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Gear Talk: Would you rather? Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 16th September 2011
  #1
Lives for gear
Gear Talk: Would you rather?

So when it comes to investing in hardware gear, (not interested in plugins for this thread)...would you rather:

Spend your money on one super nice channel strip
*Example: API Channel Strip, Aurora GTQ2, Avalon 737, etc.
*All are roughly $2000-2500 for one channel of eq, comp, pre

-OR-

Spend your money on multiple lower end units
*Example: Gap73 or B12a pre
Overstayer, Art Pro VLA II, RNC comps
Not sure bout eq's, but maybe a small A&H or Mackie Board

For $2000-2500 you could get several units on the lower end and have more choices, but maybe not quite as much mojo...? Maybe so though...

There are benefits to either side, great music can be made either way, and I'm not asking advice, I'm asking for your take on this. I can see both sides. Just having a little fun.
Old 16th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
shatz's Avatar
Starting out I would say buy prosumer products to get everything you need to record and then slowly add higher end pieces as you go. This is what I have done and it's working out for me. By the time you're ready to advance in equipment your skill level has advanced (hopefully) and can warrant buying high end gear.

So for me, where I'm at now, I would take the one piece of higher end gear over the prosumer stuff.
Old 16th September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by shatz View Post
Starting out I would say buy prosumer products to get everything you need to record and then slowly add higher end pieces as you go. This is what I have done and it's working out for me. By the time you're ready to advance in equipment your skill level has advanced (hopefully) and can warrant buying high end gear.
That's exactly my thoughts as well. Nice post I'm interested to see if others have maybe went the other route by having that one nice strip, and making music with it. I think it would be fun. I went the route you suggested, and still going. Thanks for the reply!
Old 16th September 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDB_12 View Post
So when it comes to investing in hardware gear, (not interested in plugins for this thread)...would you rather:

Spend your money on one super nice channel strip
*Example: API Channel Strip, Aurora GTQ2, Avalon 737, etc.
*All are roughly $2000-2500 for one channel of eq, comp, pre

-OR-

Spend your money on multiple lower end units
*Example: Gap73 or B12a pre
Overstayer, Art Pro VLA II, RNC comps
Not sure bout eq's, but maybe a small A&H or Mackie Board

For $2000-2500 you could get several units on the lower end and have more choices, but maybe not quite as much mojo...? Maybe so though...

There are benefits to either side, great music can be made either way, and I'm not asking advice, I'm asking for your take on this. I can see both sides. Just having a little fun.
i would spend the minimum total $$$ required to get a complete system that i found satisfactory.

what good is the worlds best channel strip
if you cant afford a mike or interface or daw yada yada
to use with it
Old 17th September 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
Once I spent good money on a microphone.......I opted for the channel strip route.

I like the idea of running through one quality circuit where I can tweak preamp gain, EQ, compression and volume all at once.

With a spare kind of production like mine it's nice to have some artistic control over all those parameters on the way in without having to patch in multiple hardware units.
Old 17th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
try to to buy anything you'll ever want to sell... I'd go with ONE high end channel strip then, learn the heck out of it - eq, comp, etc... then when it's time to add to it (rather than sell and replace) you will be well educated in what your current channel can/cannot do and it'll be easy to fill-in the gaps.
Old 17th September 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 
edva's Avatar
Buy nice, don't buy twice. Otherwise, you'll end up with a bunch of second-tier stuff you don't really love, and worse yet, everything you record with cheaper stuff will always be less good, probably, than it might have been with better equipment.
That being said, there's lots of good gear out there, new and especially used, that costs less than $2000/channel. But IMHO one nice piece is better than two or three cheap units.
Old 17th September 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
Buy nice, don't buy twice.
Good advice. These are wise words that everyone eventually realizes.
Old 17th September 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
Good advice. These are wise words that everyone eventually realizes.
Yes but often realised once they have learned all that they can from the gear and are looking to upgrade.
Sure the newer piece is better, but you wouldnt know how to use it if it wasnt for the little guy.

I mean, think of it this way. You could save for 20 years to buy a Ferrari to eventually be able to drive,
- or -
you could buy a Fiat Shoebox and drive around tomorrow. It might not be nice, but it will get you from A to B and let you learn along the way. Then when you are ready for the next level up, you can sell your shoebox to the next learner and move on.
By the time you are at Ferrari level, you will be a better driver, with more experience and probably with more appreciation for the the Ferrari seeing as how you cut your teeth with a Fiat Shoebox!

Granted though, if you need a piece of gear to make money with, then buy the best you can afford...though if you are charging for your craft, more than likely you have some idea of what you are doing!
Old 17th September 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

I have 2 GAP units right in the same rack with a Dakin IV pre, some Focusrite, Vintech, Burl, Five Fish and TL Audio. The GAP's hold their own for sure. I only use them for toms, but I've cut some demo guitars, bass and vocals that were all surprising.
Old 17th September 2011
  #11
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumdrum View Post
By the time you are at Ferrari level, you will be a better driver, with more experience and probably with more appreciation for the the Ferrari seeing as how you cut your teeth with a Fiat Shoebox!
poor analogy

the OP indicates has the money for ONE Ferrari NOW

he wants to know if he should instead spend the money on 5 or 6 Fiats!

I say if you are only going to drive one car at at time, it might as well be a nice one. It doesn't take 20 years to learn how to drive, and it's doubtful if you are really going to "learn" much about how to take the corners at 80 MPH practicing in your Fiat.

The Fiat is also not much good for "practicing" picking up supermodels, either.

I went with the 'buy nice' philosophy a long time ago, and boy am I glad I did. There's a lot of great "Lifetime" gear pieces out there. Try to avoid buying anything you are planning to outgrow.
Old 17th September 2011
  #12
Gear Addict
 
DoctorG's Avatar
 

As some others have said. I'd buy the high end channel strip that you may never want to sell as you would with low end stuff. If you decide to sell your channel strip later then the good stuff will always be in demand and will be easier to sell and will hold its value more than low end stuff. I really don't think you'd regret going this way. Add this to a decent mic and converters and you'll be set up to get great results. I guess it's quality, not quantity.
Old 17th September 2011
  #13
Gear Nut
 

I'd go with the high quality mic pre. I'd rather have something really great that sounds great on everything, will last a lifetime and gives me a world class sound, than a few mediocre things I'll want to replace anyways if they don't break down first.
I'd personally rather use a good plugin than a mediocre piece of outboard.
My plans are to get 1 or 2 of the following.
1. One great, versatile compressor, probably a 1176.
2. One great mic pre.
3. One great EQ.
4. One great converter a/d and d/a.
I assume we're just talking about rack gear and not mics. As far as mic goes, there are some less expensive choices I would be happy with, and in this case I'd prefer to have a few different "flavors" to choose from rather than 1 5k nuemann.
Old 17th September 2011
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
poor analogy

the OP indicates has the money for ONE Ferrari NOW

he wants to know if he should instead spend the money on 5 or 6 Fiats!

I say if you are only going to drive one car at at time, it might as well be a nice one. It doesn't take 20 years to learn how to drive, and it's doubtful if you are really going to "learn" much about how to take the corners at 80 MPH practicing in your Fiat.

The Fiat is also not much good for "practicing" picking up supermodels, either.

I went with the 'buy nice' philosophy a long time ago, and boy am I glad I did. There's a lot of great "Lifetime" gear pieces out there. Try to avoid buying anything you are planning to outgrow.
Couldn't agree more. If it were me, I would absolutely not hesitate to get one higher end piece. I don't subscribe to the philosophy that you have to work your way up. Sometimes I think there seems to be this subtle but silly unwritten rule that an inexperienced engineer/recordist doesn't deserve to have high end gear because he/she won't know how to use it.
Old 17th September 2011
  #15
Fezzle
Guest
I was careful when I pulled the plug on setting up, in getting good converters and good pres, and a couple of good mics.. everything else I do ITB. For what I do this is perfect, and I knew I could have spent the money on compromised quality of the above and got more bits however, knew that I would wouldnt be getting the best out of my mics .. It also gives me an incentive to work hard because theyre are a few more bits I do need , mainly a couple more mics. At least I know I have a solid foundation to build on rather than knowing in the back of my mind that I would have to go back and beef up my initial chain which I consider really important in the aesthetic that Im after. I think so long as your not limited in your workflow, spend on less but dont skimp, and choose wisely as to what has the versatility that you need at the time
Old 17th September 2011
  #16
Gear Addict
 
capnreverb's Avatar
 

The problem with most channel strips for me is that they are mono. If all I'm going to be focusing on is recording one thing, one mic/di at a time, then the channel strip would make more sense for me. I like the option of stereo, especially for the comp and eq.

But, shucks, if you got $2500/patience/time and not afraid to buy used, you can come up with three pretty dynamite used racks that any move above in quality would only be a lateral move until you can afford $2500 each on just one of each (pre/comp/eq).

2500 divided by three is $833. We all now there is some new and especially used rack gear at that price that is pretty darn good.
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