|"So often the pro audio world chases the ideals and designs of the past but overlooks the innovation, build quality, and attention to detail that made legacy pieces as opposed to disposable or trend chasing units. The Tree Audio 500 is the culmination of a design rooted in the best aspects of the last 60 years of audio engineering with modern advancements that make it usable in today’s studio environment.
From The 100% discrete design and custom wound transformers at every turn to the 40 point detent countersunk pots and massive faders, every component in the console was hand chosen with no regard for cost – the only consideration was quality. And I can say that, as a proud owner of something I intend to pass on to my children, sitting behind this modern work of engineering art is only a minor pleasure of owning it.
After selling my hulking Neve console, a lot of my favorite aspects of the 500 are ownership issues that some don’t consider when purchasing a console – It doesn’t get hot at all..after hours of mixing on it it can still be more than cool to the touch, I have had over 26 modules slotted in it and it only drew 1.4 Amps, I can turn it off when I am not using it and on when I am, I can switch out the 500 modules with any combination of mic pre, eq, de esser, or compressor I choose, and these perks ultimately make the studio work better and thus make the mixes better. I never would have thought that a hand built, borderline custom console would exceed the build quality of existing consoles but it does in spades. Each knob is solid with the right amount of resistance underhand, the monitor pot is perfect. The feel of these things mattered to me. The wood, the chrome, the etching. I expected it to sound good but I never expected it to be designed so beautifully.
Now for the sound. In short, it sounds like you would expect a console built from the finest components would: Fan-fu**ing-tastic. The headroom is through the roof and you can push each channel individually or the summing bus as hard or light as you want to draw out different and beautiful colorations. The stereo spread is enormous and, though it lacks the routing options of some other consoles, the short run straight wire approach ,in my opinion makes it sound that much bigger. The console allows me to make the mixes I want and isn’t intrusive when I don’t want it to be. I need to up my AD chain now to properly capture the rich, warm nuances of my mixes. The only question now is what to fill the 88 slots with!"
Christopher “Thes One” Portugal
Piecelock70A Studios, PUTS, Los Angeles