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Can You Tell The Difference? ART vs. Great River! Condenser Microphones
View Poll Results: Which preamp do you prefer?
Orange
221 Votes - 56.67%
Apple
169 Votes - 43.33%
Voters: 390. You may not vote on this poll

Old 24th May 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 
-=DanAtkinson=-'s Avatar
 

Question Can You Tell The Difference? ART vs. Great River!

EDIT: The secret has been revealed! The preamps are revealed on page 3. heh

(NOTE - Before the big "reveal", the votes were 75% for the cheap ART preamp. Since the reveal, the votes are still pouring in for some reason, but in favor of the Great River. Why are people still voting??)

As a follow-up to my ART vs. Pre-73 test, I decided to take things up a notch, as I promised. This time I put the ART Tube MP ($29) up against the Great River MP-2NV ($2275). Crazy? We'll see.

I recorded 3 tracks (acoustic guitar, bass, and vocals) through one preamp. Then did the same tracks again through the second preamp. A U87 was used for guitar and vocals.

Yes, I know this is not a "perfect" test, because each take has its own subtle variations. But this is good enough to determine the sonic differences between these two pres. If cheap pres are as awful as folks claim, there should be no need for a "perfect" test to hear the quality difference. It should be obvious.

With that being said, here are the links to the mixes. I picked "Free Fallin" since it's a simple tune and I knew the chords on guitar (I'm mainly a bassist). Sorry for the mediocre performance. This was done in a hurry in 2 takes.

So which preamp do you prefer?? Place your votes above.

Preamp "Orange": http://www.atkinsonbasses.com/storage/orange.wav
Preamp "Apple": http://www.atkinsonbasses.com/storage/apple.wav


And just to prove I really tested the gear claimed:



Old 24th May 2010
  #2
Orange, at least on my crappy bedroom speakers, sounds a bit richer and more saturated. Since that's kind of a characteristic of the GR's, I'd guess that Orange is the GR. But neither of them sucked or anything, and of course it could just be difference in the performances that created that apparent difference where there really isn't one, I dunno. And it could be that what I'm hearing as richer and more saturated is just some high end rolloff, hard to say.
Old 24th May 2010
  #3
Gear Head
 
-=DanAtkinson=-'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
Orange, at least on my crappy bedroom speakers, sounds a bit richer and more saturated. Since that's kind of a characteristic of the GR's, I'd guess that Orange is the GR. But neither of them sucked or anything, and of course it could just be difference in the performances that created that apparent difference where there really isn't one, I dunno. And it could be that what I'm hearing as richer and more saturated is just some high end rolloff, hard to say.
Thanks for the input. Keep it coming, slutz!
Old 24th May 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 
norman_nomad's Avatar
Gah!

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

I know you already gave the caveat, but a single performance would have made this test air tight... (also would have saved you from having to perform the song twice)... as is, no matter the results, people will discredit it based on the separate performances. Sucks...

Anyways... since you went through the effort, my guess is that Orange is the GR. It sounds 'rounder' and softer... Apple sounds scooped and generally less pleasant. This was my immediate gut impression.
Old 24th May 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
rkopald's Avatar
I suck horribly at these blind tests but I also liked the Orange..
Old 24th May 2010
  #6
I'll go ahead and say that I noticed a VERY large difference. Usually, this big of a difference in sound is attributed to two separate performances. Oh, wait...

But this wouldn't be any fun if I didn't risk making a fool of myself so here goes: Orange is DEFINITELY the Great River. Happy?
Old 24th May 2010
  #7
CT1
Gear Nut
 
CT1's Avatar
 

The apple sounded much less pleasant to my ears. Especially on the vocals transients.

Never used either pre's but I would say that apple is the cheapo and orange is the GR. If the apple is the GR I'll definitely be putting that on my list of things to stay away from.
Old 24th May 2010
  #8
Gear Head
 
-=DanAtkinson=-'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norman_nomad View Post
Gah!

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

I know you already gave the caveat, but a single performance would have made this test air tight... (also would have saved you from having to perform the song twice)... as is, no matter the results, people will discredit it based on the separate performances. Sucks...
Yeah, I know. But I didn't have one of those cables laying around, and I didn't care enough to buy one.
Old 24th May 2010
  #9
Gear Head
 
-=DanAtkinson=-'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eascholz View Post
I'll go ahead and say that I noticed a VERY large difference. Usually, this big of a difference in sound is attributed to two separate performances. Oh, wait...
Thanks for the feedback. Like I said: I know this is not a "perfect" test, because each take has its own subtle variations. But this is good enough to determine the sonic differences between these two pres. If cheap pres are as awful as folks claim, there should be no need for a "perfect" test to hear the quality difference. It should be obvious.

Keep the votes coming!
Old 24th May 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
 
otobianki74's Avatar
 

macbook pro speakers...

"orange" sounds richer and is overall more pleasing. "apple" sounds brittle, thin, and crisp on these monitors.

oto
Old 24th May 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 
ARIEL's Avatar
Hmmm I may say apple is GR it has that hi end clarity , I have used both , not at the same time - Orange being a bit thicker . Just shows you can use either for this kind of music . The difference in pre amps really comes through when you are tracking a full band etc.
Old 24th May 2010
  #12
Gear Head
 
-=DanAtkinson=-'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARIEL View Post
The difference in pre amps really comes through when you are tracking a full band etc.
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.
Old 24th May 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
I gotta tell ya, I like grapes......... but peaches are my fav....

I don't like ART or GR

but you have a good voice


crank up that UA unit, is that 6176?
Old 24th May 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 
otobianki74's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkopald View Post
I suck horribly at these blind tests but I also liked the Orange..
there's no wrong answer!
Old 24th May 2010
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

gonna vote orange for my favorite for this one!
Old 24th May 2010
  #16
Orange! I say that apple is the art because it is making my speaker rattle like the other guys art test.
Old 24th May 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by otobianki74 View Post
there's no wrong answer!

lol, yeah there is if you paid 1000 for a GR and you like the ART......
Old 24th May 2010
  #18
Lives for gear
 
otobianki74's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
lol, yeah there is if you paid 1000 for a GR and you like the ART......
lol. good point.
Old 24th May 2010
  #19
Gear Head
 
JAMaudiorec's Avatar
 

Be easy on me guys, I'm fairly new to Gearslutz but, I'm voting for APPLE.
It seems to have more air to it. I also think the vocal gives it away because you come across really clear and present with smooth bottom (now it sounds like I'm hitting on you). Orange seems to be muddied slightly with some squashiness to it. Anyways, will you PM the "correct" answer anyways
Old 24th May 2010
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Mike Brown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
lol, yeah there is if you paid 1000 for a GR and you like the ART......
Quote:
Originally Posted by otobianki74 View Post
lol. good point.
?

More expensive pieces of gear don't -ALWAYS- sound better than lower priced pieces of gear.

So its possible some may prefer the ART over the GR in this particular circumstance... probably one of the other 10 things that matter more than the preamp that made the difference anyway. (Probably the performance )
Old 24th May 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
?

More expensive pieces of gear don't -ALWAYS- sound better than lower priced pieces of gear.
I agree, PTHD hardware is proof of that
Old 24th May 2010
  #22
Lives for gear
 
otobianki74's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
?

More expensive pieces of gear don't -ALWAYS- sound better than lower priced pieces of gear.

So its possible some may prefer the ART over the GR in this particular circumstance... probably one of the other 10 things that matter more than the preamp that made the difference anyway. (Probably the performance )
obviously dude. robertshaw's point being that if you paid more for a great river and liked the ART that would suck as you could have saved some dough.
Old 24th May 2010
  #23
Old 24th May 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Mike Brown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by otobianki74 View Post
obviously dude. robertshaw's point being that if you paid more for a great river and liked the ART that would suck as you could have saved some dough.
huh?

I don't think you see the point... if you liked the ART more it means that you like the ART more with this guitar, with this player, in this room, with this mic, in this position etc etc etc

Change a variable and your taste in pre might change.

It certainly doesn't mean that you wasted your dough on something like a GR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
I agree, PTHD hardware is proof of that
hehhehheh

I am not sure why people around here think I am emotionally attached to PT. I could care less.

Well I guess I am a -little- emotionally attached to something that makes me thousand upon thousands of dollars.

Its pretty unbelievable the amount of referral gigs I get because other people DON'T have PTHD.

'Better' to me means what makes me the most money.

If the ART makes me cash, then its welcome in my session.

Any other opinion seems a bit bush league to me.
Old 24th May 2010
  #25
I also prefer the orange clip... but I couldn't tell ya if that's because of the preamp, or because of a shift as small as 1 cm in mike position from the apple clips or different off-axis response... hence the need for a split signal from a single source.

I also agree with Mike above and would add:
Merely changing the mike position with the same player, same instrument, same room, might also change your preamp choice
Old 24th May 2010
  #26
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Spark View Post
nice.....love it
Old 24th May 2010
  #27
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
hehhehheh

I am not sure why people around here think I am emotionally attached to PT. I could care less.

Well I guess I am a -little- emotionally attached to something that makes me thousand upon thousands of dollars.

Its pretty unbelievable the amount of referral gigs I get because other people DON'T have PTHD.

'Better' to me means what makes me the most money.

If the ART makes me cash, then its welcome in my session.

Any other opinion seems a bit bush league to me.

I was agreeing with you..... I didn't know you used protools . And just because you do use protools does not mean you use their converters. I mean why would anyone?. No big deal. I like lots of inexpensive gear. I use lots of shure mics and often use the preamps in my bands midas. Price tag really means nothing to me. Since I would not use an ART anymore than I would a GR. Though I like this guys tests. we'll see which is which, should be fun. I can't tell


peace man
Old 24th May 2010
  #28
Lives for gear
 
otobianki74's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
huh?

I don't think you see the point... if you liked the ART more it means that you like the ART more with this guitar, with this player, in this room, with this mic, in this position etc etc etc

Change a variable and your taste in pre might change.

It certainly doesn't mean that you wasted your dough on something like a GR
I do see your point, but I was pointing out that your statement wasn't really relevant to robertshaw's and my responses. I took it as a joke, i.e. in this specific instance where if rkopald had preferred the art assuming he owned a great river he might get his panties in a bunch being that he shelled out more for something he liked less.

performance and placement aside, which I agree will affect the sound of a recorded source, preamps do impart a distinct sound. I would guess the OP attempted to play similarly (distance and performance-wise) to get in the ballpark for this comparison test. he certainly sounds capable enough to do it.
Old 24th May 2010
  #29
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by otobianki74 View Post
I would guess the OP attempted to play similarly (distance and performance-wise) to get in the ballpark for this comparison test. he certainly sounds capable enough to do it.
+1

I think he did a great job, they are as close as anyone would be able to get. Very consistent
Old 24th May 2010
  #30
Gear Nut
 

never heard the ART pre but owner of GR.
I haven't use it on a u87 nor I heard it so I'll give it try.
my shot is apple being the GR more clearer/focus sounding. Should I say it's grittier than orange(ART) which sound pretty good for this application, but I'll stay with apple on this test
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