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Shadow Hills Mono Gama Mic Pre Comparison 500 Series Preamps
Old 12th January 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 
SnareBuzz's Avatar
Shadow Hills Mono Gama Mic Pre Comparison

Dear GearSlut colleagues,

I've been recording for years and I recently (within the last few months) discovered Shadow Hills Industries & their wonderful Mono Gama preamps (500 series). I've gotten to know mine really well over the past bit and hosted a colleague this week who came over and did a bit of vocal & guitar work to test out the various modes of the preamp (Nickel, Steel, Discrete) to see how these behaved on his sources. We found the comparison of files to be very insightful. I'd be happy to share/post mp3's of some of those comparisons here if there is interest in such a comparison.

Here's the details of what we did:

Acoustic Guitar:
Neuman KM184 directly into Mono Gama Preamp. Output into Apogee Ensemble & recorded at 24bit, 44.1
Taylor Guitar

Vocals:
Neumann TLM103 condensor (vocalist choice) into Mono Gama Preamp. Output into Apogee Ensemble & recorded @ 24bit 44.1

For each of the above, we tracked at comparable levels through all 3 transformer settings on the mono Gamma preamp. Also recorded using the Apogee Ensemble preamps for comparison & a Vintech X73i setup at high input/low output gain (ie, clean) & also at high input, low output gain (ie, driven).

If there is suitable interest here, I'll be happy to upload the tracks & post here.
Old 12th January 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
GoldMember's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnareBuzz View Post
We found the comparison of files to be very insightful. I'd be happy to share/post mp3's of some of those comparisons here if there is interest in such a comparison.
can you record the guitar also with the tlm103 ?
Old 12th January 2012
  #3
Here for the gear
 
JTanner's Avatar
 

Post them, im interested in the Gama. Thanks!
Old 12th January 2012
  #4
Gear Head
 
Beatwulf's Avatar
 

I love my mono gama, I use the steel setting on most guitar amps and nickel for bass, mega!
Old 12th January 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
s.d.finley's Avatar
I love the Gama!!
Old 12th January 2012
  #6
Gear Head
 
SnareBuzz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldMember View Post
can you record the guitar also with the tlm103 ?
The comparisons I have are already done and the TLM103 wasn't used on guitar there, but I routinely use this mic on acoustic, so perhaps we'll do another one in the near future with that mic...good suggestion.


Seems to be enough interest here to warrant the posts...I'll do my best to get them up online tonight.
Old 13th January 2012
  #7
Gear Head
 
SnareBuzz's Avatar
Acoustic Guitar Demo Mp3s

Dear GearSlutz,

I've been reading the forum here for quite a while and learning from the vast wealth of information that is available here. This place is truly a gift and I wanted to start making some contributions here.

As my initial post here states, I've recently been doing some work to get to know the Shadow Hills Mono Gama preamps and I really love their versatile sound. The 3 transformers offer very different sounds which I hope will be evident in the samples below. The samples were all recorded using Neumann KLM184 off the 12th fret, about 2 feet away from a Taylor acoustic. I did my very best to match levels going into the Apogee converters.

I haven't added any EQ, compression, or any plugin at all..these are purely raw recordings that were done to evaluate the different modes of the SH preamps and to compare this preamp to two others that my colleague owned (Apogee Ensemble's internal preamps & Vintech's X73i). I suspect these are pieces of gear owned by many here and it's nice to be able to hear comparisons. I think they all offer a different tone & depending on source, and effect, they all have their place & uses, so I don't use words like better/etc....perhaps preference is a better choice.

I've been blown away by the quality of sound & versatility of the Shadow Hills Mono Gamas and this test simply further validates that to me.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these, but here's my impressions in comparing things:
The Shadow Hills Preamps are very detailed & provide plenty of gain. The Discrete section seems to my ears to have the least amount of low end punch and the most top end, while the Steel is on the opposite end with a lot of bottom end and a top end that seems almost compressed (in a good way). The Nickel seems boosted a bit in the bottom and also has nice lift in the top....All 3 would be useful. I was suprised at how much less "hard" the SH gear sounded when compared to the Vintech....I prefer this sound for most everything, but if there was a need to have a very highly articulate preamp, I think the Vintech X73i would be a very good choice. I wouldn't use the Ensemble on acoustic...it's just simply not flattering, but if you needed an uncolored sound, I think this is where it excels.

I'll post up the vocal tracks next, but I hope this is helpful, particularly for folks considering the Shadow Hills Mono Gama preamp. They are wonderful sounding preamps which are highly versatile in tone and the customer service is 2nd to none in my opinion....kudos! I want to thank my colleague (Mike Vaughn) for playing the acoustic and giving me permission to post these examples...we found them very useful (Mike just became a member of the Shadow Hills family based on these results) & we hope you'll find them useful too!

Enjoy the tracks...happy to answer questions.
Attached Files

Acoustic SH Discrete.mp3 (1.04 MB, 11869 views)

Acoustic SH Nickel.mp3 (1.05 MB, 11505 views)

Acoustic SH Steel.mp3 (1.06 MB, 11325 views)

Acoustic Apogee Ensemble Pres.mp3 (1.09 MB, 10469 views)

Acoustic Vintech Clean (lo input & hi output).mp3 (1.08 MB, 10500 views)

Acoustic Vintech Driven (hi input & lo output).mp3 (1.27 MB, 10203 views)

Old 13th January 2012
  #8
Gear Head
 
SnareBuzz's Avatar
Vocal Tracks

Here's the followup test with the Shadow Hills Mono Gama preamps that we did last night and I thought I'd share. This time, the focus is on the vocals. The vocals were recorded using Neuman TLM103 directly into the Shadow Hills Mono Gama and I did my best to match consistent levels during tracking. For flavor differences, we also tracked through a Vintech X73i, one of the preamps that my colleague uses so that he & I could hear the differences and make some decisions for future recording sessions.

All of the vocal tracks are tracked without compression except for those marked w/ compression. For the tracks marked with compression, the Shadow Hills Mono Gamas were connected to Shadow Hills Mono Optograph and setup to deliver 1-2dB reduction during the soft parts and no more than about 5-7 dB reduction during the big stuff. Difficult to control, because when the vocalist here (Mike) really got into it, he'd sometimes hit 10dB reduction on the compressor...which never crapped out and really sounds quite musical.

I'm a huge fan of the Shadow Hills gear and I hope this collection of files is helpful for others considering purchase of Peter Reardon's gear....I love the sound. For me, these are remarkably versatile and a terrific offering for my clients.

Thanks to Mike Vaughn for helping me with this comparison, and for his willingness to share these files within this community. I've learned so much from the contributions of so many here & I hope this small contribution is at least helpful to some of you.

Best regards & keep on recordin'
Ron Brashear
Attached Files
Old 16th January 2012
  #9
Gear Head
 
SnareBuzz's Avatar
Would love your feedback on these...plenty of views, but haven't heard a peep. Is this useful to some of you? Anything we could do on this end to make future posts any more useful?

ROn
Old 30th January 2012
  #10
Here for the gear
 
nikss5000's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnareBuzz View Post
Would love your feedback on these...plenty of views, but haven't heard a peep. Is this useful to some of you? Anything we could do on this end to make future posts any more useful?

ROn
Hey Ron!! Well done bro! It really helped me in a way of choosing a right preamp as far as the sound/tone is concerned, I was actually looking for something like "Vintech x73i , or Neve 1073LB 500 Series"And thats the sound i was looking for ... :-) Can you please confirm the Vintech's Model ? Is it "x73i" OR "273" ?

And yes its very Usefull .. !! :D
Thanks again for your effort!!
Old 3rd February 2012
  #11
Gear Head
 
SnareBuzz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikss5000 View Post
Hey Ron!! Well done bro! It really helped me in a way of choosing a right preamp as far as the sound/tone is concerned, I was actually looking for something like "Vintech x73i , or Neve 1073LB 500 Series"And thats the sound i was looking for ... :-) Can you please confirm the Vintech's Model ? Is it "x73i" OR "273" ?

And yes its very Usefull .. !! :D
Thanks again for your effort!!

Thanks very much for your comments. The Vintech model in the comparison above is indeed the x73i. Nice sounding preamp in it's own right for sure. Glad this could be of help to you!
Old 3rd March 2012
  #12
Gear Nut
 
Jonas M.'s Avatar
 

Hi Ron,

I think the overall differences in the Shadow Hills files subtle but audible. What I like most about your shootout is the song ;-) great performance. And if the song is great, the production has to be just good enough, to not hinder the performance. And in fact, that's the case! The last files you posted, with a little compression are really beautiful. Just one question, what preamp setting was used on the acoustic guitar for the different vocal files.

Thanks and keep up the good work!
Old 21st March 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Thanks for the samples
Old 22nd August 2012
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Nice dam vocal in there!!
Is this guy has some songs on iTune?
Thank you for the test. Great idea and very usefull.
Old 30th October 2012
  #15
Gear Head
 
SnareBuzz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musky View Post
Nice dam vocal in there!!
Is this guy has some songs on iTune?
Thank you for the test. Great idea and very usefull.
Mike's recording his debut album in my studio now....we have everything but lead guitars and final vocals recorded...hoping to release the album in 2013...will definitely be ITUNES distribution as well. I'll let Mike know your thoughts..he'll be thrilled! Thanks guys!
Old 13th June 2014
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Hi how much gain did you use on the mono gamma - mine is HOT even with the gain knob at Zero.

Thanks

Stu
Old 27th October 2016
  #17
Here for the gear
 
El Jistos's Avatar
 

Would have loved to get the vocals accapella for the test since i am mainly doing vocal production and will mostly be recording rap vocals.

The guitars kept me too distracted in the set of vocal samples so I just based my thoughts on the set of guitar samples.

the nickel setting sounds best to me -> then the steel -> then the discrete. the discrete sounds brittle next to the other 2 settings, and I chose the nickel as my favourite because I hear less displeasing tones in the 'pluck' of the Guitar.

Jistos


Last edited by El Jistos; 27th October 2016 at 02:09 PM.. Reason: remove end quote
Old 20th March 2019
  #18
no more soundfiles? i am interested in the sh gama and it would have been nice to hear these files.
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