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Gap73 vs. Mpa vs. Onyx Dynamic Microphones
Old 9th September 2011
  #1
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G-Sun's Avatar
Gap73 vs. Mpa vs. Onyx

Up for a shootout, preamps:

- Gap 73 (main object of the test)
- Art MPA
- Mackie Onyx (800r)

All files here

Path:
Nt5 (matched pair) > Mpa > Rme Hdsp 9632
Nt5 (matched pair) > Gap73 > Rme Hdsp 9632 (#1 goes with the Mpa, the other with the Onyx)
Nt5 (matched pair) > Onyx > Mackie Onyx 800r

Recorded within 1,5dbFS, normalized to same RMS-level (100ms window)
Mpa: +20db, impedance 3 o'clock, Sovtek tubes
Gap73: Trim 12 o'clock

And I've added some more tests of the Gap73:
Studio Projects C1 jj mod > Gap73 > Rme Hdsp 9632
-> 3 trim/gain-positions

Recorded within 2dbFS, normalized to same RMS-level (100ms window)

Please report back any errors.
Attached Files

Mpa-1.mp3 (56.1 KB, 1280 views)

Gap73-1.mp3 (54.2 KB, 1166 views)

Onyx-2.mp3 (52.9 KB, 1142 views)

Gap73-2.mp3 (51.9 KB, 868 views)

Gap73-Trim 17.mp3 (49.5 KB, 1077 views)

Gap73-Trim 12.mp3 (46.6 KB, 984 views)

Gap73-Trim 9.mp3 (46.1 KB, 1060 views)

Old 9th September 2011
  #2
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G-Sun's Avatar
I screwed up with the level-matching -fixed.
Old 9th September 2011
  #3
Have you switched tubes in MPA? Otherwise, you cannot hear real power of this device....
Old 9th September 2011
  #4
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G-Sun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by icecubeman View Post
Have you switched tubes in MPA? Otherwise, you cannot hear real power of this device....
As I wrote in my post: It's Sovtek tubes n my MPA
Old 10th September 2011
  #5
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Cad M179

Added a folder with the mic:
Cad M179

Hipass-filter off, cardioid

Index of /Upload/Gap73/M179
Old 10th September 2011
  #6
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Shure Sm58

Added a folder with the mic:

Shure Sm58

(would have prefered a Sm7b, but don't have it..)

Index of /Upload/Gap73/Sm58
Old 10th September 2011
  #7
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Mark D.'s Avatar
 

Even with the new tube (I've heard the unit tested before and after that) the generally hyped sound with a high mid edge that makes the ART have so many fans is there. The GAP has a less clear sound that might be good for singers that need less 'air'. Both performed as expected which is why I wouldn't own either. The Onyx clearly wins. Mackie has come a long way.

It's more natural than the ART, more open than the GAP. More air yet not harsh. It's a sound that would be the best all-arounder and work for more in general. The ART would cater to dull voices, the GAP to brighter voices. Less peakiness in the high mids than the ART, less low lumpiness than the GAP. The Mackie vocal would need less work and take EQ a lot better too.
Old 10th September 2011
  #8
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G-Sun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark D. View Post
Even with the new tube (I've heard the unit tested before and after that) the generally hyped sound with a high mid edge that makes the ART have so many fans is there. The GAP has a less clear sound that might be good for singers that need less 'air'. Both performed as expected which is why I wouldn't own either. The Onxy clearly wins. Mackie has come a long way.

It's more natural than the ART, more open than the GAP. More air yet not harsh. It's a sound that would be the best all-arounder and work for more in general. The ART would cater to dull voices, the GAP to brighter voices. Less peakiness in the high mids than the ART, less low lumpiness than the GAP. The Mackie vocal would need less work and take EQ a lot better too.
To bad I didn't have Gap74 trim 17 o'clock as my default when comparing with the Onyx and the Mpa, as this has the clearest sound and did become my favorite-setting for the unit.
Day to day I prefer my Mpa over the Onyx on vocals.
The Gap73 wasn't the best match for my goto mic, the SP jj mod, as both units are a little dark. Easily fixed with eq though.
I didn't fancy the Gap73-sound particularly, kind of as expected, but time will show how much I'll use it.
It will complement my other preamps well I think.
Old 11th September 2011
  #9
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Mark D.'s Avatar
 

Indeed. You do have a good variety of tone between those three units. I do most of my studio work mixing for others these days, so when I hear a preamp I'm always hearing it in the sense of a mix. That Onyx just seemed more neutral, with an extended rather than hyped high end. Just the sort of thing one would want. Less resonant peaks.

The ART edge can make solo vocals sound cool or could be useful in a very dense mix, but that just doesn't fit my taste. I've heard the GAP in a brighter setting as you describe & didn't like that, at least on my friends voice in the test he did. The Soundcraft mixer pre he'd tested buried it, in the same way. A neutral, natural and clearer sound.
Old 11th September 2011
  #10
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G-Sun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark D. View Post
Indeed. You do have a good variety of tone between those three units. I do most of my studio work mixing for others these days, so when I hear a preamp I'm always hearing it in the sense of a mix. That Onyx just seemed more neutral, with an extended rather than hyped high end. Just the sort of thing one would want. Less resonant peaks.

The ART edge can make solo vocals sound cool or could be useful in a very dense mix, but that just doesn't fit my taste. I've heard the GAP in a brighter setting as you describe & didn't like that, at least on my friends voice in the test he did. The Soundcraft mixer pre he'd tested buried it, in the same way. A neutral, natural and clearer sound.
Well, thanks for listening and sharing your opinions.
Old 11th September 2011
  #11
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dysenterygary's Avatar
 

I liked the gap, mpa, and onyx in that order.
Old 11th September 2011
  #12
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El.guitar

New files:

El. guitar, Yamaha Pacifica 112J
DI, pickup middle

Index of /Upload/Gap73/El.guitarDI
Old 11th September 2011
  #13
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Bassguitar

More files:

Bassguitar, Morgan YB-48
DI, picup 50/50 neck/bridge

Index of /Upload/Gap73/Bassgt.DI
Old 11th September 2011
  #14
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G-Sun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dysenterygary View Post
I liked the gap, mpa, and onyx in that order.
Well, see. Some different taste here heh
Old 11th September 2011
  #15
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The mpa and gap both seemed far ahead of the onyx to my ears. The onyx clips remind me of when I used to record w/my mackie never again!
Old 12th September 2011
  #16
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Conclusions

Summed up my conclusions in my blog:

Geir's audio blog: Gap 73 vs. Art Mpa and Mackie Onyx

..got an offer on an UA 610 solo, and are selling the Mpa and the Gap73.
Old 12th September 2011
  #17
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G-Sun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dysenterygary View Post
The mpa and gap both seemed far ahead of the onyx to my ears. The onyx clips remind me of when I used to record w/my mackie never again!
Well, to me, the Onyx are not highend, but are quite usable for most sources. I find the Mpa having more musicality though.
The Gap73, well, not my cup of tea I guess ..but, loved it on DI bass..
Old 14th August 2013
  #18
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guitarboy94's Avatar
 

Onyx sounds the best to me...although I find speaking tests on mics without singing in context of a mix pretty useless
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