vibe and a sleek, retro/vintage character!”
We like the infusion of character the TG2-500 brings to our recordings; we’ve been using it for vocals and solo instruments, especially bass guitar – it seems to work like a charm there. Alex continues: “For electronic music, the TG2 can add that fat, big sound or that grit on drums, giving them a pleasant, full-bodied saturation – very necessary in electronic dance music. On synth lines it works a treat, bringing them to life and revitalising them. If you run your synths through this thing they will become bigger and crispier and we can also try different levels of saturation to achieve different effects.”
Although the TG2-500 comes at a premium and also requires an API-style lunchbox rack and power supply, Alex is offering processing through his TG2 on The Audio Hunt from just £7 per track – check it out.