The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Mic Preamp Comparison -Neve 1073,Amek 9098,Joe Meek VC2,Control 24, Digi Pre,TL Audio Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 15th October 2008
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Mic Preamp Comparison -Neve 1073,Amek 9098,Joe Meek VC2,Control 24, Digi Pre,TL Audio

For everyone that's been asking for a long time, for some Mic Preamp comparison samples, here it goes.
I recorded some Acoustic Guitar rhythm with 8 different preamps.
These are the models:

AMS Neve 1073 DPD (New Classic)

Amek/Rupert Neve 9098

Amek Einstein

Joe Meek VC2


TL Audio C-1 (original version)

Digidesign/Focusrite Control 24

Digidesign "Digi Pre"

Drawmer 1960


Notes:
- The Mic used was a Blue Kiwi (pointed to 12th fret)

-The AD converter was a Digidesign 192

- Mic Positioning, mic cable, guitar where the same used in all the sound clips. I tried to be consistent as much as I could.

-From the models that have built in compressor ,EQ and Hi pass, etc, everything was bypassed, only the "Gain" knob was used.

-Only used these preamps because they were what I had in the studio. Please dont ask me for sound clips of other Mic Preamps.


You can download the files here:

MEGAUPLOAD - The leading online storage and file delivery service

you will find a RAR of the Protools 7 session. For those who dont use protools, the audio files are inside the "Audio" folder.
Files Format: WAV 24 Bit - 44.1khz

Hope you like it,
Be waiting for you comments...
Old 15th October 2008
  #2
Gear Addict
 
rolo95's Avatar
 

Nice....
will hear now...
brb...
Rolo.
Old 15th October 2008
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Thank you
Old 15th October 2008
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

If anyone know a place, where I can upload the files better than megaupload please tell me.

the Rar file is 23 MgB
Old 15th October 2008
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iLCacciLLo View Post
If anyone know a place, where I can upload the files better than megaupload please tell me.

the Rar file is 23 MgB
Download music, movies, games, software! The Pirate Bay - The world's largest BitTorrent tracker
Old 17th October 2008
  #6
Lives for gear
 
WunderBro Flo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLCacciLLo View Post
I tried to be consistent as much as I could.

Hi, thanks for the test, but above line shows why I personally would not even try to get "preamp-sound" information out of your comparison. There are many of these acostic guitar "preamp-tests" out there, for example on The Listening Sessions

The problem is, recording acoustic guitar in multiple takes/preamps shows much larger differences than for example recording a Drumkit with one overhead mic (where the position&distance&angle of the mic are 100% the same for every take). Simply because few people are aware that when you just move the guitar or the mic half an inch, or change the angle or height of the guitar half an inch, or strike the strings half an inch above or below, the sound difference is going to be much bigger than the differences that the pres make. If you sit down two times,or even just pause a minute and talk to somebody, you will never have the exact same mic position/distance/angle/performance for the next take. The same goes for preamp tests on vocals.
However, those not aware of it mistake the resulting differences as preamp-differences.
To avoid those misinterpretations, it is necessary to either set up a matched pair of sdc´s as close as possible to each other, preferably not too close to the instrument, and find a spot where they sound exactly the same (if possible) when running through 2 channels of the same preamp. Then swap one channel gainst a different preamp and record this. The differences between such recordings will be about 95% smaller than what you get with the inaccurate method.
Alternatively you can plug the mic into a high-quality active splitter with isolated mic-outputs and connect it to two different micpres. This way the preamps get the exact same circuit/load with the exact same take of the same mic.

Best,
Pat
Old 17th October 2008
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildCowboys View Post
Hi, thanks for the test, but above line shows why I personally would not even try to get "preamp-sound" information out of your comparison. There are many of these acostic guitar "preamp-tests" out there, for example on The Listening Sessions

The problem is, recording acoustic guitar in multiple takes/preamps shows much larger differences than for example recording a Drumkit with one overhead mic (where the position&distance&angle of the mic are 100% the same for every take). Simply because few people are aware that when you just move the guitar or the mic half an inch, or change the angle or height of the guitar half an inch, or strike the strings half an inch above or below, the sound difference is going to be much bigger than the differences that the pres make. If you sit down two times,or even just pause a minute and talk to somebody, you will never have the exact same mic position/distance/angle/performance for the next take. The same goes for preamp tests on vocals.
However, those not aware of it mistake the resulting differences as preamp-differences.
To avoid those misinterpretations, it is necessary to either set up a matched pair of sdc´s as close as possible to each other, preferably not too close to the instrument, and find a spot where they sound exactly the same (if possible) when running through 2 channels of the same preamp. Then swap one channel gainst a different preamp and record this. The differences between such recordings will be about 95% smaller than what you get with the inaccurate method.
Alternatively you can plug the mic into a high-quality active splitter with isolated mic-outputs and connect it to two different micpres. This way the preamps get the exact same circuit/load with the exact same take of the same mic.

Best,
Pat
An easy solution for this is simply fixing the guitar into a stand.
the major problem will still exist:

what ruines shootouts for me (especially for vocals) is when there are different performances on each mic/pre. (most of the time of course).
there will still be obvious differences mostly but often the performances are so different that its not really possible or fair to compare.
Old 18th October 2008
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by iLCacciLLo View Post
Mic Preamp comparison samples, ... Acoustic Guitar rhythm with 8 different preamps.
Amek Einstein
Amek/Rupert Neve 9098
AMS Neve 1073 DPD (New Classic)
Digidesign "Digi Pre"
Digidesign/Focusrite Control 24
Drawmer 1960
Joe Meek VC2
TL Audio C-1 (original version)
- The Mic used was a Blue Kiwi (pointed to 12th fret)
-The AD converter was a Digidesign 192
- Mic Positioning, mic cable, guitar where the same used in all the sound clips. I tried to be consistent as much as I could.
-From the models that have built in compressor ,EQ and Hi pass, etc, everything was bypassed, only the "Gain" knob was used.
-Only used these preamps because they were what I had in the studio. Please dont ask me for sound clips of other Mic Preamps.

files here:
MEGAUPLOAD - The leading online storage and file delivery service
Be waiting for you comments...
Nice Test, i just cant get enought of Mic & Pre, Guitar Tests
for example, studio auditions.com jam room sessions

love the sound of
Digidesign/Focusrite Control 24
BUT the 1073DPD its verry similar, seems to me that is more "transformer" dynamic
both my favorites.
the control24 sounds more like most "Tube" dynamics ive heard so far.

What brand & model of cables were used?

the Joe meek here sounds similar to Control24, but more "White Noise", and less defined, a bit more muddy. maybe a Furman PF-Pro R + AR-20 or Monster MPP7000ss could improove that "white noise muddy" sound.

Drawmer and the 1073DPD sounds similar here,
but the Drawmer has a darker & stronger mid bass tone, or the 1073DPD has a brighter tone that i like more over the Drawmer.

Amek einstein was a surprice there. brighter than 9098.

the Digi-Pre and the TL Audio C-1 sound similar here, not my favorites.
Old 19th October 2008
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

For the Picky people:
I think its clear in the test the character and voice of each different preamp.

I didnt came here to discuss what everyone thinks is the best way to do the test. I did it this way, I think it works perfectly. if you are interested and it can help you , use it. If not, just move on and dont waste your time writing bullshi****.
_____________________________________________________________


Hey space2012 the cable was a Klotz one. Don't Know the model.

really interesting your opinions on the preamps, they are quite different than mine.

I really enjoy the 1073, for me its the best sounding one, and I find the Joe Meek and the Digi Pre the worst sounding ones, they sound quite cheap.

Happy that you enjoyed the test, and thanks for your comments.
Old 20th January 2009
  #10
Gear Head
 
Gtr917punk's Avatar
 

the control 24 sound awesome!

I was wondering if Digidesign used the same preamps in the newer C|24

does anyone know?
Old 6th November 2009
  #11
Gear Addict
 
andrewenson's Avatar
 

na. i heard they had a problem during development and they definitely dont have the same preamps (dont hold me to the problem part, i dont know that for sure)
but they definitely dont have the same preamps
c24 is.... ehh :/ control 24 is much better is all aspects in my opinion, and cheaper
Old 6th November 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 
dysenterygary's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildCowboys View Post
Hi, thanks for the test, but above line shows why I personally would not even try to get "preamp-sound" information out of your comparison. There are many of these acostic guitar "preamp-tests" out there, for example on The Listening Sessions

The problem is, recording acoustic guitar in multiple takes/preamps shows much larger differences than for example recording a Drumkit with one overhead mic (where the position&distance&angle of the mic are 100% the same for every take). Simply because few people are aware that when you just move the guitar or the mic half an inch, or change the angle or height of the guitar half an inch, or strike the strings half an inch above or below, the sound difference is going to be much bigger than the differences that the pres make. If you sit down two times,or even just pause a minute and talk to somebody, you will never have the exact same mic position/distance/angle/performance for the next take. The same goes for preamp tests on vocals.
However, those not aware of it mistake the resulting differences as preamp-differences.
To avoid those misinterpretations, it is necessary to either set up a matched pair of sdc´s as close as possible to each other, preferably not too close to the instrument, and find a spot where they sound exactly the same (if possible) when running through 2 channels of the same preamp. Then swap one channel gainst a different preamp and record this. The differences between such recordings will be about 95% smaller than what you get with the inaccurate method.
Alternatively you can plug the mic into a high-quality active splitter with isolated mic-outputs and connect it to two different micpres. This way the preamps get the exact same circuit/load with the exact same take of the same mic.

Best,
Pat
Lol! I get so tired of all this stupid scientific b.s.!!! If a client comes into your studio and wants to compare preamps do you tell them they won't be able to tell the difference because its different takes?? For f#ck sake if you can't hear the difference get a new job. (not directed at only this poster but all of the people that feel the need to cut down all of the people that put work and effort into spreading knowledge about different sonic signatures of gear) To the O.P. thanks for your time, most of us appreciate it very much!
Old 6th November 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 
WunderBro Flo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dysentarygary View Post
I get so tired of all this stupid scientific b.s.!!!
You´ve got it all wrong buddy.
Guys who get distorted results from error soaked test setups = much bull****
Guys who get more accurate results from error minimized test setups = little bull****

It´s up to you to take the much bull**** route, but it makes you look like a fool to attack those who choose better methodologies. Ironically those guys who set up error minimized tests and post the results get attacked by guys like you on a reguar basis, because they do not hear what they are used to hear, large differences. You guys simply hate to find out you belong to the "can´t hear a difference" camp from time to time. Yeah right, let´s go back to the error soaked tests so you can point at big differences again heh

Dumbdidumb,
Pat


ps - anyways, I am not coming back to discuss this thing further, so fire away if you like. my point has been made and it is clear and valid. EDIT: hey, seems I go too much time, so I just decided to continue to discuss. It´s way too much fun.
Old 9th November 2009
  #14
Gear Nut
 
scrizly's Avatar
 

Hmm yes I can hear pretty big differences between most of the files. There are hints of sonic 'signatures' that I recognize ( 1073 ), and others I'm not really familiar with the gear so I just assume it's partly the pre and partly the performance or other environmental variables changing.

I surely would not base any purchasing decision of this test!! It's an entertaining exercise... but I think calling it 'spreading knowledge' is going a bit too far. The core guitar sound ( i.e. the actual guitar, room, and approx. mic position ) was just really not happening for me on any of the pres, so I'd have a hard time choosing one or the other without changing the setup.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

WildCow... as it was explained if this test helps you, use it, if it doesn't you don’t need to waste your time here.

"For f#ck sake if you can't hear the differences get a new job."

I totally agree with this statement, working in the industry and making records for a long time, I only need some seconds of each of this sound samples to understand the character and voice of each of this preamps.
I could say the same for any experienced and talented engineer.

I totally understand that your ears are not developed to a point where you can easily hear the preamps, there's no shame in that.
Not everyone has the same talent, qualities or experience. This is specially true for picky people that waste more time trying to do the supposed "perfect" sound tests instead of recording, producing and most essentially Just listening to music and sounds. You are wasting your time in the wrong direction.

This is a really nice and useful thread, a lot of people really enjoyed the sound samples, and learned with it.
It was never suppose to be a discussion on some stupid arguments.

Once Again:


"if you can't hear the differences get a new job."
Old 22nd November 2009
  #16
Lives for gear
 
WunderBro Flo's Avatar
fuuck
Old 22nd November 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Mike Jasper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLCacciLLo View Post
For the Picky people:
I think it's clear in the test the character and voice of each different preamp.
Of course it's clear. Some people around here think they're splitting the atom when they're really only splitting hairs.

Even if you do put two SD mics together, they're still not occupying the exact same space so it's not an equal measure anyway. You have to listen beyond the flaws and inconsistencies in these shootouts. I guess some of us can do that and some of us can't.

Jasper
PS -- Thanks for taking the time to do this.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #18
Lives for gear
 
WunderBro Flo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Jasper View Post
Even if you do put two SD mics together, they're still not occupying the exact same space so it's not an equal measure anyway. You have to listen beyond the flaws and inconsistencies in these shootouts. I guess some of us can do that and some of us can't.
Man, it´s sad that even guys who spend their time writing "pro" reviews of audio gear are immune to using the best testing methods available and defend error soaked test setups, claiming to "listen beyond the flaws". But at least you are referring to a point I was making (in contrast to the other poster before you who likes to use "f#ck" twice responding to me plus adding some insult), the side by side matched pair mic approach.

Now let me tell you why your point does not hold up:

With the approach of the OP you have 3 error factors that sneak into the test:

performance difference,
mic distance difference,
mic angle difference.

Neither the quality or the quantity of these factors can be isolated ("what is the difference caused by these factors and how big is it?"). So it is impossible to reliably deduct it from the results when comparing the recordings.

The matched pair method however leaves you with only one error factor instead of three, and it is one that can be easily isolated. By running both mics through the same preamp you hear what the remaining difference is and how big it is. Quality and quantity of the error are clear, which makes it possible to take it out of the judgement.

So you have THREE sound altering factors which cannot be isolated versus ONE that can be. Only a fool would choose the first method while being aware of the better method´s existence, it´s not hard to understand. I guess some of us can do that and some of us can't.


Rock on!
Pat
Old 26th July 2010
  #19
cdd
Here for the gear
 
cdd's Avatar
 

Talking The shootout

I have to say that the shootout between iLCacciLLo and WildCowboys was amusing. I enjoyed that more than preamp shootout. Keep it up boys. Give me another tickle.
Old 26th July 2010
  #20
Lives for gear
 
WunderBro Flo's Avatar
peng! peng!
Old 26th July 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 
John Suitcase's Avatar
 

Hmmm...

Shootouts are an interesting thing, I think.

On the one hand, if you have to control for every possible variant in order to isolate the differences, the differences are probably negligible. I mean, if the guitar moving 1/4" is going to be a bigger factor, why bother with shooting out preamps at all?

On the other hand, a truly bad comparison, where you're switching mics and guitars and preamps around, is pretty useless, except when you're there trying to get a take down, and what you're really after is that combination that makes the guitarist go "yeah! That's magic!" At that point, it doesn't matter what you're using, you start tracking, because the vibe and performance are going to be good. If you spend 4 hours shooting things out and get something that's 2% better, but you've demolished the guitarist's spirit in the process, it's over.

I'm not a star, but I suspect my method is similar to most. I follow my gut and setup what I think will be great. Then I listen and say "yes, it's great," or "no, it sucks." If it's great, I don't dick around trying to get it better. There are many shades of great. If it sucks, I try something very different. Repeat.

Of course, that method requires some period of familiarization with your gear, but everyone has to do that. And shootouts don't replace that.

So, my point is, get to know your gear, borrow, trade, buy, sell, and get to know gear. Then, when it's time to record, just follow your gut and go for it.
Old 26th July 2010
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildCowboys View Post
peng! peng!
Im with you wild. thumbsup
Old 9th April 2011
  #23
Lives for gear
 
didier.brest's Avatar
 

I am surprised by the huge differences of the timbres from these preamps.

Dark: both Amek,
Medium: Neve and TL (my both preferred ones)
Bright: Digi, Drawmer, Joe Meek.
Old 18th April 2011
  #24
Gear Nut
 
jimthepisces's Avatar
 

Thanks! great test, tho the guitar was a bit boomy.

Anyways, I listened blind and picked my favorites. The one that was the clear winner to me turned out to be the Neve 1073 - shocker...The TL audio and Amek 9098 were tied for second. I personally thought the rest sounded like garbage haha.
Old 12th June 2012
  #25
I wanted listen to the preamp comparison.
Sounds really interesting.

But the link leads, however, directly to the FBI.

Incredible.

R.
Old 12th June 2012
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Mike Jasper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolf Ebitsch View Post
I wanted listen to the preamp comparison.
Sounds really interesting.

But the link leads, however, directly to the FBI.

Incredible.

R.

So what have we learned?

Jasper
Old 12th June 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Mike Jasper's Avatar
But seriously...

Let me help you out. Choose the Neve 1073.

This is like a lineup of Porsche 911, Volkswagen, Yugo, Corvair, Smart Car, Pinto and Edsel.

You really don't need to hear this. I think this might have been a practical joke. Wonder what would give me that idea?

Cheers,

Jasper
Old 12th June 2012
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Jasper View Post
But seriously...

Let me help you out. Choose the Neve 1073.

This is like a lineup of Porsche 911, Volkswagen, Yugo, Corvair, Smart Car, Pinto and Edsel.

You really don't need to hear this. I think this might have been a practical joke. Wonder what would give me that idea?

Cheers,

Jasper
Hello Jasper,

thank you for the recommendation!

But i have here in my studio a full rack of Neve 1073 and a big Amek desk.
Neve for the coloured sounds, the Amek for the clean and transparent sounds.

Neve are brilliant!
They are the Porsche. By the way, the best car in the world... grin.

Want only to hear the Neve and Amek compare to the others.

R.
Old 13th June 2012
  #29
Gear Addict
 

About Amek 9098

I found the Focusrite-Rupert Neve ISA115HD (2CH pre+eq)
very much better than the 9098

also the ISA115HD is 2ch pre+eq unit , 9098 is single ch unit,

and more ISA115HD is less expensive than 9098

hope this help
ww

ps
Digidesign "pre" ?
No thanks !

Quote:
Originally Posted by iLCacciLLo View Post
For everyone that's been asking for a long time, for some Mic Preamp comparison samples, here it goes.
I recorded some Acoustic Guitar rhythm with 8 different preamps.
These are the models:

AMS Neve 1073 DPD (New Classic)

Amek/Rupert Neve 9098

Amek Einstein

Joe Meek VC2


TL Audio C-1 (original version)

Digidesign/Focusrite Control 24

Digidesign "Digi Pre"

Drawmer 1960


Notes:
- The Mic used was a Blue Kiwi (pointed to 12th fret)

-The AD converter was a Digidesign 192

- Mic Positioning, mic cable, guitar where the same used in all the sound clips. I tried to be consistent as much as I could.

-From the models that have built in compressor ,EQ and Hi pass, etc, everything was bypassed, only the "Gain" knob was used.

-Only used these preamps because they were what I had in the studio. Please dont ask me for sound clips of other Mic Preamps.


You can download the files here:

MEGAUPLOAD - The leading online storage and file delivery service

you will find a RAR of the Protools 7 session. For those who dont use protools, the audio files are inside the "Audio" folder.
Files Format: WAV 24 Bit - 44.1khz

Hope you like it,
Be waiting for you comments...
Old 7th October 2012
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

I will try to upload the files again to another server.

It was a really nice test , you could clearly hear the differences in character of the different Mic Pres.

Thanks
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
thermos / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
12
Matt Smith / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
1
mhartman / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
1
tradershort / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
0
slimjw / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
1

Forum Jump
Forum Jump