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Sytek MPX-4Aii vs Digimax LT preamps?
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John N
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11th April 2012
Old 11th April 2012
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Sytek MPX-4Aii vs Digimax LT preamps?

How much of a step up are the Sytek MPX-4Aii pres than the Digimax LT pres?

Reason I ask is I'm planning on getting a Digimax LT to expand my inputs using the ADAT I/O. I have a 4 channels of better outboard pres now and plan on getting more that I can run into the LT. I would only be using the LT's remaining inputs/pres for utility/overflow chores.
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11th April 2012
Old 11th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John N View Post
How much of a step up are the Sytek MPX-4Aii pres than the Digimax LT pres?

Reason I ask is I'm planning on getting a Digimax LT to expand my inputs using the ADAT I/O. I have a 4 channels of better outboard pres now and plan on getting more that I can run into the LT. I would only be using the LT's remaining inputs/pres for utility/overflow chores.
Well...the Syteks (65db) have around 10db of gain over and above what the Digimax LT (55db) has.

Check the Presonus's specs carefully before using it for what you wish to do. I once decided to do this too. However, I once ran my gain hungry sm7b into a Portico, then into Digmax FS and it predictibly distorted at the higher gains than the sm7b required.


BM.
John N
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11th April 2012
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Originally Posted by BlueMountain View Post
Well...the Syteks (65db) have around 10db of gain over and above what the Digimax LT (55db) has.

Check the Presonus's specs carefully before using it for what you wish to do. I once decided to do this too. However, I once ran my gain hungry sm7b into a Portico, then into Digmax FS and it predictibly distorted at the higher gains than the sm7b required.


BM.
duly noted. But, any idea if the Sytek offers more than just a gain advantage over the Digimax?
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12th April 2012
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what other preamps do you own? what kind of music and instruments are you recording?

I can't offer anything other than the Sytek is regarded as a professional standard, and the Presonus preamps are more likely regarded as "pro-sumer"

I also think the sytek is an incredible value. I liked it on drums and acoustic things. I think the Seventh Circle Audio T15 is another good similar option with a slightly different flavor.

If you supplement a pre like that with one or two channels of what's been called "colored" preamps, I think you could do a whole lot at a high standard. Well that was my rig for a while, and I made a lot of great recordings.
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12th April 2012
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I used to own the LT and have a Sytek. In addition to the gain the Syteks are also much quieter, cleaner and faster on transients. The Digimax LT pres were actually pretty good if you pull a direct analog out and bypass the ADAT conversion. I gained a new level of appreciation for them when doing that. The conversion, while usable, does add an audible haze.

I was always bumping the upper gain limits and fighting the noise floor with the LT on softer sources with dynamic or ribbon mics. Not so the Sytek. It's really in a different league IMO.
John N
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12th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
what other preamps do you own? what kind of music and instruments are you recording?

I can't offer anything other than the Sytek is regarded as a professional standard, and the Presonus preamps are more likely regarded as "pro-sumer"

I also think the sytek is an incredible value. I liked it on drums and acoustic things. I think the Seventh Circle Audio T15 is another good similar option with a slightly different flavor.

If you supplement a pre like that with one or two channels of what's been called "colored" preamps, I think you could do a whole lot at a high standard. Well that was my rig for a while, and I made a lot of great recordings.
my other pres are a DAV BG1 and 2 fully modded GAP 73s. Now I'm thinking of the FS for its updated converters and anti-jitter spec. Is the T15 a standalone or 500 series box?

thanks
jn
John N
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12th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WKG View Post
I used to own the LT and have a Sytek. In addition to the gain the Syteks are also much quieter, cleaner and faster on transients. The Digimax LT pres were actually pretty good if you pull a direct analog out and bypass the ADAT conversion. I gained a new level of appreciation for them when doing that. The conversion, while usable, does add an audible haze.

I was always bumping the upper gain limits and fighting the noise floor with the LT on softer sources with dynamic or ribbon mics. Not so the Sytek. It's really in a different league IMO.
Now I'm wondering if the FS or the Focusrite Octopre are better choices for an interface, I think they're supposed to have updated conversion and better jitter specs than the LT.
Currently, I have a DAV BG1 and 2 fully modded GAP73 pres. I will be looking for more outboard pres to 'override' the interface but still on occasion might need to use the interface pre for utility work. If I'm using a ribbon or dynamic its typically on a guitar amp or drum overhead so gain is not too much of an issue - and I have the DAV ad GAPs as well.

jn
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12th April 2012
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Hi John

The Syteks are in a different league from the Presonus pres. Put it this way, Justin Timberlake's vocal on the Black Eyed Peas' record - Where is The Love - was put through a Sytek MPX-4Aii. Can you picture them having considred the Digimax LT as a contender? I can't!

If you buy a Sytek you can opt to have Burr Browns on channels 3&4. This gives a slightly different character for these channels when compared to channels 1&2. Kinda like giving the unit a split personality.

If you opt for Burr Browns on 3&4, you can also buy the conversion kit ($80 approx), which includes another two Burr Browns and your 2 stock ICs that were originally intended for channels 3&4. This enables you to convert channels 3&4 back to stock ICs. Or, alternatively convert channels 1&2 to Burr Brown. All options open.

Here's some info on Mike Stoica who makes the Syteks.
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12th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John N View Post
my other pres are a DAV BG1 and 2 fully modded GAP 73s. Now I'm thinking of the FS for its updated converters and anti-jitter spec. Is the T15 a standalone or 500 series box?

thanks
jn
the T15 goes in SCA's proprietary rack system, which is not that expensive when bought at the same time as one of their modules. The T15 is a bit thicker sounding than the Sytek with less detail..which can be a good thing. The most cost effective way is to buy the kits and build them yourself, but, you can buy them pre-assembled as well.

If you have more money to spend the N72 is killer and they have many other flavors to offer, even a compressor and a DI
John N
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12th April 2012
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Thanks for all the feedback guys!
jn
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12th April 2012
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I just got the Sytek last month and its a great preamp for the money. Like others have mentioned it is "fast" and will capture transients very well. Id recommend it in its price range
John N
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23rd May 2012
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I'm back to revive this thread with an update.
I found a great deal on an LT and bought it after Presonus told me that the preamps on the LT were 'better' than the FS and that if I was clocking from an external source the FS's converters and jitter specs wouldn't matter as much. (I am clocking from an original BLA Sparrow which has better jitter specs than the FS according to BLA.)

At first it was very disappointing because I had low headroom and it clipped very easily when connected via ADAT and BNC. Then I checked Presonus' FAQ page and read that because of an anomaly the LT needed a BNC T connection with a terminator on one end of the T and the BNC cable on the other. Now it sounds robust and the preamps sound pretty good on initial listening. I did a quick A/B between the LT and the DAV on acoustic guitar using a Joly modded MK012 and they were pretty close - certainly a usable pre.





Bypassing the preamps is a breeze using the LT's inserts.
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