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Blue Robbie ?? Single-Channel Preamps
Old 15th December 2010
  #1
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Blue Robbie ??

Hi I've recently seen that the Blue Robbie has dropped in price. I've seen them for as little as £350!!

My question is how does the Robbie compare to my current pres :-

Focusrite ISA One + ADC card
Presonus Eureka
GAP PRE73
M-Audio DMP3

I was intending on upgrading my PRE73 to the newer mkII version and my DMP3 to an Audient Mico sometime next year but the Robbie has caught my eye.

What I am aiming to have is a decent neutral preamp, and decent colored preamp and a pair of transparent pres. I also like having a channel strip for the features it has.

I'm guessing that the Robbie would be a possible alternative to my ISA One but the ISA is 2 channels and has some more features for tone changing etc.

Would it be worth e selling my ISA One for the Robbie?

What are your thoughts on this?
Old 15th December 2010
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
I'm guessing that the Robbie would be a possible alternative to my ISA One but the ISA is 2 channels ...
Are you sure about the ISA one being a 2-channel unit?
Old 15th December 2010
  #3
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It blows them all away.
Old 15th December 2010
  #4
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I would not sell your ISA one for a Robbie. I'd get a Robbie used on ebay.

I own a Robbie (450 US) and it rocks...but it would not be an upgrade/downgrade. The Robbie will just have a different sound.

Milky sweet and smooth.
Old 15th December 2010
  #5
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisc_o View Post
Are you sure about the ISA one being a 2-channel unit?
Yes one channel of pre and one channel of di which can both be used at the same time

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayvo86 View Post
I would not sell your ISA one for a Robbie. I'd get a Robbie used on ebay.

I own a Robbie (450 US) and it rocks...but it would not be an upgrade/downgrade. The Robbie will just have a different sound.

Milky sweet and smooth.
Well if it isn't likely to be a step up in performance then I might as well go for versatility and keep what I've got.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EgyptionRing View Post
It blows them all away.
If it's that good then maybe I would sell the ISA?

Hmmmm
Old 16th December 2010
  #6
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Bob Vinsick's Avatar
With most of my mics, they sound better through the Robbie than throught my Pacifica and ISA 424. My AK47 seems to sounds better through the Pacifica although FEt and ribbon mics sound better through the Robbie if that helps.
Old 16th December 2010
  #7
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Storyville's Avatar
Personally, I'd take a Blue Robbie to the ISA One any day of the week.
Old 17th December 2010
  #8
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EgyptionRing View Post
It blows them all away.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post
Personally, I'd take a Blue Robbie to the ISA One any day of the week.
Have you guys had any experience with the ISA One?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Vinsick View Post
With most of my mics, they sound better through the Robbie than throught my Pacifica and ISA 424.
How would you describe the tonal differences between the Robbie and ISA One?

Also, how do they compare noisewise?
Old 17th December 2010
  #9
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Its better than every pre on that list.
Old 17th December 2010
  #10
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Storyville's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
Have you guys had any experience with the ISA One?



How would you describe the tonal differences between the Robbie and ISA One?

Also, how do they compare noisewise?
Yes, I have used Focusrite ISAs a few times. The impedance controls are a decent feature, but really, they stay on the first setting 99% of the time. The upper mids are very edgy and aggressive in a way that is similar to the focusrite octopre. Only the octopre is super thin too. The Robbie on the other hand is much more even and balanced.

Now, mind you this is modern ISAs we are talking about. The ISA series goes back a couple decades and the older stuff is nicer (not just being a vintage geek on this one). The Focusrite console at Ocean Way is absolutely stellar from what I've heard - and the ISAs at Spin are not harsh at all, but still have a good amount of uupper mid push.

There's also a JJ mod for the DMP3 worth considering.

Headroom wise, they are about tied for noise floor, but the ISA noticeably saturates much earlier than the Robbie.
Old 17th December 2010
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngrob View Post
Its better than every pre on that list.
I fully agree, it's better than what you just listed.
Old 17th December 2010
  #12
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Thanks for the replies! Yes I've considered the JJ-Audio mod for the DMP3 but to be honest I'd rather get an Audient Mico instead because of the digital connections, extra features and better build quality.

I'm a little hesitant to possibly sell my ISA One for a Robbie if there is only a slight improvement! It would have to be quite a step up to justify it. Also I would be losing a channel of DI + the swiss army knife features and flexibility of the ISA One.

Could anyone give me a more detailed comparison of the tonal differences of these preamps?
Old 17th December 2010
  #13
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Don't sell the ISA to get the Robbie----and if it were the other way around don't sell the Robbie to get the ISA. These are quite different pres in many ways. Feature wise there's no question, the ISA ONE is loaded and has a great deal to offer! Sound wise, the two boxes are both clean---but the Robbie's tube is going to offer a little more warmth, not a lot--but a little. Just because it's tube doesn't mean big and rich sound but it does have its own characteristics. These pres are like ice-cream....they are both excellent, it just depends on what flavor you're after at that time.
Old 17th December 2010
  #14
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camerondye's Avatar
 

How does the Robbie compare to something like the Presonus ADL600 or another nice tube pre?
Old 17th December 2010
  #15
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Bob Vinsick's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
Have you guys had any experience with the ISA One?



How would you describe the tonal differences between the Robbie and ISA One?

Also, how do they compare noisewise?
Although I haven't tried the ISA One, I've found that the Robbie makes my Kiwi and RCA 77 sound so much better than my ISA 428 and Pacifica. I know the 428 has taken a beaten hear on Gearslutz, and I don't know why because it sounds pretty good to me and many times beats out my Pacifica.

The Robbie is very quiet, even when using high gain settings such as what is required with the RCA 77.
Old 17th December 2010
  #16
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BradLyons's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by camerondye View Post
How does the Robbie compare to something like the Presonus ADL600 or another nice tube pre?
The ADL600 is one of my favorites, actually! It's a nice warm sound that really enhances your original signal without changing the tone as well, a nice "lush" signal that is also quite open and clear on the top. This is not typical of tube pres. I will say that the Robbie is also very clean on the top, but not as warm as most other tube pres. Many think of tubes as "thick, lush, warm, etc" but that isn't always the case. Tubes are often used just to take the harsh attach off of a signal and smooth it out.

The Robbie is one of those you really have to hear, IMHO. It's hard to describe other than clean tube. LOL
Old 20th December 2010
  #17
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Thanks for the replies guys.

I'm a little undecided as what to do because I was fairly set on upgrading to the Audient Mico and PRE73 mkII and sticking with the ISA One digital and Eureka. I am also thinking of modding the Eureka in the new year to the HotRod spec.

Hmm decisions!!??
Old 3rd March 2013
  #18
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PsilohsaiBiN's Avatar
 

So, did you ever get the Robbie? I'll never sell mine; it's one of my favorite pres ever.
Old 3rd March 2013
  #19
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dickiefunk's Avatar
No. I ended up keeping my Isa One. Sold the Eureka and Pre73 and have a Liquid Channel.
Old 3rd March 2013
  #20
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You love your Focusrite

.....Me, I dunno, one bad piece of gear can sometimes ruin a decent company, so as of right now I'm happy to be Focusrite-less.

I do have a question though, how do you like your Liquid Channel compared to your ISA?
Old 3rd March 2013
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmNMusicman View Post
You love your Focusrite

.....Me, I dunno, one bad piece of gear can sometimes ruin a decent company, so as of right now I'm happy to be Focusrite-less.

I do have a question though, how do you like your Liquid Channel compared to your ISA?
Yes I am very fond of my Focusrite pres.
My Focusrite ISA One, Saffire Pro 24DSP and Liquid Channel have been the most rock solid reliable gear I've owned so far!

I know what you mean about how a bad experience with one piece of kit can put you off a company! I had bad experience with the Art MPA Gold and this put me off buying anymore Art products!

The Liquid Channel is a very decent preamp indeed! It has very low noise and stacks of options. I still haven't really had a huge amount of time to try all its features out and I'm probably using about 10% of its capability.

I found that the differences between the various emulations was far smaller than I expected but I haven't really played around with the harmonics feature much. Focusrite did release more emulations that were driven much further into saturation which I haven't had time to install or try. These may have a greater contrast to the existing emulations!?

I haven't tried the compressors yet but intend to when I get some clear time.
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