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Forssell vs. John Hardy Preamps
Old 12th May 2020
  #1
Forssell vs. John Hardy Preamps

I have narrowed my choice down to these 2 pre-amps: Forssell, and John Hardy. Of the many great clean pres out there, these 2 seem to have the combination of clarity, detail, and top end, but with a (not in the colored sense) richness, lushness, and musicality, which I think I will appreciate for what I'm trying to do. It's all about a beautiful 3-d tonality for me, but with enough of a dynamic, detailed, you are there realism.

I'm certain I'd get great result with either, buy I'm choosy, and my ears are sensitive. Obvious mic choice, placement, and performance are key, and even more important than the pres at this level, but, that a given, I'd like to hear from those that have extensive experience with both the Forssell SMP-2 and John Hardy preamps, that might be able to compare their sonic merits, and characteristics compared with each other.

Primarily used for mic'ing acoustic guitars, both nylon and steel. Unfortunately I don't have a great sounding room to record in, basically a section of a living room that is carpeted, so mostly will be fairly close mic'ed, as there is not much room sound or ambiance to speak of. I use reverb. I have top notch converters, mics, and some of the finest hand made instruments out there, so all of the associated ingredients in the chain (sans the room) will be more than up to the task.
Old 13th May 2020
  #2
Gear Head
 

John Hardy has at least two different types of mic amps, Forssell too. One uses bipolar transistors, the other is known for FETs which sound somewhat different. Transformers in Hardy's will also make difference. Try to hear them before buying.
Old 13th May 2020
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LFTR View Post
John Hardy has at least two different types of mic amps, Forssell too. One uses bipolar transistors, the other is known for FETs which sound somewhat different. Transformers in Hardy's will also make difference. Try to hear them before buying.
this!

not this '3-d tonality'...
Old 14th May 2020
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFTR View Post
John Hardy has at least two different types of mic amps, Forssell too. One uses bipolar transistors, the other is known for FETs which sound somewhat different. Transformers in Hardy's will also make difference. Try to hear them before buying.
Thank you for replying. Yest JH has 3, but my ssummpin is they are very similar conically, so I didn't differentiate, but I'd probably get the M2. Forssell makes a 500, and the 1U rack mount I guess. I'd get the rack mount SMP-2b. You are right, the best way is to try both, not sure how feasible that is for me. I'm sure I'd love both.

I am aware of the design differences... Would you care to give a shot at describing the difference in their sounds.
Old 22nd July 2020
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

which mic pre did you get? Thinking of getting the forssell smp-2B.
Old 8th August 2020
  #6
After consultation with a recording engineer whom I grew to respect, I ended up buying an ADT form Germany.
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