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-   -   best classical clean sounding 500 series pre-amp (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/965292-best-classical-clean-sounding-500-series-pre-amp.html)

pencilextremist 6th November 2014 04:54 PM

best classical clean sounding 500 series pre-amp
 
I have recently bought a rupert neve designs 511 pre-amp which is a great preamp and I've been enjoying it a lot so that's my subtle coloured pre sorted. Now it's time to get a high end clean sounding preamp.

here's what I was thinking

DAV BG501
AEA RPQ 500
Millennia HV-35

I like the sound of all three but the AEA seems like the most versitile but the DAV is tempting because of the low price, it seems amazing value, and the millennia seems great for classical guitar which is primarily what I'm recording.

I'm also considering the forssell which I've heard good things about.

help me choose!

regards,

Ben.

jdunn 6th November 2014 06:10 PM

I can't help you decide, but if you want the best, you might also consider Weiss A1 and Lipinski L609. I'm pretty sure Andrew Lipinsky is a classical recordist, and that's what his preamp is designed for. It looks like VK took Lipinski off their site, but I'm pretty sure it is still available.

Earthworks also has a 500 pre in the clean category.

pencilextremist 6th November 2014 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdunn (Post 10536403)
I can't help you decide, but if you want the best, you might also consider Weiss A1 and Lipinski L609. I'm pretty sure Andrew Lipinsky is a classical recordist, and that's what his preamp is designed for. It looks like VK took Lipinski off their site, but I'm pretty sure it is still available.

Earthworks also has a 500 pre in the clean category.

yeah the weiss looks pretty amazing in every way, I haven't been able to find any user reviews though or audio clips which is a shame. Not heard of Lipinski before so will check it out, thanks.

jdunn 6th November 2014 06:53 PM

Lipinski Sound - Timeless Analog - products

I haven't heard this preamp, but I have heard their monitor speakers, and as others can attest, they are excellent.

superwack 6th November 2014 06:58 PM

Can't help much with the final decision but I would definitely add the Forssell SMP-500 to your list to check out.

jaffa 6th November 2014 07:02 PM

I've just recorded a 5 piece classical medieval sounding vocal group in a church using a pair of AEA rpq 500s and MKH 30/40 in MS...absolutely wonderful. The AEAs are brilliant preamps, so clean but not clinical.

Would get my vote based on my usage this week

Steve

rumleymusic 6th November 2014 07:23 PM

The AEA uses a circuit that was designed by Fred Forssell, so that is a safe bet. I would also check out the Five Fish studios preamp SC-501, a similar THAT chip circuit to the DAV. I have both SC and DAV pramps and I do think the Five Fish models are more articulate and cleaner.

Washington 6th November 2014 09:30 PM

To stick to your list, I work with both the AEA and the Millenia. They would be both perfectly suited to your needs. The RPQ has the advantage of a very good and simple low pass / high shelf circuit, tons of gain and a high impedance. That's an added bonus for ribbons and dynamics. The Millenia is a no-frills, unbeatable animal, and whatever comes out of it is solid as a brick. It is my understanding that it is quite a staple in the classical-recording world.

I would suggest a side-by-side shootout with your mics of choice.

David Spearritt 6th November 2014 09:49 PM

forsselltech.com

pencilextremist 6th November 2014 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Washington (Post 10536938)
To stick to your list, I work with both the AEA and the Millenia. They would be both perfectly suited to your needs. The RPQ has the advantage of a very good and simple low pass / high shelf circuit, tons of gain and a high impedance. That's an added bonus for ribbons and dynamics. The Millenia is a no-frills, unbeatable animal, and whatever comes out of it is solid as a brick. It is my understanding that it is quite a staple in the classical-recording world.

I would suggest a side-by-side shootout with your mics of choice.

had a look at your website and it's pretty incredible by the way, very well done and it made me laugh, thanks for the recommendation

JonHollister 7th November 2014 02:14 AM

Well, there's a 500-series unit from True Systems, the people who do the Precision 8. I consider their various first-gen preamp products to be a sort of benchmark for cleanliness that other makes and models can be compared against. However I haven't heard the gen-2 stuff, for which they write "Our Type 2 design provides the traditional ultra-resolution musicality of our original design preamps, but adds serious analog depth and warmth. In short: It sounds BIG!". That may be a pretty way to say that it isn't as clean as their old stuff, or it may not; it is relevant because their 500-series unit uses the second-gen topology.

The AEA RPQ-500 is a preamp that's designed with ribbons in mind - AEA ribbons are pretty killer stuff - but it's a very clean machine that's still totally useful with other kinds of mics.

I would recommend highly the Hairball Audio Lola. This is a DIY kit - though I'm pretty sure you can buy them assembled from Hairball - but it's 100% of the quality and all the professional design you expect from 'proper', non-DIY products. I would get it with the twin Hary 990s as the op-amps; being a fully-differential design from input to output there are two op-amps, and the selection is wide. You can use anything that is 2520 footprint compatible, but the options that Hairball specifically gives are their own 990, a John Hardy 990, or a Neve-ish BA512. Mine has the BA512s, but I would recommend for clean sounds you go with the John Hardy 990. This preamp sounds fantastic, and the rather high slew rate ensures total fidelity to the source material.

Cathedral Guitar 7th November 2014 05:49 AM

I do a lot of classical guitar, and I find it is really helpful to think in terms of thick/thin instead of colored/clean. If a guitar already sounds thick by itself, and the Neve would be too muddy, I really like the following in no particular order: Ocean Audio Pre 1 (Trident 80B circuit, w/ scooped mids), Warm Audio TA12-500 (which has a 150 ohm button which is a thick/thin switch by itself), Chandler TG2 (sounds thinner then the Neve because of the HF lift). If Undertone Audio ever makes a UTA1-500 I'd also really recommend that.

Deleted 230b1c7 7th November 2014 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Washington (Post 10536938)
To stick to your list, I work with both the AEA and the Millenia.

listening to "mud and grace" at the moment. very much enjoying it. Good work!

Washington 7th November 2014 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deleted 230b1c7 (Post 10538328)
listening to "mud and grace" at the moment. very much enjoying it. Good work!

Why, thanks a lot really ! That's Millenia all over the place (no RPQ at that time), and a few API on drums I think. Which goes to show a super clean and solid pre is not for classical use exclusively.

Anyway, I don't mean to hijack this thread for personal promo. I'm off, bless all

dudleys100 10th November 2014 03:42 AM

Forssell. Best sounding clean pre I have heard. There is just something about it that sounds clean AND musical with no apparent coloration of the frequency spectrum

Julian J. Ludwig 10th November 2014 10:04 AM

+1 Forssell SMP500

Plush 11th November 2014 04:10 PM

Besides the d.a.v. Electronics unit which provides a wonderful and highly desirable "glueing effect," I endorse the AMS-Neve 88RLB 500 series module. Outstanding and modern--very quiet with a transformer.

Don't goof around with any others other than the two mentioned above.

nosebleedaudio 11th November 2014 05:36 PM

I will add the JM-530 Mic pre...
Less noise than Both the DAV or Neve.

Ells 28th June 2018 11:38 AM

Hey guys, old thread, but it might be worth you checking out this:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-m...l#post13392451

This Cranborne Audio Camden 500 preamp has lower noise and distortion figures than a Milennia, and a way more linear phase and frequency response than the Forsell - especially at higher gain settings.

And it costs half as much as any of those preamps - $349 US Retail / £299 RRP Inc Vat.

leadplayer 28th June 2018 11:52 AM

Milennia, Grace, Forsell ! We have done lots of classical ensembles of varying size and instrumentation. Fast, clean and accurate. All winners.

Ells 28th June 2018 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by leadplayer (Post 13392502)
Milennia, Grace, Forsell ! We have done lots of classical ensembles of varying size and instrumentation. Fast, clean and accurate. All winners.

Yeah for sure, they're legendary bits of kit. I've had great success with them in the past too - particularly the HV-35. Sadly they're out of the price range of a lot of budding engineers I speak to.

Also, sometimes you just need quantity! and you could easily get 2 + 1/2 Camden 500's for the price of a Milennia - and the specs are equal to, or greater than in most respects. (Milennia = 0.003% THD+N @ 35dB Gain, Camden = 0.0004% THD +N @ 35dB Gain)

Plus, if you used your Camden for orchestral recording one day; dial in the Mojo control and you can do all-out rock the next day with buckets full of colour and warmth to boot.

leadplayer 28th June 2018 12:31 PM

Are these available in the US ??

Ells 28th June 2018 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by leadplayer (Post 13392544)
Are these available in the US ??

They certainly will be once they have started shipping - around August time.

We're a new company who started up at NAMM but we're all ex-"big-audio-company" guys!

We've taken our time to tune this preamp up to these kind of performance levels.; but we're also releasing 2 500-series chassis:

500ADAT - 8 slot 500 series rack with a built-in ADAT interface, summing mixer, and headphone mixer. (perfect for expanding your current audio interface)

500R8 - 26/28 usb audio interface, summing mixer, monitor controller, and 8 slot 500 series rack.

So yeah, we're going for 500 series stuff big time, but we're doing stuff that's new and a bit different. Looking to the future rather than the past!

NathanEldred 28th June 2018 05:06 PM

LaChapell

Bonzo4880 28th June 2018 06:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ells (Post 13392549)
They certainly will be once they have started shipping - around August time.

We're a new company who started up at NAMM but we're all ex-"big-audio-company" guys!

We've taken our time to tune this preamp up to these kind of performance levels.; but we're also releasing 2 500-series chassis:

500ADAT - 8 slot 500 series rack with a built-in ADAT interface, summing mixer, and headphone mixer. (perfect for expanding your current audio interface)

500R8 - 26/28 usb audio interface, summing mixer, monitor controller, and 8 slot 500 series rack.

So yeah, we're going for 500 series stuff big time, but we're doing stuff that's new and a bit different. Looking to the future rather than the past!

is there a pre-order system set up? Do you have a US based distributor? thanks!

Ells 28th June 2018 09:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bonzo4880 (Post 13393095)
is there a pre-order system set up? Do you have a US based distributor? thanks!

Hey Bonzo,

We're still working on our US distribution strategy, but we are in talks with some major US dealers - and so far, talks have been very positive! We're very confident that they will be available to preorder at all the usual suspects very soon.

...but If you'd like to put in a good word about us to your preferred dealer then that would be very much appreciated!! kfhkh