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Which is the $85 pre and which is the $2200 pre? Condenser Microphones
Old 18th August 2008
  #31
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
Fishy? Are you insinuating that I purposely want A to sound better? I could care less which one sounds better - that's the reason I posted it. I really don't go through that much gear. I've owned an Aurora, BAE and Wunder in the past three years...I've rented or borrowed the rest. Since some people don't have access to this stuff, I figured I would share my experiences with it.
Christ are you freakin DEFENSIVE! Read my post- I SPECIFICALLY ADDRESS THAT I DO NOT think you did that..

Relax dude- seriously.

It sounds fishy as in not RIGHT... Something in the top end sounds "fishy"...

Man, you have got to be kidding... But now I bet Im 100% right about which is which...
Old 18th August 2008
  #32
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whitepapagold's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitepapagold View Post
But now I bet Im 100% right about which is which...
And I posted this BEFORE reading the answer...

Looks like I was right the entire time.... and everyone bit on the top end of A....
Old 18th August 2008
  #33
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The dman's Avatar
 

Quote:
File A is a Studio Projects VTB-1
File B is the expensive pre
Cool test but why the big mystery revealing the expensive pre's brand. We can take it
Old 18th August 2008
  #34
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Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The dman View Post
Cool test but why the big mystery revealing the expensive pre's brand. We can take it
Absolutely, what´s the problem with the clandestine preamp B?
Old 18th August 2008
  #35
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Because my gear pimp lent it out to me and I'm sure he didn't lend it to me hoping I would shoot it out where it didn't sound as good as an $85 mic pre...That's why.
Old 18th August 2008
  #36
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dbjp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
Because my gear pimp lent it out to me and I'm sure he didn't lend it to me hoping I would shoot it out where it didn't sound as good as an $85 mic pre...That's why.
Does your gear pimp check out gearslutz?
Old 18th August 2008
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitepapagold View Post
Obviously or you wouldn't have done it that way...

Theres too much difference in the high end for it not to completely influence peoples choices. One is rolling off the highs and people are choosing based off lack of definition... Its presented with one giving more definition and you admit to EQing so thats where I take issue. If you tried to "balance them", then youve now added a bunch of money in plug ins to the "85 dollar" pre...

I don't think you are trying to trick anyone, but its biased by the eqing for sure...
Quote:
Originally Posted by whitepapagold View Post
Christ are you freakin DEFENSIVE! Read my post- I SPECIFICALLY ADDRESS THAT I DO NOT think you did that..

Relax dude- seriously.

It sounds fishy as in not RIGHT... Something in the top end sounds "fishy"...

Man, you have got to be kidding... But now I bet Im 100% right about which is which...
Dude - I'm not being defensive - sorry if it came off that way. I guess I just got confused by some of your wording, like "influence people's choices," "admit to EQing" and "where I take issue"...I'll post the dry samples so you can hear that the results are pretty much the same. I was just explaining that I basically eq'd them the same. Took away a little bottom, a little 500 and put in a little top shelf.
Old 18th August 2008
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjp View Post
Does your gear pimp check out gearslutz?
No, but the manufacturer does and I'm sure he wouldn't appreciate a terribly unscientific test that - in my opinion - isn't terribly flattering to his piece...BTW - I don't think the expensive pre sounds bad at all, it's just more colored and isn't as open on top. Some people might like that sound better. I'm finding that I like more clean headroom in a vocal pre...and just on a lark, I tried this old VTB-1...
Old 18th August 2008
  #39
Gear Maniac
 

Definitely the sound of B was mangled by how you mixed it. 'A' sounded better because it wasn't processed to the extent 'B' was. 'B' might have sounded better than 'A' if you processed them the same way. No conclusions about 'A' vs 'B' are legitimate in this comparison.
Old 18th August 2008
  #40
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OK - I'll definitely post the dry files...but really...you say it was mangled, but how do you know how it was mixed? Isn't it possible that it just doesn't sound as good?
Old 18th August 2008
  #41
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JTC111's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
OK - I'll definitely post the dry files...but really...you say it was mangled, but how do you know how it was mixed? Isn't it possible that it just doesn't sound as good?
The point he and some others are trying to make is that the test is invalid because you introduced too many variables and the variables weren't equal/identical.

For example, if you add eq to both samples but to 'A' you add a 2db 10kHz boost and to 'B' you add a 12db 15kHz boost, you've changed the test from "which preamp sounds better, A or B" to "which preamp sounds better, A with a 2db 10kHz bump or B with a 12db 15kHz bump." It's no longer just A vs. B.

You have two cars racing on different routes with different conditions and you're asking us to determine which car is fastest. The variables play too large a role for us to really know the answer.
Old 18th August 2008
  #42
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Both preamps sound just fine.

The sound processed through Preamp A sounds better, IMO, because it does not have such piercing highs, but that may just be a matter of EQ or lack of. A also seemed a little bit louder compared do B...
Old 18th August 2008
  #43
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A is best. That's scary.
Old 18th August 2008
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
OK - I'll definitely post the dry files...but really...you say it was mangled, but how do you know how it was mixed? Isn't it possible that it just doesn't sound as good?
I don't know how you mixed it, but 'B' sounds like it's been processed, so that sibilance is more apparent. Or maybe the singer, sang into the mics in a way that emphasized sibilance and 'A' had it EQ'd out.
Old 18th August 2008
  #45
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Osse_87's Avatar
 

Without reading any comments or anything

I like the A sample more, definently. Sounds more focused, has more control over the harsh S and sounds overall more balanced.

Edit: After reading comments... I'll be damned. But i've done a blind test between some other pres and the conclusion was that I liked the Behringer cheapy tube micpre too, which was kind of a eye opener for me to.

Thank you for the test! This proves brand and price isn't everything when it comes to result... as long as you don't know it beforehand, tragically. I HATE placebo.
Old 18th August 2008
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcohol View Post
I don't know how you mixed it, but 'B' sounds like it's been processed, so that sibilance is more apparent. Or maybe the singer, sang into the mics in a way that emphasized sibilance and 'A' had it EQ'd out.
Well, that's exactly what I'm saying I tried not to do...but I'll just post the dry files so we can eliminate the controversy...
Old 18th August 2008
  #47
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Osse_87's Avatar
 

Really nice song and mix overall I have to say!

How did you record the incredible acoustic guitar sound?
Old 18th August 2008
  #48
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emfrank72's Avatar
 

Boy do people around here get testy when a cheap pre wins out. I think an end results test can be a valid test as the final product is what matters in the end. I haven't listened to it in the studio yet but on my Macbook I chose B as the one I prefered. I will listen again when I get to the studio. Thanks for the comparison. However, I doubt I will be running out and purchasing a VTB-1.
Old 18th August 2008
  #49
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Empty Planet's Avatar
 

This kind of thread comes up on Gearslutz every couple years or so. I've done this kind of thing myself, though in a different forum. It can be an eye-opener.

The standard response is that sure it sounds fine in isolation, but wait till you have 30 tracks of them. It's an idea at least worthy of consideration.

Different pres have different characteristics. Some are "softer," some are "brighter," etc., and one learns over time which to apply to what kind of sources. There might be sources you specifically want to use that VTB to capture. It's about what you hear and what you like.

The issues that make me choose "expensive" pres over "cheap" pres have to do with the fact that the components are better (the 85 dollar pre may be amazingly well designed for that price point, but see what kind of components you have to choose among if you want to keep it at that price point), and with very unsexy things like a lower noise floor and a greater frequency range, represented more accurately. That counts for a great deal when I start stacking tracks.

But where the cheap pres really fall down (that is, in addition to noise floor and frequency response), in my experience, is in capturing transients. Find an extremely well recorded loop of some high-frequency, highly percussive materials, a very clear, highly staccato tambourine loop, for instance. Run it through both pres, paying close attention to gain staging. Listen to what's happening to the transients. (This is an excellent test for all kinds of gear, btw.)

If a piece of gear is robbing me of transients, I want it to be intentional. Without well-recorded transients, I lose depth, detail, realism, my reverbs go to hell, I lose all the immediacy and nuance of a sound I may have worked hard to capture. To capture a sound I've struggled to achieve, I want the best equipment, with the best components and design, that I can afford.

In the end, though, of course, it's all about what you hear and like. I used to keep a VTB around, till I gave it to someone who didn't have a pre and was just starting out. It can capture some interesting things.

Good luck in your search.






Cheers.

Old 18th August 2008
  #50
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Knastratt's Avatar
 

Thanks for the effort, John. I had a hard time making up my mind to the point it got pointless. One's got more mojo (or musicality) by a bit and the other nicer top end. If I had to choose from those I'd pass it on to the mastering guy for his decision. YMMV!

I'm really looking forward to hear the GAP Pre73 scheduled to arrive in about two weeks.

Cheers - Pär
Old 18th August 2008
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty Planet View Post
But where the cheap pres really fall down (that is, in addition to noise floor and frequency response), in my experience, is in capturing transients. Find an extremely well recorded loop of some high-frequency, highly percussive materials, a very clear, highly staccato tambourine loop, for instance. Run it through both pres, paying close attention to gain staging. Listen to what's happening to the transients. (This is an excellent test for all kinds of gear, btw.)

I agree - the noise floor and transient response on the VTB-1 is poor in comparison to the other pre...but I still think the more open top is more pleasing. I guess that's just all subjective.
Old 18th August 2008
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emfrank72 View Post
However, I doubt I will be running out and purchasing a VTB-1.
Me neither. But I think I will be getting a more transparent pre with more clean headroom...for vocals at least...
Old 18th August 2008
  #53
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Annex2's Avatar
 

Before reading anyones thoughts, I liked A better on a quick listen through my home computer speakers. Nice song btw.
Old 18th August 2008
  #54
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I agree that in isolation the cheap pre and the expensive one are both usable in this situation. About 3 years ago I bought a UA 4110 pre for drums to replace a cheaper set of pres. I don't have tracks to A/B for you, but I can say that the sound was SO much more 3D and punchy that there simply was no comparison. My drum tracks took a huge leap forward in quality. And it wasn't just me who noticed - every drummer who came in commented on the improvement. If I replaced the snare pre with a cheap one and eq'd it, I bet it would be hard to tell the difference. However, if all the mics are running through cheap pres, you can really tell that the overall end product is worse sounding. Takes way more processing to get it to sound good.

I also want to know the acoustic guitar chain.... :-)
Old 18th August 2008
  #55
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Knastratt's Avatar
 

I know what you mean. My Mindprint EnVoice sounded that bad I was able to pick them out of an A/B test on another forum.

The guy didn't mention what the UA 610 was put up against nor do I recall the mic used. But my instant reaction was "my gawd - the same flatness and smeary midrange of my happily sold EnVoices". heh

Last edited by Knastratt; 18th August 2008 at 05:39 PM.. Reason: Not at all
Old 18th August 2008
  #56
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I've a/b mic pre's before and all in all I came to the conclusion, if it sounds good , it works; and works well with the microphone your using.

I give you an example:

on a particular ribbon mic, it performed with the below mic pre from best to worst:

1. API
2. Telefunken
3. Beringer
4.dbx
5. Focusrite

using the same conditions with a high end tube condesor mic:

1. Telefunken
2. API
3. dbx
4. Focusrite
5. Beringer

using the same conditions with a sm57

1. API
2. Telefunken
3. Focusrite
4. dbx
5. Beringer.

you would think that the $500 Focusrite would outshine the $80 mic pre in all of the cases,
but I found out by looking further into the circuits, Beringer Copied an old Allen and Heath console mic pre design and added a tube "color" circuit to it to change more than 20% of the circuit to get around any design patents.
Old 18th August 2008
  #57
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john caldwell's Avatar
Once again John, I am drawn to your music and voice. I still bring up the Once A Year files now and then, simply because I enjoy the music. Where can I buy your work?

Listening on 0300D's in a decent room, amp A is a larger, darker and a bit muddy. A's upper mids and trebles are smooth and unharsh. B is much leaner in low mids and lows, and better defined in the upper mids and trebles. B is a much smaller sound. There is tissue paper in B's lower treble range.

With subtractive EQ in the lower register, I'd guess that A might be my choice in a final product based upon its generous girth and smoothness. As is, I prefer B quite a bit simply because it's not clouded in the below 330 Hz range.

Thanks for your posts, John.

John Caldwell
Old 18th August 2008
  #58
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Thanks, John...I'm a songwriter, so I don't have any kind of album for sale...you can hear this tune and several others on my facebook page. (Facebook has much better audio than myspace). I've been thinking about throwing some of my favorite songs on a cd and selling it, but then again, I've been saying that for 4 years now. Maybe I'll get off my butt and do it...
Old 18th August 2008
  #59
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alyricalmind's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by emfrank72 View Post
I doubt I will be running out and purchasing a VTB-1.
Hmm, me too... I think I'll walk out and purchase the VTB-1 instead. For $120 that thing sounds like it could come in quite handy.
Old 18th August 2008
  #60
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illacov's Avatar
 

Which Behringer Pre??

Quote:
Originally Posted by drtechno View Post
I've a/b mic pre's before and all in all I came to the conclusion, if it sounds good , it works; and works well with the microphone your using.

I give you an example:

on a particular ribbon mic, it performed with the below mic pre from best to worst:

1. API
2. Telefunken
3. Beringer
4.dbx
5. Focusrite

using the same conditions with a high end tube condesor mic:

1. Telefunken
2. API
3. dbx
4. Focusrite
5. Beringer

using the same conditions with a sm57

1. API
2. Telefunken
3. Focusrite
4. dbx
5. Beringer.

you would think that the $500 Focusrite would outshine the $80 mic pre in all of the cases,
but I found out by looking further into the circuits, Beringer Copied an old Allen and Heath console mic pre design and added a tube "color" circuit to it to change more than 20% of the circuit to get around any design patents.
Just curious as to which Behringer pre you're talking about?? The IMP?? Sort of like Ghost pre knockoff?? The Invisible Mic Pre VS The Ghost?

Peace
Illumination
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