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Singing the praises of the BG1 preamp.
Old 11th December 2005
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Singing the praises of the BG1 preamp.

Since receiving my BG1 several days ago I've really had the opportunity to give this little gem a workout. I pretty much just do acoustic music which does include piano, violin, acoustic guitar, classical, string ensemble, etc... I'm not into hard rock or even jazz or pop. I know this type of music probably makes up about 80% of the people here, so getting good opinions on equipment for this "soft" acoustic stuff can steer a guy in the wrong direction.

I have to first thank Plush. I did my homework on the BG1 before I bought it and I seen where Plush was really pushing this thing. There isn't much info on the net as far as forums and opinions or comparisons so I had to take everything I read with a grain of salt not knowing for sure just who worked for who and who was promoting what. There is a lot of junk out here being pushed by people who have a financial stake in the product. I am quite skeptical of anyone who pushes a product and also sells it. Afterall, you don't want to dis' a product you are feeding your kids with every week... ..


Anyway, let me just throw out some words to describe the BG1.

big - clean - silky smooth - seperation - focused - surround sound 7.1 - detailed but not harsh - almost like a finished record - wow, OMG!

I read on this forum where someone said the BG1 made their recordings sound like a finished record. I am here now to repeat that. I have *never* attained such a beautiful unedited, unadulterated, finished sound like I get from the BG1. The resulting which formerly screamed for some minor EQ, now just seems to sound right.

I've been using a combo of a Neumann KM85 and KM84 for acoustic guitar for a long time. And I have gotten good results, but the improvement with the BG1 was immediately noticeable. The KM85 suddenly had this silky punch it had never had before. I can only come to the conclusion that the BG1 allows the true character of each mic to come through, maybe this is the silkiness I am hearing since the Neumann's definately have color. I don't have any transparent mics at hand, most of my stuff is Neumann. But with the pre's I have used, the BG1 makes me realize that maybe they were incorrectly applying their own color to the Neumann's natural scolor, which then equals = crap and mush. The pre is clean but certainly not clinical by any stretch of the imagination.

My experience with mic pre's have included the following. OSA API 312, Vintech 1272, RNP, Presonus MP20. So I haven't really gotten into the "big boys" like a Great River or Manley, but at least you know my frame of reference.

The BG1 has forced me to put my RNP up for sale, as I really can't justify owning it simply because the BG1 has made it sound like a 3rd rate hooker having her 9th orgasm of the night.
Old 11th December 2005
  #2
Gear Nut
 
AcousTronic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne mox
...because the BG1 has made it sound like a 3rd rate hooker having her 9th orgasm of the night.
Hehe... Been there!!



Seriously though, Your review has made me want to look further into the BG1, as I do primarily acoustic music also. Thanks!!
Old 11th December 2005 | Show parent
  #3
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Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Outstanding post, Wayne!

I have been spreading the word about the DAV BG No.1 primarily because it is so heavily unadvertised, unpromoted and less known. I am very pleased that you like the mic amp. By the way, have no fear, I do not work for or sell DAV equipment---I'm just a dedicated advocate for a great design.

I too have continued to be impressed by the DAV Electronics designs. I'm a producer/engineer in the classical field and we are users of many great mic amps.

I have come to the conclusion that the BG No.1 and BG No. 2 ARE the big boys. One need look not very far beyond the products issuing forth from Twickenham.

Old 11th December 2005 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
D.A.V. definitely knows what they're doing...

I've had some experience using one of the "Crystal Clear" prototype 4-channel pre's myself, and I was really rather taken aback by it - if I was alone, it could actually get a bit eerie... At times it was hard to distinguish what I was hearing from the cans from bleed - and I was startled at playback when I'd hear a breath or a floor creak... it really sounded like someone else was in the room with me...
I record a lot of traditional afro-puerto rican percussion music, and that DAV was so accurate and vivd that it still makes my head shake in near disbelief...
Not a shred of hyperbole there either - that thing was truly impressive...
Old 11th December 2005
  #5
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John The Cut's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne mox
Afterall, you don't want to dis' a product you are feeding your kids with every week... ..

I feed my kids Neves. Plenty of iron... (groan) heh
Old 12th December 2005
  #6
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musical5's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Where can the BG1 be purchased in the U.S.?

Thanks
Old 15th December 2005 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Ok, now my RNC is obsolete. It literally ruins the quality of the sound coming from the BG1. I always thought the RNC was a nice compressor but now it's true colors have shown through. It has turned my silky clean sound into harsh and muddy.

Maybe it's the fact that I am going from balanced to unbalanced signal and maybe something is lost there. Even when using the bypass on the RNC the sound is still not the same. I think it may be the quality of the connections also.

Ok so now I gotta find a compressor on equal terms with the BG1. I know they sell a compressor but it doesn't have much control in the area of attack. I'm believing the BG1 is a world class pre, so now I'm scared that to find anything on equal terms will mean spending much more on a compressor than even the price I paid for the BG1. I'm thinking now I need a compressor on the level of $2000 or more... and I gotta say that sux.



ps. You can only get the BG1 through www.davelectronics.com They ship next day air to the US.
Old 15th December 2005 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Addict
 
recky's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah, you've opened a can of worms there, eh? What kind of compressor are you looking for? Clean and transparent or a character piece?

The other day I did a quick A/B shootout between my API 512c and my BG 1 and was really surprised: In isolation (i.e. outside of a mix context) they seemed relatively similar in character! The API is considered a "coloured" preamp while the BG 1 carries the "clean" tag, but somehow they put my recorded voice into the same "tone zone". Having said that, the API was fatter and slightly more in-yer-face than the BG 1 (as expected), while the BG 1 was more open and benign on the attack of the signal. But overall, they share a similar character, and considering that they are both 1970s designs - the BG 1 has been derived from the classic Decca consoles - it is perhaps not so surprising.

Cheers,

Recky
Old 15th December 2005 | Show parent
  #9
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Hi Wayne, did you see that bg-6 DAV compressor? Because you do acoustic music, the lack of sidechain is not really an issue, is it?
I am considering the purchase of an API 4 ch preamp, next month, I have a DAV, and some Neumanns> hearing the API is in the same league as the DAV is making me happy and worried at the same time.

Recky, thank you for comparing the two. I have 2 questions: do the api and the dav work well together? (I'm thinking DAV on overheads, API on close drumkit, or DAV on guitar amp, with gefell condenser, and api and sennheiser dynamic too, and mix the two for a complete sound....)
In what context did you use these two preamps together?
dankeschön thumbsup

Last edited by Reptil; 15th December 2005 at 02:25 PM.. Reason: added question
Old 15th December 2005 | Show parent
  #10
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Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
there is even LESS info on their compressor, this is what I found:

http://www.kmraudio.com/catalogue/pr.../reviews_id/29
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb05/articles/dav.htm

no user reports at all....
Old 15th December 2005 | Show parent
  #11
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Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil
. . . no user reports at all....
Professionals only need apply
Old 15th December 2005 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Addict
 
recky's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil
Hi Wayne, did you see that bg-6 DAV compressor? Because you do acoustic music, the lack of sidechain is not really an issue, is it?
I am considering the purchase of an API 4 ch preamp, next month, I have a DAV, and some Neumanns> hearing the API is in the same league as the DAV is making me happy and worried at the same time.

Recky, thank you for comparing the two. I have 2 questions: do the api and the dav work well together? (I'm thinking DAV on overheads, API on close drumkit, or DAV on guitar amp, with gefell condenser, and api and sennheiser dynamic too, and mix the two for a complete sound....)
In what context did you use these two preamps together?
dankeschön thumbsup
Als je blieft (no idea how to spell that....) :-)

I'd say that the API and the BG 1 complement each other in that they are both on the non-clinical side. The BG 1 is smooth and open, by no means a sterile kind of preamp. It's slightly flattering, but it doesn't lie through its teeth a la API, Neve, etc. I've used the BG 1 on guitar amp, vocals, acoustic guitar, cello, percussion, and preferred it everytime I wanted to fully retain the signal's transients, e.g. on "hifi" acoustic guitar and other percussive instruments. My very coloured API and Universal Audio preamps sounded more compressed, which can be great for vocals and rockier guitars. I tend to record in mono, therefore I have never tried combining an API guitar track with a BG 1 guitar track. Should be great, though!

Cheers,

Recky
Old 15th December 2005 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I'm looking for a clean and transparent compressor that will preserve the sound coming from the BG1. The RNC is definately not the ticket. Oh the compressor should also have balanced ins/outs.


The BG1 is silky clean. I've used the API 312's and I can't say they are equal. Maybe the 512's are, but I have no experience with them.

I've looked at the BG6 comp/limiter but I don't like:

1) No attack setting. I use attacks of .6 seconds.
2) No real adjustable release setting. It is either 3 seconds or .3 seconds. I normally use release of 1 second.
3) No ratio setting. I use ratios of 2:1 to 6:1


The unit may be a perfect match with the BG1, but it seems rather unuseable with it's default settings.
Old 15th December 2005 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My BG-1 should be here next week and I can't wait.

I'm still amazed that this wonderful product remains to be known only by word of mouth.

The reviews I've read have all been quite favorable when you find them, but far too little
is mentioned about Mick and the excellent customer service he provides.

It's also kind of cool to know that people like David Gilmour just bought one the day before I placed my order.

Apparently DAV gear is becoming quite popular!
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #15
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recky's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne mox
The BG1 is silky clean. I've used the API 312's and I can't say they are equal. Maybe the 512's are, but I have no experience with them.
Bloody hell! I never said they were the same!!!!! Please read my ealier posts again. The BG 1 is silky clean, yes, but not clinically so. It's smooth and open. Much like the API. But not overly fat and in-yer-face, unlike the API.

Cheers,

Recky
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #16
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recky's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Oh my god, this weizenbeer is getting to me.... I'm starting to find my BG 1 really nice and cuddly and he's my only friend and that....

Phew, that's it for tonight....

Recky
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #17
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FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yes we must be clear to note that the BG-1 is not a sex toy! heh
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #18
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by recky
Als je blieft

Cheers,

Recky
Dankjewel! thumbsup

Erdinger Dunkel? goes well with percussion! heh
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #19
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Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
FFTT that is some avatar! who took that picture?
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Does it kick RNP butt?
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #21
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Alexi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
hey there,

read your last bg1 topic, what was it about the 2nd channel not running?
how did the builder of the unit react, any excuses for this horrible mistake?

cheers
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexi
hey there,

read your last bg1 topic, what was it about the 2nd channel not running?
how did the builder of the unit react, any excuses for this horrible mistake?

cheers
I took the BG1 apart and checked the wiring from the XLR output to where is is supposed to be soldered to the circuit board. I found 2 wires that were not soldered.

Mick was real good about it. He apologized and, well, let's just say he will compensate me on a future purchase.
Old 16th December 2005
  #23
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insomnio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
[QUOTE=wayne mox]
My experience with mic pre's have included the following. OSA API 312, Vintech 1272, RNP, Presonus MP20. So I haven't really gotten into the "big boys" like a Great River or ManleyQUOTE]
So you think API’s pres aren't in the "Big Boys" bunch but Manley's are?
Then, there are so many misguided engineers in this world…

__________________________
Insomnio
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
[QUOTE=insomnio]
Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne mox
My experience with mic pre's have included the following. OSA API 312, Vintech 1272, RNP, Presonus MP20. So I haven't really gotten into the "big boys" like a Great River or ManleyQUOTE]
So you think API’s pres aren't in the "Big Boys" bunch but Manley's are?
Then, there are so many misguided engineers in this world…

__________________________
Insomnio
Just stick with the main issue of this post and everything will be alright. My idea of what a "big boy" is, really isn't important. What is important is that you know my frame of reference when I am comparing the BG1 to other preamps that I have used. Personally, my opinion of the OSA 312's is that they are of mid-high quality, as I don't think they really compare with the Brent Averill version or the API +3124 version. But then again, that's just my misguided opinion. tutt
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #25
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Alexi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i'll probably check the bg1 out on the weekend......singer songwriter stuff.
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil
FFTT that is some avatar! who took that picture?
I just used Graphic Converter to turn the backgound color into a tranparency.


I'm real happy with my decision to get the BG-1 but now this purchase has seriously
eaten into my budget for an affordable compressor and one good project studio quality
large diaphragm vocal condenser mic.

I'll be running this through my new still in box ProjectMix I/O into my G5.

How the heck am I going to get a decent vocal mic and a compressor that doesn't totally suck for $500.00 arghhhhh!
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Addict
 
recky's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT
How the heck am I going to get a decent vocal mic and a compressor that doesn't totally suck for $500.00 arghhhhh!
Ooh, that'll be near impossible. Try and get an old Gefell UM 70 or its predecessor, whose name escapes me (I think it's the M7 head plus the CMV*** body) . On eBay here in Europe you can pick one up for just over € 400. These mics are absolute high-end, on a par with the Neumann U87, and some say they sound better!

That leaves you with no cash for a great compressor, but at least you're not cutting corners in the mic department.

My 2 Euro-cents,

Recky
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that my project studio will take more time
and money than I should probably be spending, but that's the way it goes.

I WAS going to get the RNC/RNLA rack combo to go with my BG-1, but now
reading your comments it sounds like a may need to make other plans.

I'll probably have to settle for an AT 4040 or 4050 and hope to find one
at a better price on eBay.

Unless one of you has something else way cool for around $300.00
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I'm wondering if there isn't something wrong with the way Wayne Mox's BG#1 is hooked up to the RNC. Some Preamps apparently don't like the balanced to unbalanced conversion, especially non-transformer balanced pres such as the BG#1. I use mine at home with a Hamptone HJFP2, (transformer balanced) which is easily of the same calibur as the BG#1, (by all accounts) and the RNC is very clean to me with no degredation.

I get to play with some pretty nice comps where I assist (API 525, 2500, Distressor) and I really think the RNC is pretty cool, especially for what it costs... I wouldn't neccessarily change your plans because of one persons opinion. Try it, if you don't like it then get something else....
Old 16th December 2005 | Show parent
  #30
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
good point on connecting the RNC - it is unbalanced, and even if the BG-1 doesn't mind being connected to an unbalanced source, this might be the problem of it sounding not so good. Why not record into your converter directly (with the pad engaged). then use the RNC for when you do a mix. (FWIW I rarely compress/expand/gate at the tracking stage, except for when it really makes a difference in tone that cannot be achieved otherwise..)

As for character vocal mics, the Gefell UM-70 rocks, as suggested, you can also try the AT-4047SV. It was recommended here on gearslutz to me, earlier this year, and it is very very nice. do a search, also there is a site called "the listening sessions" where you can sort of compare microphones. Not as easy as having the real thing, but better than nothing.
and try some good dynamic microphones too, you'd be surprised how they sound trough the BG-1. They might just fit your voice, and IMO a good dynamic is better than a bad condenser. Also on my own list is one of the "cheap" new ribbons (Nady, Tbone, GoldenAge Project). they are supposed to sound really nice for what you pay for it.
lots of options..
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