Joemeek twinQ2

Dual Channel Strip with Microphone Preamplifier, Optical Compressor, 3-band EQ, Analog and Digital I/O, and DI Input for Instruments
Joemeek twinQ2 image 1
Joemeek twinQ2 image 1
Sweetwater Savings: $300.00 MSRP: $1,499.99
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Special-ordered from Joemeek and usually arrives to you within 1-2 weeks. Please note: special orders cannot be canceled or returned.
Note: While most of the items we sell ship for free, this item does not qualify for free shipping due to special circumstances.

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Joemeek twinQ2
Special Order

Huge Value in This Flexible Recording Front-end!

The Joemeek twinQ2 dual channel strip packs serious punch for pro studios and home recordists alike. It's based on the same design as Joemeek's acclaimed twinQ, sporting a pair of mic pres, optical compressors, and 3-band EQs, with your choice of mic or line-level inputs for maximum studio versatility. And just like the original unit, the twinQ2 lets you switch Cinemag transformers in and out of the signal path with the "Iron" button, for either "colored" or transparent audio. The twinQ2 has moved the transformer down the chain to post-line input, so now you can run line-level signals through the transformer to spice them up! Factor in sweet VU metering, an intuitive front-panel interface, and a DI input for recording guitar and bass direct, and you've got a serious studio workhorse with the Joemeek twinQ2 dual channel strip.

Joemeek twinQ2 Dual Channel Strip at a Glance:
  • Switchable transformer coupling for two distinct sonic flavors
  • The famous Joemeek optical compressor
  • A true studio workhorse
Switchable transformer coupling for two distinct sonic flavors

One of the most useful features of Joemeek's twinQ2 dual channel strip is the switchable transformer coupling, which lets you switch a Cinemag transformer in or out of the signal path to choose between two different sonic signatures.
Switched off, you get the vibrantly transparent sound of Joemeek's renowned microphone preamps, letting you hear the uncolored sound of your microphone and source sound. Switch the "Iron" mode on, and an iron transformer is switched into the signal path for a decidedly colorful character. Which setting to use depends on your sources and requirements of your mix, and you'll love having the ability to choose what's right for each recording you make. And now that Joemeek has moved the transformer in the twinQ2 to post-line input, you can run recorded tracks through the transformers to add a new vibe to them!

The famous Joemeek optical compressor

Joemeek's optical compressor has earned a solid reputation in broadcast, production, and mixing circles, thanks to its uncanny ability to produce great results quickly on virtually any type of program material. And thanks to the twinQ2's addition of a highpass filter before the compressor circuit, you can cut out low rumble that you may not want the compressor to respond t, for a cleaner overall sound. You can link both channels for stereo compression tasks - and thanks to the available line inputs, you'll find that the twinQ2 is a formidable unit just for compression!

A true studio workhorse

The sonic versatility of the Joemeek twinQ2 dual channel strip makes it ideal for recording everything from detailed acoustic instruments and vocals all the way to raging guitar amps and direct-recorded bass guitar. It's also fully suited to work as a standalone compressor or EQ, or both! And whether you prefer to track "flat" or with compression and EQ fully engaged, the twinQ2 has all the functionality - and impeccable sound quality - you need to get the sound right on the first take.

Joemeek twinQ2 Dual Channel Strip Features:
  • Dual channel strip with microphone preamplifier, optical compressor, and 3-band EQ, with analog and digital outputs
  • Cinemag transformer can be switched in/out of signal path for two completely different sonic characteristics
  • Highpass filter before compressor circuit prevents it from reacting to extreme low frequencies and making your mix muddy
  • Accepts mic, instrument, and line-level sources - a true studio workhorse!
  • Third EQ band is switchable between 6kHz/12kHz to focus on the needs of different sound sources - add "air" to vocals, or snap and attack to drums
Take control of the world-famous Joemeek optical compressor and a whole lot more, with the twinQ2 dual channel strip!

What Does "Special Order" Mean?

A special-order product is one that we don't normally keep in stock. We order it from the manufacturer as soon as you order from us. We have great relationships with all the manufacturers we carry, so we can get your special order to you as fast as or faster than anyone else. Remember that special orders are non-returnable and non-cancelable, so make sure the item is right for you. A Sweetwater Sales Engineer can help you decide — call (800) 222-4700 for assistance!

Additional Media

Studio Preamp Buying Guide
twinQ2 Cue Sheet
twinQ2 User Manual
Hands On Review: Joemeek Q2 Series

Tech Specs

Preamp Type Solid State
Number of Channels 2
Frequency Response 10Hz-70kHz
Phantom Power Yes
EQ Yes
Compressor Yes
Analog Inputs 2 x XLR, 2 x TRS
Analog Outputs 2 x XLR, 2 x TRS
Digital Outputs 1 x S/PDIF, 1 x AES/EBU, 1 x ADAT Optical
Other I/O 2 x TRS Insert
Rack Spaces 2U
Height 3.5"
Depth 8.7"
Width 19"
Weight 6.6 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number twinQ2

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
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Great Front End

This processor is as fine a front end as one could ask for. I'm an analog guy. This thing delivers a very professional sounding analog package with it's Pre/Comp./EQ in stereo!. I used it on several guitar and bass tracks already. The bass track is freaking RIGHT THERE! FAT & CLEAN! The Comp. can be made extremely aggressive if you want some inverse output gain control of a timed envelope of a balance Bass against Percussion perhaps) It can EASILY handle this type task. IN STEREO! You can really squash the signal and it's still very musical. The EQ really shines! Just a very sweet, musical sounding EQ. Bottom line is that you can get THAT sound, and get there pretty quickly, with zero patching. The preamp is strong and clean. The xfmr in line with or, optionally in line with either line OR Mic input. (switchable) (It's a very nice flavor.) .It has really nice GR/VU meters, and other gain indicating LEDS as appropriate. Oh, and it's built like a brick you know what! It's really a very pro piece. Only thing I may have opted for, I would have included a high voltage vacuum tube Pre option. That would REALLY smooth this unit even more, with many more options to putting a packaged sound together. I would have also added individual I/O for each unit so you could use the Pre Or, the EQ, or, The Comp, individually, in STEREO! It does have an obligatory Digital out, but I didn't buy this unit to chop up a signal, I bought it to create a packaged, professional sound suited to the dynamics of a recording chain. If I have to record digitally, this unit REALLY helps you put your sound from your head to your ears, using the Joe Meek. It has already become my favorite tool in my studio. That says something to me! I would not hesitate to try out this unit! I've been playing instruments, and recording them since the 60's. I'm hoping I still know a 'sound' when I hear it! Twin Q 2 delivers! Did I mention it does everything in STEREO/DUAL MONO?
Music background: Recording Engr. Professional Musician, Mechanical Engineer.

Twin Q2 Rocks!

Absolutely AMAZING unit. A REAL nice Pre, a very broad and musical compressor, and a semi parametric EQ to establish post compression tone in spades and an over all output control.....IN STEREO! The tones and controlled gain package I am now able to create on demand, far exceeds my prior arrangement with separate units. So it's faster, more convenient, sounds like magic, is all analog (cept for a digital output in parallel) And is the most dramatic change my studio has undertaken in it's entirety. It is truly a great sounding unit, and built to last! The Optical compressor is THE only way to go for natural sounding compression. It also gives your sound dynamic character!
Music background: Guitar, Producer/Engineer, Recordist

Noisy Trashy Vintage Tone for Less

The Bad: This unit is noisy, to the point of annoyance. I own three, and they are all that way. The digital i/o is tempermental and the conversion quality is most likely no better or worse than the conversion on your audio interface. The TwinQ does NOT sound like the old Joemeek units, and is made much more cheaply, and with a different transformer than the originals. The mic pres are only kind-of O.K., and don't offer the amounts of clean gain advertised. They get distorted quickly, and not in a pleasing NEVE 1073 type of way. I could go on about the other cons to this unit, but.... The Pros: The TwinQ2 is great fun! With the transformer engaged, you CAN hear a difference. A good one. The optical compressor sounds different than other optos out there. It's aggressive, trashy, and fast enough to use on drums. Used to the extreme, it's kind of like an Opto version of an 1176 with all buttons in. It makes electric basses and synths sound huge. It squashes with impunity. Strapped to the main outs of an MPC, it gives drum loops a dirty, filthy, 90s boom bap hip hop vibe. On rock drums and bass, it's instant indie hipster dirt. The eq is useable and as another reviewer posted, is great for complimenting the compressor. The TwinQ is more of an effect device than an all-purpose audio tool for me. It has a sonic signature that isn't great on most sources... But it really shines when the material is right. I would never use it as my one and only channel strip, but this is also coming from someone who owns three. For a studio front end, it's worth saving for something with more gain, versatility, and better specs. I'd recommend the Daking stuff over this for someone on a budget.
Music background: Engineer, Musician, Mastering

Nice Front End, Not Without Shortcomings

I would like to be objective as possible. While I'm giving it a 3.5 Star rating, it's actually pretty good, but no where near perfect. Pros: The TwinQ2 is a very good dual channel strip. The Preamps have enough input/output gain for anyone. The optical compressors squash very nicely without being too noticeable. And the Meekquilizers keep everything very musical, allowing you to customize your inputs to the best sonic possibilities. The "Iron" transformer button adds a nice color to your inputs...a kind of old school feel to it. Very nice. Both channels of the compressor can be linked, but you can still adjust post outputs individually. This allows you to avoid phasing problems and yet still control levels for more flexibility. The instrument level inputs on the front panel are very handy, and helpful that you don't have to plug into the rear of the unit. The VU meters are responsive and useful And plus the unit just looks friggin' cool. Overall, a quality channel strip. Cons: Missing A de-esser, which would have been nice, and a noise gate would have been very handy too. But whining about what isn't there is a bit silly. I knew what I was getting. I do think the unit is not as quiet as it should be, though that may be a power issue on my end and not the fault of the unit. Hard to say. But I definitely detected a bit more noise than I would like. But with enough gain in the mix, this isn't necessarily a show stopper. The biggest con I found was that I'm already picking up noise in the movement of the potentiometers. Brand new units shouldn't have this. It's not horrible, but definitely present and as with all pots, it will only get worse. Not what I would expect from a unit priced over a grand. Overall, I think this Joemeek is a useful and nice sounding unit. I can only hope the pot noise doesn't make me regret this purchase.
Music background: Songwriter, Recording Hobbyist

Sweetwater Advice

Mitch Gallagher

I've always tried to live my audio life by Joe Meek's ca 1964 motto: "If it sounds right, it is right." Words to live by, indeed, in this time when we have so many options and different ways of creating music and doing things. The Joemeek company lives up to the lofty aspirations of their namesake with their gear, too. Case in point, the new, completely re-engineered Q2 Series channel strips. There are three units in the series, the SixQ2, the TwinQ2, and the OneQ2. I received all three units for review. The SixQ2 is a single-channel unit, with a mic preamp, optical compressor, three-band EQ, and analog and digital outputs. The TwinQ2 doubles this to two channels. The OneQ2 takes it over the top with a four-band EQ and the addition of an enhancer and a de-esser. All three units can accept mic, line, or instrument inputs, and include 48-volt phantom power, polarity reverse, and highpass filtering. All three also allow a Cinemag transformer to be switched into the circuit for additional tonal flavor. Digital connectivity includes AES/EBU out on XLR, S/PDIF on RCA and optical, word clock I/O on BNC, and sample rate selection. On the single-channel models, a second, external analog input may be routed through the onboard analog-to-digital converters -- a handy feature. There is also a post-preamp/pre-compressor analog insert point, and two single-channel units can be linked for stereo compressor operation. We're talking a full array of features here! Joemeek gear has always been known for having "character," and these units are no exception. They have a big, full, rich, aggressive tonality that works well. If you want the full-on Joemeek experience, the OneQ2 is the unit to get. I loved it for vocals because with the EQ and enhancer, you can get exactly the high-end brilliance and articulation you want while still controlling sibilants with the de-esser. But all three Q2s handle their job admirably well. In fact, I didn't find a situation or an application where I couldn't get the sound I wanted from any of the three Q2s -- they're that powerful. Having the digital outputs is handy, and the comprehensive feature list allows all three to cover a ton of ground in the studio. If you're looking for maximum channel-strip power in affordable packages with a nice dollop of flavor and character added on top, check out the all-new Joemeek Q2 series.
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See also: Joemeek, Joemeek Channel Strips, Joemeek Preamps