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tell me all about Daking preamps!
Old 16th April 2007
  #1
Lives for gear
 
jdjustice's Avatar
tell me all about Daking preamps!

i rarely hear them discussed around here but a thread on PSW got me wondering....
who is using them? what other preamps could you compare them to?
how would you describe their sonic character?
and why are they so affordable compared to other high-end preamps (this gets me worried)?

any and all opinions or advice is greatly valued and appreciated!!



cheers.
~j.d.
Old 16th April 2007
  #2
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

I've mostly experienced them next door at the Jam Room on drums, but also guitars, acoustic instruments some, and vocals as well. The Daking preamps bring a lot of detail to the surface, they are a nice present sound and their transient response is fast. It's one of those pres that you really can't go wrong with on anything, but it does have a fairly specific sound to it. Present (somewhat bright) and detailed, punch is delivered, plenty of cut.

It ain't no dark / sluggish pre...! Quite the opposite, and almost always the enhancement it brings to the track is welcomed.

War
Old 16th April 2007
  #3
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Fletcher's Avatar
The equalizers are amazing!!! The pre-amp n the mic-pre/EQ unit is mediocre at best. While they are certainly competent pre-amps, what we found is that there are so many other pre's that are far more competent than the Dakings there was no reason to add them to the "permanent install" collection. We have a couple of Daking channels that are racked for "additional purposes" but they're generally only brought into the room when we need extra equalizers.

As always, YMMV.
Old 16th April 2007
  #4
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absrec's Avatar
 

The preamps are amazing on some things and just good on others. To me, it sounds the best on toms. In conjunction with an MD421, it's the biggest tom sound I've ever heard. Pretty good on kick too, if you are looking for a really tight sound. The preamp will distort in a cool way too. If you turn the output fader way down and turn the preamp all the way up on a DI electric guitar, it kind of reminds you of some of the beatles' guitar tones. Kind of fuzzy and up front. It's cool for vocals too. I will admit, it can get a little too in your face at times. It isn't shy, let's put it that way. It sounds nice on electric guitar cabinet sometimes.

Fletcher is right about the eqs. They are great. Not very neve-ish or API-ish. Definitely their own thing.

-Aaron
Old 16th April 2007
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
stevesmithfan's Avatar
 

Daking=Great

I have 2 of the 4 channel mic pre's that I use on my toms and bass drum. They're awesome for that application, very detailed and in your face. I'd highly recommend Daking. However, I prefer Api for Hi hats and O.H.'s.
Old 16th April 2007
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

daking pre eqs

Theye are the best money that Ive ever spent on pre's.I have 3 and they are indespensible.Crisp,big,aggressive.incredible EQ.Very unlike a Neve though.A must for kick snare and vocals.Very good on about anything else.The only thing they lack is a front panel 1/4 input.
Old 16th April 2007
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Legacy Audio's Avatar
The Daking units are great.
I feel they are underrated and often overlooked.
Excellent value too.
Old 16th April 2007
  #8
I have a pair , I think the pre's are very good, kinda mid forward and bright but not in a bad way. I've had alot of luck with them on guitars, snare drum, vocals. The eq's are very nice, if you're buying them used I'd still recomend you get a b or c version. The early version looks cooler beautiful knobs, but there are more eq eq bands on the newer versions and better overlap. I find them more useful.
Old 16th April 2007
  #9
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uptoolate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
As always, YMMV.
Sorry to ask, but what does "YMMV" mean?

Thanks
Old 17th April 2007
  #10
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jdjustice's Avatar
your mileage may vary.
Old 17th April 2007
  #11
Gear Nut
 

We've got Vintechs, Germaniums, APIs, UA 610 and Dakings. They've all got they're uses, but I think that overall tha Dakings are my fav. Very punchy like the APIs, but not quite as aggro sounding; warm like the Vintechs but clearer, with more definition and air. I love em!
Old 17th April 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
Daking Clip

Take a listen for yourself. This tune was only done on the Daking Pre-amps.
This is a high school duo I am working with. The name of the duo is Busted Peach. The percussion,vocals, guitars, bass everything was Daking. I have no problem with the pre at all. The main percussion instrument is box thing called a Cahon.

Here are a few different clips. Note that the players and writers were late high school or freshman in college. Still pretty good stuff.

http://riverbendstudio.com/stash/Und...e_Pavement.mp3

http://riverbendstudio.com/stash/BigStarClip.mp3

http://riverbendstudio.com/stash/SarahAnnClip.mp3

http://riverbendstudio.com/stash/Ove...Shoes_Clip.mp3

http://riverbendstudio.com/stash/OneWayTrackClip.mp3

Last edited by Ollie; 11th January 2008 at 10:27 PM.. Reason: Could not get to link
Old 11th January 2008
  #13
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Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

anymore thoughts on the Daking IV? i would have liked to have heard that clip above but the link is no longer valid. any other examples? we're looking to add some color to our rather clean set of preamps and for the price, these seem like they're definitely worth a listen.

i read fletchers comments, which are often quite informative, but then immediately scooted over to mercenary only to find that sure enough, they're not daking dealers.

we're looking for something to add some punch to electric guitars, drums, vocals in some cases, and even to rock out the grand piano a little more when needed. 4 ch API and Wunders are on the list, but i seem to remember that these pre's are based on the trident a-range design and while i've never been on an a-range, i have used b- range pre's and 80 series consoles and for rock, they're obviously great.
Old 11th January 2008
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
stevesmithfan's Avatar
 

I can't say enough good about the Daking IV, I have 2 of them. They'll add plenty of punch and low end to your sound. Drums, Guitars, Vocals etc.
I'll PM a drum solo I made in my drum studio for you sometime.
Old 11th January 2008
  #15
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Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmithfan View Post
I can't say enough good about the Daking IV, I have 2 of them. They'll add plenty of punch and low end to your sound. Drums, Guitars, Vocals etc.
I'll PM a drum solo I made in my drum studio for you sometime.
thanks.i'd appreciate it
Old 11th January 2008
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
stevesmithfan's Avatar
 

PM sent.
Old 11th January 2008
  #17
Lives for gear
 
themaidsroom's Avatar
 

i have a 32 x 24 x 8 daking console, many outboard pres - two mic pre iv's -
the only external pres i use are
the tube pres made by emery sound - while recording rufus wainwright's "want
one" and "want two", we had access at times to many, many rental pres - they all went
back to dreamhire - 90% of rufus' vocals on those two records come from
the daking pre - someone at excelo just freaked at my piano and the daking
pre - walter sear has complimented the daking pres on the several occasions
that reels have moved between here and sear sound.
many clients have come here from neve rooms wanting the sound of
the daking console - "more hi-fi - more open"
i usually track to tape - the daking console and the A827 have been
a great combination

i may be building another room - the only board i would buy is a daking
geoff is a nice guy who happens to be pretty brilliant and has a sense of ethics
that is fantastic - he stands by his work


be well

- jack
Old 11th January 2008
  #18
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Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

ollie, thank you the examples. this is exactly what i needed to hear!
the drum sound on Big Star alone sold me. it's exactly the type of cross between punch and air on top that i'd want. i've read that the mid's aren't as aggressive as api and this is a good eg.

i also read in this thread that the pre tends to throw the vocal very forward and this song is a good example of this too. there's a real tom petty presence here that i could easily live with. Sarah Ann is another good rep for the vocal, although i think the mic has a lot to do with this. it really sounds like a decent valve mic to me. like old neil young. i like these guys!

thanks again ollie. it's refreshing to hear some great material from something other than the standard gr,api,pacifica ad nauseum. i've read so much hype about the pacifica alone that i don't want one just because of that! lol. i'm totally sold thanks to your clips. very nice job in the ae dept to btw
Old 12th January 2008
  #19
Lives for gear
I think the Daking will work out for you nicely. 4 nice pres at a reasonable price.
I was lucky enough to score this console. I had to sell almost all my other pres including lots of old API's, but in the end I am pretty happy with the console. Good luck with the pres.

Ollie
Old 12th January 2008
  #20
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Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

had no idea that this was a daking console. thought it was just the pres

hmm, well as good as the samples are, this isn't exactly what i was hoping for as i was looking for an example of just the daking IV. with the console, you have the buss and all the summing that has a great deal of impact on the sound, so it's not a fair rep of just the pres.
Old 12th January 2008
  #21
Gear Maniac
I made the mistake of borrowing a Daking Mic-Pre/EQ from a local shop...now I owe MORE money on my credit card. Without the EQ, the preamp is very clean, deep and wide while kind of mid-forward i.e. it holds its own with other "high end" preamps, though slightly lacking in "wow" factor. However, the EQ lets you add as much "wow" as you want with ease. Into an SM7B I sang along to some R.E.M., Chris Isaac (a Daking user), Blur, Coldplay, etc. and had NO problem whatsoever getting a stellar vocal sound that blended nicely with the big boys. Haven't tried percussion yet though.

If you are just getting Daking pre's, be assured that your tracks will take EQ nicely afterward. Also, I think there was a blind preamp shootout with Daking, API, GR, etc. done on Gearslutz a while back during which the Daking pre's garnered the most votes...
Old 12th January 2008
  #22
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
The equalizers are amazing!!! The pre-amp n the mic-pre/EQ unit is mediocre at best.


As always, YMMV.
While I know what you mean, I can't really agree. The equalizer is excellent but I think the pre-amp is on par sonically with any other pre in it's price range. It's not very colored so it's rarely my go to pre but I never patch it in and hear a quality loss or any haziness whatsoever. It's a very clean pre but with a bit of warmth. Not sterile at all IMHO.

Your opinion seems to be on par with the pre-amps in the Toft console. If that's the case, sign me up right now.
Old 12th January 2008
  #23
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bigbone's Avatar
 

I got a daking IV and i love it on drums, theses are great pres. you can't go wrong
if you use those on drums

Last edited by bigbone; 12th January 2008 at 08:04 AM.. Reason: mispell
Old 12th January 2008
  #24
Lives for gear
I have also owned the mic/pre eq (not in the console). They all have the basic quality that this user:

"While I know what you mean, I can't really agree. The equalizer is excellent but I think the pre-amp is on par sonically with any other pre in it's price range. It's not very colored so it's rarely my go to pre but I never patch it in and hear a quality loss or any haziness whatsoever. It's a very clean pre but with a bit of warmth. Not sterile at all IMHO. "

That being said, give a few other a try if you can. I would bet the Wunder's are quite nice as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Hombre View Post
had no idea that this was a daking console. thought it was just the pres

hmm, well as good as the samples are, this isn't exactly what i was hoping for as i was looking for an example of just the daking IV. with the console, you have the buss and all the summing that has a great deal of impact on the sound, so it's not a fair rep of just the pres.
Old 12th January 2008
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Dakings ( I have a mic pre IV) go pretty well with dynamics or ribbons on vox, in my experience. On my own voice, the combination with a Gefell UM70 could not convince me, but strangely enough, the combination with a Beyer m160 was just what I needed. I don't have the Daking eq, but I have an old and unbalanced Trident rack eq (no console eq) that can add some more air afterwards.

regards,
Bram
Old 12th January 2008
  #26
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robmix's Avatar
I've got a 32 channel Daking console, and wouldn't trade it for anything else. I had the option of pretty much any console I wanted and chose the Daking. I've also owned and still own a pile of outboard pre's, a bunch of which got sold when I started using the Daking. It hold's it's own against anything out there. I've even got the Wunders which are mentioned a couple times in this thread and usually the Dakings win out, though I wouldn't complain if I had a few more Wunders If I go to an outboard pre it's because it happens to do it's job exceptionally well - Great River MP2nv or Chandler TG or guitars, Focusrite on vocals, etc.
Old 12th January 2008
  #27
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Mike O's Avatar
 

You know, most of non-dealers on this board tend to have a bias that are either related to our purchasing decisions.

I began buying preamps six or seven years ago. A couple of original Neve 1073s, GML8304, Avalon 2022, and Manley Slam and API.

I was (and am) tracking to RADAR. At some point I realized that a console was what I needed. The search in the mid level led me to Daking. Reading everything on this board I fully expected to keep the pres I have to supplement the Daking.

I am now re-evaluating that. I will probably keep the Neves's (for different EQ) and maybe the SLAM (comps) but everything else will probably go. The Daking pres are great! And like Fletcher said the EQs are fantastic.

There is a lot to be said for the "same pre" approach that William W. has supported. But if you are a "color palette" from the pre type depending on preamps for color then you will need a selection. I used to think like this. I now think that it's better (for me) to get any color I need elsewhwere.

Fear not.....
Old 12th January 2008
  #28
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Hombre View Post

i read fletchers comments, which are often quite informative, but then immediately scooted over to mercenary only to find that sure enough, they're not daking dealers.
Not that he needs ME to defend him but on many occasions Fletcher has suggested I buy gear that Mercenary does not carry. Back in the day when Mercenary stopped making their 1272's, he was the one who recommended that I get the Brent Averill 1272.

Nowadays Mercenary Audio sells at least 10 mic preamps that are every bit as good as the Dakings. So asking for his ringing endorsement is a bit of a stretch. He loves the EQ and has told you such.

I understand the skepticism but I assure you that Fletcher and MA do not work that way.

Peace.
Old 26th October 2011
  #29
Gear Addict
 
mattsplace's Avatar
 

Mediocre preamps?!
HAHA Fletcher you are ridicoulus!
I have Earlybird, BA1073, AEA RPQ, TG Channel, Pacifica, Vintage Design Propack, ecc ecc....
Im using the Daking pres a lot of time on very different sourcs and im really happy with the result!!!

if I you told that you do not like is ok but define that Daking is mediocre preamp show how mediocre are you!
Old 17th December 2012
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
The pre-amp n the mic-pre/EQ unit is mediocre at best.

This is a patently ludicrous statement. I have to say, I'm going to have to side with the suggestion that this claim is more about what you do and don't sell than any objective assessment of the Daking.
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