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
A Designs Pacifica Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 19th August 2008
  #31
Lives for gear
 
Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Pacifica... but darn close and perhaps subjective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moink123 View Post
Any thoughts on the Pacifica vs. the P1?
FWIW, when I was ready to buy a Pacifica, I looked into the same question and had two slots open, so it would have been a bit cheaper considering I already had the chasis and power supply.

From what I gathered, they are EXTREMELY close, with perhaps a slight lead/edge to the Pacifica. (That may even be down to a taste thing).

Someone more knowledgable than me should speak to this, but I think there is a difference in the transformer design... I think?

For me, I just wanted the full intention of Peter's design, so I went with the Pacifica... never looked back.

Love at first listen.

-andrews
Old 19th August 2008
  #32
Gear Nut
 
JohnnyTonk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
I agree, I like having an output pot (ideally an attenuator), but when it comes right down to it, is there any real need for one, at least for digital recording?

JSL
As an API user.. i say "HELL YES!!!!"
Old 19th August 2008
  #33
Lives for gear
 
jslevin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyTonk View Post
As an API user.. i say "HELL YES!!!!"
I'm also an API user, but what exactly do you mean?

What makes it so urgently necessary?

JSL
Old 19th August 2008
  #34
rlg
Gear Maniac
 
rlg's Avatar
 

I very much like my Pacifica on vocals and acoustic guitar, and have not experienced a lack of clarity with it.
Old 19th August 2008
  #35
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
Okay I don't have too much to add to this glowing list of reviews. It's a very musical and euphonic sounding preamp that I feel flatters everything I put through it. I use Pacifica and P1 on 75-90% of the tracks I record. Every overdub I do goes through the Pacifica which is at the top of my rack. I even gave the unit its own boutique cables to connect the patchbay (Evidence Audio). Basically I don't even think about preamps anymore when recording. There is no choice for me. I just plug into that preamp with the red knobs at the top of the rack. heh

My only criticism of the unit would be that it has a very hot output due to the 1:10 step up input transformer. Because I don't like the sound of unit with the pad engaged I often have to use an inline pad on the output or ahead of the unit. It's not that big a deal really. If there was an output control on the unit it would be a perfect 10.

Brad
Old 19th August 2008
  #36
Lives for gear
 
heyman's Avatar
Well said Brad..

Btw, nice videos you did on that tape/voxengo thingy..


very informative..
Old 20th August 2008
  #37
Gear Nut
 
JohnnyTonk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
I'm also an API user, but what exactly do you mean?

What makes it so urgently necessary?

JSL
Recording kick and snare and pushing the pre hard.. it'd be nice not to have to use an inline attenuator..

If i use no attenuator the AD inputs get smashed...
Old 20th August 2008
  #38
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

i have the P-1s and although they are a bit different they are more similar then not.
the Pacifica and or the P-1, a must have pre!
Old 20th August 2008
  #39
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by peeder View Post
Pacifica is a heavily scooped preamp that is initially seductive but you might find loses out in the end to a combo of a better pre and a nice EQ. It has a nice sound out of the gate, no question, but its coloration and relative lack of detail might grow old for you fairly quickly.

(Burn the heretic! )
what?
not even
let me quote you here so people know your true agenda.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peeder View Post
I'm not an all-star at anything other than stirring the pot at GS, but I will contribute whatever...
Old 20th August 2008
  #40
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by heyman View Post
Well said Brad..

Btw, nice videos you did on that tape/voxengo thingy..


very informative..

Thanks!

Brad
Old 4th September 2008
  #41
Lives for gear
 

Hi guys,

I heard someone say here: it's the sound YOU like that counts.
But with no access to demo such pre's where I live, could anyone give me a description of the sound of a pacifica, p1, api 512? Is one more "open" or cleaner than the other? I have a pearlman tm-1 and would use the pre for vocals and guitars, nothing more..

Any help would be truly appreciated!

Nicolas
Old 4th September 2008
  #42
Gear Nut
 

Quick poll?

With the Pacifica: do you record vocals with pad in, or out?

I have been recording with pad in, and though it is thick and colored...it really does lack detail, especially compared to my Mercury M72s.
Old 4th September 2008
  #43
AB3
Lives for gear
 

That is why I like a variety of pres. Sometimes you want detail and sometimes you don't.

I remember almost buying a mic pre that was reviewed in a major audio magazine. It spoke about how detailed it was and it was like lifting a blanket off the microphone. I then called the reviewer and found out that while all that was true, that the guitar player actually chose a different pre for the final recording, because he did not want all the pick noise and detail in the recording.

Instruments are not perfect. People are not perfect. Therefore, sometimes we want equipment that hides those imperfections. And it is perfectly ok. All music is created by manipulating the environment and producing a result we want. It is all natural. Nothing exists outside of nature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MartianRec View Post
Quick poll?

With the Pacifica: do you record vocals with pad in, or out?

I have been recording with pad in, and though it is thick and colored...it really does lack detail, especially compared to my Mercury M72s.
Old 4th September 2008
  #44
Lives for gear
 
RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MartianRec View Post
Quick poll?

With the Pacifica: do you record vocals with pad in, or out?

I have been recording with pad in, and though it is thick and colored...it really does lack detail, especially compared to my Mercury M72s.
Pad in most of the time, but it depends on the mic. If I have a really thick sounding mic its pad out.

Never noticed any lack of detail pad in or pad out. I have never compared it to an M72, but it had more detail than a Millennia HV-3D when I did A-B comparisons.
Old 4th September 2008
  #45
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
BUT... if I could ONLY have one, it would be the A-Designs Pacifica.

Now, I'm not going to get into (or intend to start a war) about what is the best pre (and all that), it's just that the Pacifica does such an amazing job so solidly and seems so balanced, meaning, while it is a great thing, it's not like candy, where you can have TOO MUCH of a good thing. You canhave as MUCH Pacifica as you like and it ALL works in the mix.

I can say without a doubt, I could make an entire album (a great sounding one... ok, a person could) with JUST the Pacific.

Pad in, Pad out, DI, Mic inputs, low gain, high-gain, ALL sound great solid, different and just "plays well with others... even if the 'others' are more Pacifica tracked parts."
I agree with Dirty on this one, but API can deliver just as much or more, it your choice ? Crown or Vodka ? both are the best and can make the perfect record or drink.
Old 4th September 2008
  #46
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolasmasset View Post
Hi guys,

I heard someone say here: it's the sound YOU like that counts.
But with no access to demo such pre's where I live, could anyone give me a description of the sound of a pacifica, p1, api 512? Is one more "open" or cleaner than the other? I have a pearlman tm-1 and would use the pre for vocals and guitars, nothing more..

Any help would be truly appreciated!

Nicolas
Pacifica : excels a little much on the top than the P-1, but nice lows.
P-1 about the same thing but little cleaner and cuts.
API 3124 punch and more mid boost, aggressive, great preamp
API 512c one of my fav's, warmth, punch, less mid boost but aggressive and a nice top and bottom.
Old 4th September 2008
  #47
Cheet, mahn. Get yoself uh Pacifica. I was tracking a bass part last night through the P-1, Pad in, output cranked up. It was No amp sim, just straight into the DAW, no EQ. It sounded great. A Fender Jazz partly to the rear pickup, playing over the rear pickup, playing nice and hard. It had this great Pastorious type of sound, nice and grindy and growly, no problems with clipping.
Old 4th September 2008
  #48
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllAboutTone View Post
Pacifica : more smooth on top end than the P-1, nice lows too.
P-1 about the same thing but little cleaner and cuts.
API 3124 punch and more mid boost, aggressive, great preamp
API 512c one of my fav's, warmth, punch, less mid boost but aggressive and a nice top and bottom.
Thanks a bunch! Would you say the 512 is warmer thatn a designs? And you mentioned agressive, does that extend to the top end (harsh)?

The thing is, a pacifica costs as much as a two slot rack with a p-1 AND another 500 series module, and since I only really need 1 pre at a time, I was thinking of just getting the p-1, and buy something else later, perhaps even an 512c. But I'm a bit biased about Dave Pearlman telling me his TM-1 mic (just bought it) sounded GREAT on the pacifica, and I'm afraid that if I buy a p-1, I'll get a "budget version" of the pacifica, and not nail the killer combo sound.

Doesn't anyone have any samples of these pre's perhaps?
Old 4th September 2008
  #49
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

for me, using the P-1, i mostly let the mic decided as to rather i use the pad in or not.
but, their are times when i feel the need to push, so pad in, i guess it all depends on what i want to hear.
probably no pad most of the time.
Old 4th September 2008
  #50
Lives for gear
 

I just want to confess that in a moment of need a year ago I sold my Pacifica. I don't know how I brought myself to that point. I'm currently re-mixing a track from back then and really loving how well the Pacifica performed as a pre on various instruments. It just sounds good...great really! I shall have to save up for another one. I miss it:(
Old 4th September 2008
  #51
Lives for gear
 
ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by peeder View Post
Pacifica is a heavily scooped preamp that is initially seductive but you might find loses out in the end to a combo of a better pre and a nice EQ. It has a nice sound out of the gate, no question, but its coloration and relative lack of detail might grow old for you fairly quickly.

(Burn the heretic! )
This is my experience too ... It may be good for some use, but to talk about it as a "detailed, full sounding preamp etc."surprises me and may be true only in case one has not heard such a real preamp yet ... Pacifica has a substantial boost in HF, a bit scooped mids and somehow lacks a natural 3D feeling ... (sounds a bit 2D). Maybe this is something which is supposed to remind some vintage sounding brother, but for a general use I would much prefer fuller, more detailed and more balanced sounding preamps.
Old 4th September 2008
  #52
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
This is my experience too ... It may be good for some use, but to talk about it as a "detailed, full sounding preamp etc."surprises me and may be truth only in case one has not heard such a real preamp yet ... Pacifica has a substantial boost in HF, a bit scooped mids and somehow lacks a natural 3D feeling ... (sounds a bit 2D). Maybe this is something which is supposed to remind some vintage sounding brother, but for a general use I would much prefer more fully, detailed and balanced sounding preamps.
Such as? Any suggestions in the same price range?
Old 4th September 2008
  #53
Lives for gear
 
ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolasmasset View Post
Such as? Any suggestions in the same price range?
It is just a question of personal trying and comparing (which I would strongly advise you to do).

From my own experience, for example Cranesong Flamingo, Thermionic Culture Earlybird or (especially) Forssell SMP-2 (BTW it is exactly in the same price range) give me much more faithful, musical and detailed rendering of any source ...
YMMV, of course ...
Old 4th September 2008
  #54
Lives for gear
 

My experience with the Pacifica (had it for a year and it got little use) was that it could never beat my Cranesong Flamingo for anything. It sounded a little scooped in the mids and a little strained on the top. Like it was already eq´d.

I can understand why Peeder jokes about being a heretic for not liking it. It does have
quite the status on this forum.

Thomas
Old 4th September 2008
  #55
Lives for gear
 
bcgood's Avatar
 

Well since the subject has changed let me just say that for the very best in depth, detail, quite and clean signal- look no further than a Gordon. At 2,600 for a stereo Model 5 unit, it is a great deal for a lifetime of unparalleled sound.

Gordon Microphone Preamplifier System

Old 4th September 2008
  #56
Lives for gear
 
RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
... It may be good for some use, but to talk about it as a "detailed, full sounding preamp etc."surprises me and may be true only in case one has not heard such a real preamp yet ... .
Yep, that is my comments you are talking about.

I have only used Neve (old and new), API, Trident, Great River, Daking, Soundcraft, Cranesong, Quad Eight, Amek, SSL, Focusrite, BAE, Telefunken, Otari, Manley, D&R, NTI, Crookwood. Chandler, DW Fearn, Millennia, Tube-Tech, UA, Forssell and maybe a dozen or so others.

Not saying you have to share my opinion, but that is where I am coming from.

I (and a classical engineer buddy of mine) did direct double blind comparisons with the Pacifica and the Cranesong Flamingo you mentioned. The results were that they both kicked ass. They sounded kind of similar but in direct comparison the Cranesong actually had an exaggerated low end compared to the Pacifica. This was a surprise to us as we expected the Pacifica to be the more colored of the two. We both preferred the Pacifica but LOVED the Cranesong as well.
Old 4th September 2008
  #57
Lives for gear
 
ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Well since the subject has changed let me just say that for the very best in depth, detail, quite and clean signal- look no further than a Gordon. At 2,600 for a stereo Model 5 unit, it is a great deal for a lifetime of unparalleled sound.
Have you compared it directly and in detail with some other preamps ? I wanted to, but it somehow never got here ...
Old 4th September 2008
  #58
Lives for gear
 
chrispick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
From my own experience, for example Cranesong Flamingo, Thermionic Culture Earlybird or (especially) Forssell SMP-2 (BTW it is exactly in the same price range) give me much more faithful, musical and detailed rendering of any source.
I think of the pro-Pacifica posters in this thread readily admit the Pacifica is a pre that adds subtle color. For me, that color is musical -- I don't hear it as being scooped so much as smoothed in the highs -- and works nicely in a mix.

Like I said in my previous post, if you seek a very faithful pre (e.g., for tracking acoustic jazz or something), then the Pacifica may not be the one for you. That said, people do use it to track acoustic instruments because it sounds good to them.

I'll reiterate: I think it sounds great on rock and pop guitars.

In the end, it is all about preference. If you're jumping into a pro-level pre purchase for the first time, I'd say don't sweat the details too much. There are many pre lines in the approx. $2000 that are well-reputed, sound great and will be a quality jump upward. If you're seeking another pro-level pre, then the Pacifica might be a good variation to consider.
Old 4th September 2008
  #59
Lives for gear
 
bcgood's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
Have you compared it directly and in detail with some other preamps ? I wanted to, but it somehow never got here ...
Yes, of course! It is the best pre amp ever made in my opinion. You should try to make it to AES in San Francisco so you can hear one in person.
Old 4th September 2008
  #60
Lives for gear
 
ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
Yep, that is my comments you are talking about.

I have only used Neve (old and new), API, Trident, Great River, Daking, Soundcraft, Cranesong, Amek, SSL, Focusrite, BAE, Telefunken, Otari, Manley, D&R, NTI, Crookwood. Chandler, DW Fearn, Millennia, Tube-Tech, UA, Forssell and maybe a dozen or so others.

Not saying you have to share my opinion, but that is where I am coming from.
Very nice ... and of course, everybody has his own taste and preference and what I say, is just my own subjective experience.

Here, as a small example, are few tones played on the same instrument, same mics, same room etc., only the preamp is changed:

Pacifica

Forssell SMP-2

I did not find the difference to be too subtle (after trying them on many sources).

Once we mentioned Flamingo, here it is as well:

Flamingo

WHile I liked Flamingo, comparing to Earlybird or Forssell, it seems to have a tiny bit "synthetic" touch and the 3D rendering is not that natural as the other two mentioned
Top Mentioned Products
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
darkwater / So much gear, so little time
194
spoonie g / So much gear, so little time
16
ptbarnum / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
1
whereisbkp / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
4
Johnkenn / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
4

Forum Jump
Forum Jump