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api 512c vs great river Single-Channel Preamps
Old 9th February 2010
  #31
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
i just wasn't super impressed after all the praise and talk on gear slutz. now i know it's a different flavor and all but can some of you guys maybe tell me some different ways to use the great river to get some favorable sounds on something instead of vocals?
There's certainly personal taste involved...like many others, I really like both...but if you love the API and aren't so impressed with the Great River, it may just not be the preamp for you. Why try to convince yourself that you like something that you really don't?
Old 21st March 2010
  #32
Gear Head
 
Butters's Avatar
 

Just wanted to chime in. This post came up in a search as i just got a 512c and i've had a Great River for a couple of years now.

I've been using an SM 7b through the Great River for vocals with the input cranked and it sounds amazing. I slap on a Distressor after the GR and it sounds like someone poured syrup all over the vocals...it's a really beautiful sound.

My previous chain was a Rode NTK (harsh!) through an Avalon 737 (overrated/slow comp) so maybe i just feel spoiled now but that Shure/Great River combo seems a perfect match on vocals.
Old 21st March 2010
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duardo View Post
Why try to convince yourself that you like something that you really don't?
Do we need to preform a GeArBoArdECtomy?

I was @ Yellow DOG studios yesterday, were there are PLENTY of API preamps in the API console they have, yet they have a pair of 500NV's to boot. Guess they feel the Rivers are useful. Maybe that's why the MEth LAB has a 3124+ and three channels of GR preamps, along with three GR equalizers.
Old 21st March 2010
  #34
Gear Nut
 
Swansonic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattg082 View Post
can some of you guys maybe tell me some different ways to use the great river to get some favorable sounds on something instead of vocals? it just sounds like a basic decent pre nothing special to me except on that one thing.

any suggestions on cranking gain, output settings? a little info tricks and tips?
for the OP
I "only" (LOL) have API and Great river Pres at my place. I based my decision on the classic Neve vs API battle, couldn't/wouldn't afford Neve so I "settled" on the Great River.

The pres by themselves the API won on guitar no problem, BUT, when I stuck API560s after the Great River, I have never turned back, for the sounds that I want, Gibson into Marshall, two Mics>GR>560s>HD, parallel for rhythm with a API2500 (love that output section), and parallel MC77 for leads at mix time, done, sounds the way I want.

Same for the the singer that I work with, SM7 into the Great River sounds like him (API just didn't work for his voice).

Bass guitar into the Great River DI>MC77>API5500>API525 (a little goes a long way) sits like an anchor for the mix, sounds the way I want.

Drums, Great River on kick and snare, API everywhere else and I'm the drummer.

Have to admit I would love to try a TG2(EMI) sometime, somewhere.
API and Great River will always be in my rack, they compliment each other very nicely. Hope this helps you with your quest.

You may have noticed that I don't post much but I have read damn near the whole data base of GS starting way back. It used to be a good read, not so much anymore.

what's that saying, oh yeah, YMMV
peace
Old 21st March 2010
  #35
Lives for gear
haha, i saw this thread got revived. i'm glad it could be to some use.

it's been awhile with the great river and api but of course i kept both and couldn't live without either one. i came to the conclusion that the api was awesome for bass, guitar and most all my instruments. the GR is amazing for vocals and my #1 vocal chain with a sm7b now. I wouldn't think of using any other pre on the vocal chain right now with the combo i have with the sm7b. it really made the vocals shine! I have to have both with that neve flavor and api. couldn't live without both unless i was just doing strictly instrumental stuff.
Old 21st March 2010
  #36
Lives for gear
 
Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

Ok...I've used both extensively. They are popular so a lot of people have them. Because of these experiences is why I HAVE NOT purchased either. I get really close from time to time, but when I think I'm buying it for a specific purpose, I always pick up something else. I always think about picking up a 3124, but I know I'd only use it on guitars and toms. I don't like API AT ALL on vocals or bass. I use a Manley Mono for most vocals with my AR51 and if I were going to buy it for tom, not that I'd be wasting money, but I cud get just as usable results with 4 channels of Sytek with Burr Brown Opamps for only $900. API is nice on guitars, but IMO, nothing touches my Vintech 1272 for guitars and bass. Heck, I've recorded some of the best guitars, vocals, bass and room mic sounds I've ever heard period, using my 1272. IDK, I just can't bring myself to spend $7-800 on one channel when for only $400 I can get a modded Pre73 that's been looked over here in America that does really well for everything left over that I don't already have something specific for. Just my 2 cents. Both need to lower their prices before I consider them again.
Old 21st March 2010
  #37
Lives for gear
well we don't call it gear slutz for nothing! i have no problem getting a few money pres and then having all my other pres in 400 range. i think everyone should have at least two money pres. i love these pres and have been through it all with pres in different ranges. it's nice just to get two of them and be done... no debate, no questions, it's what people want to use and respect and i love them. i'd much rather not cut corners and have it done and be happy.

now that i have my two money pres i have my digi002 4 pres and i'm looking into getting a adat or something for some cheaper pres for toms that are better than the digi002 stock pres. also thinking about trading up for a rosetta 800 and finding 4-6 pres in a channel strip... maybe the ssl 4 pre would be a nie affordable unit. i can afford two or three money pres but not 10 for tracking drums.
Old 21st March 2010
  #38
Lives for gear
 
Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattg082 View Post
well we don't call it gear slutz for nothing! i have no problem getting a few money pres and then having all my other pres in 400 range. i think everyone should have at least two money pres. i love these pres and have been through it all with pres in different ranges. it's nice just to get two of them and be done... no debate, no questions, it's what people want to use and respect and i love them. i'd much rather not cut corners and have it done and be happy.

now that i have my to money pres i have my digi002 4 pres and i'm looking into getting a adat or something for some cheaper pres for toms that are better than the digi001 stock. i an afford two or three money pres but not 10 for tracking drums.
Exactly what I'm saying, I don't feel either is a money pre. To me, a John Hardy, LaChapelle, Mercury, Manley, Pacifica, etc...these are money, but probably only in my opinion. Great River and API, to me, are just below..they are great all-around pres, I could most certainly do a record with just API and Great River, don't get me wrong, but my Manley, again, just my opinion, spanks both on vocals in every situation, it even does really well on guitars, kick, bass...and for all of these, I prefer the Manley over both, except for possibly kick...cuz tthe great river is amazing on kick...then again, if you heard my CAD179/Manley combo on kick with Lynx conversion, your jaw wud drop to the ground. I love my sm7b on guitars, but you haven't heard guitars come to life until you've heard a 57 or an sm7b on guitars using a Mercury or Manley. Look, I'm not saying either is bad, just saying for my needs and what I do, neither right now sounds appealing...and it's not for lack of experience with either. They are both good pres, there are just better deals out there to spend $700 on and still need a PSU to power them. Look into the Sytek stuff for remainder pres. They sound great on overheads, toms, snare...all that. Keep both, use both the great river and API for Bass, guitars and vocals and pick up other smaller ones. I also have an SSL Alpha VHD which I use for under snare, hat and overheads...for what I spent $1500 on, I def shuda gone the Sytek route...now I want to sell it for like $1k and pick up another Sytek 4ch unit...live and learn I guess.
Old 21st March 2010
  #39
Lives for gear
i see what your saying but like i said i like them and really like the api color. i don't think spending the extra few hundred is a big deal and with a lunchbox you buy the power supply once and have a lot of pres to choose from at a good price. i only cut corners if it's a thousand dollar difference or so. it kinda of comes off that you are arguing low end thread theory reasoning here a bit with trying to cut corners. but back on track here it was the api vs great river as well as info and tips

at these prices all though not cheap for everyone all the time i'm not worried about spending a little extra for something i want and have faith in the sytek looks cool for extra pres though. api is classic though and the great river is one of the most popular pres on vocals when paired with many famous mics like the sm7b.

since it's gear slutz i say buy them all and whatever you want. It all comes to taste to each his own but the popular vote on the api/great river pres speaks very loud for the quality and sound. i think they are well worth it! i picked up a great river and api 512c new with a lunchbox for around 1,800 for the whole thing. you know if you had the money to throw out you would just get some and stop questioning yourself over nickels and dimes
Old 29th March 2010
  #40
Gear Head
 

I am hearing a lot that the API 512C is good for guitars. I record a lot of non distortion guitars. Would you guys still suggest this preamp for guitars? Also, the vocals I record are on a chill quiet vibe. Is the API 512C horrible on these type of vocals? I had the Great River in the past and liked it. I just don't know if I am missing out by not getting the API 512C this time around. I mainly record, very low volume vocals, acoustic guitar, non distortion guitars and some shaker/tambourine sounds. Any suggestions is greatly appreciated.

thanks
Old 1st April 2010
  #41
Here for the gear
 

i have ordered my first api 512c in a lunchbox and it should be arriving tomorrow so i can start my next session on sunday. do yall prefer the api on kick or snare if you could only choose one? my other preamps are 2 universal audio m610s and a chameleon labs 7602 and of course 4 terrible digi pres.
Old 1st April 2010
  #42
In my opinion, what you're probably looking for is the API 512c and the Avedis MA5:

They are similar in terms of usability, tend to work well to fantastically well on everything, but both have their own "angle" on how they capture the sound.

Of course, microphones are more important than channels, but when it comes to channels in the 500 format, these are the best I've heard, and many would agree. If you like the 512c on vocals (which I do too), you'd probably love the MA5.

I'd wouldn't keep a GR in the 500 series because it takes up too much space - for one, and secondly, I just really like the MA5 sound. I think it's a perfect compliment to the API sound myself.

As for non-500 series preamps being better than the 500 series, well... it's debatable. There are plenty of pieces outside of the 500 format that I would absolutely love to pick up someday: Aurora GTQ2 is one of them, LA2A's, 1176 or Purple MC-77, Pacifica (which I also think is a great sounding piece), but would they really offer me that much more? I don't really think so.

Yeah, it's nice having tons of tubes in the LA-2A, and the Aurora GTQ2 offers the great eq controls, and I don't think the Purple Action's transformers are big enough (same with the P1 from A-Designs... I prefer the sound of the Pacifica from what I've heard), but in the end, it comes down to engineering, to getting the sound right at the source before anything else, and picking the right mic and positioning. All of these things are more important than gaining the extra 5% - 15% of "betterness" in my opinion.

In closing, I'd like to remind everyone that Elbow's "One Day Like This" was recorded using a Focusrite Octopre. Great song; fairly uncool piece of gear.

Get what you like, and if you don't like it: either learn to or get something else! Best of luck!
Old 1st April 2010
  #43
Lives for gear
 
dandeurloo's Avatar
you should put a SLL red dot in your 512c and then try it on vocals. It will change things for you in a great way. Much more like earlier API consoles. I use to never use API on vocals. I would use a neve or something but now I often go to an API with the red dot. It has the warmth and thickness but also more detail. It is the kind of thing you can stack up in a track and not fight later.

If you want to check out other preamps as well you should check out the new Classic API pre amp. Man that is a really great pre and it is API. Its just built to the follow the vintage specks with and out put ATTN. That opens up a world of more sweet spots compared to a standard 512.

but the moral of the story is API's sound great.
Old 1st April 2010
  #44
Deleted User
Guest
could you pick two more different (less alike) pre's?

ya need them both. we are not splitting hairs here.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #45
Gear Maniac
 
GoVeganDude's Avatar
 

not to completely disregard the entire point of this thread, but I just wanted to add the Daking pre into the discussion if I may. I own the GR, (2) APIs 512c, and the Daking Mic Pre One, and have had some good experiences with each pre on a variety of different sources.

As far as vocals I tend to feel these days that my SM7b into the Daking (and subsequently my 1176) wins out most often. Generally, for me, its a toss up between the GR and the Daking on vocals, but its all in the vibe I want on the project in that moment. The Daking, which is in that 500 series price range, does a clear hi-mid bump thing that I think helps vocals just cut through a mix very nicely.

So if I want clean present sounding vocals I tend to move towards the Daking, but if I am looking for smooth, fat vocals I will usually end up with the GR. Although, again its all about what sounds good in the moment. After using each of the pres for awhile you get a feel for what they will give you and you'll develop your preferences.

API just feels right on drums, but the Daking and GR are beautiful there as well. Honestly, I couldn't track without any one of them!!!
Old 2nd April 2010
  #46
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andychamp's Avatar
The API is more instantly spectacular, but with time you'll find things you won't want to use it on.
Enter the GR: not as "wow!" at 1st listen, but (I may have said this before) it'll grow on you.
And while I don't buy into the "a-different-pre-for-every-source" thing, I'm glad to have both. They cover a lot of ground between them.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #47
Gear Addict
 

I own both and never use the api for vocals, the GR sits better @ the mix
acustic guitar, not my first choice......floor tom sounds amazing, overheads ok, room ok, vocals great, bass electric guitars
I wanna try the eq.........never hear that one
Old 2nd April 2010
  #48
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
The API is more instantly spectacular, but with time you'll find things you won't want to use it on.
Enter the GR: not as "wow!" at 1st listen, but (I may have said this before) it'll grow on you.
And while I don't buy into the "a-different-pre-for-every-source" thing, I'm glad to have both. They cover a lot of ground between them.
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