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A Designs Pacifica Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 4th September 2008
  #61
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
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.

Which preamps have you directly compared it to ?

BTW I really cannot imagine how on any (AES etc.) show one could get any idea about how some preamp sounds )
Old 4th September 2008
  #62
Isn't the entire point of having 'character' pre-amps about having different ones with different frequency responses? Isn't that why you want them, in addition to ther things like harmonic distortion characteristics and saturation characteristics and such. I.e. so that you can pair them with different mics and instruments such that they create a euphonic sound before any processing?

If so, why would it be a bad thing if the Pacifica had scooped mids, any more than it would be a bad thing for API becasue it has more forward mids?
Old 4th September 2008
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
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 ...
Wow, those I've never heard of before! The pool becomes bigger! The problem is I don't have any place over here to try them out, so I have to go on samples from you guys

BTW: who's that playing that japanese guitar thing? It's beautifull! More please!
Old 4th September 2008
  #64
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
I really cannot imagine how on any (AES etc.) show one could get any idea about how some preamp sounds )
Agreed... plus, 90% of the preamps on the show floor will NOT be hooked up to anything.
Old 4th September 2008
  #65
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

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 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.
i think their are pre that do offer less color and pre that offer more color, some are more mid focused or pushed some not.
but i would not say and or imply, the pre lacked detail, with that, i can not agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
It is just a question of personal trying and comparing (which I would strongly advise you to do).
absolutely.
you can not jugged a pre based on a MP3 and or file from a studio and or engineer you know nothing about, this seems to be stated by so many, and for very good reason.
get a few unit and pick what sounds good to you!

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 ...
YMMV, of course ...
i own ( as well as get the opertunety to review ), a LOT of differant pres, far to many to mention, but i will say i have not used the Cranesong Flamingo.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
BTW I really cannot imagine how on any (AES etc.) show one could get any idea about how some preamp sounds )

diddo
i think this is all top shelf gear we are chatting about and it really needs to be auditoned but the potenial end user.
i know that is not allways easy to do but their are shop that will work with their clients and get them gear to audtion.
Old 4th September 2008
  #66
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bcgood's Avatar
 

I agree, the AES floor is not the best environment to scientifically test a pre amp in. Just try the Gordon out and give it a fair shake. That's all any pre can ask for right? I think you'll be pleasantly surprised...
Old 4th September 2008
  #67
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasWho View Post

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

Thomas
peeder brings on his own problems, he makes a heretic of himself, it really has nothing to do with what gear he likes or dislikes, at least from my perspective: )~
heh
Old 4th September 2008
  #68
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
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:

This is not correct, there is one giant variable on this comparison. THE PERFORMANCE is not the same. in these two examples, having only listened to the first 10 seconds on a lap top, is that the Pacifica track is at a faster tempo and the the musician is playing a bit more forte which dramatically effects the harmonic content of the instrument and perceived characteristic of the mic pre..

If you want to compare mic pres I strongly suggest you use matched sets of mics with closely coincident capsules recording the exact same performance and level matched within half a dB.

BTW: its cool that you have found some mic pres that you really dig.
Old 5th September 2008
  #69
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
Which preamps have you directly compared it to ?
Pacifica/P-1 = Quad 8
API 3124/512 = OSA
Old 5th September 2008
  #70
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
This is not correct, there is one giant variable on this comparison. THE PERFORMANCE is not the same. in these two examples, having only listened to the first 10 seconds on a lap top, is that the Pacifica track is at a faster tempo and the the musician is playing a bit more forte which dramatically effects the harmonic content of the instrument and perceived characteristic of the mic pre..

If you want to compare mic pres I strongly suggest you use matched sets of mics with closely coincident capsules recording the exact same performance and level matched within half a dB.
Well, if you have listened on something else than laptop (probably not an ideal device for any listening I think), you can probably hear that the overall sound difference (this example is just one among many) is quite constant and clear in spite of some slight variables in performance (that make much less difference than the typical sound itself) . For sure, I am not able to post 50 samples here (and these are the ones I have straight at hand) and I have also no need for that ...
If you have listened on some more sensible system, you would probably hear it more clearly. For me personally, if (in general) a difference is that subtle that would be hardly obvious even under some strict laboratory conditions, it would have not much meaning for a practical life ...

But - for a real idea, everybody has to try for himself, no posted samples (including these ones) have that much meaning and cannot give a real picture comparing to a detailed personal trying and evaluation. Just be sure that my impressions are not based on listening to this sole sample
But I always think that a small example (however imperfect and isolated it may seem to be) is much more useful and interesting than just talking about something.
Old 5th September 2008
  #71
AB3
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If I am recording a piano and I want it to sound as close to the piano as possible, I use the Forssell Solid State. If I am recording toms and I want some snap, the Pacifica is great. I also like the Pacifica better on most vocals than the Forssell.

But for very most acoustic instruments, I prefer the Forssell OR the A designs Mp-2a for that matter.
Old 5th September 2008
  #72
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Hey guys,

I wanted to buy the A-Designs the most cause Dave Pearlman recommends them with his mic (got a tm-1), but since his mic is already fairly round and smooth etc, shouldn't I get a pre that gets the mids out a bit more to "compensate"? I'm afraid that with a colouring pre, the vocals won't cut through the mix enough..

Kind regards,

Nicolas
Old 5th September 2008
  #73
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
If I am recording a piano and I want it to sound as close to the piano as possible, I use the Forssell Solid State. If I am recording toms and I want some snap, the Pacifica is great. I also like the Pacifica better on most vocals than the Forssell.

But for very most acoustic instruments, I prefer the Forssell OR the A-designs Mp-2a for that matter.
i love that pre ( the MP-2A! ), i love on acoustic stuff among other things!
heh

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolasmasset View Post
Hey guys,

I'm afraid that with a colouring pre, the vocals won't cut through the mix enough..

Kind regards,

Nicolas
i would not be concerned about that by any means.
i love the way Vocal just POP in the P-1 and do so oh so smooth like butter: )~
Old 5th September 2008
  #74
AB3
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A lot depends on the voice as to whether you want it for the overall sound. I do not believe that cutting through the mix will be a problem at all with the Pearlman. Personally, I like a pre that is even more round with the Pearlman, like the A Designs Mp-2a. To me, the Pacifica cuts through really well. It is a little more rich than an API to me, but yet seems to have the "cut" that an API has.

While I really like the Pacifica, if I could only have one A Designs pre, it would be the MP-2a. BUT that is a matter of taste. Since you are concerned about cutting through the mix with your Pearlman, I actually think the Pacifica is a great choice for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolasmasset View Post
Hey guys,

I wanted to buy the A-Designs the most cause Dave Pearlman recommends them with his mic (got a tm-1), but since his mic is already fairly round and smooth etc, shouldn't I get a pre that gets the mids out a bit more to "compensate"? I'm afraid that with a colouring pre, the vocals won't cut through the mix enough..

Kind regards,

Nicolas
Old 5th September 2008
  #75
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chrispick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolasmasset View Post
Hey guys,

I wanted to buy the A-Designs the most cause Dave Pearlman recommends them with his mic (got a tm-1), but since his mic is already fairly round and smooth etc, shouldn't I get a pre that gets the mids out a bit more to "compensate"? I'm afraid that with a colouring pre, the vocals won't cut through the mix enough..

Kind regards,

Nicolas
Check out the male & female vocal clips in this thread:

Pearlman A Designs samples

You'll need to scroll through the thread to find both vocal-related Quicktime links. I think you'll find that voices can cut just fine through a "color" pre.
Old 5th September 2008
  #76
Gear Nut
 
KAJI's Avatar
 

No detented pots?

I thought the Pacifica had stepped gain pots .....are the A-designs 500 series also without detented pots?

Thanks.
Old 5th September 2008
  #77
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ISedlacek's Avatar
For flattering, "better than life" solo pop vocals, I would mostly use another preamp than Forssell SMP-2 ... But not a preamp that sounds smaller than life and with scooped mids, but rather opposite: I used to have Telefunken V76 for that purpose (great), now I use Thermionic Earlybird, there are many other preamps that are also good for this.

But as a general preamp great for anything else, from drums to acoustic guitars and any other instruments, Earlybird and especially SMP-2 are great (somebody here is using SMP-2 even for electric guitars cabinets - with great success). I cannot imagine a situation where a full, highly detailed 3D sound would not be ideal for most of sources. If any processing (EQ) needed, I would always like to do it after as an option, rather that having it instantly cooked from the beginning.
Old 5th September 2008
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
If I am recording a piano and I want it to sound as close to the piano as possible, I use the Forssell Solid State. If I am recording toms and I want some snap, the Pacifica is great. I also like the Pacifica better on most vocals than the Forssell.

But for very most acoustic instruments, I prefer the Forssell OR the A designs Mp-2a for that matter.
Does the MP-2A have enough gain for quieter instruments or low-output mics?
Old 5th September 2008
  #79
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Thanks for the replies guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
For flattering, "better than life" solo pop vocals, I would mostly use another preamp than Forssell SMP-2 ... there are many other preamps that are also good for this.
Which one would you recommend then? 512? Avedis MA5? A-Designs? I'm going to try and arrange some demo units once I've made a selection.. Budget is max. 2000$, preferably less, so that's why I'm thinking 500 series..
Old 5th September 2008
  #80
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robot gigante's Avatar
I disagree with the posters that call the Pacifica scooped. When we got one in the studio, the first thing that we did was compare it with pre's like the TG-2 and the 1073 that are notable for their mids- the Pacifica's midrange easily held its own with those two. I like the mids on that pre.

Like AB3 I like the MP-2A a whole lot on acoustic instruments as well, my favorite for that. It has plenty of gain for my purposes.
Old 5th September 2008
  #81
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heyman's Avatar
"I disagree with the posters that call the Pacifica scooped"

+1
Old 5th September 2008
  #82
AB3
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Absolutely. I use it with AEA R84 ribbon mics all the time. HOWEVER, if it is a quiet instrument and it is the only instrument being used (i.e. a total solo) a low output ribbon mic would not be advisable.

But it would be great with a pair of condensers even for solo instruments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanmccoy View Post
Does the MP-2A have enough gain for quieter instruments or low-output mics?
Old 5th September 2008
  #83
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

i think because the upper mids and highs are so nice maybe some feel the low mids and mids are scooped, as well i do not feel like they are scooped.
i like the way the P-1 set's it the mids and highs.

maybe if you were comparing the Pacifica or the P-1 to a very mid pushed pre one could say they were scooped in the mids?

it is all taste, and,, well, i love the taste of the P-1
Old 6th September 2008
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
i think because the upper mids and highs are so nice maybe some feel the low mids and mids are scooped, as well i do not feel like they are scooped.
i like the way the P-1 set's it the mids and highs.

maybe if you were comparing the Pacifica or the P-1 to a very mid pushed pre one could say they were scooped in the mids?

it is all taste, and,, well, i love the taste of the P-1
Hey Pan60,

You thinks you could post a sample of a vocal with the p1?

Nicolas
Old 6th September 2008
  #85
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

depends i will have to see, but it is not something would normally care to do.
their are a few other around here that do post samples.
i will see though.
Old 6th September 2008
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
depends i will have to see, but it is not something would normally care to do.
their are a few other around here that do post samples.
i will see though.
Alright, no worries!
Old 6th September 2008
  #87
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peeder's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasWho View Post
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.
If you actually look carefully, it's just three or four guys from LA who endorse the products and/or have business dealings with the Montessi's (e.g. "Pete's Place Audio") that are responsible for 99% of the A-Designs hype around here. A couple years ago they seemed to be able to booster the products unchallenged, someone challenged them (albeit inartfully) and was actually banned for doing so (but they are back participating anyway).

I think the boosters are actually doing the products a disservice with the hype, a few months after that the classifieds section here was thick with Pacificas etc. from people who grew disillusioned with them.

The products aren't bad at all...they might be a bit overpriced, but not too bad. But they certainly don't live up to the do-no-wrong reality distortion field this handful of characters tries to create around them.

No A-Designs product is comparable to any Crane Song product...total different levels there. I see the A-Designs brand as being about fun...cool colors to scribble with...but Crane Song (and other truly high-end manufacutrers) are more about serious work.

I wish the boosters would let the brand be about fun rather than trying to intimidate any critics of it.
Old 6th September 2008
  #88
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chrispick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by peeder View Post
If you actually look carefully, it's just three or four guys from LA who endorse the products and/or have business dealings with the Montessi's (e.g. "Pete's Place Audio") that are responsible for 99% of the A-Designs hype around here.
Um... There are a least 15 posters on the first page alone of this thread who give the Pacifica or P-1 a positive review, myself included. I'm brainwashed by hype (I have a little brain). I don't know about everyone else.

Quote:
No A-Designs product is comparable to any Crane Song product...total different levels there. I see the A-Designs brand as being about fun...cool colors to scribble with...but Crane Song (and other truly high-end manufacutrers) are more about serious work.
I am a clown. A clown with a little brain.
Old 6th September 2008
  #89
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Tony Shepperd's Avatar
There are some people who find delight in stirring up trouble and speaking about recordings as if they have a wealth of knowledge.

I think one of the problems is you all are speaking in nebulas terms instead of listening.
I think that's the best way to test a pre.

I find when I work with the Pacifica and the Hammer they have the right amount of polish and grit that I want on a vocal.

Some of the other names mentioned in this thread have the polish, but IMO they don't have the grit.
And many times in digital recordings, the grit is really nice to have.

So here is a vocal example of a tune I am producing.

The singer is Shelea.
The mic is a Sony C800G.
The mic pre is the A Designs Pacifica.
Then into the A Designs Hammer.
Then into the Tube Tech CL1B.
Straight into PT HD.

There are two examples.
1. The vocals by themselves. http://www.tonysound.com/mixes/NeverThought-Vocals.wav
2. The vocals in the track. http://www.tonysound.com/mixes/NeverThought-Track.wav
Old 6th September 2008
  #90
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by peeder View Post
If you actually look carefully, it's just three or four guys from LA who endorse the products and/or have business dealings with the Montessi's (e.g. "Pete's Place Audio") that are responsible for 99% of the A-Designs hype around here. .....

I think the boosters are actually doing the products a disservice with the hype, a few ....
I wish the boosters would let the brand be about fun rather than trying to intimidate any critics of it.
Hi user name Peeder,

I feel like you are talking about me since I live in LA and know A Designs products and the people behind them very well and am quite public about how much I like their stuff (along with API, Great River, Empirical Labs, Manley, Little Labs...). Could you please illuminate specific examples of who has been intimidating any critics and how they are doing it.

The only thing I ever see is that often times some one will have a criticism about an A Designs product, and several people will chime in saying that they have had the exact opposite experience.



Thanks
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