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Summit Audio 2BA Single-Channel Preamps
Old 1st June 2012
  #1
Gear nut
 
cooney's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Summit Audio 2BA

I just purchased a Summit Audio 2BA a few hours ago, and have only been able to try it out on my own voice until my artist comes by tmrw. It was either this or the Solo 610. I have a friend coming over on Monday to let me test out the Solo 610. This is my first ever preamp, opposed to the built in Mbox2 Pro ones', and will be recording thru a Rode NT1-a (modded by Michael Joly) I will be recording mainly hiphop vocals, and the purpose of the preamp is to increase the presence of my vocal tracks. My question today is, from experience, is it worth my buck to stick with my Summit Audio pre or have my friend come over to compare? He is a far trip, and if people feel the Summit Audio is worth the dollar compared to the Solo 610, I wont make him come out.

Here is a track I recorded thru my Rode NT1-a and Mbox (looking to improve presence)
John River - Everything I Am

Cheers
Old 1st June 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
changeng's Avatar
The Summit is a terrific preamp - many people like it over the Solo 610. That said, if you have the chance to compare it with anything at anytime, always do! Always something to learn by shootouts. The Summit can really shine - I've been using one for 4-5 years and put some tips you may find useful in a review I wrote - Summit 2ba-221
Old 1st June 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
SörenHjalmarsson's Avatar
 

The summit and the 610 are quite different animals. The Summit is more of a swiss army knife (versatile), while the 610 is more of a one trick pony (one characteristic sound). It depends on what you need, but to get the versatility of the summit you'd probably need both the Solo 610 and Solo 110 (which has been discontinued). UA's counterpart to the summit 2BA however would be the UA 710 Twin-finity, which is another very nice preamp aswell!

But like changeng said, try them both! This is all very situation and site specific, aswell as subjective etc....


Cheers,
Sören
Old 1st June 2012
  #4
Gear nut
 
cooney's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
The Summit Audio is a bit noisey and I find myself using the pad on either the 2ba or mbox to lower the noise. Later I am going to try the Solo 610, I am only a high school student so money is of the issue,
The Summit Audio 2BA was $790 all in.
The Solo 610 would be $650 all in.
and the 710 would be $950 all in.
I don't want to have to buy another preamp for vocals in the next year or so, I want this to last me a long time. Is the 610 manufactured in China as well?
Old 1st June 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
changeng's Avatar
I never use the Summit WITHOUT the -20 pad in. it's a much better vocal preamp using the -20 pad. for instruments, I take the pad out. also, if you bought it new, you probably have a Ruby tube in it - change that out for a nicer tube and the noise level goes down. I use vintage tubes in mine - usually a Valvo 12AX7 or a RCA blackplate 12AX7 or 12AT7.

The 12AT7 will bring your overall gain down, but they tend to sound smoother and clearer for vocals. Contact BOWIE on here for tube suggestions.
Old 1st June 2012
  #6
Gear nut
 
cooney's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Stick with the 2ba instead of a solo 610 or GAP73 pre for hip/hop?
Old 1st June 2012
  #7
I have a 2BA-221 and have used it for many years. It gets used on every tracking session at some point. Keep it. Use it. It is quite nice and very flexible--exactly what you need if it is you only good preamp.

When you have someone tracking through it, make sure you do some experimenting with the tube~solid state dial. The gain levels will vary as you do this, but the tone will change and that is the part to be listening for, and presumably why you purchased the unit in the first place.

I have done tweaking on the impedance control, but I have found that I pretty much always end up with it turned up to the highest impedance setting and am happiest with it at that setting.

If you decide to swap out the tube, beware that it is a very tight fit inside the box. There is a shield around the tube, if I am remembering correctly. It is true that the noise is likely to drop if you swap out the stock tube to something better. You would also possibly experience better clarity/ detail, maybe more headroom, and possibly a higher perceived level of volume. But your tube is brand new, the ruby tubes are not THAT bad and one never knows for certain.

A new production tube that I like best comes from JJ tubes. They have gold pin tubes which are the best sounding ones of the bunch from my experience. The best of the preamp tubes to my ears from JJ are the ECC803S, gold pin tubes. They also have 12AU7 and 12AT7 gold pin tubes if you have a desire to experiment with lower gain tubes. A new production tube will cost you a lot less than a NOS (new old stock) tube. My favorite place to buy the JJ tubes if this place: Eurotubes They are from Oregon, have great service, test all their tubes and rate them for gain levels, match triodes and all that sort of stuff.

As for NOS tubes, there are soooooo many choices. I have tried a lot of them and they can indeed exceed the quality of new production tubes. I have not run into any NOS lemons, but they are out there, so buying a piece of junk is always a possibility when you are purchasing tubes that can not possibly be newer than the 1970s. The NOS stuff will cost you more than double what one of the JJ preamps go for a lot of the time.

Just some info for you to chew on. I say, keep the 2BA-221. Compare it with the UA 610 when the opportunity presents itself, but do the comparing for your edification and not to decide upon which one you should have purchased. There is NOTHING wrong with the Summit preamp. It will serve you very well.
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