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In-depth Feature:  Kurzweil's Rumour + Mangler Effects
Albert Potts writes: .

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Wish List
What I've learned over the years is that there's no free lunch. Any gear that meets a low price point has had corners cut - that's just the way it is. The question becomes, did the manufacturer cut the right corners?

Here's where Kurzweil DIDN'T cut corners in the Rumour and Mangler: the audio quality and the quality of the effects algorithms. Good choice of areas not to cut, and I hope other manufacturers are paying attention.

Here's where they DID cut corners: both boxes use a lump in the line type power supply. Also missing is a power switch. The lump in the line I can work around, but the lack of a power switch is something I do find inconvenient. The solution to this is to power the units up from a switched power unit like a Furman or Tripplite. Still, I like to turn on only the units I need to use at a specific time, so a power switch is preferred.

Specifications
Stereo Balanced Analog I/O
Stereo Digital S/PDIF I/O
Stereo and Mono Input Channels
Stereo Effects Buses
44.1 kHz and 48 kHz Sampling Frequencies
Selectable Bit Depths of 16, 20, and 24 bits
3 band parametric EQ
192 Effects Presets
64 User Locations
Extensive MIDI Control
Up to 16 Effects Parameters
3-LED Input Signal Level Metering
Output Clip LED
Tap Tempo and BPM Sync
EQ and/or FX Bypass
Tap/Bypass Pedal Input

Cosmetically speaking, the Rumour and Mangler are not the prettiest looking units in my rack. Not that that really matters, it doesn't, but it seems like a more stylish paint job could have been arrived at somehow. Do the Queer Eye guys do gear makeovers? Finally, the manual is a bit bare bones. It's clearly written and explains the hardware well, but needs to include info on the effects algorithms. I think that's essential in units this complex.

But in reality, these are minor complaints with two effects units that deliver the goods in all the ways that are important. In my opinion, Kurzweil did cut the correct corners to keep costs down.

Summary
I frequently find myself reaching for the Rumour and Mangler first now when mixing. The combination of excellent sounds, presets ready to go, and ease of use makes them a great asset to my studio. The great sounding AD/DA converters are a real plus, and the trouble free operation I experienced in locking these units digitally to my DAW made me very happy.

Normally, I hate to read the last paragraph of a review where the writer says something to the effect of "I liked them so much I bought them". Just seems so cheesy and marketing promo-ish, and I dislike that. That said, I bought the review units Kurzweil sent me. I feel so tawdry admitting that, but I just couldn't send them back! Too useful, too easy to use, sound too good, priced too low. A Gear Aquisition Syndrome addict like myself didn't stand a chance with the Rumour and Mangler.

Suggested Retail Price - each unit: $649.00
Seen for $499

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Mangler @ Zzounds.com
  • Rumour/Mangler Algorithm Guide (PDF)
  • Rumour @ Zzounds.com
  • Rumour/Mangler param lists(PDF)

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