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What is the coolest Preamp today?
Old 25th April 2015
  #1
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CJ1973's Avatar
 

What is the coolest Preamp today?

Lol.. agree, maybe a dumb question but I have the usual suspects (Telefunken/Neve/Focusrite/API/)... curious to know what's cool out there? Let's say I'm the old guy asking the young kid what the latest music is that the kids are listening to.....we are slutz after all, so why not buy because it's cool right? lol...
Edit: By digging into this topic more, I'm hoping we could also discuss some great independent manufacturers who make high quality items that are off the chain as well as the not so discussed vintage pieces that are amazing!

Last edited by CJ1973; 25th April 2015 at 06:46 PM..
Old 25th April 2015
  #2
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Lenzo's Avatar
The coolest one I have is a Sonic Farms Silkworm. Not discussed too often here, but unique in design. Sounds great and just looks cool in the 500 rack.
L.
Old 25th April 2015
  #3
Art MPA ii
Old 25th April 2015
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raz_klinghoffer View Post
Art MPA ii
Yes, Art rocks!! It was my first preamp and I spilled coffee on the tube and had no idea what to do with it.....
Im starting to get some love back for my Demeter VTMP-2As... they are so smooth!!
Old 25th April 2015
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
The coolest one I have is a Sonic Farms Silkworm. Not discussed too often here, but unique in design. Sounds great and just looks cool in the 500 rack.
L.
Holy cow these look amazing!! Even the insides look stellar! Any examples? Would you say Berliner is their top shelf?
Is it colored like Neve or transparent?

edit: I just read they are taking V76 to the next level. I actually have a V76-S and love love it!
Their flagship is the Creamer but it's cheaper than the Berliner?

Last edited by CJ1973; 25th April 2015 at 06:20 AM..
Old 25th April 2015
  #6
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ztjangle's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
...
Im starting to get some love back for my Demeter VTMP-2As... they are so smooth!!
I still have my Demeter. Back in the day it almost had no competition in current production. It was my main preamp in the 90's and 00's. A few years back I gave it to a friend in LA to use in his studio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
Holy cow these look amazing!! Even the insides look stellar! Any examples? Would you say Berliner is their top shelf?
Is it colored like Neve or transparent?
edit: I just read they are taking V76 to the next level. I actually have a V76-S and love love it!
Their flagship is the Creamer but it's cheaper than the Berliner?
Although both colored, those 2 sound very different. Whereas Berliner is more a classic-sounding tube pre, with both warmth and amazing clarity, Creamer disposes of the gain control and squeezes all it's gain (up to 74dB) out of a single pentode. This yields an abundance of pleasant harmonics while retaining definition.

Easier to make than Berliner, hence cheaper but our most popular pre. Both have dedicated line input transformers to run mixes through them for gluing/warming. Lots of audio samples on our site. Berliner is fairly new and we'll have some audio samples up soon.
Old 25th April 2015
  #7
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Thanks, ztjangle. Appreciate the response!
I'll have to come by say hey next time i'm up in Vancouver. Love it there!!
Great. I will definitely dig deep in researching and definitely listen to some samples too!
I'd be curious to know if there may be plans to add a dedicated Eq section/s in the future....
Congrats on your products! They certainly look apart!! They look well built too!
Old 25th April 2015
  #8
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ztjangle's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
Thanks, ztjangle. Appreciate the response!
I'll have to come by say hey next time i'm up in Vancouver. Love it there!!
Great. I will definitely dig deep in researching and definitely listen to some samples too!
I'd be curious to know if there may be plans to add a dedicated Eq section/s in the future....
Congrats on your products! They certainly look apart!! They look well built too!
They both have a very basic but still very effective, boost only EQ. It uses inductors and is very musical.

While a channel strip is not planned at the time, we may build a dedicated tube EQ in the next year or so. It will not be a surgical EQ that provides all EQ functions (gain, freq, Q) but more of a "whatever you touch sounds good" kind of thing.

We also have a rep in LA (where I lived for 15yrs) and he always has some loaner units to try out. Message me from our site's contact box if that could be of any interest to you.
Old 25th April 2015
  #9
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Thanks, ztjangle.
Will drop a note to re-connect on site.
Yes, the Eq approach sounds great! Good luck with that too!!
Old 25th April 2015
  #10
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Tommyswami's Avatar
I love the a designs pacifuva for the preamps and the hammer for the eq I've just acquired them in the last 6 months and love them
Old 25th April 2015
  #11
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Remy Leloup's Avatar
My 3 revelations :

1) NPNG from Karl Diehl ...I just ordered 4 channels of " Cadilac" and 4 channels of " Uberlux " as their first NPNG prototype 2NW ( neutral warm ) is SPLENDID

So I'll have 10 various channels of NPNG , I adore them to death

2) ELECTRODYNE mic pre when it comes to getting Sirupy to your vocal tracks , it's the one to get , during the demo days last week at Funky Junk Paris , I ordered one in a heartbeat , it was on a Bock Audio I Fet KILLERCOMBO

3) like numerous guys here , sonic farm audio , I'll test their range of products next june at the shop of my french dealer " magic mastering" , I'll take with me my V76's in order to compare to their " berliners "
Old 25th April 2015
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remy Leloup View Post
My 3 revelations :

2) ELECTRODYNE mic pre when it comes to getting Sirupy to your vocal tracks , it's the one to get , during the demo days last week at Funky Junk Paris , I ordered one in a heartbeat , it was on a Bock Audio I Fet KILLERCOMBO

3) like numerous guys here , sonic farm audio , I'll test their range of products next june at the shop of my french dealer " magic mastering" , I'll take with me my V76's in order to compare to their " berliners "
Thanks Remy as always.
Curious to know...
1. Which Electrodyne are you referring to and what type of voice? Would you describe the chain and environment? Ever used a Bock 507?

2. Im going to hit up Sonic farm and test out the Berliner as well other. I have a V76 and Neve so can compare with both extremes of tube butter and harmonic distortion.
Old 25th April 2015
  #13
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hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ztjangle View Post
I still have my Demeter. Back in the day it almost had no competition in current production. It was my main preamp in the 90's and 00's.
Me Too!!


I have the first stereo version pretty much in a black box. From the 80's. I also have serial#1 of the production run. These preamps still get much love from me. I have a couple of the DI boxes too. Use them always to try instruments in to various preamps. And using the Demeter tube pre in live applications can make an acoustic/electric guitar sound really nice. Not to mention upright bass.

I think as far as 'cool' goes I would have to submit my Altec 1567a and Grommes G5M.

However, I think all my preamps are cool.
Old 25th April 2015
  #14
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Remy Leloup's Avatar
I tried and bought the Electrodyne 501 ( the one in 500 lunchbox format )

tried it with the Bock I Fet which is remarkable ( I decided to buy it too and the Electrodyne 511 EQ as well )

Some say it's the Motown sound ...All I can say is the sound is very sensual , the Electrodyne is fantastic for that kind of intimate female vocals , I think it will perfectly match my DP 250

So Bock I Fet > Electodyne pre and Electrodyne EQ = STUNNING

Was shocked how good it was , I just took the three pieces of gear in a heartbeat


No I've never tried a Bock 507 but I guess it's fantastic.

My go to mic is a Neumann 367 ORTF ( Neumann M 269 french broadcast )
Old 25th April 2015
  #15
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Remy Leloup's Avatar
CJ 1973

If you are based on L.A , you should ask to Tony Shepperd as he perfectly knows and loves the Electrodyne 501 preamp , you have to hear it

Not to mention that I'll add another Electrodyne for Overheads with my pair of Dave Pearlman's DP 250 ( Awesome for that )

Best luck with your search

Last , my Telefunken EQ is a 295 B , but much prefer the Fearn VT Eq
Old 25th April 2015
  #16
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_Mark's Avatar
I'm really looking at that Silkworm now!
Old 25th April 2015
  #17
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ztjangle's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remy Leloup View Post
My 3 revelations :

1) NPNG from Karl Diehl ...I just ordered 4 channels of " Cadilac" and 4 channels of " Uberlux " as their first NPNG prototype 2NW ( neutral warm ) is SPLENDID

So I'll have 10 various channels of NPNG , I adore them to death

2) ELECTRODYNE mic pre when it comes to getting Sirupy to your vocal tracks , it's the one to get , during the demo days last week at Funky Junk Paris , I ordered one in a heartbeat , it was on a Bock Audio I Fet KILLERCOMBO

3) like numerous guys here , sonic farm audio , I'll test their range of products next june at the shop of my french dealer " magic mastering" , I'll take with me my V76's in order to compare to their " berliners "
When you go to Frederic's studio to test our gear, would you also please take one of your NPNG boxes with you? I've never heard one personally and would be very curious to know how they compare to our stuff. By the way Frederic only has a Creamer and a Creamliner, no Berliner or Silk Road (which is a solid state pre).
Old 25th April 2015
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remy Leloup View Post
I
So Bock I Fet > Electodyne pre and Electrodyne EQ = STUNNING
Nice, I'll have to check them out.
Did you try that chain with any compressors/limiters?
I have an 60s RCA console with a bunch of RCA/Melcor components which I understand were similarly built at the time. The GME eq's are very musical and have the same knobs as the Electrodynes. I have 32 of the GME's.
My go-to for pop today is Sony C800G/V76-S/CL1B and touching on my vintage LA2A for sweetness, then going into the RCA console (closest is a vintage API) and the high/low pass filter buttons pushed in and eq knobs not dialed at all but purely for the tone.
Old 25th April 2015
  #19
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Remy Leloup's Avatar
Not again yet

I like to track with my finger riding levels

For mixing : compressors : GML 8900 / Retro 176
Old 25th April 2015
  #20
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Remy Leloup's Avatar
No problem ztjangle

I can do that at Frederic' shop in June as I have to get my new Knif Soma eq and the amphion one 18 .

Your creamier is on my radar , but all the NPNG stuff is solid state ( no tubes ) but really sounds awesome.

I am definitely conviced that your porducts are based on the same quality
Old 26th April 2015
  #21
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sdelsolray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
Lol.. agree, maybe a dumb question but I have the usual suspects (Telefunken/Neve/Focusrite/API/)... curious to know what's cool out there? Let's say I'm the old guy asking the young kid what the latest music is that the kids are listening to.....we are slutz after all, so why not buy because it's cool right? lol...
Edit: By digging into this topic more, I'm hoping we could also discuss some great independent manufacturers who make high quality items that are off the chain as well as the not so discussed vintage pieces that are amazing!
IMO, there is no "coolest" preamp. That's because what I like can be different than what you like, in pure subjective and aesthetic terms. Add to that different applications, different music genres, different ensemble makeups, etc., and it's basically impossible to identify a one-size-fits-all coolest or best preamp.

Making a distinction between "vintage" and everything else is a bit artificial. There are plenty of current preamp manufacturers that build their preamps to vintage specs more or less. But I guess it depends on how old a preamp needs to be to be considered vintage. 1960s? 1980s? 1990s?
Old 26th April 2015
  #22
Jb2
Gear Nut
 

i am having fun with the disengoff d4. Maybe not a high end price but a great pre

Old 26th April 2015
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdelsolray View Post
IMO, there is no "coolest" preamp.
Used to think so too until i heard about the Hendyamps Mosaic.
Old 26th April 2015
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
Lol.. agree, maybe a dumb question but I have the usual suspects (Telefunken/Neve/Focusrite/API/)... curious to know what's cool out there? Let's say I'm the old guy asking the young kid what the latest music is that the kids are listening to.....we are slutz after all, so why not buy because it's cool right? lol...
Edit: By digging into this topic more, I'm hoping we could also discuss some great independent manufacturers who make high quality items that are off the chain as well as the not so discussed vintage pieces that are amazing!
Every preamp in the rack is cool when you drink the COOL Aid!

Last edited by Doc Mixwell; 26th April 2015 at 08:18 PM..
Old 26th April 2015
  #25
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Hansest's Avatar
 

I heard the Avedis MA5 with and without the 28k setting and was very impressed ! Even though i supposedly don´t need no more preamps, i´m considering a pair!! and EQ-wise, i also got 2 E27 and sold my vintage API 550a´s and my 2nd pair is coming. Not affiliated in any way with avedis, just a very happy user.
Old 26th April 2015
  #26
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Don't know what the coolest pre is (is there a such thing?) but this has to be one of the warmest. Says so right on the box. :0)
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Old 27th April 2015
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobelix View Post
i guess the next question would be: so, whats the best eq these days?
I just bought a RND 551 and I must say that it is like caramel molasses all over the signal - I have never had an inductor EQ before so I can't say how this compares to the others but it beats the pants off of all the EQ's I've used in the past. I think I am a convert, after drinking this kool-aid all I want to do is try the Electrodyne...
Old 28th April 2015
  #28
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_Mark's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shreddoggie View Post
I just bought a RND 551 and I must say that it is like caramel molasses all over the signal - I have never had an inductor EQ before so I can't say how this compares to the others but it beats the pants off of all the EQ's I've used in the past. I think I am a convert, after drinking this kool-aid all I want to do is try the Electrodyne...
Have you ever used a Chandler Little Devil EQ? I wonder how it compares.
Old 28th April 2015
  #29
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elamberth's Avatar
DW Fearn.
Old 28th April 2015
  #30
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Hansest's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shreddoggie View Post
I just bought a RND 551 and I must say that it is like caramel molasses all over the signal - I have never had an inductor EQ before so I can't say how this compares to the others but it beats the pants off of all the EQ's I've used in the past. I think I am a convert, after drinking this kool-aid all I want to do is try the Electrodyne...

we made an ab between the rnd 551, Electrodyne, aveids E27, api 550a vintage, bettermaker 502, purple tav, api 560, fivefish peq503, maag EQ4, Elektra, Retro 2a3, A designs Hammer and EM-PEQ, and found very interesting results !
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