Originally Posted by noiselab
It's a pretty good clear preamp, with lots of gain.
Found one (new in box) and I picked it up a couple of days ago, did a shootout on most of my mics on an HD28 acoustic guitar yesterday, found that a combination of Fishman pickup + Bruel & Kjaer 4011 + Bang Olufsen BM5 ribbon mic was nice on an acoustic guitar. Recorded an unplugged version of "Summertime Blues" just for fun.
It sure sounds different from anything else I have ever done.
(Got a Great River MP2NV, a Behringer T1953 (my first... outch... I sence the stigma), and some more, like Summit Audio, Prosonus, use a bit of old Tandberg recorders as well).
Surprisingly, for the first time ever I didn´t need any effects, eq or compression to get a good sound when I was mixing. Levels and panning and the whole spectra was there. Had a DI100 box to get bass throught the HA8 and also added some extra guitar with Fishman pickups through the DI (also through HA8) and SM58 for the vocals.
It does have a bit of a jazzy sound, which I both liked and didn´t like.
Didn´t like the Fishman pickups sound so much standalone (great & clear but jazzy), but it was better in the mix. In general, strumming chords was fine, but solo sounded jazzy (I don´t like "jazzy" sounds)
The guy who sold it has been working with pro symphonic works and location recording for a very long time. Seemed like a true pro.
He had 2 more of these HA8 and had been using them A LOT for some 10 years. We chatted for a while (after I bought it!) and he complemented the Yamaha unit for the build quality, he says they just don´t break down.
It seems great for acoustic stuff, it does sound high quality and I do can use some more channels.
I was impressed with the sound and the gain, but I guess I miss a bit of "bite". But you can still bring attitude into it, but it doesn´t add attitude on it´s own if you know what I mean.
Paid the same price for this (new in box) HA8 as I did for a one channel preowned Summit Audio tube 2BA-221 preamp some weeks ago which has yet been a bit of a disapointment (hum and noise).
I guess I got the HA8 at a good price... (3500SEK ~450-500USD)
Still probably the most bang for the buck for a preamp I have yet tested. Just add color somewhere else. :-)