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GAP Pre 73 (or other mic pre) as Guitar DI? Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 7th October 2010
Gear Nut

Thread Starter
GAP Pre 73 (or other mic pre) as Guitar DI?

Hey all, just thinking about a preamp purchase. At the moment I have a Presonus Bluetube, and a Tascam US 1641. I originally bought the Bluetube when I had an interface without phantom power, and needed to power condensor mics. Now that I've got the Tascam, I'm feeling the Bluetube doesn't really contribute anything - I did some A/B testing using all of my paired mics on a bunch of instruments, into the Bluetube and the Tascam, and to my ears (admittedly I'm no pro), there was no appreciable difference. Of course, switching on the 'tube' gain changed the sound, but only really to the extent that it added hiss, and dirtied the sound in a mostly unpleasant way.
So yeah, I guess a pre or 2 that have 'character' and 'colour' is what I'm after (if the tascam can be assumed to be clean and lacking character), but the catch is, it has to work as a guitar DI. And I don't mean a DI from the amp, I mean guitar direct in, for jazz sounds (a range of tones from crystal clean, to warmer/more 'coloured' would be a plus). Has anyone used the Pre73 in this context?
Other duties it MAY be called upon for would be: Drums/Cymbals/OH, Vocals, Bass DI, Keyboard DI, Guitar amps, Trumpet, Trombone, Sax, and providing ample gain (perhaps also switchable impedance?) for Ribbon mics.
Old 7th October 2010
Comparing my Focusrite Saffire preamps to my GAP73 (modded by API (username here on GS)) I must say the GAP73 added something I really liked to my guitar DI. Hard to describe with words. I guess warmer is as good a word as any.
Old 8th October 2010
Gear Nut

Thread Starter
Thanks for the response. Would you be able to provide any samples comparing the two? That'd be really handy!
Does anyone else have any other thoughts? How would the FMR RNP stack up in this regard?
Old 8th October 2010
Lives for gear

I'm not a big fan of guitar DI ing. If your going to do it the Gap is fine I like is Di better than the pre I think. I also use aphex 207 which is just as good just different tone I like it a little better. Or if you don't need the pre you can pick op a dbx 163x for around 50 dollars If you mod then they sound great and the Di on that is nice too. You have a lot of options. Look around and you will get other answers on here.
Old 8th October 2010
Gear Nut

Thread Starter
Thanks Beefy, I'll look into those.
I think maybe I wasn't perfectly clear in the OP - I still want whatever I buy to be a good MIC preamp first and foremost, I just want it to double as a good guitar DI/pre too.
Old 8th October 2010
Lives for gear
changeng's Avatar
You should check into the Summit 2ba-221. It's first and foremost a vocal preamp, however, since i has a tube that you can 'tune in", it works GREAT as a guitar DI. It also has several ways of plugging in and plugging out, sounds REALLY good and built to last. The tube has decent voltage going to it, so you CAN saturate the signal in a real nice way. One of the most versatile pres you can buy in it's price range (about $450 used on ebay).

I have the GAP and it's not as clean and tho it's versatile, if I had to choose only one, I'd choose the Summit.
Old 8th October 2010
Gear nut

versechorusjvh - Tracks - SoundCloud

The guitar you hear on the top three tracks there were done with a strat going into the (unmodded) DI of the GAP-73. Sansamp plugin in the box for some tweaking.

Just some sonic reference for you I'm a firm believe that you can get great tones with it, and the separate output gain helps you get really manageable / consistent levels.

Come to think of it, everything that wasn't a Virtual Instrument was tracked with GAP-73 on these projects.
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