The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Fillin' that lunchbox ( 4 slots anyway) 500 Series Preamps
Old 18th March 2008
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Brent's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Fillin' that lunchbox ( 4 slots anyway)

I want to put together a solid portable tracking chain with different flavors. I'm looking at starting with 4 modules to begin with and adding at least 2 more in the upcoming months.

We're doing mostly acoustic/electric guitar, bass and male/female voices. I currently have a GR and a Langevin DVC, but the DVC is probably going up for sale very soon. Our mics are a Lawson L47MP, Royer121, 2xM300's and 57's.


Here's what I'm thinking:

2x Avedis MA5's
1x Purple Biz or Buzz Elixir
1x Purple Action

The other thought is that I should drop one of the MA5's for now and pickup an EQ like the ODD/SPECK/TONIC to help sculpt the sounds on the way in, so less ITB EQ is used. These are about the only 3 that are within the current budget.

As always, suggestions, comments and unrelated banter is welcome.

Brent
Old 18th March 2008
  #2
Gear Addict
 
midmost's Avatar
what's about this setup:

2x API 512C Mic Preamp
1x Purple Audio Action FET Compressor
1x Speck ASC-V EQ

just a suggestion
Old 18th March 2008
  #3
EQ-wise, you should check out API 560s. Doesn't get much more bang-for-the-buck than that. You oughta be able to find em used for around $500.

As for pres, a pair of Shadow Hills GAMAs will provide you with a lotta options, c/o of the switchable trannies. If there are any other pres doing that, you may wanna check those out as well.
Old 18th March 2008
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Brent's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks guys.

I guess the idea here is to get as many flavors as possible. Having just 2 API's probably wouldn't be a good idea, at least not initially?

The Gamma sounds interesting. My only concern is the 60db of gain where the ribbons are concerned. The Royer gets used a lot on vocals and guitar ( a large part of the reason the langevin is going with it's 50db of gain). This is one of the main reasons the BIZ made it on the list. It's quoted as being dynamically flavorful but has plenty of gain to go around. How much experience do you have with the GAMA, does it go from super clean to dirty or?

I'll keep the 560's in mind on my ebay searches. The idea here is to pick 4 'new' modules to take advantage of the vintage king lunch box special
Old 18th March 2008
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent View Post
Thanks guys.

I guess the idea here is to get as many flavors as possible. Having just 2 API's probably wouldn't be a good idea, at least not initially?

The Gamma sounds interesting. My only concern is the 60db of gain where the ribbons are concerned. The Royer gets used a lot on vocals and guitar ( a large part of the reason the langevin is going with it's 50db of gain). This is one of the main reasons the BIZ made it on the list. It's quoted as being dynamically flavorful but has plenty of gain to go around. How much experience do you have with the GAMA, does it go from super clean to dirty or?

I'll keep the 560's in mind on my ebay searches. The idea here is to pick 4 'new' modules to take advantage of the vintage king lunch box special
Even new 560s aren't super expensive...under $700 I think. Anyway, the GAMAs provide plenty of gain for use with Royers (I assume you're talking about 121s, as the 122s have TONS of output). It also works fine with our AEA R84, as long as it's not on something super-quiet.

As for the flavor, it's a pretty versatile thing. One cool feature is that when you engage the pad, you're actually padding the OUTPUT, so you can really drive the trannies into some grimy territory if that's what you're into. The two flavors of transformer flatter most everything, and for those times when there's too much coloration, you can go with the non-tranny output (which I, personally, almost never use).

They'll kick ass on guitar with your Royer. It's like, if the sound ain't right, try switching to the other tranny. That alone is usually enough to do the trick. It's pretty damn cool.
Old 18th March 2008
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Brent Averil BA 312
Pacifica P1
EM-PEQ
Anamod-660 (when you can get it)

-andrews
Old 18th March 2008
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Brent's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Even new 560s aren't super expensive...under $700 I think. Anyway, the GAMAs provide plenty of gain for use with Royers (I assume you're talking about 121s, as the 122s have TONS of output). It also works fine with our AEA R84, as long as it's not on something super-quiet.

As for the flavor, it's a pretty versatile thing. One cool feature is that when you engage the pad, you're actually padding the OUTPUT, so you can really drive the trannies into some grimy territory if that's what you're into. The two flavors of transformer flatter most everything, and for those times when there's too much coloration, you can go with the non-tranny output (which I, personally, almost never use).

They'll kick ass on guitar with your Royer. It's like, if the sound ain't right, try switching to the other tranny. That alone is usually enough to do the trick. It's pretty damn cool.
Wow man. That sounds really cool. A lot of bang for the buck the way you describe it. How quiet is it? It looks like it's amazing build quality.
Old 18th March 2008
  #8
Lives for gear
 
johnnyjellybean's Avatar
 

Get the MA5 ... you won't be sorry.
Old 18th March 2008
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Brent's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyjellybean View Post
Get the MA5 ... you won't be sorry.
I hear ya. I think Economik in Montreal should expand their 500 series offerings
Old 18th March 2008
  #10
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyjellybean View Post
Get the MA5 ... you won't be sorry.
I agree completely.

Just get a couple of MA5's and a couple of API 512's...

Then add a couple of E27's when you have some spare cash.

I would stick with the 19" rack stuff for compression. Unless you absolutely have to have it in 500 series.
Old 18th March 2008
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Brent's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
I agree completely.

Just get a couple of MA5's and a couple of API 512's...

Then add a couple of E27's when you have some spare cash.

I would stick with the 19" rack stuff for compression. Unless you absolutely have to have it in 500 series.
You don't think the Actions are capable Tony?
Old 18th March 2008
  #12
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent View Post
You don't think the Actions are capable Tony?
I havent had one in front of me... Just based on the feedback of my clients it seems you would be better off with the MC77 unless budget and space are a concern. .
Old 18th March 2008
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Brent's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
I havent had one in front of me... Just based on the feedback of my clients it seems you would be better off with the MC77 unless budget and space are a concern. .
Gotchya,

Unfortunately the only comp I have right now is in the Langevin DVC, but I need to offload it for some higher gain pre's. I really don't see myself going out and buying another rack unit anytime soon, so perhaps the Action will work for me. I don't need anything drastic, just enough to catch peaks on the way into the Aurora.

I'm also contemplating not getting an EQ, and getting a 3rd pre instead. Although I've never had the opportunity to use a 'real' outboard EQ other than the ones on the ol' TAC Magnum console way back in the day. I have some nice 'plugs' but perhaps being to sculpt a bit with a real EQ may be much more beneficial...
Old 18th March 2008
  #14
Gear Head
 
soundsgood's Avatar
 

I have 2 MA5 and 2 Biz and am very pleased, I also have a 512c that's great. When I switched from a lunch box to a rack I had looked at getting more 512's but decided to take a chance on the unknown with the Biz. I couldn't be happier, between the dual opamp path and input/output attenuation combos there are a ton of tones available. Although the GAMA has more options for signal path, I believe the dual button on the Biz yields a more noticeably different sound than the transformer buttons on the GAMA. Understand I in no way am bagging on the GAMA, although I don't have extensive experience with them I hold them in the highest regard, but if you are looking for noticeably different sounds in a single unit, the Biz delivers (for 100 bucks less I might add) As far as EQ's go I would never leave home without my API 550. It has a midrange presence that is just lovely and particularly useful on guitars. I haven't heard the Avedis EQ or some of the other highly touted 500 form EQ's but I could never imagine one of those replacing the 550. Oh, and the MA5 might be my favorite pre ever, don't hesitate on that at all. I have a portable recording system and the MA5/Biz combo is a great pairing for the inherently diverse requirements of a portable recording solution.
Old 18th March 2008
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Brent's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundsgood View Post
I have 2 MA5 and 2 Biz and am very pleased, I also have a 512c that's great. When I switched from a lunch box to a rack I had looked at getting more 512's but decided to take a chance on the unknown with the Biz. I couldn't be happier, between the dual opamp path and input/output attenuation combos there are a ton of tones available. Although the GAMA has more options for signal path, I believe the dual button on the Biz yields a more noticeably different sound than the transformer buttons on the GAMA. Understand I in no way am bagging on the GAMA, although I don't have extensive experience with them I hold them in the highest regard, but if you are looking for noticeably different sounds in a single unit, the Biz delivers (for 100 bucks less I might add) As far as EQ's go I would never leave home without my API 550. It has a midrange presence that is just lovely and particularly useful on guitars. I haven't heard the Avedis EQ or some of the other highly touted 500 form EQ's but I could never imagine one of those replacing the 550. Oh, and the MA5 might be my favorite pre ever, don't hesitate on that at all. I have a portable recording system and the MA5/Biz combo is a great pairing for the inherently diverse requirements of a portable recording solution.
Thanks soundsgood. Just curious, have you been to use these pre's on 'acoustic' guitars, or are you speaking about electric. Most of my acoustic work is done with a Martin D-28 Marquis.
Old 18th March 2008
  #16
Gear Head
 
soundsgood's Avatar
 

MA5's deliver HUGE round guitars with great presence where Martin's tend to sing. The 28k button puts a nice brightness on the top. The Biz can generate a variety of acoustic sounds. In dual mode it yields a darker but open sound (not as big on the bottom as the MA5 but very pleasant). With the dual path disengaged it creates a more focused sound that sits well in denser mixes. In both cases, having output attenuators are helpful when trying to get the optimal sound. (my experience so far has been with a mid 70's Gibson Hummingbird and a late model J200)
Old 18th March 2008
  #17
Lives for gear
 
seaneldon's Avatar
 

A D28 and a vocalist? Cutting bass too? And you've already got a Great River?

Definitely give the "Biz" a shot with that guitar, which as you've probably found is a VERY deep, rich instrument. The "Biz" will just give it a clear-as-day representation, making a somewhat cloudy sounding guitar come out just partly cloudy. (Fun side note for recording D28's: If you just put new strings on it...don't bother recording it. Play the **** out of it for like 5 days and THEN record it. True with this guitar moreso than many others I've had to play/record.) And if for some reason you're not using the Great River DI for bass, the "Biz" will slide into this role gracefully. The "dual" switch and cranked input can give you an amplifier-like texture.

The Vintage Design M581 will do the exact opposite of the "Biz" and is different enough from the Great River to not be redundant, so if you're into dissimilar gear, maybe tread these waters.

No idea when they're shipping, but there's a deadly piece of artillery called the Empirical Labs "Derresser" which is making the annoying parts of recording vox and acoustic guitar WAY less annoying. Indescribably natural de-essing and HF limiting which can take the spit out of a singer's mouth, and make string slide noise a thing of the past in about 2 seconds...and in a very non-offensive manner
Old 18th March 2008
  #18
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

it would be hard to choose only four units but if i were doing single slots it would be.
at least a pair of A-Designs P-1s these pres just work period, and they will play nicely with the Great River!
for els the A-Design EM-PEQ are my favorites, they deliver a awesome MOJO and they work!
now having said that i would not limit myself to just single slot units.
i would stay with they above but i would recommend the LaChapell Audio 583s, this is an amazing tube pre and to have it in the 500 format just rocks.
as you say the Great River is a awesome pre one on which i will never part with it, it deliver every-time i use it. heh
the am just finishing my thoughts up on the MINT JULEP and i think i deserve a look as well, very nice pre good price. ( watch for my review )!!!
Old 18th March 2008
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Brent's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by seaneldon View Post
A D28 and a vocalist? Cutting bass too? And you've already got a Great River?

(Fun side note for recording D28's: If you just put new strings on it...don't bother recording it. Play the **** out of it for like 5 days and THEN record it. True with this guitar moreso than many others I've had to play/record.)


Quote:
No idea when they're shipping, but there's a deadly piece of artillery called the Empirical Labs "Derresser" which is making the annoying parts of recording vox and acoustic guitar WAY less annoying. Indescribably natural de-essing and HF limiting which can take the spit out of a singer's mouth, and make string slide noise a thing of the past in about 2 seconds...and in a very non-offensive manner
That sounds really cool.

Care to comment on the EQ option. I know you're a pimp, but you mercenary guys seem to play with things a lot. Would I be better off picking up a 3rd preamp instead of 2 pre's with an EQ?
Old 18th March 2008
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Brent's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
it would be hard to choose only four units but if i were doing single slots it would be.
at least a pair of A-Designs P-1s these pres just work period, and they will play nicely with the Great River!
for els the A-Design EM-PEQ are my favorites, they deliver a awesome MOJO and they work!
now having said that i would not limit myself to just single slot units.
i would stay with they above but i would recommend the LaChapell Audio 583s, this is an amazing tube pre and to have it in the 500 format just rocks.
as you say the Great River is a awesome pre one on which i will never part with it, it deliver every-time i use it. heh
the am just finishing my thoughts up on the MINT JULEP and i think i deserve a look as well, very nice pre good price. ( watch for my review )!!!
I've never heard one so forgive me, but my understanding was the P-1's sounded like a pacifica which I believe is very close to a GR?

The EM-PEQ sounds cool, but the price tag is just too high right now for a single unit for the lunchbox. That's why I'm looking at some of the lower cost EQ's as an option.

I know if you had your way ((you slut) Again), I'd have 2 of everything! Appreciate the info heh
Old 18th March 2008
  #21
Lives for gear
 

P1's and Gr's have different sounds... It's all what you have a preference to. I think we tend to chase our own tails with these pre's. When I see people swapping solid pre's to chase a new fad, I just have to laugh. Been there, done that. A/B-ing tracks with my OSA L's compared to Neves, was eye opening in how really close in quality these things are. I would go with a pair of P-1's and whatever else.

I am sure the M5 is sweet, I will be getting one very soon, but I have easy access to Neves and Brett Averills so I know the sound. The P-1's cut through on so many sources, it's a must.

OSA L's are the best bargain in the 500 series. They rock.
Old 18th March 2008
  #22
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent View Post
I've never heard one so forgive me, but my understanding was the P-1's sounded like a pacifica which I believe is very close to a GR?
obsoletely not, nothing alike.
the P-1 is very very close to the Pacifica, and nothing like the Great River.
the P-1 is much more mid forward, and it stacks up very well.
the Great River plays very nicely with the P-1, i like it for bass and it has a air top.
as well don't over look the EM-SERIES, they let you put together a nice pallet to work with, and it will still gel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent View Post

The EM-PEQ sounds cool, but the price tag is just too high right now for a single unit for the lunchbox. That's why I'm looking at some of the lower cost EQ's as an option.

another EQ i really like for more surgical work and a almost non colored EQ, is the Speck ASC-V, you can read my thoughts on my site or search for the review here on gearslutz.
a great EQ!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent View Post
I know if you had your way ((you slut) Again), I'd have 2 of everything! Appreciate the info heh
hehhehheh
Old 18th March 2008
  #23
Lives for gear
 
seaneldon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent View Post
Care to comment on the EQ option. I know you're a pimp, but you mercenary guys seem to play with things a lot. Would I be better off picking up a 3rd preamp instead of 2 pre's with an EQ?
We like to think we're doing way more than just "playing" with things. We take our evaluation and applications notes very seriously (documentation related to gear and sessions takes up three mid-large filing cabinets and an entire wall of shelved, organized media). We're trying to go for particular sounds, be able to pull them up again, outdo each other as engineers...If we were just pimps, we'd be smarter and have someone else doing that kind of work for us while we reaped all the benefits. Instead, we've got 3 stuffed filing cabinets with awesome recording notes and no benefits. Hah.

You know your situation better than anyone else. Are you feeling the need to hang another microphone to get an additional texture, or do you wanna dick with what you've already got?

If we're sticking strict with the 500 form, API 560s are brainless, yet precise...a combination that doesn't typically happen. 550A's are endlessly fun to abuse the right way, 550B's are easy to abuse in the wrong way. The Purple "Odd" you're mentioning is very different from all of the above...very ringy and not as much crunch at extreme boosts. It's an equalizer that's brilliant in how basic the controls are.
Old 18th March 2008
  #24
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundsgood View Post
I have 2 MA5 and 2 Biz and am very pleased, I also have a 512c that's great. When I switched from a lunch box to a rack I had looked at getting more 512's but decided to take a chance on the unknown with the Biz. I couldn't be happier, between the dual opamp path and input/output attenuation combos there are a ton of tones available. Although the GAMA has more options for signal path, I believe the dual button on the Biz yields a more noticeably different sound than the transformer buttons on the GAMA. Understand I in no way am bagging on the GAMA, although I don't have extensive experience with them I hold them in the highest regard, but if you are looking for noticeably different sounds in a single unit, the Biz delivers (for 100 bucks less I might add) As far as EQ's go I would never leave home without my API 550. It has a midrange presence that is just lovely and particularly useful on guitars. I haven't heard the Avedis EQ or some of the other highly touted 500 form EQ's but I could never imagine one of those replacing the 550. Oh, and the MA5 might be my favorite pre ever, don't hesitate on that at all. I have a portable recording system and the MA5/Biz combo is a great pairing for the inherently diverse requirements of a portable recording solution.
That's because you haven't heard the E27 yet... I wouldn't say it replaces the 550 (and we have to qualify if it's the original, the A, or the B). But, the E27 has rendered the 550A to "second favorite 500 series EQ" status.

If I could only have one EQ (500 series or not) it would be the E27...
Old 19th March 2008
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Brent's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by seaneldon View Post
We like to think we're doing way more than just "playing" with things. We take our evaluation and applications notes very seriously (documentation related to gear and sessions takes up three mid-large filing cabinets and an entire wall of shelved, organized media). We're trying to go for particular sounds, be able to pull them up again, outdo each other as engineers...If we were just pimps, we'd be smarter and have someone else doing that kind of work for us while we reaped all the benefits. Instead, we've got 3 stuffed filing cabinets with awesome recording notes and no benefits. Hah.
I hope my poke didn't come across the wrong way. I think a lot of people respect the comments and opinions from the Mercenary 'folk' even though you 'sell gear'. When I said play, I just meant that you guys seem really passionate about finding magical units and combinations, and I think people know that. I dare say you may be able to sell the contents of those slutty filing cabinets for a fortune someday!

Quote:
You know your situation better than anyone else. Are you feeling the need to hang another microphone to get an additional texture, or do you wanna dick with what you've already got?
Ya I hear ya, but it's a tough call for the initial purchase. I just may have to go for 5 units and get 3 pre's ( I can see you cheering in the background Pan60 ). I really want to be able to go to get 2 channels of simultaneous clean or colorful with just the GR and whatever I can stuff into this lunch box. The only caveat is having to crank the gain when the ribbon comes in, but would that make the pre 'dirty' if there isn't actually a lot of signal?

At the same time I'd really like to be able to clean up what's going into the box, or even having the option to send a track that's in the box through an analogue comp vs a plug if I choose to. I mean I have some really nice sounding vst EQ's, but can they really compare to analogue EQ ?

Quote:
If we're sticking strict with the 500 form, API 560s are brainless, yet precise...a combination that doesn't typically happen. 550A's are endlessly fun to abuse the right way, 550B's are easy to abuse in the wrong way. The Purple "Odd" you're mentioning is very different from all of the above...very ringy and not as much crunch at extreme boosts. It's an equalizer that's brilliant in how basic the controls are.
The 560 is definitely in my reach for this purchase. The 550's are up there in price though... I had a long hard look at the Avedis EQ today and had to close the page before the credit card impulse struck.

Can you explain what you mean by 'ringy' when you talk about the ODD?
Old 20th March 2008
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Brent's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Any more comments. Looks like I'll be pulling the trigger tomorrow.
Old 20th March 2008
  #27
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Old 20th March 2008
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Brent's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
post some photos of what you get : )~
over here https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-...-new-post.html
and welcome to the 500 format club of insanity
heh
I'll be sure to. Although I can see myself outgrowing this lunchbox really fast!
Old 20th March 2008
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent View Post
I'll be sure to. Although I can see myself outgrowing this lunchbox really fast!
Maybe a Sweet Ten is a better idea in the long run?
Old 20th March 2008
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Brent's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
Maybe a Sweet Ten is a better idea in the long run?
I'll save that for the 10 modules after I fill this sucker Plus ultimately it's a free lunch box and less of a pita if I need to carry some channels remote.

Right now my short list is as follows

Avedis MA5 - Smooth and thick?
Purple Biz - Variable tricks.
Buzz Elixir - Pristine clean with kick!
Purple Action - Dynamics hit the bricks!!!

heh

The lachapell is calling me though. I Just have to do some research on how nice of a tube pre this is. It's a pretty penny but it might be nice future option to tame the m300's down a bit when needed.

I was going to add an eq, but I think I can live with my itb for the time being. Having a more versatile selection of pre's for my mics is probably a better starting point. Maybe I'll just wait for the 583e and get the best of both worlds
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+  Submit Thread to Reddit Reddit 
 
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
C/G / So much gear, so little time
15
heisleyamor / So much gear, so little time
3
fooman / Music Computers
7
living sounds / Q+A with - Justin Frankel (designer of Reaper)
1
lucey / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
3

Forum Jump
Forum Jump