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PRE73 and DMP3 noisy!? Single-Channel Preamps
Old 31st December 2010
  #1
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dickiefunk's Avatar
PRE73 and DMP3 noisy!?

I've just been trying out my current preamps and was surprised to find that two of them are noticeably noisier than the other two.

The preamps I tried were the Focusrite ISA One digital, GAP PRE73, Presonus Eureka and M-Audio DMP3.

I briefly tried them out with a Golden Age R1mkIII active ribbon mic. They were all set around 25db of gain and there was significantly more hiss with the DMP3 and PRE73!

On paper the DMP3 looks to be an extremely quiet preamp with EIN at -128dB @ 600Ohm's with 67dB gain! The ISA One's EIN is -126dB @ 150Ohms with 60db gain!

I am a little confused as I also had an ART MPA Gold with NOS Telefunken tubes and this was even noisier! That's meant to have an EIN of -133dB though the spec doesn't mention how this was measured! I've read quite a few people on here say these preamps are extremely quiet so why have I found them to be noisier?
Just goes to show you can't take much notice of specs on paper!
Old 31st December 2010
  #2
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

...try your test again with a different mic...that "active ribbon" design generates more noise in general...IMHO, not a good mic to choose when measuring noise levels in your front end...there may just be a undesireable interaction between the design of those particular preamps and the active ribbon's head amp...
Old 31st December 2010
  #3
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mhs2xs's Avatar
 

My DMP3 is not very noisy at all.
Old 31st December 2010
  #4
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Ok I just tried the Eureka, PRE73 and DMP3 again with a Rode NT-1a which is an extremely quiet mic and there is a massive difference in noise performance!

This is what I noticed :-

PRE73 - this preamp didn't really have any hiss even at full gain! However when I turned the Mic/Line input past -40 there was hum and when I got into the third gain stage -55 upwards there was a noticeable jump!!

DMP3 - This is a very quiet preamp and only really got noisy beyond 55dB and then there was a jump in noise.

Eureka - I found this to be the quietest of the bunch! There was no hiss with the mic input turned up to 54dB gain. Even when I turned up the output to 10 the Eureka was still very quiet with the NT-1a! There was only a very small amount of hiss!!

One of the guys at Presonus mentioned that if you replace the stock opamps with Linear Tech 1357 there is even less noise!?

I have to say I'm really impressed with the Eureka! I'll be hooking up the ISA One again to see how this compares.
Old 31st December 2010
  #5
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changeng's Avatar
you may wanna check into the fethead thing for that ribbon. if you otherwise like the sound of the preamps you have, then you just need more juice to push it up. you could also try gain-staging - use one of your pre's to act as a PRE-preamp, boost it as little as necessary to push up the signal going into the "main' pre. Might give you some interesting color that way too.
Old 31st December 2010
  #6
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kidvybes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by changeng View Post
you may wanna check into the fethead thing for that ribbon. if you otherwise like the sound of the preamps you have, then you just need more juice to push it up. you could also try gain-staging - use one of your pre's to act as a PRE-preamp, boost it as little as necessary to push up the signal going into the "main' pre. Might give you some interesting color that way too.
...the mic he's using is an "active" ribbon, meaning it's got a head amp already built in that uses phantom power, so essentially it's got a Fethead built in...
Old 31st December 2010
  #7
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John Suitcase's Avatar
 

I'd be curious whether what you're hearing is noise from the phantom power on these different preamps.

Try the test with a dynamic, like an SM57, and see what you hear.

If it turns out that the 48v is noisy, you might try using an external 48v device, and see what happens, if you find yourself needing to add 60db of gain to your condenser (are you recording gnats, or what?)
Old 31st December 2010
  #8
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changeng's Avatar
Oh. That's different. YouTube - Gilda Radner Nevermind
Old 31st December 2010
  #9
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vierge99's Avatar
 

My DMP3 is only noisy when I use it with my Blue enCORE 200. But that mic is overly vulnerable to RFI.

Otherwise the DMP3 has been quiet and awesome.
Old 1st January 2011
  #10
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Suitcase View Post
I'd be curious whether what you're hearing is noise from the phantom power on these different preamps.

Try the test with a dynamic, like an SM57, and see what you hear.

If it turns out that the 48v is noisy, you might try using an external 48v device, and see what happens, if you find yourself needing to add 60db of gain to your condenser (are you recording gnats, or what?)
I have a Shure SM7b but it's at another studio at the moment. I will definately try this out!

I don't need 60db of gain for a condenser. I just tried this to see how each preamp performed at increasing gain levels out of curiosity. However with the Golden Age R1 ribbon mic there was a big difference in how well the Eureka and ISA One coped compared to the PRE73 and DMP3!
Old 1st January 2011
  #11
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I had a gap 73 and hated it. It's over rated and kind of sucks better than some cheap pres though. That being said it is not noisy at all. you probably have the power supply to close to it move the power supply and see if that works.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #12
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefy View Post
That being said it is not noisy at all. you probably have the power supply to close to it move the power supply and see if that works.
Ok I just tried moving the power supply to a different socket and there is no hum now! Looks like the classic problems with cheap wall wart psu's!

It is still a fraction noisier than the Eureka but both are very quiet pres!
Old 2nd January 2011
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefy View Post
I had a gap 73 and hated it. It's over rated and kind of sucks better than some cheap pres though. That being said it is not noisy at all. you probably have the power supply to close to it move the power supply and see if that works.
What did you hate about it? Why did it suck? What's overrated about it? What preamp do you like? Why do you like that?


Just curious.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #14
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Quote:
What did you hate about it? Why did it suck? What's overrated about it? What preamp do you like? Why do you like that?
Last time I posted my reasons for not liking this pre I got a bunch of people ragging on me for not liking this thing. Like saying something bad about a pre amp was a personal assult on them, but I will do it again because I'm a glutton for punishment. (keep in mind I had the TT mod)

What I hate about it,
It doesn't get the job done.

Why does it suck,

I'll say it the same way and clarify because I used the word spastic last time and some people don't have the vocabulary to know what that means and asked me what it's suppose to mean.
It's spastic meaning its jerky, or inconsistant. Your always getting suble problems with takes because of it and the problems are inconsistant not something that can be eqed out or taken care of with a little compression. It's also unmixable you start tracking with it and you have the same mixing problems as any other cheap pre mackie vlz ect. You can mix them if you want, it isn't going to sound that good though and it's a bitch just getting them to mix not sounding that good. If you get the power supply to close to the pre it starts making noise considerable amounts too.

If you can't tell why I think it's over rated by why I hate it, or why I think it sucks then I'll tell you,

The pre sounds in the same range as the allen and heath mixwiz pres it's just they will give you 16 pres with an eq, routing, and a mix buss for 1000$ less if you haggle right.

I have other pres and didn't have any of those problems with them. so I know it's not me it's the pre. If you feel personally offended by my views of a piece of gear or base your self worth on owning a certain piece of gear sorry to upset you. That's just the way I feel about it and I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. If you like the sound of this unit by all means use it. Tell people you use it and why you like it. Not everybody likes the same thing and it's just an opinion
Old 2nd January 2011
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefy View Post
Last time I posted my reasons for not liking this pre I got a bunch of people ragging on me for not liking this thing. Like saying something bad about a pre amp was a personal assult on them, but I will do it again because I'm a glutton for punishment. (keep in mind I had the TT mod)

What I hate about it,

It doesn't get the job done.

Why does it suck,


I'll say it the same way and clarify because I used the word spastic last time and some people don't have the vocabulary to know what that means and asked me what it's suppose to mean.

It's spastic meaning its jerky, or inconsistant. Your always getting suble problems with takes because of it and the problems are inconsistant not something that can be eqed out or taken care of with a little compression. It's also unmixable you start tracking with it and you have the same mixing problems as any other cheap pre mackie vlz ect. You can mix them if you want, it isn't going to sound that good though and it's a bitch just getting them to mix not sounding that good. If you get the power supply to close to the pre it starts making noise considerable amounts too.

If you can't tell why I think it's over rated by why I hate it, or why I think it sucks then I'll tell you,


The pre sounds in the same range as the allen and heath mixwiz pres it's just they will give you 16 pres with an eq, routing, and a mix buss for 1000$ less if you haggle right.


I have other pres and didn't have any of those problems with them. so I know it's not me it's the pre. If you feel personally offended by my views of a piece of gear or base your self worth on owning a certain piece of gear sorry to upset you. That's just the way I feel about it and I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. If you like the sound of this unit by all means use it. Tell people you use it and why you like it. Not everybody likes the same thing and it's just an opinion
Let us unpack this argument here and see if we can't distill what's real and what's confusing things.

Quote:
(keep in mind I had the TT mod)
That might be your first problem. I don't know. Either way it's not really reasonable of you to say that you don't like the preamp as it is originally designed and manufactured if you haven't been using that specific piece. As you say you were using some modification. Which may or may not be the reason for your troubles with the unit. It's not made to be modified. It's made to use as it comes. In general modification of a piece is an extreme thing to do, even if it's a supposed "simple" change. There are reasons the designers decided to make it the way they did. Those reasons might not be obvious and they might conflict with whatever reasons you might have for wanting it modified. In short, perhaps it's best to A: Be talking about the originally manufactured item that came from Golden Age, and B: don't modify gear and expect it to work as the manufacturer intended (unless for some reason the manufacturer clearly intends for you to modify it).
Quote:
...It's spastic meaning its jerky, or inconsistant. Your always getting suble problems with takes because of it and the problems are inconsistant not something that can be eqed out or taken care of with a little compression. It's also unmixable you start tracking with it and you have the same mixing problems as any other cheap pre mackie vlz ect. You can mix them if you want, it isn't going to sound that good though and it's a bitch just getting them to mix not sounding that good...
I've read about a lot of people using this pre. I've used it a lot. I've reviewed it. I've talked to friends that have used it. I have never even come close to hearing or reading anyone describe anything like what you're describing about this piece of gear. You might be having these problems, but they are so far removed from what seems to be the general impression from what seems to be most actual users that it seems to me that the most reasonable conclusions to draw might be either A: Your experience is unique and due to a defective unit, in which case that's not a fair criticism of the preamp design in general, or B: Again your modification has screwed something up.

Furthermore, your descriptions are a little vague. "A bitch just getting them to mix", How so? "Always getting problems", What specific problems? That certainly doesn't help your credibility. It's fine to have an opinion. But opinions are only worth as much as the credibility of the opinion giver. If you don't put together a reasonable argument as to why it "sucks" then how can it make sense for anyone to trust your opinion? Now you might not care about that. But if you don't care then what's the point in mentioning anything in the first place? Just asking.
Quote:
...If you get the power supply to close to the pre it starts making noise considerable amounts too...
Umm...Yeah, don't do that. It's an external supply because it causes noise. It's always best to keep the supply away from the unit. That's not a design or manufacturing flaw. That's a usage error. So don't do that and you don't get the noise. To consider that a flaw is like saying: "I've got this sharp knife and I can't twirl it through my fingers without getting cut. What a crappy design of a cutting tool".
Quote:
...The pre sounds in the same range as the allen and heath mixwiz pres...
Okay, so lets focus here. Firstly, we're talking about what specifically is wrong with the Pre73, not the Mix Wiz. But even if we take into consideration your comparison, what exactly is wrong with the Mix Wiz that is also wrong with the Pre73, specifically? You still haven't given any reasonable argument to support your conclusion that the Pre73 (or anything else) "sucks".
Quote:
...I have other pres and didn't have any of those problems with them. so I know it's not me it's the pre...
Okay, I've been asking from the start. Which other pres do you have that you actually like and why do you like them? It matters because I want to know what you think a good pre is and why. Also, I have probably used at least one of the other preamps you have used so perhaps I'll have a better idea of what you appreciate in a pre when you give me an example of one you know well and like a lot. But as of now, I'm still waiting on that answer.
Quote:
...If you feel personally offended by my views of a piece of gear or base your self worth on owning a certain piece of gear sorry to upset you. That's just the way I feel about it and I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. If you like the sound of this unit by all means use it. Tell people you use it and why you like it. Not everybody likes the same thing and it's just an opinion.
I'm not offended at all. I'm asking questions to try and get at the truth. There are a LOT of posers on Gearslutz and they say a LOT of really stupid things and steer a LOT of people in the wrong direction. I don't like that, so when somebody like you comes along and says something that doesn't make sense to me I ask questions to try and understand what you're saying. Like I said, it's fine to have an opinion. It's just that you need to form a reasonable argument before anyone should bother paying your opinion any attention. The jury is still out on whether or not what you're saying is possible to make sense of. However, judging by your apparent demeanor, I'm leaning towards the possibility of you never making any sense of this matter. I hope I'm wrong. But no worries, I'm certainly not offended and I couldn't care less whether or not other people use the gear that I use.

For the record I did review the Pre73 HERE. I liked it. I think most people will like it.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #16
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Well to let you know the pres I'm using now an apex 207 not the 207d mixes much better. What I mean my mixing and unmixable is the stacking of tracks together to complete a musical arrangement (a Song). Also the pres I'm mostly using now are the jbl 7510a Which is just light years ahead of the GAP in terms of Quality.

I answered what pre amps I had to enlighten people on the decision of buying one of theses things. I answered your first post because I thought you were someone looking to buy one of these things. As far as unwrapping my argument I'm not trying to argue with you buddy. I was just sharing my opinion.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefy View Post
Well to let you know the pres I'm using now an apex 207 not the 207d mixes much better. What I mean my mixing and unmixable is the stacking of tracks together to complete a musical arrangement (a Song).
And how specifically does the 207 "stack" to you better than the Pre73? It's funny you mention the 207 because I happen to own one and used to own an older one. I like that pre also. But I don't agree at all about the statement that it somehow "stacks" better than a Pre73. I also don't understand exactly how you mean that. Maybe you might clarify by being specific about the sound characteristics of the Pre73 that make it difficult to "stack".
Quote:
...Also the pres I'm mostly using now are the jbl 7510a Which is just light years ahead of the GAP in terms of Quality.
That's a pretty interesting statement as one would be hard pressed to get a good working one to even compare it to a Pre73. Besides that, the JBL/UREI 7510a is about as obscure of a piece of kit as you could have chosen to mention. Still you give no specifics about quality. What about the quality of the Pre73 is poor that the 7510a has so much of an advantage over? Still waiting on some specifics.
Quote:
...I answered what pre amps I had to enlighten people on the decision of buying one of theses things. I answered your first post because I thought you were someone looking to buy one of these things. As far as unwrapping my argument I'm not trying to argue with you buddy. I was just sharing my opinion.
For the record the term "argument" as used in this thread by me means: a coherent series of statements leading from a premise to a conclusion. When I mentioned your "argument" that's what I was referring to. But back to the discussion at hand.

Are you sure you've used a Pre73? Because so far we've got you saying it sucks and that it's hard to mix tracks with it, but you give no specifics about the sound that anybody can test for themselves that would support either of those statements. You are also implying that it's of poor quality and you give no specifics about that. You also mentioned earlier that you used a modified version, which invalidates any reason for you commenting on the stock version, because according to you, you haven't been using that one. Your credibility is REALLY starting to wear thin with this stuff.
Quote:
...I answered what pre amps I had to enlighten people on the decision of buying one of theses things...
It's hard to enlighten people with vague, unverifiable assertions and irrelevant comparisons. All I've ever been asking you for is specifics and verifiable claims. Still waiting on that.
Quote:
...I'm not trying to argue with you buddy. I was just sharing my opinion.
Good then, because I'm not trying to argue with you. I've been asking you questions that you won't give reasonable answers to. As I mentioned before, it's fine to have an opinion, even a controversial one so long as you have sound reasoning to back up your opinion. If you don't then why should anyone pay any attention to it?
Old 17th February 2011
  #18
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Is it normal for the PRE73 to be fussy which socket you use etc?
Seems like a real shame I might have to sell it because of this unless mine is faulty!??
Old 17th February 2011
  #19
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Jerrick's Avatar
 

Heres my temporary "control room". Lots of cables all running over and by each other. DMP3 and GAP73 right by each other, on top of a Motu 8pre, on top of an ART headphone amp pro, on top a power conditioner. Plenty of cables running back there, for the preamps and to power everything in the rack and also the mk3 ultralite that isnt pictured.


This one - Amazon.com: Belkin Pivot-Plug Surge Protectors: Electronics - is outside of the door and is powering the computer, screen, left and right monitor, and my battery charger.


Absolutely silent.


Old 17th February 2011
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
Is it normal for the PRE73 to be fussy which socket you use etc?
Seems like a real shame I might have to sell it because of this unless mine is faulty!??
What kind of XLR cables are you using? My GAP has a bit of a hum as well, and I've tried everything except a power conditioner and new high quality quad XLR cables. A member on another forum walked me through some tests and it seems to be my cheap, in-store brand cable.

I'll be trying an overpriced Monster P500 cable this weekend and see if the hum is gone.
Old 17th February 2011
  #21
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Unless the XLR cable in question is physically broken this should not be an issue.

Oh, and you DO know about Monster, right? They're not getting a penny from me
Old 17th February 2011
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisc_o View Post
Unless the XLR cable in question is physically broken this should not be an issue.

Oh, and you DO know about Monster, right? They're not getting a penny from me
Oooo . . . What about Monster should we know? Are they using animals for testing?
Old 17th February 2011
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisc_o View Post
Unless the XLR cable in question is physically broken this should not be an issue.

Oh, and you DO know about Monster, right? They're not getting a penny from me
The P500 is someone else's cable and will only be used as a test. I won't be buying a Monster cable.

Based on my various attempts of trying to get rid of the hum, folks on a few on the voiceover-based forums have suggested it's my cheap-as-can-be XLR cable.

If it turns out to be the GAP, it's still under warranty. I've already had to replace the wall wart power supply (currently using the COMP 54 power supply).
Old 17th February 2011
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Frets View Post
Oooo . . . What about Monster should we know? Are they using animals for testing?
monster business practices - Google Search
Old 17th February 2011
  #25
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changeng's Avatar
I just got cables from here:

HDMI Cable, Home Theater Accessories, HDMI Products, Cables, Adapters, Video/Audio Switch, Networking, USB, Firewire, Printer Toner, and more!

great quality, CHEAP, fast shipping and no monster in their title.
Old 17th February 2011
  #26
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your pres might be picking up some 60 cycle hum from the power supplies or transformers from other gear near them. I thought my GAP was noisy too until I took my 2 DBX 163Xs and moved them away. Noise went away too.
I've only found my GAP to be noisy when the input gain is almost cranked all the way.

JN
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