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Your best and worst gear purchases

Discussion in 'Backline' started by mickrich, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. mickrich

    mickrich Member

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    Thought this would be a good idea for a thread
    Make sure you give reasons too.

    For me.

    Best:

    Allen and Heath Zed-R16 - Made my mixes come to life and made headphone mixes simple.

    Mesa Rectifier cab - Although expensive, it gave me the guitar sound I was always chasing.

    ISA828 - gave me 8 superb preamps with superb conversion

    Focal Twin 6s - again expensive but let me hear everything, especially low mids.

    Ensemble Thunderbolt - What can I say, sounds amazing and has the perfect feature set

    Studio Projects T3 valve mic - amazing quality for the price (or any price)

    Palmer dacappo reamp box - Just works. Clear and clean and excellent gain staging

    Fiio E07k headphone amp / DAC - beautiful sounding headphones everywhere I go. Headphone out on my Macbook pro sounds like ass compared to the Fiio.

    Worst:

    Radial X-amp - total piece of shit that had such low output that you had to clip DAC and input of the X-amp to get enough level to the amp.

    MXR Wylde overdrive - not great sounding and the pedal switch broke on 2 of them I had.

    Neumann TLM103 - not a bad mic but never really got on with it. Even prefer an sm57 on vocals.

    ENGL powerball - as we all know, mudball

    Pearl Masters - toms would ring/hum through every song. Replaced with Sonor S Class which is awesome

    Universal Audio LA610 - good but not worth what I paid for it. Very limited headroom and easy to clip. If I could have the money back there are plenty of things I would prefer for the same money. Currently for sale

    Yamaha i88x - on paper this was a really good audio interface. Unfortunately Yamaha's M-Lan drivers were terrible and eventually Yamaha just gave up on it before they got it right.

    I'm sure I will add a few more things to this list when I think about it.
    Really looking forward to seeing what other people post here.
     
  2. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

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    Without a doubt the Mesa Boogie Nomad combo was one of the worst things I've ever dealt with. I traded a fucking Krankenstien for it because I felt the features of the Mesa would be great for the band I was in at the time. Fuck it sucked. Still feel the pain from that years later.

    best right now is prob my hs80m monitors. got them cheap and they seem to translate good for me.
     
  3. ~BURNY~

    ~BURNY~ Member

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    Best:

    Too many stuff to mention really, I'm generally extremely picky before I make a purshase but ...
    Burny Super Grade Fucking workhorse, never let me down

    Worst:

    Blackstar HT dual Sounds like utter shit
    MXR Distortion + Sounds like shit
    Krank Distortus Maximus Sounds meh
    ATM650 Sounds ear-piercing
    e606 Sounds meh, e906 is much better
    Tunebot Great tool, I just never use it
    Rode D-Power plug Ever needed more hiss and noise?
     
  4. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    Best:
    Allen & Heath R16 - Being able to eq and compress on the way in is awesome, headphone mixes are so quick and easy to dial in and generally having hands on control of 16 channels when tracking drums is great. Having an analogue front end is so embedded in my workflow now that I'd have real difficulty living without it.

    Kemper - Had mine for over a year and I'm still totally in love with it. I'm recording 4 different bands at the moment and I've been using Kemper on guitars for all of them.

    Mapex M-Birch kit - Got this for an absolute steal at £80! Some new skins and it's been a rock solid recording kit for me. Provided the drummer is decent I can get some nice tom sounds without any replacement, and recently I've got the tuning on the kick drum absolutely nailed! Going to have to sell some samples of this thing as it's just sounding fantastic!

    Jet City JCA50 - My go to amp for metalcore bands, this thing records so easily and is SO CHEAP! Love it.

    Direct Sound EX29 Headphones - Drummers absolutely love these, and I use them for live gigs alot so I can pfl things without totally blowing out my eardrums.

    Worst:
    Hmmm, I don't think I've had much in the way of truly awful gear. This is more a few of the less stellar pieces I've had:

    CAD TSM411 - Read someone on here called it their secret weapon for toms, tried it on a few things and just didn't like it tbh.

    Sennheiser HD205 - Sound pretty decent especially considering their price tag, but they're far too tight on the head so you can't wear them comfortably for very long.

    Tama Tension Watch - Ok for getting your drums rougly in the ballpark but requires a bit of faffing about, picking up up and sitting it back down to see if the reading's changed, pushing down on the middle of the head to see if it changes etc. Better of with a tunebot or tuning by ear.

    Evans Emad 2 - Just got a new kit that has this on the kick, hate it with the foam ring on or off. Too much midrange, Powerstroke 3 absolutely kills it.

    Sabian B8's - Studio has these for rehearsals, sound like bin lids and they're loud as all shit. Bell on the ride is ok-ish but thats the only vaguely positive thing I can say about them.
     
  5. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

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    Best:

    Ernie Ball Music Man BFR JP6
    Red Witch Empress Chorus - Hands down the most glorious chorus I've owned and I've had a lot. (Keeley CE-2, Arion SCH-1 MIJ, and many more)
    Retro-Sonic Phaser
    Fulltone Deja-Vibe
    Darkglass B7K
    Carr Rambler 2x10 combo - What I wouldn't give to have this amp back!
    Fuchs Lucky 7 combo
    Bogner Shiva Head
    Mesa Mark IV Head

    Worst:

    Menatone Red Snapper Overdrive - Hated it
    Keeley TS9DX 4x4 - Waste of money
    Hermida Zendrive
    Orange Tiny Terror 1x12 combo - Maybe the heads better?
    Gibson Historic Collection J-45 - I've got an old Yamaha that plays better.
     
  6. mva801

    mva801 Member

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    Best - Kemper.

    Worst - Avid M-box. Had to send that thing back a few times. Utter garbage.
     
  7. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    NorCal
    Best: focal twins
    Worst: Samson c-control
    Granted I bout those things 8 years apart.
     
  8. Ihsahn1981

    Ihsahn1981 Member

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    Best:
    Avedis MA5 (the only preamp I feel I ever need)
    Pete's Place BAC500 compressor (tracking vocals through this makes almost any vocalist shine)
    Great River 32c eq (turn knobs and everything sounds better)
    Ampeg SVP-BSP basspreamp (THAT bass guitar sound)
    Urei 530 eq (Michael Wagener's much admir'd cheap guitar eq)


    Best/Worst:
    A-Designs EM-PEQ eq (sounds sooo gooood but the knobs feel like something on a 10$ toy)


    Worst:
    Steinberg MR816x interface (not bad sounding but some of the features must have been designed by a crazy person)
    Cooper Time Cube plugin (emulation of a garden hose delay unit that I really regret buying)
    M-Audio Keystation 61es (the keys are so bad that you feel physically ill when playing it)
    Focusrite Saffire Pro 10 (not bad sounding but I had it for repair two times and eventually I got electric shocks when I touched the output jacks)
    Marshall JFX-1 (I want to like it but I don't)
     
  9. HOFX

    HOFX Member

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    Hardware wise, I've been lucky.

    Best:
    Singing lessons
    Slate plugins
    Line6 UX2 (for recording, simplicity, can't be beat, got about 8 years out of it now)

    Worst:
    Softube feedback
    Waves plugins
    Probably more when I really think about it
     
  10. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    Best

    Rme fireface 800
    Great river 1nv
    Sm7b

    Worst

    Podfarm
    Power conditioner (did nothing for me, that a powerbar couldn't do)
     
  11. Line666

    Line666 Fendurr

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    Best -
    Profire 2626 - don't have it anymore but it served me really well through a bunch of records
    Jet City 100 - great jack of all trades amp
    Kemper - everything that can be said about this ones already been said
    ATH-M50s - robust, reliable and pretty good to mix on in a pinch

    Worst -
    KRK Rokit 5 - both them crapped out on me after only intermittent use, mixes didn't translate all that well with them
    Alesis IO 26 - Awful drivers, could never get it to work even with a TI chipset - crackling all over the place
     
  12. Jan___

    Jan___ Member

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    Best:

    Gibson Les Paul 57 Reissue (2011) - Got it used and picked this one out of 8 or 9 custom shop LPs. They were all good but there were surprisingly large differences between them in terms of feel and tone. This one sounded very open but still fat. Perfect.

    Jet City JCA50H - got this one recently and I am SHOCKED how good it sounds. May like it even better than my 6505.

    Mesa Rectifier 4x12 - Y'all know it. This thing delivers.

    Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro - Super clear, lots of detail. Mixes on these translate much better for me than from my AKG 240 MKIIs.

    Slate Trigger 2 - easy to use and sounds great with Slate samples (or Nashville)

    Slate FG-X - finally 64 bit and super good results.

    Cordial Road Line guitar cables - super sturdy, last forever, and best sounding cables I've tried.

    JJ ECC83S tubes - these work the best for me in most amps (except Diezel VH4 where they were a bit too dark). I get these from Tube Town and pretty much NEVER have problems with them.


    Worst:

    Pod HD Desktop - some people love it but I couldn't get a usable tone out of it. Maybe it's just me but there were always some frequencies in there that I could not get dialed out without excessive (post) EQ.

    Dimarzio Tone Zone - didn't like this one at all in my ESP M-II. Sounded "dead", no good harmonics, overall not my thing. Maybe it was the guitar but hey.

    Boss HM-2 pedal - I got the Sweden-sound out of it but I just didn't like playing it. So this was worst FOR ME, other people are of course right to love this thing :)

    Framus Cobra 4x12 cab - didn't love the head, hated the cab. I actually love their dragon cab but this one here sounded like "metal" in a bad way.
     
  13. GRStudios

    GRStudios Member

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    Best:

    5150II Head
    Kemper Power Rack
    Slate Trigger 2

    Worst:

    Orange Tiny Terror Head - Didn't like it. Sold it.
    DDrum Acoustic Pro Triggers
     
  14. Manicompression

    Manicompression doing it for the kids

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    Location:
    Cleveland OH
    Best:

    My franken-strat, no resale value to speak of but sounds great, intonates really well, has all of the pickups and hardware I wanted and generally inspires me to play.

    Mesa Boogie Dual Rec, super reliable, sounds amazing and way more versatile than people give them credit for being. Ive bought other amps in recent years but I dont think I will ever not own and use my Dual.

    Focusrite LS56, has worked perfect for me going on 4 years. It has not left me wanting for a new interface and gets the job done reliably.

    Yamaha NS10 monitors, bought used at a fair price about two years ago. My mixes while still not perfect have translated considerably better since using these.

    Shure SM57, I bought this mic when I was 16 and it still works and still sounds at least decent on everything I have ever pointed it at.

    Boss SD-1, I like this pedal as a boost on most high gain amps Ive tried, it also sounds good as just a basic overdrive sound ontop of the clean channel of amps. I always shoot it out against my other boxes that all cost way more than the $30 this thing ran me and over half the time I like the sound of this pedal best. Im super curious about the WAZA version that was released recently and may splurge on one soon.

    Worst:

    Randall Warhead, bought brand new with money from first job. 17 year old me wanted the tone from Far Beyond Driven and this amp was the biggest most expensive let down ever. It never worked correctly and never sounded particularly close to the tones on that record. Sent it back to Randall like 4 times and it was never fixed properly and I was never treated correctly for all of ass ache this amp caused. Sadly Im weary of Randall products since then, although Im sure the newer Fortin designs probably rip and are reliable. As a side note all of the older Randall stuff RG-100's, preamps, and such that Ive acquired have worked awesome and sound better than they have the right to. I think QC really suffered when the company moved in the mid nineties.
     
  15. minerman

    minerman Member

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    Best:
    Ceriatone Chupacabra 50w head: Great tones from this amp, surprised the fuck out of me to be honest, goes from super lead/plexi to modern sounding high-gain, & everything in between...

    Yamaha DTX400 e-kit: While I'm not a drummer at all, this e-kit has made it so much easier & faster to get my midi tracks more realistic/human sounding...


    Worst:

    Randall ISO Cab: I really wanted to like this thing, & I still use it for late-night playing/recording of di's, but for the life of me I cannot dial out the boxy tone in the lows/low-mids this thing has...I've tried different speakers, mics, amps, everything, & it's always the same...
     
  16. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    Great to see all the love for the Jet City here, awesome amp :)
     
  17. jeid

    jeid Terribad

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    Scotland
    Best
    Marshall JVM - I love this amp. It has a lot of tones for one amp.
    SM7B - I really love how my vocals have sounded since switching to using this mic over a condenser.
    CAPI VP26's - cheap, easy to build and sound amazing.
    Hairball 1176 - same as the CAPI's.

    Worst
    Sennheiser E609/E906 - I just didn't like either of these mics.
    Yamaha HS50's - Not bad, but just wish I'd got the 80's instead of getting the 50's first.
    EMG 81/85 - just not for me at all.
    Various crap power supplies for effects - just buy a good one and you'll not get that horrible hum.
     
  18. lelahel

    lelahel Member

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    Location:
    Algiers, Algeria
    Best:
    mesa dual rect
    RME FF800
    Mesa rect 212cab

    Worst:
    Weber Mass attenuator - this will make your guitar sound like a holy shit
    Krank Rev1 - definitively not the guitar sound that i like
    Zvex Box of MeTAL - a shitty pedal like many on the market
    Radial X-amp - i think that it is the worst of the worst!
     
  19. Punkyskunky

    Punkyskunky Engineer at Brett Brothers Studio

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    Location:
    Turkey
    BEST:

    - Kemper Lunchbox: SO GOOD, no more digital fizz from amp sims, also really practical for Live use. :D

    - Roland TD-30KSE: Such an improvement over my old Yamaha Electronic Kit, registers even the softest hits and never feels like your playing an E-Kit.

    - Apogee Quartet: Love how effortless this interface is to use, my next upgrade will probably be an Apogee too.

    - Fender American Standard Jazz Bass: Absolute workhorse of a bass, used it in tons of different genres and never ceases to amaze me.

    - Chandler TG2-500 series Preamp: Absolutely love the saturation from driving this hard, sounds great on guitars and vox.

    - Shure Sm7B: Great sounding Mic, really handy to have if using an untreated room.

    WORST:

    - Trick Drums Pro 1-V Bigfoot Pedals: I know these pedals are great and I've seen some guys do some INSANE things on them, but I felt like there were too many settings to choose from and I just couldn't get them to feel comfortable for my own playing style.

    - Peavey X-port Audio interface: Absolute garbage... was $40, don't know what I expected. Had better results tracking DI guitar with the cable supplied with the Rocksmith 2014 game :D

    - Mackie DL-1608 Mixer: Although this had a pretty great selection of FX and a nice looking interface, it became seriously tedious trying to change simple parameters with the faffy touch screen. It also only had the option to record the stereo output when they could have easily updated the software for multitrack recording. In short, I'd rather have a bunch of real knobs and faders to play with.
     
  20. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    Can't really say I disliked any gear I've ever bought but there are 2 things that come to mind instantly and those are some cheap Fostex tape recorder like this:

    [​IMG]

    and one of those old Ibanez Tone-Lok "Fuzz" pedals which was absolute garbage.
     

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