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Preamp Shootout!! ADL600/XMAX/API Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 17th August 2007
  #31
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dlmorley's Avatar
I thought I'd prefer the ADL to the API but the API was my fav then ADL (chosen before I read the results btw) I certainly thought the xmax was my least preferred, but I'd use any of them.
Old 17th August 2007
  #32
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[QUOTE=FossilTooth;1441284]

For all intensive purposes they sounded essentailly the same on little imac QUOTE]

I like the idea of "intensive purposes", but I think you mean "for all intents and purposes". No slam on you, just something I noticed.
Old 17th August 2007
  #33
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Farout's Avatar
 

@ Nu-Tra:
Check this out


unless you already know about it!
Old 18th August 2007
  #34
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drummin4christ's Avatar
 

Thanks for the reply's. I will try to post some Acoustic and/or vocal tracks next week. In the mean time, here is a couple of samples of the complete drum kit. One is all XMAX pres, and the other is ADL on kick and snare, API on Toms and Hat, and OH's in the Eureka's. I think the difference is way more apparent in these tracks as to which is which.
Attached Files

Preamp Test Kit 1.mp3 (415.3 KB, 2266 views)

Preamp Test Kit 2.mp3 (411.2 KB, 2512 views)

Old 18th August 2007
  #35
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I prefer the Toms, Kick and Snare in 2 - they seem fuller and have more body to my mind.

I couldn't hear much difference in the OH to be honest.

I own an API A2D, but haven't recorded any drums with it yet.

I'd guess that sample 1 was the XMAX, sample 2 API/ADL
Old 18th August 2007
  #36
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I'm gonna say that 2 was the XMAX pres.
Old 18th August 2007
  #37
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dlmorley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IzovAge View Post
I'm gonna say that 2 was the XMAX pres.
Me too

I thought they sounded wildly different in the amount of room in the recording though..
Old 19th August 2007
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sword in Hand View Post
My guess:

1. API
2. XMAX
3. ADL600
Me too. 1 had the least ring (more transient). 3 had the deepest sludge, which people credit the ADL with. which of course was bass ackwards.
Old 21st August 2007
  #39
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hurd300403's Avatar
 

reveal?
Old 21st August 2007
  #40
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drummin4christ's Avatar
 

Here is the outcome of the kit test.

1. kit 1 XMAX
2. kit 2 ADL600, API's, and Eureka's
Old 21st August 2007
  #41
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yea...figured. Now I'm curious...did you mic and mix both tests the exact same way? As someone mentioned earlier....it sounds like the amount of room sound is drastically different. Is that a result of just the different preamps and nothing else??

nice test!
Old 21st August 2007
  #42
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dlmorley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hurd300403 View Post
yea...figured. Now I'm curious...did you mic and mix both tests the exact same way? As someone mentioned earlier....it sounds like the amount of room sound is drastically different. Is that a result of just the different preamps and nothing else??

nice test!
Yes, I mentioned it and basically they sounds radically different...
Old 21st August 2007
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlmorley View Post
Yes, I mentioned it and basically they sounds radically different...
I recorded it using a patch bay that split the sginal into doth sets of pres. I matched the levels as close as possible going in and then after they where recorded. I normalized the audio files to the exact same db level, the matched the mixer for both kit recordings the the exact same db level per fader. The extra room is what your hearing from the different pres.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcsmitty View Post
know it's after the results, so only i know for sure that i'm not fibbing, but having just did the listening test, i actually got all three right! first time ever on that. go me.
cool. same with me on both tests, it's the first time i picked all right.

the difference between the xmax and the api is quite apparent to me, and now i know what people talk about when they say that api have just the right punch for drums.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #45
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btw, really cool test. thumbsup
Old 22nd August 2007
  #46
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I actually got it right. Maybe my ears aren't as bad as I thought!

Nice test! Though i'd be interested in bass and synth DI's as well as thats what I'm finding the API A2D to be really sweet on, especially with the tranny-tap.
Old 9th May 2008
  #47
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skygod's Avatar
Old School -- New School -- Obama Baskin Robbins School?


Quote:
Originally Posted by drummin4christ View Post
I did a simple preamp shootout with Kick and snare that i thought everyone would enjoy. I recorded everything matching levels as precise as possible, then normalized all the tracks to the exact same db level.

Preamps used was API 3124, ADL600, and the XMAX preamps built into the Presonus FireStudio and Digimax FS.

See if you can choose which is which.
1.3.2.

1 fullest
3 in between
2 tinny-thin

ADL?
XMAX?
API?

AM I right?

I would have preferred to see like $ preamps compared, like XMAX & lower end FOCUSRITE & ONYX & MP GOLD etc ...

On page 2 I think you did a test between a kit with all XMAX and the other with Mixed preamps? I thought each sounded ok in its own right.

The all XMAX is akin to using a desk's pre's and processing later with eq, dynamics, tape emulation, sfx, etc. for whatever you want to turn it into. The latter, of course, using three diff pres gives some type of different character, not necessarily better. The latter seems to be the slut "new school" of tracking using the baskin robbins 53 flavor approach, and tweaking forever until you are never ever satisfied with the mix or even the master later? ... darn, I should have used X on Y and A on D instead 6 months later. Hey take a valium and get over it already.

That's the joy of using simplistic approaches that are time tested and work -- use a desk with good pres, use the best mics possible at the source, capture the source as accurately, and go from there. You have accomplished 98 percent of the task of mixing and mastering if you do it right there and this way.

The other method using all that other stuff and even eq during tracking tracks a different creature altogether than the actual performance most of the time, and you 'start off' with a godzilla and spend the rest of your energy fixing that mess ... it's a form of audio engineering masochism that I cannot describe any other way, but folks think its cool, but are probably the same ones who also think Barak Hussein Obama and his dear poor disenfranchised Harvard Professor who has been given every opportunity at US taxpayer funded expense (who BTW she hates) with a silver spoon in her mouth -- both living on millionaire acres -- who are "not proud of their country" until now that he’s running? Awww, poor poor disenfranchised Black female -- both Moslem pretense Christians who are both anti-Christian anti-American anti-Military anti-US National Anthem and anti everything American are cool, and he's a fvvking clown, and a traitor, and yet the US media crucified everybody else to date in US public history running for any public office and he's treated from A-Z by the national media like a goddamned beauty pageant queen? I'm gonna puke .... hey, but that's all another discussion anyway.

What the fvvk were we talking about again? Oh yeah, the Baskin Robbins School of audio engineering …. Ok then. So page 2 #2 sounded rounder, and #1 sounded right? I think so. You see there is so much more I can do with #1, even though XMAX preamps are skinny, and have acne, and greasy teenage hair, and poor teenage body hygiene, and are thin and tinny, than the “well rounded” multi preamp approach. You’re pretty much stuck with what you have on #2, that can only go one place from there – on a tangent away from the performance. #1 IS THE PEREFORMANCE and can only go anywhere you want to take it from there to make it fatter, fuller, more fluid … and it will still be THE PERFORMANCE and not a flavored one from the source.

That is why so many old school engineers like me will say, you don’t need all that crap. If you have 16 CH of API why do you need Daking, or Neve, or Helios or Super 88 etc? Stick with a group and get really good at it and learn to cut records with one preamp group. I have a collection of diff stuff because I do post and film and need that stuff because the client wants it most of the time. But when I start with one I usually stick to the end with most of one. Exception maybe the occasional 1073 or 1272 Neve thrown in with API or something else, but really and truly, I’d rather use a good desk, with good preamps, good routing, and good eq. Hmmm .. why does Midas XL3 /XL4 always come to mind as my first choice? And did I mention how much my new GL4800 rocks? I luv that sumbich to death now LOL …

Well diff strokes for diff folks … your money and time and fetish and ability to withstand hours of mental anguish fixing what should have never been broken to start with … and not mine LOL 

~skygod~
Old 6th December 2012
  #48
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Test is failed

I just stumbled across this test. Sorry to say it folks, but this test is failed in 3 ways.

1. First test SD and BD is played differently every time. You need to have the same performance to compare the differences.

2. Second Full Kit test has same performance, but does not have the same mix, because there are phase problems when comparing the two mp3s. The stereo- image is totally different meaning that audio- files mixed together are not in sync. Some of the audio files included in the mix are shifted timewise or phasewise. My guess is that the OH is shifted timewise on one of the files. Difficult to say which. The OH- sound in file 2 is much wider than in file 1. Easy to test this yourselves. Just place the 2 audiofiles sample- accurately in a DAW (Not possible with these to files, since the different tracks are not time- aligned within the 2 mixes) invert the phase of one of the mixes and shift the mix back and/or forth 1 sample at a time to hear different elements of the mix phase out. That is why the to mixes are DIFFERENT AND NOT COMPARABLE.

3. The mixes are mp3s. Subtle differences in preamps and imaging disappear in mp3s, especially transient response etc. In the future only non- compressed audio in listening/comparing tests please.

I just wanted people listening to this test to know the truth.
Old 6th December 2012
  #49
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I have just ordered the new ADL 700 single channel with compression and EQ.

Should arrive end of the month .

Will let you know after Xmas how it goes.

Cheers
Old 9th July 2013
  #50
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joaohugo's Avatar
 

did anymody read skygod post until the end? chill down kid... what kinda drugs you're taking dude?
Old 9th July 2013
  #51
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Hyder boy's Avatar
 

Anything you put through a firestudio, will sound the same. No true way to bypass the pre's. Even when going line in, it still passes through.
Old 9th September 2018
  #52
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ccmdav's Avatar
 

This thread serves as a not-so-subtle reminder to me that every step of the signal chain between microphones and monitors is the very last place I’ll be spending significant quantities of money. I’d spend $50,000 on microphones before I’d spend more than $5000 total on preamps, conversion, and processing. To each their own, though.
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