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Pre for 500 format- Desert island Pre 500 Series Preamps
Old 24th August 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 
wanderlust8's Avatar
 

Pre for 500 format- Desert island Pre

Well... finally did it and have an empty BAE lunchbox and i'm itching to put my first pre inside! But... I can only afford one.

It needs to be utilitarian: Vocals (female-me!), Bass DI, Synths/keys, and acous/classical gtr. NO Live drums. Ofcourse I'm looking for deep bass, smooth mids, and open highs. My main mic is a C-1.

So far, it seems the BAE 312a, Purple Biz, or a OSA may do it? I visited the wonderful Listening Sessions site and the API 3124 'sound' didn't make me quiver.... am I a bad girl??? thanks!
Old 24th August 2007
  #2
Gear Addict
shadow hills gamma three in one and amazing sound quality BIG BANG FOR THE BUCK . you can get other flavors later but if only one this one kills jmo
Old 24th August 2007
  #3
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gm5k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderlust8 View Post
Well... finally did it and have an empty BAE lunchbox and i'm itching to put my first pre inside! But... I can only afford one.

It needs to be utilitarian: Vocals (female-me!), Bass DI, Synths/keys, and acous/classical gtr. NO Live drums. Ofcourse I'm looking for deep bass, smooth mids, and open highs. My main mic is a C-1.

So far, it seems the BAE 312a, Purple Biz, or a OSA may do it? I visited the wonderful Listening Sessions site and the API 3124 'sound' didn't make me quiver.... am I a bad girl??? thanks!
from your description of what you want i say Buzz Elixir or A Designs P-1. P-1's mids are more forward, but both have very smooth mids. i like the Elixir's low end more, the best of any 500 pre ive heard. in the highs the P-1 is a little airier while i think the Elixir is more natural. they both have very open highs

id use the Elixir for bass DI, the P-1 for synths/keys, and for acoustic/classical gtr. id have to go w/ the Elixir again. id be very happy to have just one of these preamps handling all these sources. having both of them is just awesome thumbsup
Old 24th August 2007
  #4
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thenoiseflower's Avatar
 

512, no doubt.


BUT, on an island youd have atleast 5 other slots to bring with it! or else you wouldnt be able to use it.....



but if you are asking for big bass , smoth mids and open highs, I'd say elixir too.
Old 24th August 2007
  #5
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Daedalus77's Avatar
Great River. All of the pres in this format are great—and fairly versatile—but in my opinion, the GR (in 500 form or standard rack size) is the best all-arounder available in "higher-end" preamps, bar none. (And we've got API, BAE, and Purple here, as well.)

Best of luck.
Old 24th August 2007
  #6
Gear Head
 
wanderlust8's Avatar
 

thanks for the feedback heh

The P-1 gets tons of raves out there- for good reason I'm sure. I think it may do best as my 2nd pre?

I thought the Purple Audio Biz would be a great fit since it can have different tones between the 3 amps. Supposedly wicked on bass di too...

elixer eh?... that mono-gama justplains looks like a gorgeous beast.
Old 24th August 2007
  #7
Gear Head
 
wanderlust8's Avatar
 

I forgot to mention, what about the API sound I didn't like (might help)... it sounded a little mid-heavy. I'm looking for something sounding 'bigger'. Music is mostly synth based with vocals and guitars.

Anyone out there with the Averill 312a and the 512? please chime in to compare... Averill would be great option since they are close by. But what should be my first and only work horse... on my desert island.
Old 24th August 2007
  #8
Gear Nut
 
h-man's Avatar
 

Well, I will chime in because I own the P1, Buzz, and GR. It's really hard to say which one, because they all sound amazing.

The Buzz is very sweet in the low-end and sounds amazing on bass. It really sounds great on everything. The P1 does have sweet mids and a different sounding low-end than the Buzz, but very nice sounding in its own right. The GR sounds great on everything too. So you see, I'm not much of a help, but there is one pre I own that I did not mention. I think it sounds amazing on all sources, but really seems to shine when I use it on female vocs.

That pre is...the A Designs Blue. It sounds great on female vocs and everything else.
All in all, you aren't going to lose with any of the 500 pre's. In case you're wondering, my first pre in the box was the Buzz, and I couldn't have been happier with that purchase.

Good luck and let us know how your lunch box fills up.
Old 24th August 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 

I'd have to go with the Biz. It's the most versatile one in my lunch box.
My favorites are:
BAE 312A for bass
EM Silver for amps
Great River with ribbons for anything
Elixir for acoustics
The biz is always either a tie or a very close second.
Old 24th August 2007
  #10
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BradM's Avatar
P1 would be my choice. Either that or something I've concocted myself using the Eisen Audio DIY kits.

Brad
Old 24th August 2007
  #11
Gear Head
 
wanderlust8's Avatar
 

Thanks for the great thoughts everyone! keep em coming...

The Buzz Elixer and the Purple Biz seems like strong contenders! What are their "Colors" ? I'm looking for some color, and not too clean.

An Eisen with the St. Ives is on my big wish list (santa?)... that would be so cool, i'd never part with it.

i've saved my pennies, and i've got an itch to be a dirrty GS....
Old 24th August 2007
  #12
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goldenlotus's Avatar
 

I've been wondering basically the same thing too. I'm looking for my first 500 series pre, mainly for female vox, and was leaning towards the P-1. Does this one have the most open highend compared to the others?
Old 23rd November 2007
  #13
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and, which 500-type pre do folks recommend for big, strong vocals??

thanks!
Old 23rd November 2007
  #14
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espen askelad's Avatar
I often want to get back into the 500 format just to get the Biz again. It's a great preamp. I also owned a few P1s and spent some time with Buzz and Averill 500 pres. The good news is, they're all really good units, and ultimately, I think you could choose any one of them and you'd be really happy. I think though that as a "desert island" sort of thing I'd choose the Biz, with the Buzz as my second choice. The P1 is great, but has a very distinct character and there are some things I didn't like it for - acoustic guitar and bass in particular - whereas other sources it's absolutely going to rock. The Averill and APIs are great but I can get most of what I like about them, and then some, from the Biz. The Buzz also had a tone that I thought would work on most sources, though I was partial to the character of the Purple.
Old 24th November 2007
  #15
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ScumBum's Avatar
 

A P I
Old 24th November 2007
  #16
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drBill's Avatar
Another vote for the Biz. thumbsup
Old 24th November 2007
  #17
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seaneldon's Avatar
 

I dont know...the Biz is kinda...well, "the business". It's the kind of pre that no matter how many times I use it, and how many pres are available for the 500-series format now, I always find myself saying "this is one of the baddest mother-fathers on Sean's green earth."

The dual switch by itself has a tendency to be a one-and-done cherry on top for snare drums, overdriven guitars, and lead vocals. And, as you already seem to have heard, it's kind of nuts as a bass DI (I didn't like it with a Strat. The Great River kinda smoked it there. But the Great River doesn't do what the Biz does for a bass. Check it out in "Dual", input 95% of the way down, output cranked, easy compression after the pre).
Old 26th November 2007
  #18
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

the A-Designs P-1 would be my first choice as well, very sweet, mid forward, i just love the upper mids, buttery ~
if you want something with a bit more color, although not as mid forward, the LaChapell Audio 583s is very nice.
Old 26th November 2007
  #19
Moderator
 
James Lugo's Avatar
 

The Avedis MA5 and EM Blue are my favs.
Old 26th November 2007
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

I've used the Shadow Hills mono Gama on all the sources you have mentioned. It was easily one of my "go to" pre's because I knew it wasn't going to sound bad. It was great with keys/synths because of the different transformers and you could quickly change the sound but still keep continuity when layering multiple tracks...same goes with guitars. Vocals, it was sometimes a hit or a miss depeding on singer/mic but was usually always useable come mix time. I own a pair of API 512's and I'd say the Shadow Hills are just as versitile but a different sound. I also have a pair of Chandler Germ 500's but they aren't behaving too well with my BAE rack so I haven't had a chance to put 'em through their paces. All these are inexpensive enough to throw a few on your credit card try 'em out return what doesn't work for you.

Matt Hayes
Old 26th November 2007
  #21
Another vote for GR 500NV or MA5, makes things sound B I G.
Old 26th November 2007
  #22
Moderator
 
Tim Farrant's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autocrat View Post
Another vote for GR 500NV or MA5, makes things sound B I G.
mmmmmm, whatever happened to "makes things sound real"?
Old 26th November 2007
  #23
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roger's Avatar
 

i wouldn't get the p-1 for female vox specifically......there would be the possibility for a little too much top-end. i recorded a gal a couple weeks back who almost had a bit of a lispe in her delivery and it sounded great BUT it could get a little bright on some ladies.....i would go for something a little more neutral in the top-end.....the p-1 does the sheen-thing way more than my api and GR pres - depends on your vocal sound/style. it shocked me when i first heard it and took some getting used to.....i mainly use it on acoustic g's and with my R84.....anyway have fun on your hunt......there are lotsa great flavours to chose from!
Old 26th November 2007
  #24
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattoxxx View Post
I also have a pair of Chandler Germ 500's but they aren't behaving too well with my BAE rack so I haven't had a chance to put 'em through their paces.

Matt Hayes
how comes? never heard of new modules not behaving well
Old 26th November 2007
  #25
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superburtm's Avatar
 

API 512's! I keep coming back to them ater the hype dies on newer pres thumbsup
Old 26th November 2007
  #26
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roger's Avatar
 

yeah - what's the story with the germ500s??? am i mistaken or do you have to shell out more cash for the recommended PSU from chandler to get it to 'behave' in a 500 frame?!.....if so then (let me do the math).......it is more costly to get a germ500 than the rack version of the pre??!!
Old 26th November 2007
  #27
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Farrant View Post
mmmmmm, whatever happened to "makes things sound real"?
Awwww, come on Tim. "Real", "Transparent"??? That went the way of the dinosaur. Now we want smashed color. OK?? heh heh (j/k)
Old 26th November 2007
  #28
mds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger View Post
yeah - what's the story with the germ500s??? am i mistaken or do you have to shell out more cash for the recommended PSU from chandler to get it to 'behave' in a 500 frame?!.....if so then (let me do the math).......it is more costly to get a germ500 than the rack version of the pre??!!
Totally agree...if I need a PSU anyways I'd rather just have the rackmount....
Old 27th November 2007
  #29
For the versatility and assured musicality on any source, I cannot imagine a more useful pre than the Purple Biz. I just got one, and I am very, very surprised. I have 512c's and an Eisen with St. Ives. Both work better than the other for different things, but I'm telling you... the Biz just works for everything PERFECTLY. The sound you want is literally just a twist of two knobs and maybe the push of one button away. It can be ultra up-front or just smooth and balanced.

Haven't heard anything that doesn't sound GREAT... vocals included.

Purple Biz for my vote.
Old 11th December 2007
  #30
Gear Head
 
wanderlust8's Avatar
 

all wonderful input. i looove natural, but sometimes, a girl likes it big too!

as an update... since the post, i spent time with the P-1, which I thought was a bit too mid forward and not 'deep' as I'd hoped. Next came the Great River which I friggin love, but as my only dessert island pre, I had to let it go b/c it wasn't working for my vocals (if I had more $$ and mics, the GR should swim back to my island one day). However, it is a BAD arse pre, definitely BIG and ruled bass and elec gtrs.

Now, i'm alone on my 6 slot BAE lunchbox with just an Eisen "nevish" Pre (St. Ives transformer)... which by my tastes is suiting most everything very well! I really do love this thing and Mr. Eisen was kind enough to sell me his last personal unit!

Next up.. Purple BIZ, LaChapell 583e, and a compressor should fit nicely.
Does anyone think the Biz is similar to a GML sound at all???

The 500 format does rule!
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