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Preamp Shootout (Warm Audio, FMR)
Old 6th February 2017
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Preamp Shootout (Warm Audio, FMR)

I did a shootout, nothing really fancy or scientific, but tried to be as accurate as possible.

These are the preamps:
Warm Audio WA12
Warm Audio WA-412
FMR Really Nice Preamp
RME Fireface 400

Two tracks on each version, both recorded through the same preamp:
Furch acoustic guitar -> Line Audio CM3 condenser -> Preamp -> A/D
and
Rickenbacker bass -> Preamp D.I. -> A/D

Now, the first question is, should I include the "Tone" version on the Warm Audio preamps (for a total of six versions) or just the four preamps?
Old 6th February 2017
  #2
Gear Addict
 
drycappuccinoguy's Avatar
I would include the tone option and drop the WA 412 or WA12 aren't they the same thing ?
Old 6th February 2017
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drycappuccinoguy View Post
I would include the tone option and drop the WA 412 or WA12 aren't they the same thing ?
Nope, that was the whole point of the test - they are similiar but different (designs, transformers, etc).

I am trying to figure out wether to keep the WA12 now that I have the WA-412...
Old 6th February 2017
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Nevermind, I'm doing just the four now.

Which one(s) of these four do you think sound best?

(I've tried to level match as best as I could, and then added a little bit of compression afterwards just to help with the levels.)
Attached Files

02.mp3 (1.94 MB, 6779 views)

03.mp3 (1.94 MB, 6584 views)

05.mp3 (1.94 MB, 6484 views)

06.mp3 (1.94 MB, 6490 views)

Old 7th February 2017
  #5
Gear Nut
 
Gérald B.'s Avatar
 

Thank you for the shootout !
i'm intersted in the WA412 and there is not a lot of samples available yet.
Don't know which is which but i like 03 the best and 06 second.
With 03 i feel i would have less to do mixing wise compared to the others, great separation between bass and guitar.
05 comes at the third place and 02 last.
Old 7th February 2017
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gérald B. View Post
Thank you for the shootout !
i'm intersted in the WA412 and there is not a lot of samples available yet.
Don't know which is which but i like 03 the best and 06 second.
With 03 i feel i would have less to do mixing wise compared to the others, great separation between bass and guitar.
05 comes at the third place and 02 last.
I'll send you the "answers" by PM.
Old 8th February 2017
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for your post! I'm not sure which I like the most. I'm also interested in the wa-412. How different does it sound compared to the wa-12? Thank you very much.
Old 8th February 2017
  #8
Gear Head
 

I have to agree 03 is my fav followed by 06. Please post or message me which one is which. Thanks !
Old 13th February 2017
  #9
Here for the gear
OvertheTop

Thank you for this.
Yeap, I'm going w #3 .

Would you please pm the identities.

Also liked 6.
Old 2nd March 2017
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Any more guesses?
Old 3rd March 2017
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Dr. Jule's Avatar
 

I like 5 best, then 2-6-3.
There is a buzz in sample 6. Also there are tonal differences on the guitar that are more likely due to mic position changes than different pres. That said, I think there is still some useful information on the preamp sounds. Especially the handling of transients, depth, smoothness and the seperation or glue between both instruments. So thanks for this shootout!

BTW I'm just familiar with the CM3 and the RNP.

I listened yesterday, and today again. With the same findings:

I guess 2 is the WA12. Just because it is as smooth sounding as other samples I heard. And a bit low-mid heavy, which is ok for me. I like it.
3 to me sounds like I imagine RME pres: a bit clean and flat. I don't like the handling of the transients in this one at all. My least favorite.
5 sounds similar to 2 but I like it even better; the feeling of depth is great, it has some color (sounds "like a record"). There is some obvious low-mid boost. Thats why I guess its the 412.
6 to me sounds similar to 3 but a bit better. It's on the clean side, but the micro dynamics are nicer and it got a very slight punch to it. It reminds me of my RNP which I think it is.

So, thats my guess. Maybe I'm all wrong, but it's fun to listen and guess! What do I win?
Old 28th March 2017
  #12
Gear Nut
I like 2 the best. 6 sounds pretty good too but there is a lot of noise/buzzing in that signal. I like 5 next and 3 last. They both sound decent but 3 is a little bright for me, I guess I like a slightly darker tone. 5 is not as bright but sounds a bit flat compared to the others. Thanks for the shootout. Can you PM me what is what? Thanks!
Old 6th April 2017
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepwalk View Post
I like 2 the best. 6 sounds pretty good too but there is a lot of noise/buzzing in that signal. I like 5 next and 3 last. They both sound decent but 3 is a little bright for me, I guess I like a slightly darker tone. 5 is not as bright but sounds a bit flat compared to the others. Thanks for the shootout. Can you PM me what is what? Thanks!
you got PM
Old 8th April 2017
  #14
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverTheTop View Post
you got PM
Thanks, very interesting....I suggest everyone try this blind test...
Old 11th April 2017
  #15
Gear Nut
 
NamelessUnknown's Avatar
Answers Please

I also liked 3 and 6 better than 2 and 5.

My thoughts:
3 was the most aggressive sounding. 6 had a nice full sound. 5 seemed a little more mid forward than 2, but both were lacking a little something compared to 3 and 6.

I would guess that 3 and 6 are the warm products, 5 the rnp and 2 the rme...?
Old 11th April 2017
  #16
Gear Nut
 
NamelessUnknown's Avatar
Thanks by the way, I've been reading this forum for years and your shootout inspired me to finally sign up.
Old 11th April 2017
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessUnknown View Post
Thanks by the way, I've been reading this forum for years and your shootout inspired me to finally sign up.
Thanks! You've got PM.
Old 11th April 2017
  #18
Gear Nut
 
NamelessUnknown's Avatar
Did you have the tone buttons engaged on the warm pres? And how was the output set on the 412?
Old 12th April 2017
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessUnknown View Post
Did you have the tone buttons engaged on the warm pres? And how was the output set on the 412?
The tone buttons were not engaged. (although I do have these recordings available as well).


Since the WA12 doesn't have an output trim, I matched the levels *without* using the output trim on the WA412. Hope that clarifies it.
Old 12th April 2017
  #20
Gear Nut
 
NamelessUnknown's Avatar
Yes, thanks. I'm about to order a pair of 412s and clean out this hodgepodge of pres I've accumulated:

Warm audio tonebeast
Universal 710
Earthworks lab101
Black lion auteur
Fmr rnp
Art pro mpa II

Going up for sale soon (if anyone's interested pm me). All in great condition and working exceptionally.

Thanks again for the shootout over the top.
Old 18th April 2017
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Same as everyone else, 03 and 06 were the most pleasant. I'm guessing it's wa12, fireface, fmr, wa412 down the line!
Old 1st May 2017
  #22
Gear Nut
Can I get the results also please? 6 was the best to my ears...
Old 2nd May 2017
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunkThanAMug View Post
Can I get the results also please? 6 was the best to my ears...
PM sent
Old 2nd May 2017
  #24
Gear Addict
 

6 and 3 were the best, but 6 has different level between guitar and bass.

PM results please
Old 6th June 2017
  #25
Can you please just post the results already
Old 6th June 2017
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6dyslexicelephnt View Post
Can you please just post the results already
I really do think it's more meaningful if people list their preferences *before* they have the results.

Post or PM me your thoughts and then I will send you the correct ones afterwards.
Old 6th June 2017
  #27
Okay I'll play along

02 sounds the most even and balanced. I would guess FMR RNP. By itself it might sound bland but I would bet it would stack well if it was your only nice preamp
03 sounds the way I would guess the WA-412 sounds - like punchy rock and roll. This one sounds like it would be great on drums
05 I would guess is the Fireface - the high end sounds kinda like what good interface preamps sound like to me
06 I'll guess is the WA12 because it sounds similar to 03

answers please
Old 7th June 2017
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6dyslexicelephnt View Post
Okay I'll play along

02 sounds the most even and balanced. I would guess FMR RNP. By itself it might sound bland but I would bet it would stack well if it was your only nice preamp
03 sounds the way I would guess the WA-412 sounds - like punchy rock and roll. This one sounds like it would be great on drums
05 I would guess is the Fireface - the high end sounds kinda like what good interface preamps sound like to me
06 I'll guess is the WA12 because it sounds similar to 03

answers please
Well played, you got PM.
Old 22nd June 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
 

My order of preference:
3-6-5-2

Pm please?
Old 7th October 2017
  #30
Here for the gear
thanks for doing that!

6-3-5-2

pm please
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