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Small voice shootout: Pacifica vs Art Mpa Gold vs Mackie 328 + I5 vs 57 vs MXL 2K1
Old 21st January 2007
  #1
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

Small voice shootout: Pacifica vs Art Mpa Gold vs Mackie 328 + I5 vs 57 vs MXL 2K1

Just recorded a fast shootout to compare mics and pres.
Its voice only !

A Designs Pacifica
ART MPA gold with Tung sol 12ax7 tubes
Mackie 32-8 bus

mics:
Shure SM 57
Audix I5
MXL 2001
Attached Files

artmpagold.MP3 (632.9 KB, 1554 views)

mackie.MP3 (523.3 KB, 1263 views)

pacifica.MP3 (475.5 KB, 1393 views)

Old 21st January 2007
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Thnaks for that, Lou. The differences are obvious and noteworthy.
Old 21st January 2007
  #3
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

Thanks! I was hoping it would help at least one person
Old 21st January 2007
  #4
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Slap Back's Avatar
 

Wow, I'm suprised at the differences.

To my ear:
  • The ART brought out the best/truest sound in all three mics.
  • The Mackie made the i5 and 2001 sound dull and pinched
  • The Pacifica sounded midrangey and phasey on all three and diminished the tonal differences between the mics
Old 21st January 2007
  #5
Here for the gear
 

I liked the art more than i thought i would.
Old 21st January 2007
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smtb987 View Post
I liked the art more than i thought i would.
Yeah me too, sounds a lot better than what I expected.
Old 22nd January 2007
  #7
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

Yes, with the Tung Sol tubes, it's pretty decent ! Though I wouldn't track a whole record with it. Would sound a bit too airy.
Old 22nd January 2007
  #8
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

Next step: Drum kit ! coming soon.
Old 22nd January 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
On the Pacifica...

I actually used that pre with two of these mics (SM57 and i5).

I didn't like it on voice (too bright for me). But, liked it on guitar amps. I sort of felt it imparted a ribbon sort of quality to the SM57 and i5 in this application.

FWIW, I think the i5 sucks on voice (again too bright for my tastes). But, you stick it on snare or a guitar amp and then it's a decent sound. It's brighter than an SM57 (surprise) and gives you another flavor. It's got a tight cardiod pattern that gives decent isolation on the snare.
Old 26th January 2007
  #10
Here for the gear
 

did you replavce the tube with the same type that was already in the pre or did you go with a lower gain tube?
Old 27th January 2007
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

I've got an ART Pro MPA (not Gold) and would appreciate more info on the tubes you're using and where I might purchase some. I've been wanting to upgrade the tubes in mine for a while.

Thanks
Eric
Old 27th January 2007
  #12
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MadGuitrst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slap Back View Post
Wow, I'm suprised at the differences.

To my ear:
  • The ART brought out the best/truest sound in all three mics.
  • The Mackie made the i5 and 2001 sound dull and pinched
  • The Pacifica sounded midrangey and phasey on all three and diminished the tonal differences between the mics

I think this sums it up perfectly.

I'll also add that the Pacifica sounded small in comparison to the ART and it wasn't just the differences in gain.
Old 28th January 2007
  #13
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by smtb987 View Post
did you replavce the tube with the same type that was already in the pre or did you go with a lower gain tube?
Nope kept it 12AX7 !

I've spent a huge amount of time on tubes....and finally found the

TUNG SOL 12AX7
http://thetubestore.com/tungsol12ax7.html


Super easy to mod.

Drums soon as promised.
And as I said earlier, I wouldnt have everything through the ART MPA...it sounds a bit too muddy when you add up tracks The Pacifica has a strong caracter that keeps everything in its own space. A mix of both is perfect. The ART is an great value with the mods....sure is underrated!!!
Old 28th January 2007
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for the info on the tubes. Did you do any other mods or just the tube upgrade?

Also, this will be my first tube upgrade, so pardon the idiot question, but do I need anything other than the tubes to complete the mod? And I need just two tubes, correct?

Thanks
Eric
Old 28th January 2007
  #15
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

Don't feel like an idiot !! We're not in the high end here !!

No other mods were involved. All you need is a small philipps screwdriver and maybe a helper to assist you. You need to remove some metal piece that covers the tube with the screwdriver. Then, you slowly pull off the chinese tube. Keep it just in case.
Then, add your tube by aligning the pins on the socket. Dont be afraid to push it in in a stiff manner. It needs extra pressure to get in there!

I also had the 2 tubes matched.


Here are the drums.
Though this time, I am not telling the pres just tell me your favorite and we'll see !!
All recorded through MXL 2001, Redco cable, Mackie 32-8, Audiofire 12, Samplitude.
Attached Files

shootoutpacificadrums.MP3 (684.0 KB, 993 views)

Old 28th January 2007
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Wow. I was a bit surprised to hear the ART with that sound. I'm passing the tube replacement tip on to a friend who owns this pre. Do you have any before-mod/after-mod recordings?
Old 28th January 2007
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Lou, thanks for posting the files. I was starting to look at
those same pres. I was wondering, did you change the tube
in your MXL mic or is that a non-tube mic? That sounded really good with the Mpa Gold.
I checked out your recordings as well. They sounded great.
How did you use the Mpa and Pacifica in those songs?
Do you have a nice room? Thanks.
Old 28th January 2007
  #18
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gracejames View Post
Lou, thanks for posting the files. I was starting to look at
those same pres. I was wondering, did you change the tube
in your MXL mic or is that a non-tube mic? That sounded really good with the Mpa Gold.
I checked out your recordings as well. They sounded great.
How did you use the Mpa and Pacifica in those songs?
Do you have a nice room? Thanks.
No the MXL 2001 is unmodded. No tube in there neither.

As for the recording on my website. They were all live for the exception of the vocals, for both bands.

Pacifica was on overheads and vocals, art mpa on guitars. The rest was all Mackie.
Thanks for the kind comment.
Old 28th January 2007
  #19
Gear Head
 

a little hard to be ultra-critical since the performances aren't exactly the same but I'd say the 1st sounds the biggest, 2nd one is smaller but cleaner, 3rd sounds kinda like the 2nd but not as much definition.

I like the bigness of the 1st one but there's something in there that I don't like so much on the tom hits. dunno if it's the snare vibrating sympathetically (which isn't so bad) or if something is distorting. I hear it in #2 also, but not as much.

I have my guesses as to which is which (hopefully I'm not way off!).
1 - art
2 - pacifica
3 - mackie

depending on what I wanted the final result to sound like, I'd use 1 or 2 for overheads. the toms actually sounded great through 3.
Old 29th January 2007
  #20
Lives for gear
 

No guess but one has an interesting sound happening.

Bit compressed/crunchy sounding with a nice vibe.
Old 30th January 2007
  #21
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

Anyone else before I reveal the answers?
Old 30th January 2007
  #22
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I'm surprized how different the i5 sounds compared to the 57... I'd like to try it out on electric guitar.
Old 30th January 2007
  #23
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

I was surprised at the amount of hiss using the i5 with the ART. I know the ART has variable voltages on it, where was it set at?

I didnt read the whole thread, sorry if the info was further up.
Old 30th January 2007
  #24
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impedance was way up !!
More clarity this way.
But indeed, it's bad to do that when you use on a quiet sources.

Answers for the drums:

1- Pacifica
2- ART
3- Mackie
Old 30th January 2007
  #25
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lpkyer View Post
Answers for the drums:

1- Pacifica
2- ART
3- Mackie
yeah, that makes sense. I guess I was just being overly hopeful that the inexpensive ART would sound that huge! oh well. the Pacifica definitely has a great presence and clarity on the hats and snare.
Old 31st January 2007
  #26
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It's really good on overheads! It will definitely bring your mixes up a notch.
Old 3rd February 2007
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for the help on the tube replacement. I think I'll give these a shot. Lots of people seem to like Mullard's, but I'd rather start cheap with these Tung Sol's and then go up from there...

Eric
Old 3rd February 2007
  #28
Registered User
 

ART PRO MPA

Please see my post in the Low End Theory section of this site. The thread is preamps under $500.00. No tube mods just the facts mam and only the facts..

Bdiggy
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