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HERE IT IS! The 500 Series Shootout Files!
Old 16th September 2010
James deserves a title better than 'Lord'. Not quite 'God', but he exceeded 'Lord'!

For anyone who wants all samples in one swoop, here it is in a zip file...
Old 9th October 2010
Gear Head
Roman English's Avatar

Lots of thanks for lots of usefull information! thumbsup
Old 14th October 2010
Here for the gear


Dude this was SOOOOO helpful. I'm DEFINITELY getting the BAE 312's now! YOU ARE THE MAN!thumbsupthumbsup
Old 20th October 2010
Lives for gear
junior's Avatar

Thanks again, James. What a great thread!

I gotta' say MUCH respect to the 512 and 312! Good stuff from the SH, Biz, P1 and MP1A too... Surprisingly, the only thing I preferred the 583s on was el guitar - simply massive!

Too bad the Juggernaut didn't make it to the party - I'm kinda' curious about that one.

Old 20th October 2010
Originally Posted by junior View Post
Too bad the Juggernaut didn't make it to the party - I'm kinda' curious about that one.
There are some audio samples and videos (albiet degraded by youtube) here along with end user and mag (Mix mag and Tape Op) reviews:

APA Gear - Testimonials, Video Clips, F.A.Q., User Reviews, & Audio Samples - US Toll Free @ 1.866.235.0953, Ph. 813.746.4058

A lot of Gearslutz using it too (the Twin sounds the same as the 500 version, but the Twin just has more features so reviews on threads are interchangable between the two).
Old 14th January 2011
i look at this thread more than is healthy! total GAS is what it gives me.

congratulations you lot, because of you, i now have the ambition to own every single 500 unit. let the madness begin :p
Old 21st January 2011
Lives for gear

Here's my take:

Friedman Dirty Shirly - Crunchy

Reeves Super '78 50 Watt - Distorted

Hary Joyce Custom 30 - Crunchy, Distorted

Ceriatone Plexi 100 - Fat, Distorted

Event Horizon 50 Watt - Trebly, Distorted

Event Horizon 100 Watt - Metalic, Clear Distortion

Allyn Meyers Koncorde - Flat, Blurry/Muddy, Distorted

Ugly Amps Whirly - Flat, Blury/Muddy, Little crunch, Distorted

Risson - Flat, Very Blurry/Muddy, Distorted

Marshall '68 Plexi 50 watt (small head) used with Variac - Stringy, Very Distorted
Old 28th August 2011
Gear Head

The role of the preamp is actually to boost the signal so you can mask your drum samples.
Old 8th September 2011
Gear Head

583s and Gama won it for me, with the ma5 coming in 3rd on pretty much every test. The ma5 does sound great, but there seems to be this strange fan boy thing going on with that pre on these boards.
Old 16th October 2011
Lives for gear
Arichlsss's Avatar
are the clips gone i just found some links to a studio on post 212
Old 29th October 2011
Here for the gear
rikvee's Avatar

I loved this comparison, thanks to all involved in doing it, 3½years ago!

The reposted samples are in the middle of this same thread here (on my browser, this is called post #208):

HERE IT IS! The 500 Series Shootout Files!
Old 12th February 2012
I don't know why but the MA5 on the electric guitar sounds head and shoulders above anything else(I have a bad room so I had to listen on headphones to hear the difference).
The only answer I think it could be was the performance.Or did you reamp the electric guitar for the pre's
I know the singers did different performances for the pre's, but even on an electric guitar with the mic in the same place....It's gotta be the performance right?

I haven't spent too much time comparing but man is that MA5 really that much better on guitar?
Sorry if some questions have been answered, I don't presently have the time to read all of these pages+ theres always alot of speculation and owners of some of this gear get a bit subjective.
Sorry for the rambling long post
Great Job, by the way...I think you R king of the slutz now

Do you have any cheaper non 500 series pre's you could throw in like the gap, rnp, p-solo, ect.
Old 16th February 2012

Does anyone know if the electric guitar performances are different?
Thanks this is a very valuable thread....I kid you not listen to the ma5(electric guitar) on head phones if you have a bad really is pushing the envelope of too good, unless it's a seperate performance.It probably is because no one has answered me.

Sorry I'm a noob, not trying to ask stupid questions here, and I help when I can.

Thanks for this shoot out and thanks to anyone who will answer my newbie question.
I'm new to recording but a pro-musician(guitar mainly)
Old 11th September 2012
Gear Nut

Thank you for this great shootout. The only thing missing to me is the acoustic guitar track alone (separate from the mix). Just listening to that separate track and anyone can surely make a choice and buy a pre eyes closed with all the info that gives.

Just a very annoying thing about audio samples on this forum. When you have many audio tracks on the same page everything freeze (infinite loop) and it is impossible to listen the samples since I'm unable to click. To hear the mp3 I edited the HTML to get the links and downloaded the files.
A single zip file of this great shootout on the first page would be very useful here. thanks!
Old 18th January 2013
Gear Nut

Terrific shootout! I'm in the market for new pre's, so this was much appreciated (you've probably saved a lot of people a great deal of time and money).

FWIW, Lachapell 583s and A-designs EM Red were my favorites with API's 512c very close behind.
Old 7th February 2013
Gear Maniac
PhaseLinear's Avatar
Great thread... Thanks for the effort! It is a lot!
Old 10th April 2013
Here for the gear
Preprocharvel's Avatar
Great thread! Still listening!! I wish one stood out head and shoulders above the rest. They all sound good on different sources. The 512 sounds stellar on acoustic but very sibilant w her vocal. But the mono gama seems to be smooth on everything and never too harsh, plus three transformer voices...... Choices choices.

Thanks Lord
Old 6th January 2014
Here for the gear

test good

test good
Old 14th February 2014
Here for the gear
Are the files still available?

Originally Posted by rikvee View Post
I loved this comparison, thanks to all involved in doing it, 3½years ago!

The reposted samples are in the middle of this same thread here (on my browser, this is called post #208):

HERE IT IS! The 500 Series Shootout Files!
Sounds like a very thorough test that I would love to hear, but the files are no longer available. Any idea where I can find them.

Thanks :-)
Old 17th March 2014
Lives for gear
kuasalogam's Avatar

Gee.... I just found this interesting thread.
Old 27th July 2014
Gear Maniac
philipNL's Avatar

i need these files

Old 24th November 2014
This test was pretty eye opening and mind blowing. Thank you so much for doing this shootout. I am going to move forward in ordering an MA5 and a P1.
Old 2nd December 2014
500 series nutjob
pan60's Avatar

Originally Posted by justinheronmusic View Post
This test was pretty eye opening and mind blowing. Thank you so much for doing this shootout. I am going to move forward in ordering an MA5 and a P1.
Old 3rd February 2015
Lives for gear
JblKid95's Avatar

WOW at RED. Thats what I want. My faves were the RED, MA5, 583 ( a little too focusy, but the color is GREAT!), Shadow hills has a special thing going on!!! and the 312 just seems like something you would always want to have around, nice and big without the theatrics in high mids
Old 4th February 2015
Lives for gear
JblKid95's Avatar

Originally Posted by Tha Wiizard View Post
Did yall hear what I heard from these samples? The BAE 312A sounded so smooth and even across the spectrum. This can't be. It almost sounded like there was a compressor in the chain. Wow. Unbelievalbe preamp and it sounded the most professional out of all the other preamps. Damn, somebody give me a deal on two of these right now!!! Anybody else feel this way about the BAE's? The BAE sounds like the goto preamp for vocals!!!

My second pick would be the Purple Audio Pants for vocals. Man that things sounds nice and clean!!
believe me i heard it too!!!!
Old 4th February 2015
Lives for gear
JblKid95's Avatar

Red sounds like a Tg2
Old 21st February 2015
Here for the gear

Old 2nd April 2015
Registered User

Great post!

These all sound great. JUST SHOWS work with what you got.
To say this mic pre is unusable on this or that is nonsense.
I understand that this mic pre may be 5% better or sorry different is a better term on this or that source.
But to say nope can't work with it is just plain silly. STOP BEING SILLY GEARSLUTZ. The richest slut doesn't have the best music even though he has the best gear.
Very good POST. Nope Nope not good enough AMAZING POST actually!!
Old 17th September 2015
Gear Head

Hi all

The Mint Julep that was used in the test seems to have disappeared into the ether.......

Does anyone involved with this have it lying on a shelf or tucked safely in a drawer?

Many thanks, Peter
Old 29th November 2015
Gear Addict

I'm surprised no one commented on the JMK JM130. I thought it sounded great on everything. I liked that a lot and the Avedis MA5. Lots of good preamps though!
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