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SPL Vitalizer MK2-T:

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The SPL Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T is a tube program equalizer with a stereo expander and dynamics processing capabilities suitable for recording, broadcast, live sound and post production environments, using scientific psycho acoustic technology to process audio signals.

The Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T is the tube version of the successful Stereo Vitalizer MK2. The 'MK2-T' utilizes two 12 AX 7 LPS-double triode tubes. One of them is used within the Mid-Hi Tune filter and gives the mid frequencies even more accurate transparency with a soft, unobtrusive sound. The second tube is used within the Stereo Expander. The stereo image not only gains more width but also more depth, transparency and clarity because of the pleasant tube harmonics.

The treble range is reworked with Coil filtering stages which focus on achieving a smooth, silky sound pattern. High frequencies are livened up extremely noiseless without them sounding hard or aggressive.

As with all Vitalizer models you can choose between a dry, percussive bass (Tight) or a punchy, soft and very deep sound character (Soft). The bass is accentuated without any risk of emphasizing the lower mid frequencies unnaturally. An easy to use compressor complements the bass section allowing the correction of level change due to bass processing.

The Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T is especially designed to serve the needs in recording, mastering, cutting and post production work. Used on complete mixes or being inserted into the subgroups to treat specific parts of the mix, the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T will perform the same task as those esoteric and costly equalizers often used for audio sweetening but with far greater tonal flexibility and at a much lower cost.


In Recording Studios, the most popular application is to process a final mix, either while mixing or during post-production prior to cutting. Insert your Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T into the master-inserts of your console or right in between a playback and a recording unit. Although inserting the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T into the master inserts is the most popular application, we advise to insert the unit into the sub-groups, so that specific elements of the mix are being treated with the Vitalizer process.

When patching the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T into the sub-groups or master-breaks of the console, note if the master breaks are switched 'pre' or 'post' fader. They should best be switched 'pre' fader, so that a variation of the master fader does not affect the input level of the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T. The effect level and the treated sound will then remain unchanged. It is important to use full-range monitors to assess the effect of any bass processing in and out of circuit in order to appreciate just how much processing has been added; the brain soon acclimates to changes in timbre and it is easy to overdo it. If in doubt, refer frequently to known recordings played through the same monitor system.

Do not connect the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T between master-outputs and amplifier. The major disadvantage of this connection is the varying input sensitivity with each fader movement.

Processing of existing master tapes is another popular stereo application, both during post-production and when reprocessing archive material for CD release. If a single-ended noise reduction system is used to clean up the original, the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T can make a significant contribution in restoring the high end detail that invariably suffers during such treatment. In many cases, the restored master can be made to sound appreciably better than the original.

In the field of electronic music, the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T can be used to add new range and depth to samplers and synthesizers and also to further process existing effects such as delay and reverberation. Even budget instruments and processors with limited audio bandwidths can be made to sound full-bodied and detailed.

If you want to use a compressor in the master chain after the console, use your Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T after the compressor. You can then be sure that the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T will receive a level-corrected signal which helps it to operate even more precisely. If you use the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T before the compressor negative side-effects such as pumping could be more audible.

Tape duplication is often made at high speed resulting in a deterioration of the high frequency spectrum of the copies. By processing the output from the source machine, additional brightness can be added to compensate for deficiencies in the copying system. It may also be necessary to modify the bass end as many high speed systems fail to reproduce the bass end of the spectrum faithfully. In both areas, the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T is both effective and simple to set up.

The Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T is perfectly suited to the production of radio jingles, commercials, and station idents. Because of the psychoacoustic nature of the processing, the treated signal will appear louder, closer, brighter and more intelligible than whatever was played beforehand, thus creating a powerful impact.

In commercial radio, the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T can be used to process the entire on-air signal helping the radio station stand out from the competition. The integral surround processor can also be used to create a wider stereo spread which is important when most of the audience is listening on systems with a narrow speaker geometry such as is the case with in-car sound and portable stereo music systems.

In live performance or in club installations, the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T is a powerful ally in maintaining speech intelligibility under difficult conditions. It is also of great benefit in systems designed to play recorded music because the illusion of loudness can be maintained at lower absolute SPLs. This could be particularly beneficial with the introduction of new noise level legislation. On the subjective side, the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T helps produce a detailed, tight sound, even from indifferent speaker systems giving an improvement in perceived audio quality.

The Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T can be of great value when mixing under time-pressure. You can almost leave the onboard EQs flat and create the FOH sound with the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T in the master inserts.

As in other areas, the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T can be used to sharpen and enrich dialog, even when the microphone placement is less than optimal, as is often the case when filming due to the need to keep the mic out of shot. Music soundtracks benefit in the ways already described for audio-only applications and the fact that the Stereo Vitalizer MK2-T is so quick to set up can save a lot of wasted time spent tuning multi-band equalizers.

Time-compressed audio can also be treated to restore the lack of timbre so often caused by such intensive processing. This is particularly valid in the case of vocal narratives as even a relatively small amount of time-compression or expansion can dramatically compromise the sound quality.

On the post production work on Spike Lee's "Malcom X" the voice of Denzel Washington playing Malcolm X was treated with the Vitalizer for dramatic reasons:


  • Input & Output
    • Instrumentation amplifier:
      Eectronically balanced (differential), transformerless
    • Nominal input level:
      +6 dB
    • Input impedance:
      22 kOhms
    • Output impedance:
      < 600 Ohms
    • Max. input level:
      +20 dBu
    • Max. output level:
      +20 dBu
    • Minimum load ohms:
      600 Ohms
    • Relay Hard Bypass
    • Power Fail Safety
  • Measurements
    • Frequency response:
      20 Hz-100 kHz (100 kHz = -3 dB)
    • EQ frequency range:
      20 Hz-22 kHz
    • CCMR (common mode rejection):
      > -80 dBu @1 kHz
    • THD & N:
      0,01855% @ 1 kHz
    • S/N CCIR 468-3:
      - 85 dBu
    • S/N A-weighted:
      - 99 dBu
  • Power Supply
    • Torroidal transformer:
      15 VA
    • Fuse:
      315 mA (slow blow)
    • Ground-Lift switch
    • Voltage selector
  • Dimensions
    • Housing:
      Standard EIA 19"/1U, 482 x 44 x 237 mm
    • Weight:
      3,4 kg

Note: 0dBu = 0.775V
Specifications subject to change without notice

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