Designed as an all-purpose recording tool, the Quartet combines four elements—dual-transformer mic/DI preamp, µ compressor, passive/aggressive inductor EQ and two-mode JFET/MOSFET peak limiter—into a fully integrated package to process any source.
"The Quartet II is not an update or replacement of our very popular Quartet, but a complement to it," said Greg Gualtieri, Pendulum's president and product designer. "It's a much different combination of elements, and was designed with the input of Fletcher at Mercenary Audio to have many options for getting unique character and tone."
"Lately, I have been trying to minimize the quantity of hardware I bring to sessions. In talking with Greg, we started to explore methods with which I could achieve the results I desired while minimizing the quantity of hardware required. The Quartet II has wonderful flexibility that affords me the opportunity to really tailor the texture of the audio to my perception of the musical statement," said Mercenary Audio's Fletcher.
The tube mic/DI preamp can be switched between two markedly different-sounding input transformers and loading options. The DI can handle pickups, keyboards or line-level signals. The mic preamp also features phantom power, input pad, phase reversal and a switchable low-cut filter. Independent gain and output controls permit overdrive of the tube stage to vary the harmonic content of the preamp.
The µ compressor, derived from the popular ES-8, has the compression profile of the Fairchild 660 and 670 limiters, and can be used in one of five modes: fast, faster, vintage (with program-dependent response), average (rms responding) or full manual operation. It also features a switchable sidechain highpass filter to decrease the sensitivity of the compressor to low-frequency content.
The new 3-band tube passive/aggressive EQ features simultaneous low-shelf boost and cut, mid dip and hi-peak bands. The Aggressive mode increases the saturation of the EQ network to add harmonic content. In addition, the EQ can be placed before or after the compressor with the flip of a switch.