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Padding - Input, Output, and In The PreAmp Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 19th April 2007
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soupking's Avatar

Padding - Input, Output, and In The PreAmp

I was reading a thread on GS by a guy who just bought an API 3124. They got on the subject of padding the output instead of the input to help keep from dulling down the signal or something.

Does this sound familiar as a general rule of thumb?

And if so, when I flip on the pad on my preamps are they typically located on the front or the back end of the signal path in the box?

I'd hate to think I'm hugely affecting the tonality of a signal by using a pad and not realizing it.
Old 19th April 2007
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amishsixstringe's Avatar

Padding the output allows you to drive the preamp harder into distortion by using up its headroom. The API's sound good like this. Neves sound good like this...some others as well.

Most of your preamps will pad the input as to not distort the preamp. Usually if a pre has a pad for the after preamp (post), it will be a knob that says something like output attenuator or trim.

Both ideas have different results. This is why having inline pads around is always a good idea. Not all pres sound good when pushed. So pad the front.

Old 19th April 2007
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soupking's Avatar

Awesome advice amishsixstringe,

Old 19th April 2007
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woomanmoomin's Avatar

I think the issue was that the API is a very high-output pre. The advice on that thread isn't applicable to every set-up.
Old 19th April 2007
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soupking's Avatar

Cool, good to know as well woomanmoomin.

Something to keep a footnote on higher output equipment.

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