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SM Pro Audio gear - any good? Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 27th April 2012
  #31
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
the M Patch 2 volume pot gets scratchy after a year or so, but, it still works, just crackles while being turned

I also use the HP6E headphone amp... it's great! sounds very nice, and has an excellent "more me" secondary mix setup that can be toggled from four different groups of stereo inputs...sweet
Old 28th April 2012
  #32
I have a PR8E 8 channel mic pre. Sounds good. Doesn't attenuate lower then 0 dB though, so inline pads are needed for loud sources.
Old 30th May 2012
  #33
Gear Nut
 
Jarp2600's Avatar
 

Bought the TC 02 few days ago. Overall I am quite content with it. I am using it mainly live (drums sub group comp or lead vocals). The preamp sounds quite decent. If you are easy with the gain, there's a slight, smooth coloration. The standard valves inside are OK, but hitting 'em too hard won't do any good to your sound. I switched them with a pair of old valves from a Marshall amp, and damn, there she goes.
Spending a few extra bucks on better valves would be the first thing I'd recommend.

The compressor section works quite intuitive. Even though the controls are quite limited ("compress", which to my ears works both on ratio and treshold, attack and release). If you handle proper gain structure, the lack of a treshold control doesn't really matter IMO.

The compressor itself is anything but subtle. Above the compression value of 3, you hear the bitch working, and hard. I like my vocals a it colored and compressed, but if you want, you can nuke the hell out of it. I wouldn't have minded a little more subtility, but that's just an opinion.
The clear audibility from the compression becomes stronger by the fact that it's an opto, so the reaction time is slow. On drums this turns out to be really nice. Gives the kit a lot more punch. On vocals you'll have to be careful with the heavy compression. Even with the shortest attack time, your vocals will sound like "OKAy, here we go".

But well, it's an opto, right?

The device itself is a bit noisy, especially when you crank the preamp gain up. For rock and roll, I wouldn't mind, but you might consider it when you're doing classical and folky stuff.

On the inside (besides the standard valves) there's a lot of caps. From most of them, I wouldn't have a clue why they have been placed there. I might consider removing or replacing a few, but I'll look into that in the future.

In the end, well, don't expect to buy a clean overall compressor. It's pretty colored and works quite agressive, but for the money (if you add a few bucks for some decent valves), it's a really nice device if it fits your sound.
Old 31st May 2012
  #34
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
the M Patch 2 volume pot gets scratchy after a year or so, but, it still works, just crackles while being turned

I also use the HP6E headphone amp... it's great! sounds very nice, and has an excellent "more me" secondary mix setup that can be toggled from four different groups of stereo inputs...sweet

Mine hasnt so far, but I did have a dodgy headphone jack socket which they repaired under warranty. Two years later it all works just fine.
Old 1st November 2017
  #35
Here for the gear
 

I'm thinking of getting a couple of PR8E's for my HD rig, and it's good to see that they have some decent reviews here.

I'd like to know if there are any mods, though. I came across one today, which involves repurposing the polarity switches for switching on 20dB pads (apparently they're present on the PCB, but they were left unimplemented, probably to keep costs down).

c
Old 1st November 2017
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by cc333 View Post
I'm thinking of getting a couple of PR8E's for my HD rig, and it's good to see that they have some decent reviews here.

I'd like to know if there are any mods, though. I came across one today, which involves repurposing the polarity switches for switching on 20dB pads (apparently they're present on the PCB, but they were left unimplemented, probably to keep costs down).

c
Do you have a link to that mod? That's my only gripe with the PR8E. I have to use some inline pads for hot signals. Otherwise it's a clean sounding preamp.
Old 1st November 2017
  #37
Here for the gear
 

It's described here: https://groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=49009.0

Polarity shift is an interesting feature, but a pad seems much more useful. It couldn't have been that expensive to add eight extra switches?

c
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