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API 3124 or Vintech 473 500 Series Preamps
Old 15th June 2017
  #1
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API 3124 or Vintech 473

For tracking which would you choose? Why? API 3124 or Vintech 473

Last edited by jeremyhorn; 15th June 2017 at 10:21 PM..
Old 15th June 2017
  #2
We have both at our studio.

Its the same old api is great on drums neve for anything else that doesn't need super fast midforward response.

Try both make up your own mind (y)

Good luck
Old 16th June 2017
  #3
They are very different. I really like the Vintech on close mic'd drums. API on overheads and any close mic'd cymbals.
Old 16th June 2017
  #4
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Get two 512's and two 573's.
Old 17th June 2017
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyhorn View Post
For tracking which would you choose? Why? API 3124 or Vintech 473
Why are the API 3124 and Vintech 473 the only options you're debating?!

Personally I think there is a place for API preamps and vintage Neve flavour pres in any Studio, but I'm not a particular fan of the Vintech offerings in the latter category. So if those were the only two options, I'd lean towards the 3124. But GR, BA, AMS or RND would be candidates I'd have on my list if I were you. ; )
Old 18th June 2017
  #6
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Daking!
Old 19th June 2017
  #7
warm audio wa412
vintech 473
sebatron vmp4000e
Old 22nd June 2017
  #8
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I just bought a Vintech 473 for about $1500 with the power supply. I have UA 610's and RND Porticos. Am I going to like the Vintech? Getting an API 3124 next. I record country, pop, and rock.
Old 23rd June 2017
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwarren View Post
I just bought a Vintech 473 for about $1500 with the power supply. I have UA 610's and RND Porticos. Am I going to like the Vintech? Getting an API 3124 next. I record country, pop, and rock.
Personally, I'd be surprised if you like the Vintech 473 better than your RNDs in Silk mode. But that said, some folk swear by them, so it will be interesting to hear your take on it once you get them settled in and start to work with them.

The API will give you a noticeably different flavour from any of the others you have presently, so it should 'expand your palette', if that's what you're going for. ; )
Old 23rd June 2017
  #10
The Vintechs and RND are definitely different enough to justify having both. The Vintech is capable of more gritty thickening. The RND is capable of more detail and accuracy. Quite a few inbetween textures for both of course.
Old 23rd June 2017
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
They are very different. I really like the Vintech on close mic'd drums. API on overheads and any close mic'd cymbals.
Haha I do the opposite. API for close mics for lunch, 1073 style for overheads/anything I want a bit smoother.

If I could only have one, I'd have a 1073 style pre (don't like API on vocals).
Old 23rd June 2017
  #12
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Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Haha I do the opposite. API for close mics for lunch, 1073 style for overheads/anything I want a bit smoother.

If I could only have one, I'd have a 1073 style pre (don't like API on vocals).
I agree 95% of the time. Sometimes the API works better for stereo LDCs. But a pair of Earthworks or Avenson style omnis on a Neve 1073/1272 pair really produces such a cohesive stereo field with so much stereo detail it's hard to beat for most sources. API on vocals? Only with a mid/large dynamic like MD421 or RE20. For picking up a singer playing acoustic at the same time, a pair of Bock/Soundeluxe U195 on a stereo bar through the APIs is hard to beat. But even better than Neve or API offerings is the second TG Channel I've been saving up for That EQ is SO nice. It's like having Pultec highs with 1073 mids and filters and then API 550b lows.

To the OP, you NEED both to truly appreciate either.
Old 23rd June 2017
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Haha I do the opposite. API for close mics for lunch, 1073 style for overheads/anything I want a bit smoother.

If I could only have one, I'd have a 1073 style pre (don't like API on vocals).
Sounds like I do the same as you, psycho monkey. API for my close drum mics, neve for overheads and rooms.
Old 23rd June 2017
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Haha I do the opposite. API for close mics for lunch, 1073 style for overheads/anything I want a bit smoother.

If I could only have one, I'd have a 1073 style pre (don't like API on vocals).

I do the same for drums and agree about the vocals.
Old 23rd June 2017
  #15
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I may be the only one who loves API pre's on vocals (especially if followed by a nice opto compressor)

I would prefer the API 3124 over the Vintech 473 for nearly every application
Old 24th June 2017
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainj View Post
I may be the only one who loves API pre's on vocals (especially if followed by a nice opto compressor)

I would prefer the API 3124 over the Vintech 473 for nearly every application
Maybe you are. Heh...

I'm not a rabid fan of API on vocals. It can work, just not my first preference, but it's different strokes...

"API 3124 over the Vintech 473 for nearly every application". Hmmn that's a pretty tough call, but I'll give you that one. If you were saying 3124 over a well maintained original 1073 "for nearly every application", you might be in for more of a fight!
Old 24th June 2017
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by captainj View Post
I may be the only one who loves API pre's on vocals (especially if followed by a nice opto compressor)

I would prefer the API 3124 over the Vintech 473 for nearly every application
That's the beauty of taste

I can't say I disagree with you because I don't have a Vintech - I also don't go crazy over shootouts, but every time I've had to (or chosen to) record a vocal with the API, I've struggled come mix time. Even a cheap 1073-style (GAP73) sounds better.

To me.
Old 24th June 2017
  #18
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Years ago I had the vintech 473.
Sounded smaller less exciting than my vintage 1084/73's.
Also much prefer all the Capi API clones over modern API offerings.
The Heider and vp 28's are my favs.
Old 25th June 2017
  #19
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Originally Posted by Swurveman View Post
I do the same for drums and agree about the vocals.
Stereo 1272s with a pair of omni overheads and a kick mic into TG Channel is enough to get great drum tracks in my room. Usually my go to. Don't even need close mics 90% of the time unless there's some reason a floor tom or snare hit to stand out with some effects.
Old 25th June 2017
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
Stereo 1272s with a pair of omni overheads and a kick mic into TG Channel is enough to get great drum tracks in my room. Usually my go to. Don't even need close mics 90% of the time unless there's some reason a floor tom or snare hit to stand out with some effects.
Very very cool - but, of course, totally room dependent.

Chances are that in the same amazing space, you'd get great tracks with your omni overheads and kick mic through a trio of v72 pres. Or ViPREs. Or a 3124.

Just sayin'...
Old 25th June 2017
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
Stereo 1272s with a pair of omni overheads and a kick mic into TG Channel is enough to get great drum tracks in my room. Usually my go to. Don't even need close mics 90% of the time unless there's some reason a floor tom or snare hit to stand out with some effects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSky Media View Post
Very very cool - but, of course, totally room dependent.

Chances are that in the same amazing space, you'd get great tracks with your omni overheads and kick mic through a trio of v72 pres. Or ViPREs. Or a 3124.

Just sayin'...
And style dependent too of course!
Old 25th June 2017
  #22
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Sorry, I know it's my usual, typical response, but I'd pick neither of those. Honestly, take the DIY route, learn some basic soldering, measuring and develop some
assembly skills by actually doing a couple of kits yourself. For API, any of Jeff Steiger's CAPI offerings will get you into a great, vibey API-style pre for half the price and they sound fantastic (I built 8 VP26's, then sold them and I now have 5 VP312's, I've got room for one more). For Neve style, AML EZ1073, Seventh Circle Audio N72, or Sound Skulptor MP573 kits will get you into the Neve sound with Carnhill transformers for a fraction of the other cloners (BAE, Heritage). Vintech are nice in their own way, but I don't think the transformers offer a near enough approximation of what Carnhills offer in terms of modern-day Neve-ish sound. Another good option, sort of a halfway point between API and Neve (perhaps, leaning a tad more over Neve) would be the Hairball Lola, another really good preamp. After that, for more affordable ready-made, you could look at the Rupert Neve Designs 500 series ones, or at a Daking Pre IV, for reasonably good value for you money. Everything else, you're easily up into the $750+ USD bracket per channel. Really over the top, in my opinion and no reason to go there, if you can manage to build a few kits yourself. OK, not for everyone maybe, but it's mostly a head thing, as it's really not that hard to do. A bit of practice to get the right amount of solder to melt into a nice, shiny, smooth joint, making sure it does not smear or "bridge" onto any other surrounding pads or other neighbouring solder joints, and for the most part, you're there. The rest is just bit of assembly skills, which you acquire pretty quickly. Just take your time and learn to follow instructions, the rest will follow after doing one or two projects.
Old 25th June 2017
  #23
DIY is great if you have the time.

I'd LOVE to build a few kits - but I make my money using the gear not building it, and it's simply not time efficient for me. It's actually "cheaper" to use prebuilt stuff; and that may well be the case for the OP too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by formusic View Post
Sorry, I know it's my usual, typical response, but I'd pick neither of those. Honestly, take the DIY route, learn some basic soldering, measuring and develop some
assembly skills by actually doing a couple of kits yourself. For API, any of Jeff Steiger's CAPI offerings will get you into a great, vibey API-style pre for half the price and they sound fantastic (I built 8 VP26's, then sold them and I now have 5 VP312's, I've got room for one more). For Neve style, AML EZ1073, Seventh Circle Audio N72, or Sound Skulptor MP573 kits will get you into the Neve sound with Carnhill transformers for a fraction of the other cloners (BAE, Heritage). Vintech are nice in their own way, but I don't think the transformers offer a near enough approximation of what Carnhills offer in terms of modern-day Neve-ish sound. Another good option, sort of a halfway point between API and Neve (perhaps, leaning a tad more over Neve) would be the Hairball Lola, another really good preamp. After that, for more affordable ready-made, you could look at the Rupert Neve Designs 500 series ones, or at a Daking Pre IV, for reasonably good value for you money. Everything else, you're easily up into the $750+ USD bracket per channel. Really over the top, in my opinion and no reason to go there, if you can manage to build a few kits yourself. OK, not for everyone maybe, but it's mostly a head thing, as it's really not that hard to do. A bit of practice to get the right amount of solder to melt into a nice, shiny, smooth joint, making sure it does not smear or "bridge" onto any other surrounding pads or other neighbouring solder joints, and for the most part, you're there. The rest is just bit of assembly skills, which you acquire pretty quickly. Just take your time and learn to follow instructions, the rest will follow after doing one or two projects.
Old 25th June 2017
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
DIY is great if you have the time.

I'd LOVE to build a few kits - but I make my money using the gear not building it, and it's simply not time efficient for me. It's actually "cheaper" to use prebuilt stuff; and that may well be the case for the OP too.
I dont have the time but I have a guy build all my Capi stuff.he's great and at the end of the day its still a way better value than modern API etc.
Old 25th June 2017
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
And style dependent too of course!
Style depends on the kit, tuning, and player of course. Also the TG Channel on kick mic shapes the style a lot. But I've recorded all styles this way and even done mixes for people that have fully miked kits who didn't know what they had. Just recently did a mix for somebody that had about 12 drum tracks recorded and only needed 4 for the mix. Room, L and R overheads and kick. The room mic had the deeper bass resonance from all the drums, the kick mic had attack and snare side picked up and the overheads picked up the attack and body tone of everything. Just had to use a multiband carefully to reduce the volume of the cymbals. Came out better sounding than any drum software or electronic kit. Of course having a good Fairchild compressor/limiter emulation helps too. I finally decided I need a hardware vari-mu of some kind after debating for months which drum buss comp to get Know any good variable mu compressors that are reasonably priced? Thinking about Manley. I can't spend $10k on a Mercury or ADL unfortunately.

Last edited by psykostx; 25th June 2017 at 11:40 AM..
Old 25th June 2017
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
DIY is great if you have the time.

I'd LOVE to build a few kits - but I make my money using the gear not building it, and it's simply not time efficient for me. It's actually "cheaper" to use prebuilt stuff; and that may well be the case for the OP too.
Sure, of course. Perhaps, I am not as busy as I used to be, so the DIY thing apart from saving me quite a bit and still giving me great quality gear is also relaxing and a nice way to spend the odd evening or downtime. In fact, in truth, there's probably an addictive element to it as well and I do enjoy the process. But you're right, if I had sessions booked back to back every day, I probably wouldn't get around to building much stuff. But I'm of happy with my current balance between work, leisure, study, practice, writing and a bit of DIY.
Old 25th June 2017
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSky Media View Post
Very very cool - but, of course, totally room dependent.

Chances are that in the same amazing space, you'd get great tracks with your omni overheads and kick mic through a trio of v72 pres. Or ViPREs. Or a 3124.

Just sayin'...
The 1272s smooth the levels of the cymbals and thicken the snare and toms but allow all the detail to show through as well. The TG Channel is what allows me to record this way because of how well it can shape the tone of the kick mic, which also grabs the snare side. Recording this way allows a wide variety of styles to be obtained with a well tuned kit and a optional selection of room mics.
Old 25th June 2017
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
I dont have the time but I have a guy build all my Capi stuff.he's great and at the end of the day its still a way better value than modern API etc.
Could be I suppose. The difference is less though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
Style depends on the kit, tuning, and player of course. Also the TG Channel on kick mic shapes the style a lot. But I've recorded all styles this way and even done mixes for people that have fully miked kits who didn't know what they had. Just recently did a mix for somebody that had about 12 drum tracks recorded and only needed 4 for the mix. Room, L and R overheads and kick. The room mic had the deeper bass resonance from all the drums, the kick mic had attack and snare side picked up and the overheads picked up the attack and body tone of everything. Just had to use a multiband carefully to reduce the volume of the cymbals. Came out better sounding than any drum software or electronic kit. Of course having a good Fairchild compressor/limiter emulation helps too. I finally decided I need a hardware vari-mu of some kind after debating for months which drum buss comp to get Know any good variable mu compressors that are reasonably priced? Thinking about Manley. I can't spend $10k on a Mercury or ADL unfortunately.
Sounds fun. Again - I don't necessarily think it would work for everything, BUT it doesn't matter if it works for you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by formusic View Post
Sure, of course. Perhaps, I am not as busy as I used to be, so the DIY thing apart from saving me quite a bit and still giving me great quality gear is also relaxing and a nice way to spend the odd evening or downtime. In fact, in truth, there's probably an addictive element to it as well and I do enjoy the process. But you're right, if I had sessions booked back to back every day, I probably wouldn't get around to building much stuff. But I'm of happy with my current balance between work, leisure, study, practice, writing and a bit of DIY.
My inner nerd would LOVE to have the time. But it's simply not possible for me. I don't have enough time to practice guitar!
Old 25th June 2017
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Could be I suppose. The difference is less though.



Sounds fun. Again - I don't necessarily think it would work for everything, BUT it doesn't matter if it works for you!



My inner nerd would LOVE to have the time. But it's simply not possible for me. I don't have enough time to practice guitar!
I have spent a good part of the last 40 years in studios (guitar sessions, arranging, orchestrating, conducting, producing). Now that I finally have a little more time to myself, I have made it a priority to play and practice my guitar every day quite rigorously. Although, s**t happens... I broke my RH wrist and it's in a cast for the next 6 weeks. I can live with the discomfort and the hassle, but not being able to practice is driving me nuts. All I can do is chords, big stretches, hammer-on's and LH only exercises. Better than nothing, I suppose.
Old 25th June 2017
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Could be I suppose. The difference is less though.



Sounds fun. Again - I don't necessarily think it would work for everything, BUT it doesn't matter if it works for you!



My inner nerd would LOVE to have the time. But it's simply not possible for me. I don't have enough time to practice guitar!
Surprisingly, it really does work for anything that has a drummer. Metal, rock, prog, country, folk, pop, some hip-hop, ambient, etc. It definitely doesn't work for surrealistic drum parts. But any music that is supposed to sound like a real kit, it works. Granted my tracking space is very flexible, not huge but acoustically constructed with high sloped ceilings and proper materials. The room, beech shells, and proper tuning with a tension dial are what makes it possible to get acoustic drum sounds that are original yet as high quality as top-brand samples. Also there are certain stereo techniques that most people would say are "wrong" but make more sense mathematically than some of the published techniques.
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