API VS. Great River pre
Old 24th July 2007
  #1
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Thread Starter
API VS. Great River pre

I am in the market for a new pre. I pretty much use my solo 610 on nothing because it just sounds so heavy and slow, it doesn't take well to many sources. I use my BLA002 pres over them for pretty much everything. I know this question has probably been asked a million times but the more time passes, the more people have experience with music gear in general and more informed opinions, so I thought I would ask anew....

Between these 2 pre's, what is more versitle and just going to be better sounding for more creative sounding soungwriting pop/rock...In the vein of supergrass, the doves, ect...this type of pop rock...I'm looking for something to do the job that my bla002 pres have done which has been record most everything through them, which I have been fairly satisfied with the sound of those...My 002 doesn't justify it's cost anymore since I dont use it for most anything...I'm looking to trade it in and getting 1 of the 2 above pres...I'm looking for gritty pop tone with isn't so damn thick that the mix sounds like sludge (I usually layer a lot)...thanks for taking the time...
Old 24th July 2007
  #2
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Meriphew's Avatar
 

I would probably prefer API, but you really can't go wrong with either API or GR IMO.
Old 24th July 2007
  #3
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ditto...both are great, but gimme an api for anything rock.

m
Old 24th July 2007
  #4
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Chris's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moracspace View Post
The GR just came out for the 500 series I believe its going for 850.00
Pretty much everywhere has it for $750.

Get one of each!
Old 24th July 2007
  #5
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Thread Starter
I didn't know API had any pre's for 600$. I saw only there 4 channel pre for like 2,000$...If your talking about the 500 series, don't I have to buy the lunch box first?
Old 24th July 2007
  #6
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oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoneroses6300 View Post
I didn't know API had any pre's for 600$. I saw only there 4 channel pre for like 2,000$...If your talking about the 500 series, don't I have to buy the lunch box first?
They don't , and he's forgetting the lunchbox...

TH
Old 24th July 2007
  #7
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Thread Starter
Are the lunchbox pre's the same quality as a full rackmount api or GR pre?
Old 24th July 2007
  #8
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

The 3124 4Channell single space API unit smokes!
API pre's are a great foundation if your doing rock. Headroom for daaaaaaaaays.thumbsup
Old 24th July 2007
  #9
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NathanEldred's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoneroses6300 View Post
Are the lunchbox pre's the same quality as a full rackmount api or GR pre?
Yes. Great River has theirs step up to 24v, and the API is 15v regardless of 500 series or in the rack (I'm pretty sure on that). But I'm not in the agreement with the group thought that somehow, in general, that 500 series are lesser in quality than the rackmount higher voltage counterpart. There is so much headroom in a good design of either nature that it doesn't matter for 99.9% of applications.
Old 24th July 2007
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
Yes. Great River has theirs step up to 24v, and the API is 15v regardless of 500 series or in the rack (I'm pretty sure on that). But I'm not in the agreement with the group thought that somehow, in general, that 500 series are lesser in quality than the rackmount higher voltage counterpart. There is so much headroom in a good design of either nature that it doesn't matter for 99.9% of applications.
Who said the 500 series was lesser in quality?
Old 24th July 2007
  #11
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrox247 View Post
Who said the 500 series was lesser in quality?

I may have passed by a thread awhile ago with a discussion on it...
Old 24th July 2007
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrox247 View Post
Who said the 500 series was lesser in quality?
I've seen it specifically asked on forums, and heavily implied multiple times in regards to various brands (question above case in point). I also get asked this specific question multiple times per week by customers...."Am I losing quality by getting less voltage?", or "Are there corners cut because there are less parts or possibly smaller transformers?". Unfortunately someone somewhere is making the implication that 24-28v is inherently and significantly 'better' than 15-16v. Maybe on 'paper', but again just based on my ears I hear no lessening of quality between the general quality of 500 series versus outboard units, they are all dependent on the general ability of the designer IME, and all the major brands are capable of A+ tracks.
Old 24th July 2007
  #13
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1/2 Normal's Avatar
 

Both

both

Last edited by 1/2 Normal; 24th July 2007 at 10:50 PM.. Reason: walked away and didnt see all the repies to this one so just get both and be done with it ;P
Old 24th July 2007
  #14
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

the great river has a nice top a bit airy, a very nice bottom and all good in the middle.
from their i would say look at the A-Designs P-1 and or the EM- BLUE.
something about the P-1 that is just smooth and in your face, i do love this pre!
the buzzaudio elixir has a nice top and a nice tight bottom, good in the middle.
my all around favorite is hands down the A-Designs P-1 but i do love the bottom end the Great River delivers.
the API are certainly a bit more affordable and nothing at all wrong in going that way, we are talking high end pre's here and you could get a rack full of any of the ones mentioned and not go wrong.
Old 25th July 2007
  #15
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Isn't the GR a great bid cleaner than the API ?
Old 25th July 2007
  #16
Gear nut
 

Its just a headroom issue. Didn't see the other post you are refering to but here's why it may be of interest to someone. This is a quote taken from a Groove Tubes manual: (Flamesuit on ) Maybe some designers on the list would like to comment...

"It seems that some of the new 24-bit digital systems
demand rather high input voltage in order to reach full-scale
modulation. Evidently, in order to make the signal-to-noise
improvements inherent in the new 24 bit systems meaningful,
some converter hardware suppliers have raised the A-to-D input
drive voltage requirements to levels beyond the capabilities of
what most popular op-amp based outboard gear can provide. This
was foreseeable, since, at present and practically speaking, there
will always be about ½ to 2 micro-volts of noise present across a 20 kHz audio bandwidth at the input of the new 24-bit highbandwidth converters, unless exotic and expensive (and impractical) cryogenic methods are used to reduce it. The noise
origins are a combination of the real-world effective signal source
impedance being presented to the converter’s analog inputs, and
nearby spurious digital or analog noise sources, which may be
leaking into the converter inputs due to circuit layout issues, or
proximity to other noisy system elements, and so forth.
When 1 microvolt of input noise is multiplied by about 16.8
million, which is the approximate number of steps in a 24-bit
system, the resulting number is 16.8 volts. This implies a
minimum drive voltage requirement of 16.8 volts RMS (sine wave)
or about 48 volts peak-to peak for meaningful 24-bit full-scale
modulation under ideal circumstances, not counting dither. Many
real world converter systems will generally need more drive than
16 Vrms. Surprise! You’re out of drive headroom when hitting your
24-bit converter with a signal from outboard gear using
monolithic op-amps running off of +/- 15 to 18 volt supply rails!"
Old 25th July 2007
  #17
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NathanEldred's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassfuzz View Post
Its just a headroom issue.

"It seems that some of the new 24-bit digital systems
demand rather high input voltage in order to reach full-scale
modulation. ...............[etc, etc]

I'm not a designer, but why would

1) Anyone need to approach 24 bit full scale, just for the sake of doing just that?

2) This article doesn't take into account A/D calibration, or are they assuming all converters are to calibrated @ -20dbFS?

I like that they use the words 'real-world' multiple times...it seems to me that this is more paper theoretics and that people are in reality making really real world recordings with 500 series preamps into digital converters. But again I'm not an EE, so I can only rely on my own experience.
Old 25th July 2007
  #18
Gear addict
 

Hey Roses,
We've chatted a bit before. I too am a huge Supergrass guy.
I have 2 BAE312's in a rack which I love, but knowing that Supergrass sound is what yer looking for I;d wager on the GR. Those SG records have a lot of air.
Old 25th July 2007
  #19
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There's 30v across the rails of a lunch box. The GR 500 takes that +/- 15v and bumps it to +24v. In any case, there's more to headroom than just the supply voltage. There's no reason why either shouldn't drive converters and certainly no reason to get hung up on the numbers.

To the OP, that's a tough call. Can't go wrong with either. The 3124 is a great piece but if you go the lunch box route, I'd suggest a Purple Biz/GR or an A Designs/GR combo. Or, all of the above. I guess it depends on whether you want to sound more rock (API) or more polished (GR).
Old 25th July 2007
  #20
Dan
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Dan's Avatar
 

I can't believe anybody would suggest that a 512 doesn't have headroom. Those things are freakin hot! OK, it doesn't do +28, but those numbers (above post) don't jive with my experience. If anything, I've seen most wanting output pads for the api preamps.
Old 25th July 2007
  #21
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I just bought my 3124+ today and I am completely EXCITED to get it in since I'm jumping from a Focusrite Octopre to an API 3124+
Old 25th July 2007
  #22
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewrevolution View Post
I just bought my 3124+ today and I am completely EXCITED to get it in since I'm jumping from a Focusrite Octopre to an API 3124+
Congrats!
Old 25th July 2007
  #23
Gear addict
 
emfrank72's Avatar
 

Get a lunch box and just fill it up as you can afford to. All the preamps I have tried sound great. I filled mine up with 2 APIs, 2 P1s, and 1 GR. The GR is my favorite right now but that is probably because it is the newest of the bunch. I got my lunch box in January and figured it would take me a year to fill it up. Got it filled before July. Now I want another one but may hold off till I can afford to buy 4 pres and get a free lunch box type deal that Vintage King advertises from time to time. Maybe it is time for an EQ or two.
Old 25th July 2007
  #24
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BLueROom's Avatar
 

I have a lunchbox and I started with 2 API 512Cs ...then I went and got some A-Designs ...a blue and a P-1. The convenience of having the lunchbox and the ability to plug in a kickass channel for relatively cheap is worth the price of admission IMHO.
Old 25th July 2007
  #25
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Wes Kuhnley's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bassfuzz View Post
Its just a headroom issue. Didn't see the other post you are refering to but here's why it may be of interest to someone. This is a quote taken from a Groove Tubes manual: (Flamesuit on ) Maybe some designers on the list would like to comment...

"It seems that some of the new 24-bit digital systems
demand rather high input voltage in order to reach full-scale
modulation. Evidently, in order to make the signal-to-noise
improvements inherent in the new 24 bit systems meaningful,
some converter hardware suppliers have raised the A-to-D input
drive voltage requirements to levels beyond the capabilities of
what most popular op-amp based outboard gear can provide. This
was foreseeable, since, at present and practically speaking, there
will always be about ½ to 2 micro-volts of noise present across a 20 kHz audio bandwidth at the input of the new 24-bit highbandwidth converters, unless exotic and expensive (and impractical) cryogenic methods are used to reduce it. The noise
origins are a combination of the real-world effective signal source
impedance being presented to the converter’s analog inputs, and
nearby spurious digital or analog noise sources, which may be
leaking into the converter inputs due to circuit layout issues, or
proximity to other noisy system elements, and so forth.
When 1 microvolt of input noise is multiplied by about 16.8
million, which is the approximate number of steps in a 24-bit
system, the resulting number is 16.8 volts. This implies a
minimum drive voltage requirement of 16.8 volts RMS (sine wave)
or about 48 volts peak-to peak for meaningful 24-bit full-scale
modulation under ideal circumstances, not counting dither. Many
real world converter systems will generally need more drive than
16 Vrms. Surprise! You’re out of drive headroom when hitting your
24-bit converter with a signal from outboard gear using
monolithic op-amps running off of +/- 15 to 18 volt supply rails!"
I guess if I didn't know how to multiply I'd be in real trouble...
Old 25th July 2007
  #26
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heyman's Avatar
"I can't believe anybody would suggest that a 512 doesn't have headroom. Those things are freakin hot! OK, it doesn't do +28, but those numbers (above post) don't jive with my experience. If anything, I've seen most wanting output pads for the api preamps."


+1 - Agreed..... I always have to pad my API outputs
Old 25th July 2007
  #27
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Wes Kuhnley's Avatar
 

The situation quoted above implys a *perfect* 24 bit converter. The numbers quoted above are inaccurate in a real world type situation. The NV series pres will drive roughly 8Vrms, or about 34V ptp. The input of a A/D converter will only take about 5Vrms before clipping, due to the limitations of the power supply rails, and various other factors. I would tend to think that any of the above mentioned pres would be more than enough to drive any given converter well into clipping. Has anyone ever had any trouble getting enough gain from a properly-operating solid-state pre? I doubt it.
Old 26th July 2007
  #28
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Well I have got to say right off the top... and no disrespect to anyone on this thread... come on guys.



API vs. Great River? Humm let me see.... BMW or Mercedes-Benz? Anyone who tells you one is a better car maker than the other is basing this on their own bias. Both are great cars and both get you to the grocery store for beer and chips.

Seriously it's really up to personal taste at this point isn't it?

Ok so that said, for MY personal taste I have a MP2-NV and a rack full of SCA A12's which are VERY API sounding.

The API sound is great, love it but hands down, for my ears and sense of taste coupled with my room and gear on the productions that I make the GR just crushes the API (or any of my other preamps) for versatility. The GR might not be the 1st choice on everything but it is never 3nd and hardly ever looses 1st place by much.

But as I said, they are both great manufactures and they will both bring home the bacon.
Old 26th July 2007
  #29
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new View Post
But as I said, they are both great manufactures and they will both bring home the bacon.
All right, but which one will fry it better ?...
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