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Can You Tell The Difference? ART vs. Great River!
View Poll Results: Which preamp do you prefer?
Orange
222 Votes - 56.78%
Apple
169 Votes - 43.22%
Voters: 391. You may not vote on this poll

Old 24th May 2010
  #31
Lives for gear
I prefer orange.
Old 24th May 2010
  #32
Gear Maniac
 
souldeep's Avatar
 

I can't tell the difference which is which, but i like orange a bit because it sounds warmer, rounder and slightly softer to my ears.
Old 24th May 2010
  #33
TL2
Gear Nut
 
TL2's Avatar
I voted Apple but I meant to vote Orange. My windows were reversed on my screens and I got mixed up. Either way, I could make records with either preamp.
Old 24th May 2010
  #34
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Obitheincredible's Avatar
 

Orange.
Old 24th May 2010
  #35
Gear Addict
 

No contest to my ears. Apple was muddier and washed together.

Orange was much more defined, tight and dimensional.


Thanks for sharing.
Old 24th May 2010
  #36
Lives for gear
 

I ... I ... I really need more information before I can make a judgement:

What kind of carpet was on the floor and how thick was the pile?

What kind of treatment was on the walls and what color were they?

How many cigarettes did the vocalist smoke that day? Did he smoke one between takes?

From which direction was the light entering the room?

Was it sunny or overcast outside?

What was the ratio of the distance between the mic and the front wall to the distance between the mic and the rear wall?

Was the guy down the street using his electric shaver or hair dryer? This could put noise into the AC line.

What brand of strings were on the acoustic guitar?

What did the bass player have for dinner the night before?

I don't know, the orange sounded much creamier than the apple, but not quite as etched and certainly not as labile as the apple, which sounded aloof with a certain haughty quality. One sounded more intense than the other, which sounded kind of undermodulated but had a better bouquet to it, but I can't figure out which is which. Oooh, I forgot to say which was more dimensional. Oh, now I have to make a decision, don't I?



I voted for apple because it has greater clarity, which I prefer. Orange was fuzzier and less distinct. Listening through Adam A7s, not cheap computer speakers.

I'm going to guess orange is the ART.
Old 24th May 2010
  #37
Lives for gear
 
yumdrum's Avatar
 

orange is GR
Old 24th May 2010
  #38
Lives for gear
 
ARIEL's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by -=DanAtkinson=- View Post
That's the common claim. However, I fail to see the logic. If anything, a single solo'd track would be best. The more stuff you have stacked, the less nuance and detail you can discern. If you can't hear the difference with 3 tracks, you won't hear the difference with 30.
Actually I tested this quite a bit- TAKE 3 OF THE SAME MICS and I sampled drums with them as well as using a radial transformer splitter , which both chains then go into 3 preamps . SO it would be the same hit and distance - My 3 pres I used were ISA 110 , GR and Vintech - I found the Vintech to be the best for my style . it had that mid punch that cut through more . GR had the punch as well but with out the mid of VT - so this would apply to all instruments etc . Throw up all my samples in gog format I then could A/B the pres during the song - You could here a difference for sure .

As I do metal and rock , i need the sounds to have as much punch as possible - and you will here it once you start EQing and compressing . SO my tests conclude there is a diff have you done extensive proper A/B ing and Testing with proper level matching ? that is the best way to tell .

If I was doing a 2 mic live recording , I could use any pre amp -I did here a difference between the 2 takes he showed us for sure Orange sounded thicker/fuller
Old 24th May 2010
  #39
Gear Maniac
 
dfahb44's Avatar
 

I liked specific things on each track. The vocals sounds very good through the Orange, but I prefer the way the acoustic sounds on the Apple. The bass sounds average on both, but sounds better on the Orange because it was played better on that track
Old 24th May 2010
  #40
Lives for gear
 

I hope this isn't the way you split mics:

Hosa YXM121 Y-Cable XLR female to two XLR male, 6" | Full Compass

Preamp "apple" introduces its terminating impedance to the circuit and preamp "orange" introduces its terminating impedance to the circuit, so you've got one mic being terminated by an unknown combination of impedances, thus making it not a true test of either preamp. The proper way to do this is with one of these:

Whirlwind IMP SPLITTER 1X3 1x3 Mic Splitter | Full Compass

and use the two isolated outputs, disregarding the direct output. You'll also need an external phantom power supply. Now, a) the two preamps are isolated from one another, and b) the mic has a single known load impedance. Yes, this introduces the sound of the transformer into the circuit but it will be the same for both of the preamps you're comparing.

Considering all of the above, doing two different takes is the way to go.
Old 24th May 2010
  #41
Gear Addict
 

My guess

I say Apple = GR
and Orange = ART

Apple = more detail and ambience captured, nice high end
Orange = clogged in the low mid making it sound better/fatter? at first listen but it's almost mono like

Give us the answer now~
Old 24th May 2010
  #42
Lives for gear
 

I've got to say to the OP, great test. The underlying premise is the supposedly worst of the worst against the best of the best should stand out a mile if common belief is to hold up. Thing is; it's doing my head in.

Both sounded clearly different from the off, but why? No one's mentioned the very boomy bass on the apple. Now I voted for the apple as the 'better' sounding and I've gone back and listened repeatedly, but now I reckon because of the boomy bass on apple, the fact that it has a more pronounced HF portion, which tends to be a little sibilant, let the guitar through a bit and actually made the voice sound a little 'closer'. Now, I'm thinking that orange is better because it has not of the possible artifacts I was picking up on and more body in the guitar. But the best part is, I am genuinely confused listening to what is supposed to be 'crap' Vs. state of the art. While they are clearly different sounds, which is better? Well worth a post. Thanks.
Old 24th May 2010
  #43
Gear Head
 

All I have to say is that I find it quite ´sad´that you have to spend 2.000$ to get things sounding that ´little´best. I mean it doesn´t worth it, it´s not a huge difference. I like Orange because I think it sounds rounder, but....if it´s the GR....2000 $?.....no way....I wouldn´t pay for it..
Old 24th May 2010
  #44
Gear Maniac
 
mr. moon's Avatar
 

To me it just illustrates how important mic choice and/or placement is rather than the specific preamp used. Would be interesting to hear the same test with the same preamp and different mics ...but that's been done before probably.

heh
Old 24th May 2010
  #45
Lives for gear
 
Beyersound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
I agree, PTHD hardware is proof of that
Couldn't agree with you more!
Old 24th May 2010
  #46
Gear Head
 

I have no personal experience with GR or the ART, but "apple" definitely sounds about $$$$ more than "orange".

Apple = GR
Orange = ART

I'd also prefer "apple" as material to work on. But probably "orange" for straight listening as they both are.
Old 24th May 2010
  #47
Gear Nut
Orange for me.
Old 24th May 2010
  #48
Here for the gear
 

Apple had a mangy grungy cringy unpleasantness. Orange sounded much better to me. Listened with Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

Will be very surprised if Orange is not GR.
Old 24th May 2010
  #49
Lives for gear
 
doncaparker's Avatar
 

I'm away from my good monitors at the moment, so I can't listen to this cranked up high enough to get a bead on the noise floor for each one. On a small set of computer speakers, at low volume, the differences are minor and not worth spending over $2,000 for one vs. the other.

Did you use any noise reduction at any point?

The reason I'm focused on noise is that this is where I really notice the difference between expensive and cheap preamps.

This is also why I think your test would have meant more if you had used a low output mic instead of a LDC. When you have to crank a pre up to full gain to get a good signal, you see what it's made of.

Having said all that, this particular test should reinforce the idea that, if someone is just noodling in their basement, and sticks to using condensers, there really is no reason to spend a lot of money on preamps.
Old 24th May 2010
  #50
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john caldwell's Avatar
Your test was was imperfect but I think worthy enough to formulate an opinion regarding the signal chain. The Orange path, easily my preference, offered body, texture, focus and depth. I don't use the GR or ART, but it would be remarkable if Orange is a $29 preamp, and no less remarkable if Apple is $1000 per channel.

John-
Old 24th May 2010
  #51
Lives for gear
 
dysenterygary's Avatar
 

I think I prefer orange as well although just as I expected my wife chose apple, saying that orange sounded "foggy and hazy" I think its the excessive bass though. So I think the general public, aka everyone else will choose apple because it sounds more "crisp and clear" while the slutz will choose the more rounded sounding orange. I agree with the op that with such a huge price difference there should be a huge quality difference in sound as well. If the orange isn't the GR then I will be buying some tube mp's soon!
Old 24th May 2010
  #52
Gear Nut
 

orange is much better for me.
kept the details, separation from each track, and is very pleasing to the ears, everything melts in a nice way.. never used these preamps but im 99% sure orange is GR.. based on their price
apple has a cheap sound you can detect right away, specially on the voice... it sounds like its been eqd poorly

if im wrong i´ll buy 10 art preamps lol
Old 24th May 2010
  #53
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camerondye's Avatar
 

Orange has the low mid bump...it's the Great River.

The ART did surprisingly well in this situation but probably wouldn't be as versatile as the Great River across different singers and situations but it's also $1000 cheaper. Each definitely has their niche. The Great River is the best preamp I've ever tried and is the Desert Island Pre IMO.

Also, when you start adding heavy compression and/or use ribbon mics, is the picture going to be as close???
cam
Old 24th May 2010
  #54
Lives for gear
 
omtayslick's Avatar
 

They're close. My shot in the dark guess- Apple is the GR.
Old 24th May 2010
  #55
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Kronos147's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xqtion View Post
I say Apple = GR
and Orange = ART

Apple = more detail and ambience captured, nice high end
Orange = clogged in the low mid making it sound better/fatter? at first listen but it's almost mono like
I agree. The orange file seemed slightly louder overall, which I think is why so many are going orange.

A lot of attack on the orange but no sustain.
Old 24th May 2010
  #56
Havent seen the other answeres:

Was listening for 5 seconds (was easy to he hear the difference) on my macbook speakers and I liked "orange" the best without doubt. I guess thats the Great River. Apple has a much more "forced" and cheap sound, not plesant at all :(

/Jon
Old 24th May 2010
  #57
Apple

I preferred Apple (Adam A7s and Adam Sub 8).

Orange seemed bassy and soft/vague.

Apple seemed tighter in the bass and better controlled but the guitar was a bit upper middy.

I would guess ART = Orange and GR = Apple.
Old 24th May 2010
  #58
Gear Addict
 

I, for one, cannot wait to know which is which.

Give it up!
Old 24th May 2010
  #59
Lives for gear
 
ProducerBoy's Avatar
 

I'm diggin' orange.
Old 24th May 2010
  #60
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by -=DanAtkinson=- View Post
That's the common claim. However, I fail to see the logic. If anything, a single solo'd track would be best. The more stuff you have stacked, the less nuance and detail you can discern. If you can't hear the difference with 3 tracks, you won't hear the difference with 30.
I totally disagree with this. If you record something 30 times on the same preamp you will get an accumulation of 30 of whatever quirks that preamp presents. Have you not heard a cloudy or hazy mix done with too many flavorful pres, such as old 1073s? I submit that a full mix done with orange pres will sound vastly different from the apple mix, much more so than the single tracks.

Not trying to be a wise-elbow, and no offense intended. Your thread is awesome and I, for one, truly appreciate posts like yours.
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