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Old 26th July 2009
Lives for gear
larry b's Avatar

Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
I liked the s20. These are really good preamps
they get no recognition. weird must be orams name associated with it
I have an S20 in my racks. It gets used a lot. I have to agree here that this is a very nice preamp that gets little to no recognition and/or bashed here on GS.

I use it for drums on every basic tracking session i do. It's either on the kick in and snare top or on overheads. It seems to handle the fast transients of drums very well.

I also like the simplistic layout. It's super easy to set up, just get your gain staging right and ease up the low-cut to taste/application.

My only problems with it are visual: the blue lights are wicked bright, and im not a big fan of blue LED's to begin with. So, i put it at the very bottom of my mic preamp rack. Hah. Also, the fake tube lighting thing is kind of silly, although it's fun watching them work when its on kick and snare.

I would describe it's tonal characteristics as sort of a poor man's API 512c, although im fully aware that it is IC-based rather than discrete topology. Still, it's quite similar to me.

Another sleeper preamp of mine is the Ward Beck M470. I have a pair of these racked by the Ward Beck Preservation Society in a 3U enclosure. Man, talk about fat, wooly 1970's tone. The M470 has it in spades. I use it constantly on toms, a fair amount on guitar amps, and also for some rock vocals. Some people describe the sound/build of these units as similar to Neve modules of the same era. Im not sure i fully agree here. The build quality is not bad, but not on par with Neve.

Originally Posted by amanitas View Post
API - punchy, lots of hi-end. I think of Green Day when I think of API although there isn't really a good reason for me to think that because I don't really know what they used to record their records. But that sort of aggressive jump out of the speakers pop/punk sound, particularly on the drums, seems to be an API thing.

As far as i know, Green Day recorded their latest album, and i believe earlier ones as well, with a ridiculous rack of mostly Neve preamps with a few Chandler Germs and a TG2 or two. I saw a photo of the rack that was used on '21st Century Breakdown' and there wasnt a single API preamp anywhere in sight, and probably 48 channels of Neve/Chandler.