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Mic Pre...$1400..$500...$300 You be the judge.
Old 18th August 2005
  #1
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Mic Pre...$1400..$500...$300 You be the judge.

OK... no need to state the obvious non-scientific, non-precise..and theoretically flawed testing methods...Please...

As I have been testing converters for almost 2 weeks now I decided to also re-evaluate my small lower end preamp collection...I ran a SM7 through 3 of my mic pres... (30 sec acapella vocal myself)

One currently costs $1400 street price
The other 2 are under $500


Pre 1

Pre 2

Pre 3


Just added these DRY version (no verb or compression) for those asking.
Dry Pre 1

Dry Pre 2

Dry Pre 3


They all sound usuable to me...but since I know which one is the higher end pre I think I am a little jaded.

Just asking for a quick listen and a quick opinion.

Much thanks in advance...

Peace and Respect...

Last edited by Way Of The Heart; 18th August 2005 at 09:04 PM.. Reason: Added the DRY tracks...
Old 18th August 2005
  #2
Gear Addict
 
s00p3rm4n's Avatar
 

Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
OK... no need to state the obvious non-scientific, non-precise..and theoretically flawed testing methods...Please...

As I have been testing converters for almost 2 weeks now I decided to also re-evaluate my small lower end preamp collection...I ran a SM7 through 3 of my mic pres... (30 sec acapella vocal myself)

One currently costs $1400 street price
The other 2 are under $500

There is plenty of reverb and compression on these tracks...cause I like both and I use both and as far as I am concerned the track isn't done until it treated with each.

Pre 1

Pre 2

Pre 3


They all sound usuable to me...but since I know which one is the higher end pre I think I am a little jaded.

Just asking for a quick listen and a quick opinion.

Much thanks in advance...

Peace and Respect...

Pre 2 has an annoying buzz. It also picked up breath sounds quite heavily. Pre 3 sounds a bit fuzzy - the consonants have a bit of nasty on them. Maybe that's just my crap speakers, though.
Old 18th August 2005
  #3
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Hi Rodney. I like compression and reverb too, but for comparison stuff it tends to taint things, compression effects transients and perceived "eq" on certain things too.

Nice voice.

My $0.02

War
Old 18th August 2005
  #4
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7 Hz's Avatar
Yeh, #1 is the flatest sounding to me.

#2 has a strange thing in the upper mid I think

#3 is brighter, but it sounds like it was louder and hit the compression harder. it has an 'exciting' sound, but one that I am always wary off, as tracks with too much of that get tiresome and hard to mix on more silibant voices.

Let us know which is which!
Old 18th August 2005
  #5
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Pre 1

Pre 2

Pre 3


Dry versions..I also edited the first post and added these.

For the money...

1.Aphex 207 (I have always liked this and suggested it but few people use it...kind of a sleeper)

2. Focusrite ISA220 (pretty plain but usually very full sounding pre)

3.DTAR Solstice (This pre was originally designed for 'blending' acoustic guitars but it's 'neve' clone style design is great on lot's of stuff)

That's it...nothing shocking really.

Personally I think the sound comes from the SM7 more than anything else..
I just wanted to share this liitle comparison for no other reason than because I could...!!

Peace and Respect
Old 19th August 2005
  #6
k2m
Gear Head
 

i'd chosen #2

#1 - kinda flat
#2 - ok sounding
#3 - bumpy
Old 19th August 2005
  #7
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

It would all depend on the mix etc, but any of those seem acceptable. #3 for some reason sounded smoother (I'm on a laptop...sorry!) but it could have been performance.

War
Old 19th August 2005
  #8
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absrec's Avatar
 

In a shoutout that I've talked about before on other threads, my friend and I found that as long as it's class A, discreet, it's gonna' sound good. All the pres we tested didn't sound all that different, except for the tube one. And it wasn't better, it was just different.
Old 19th August 2005
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Most of the discrete pres are class AB, not A. This includes API, Neve, John Hardy (I think), etc...
Old 19th August 2005
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Most of the discrete pres are class AB, not A. This includes API, Neve, John Hardy (I think), etc...
The 990C op-amp operates in class-A mode unless the load requires more than 15mA of current.

John Hardy
The John Hardy Co.
www.johnhardyco.com
Old 19th August 2005
  #11
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

If you are looking for clean, a John Hardy, Millenia Media, Earthworks, or Grace preamp would be an excellent competitor against these. I don't think many of us know your $1400 mic pre....I think that a 550 would sound better (at the near 500-range), and at the top end you can get a Daking or 1272 clone....

JvB
Old 19th August 2005
  #12
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Syki's Avatar
 

I think his $1400 pre is an ISA 220, If I'm not mistaken.
Old 19th August 2005
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syki
I think his $1400 pre is an ISA 220, If I'm not mistaken.
True brother...

Funny thing...this ISA stacks up well and is best suited for condensers IME. I love it with my MXL V69.

Peace and Respect
Old 19th August 2005
  #14
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7 Hz's Avatar
Funny thing is I never liked the sound of any Focusrite I have heard, and I liked this one the least compared to the other two without knowing which was which...
Old 19th August 2005
  #15
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Syki's Avatar
 

I love the sound of my Red 6 (1995) before digidesign. That was the true Focusrite RED and ISA(Blue series)

I like the 220 and the 430 but they are not the same sounding pres as the older (Before digidesign) ones. Just my 2 cents
Old 19th August 2005
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

To be honnest, I don't think the untrained ear would notice a difference. No average listeners would study these vocals in detail...pluss the backing track would make it even harder.
Old 8th April 2006
  #17
JPF
Gear Nut
 
JPF's Avatar
 

hope this isn't too off topic..i have a good mic( pearlman ) a tube pre(cheap) and M-box w/souped up g4 etc.I've been tracking vox w/-20db pad in, a hair of of drive,and some gain so average metering is about 11-12 oclock on pre because i don't want to overdrive etc.my logic is by going thru tube pre i'm adding a little warmth w/o over riding mic characteristics.. TubePre works great for bass sounds..
on vox i'm wondering how much pre should be used / i've read all these threads singing the praises of various pre amps ,i'm just looking for a little more warmth before i plunge into digital ..maybe rool all volume on m-box in off and increase drive and gain on Tube Pre like i'm metering a track pushing the red?thoughts and suggestions welcome,hope there is some sense in this?-JP
Old 8th April 2006
  #18
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nathanvacha's Avatar
 

Wow... old thread came back! (there should be a version of this where he walks out onto the scene instead of off!) ...and I was wondering why none of the links were working...
Old 8th April 2006
  #19
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celticrogues's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvacha
...and I was wondering why none of the links were working...
yeah me too...

Cheers,
-Mike
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