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I did a little Mic Pre shootout. Chandler TG2, API 512c, Neve 1073DPA

Discussion in 'Backline' started by Mesa4x12er, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

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    Haha so true man. This time no preamp is cheap, but often there is so small difference that it dosen't matter. People tend to say that expensive is better just so they can justifie their own purchases. People always praises Neve as the NR.1 preamp above all other, but as i hear in this clip as you said, there's nothing that can make or break a guitar sound here.
     
  2. drew_drummer

    drew_drummer Dancefap

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    It'd be interesting if the OP could do the test with some drums. I'm not really convinced by your logic Ermz, and I've listened a bunch of times and cannot really hear a difference between the three. The higher frequencies are masking any overdrive effect the preamp may have - imo.

    My logic is based on waveshaping - when you distort something, it tends to hit the lower frequencies first because of their higher RMS power and the nonlinearities of the waveshaping function. Though it does vary from implementation to implementation.

    It's academic anyway, because all my point is is that I'd like to hear the same test on multiple sources :)
     
  3. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    This isn't an overdrive test though. You're listening to standard mic preamp differences from varying signal path designs with the usual stuff like THD, slew rate and frequency response all playing into the result.

    The fact that so many people even here have trouble hearing differences means this all means relatively little in the end anyway. As long as a preamp is of a sufficient level of quality, the rest is just down to whatever suits. The mp3 test showed us that ultimately all this means very little. When you have people who can't even tell the difference between 192kbps mp3 and wav, the esoteric differences between high end mic pres are hardly going to matter.
     
  4. HandsOfDespair

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    That's how I hear them too.
     
  5. Jarkko Mattheiszen

    Jarkko Mattheiszen The FU guy.

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    This. People often pay way too much attention to things such as preamp flavor before they even have a decent grasp on how a microphone works and how it's used. What I'm saying has nothing to do with this thread, it's just a general observation. For example, one studio I've worked out, the gear I've used on solely the bass drum signal chain (while tracking) is worth more than another studio's whole system, which I've also worked on. I've worked at both places several times, and one of the last things I felt contributed to the overall sound was the preamps and converters.

    In a case like this, the drummer, the drum, the skins, the studio room, the control room, the micing technique and the mic all affect the final sound way more than the flavor of the mic preamp used, as long as we're talking about somewhat decent, clean gear.
     
  6. ratsapprentice

    ratsapprentice God can gtfo

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    On having a second listen the tightness in the low mids of the second two is actually fairly noticeable.
     
  7. Melodeath

    Melodeath Moonbow

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    I'm going to say 2 is the API. Other than that, I don't really care. They are all usable. 1 just sounds bassier
     
  8. AllanD

    AllanD boom tap boom-boom tap

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    2 is boomier, 3 is a little less boomier, 1 is the cleanest.

    No clue as to what preamp each one is, but I like 1 the best.
     
  9. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    my guess:
    1 API
    2 Neve
    3 TG

    IME the API is the brightest of those pre's so I'm a little surprised more folks aren't leaning that way. I reserve the right to be totally wrong of course.
     
  10. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    I'd normally agree, but I also find my API to be super tight in the low end when compared to something with a Neve type response, which clip 1 just isn't doing for me.

    Really curious to see the results. Also still finding it odd that I prefer the chording-part of clip 1 to clip 2, but the rest of clip 2 to clip 1.
     
  11. jipchen

    jipchen ForesterStudio

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    Could you reamp with this chain once more, but with a low-end / mid priced preamp (i.e. your interface's preamp).
    That would be really interesting imho.

    I was about to buy some APIs but this shootout showed me once again that the other 99% of the chain are a hundredfold more important than the preamp (if your standard preamp is decent). And if I want some high quality pre, there's still my Great River.

    PS: 2 and 3 sound the same to me (I'm on headphones), 1 has some nasty high-end.. I'd go with 2 or 3 if I had all of them. No idea what pre that actually is.
     
  12. Straight Shooter

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    I thought 3 best suited the main guitars (tight low end for fast guitar riffs) but it could be a toss up between 2 and 3. Clip 1 seemed to have a looser low end which I also feel worked well for the chording-parts. From my experience sonic differences in preamps is more apparent when dealing with acoustic instruments (drums and vocals etc.) Plus you need some really hi-end monitors/speakers/power amps to hear more detail and the differences however small they might be. My take thru headphones is clip 1-neve 2-TG2 3-API.
     
  13. Fama

    Fama Member

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    It's very easy actually :lol:

    But seriously, I dunno. I've only been really training my ears for maybe a year? Also, headphones and not monitors. I really can't hear a difference.
     
  14. gabriel g.

    gabriel g. Member

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    I only realy got the "magic" of apis with snare and toms.
    If you reach one level of micpre and I am talking about high-end, thats not legendary you are good to go.
    Focusrite Isa, Audients, metric halos and stuff like that will bring you in the same ballpark as a neve or api. They have different flavours but arent any better or worth then the legends.
    Its all name branding IMO.

    And to hear the real difference of preamps try them out on something with short transients.
     
  15. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

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    Post the answers man!! :D
     
  16. barricade

    barricade Giggity Geschmougen

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    +1
     
  17. Mesa4x12er

    Mesa4x12er Member

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    Nice to see so many opinions! :)

    1. Chandler TG2
    2. Neve 1073DPA
    3. API 512c
     
  18. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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  19. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    I'm kind of glad to be wrong b/c I've always liked API's and definitely didn't like the first pre at all. 2 is my favorite but I'm a sucker for the low mid thing that neve's do. Regardless, thanks for doing the test!
     
  20. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

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    API sounded the best then :). I was only listening through cans but it was quite clear that number one sounded worst. Thanks for the test man!!!
     

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