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Which is the $85 pre and which is the $2200 pre? Condenser Microphones
Old 20th August 2008
  #91
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mwagener's Avatar
BTW John, great song and great performances. You might want to check the phase on the acoustic guitars in the intro
Old 20th August 2008
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwagener View Post
if you turn up the two samples on my S3As very loud, A takes your head off in the higher midrange and B sounds smooth as silk. I would not want to record a whole song just with A, I don't think I would want to record even one track with A it sounds way harsh to me. (I am referring to the first two files)
These are just roughs...that might be more of an indictment of my microphone...or my shrill, laser beam, 1-4k nightmare of a voice.
Old 20th August 2008
  #93
Lives for gear
Here is the final if anyone's interested...All of this started because I was thinking my vocals just sounded a little crunchy. It wasn't gain staging - I wasn't even close to clipping on the input...so, I attributed it to the pre. After hearing it even on the clean pres I just tried (GML, Hardy, Martech), I'm wondering if the issue is my mic, my mic technique or just inherent to my voice...Any thoughts?
Attached Files

01 Every Little Feeling - SD.mp3 (4.89 MB, 354 views)

Old 20th August 2008
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
These are just roughs...that might be more of an indictment of my microphone...or my shrill, laser beam, 1-4k nightmare of a voice.
Hmm, I thought your voice sounded fine on the B sample. If you have a very strong projection in the 2-4 K range, try a U67 or a Beyer MC740 (a lot cheaper than a U67) and my goto mic for female vocal, where 2-4 K is very often a problem.
Old 20th August 2008
  #95
Gear Maniac
 

which should people spend more money on? a better mic or a better pre? whats a better combination? a expensive mic and a cheap pre or a expensive pre and a cheap mic?
Old 20th August 2008
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikapikapi View Post
which should people spend more money on? a better mic or a better pre? whats a better combination? a expensive mic and a cheap pre or a expensive pre and a cheap mic?
the microphone is MUCH more important.

awesome mic and cheap pre over cheap mic and awesome pre any day.
Old 20th August 2008
  #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwagener View Post
Hmm, I thought your voice sounded fine on the B sample. If you have a very strong projection in the 2-4 K range, try a U67 or a Beyer MC740 (a lot cheaper than a U67) and my goto mic for female vocal, where 2-4 K is very often a problem.
I sang on a killer U67 at Sony a couple of weeks ago...I really felt like it was the best fit on my voice I had heard so far. It was big on bottom with a killer top end - but I never sounded harsh. Michael, who would you go to here in Nashville to buy a good U67? I've just been a little skiddish about the whole vintage thing...I'm trying out a Korby over the few days - I've tried one before and liked the 67 head, but it's just a little crispy when I start laying into it...I know he can tweak...but...well, you know...
Old 27th August 2008
  #98
Quote:
Originally Posted by XLR2XLR View Post
Lynn they seem like wise words, but do they not also mean shoot out CD's are meaningless, I mean those pre's/mics you test are simply the product of the one source you record on any given preamp so when making a judgement on a preamp it is probably wrong as you will need to test each and every source with a mic/pre combo?
So, how many posts were lost in this last round of board maintenance?

I posted a lengthy and very intelligent (;-) response to this question shortly after it was asked. Too bad nobody got to read it.
Old 27th August 2008
  #99
Well, I did find part of my response and Michael Wagener's response to it in my inbox.

Here they are (the lost posts) with proper attribution, though it's only a portion of my original response which pointed out that many people don't have access to the mics or pres that I've tested. Though an imperfect representation, compared to having them in front of you, my shootout CDs do serve a purpose for those who will never be able to access or audition all these mics/pres.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston
...How many people do you know that can put a 251, C-12, C-800G, U47, U67 and a Sheffield in the same room? Or a Fearn, Neve, A-Range, API and Buzz for that matter?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wagener
Well, if you put the Sheffield in there, forget about all other mics in the room

I find the shootout CDs very helpful. Do they tell you what a certain piece of gear sounds like in YOUR room? No. BUT they give you a great comparison what a certain mic or pre sounds like compared to others in the exact same situation. You can get a general feeling for the direction of the sound a mic or pre goes in.

If a mic sounds dull on a tambourine in one room it will most likely not sound bright on a tambourine in another room. If a preamp is not fast enough to sound good on Cymals in one room, it wont suddenly be fast enough in aother room. Will it sound the same in another room? No, but the general direction will be very similar. To me, that eliminates half the mics I might consider for purchase. I agree with Lynn that somebody elses opinion is a way more shaky description of a sound of any pice of gear, especially because it includes personal preference.

I listen to the shootout CDs and then get the closest contenders into my own room and make my decision from there.
Old 26th October 2008
  #100
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again, "a" sounded better to me. this last mp3, i'm confused what do i rate it against?

lead vox: too loud in intro.
cymbals: thrashed! tell drummer to mellow out a bit on cymbals! hit's are WAY too hard! (king's x!)
Old 26th October 2008
  #101
Harmless Wacko
 

Buy everything.

Then you'll be safe.


SM.
Old 2nd December 2008
  #102
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
One channel with EQ...but it has a brother (not in this test) with two channels and no eq...

BTW - this isn't to "trick" anybody...I just thought it was really interesting...
This may be "late in the day" for a reply -but I'm jumping in without knowing the answer. I definetly prefer B -A sounds much harsher -and on the theory that more expensive = "boutique subjective beauty" rather than mere accuracy -I'm going with B being the expensive one -as I prepare to be humiliated by the right answer.

Thx for the test anyways. Phil x
Old 2nd December 2008
  #103
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos Boll View Post
This is just from listening on PC speakers -

A = $2100

B=$85
funny, I thought the opposite.

B=2100$ : more present, intimate sound, the pre catch more 'things'.
Old 2nd December 2008
  #104
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
I was surprised that this cheap little thing hung in there. Paint me a fool because I don't expect Digi003 pres to rival $2000 a channel pres...I realize that's a blanket statement possibly comparing apples to oranges, but I have to say, I expected more expensive pres that were using higher quality components to have more depth or whatever kind of grandiose adjective you want to insert there.
...
Well, I only listened to the dry samples, but I immediately thought that the B sample had excactly what you would expect: more "depth", and the vocal therefore seemed to sound more "inspired" (which of course could also mean that it was the performance itself, and not the preamp, that contributed to its "perceived depth".

The differences between the pres sampled here reminds me about the difference between my APIs and M-Audio Octane, something with the transient response that make the M-Audios sound flatter and more 3D, I guess. But all of this of course is very subtle, especially one a single track.
Old 2nd December 2008
  #105
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Vast majority preferred A before the results were announced. Now everyone seems to prefer B. Mmmmmh....
Old 2nd December 2008
  #106
Gear Nut
 

I'm a little late in the game but I can't believe everybody chose A. It is liveless, flat and muffled. B is a little bright but so much more 3d...I can hear every nuances!?!

I usually can't hear a big difference in those AD-DA shootouts but this.... wow
Old 2nd December 2008
  #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventn View Post
I'm a little late in the game but I can't believe everybody chose A. It is liveless, flat and muffled. B is a little bright but so much more 3d...I can hear every nuances!?!

I usually can't hear a big difference in those AD-DA shootouts but this.... wow
I totally agree and I too just heard the files for the first time.

Nice song and performance!

I'm listening thru the UA 2192's DA by the way and though I haven't hooked it up anymore, I'm sure that the difference would be way smaller when listening thru say the DA of my Digi 002.

So there's a whole other discussion attached......do preamps matter when almost everybody listens on mp3 and cheap earbuds? I really do think that it matters.
Old 2nd December 2008
  #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Luminous View Post
Vast majority preferred A before the results were announced. Now everyone seems to prefer B. Mmmmmh....
You know you are right. For the life of me I can't figure out why that always seems to happen on shootouts once the gear is revealed. It's one of the strange mysteries of the universe.
Old 2nd December 2008
  #109
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John's plowed through a lot of mics and pres, but neither of these vocal recordings (NOT the performance - the performance is great!) are that great. Neither one is bad, just not that great. If I had to choose between A or B, I'd say C - no thanks.
Song and performance are great though!

Oh, and John - I feel for you buddy. You do have a razor blade midrange. Good luck!
Old 3rd December 2008
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProducerBoy View Post

Oh, and John - I feel for you buddy. You do have a razor blade midrange. Good luck!

ouch! i hope you guys are buddies and this is an inside joke!
Old 3rd December 2008
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joninc View Post
ouch! i hope you guys are buddies and this is an inside joke!
Oh no! I meant no offense. That wasn't meant as a criticism of his voice, more so the mic. I've coincidentally followed his search for the right mic, and though some have been great, his voice requires something that tames some harsher frequencies. I have a folk singer friend who was the same way. Took a lot of work to get the right combo for his voice. Both great voices, they just call for a careful mic choice. As a singer songwriter, I have nothing but good things to say about John. I just hope he finds a mic that suits his voice well.
: )
Old 3rd December 2008
  #112
Here for the gear
 

I came in late on this thread, but last night I listened to the dry clips against each other. When I listened on my powerbook with a mid-range Grado headset, I preferred A (before checking to see which was which). The high end was more defined and that was the only difference I could really perceive.

Today I listened to it again on a pair of JBL LSR-28Ps and the low-mid difference was totally obvious, and B was my preference by far.

Of course that was after I read which was which...

I was actually kind of surprised. I wonder if I need new headphones.

By the way I really enjoyed the song too.
Old 3rd December 2008
  #113
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Luminous View Post
Vast majority preferred A before the results were announced. Now everyone seems to prefer B. Mmmmmh....
well, whatever...

My impression of increased depth in the B sample was upon the very first listening, BEFORE reading the thread, but you would have to take my word on it.

Granted, I did not think that there was an extreme difference between the samples, and I also noticed the increased clarity in the high/upper mids on A, but I do believe you can instantly hear the difference in perceived depth in these samples, and also that these differences will be magnified if tracking a lot of tracks through one of these preamps.

But of course, Internet listening samples/tests and discussion are what they are, and one must be aware of their obvious shortcomings and biases, don't you think?
Old 3rd December 2008
  #114
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Nice tune thumbsup
Old 3rd December 2008
  #115
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Night and day difference between the two.

A. Clear, detailed, 3D
B. Flat, harsh, almost like a blanket was thrown over the mic.

Come on guys. It's so obvious you get what you pay for. The cheap pre sounds so bad on this one track, imagine if it was stacked on 20 or 30 tracks.
Old 3rd December 2008
  #116
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Speak it brotha!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
These threads get tiring.

I've said it before and I'll say it again now and again in the future.

"Anyone who considers the price of a preamp as a determining factor in whether or not to use it on a recording is a fool."

The question should always be "which sounds better in this context? This song, this performer, this track, this arrangement."

I've lost track of how many times I've used a cheaper preamp simply because it sounded better. Never to the discredit of the more expensive one.

This comparison illuminates two points very clearly:

A) You have to use your ears and not a calculator to decide what preamp is right on any given day, and

B) We all hear things differently. Not everyone agrees on which is best.

How about a show of hands from people who know that one preamp beats out another on one day and loses on the next? REGARDLESS of price.

And who here has found the one preamp that sounds better on every thing all the time?

I'm glad that people are learning from these samples. I just question what it is that they are learning. If you learned that an $85 preamp sounded preferable to an unknown $2200 preamp to some people on this one recording, then I'd say you learned the right lesson.

Now, armed with that knowledge, go pick signal paths with your ears, not your wallet.
Old 3rd December 2008
  #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Luminous View Post
Vast majority preferred A before the results were announced. Now everyone seems to prefer B. Mmmmmh....
I was JUST about to post the same thing...
Old 3rd December 2008
  #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joninc View Post
ouch! i hope you guys are buddies and this is an inside joke!
Nope
Old 3rd December 2008
  #119
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhero View Post
Night and day difference between the two.

A. Clear, detailed, 3D
B. Flat, harsh, almost like a blanket was thrown over the mic.

Come on guys. It's so obvious you get what you pay for. The cheap pre sounds so bad on this one track, imagine if it was stacked on 20 or 30 tracks.
You might want to check out the results at the bottom of page 1...
Old 3rd December 2008
  #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhero View Post
Night and day difference between the two.

A. Clear, detailed, 3D
B. Flat, harsh, almost like a blanket was thrown over the mic.

Come on guys. It's so obvious you get what you pay for. The cheap pre sounds so bad on this one track, imagine if it was stacked on 20 or 30 tracks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
File A is a Studio Projects VTB-1
File B is the expensive pre

Doh!
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