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Any comments on the new AEA mic pre?
Old 24th January 2007
  #1
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

Any comments on the new AEA mic pre?

Hi all-

New to this forum, but have been reading for the past week or so with much amusement and interest. You guys are hilarious. I have been using an RCA 77DX for many applications (vocal, acoustic guitar, wurlitzer, etc.) over the past decade or so primarily with chained Telefunken V-72a's, and occasionally with a Langevin AM-16. Seems to sound pretty good. I am in the process of thinking about adding to my arsonal (a bunch of scully 280 mic pres, pair Beyer M500s, pair Wright small capsule condensers, pair sennheisser 406 small capsule condensers, Cameron Labs large capsule Condenser, Shure 315, pair Urie LA-4, Cameron-Fairchild Frankestein Compresser, Stocktronics plate reverb, pair Klemt Echolettes, MCI 1" 8 track & 1/4" half track, etc) with another mic pre, another mic (AEA R84?), another limiter. Would like to get something not TOO $$$ but sounds great. Ha Ha. I realize this is the "high end" forum, so I hope no one feels too insulted by my reference to a piece of gear that is less than 2 grand. Thought I might try something "new". Any thoughts?
Old 24th January 2007
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

I love the TRP. I regularly use the Royer r121 and sf12, AEA r92 and M500. This pre made a nice improvement in the sound of these mics. I used a John Hardy M1 before.
Old 24th January 2007
  #3
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

thanks for that info. haven't heard the John Hardy, but it seems to have lots of fans...
Old 24th January 2007
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

I wish it was a kit.
Can't justify buying another pre - but it be fun to build one.
Old 24th January 2007
  #5
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Zwinter's Avatar
 

I used the TRP on a vocal recording session and then during a live show. The ribbon mic I was using with it was the Crowley and Tripp Studio Vocalist, which has a great output level for a ribbon mic. The first thing that I noticed was this pre had more gain than anything I had used in a very long time, if not ever. I never struggled with the softer passages, even when the singer was whispering.

It is a clear sounding pre and won't introduce any flavor like a Thermionic Culture or API will. So for some flavor I believe I added a Portico 5033. That combination on the vocals proved to work really well. I had worked with this vocalist so I was really familiar with is problem areas. After trying over the course of a month, or so, probably 10 different combinations this ended up being my favorite.
Old 25th January 2007
  #6
Gear Addict
 

The AEA TRP is FANTASTIC!. Tons of nice clean gain w/o that sterile transformerless sound. As good as solid state can sound with a ribbon, I'd venture to guess. Now, if AEA only made a tube preamp I could die happy!
Old 25th January 2007
  #7
AB3
Lives for gear
 

Forssell Fetcode. Plenty of gain.

Iike the AEA TRP but frankly, for some vocals, I prefer the A Designs MP-2A - richer and more color.

However, for more detail in the ribbon - I go for the TRP. So it has its place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegrasser View Post
The AEA TRP is FANTASTIC!. Tons of nice clean gain w/o that sterile transformerless sound. As good as solid state can sound with a ribbon, I'd venture to guess. Now, if AEA only made a tube preamp I could die happy!
Old 25th January 2007
  #8
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

Anybody done an AB with the Great River and the TRP?

thanks for all the input...
Old 25th January 2007
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
Forssell Fetcode. Plenty of gain.

Iike the AEA TRP but frankly, for some vocals, I prefer the A Designs MP-2A - richer and more color.

However, for more detail in the ribbon - I go for the TRP. So it has its place.

My only hesitation about the Fetcode is it's not an all tube design. Unless I'm mistaken, the first stage is solid state. I want an all tube design that gives the ribbons a bit of that haunting quality I hear in so many old recordings. (Yes, I know great performers, great instruments, great rooms as well). But I think the preamp is crucial too.
Old 25th January 2007
  #10
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ISedlacek's Avatar
For few days I have here TRP (with AEA R84 and R88) next to my Pendulum and DAV BG-2. TRP sounds very clean but also a bit "thin" and little less "interesting" than DAV and Pendulum ... DAV is a bit more "round" and musical.
Old 25th January 2007
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
For few days I have here TRP (with AEA R84 and R88) next to my Pendulum and DAV BG-2. TRP sounds very clean but also a bit "thin" and little less "interesting" than DAV and Pendulum ... DAV is a bit more "round" and musical.

That's impressive. I had the Grace 101 (w/70db) of gain and the AEA TRP beat it by a mile on my AEA mics. The Grace was too shimery-sounding and didn't have the midrange musicality of the AEA TRP. Since the Grace, I've been kinda biased against transformerless designs. The DAV is transformerless, right?
Old 25th January 2007
  #12
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegrasser View Post
That's impressive. I had the Grace 101 (w/70db) of gain and the AEA TRP beat it by a mile on my AEA mics. The Grace was too shimery-sounding and didn't have the midrange musicality of the AEA TRP. Since the Grace, I've been kinda biased against transformerless designs. The DAV is transformerless, right?
Yes, it it transformless, so is TRP I think ... TRP is more pronounced on HF, but DAV or Pendulum have some extra pleasant touch ...
Old 26th January 2007
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
Yes, it it transformless, so is TRP I think ... TRP is more pronounced on HF, but DAV or Pendulum have some extra pleasant touch ...
Well, the AEA TRP is JFET design. Doesn't that mean it has a transformer, or do I have it exactly backwards?
Old 26th January 2007
  #14
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 

DAV does sound really rich and round, but it's only 66db of gain, or 58 on the older ones, and when you run out of gain, the 83db of gain on the TRP suddenly looks really inviting.
Old 26th January 2007
  #15
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan View Post
DAV does sound really rich and round, but it's only 66db of gain, or 58 on the older ones, and when you run out of gain, the 83db of gain on the TRP suddenly looks really inviting.
I found that in this kind of very high gain settings TRP is not that quiet, so it comes basically to the same to increase the volume of the recorded take ..
Old 26th January 2007
  #16
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

Thanks all for taking the time to share your views. I have decided to take the plunge and ordered a TRP yesterday. Should be a good complement to my Telefunken V-72a's, Langevin AM16 and ton 'o Scully 280s. Now, is there a limiter or compressor out there for the same $$ that will beat the LA-4s (though they are great on some things)? I am looking for something a bit more transparent, maybe a bit less, um, dark? Is this newish tube Summit ( the 50 something, I believe) worth listening to for fingerstyle acoustic guitar w/ miles of transients?
Old 26th January 2007
  #17
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
I found that in this kind of very high gain settings TRP is not that quiet, so it comes basically to the same to increase the volume of the recorded take ..

And do you do this by switching out of 'cal' or raising the volume on your recorder, or moving the mic closer, or by asking the musician to play a little louder or some other way? Just curious.
Old 26th January 2007
  #18
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundbarnfool View Post
And do you do this by switching out of 'cal' or raising the volume on your recorder, or moving the mic closer, or by asking the musician to play a little louder or some other way? Just curious.
I mean that most probably you get the same amount of noise if you record with maximum +66dB setting on another preamp and then increase the volume within a DAW or use directly TRP set to say +80 dB

I made some more comments here: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showpost....8&postcount=28
Old 26th January 2007
  #19
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Zwinter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
I found that in this kind of very high gain settings TRP is not that quiet, so it comes basically to the same to increase the volume of the recorded take ..
I disagree, I feel, from experience with this pre-amp, the noise you are probably hearing is coming from the mic. Remember, as you boost the mic you are bringing everything up, from the music that you are trying to capture to the self noise of the microphone. If you have an incredibly quiet source you may need to think about using a different type of mic. I know we all love ribbon mics, but we also need to keep the application in mind.
Old 27th January 2007
  #20
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 

Has anyone compared the TRP to the Phoenix DRS-1? The Phoenix is totally silent at high gain (rated at 80db), so I know it's possible to engineer a preamp that way. The TRP is $400 pre channel, the DRS is over a grand for one channel, so maybe the extra money buys less noise at high gain?
Old 4th February 2007
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Yesterday, I got to be in ribbon mic heaven. A couple friends came by and we tried all these mics through the TRP.

From one friends collection:

B & O Ribbon
B & O with RCA 44BX reribbon
B & O stereo
RCA 44BX
RCA 77DX
Shure Uniron

From anothers:
AEA R84


My mics:
AEA R92
Royer R121
Royer SF12

a Demo I'm trying
Royer R122V


We played them all thru the AEA TRP, which the friend with the older ribbons agreed made them sound much more present and full than any other preamp he had heard ( he has LOTS of pres). The friend with the R84 liked the TRP over his Grace pre.

All of the mics had that cool ribbon mojo I love, the older mics definitely had more noise than the modern mics. I came away with much repect for the RCAs and with a great appreciation for what the folks at Royer and Wes Dooley (AEA) are doing with modern ribbons.

My Favorites
1) R122V and SF12
2) R84
3) RCA 44BX
4) R121
5) R92
6) 77DX

I would have been very happy with any of the above, just ranked them in the order of there usefullness to me.

All the B & O's were good, but more noisy. The RCAs were between the others on the noise scale, all the modern ribbons were very quiet, the SF12 and R122V being extremely quiet.
Old 4th February 2007
  #22
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emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petimar View Post
Yesterday, I got to be in ribbon mic heaven. A couple friends came by and we tried all these mics through the TRP.

From one friends collection:

B & O Ribbon
B & O with RCA 44BX reribbon
B & O stereo
RCA 44BX
RCA 77DX
Shure Uniron

From anothers:
AEA R84


My mics:
AEA R92
Royer R121
Royer SF12

a Demo I'm trying
Royer R122V


We played them all thru the AEA TRP, which the friend with the older ribbons agreed made them sound much more present and full than any other preamp he had heard ( he has LOTS of pres). The friend with the R84 liked the TRP over his Grace pre.

All of the mics had that cool ribbon mojo I love, the older mics definitely had more noise than the modern mics. I came away with much repect for the RCAs and with a great appreciation for what the folks at Royer and Wes Dooley (AEA) are doing with modern ribbons.

My Favorites
1) R122V and SF12
2) R84
3) RCA 44BX
4) R121
5) R92
6) 77DX

I would have been very happy with any of the above, just ranked them in the order of there usefullness to me.

All the B & O's were good, but more noisy. The RCAs were between the others on the noise scale, all the modern ribbons were very quiet, the SF12 and R122V being extremely quiet.

I would have loved to hear the Peluso (R14?) in that bunch. I'm trying to decide between that and the R84. By the way isn't there a "special vocal" enhanced version of the R84 (CJV?)
Old 5th February 2007
  #23
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jslevin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by emkay View Post
I would have loved to hear the Peluso (R14?) in that bunch. I'm trying to decide between that and the R84. By the way isn't there a "special vocal" enhanced version of the R84 (CJV?)
The "DJV" is not better for vocals per se, it's better for close-up vocal work, e.g., voiceovers. It may also be better for having a vocalist sing right into it, a few inches away, but used more conventionally, the original R84 is a pretty spectacular vocal mic. I think those who buy the DJ version for lead vocals are probably missing out.

JSL
Old 6th February 2007
  #24
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emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
The "DJV" is not better for vocals per se, it's better for close-up vocal work, e.g., voiceovers. It may also be better for having a vocalist sing right into it, a few inches away, but used more conventionally, the original R84 is a pretty spectacular vocal mic. I think those who buy the DJ version for lead vocals are probably missing out.

JSL

Thanks for that
Old 6th February 2007
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zwinter View Post
I disagree, I feel, from experience with this pre-amp, the noise you are probably hearing is coming from the mic. Remember, as you boost the mic you are bringing everything up, from the music that you are trying to capture to the self noise of the microphone. If you have an incredibly quiet source you may need to think about using a different type of mic. I know we all love ribbon mics, but we also need to keep the application in mind.
One way to find out: wire a 150 ohm resistor across pin's 2 and 3 inside a male XLR connector. Now you have a noise source to match the preamp. Crank up the gain, what do you hear? Now compare, you will find pre's with very low EIN will be less noisy than others without acoustic noise being heard. Very good one's achive -129 db EIN, some even less than that.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 6th February 2007
  #26
Gear Head
 

Yeah, what Jim said. However if you are comparing mulitple preamps, make sure that you set them all for the same gain. The test he mentions is invalid if the gain at which the test is done are not equal. EIN figures take this into account.
Old 6th February 2007
  #27
Lives for gear
 

love it

The AEA pre is great for me.

Makes my moded cascades (victors, inner cage&silk removed with cinemags) seem huge and quiet.
I got it to demo, assuming I prob would send it back.
It is not going back. No Way.

MINE
Old 7th February 2007
  #28
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundbarnfool View Post
Any thoughts?
It sounds great and for the first time on quiet sources you may find yourself turning the pre DOWN.

HEADS UP:

The AEA TRP preamp will increase in price by $118 on Feb 15, 2007.

War
Old 7th February 2007
  #29
Gear Addict
 

I think the AEA TRP is great!! W/my R92, and a little bass roll off in my DAW I get a nice almost analog-like vibe from my acoustic guitar/voice performances. Good clean, vibey country music.
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