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Mic Pre clips using Fearn, TAB V-78m, Neve Portico
Old 11th February 2007
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Mic Pre clips using Fearn, TAB V-78m, Neve Portico

I thought I would post some clips for those interested of 3 mic preamps--the D.W. Fearn VT-1 tube pre, the TAB V-78m tube pre, and the Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5012 pre. The clips were all made using a couple of great Audio Technica AT 4051a SDC mics that I just got. The clips are (unfortunately) 128 kbps mp3's, because I have a slow internet connection, and Soundclick wouldn't accept any mp3 bitrates higher than 128 kbps for my free account.

MIC PRE COMPARISON --

*Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5012

*D.W. Fearn VT-1

*Tab Funkenwerk V-78m



Here are some mp3 files comparing the TAB Funkenwerk V-78m tube mic-pre, the D.W. Fearn VT-1 tube mic pre, and the Rupert Neve Portico 5012 mic pre (silk switch engaged).

The files are 128 kbps mp3 files, converted from 16 bit, 44.1 khz CD quality .wav files. They were recorded into Pro Tools at 24 bit, 44.1 using new Audio Technica AT4051a SDC mics, running through a Prism AD 124. My brother is playing a Hill Classical guitar, and a Tacoma steel string acoustic. The reverb added uses D Verb in Pro Tools. The tracks were recorded at a healthy level, normalized, then they had reverb added, and then normalized again, then saved to disk.

Because the two tube mic pres are single channel, I used the two AT 4051a mics that I had, placed side by side pointing at the sound hole of the classical guitar, and same position on the acoustic--the middle of the guitar--(although the Tacoma acoustic has a sound hole that is on the upper bout). Thus the two tube mic pres are a simultaneous recording of the same performance, with the same mics spaced about 5 inches apart. The Portico (with silk switch engaged) is a recording of a different performance on both the classical and acoustic, but through one of the AT 4051a's. Hopefully it still gives you an idea of how the 3 pre's compare.

I'm sure these aren't perfect, but hopefully they will give you an understanding of the differences between these three mic preamps.

Link to my Soundclick page with mic pre clips:

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=291104

Enjoy!heh

Dr. Gonzo

Last edited by Dr. Gonzo; 12th February 2007 at 12:12 AM.. Reason: grammatical mistakes
Old 11th February 2007
  #2
Gear Addict
 
bendecido's Avatar
 

thanks for that my friend.
the funkenwek sounds best to me. Much more 3d - killer!!!
Old 12th February 2007
  #3
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bendecido's Avatar
 

which mic did you use my friend?
Old 12th February 2007
  #4
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GearHunter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bendecido View Post
which mic did you use my friend?
Quote:
The files are 128 kbps mp3 files, converted from 16 bit, 44.1 khz CD quality .wav files. They were recorded into Pro Tools at 24 bit, 44.1 using new Audio Technica AT4051a SDC mics, running through a Prism AD 124. My brother is playing a Hill Classical guitar, and a Tacoma steel string acoustic. The reverb added uses D Verb in Pro Tools. The tracks were recorded at a healthy level, normalized, then they had reverb added, and then normalized again, then saved to disk.
There it is...
Old 12th February 2007
  #5
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GearHunter's Avatar
 

I'm leaning towards the TAB myself, although they all sound good. The tube mic samples sound a little tubby, totally a mic-placement thing.

I love the AT4051 because they are smooth, round and natural -- no high-end hype. Have a pair of 'em myself.
Old 12th February 2007
  #6
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bendecido's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHunter View Post
There it is...
**** didnt see that
my bad lol
Old 13th February 2007
  #7
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Drumsound's Avatar
I hear the difference, but the reverb is really muddying up the waters...
Old 13th February 2007
  #8
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bendecido's Avatar
 

yea id love to hear it without the reverb.

peace
Old 13th February 2007
  #9
Baz
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Baz's Avatar
 

The Portico gets my vote. Not as lumpy as the TAB and more articulate imo.

I'd also like to hear the clips w/o all that heavy verb.

edit: only listened to the classical clips
Old 13th February 2007
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Hey all,
Thanks for the interest! I put up the non reverb version of the clips on my Soundclick website (link above).

Gonzo
Old 13th February 2007
  #11
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trustyjim's Avatar
 

Great recordings!

Good hell, the DW Fearn on the Classical guitar is downright amazing! heh That track just sucks you in. What a fine recording! In general, to me it sounds like the TAB has less definition than the Fearn, but both give a musicality it seems you can only get with tubes.

I think the TAB sounds the best on the Acoustic guitar out of these recordings.

The Portico offers the most detail, but in comparison on these particular tracks it's just not as musical. Plus the mic placement has more proximity effect (to my ears) on the Portico tracks. I would be curious to hear the Acoustic guitar part re-recorded with the Fearn, paying special attention to mic placement for that preamp- I think you could get a better track than with the TAB, but the mic position needs adjusting because the Fearn is so bright and detailed.

Different strokes for different instruments I guess. I'm just really impressed by the Fearn on that classical. Thanks for posting, it's a nice way for us poor folks to get a bit of an idea of the sound of some expensive pieces that we wouldn't otherwise ever hear.
Old 13th February 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
The Fearn rules them all

Amazing how we all hear differently.

I thought the Fearn definitely sounded heads above the rest. The high end and definition were better(more open). Everything about it sounded better.

The tab came in second and the Portico last.
Old 13th February 2007
  #13
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trustyjim's Avatar
 

Nevermind the TAB on Acoustic- I just went back and relistened to the tracks without reverb. DW Fearn all the way! That preamp just sounds amazing
Old 13th February 2007
  #14
Gear Addict
 

Man, I prefer the Portico. I wonder if it's hypnotized me? The top on the Fearn in the straight acoustic version was REALLY nice, but it sounded kinda anemic to me. -E
Old 14th February 2007
  #15
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Isle of Weight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie View Post
Amazing how we all hear differently.

I thought the Fearn definitely sounded heads above the rest. The high end and definition were better(more open). Everything about it sounded better.

The tab came in second and the Portico last.
Ollie your right, Amazing how we do hear differently
The Portico would be my 1st choice, very interesting....

AA
Old 15th February 2007
  #16
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joninc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHunter View Post
I love the AT4051 because they are smooth, round and natural -- no high-end hype. Have a pair of 'em myself.

how do these mics compare with the AKG 451s (new - fixed card)? i have a pair and i like them but sometimes i find them a little too zippy in the high end.
Old 15th February 2007
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Thank God; I thought it was just me! -E

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isle of Weight View Post
Ollie your right, Amazing how we do hear differently
The Portico would be my 1st choice, very interesting....

AA
Old 15th February 2007
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Sweet!! If I could have the TAB without the noise I'd be a happy camper!

M.
Old 15th February 2007
  #19
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thenoiseflower's Avatar
 

Surprisingly, I pick the portico too. from these recordings.

but I'd need to hear the fearn on a nice-r acoustic, overall, I think the fearn showed the most natural balance and sounded closest to what I'd expect a tacoma guitar to sound like.

on the nylon string, its a toss up in regards to what the player liked, aside from the bottom on the fearn, which is noticibly thicker, bigger, and sounds like it captures ALL of the low's from the guitar.
Old 15th February 2007
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie View Post
Amazing how we all hear differently.

I thought the Fearn definitely sounded heads above the rest. The high end and definition were better(more open). Everything about it sounded better.

The tab came in second and the Portico last.
the first three acoustic samples only:
VT-1 really open, high mids are really there - sounds really elegant
V-78m heavy, but still detail emphasis on lower mids - classic, could do with more mids, maybe mic placement, different from the rest
Portico round, and friendly, less detail, but overall balanced evenly - sounds warm but muffled a bit

listening to the rest now, nice clips
thanks

edit: classical is the same coloration but there's something funny going on. the VT-1 and V-78m should have way more highs. Portico sounds nice too!
Old 15th February 2007
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

The V-78 on steel string sounds just as I think it should. The Fearn was very close and I wouln't hesitate to use it in a session. The Portico seemed very pronounced in the bottom, which would probably work in a solo situation, but might have trouble cutting through with other instruments.

IMO, the V-78 proved to be the best overall.
Old 15th February 2007
  #22
Gear Addict
 

Thank you Doctor for posting those samples !...

D.W. Fearn, great as usual, the perfect balance, unbeatable to me...

The two others are nice and have a distinct personality but I wouldn't use them for that purpose if the Fearn is available...

I just considered the acoustic tracks for I think the nylon tracks are pretty hard to compare because of an overall kinda muddy veil... Microphones, mic placement, old strings ?...

Very informative post, thanks again...

Olivier.
Old 15th February 2007
  #23
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tamasdragon's Avatar
 

My vote is portico. More transients, more body. Somehow I liked that the best.

Tamas Dragon
Old 10th March 2007
  #24
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

portico all the way to me!!
Old 11th March 2007
  #25
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laser's Avatar
 

For me, it was clearly the Fearn:

The Fearn on the classical guitar with reverb: it was simply perfect.

I also loved the Fearn on the steel string guitar without reverb--more open and musical than the other preamps.

Laser
Old 11th March 2007
  #26
Gear Nut
 

Shameless plug here:

I'm selling the Fearn that I used to record those clips on Ebay right now. Not much time left on the auction. Someone should snatch it up--it DOES sound stellar!

Fearn VT-1 auction on Ebay: eBay: D. W. Fearn VT-1 Tube Mic Pre - The Ultimate!!! (item 250092963346 end time Mar-13-07 03:02:37 PDT)

Gonzo
Old 2nd January 2008
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Gabriel Sousa's Avatar
witch AD converter you use to make this sound clips ?

thanks
Old 2nd January 2008
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Gabriel,
The AD converter was a Prism AD 124. I decided in the course of things that I preferred the Prism conversion over a Lavry Blue, so I'm gonna blow 5k on the new Prism Orpheus!heh I've decided to go with a Fearn VT-2, a LaChapell 992EG premium tube pre, and the Prism Orpheus with its converters and 4 mic pres. I had to sell all the stuff I had to get these things, but I think they'll sound great!

Gonzo
Old 2nd January 2008
  #29
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Knastratt's Avatar
 

Portico! No wonder I stick to my AMEK CIB.
Old 3rd January 2008
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

Portico

Fearn

TAB
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