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Discussion in 'Recording' started by prsnut, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. prsnut

    prsnut Active Member

    My current setup is very simple. 2 SM57 micing guitar cab into Saffire Pro 40 Interface into Logic 8.

    I am considering purchasing a Benchmark MPA1 or a Grace M201 dual channel preamp. These will be powering either the 2 SM57 when playing electric or a stereo pair of Neumann KM 184 when tracking acoustic. My question/concern is this. Both preamps are analog pieces of equipment. If I run the out of the preamp into the in of the interface, does the interface merely become an AD converter or will the sound still be colored by the interfaces preamps or will my interface simply turn into an AD/DA converter?

    Thank you in advance for your comments

  2. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    You want to know if the Saffire has "true bypass" on its inserts (edit: Line-Ins). This I can't say for sure.
    If it doesn't truly bypass the preamp, keep this in mind:
    most multi-channel interfaces (Focusrite included) are pretty damn neutral and don't have much, if any coloration.
    My ISA 428 is my highest quality preamp(s), but also my clean choice.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Like most other gear in this price range, the TRS line inputs on the Saffire Pro 40 are attenuated and then routed through the pre-amps. So, yes, you will get a convolution of the colours of the new pre-amp with those of the Saffire. Whether the resulting sound is to your satisfaction, only you can decide. Bear in mind that it may be an acceptable intermediate step on the way to replacing the Pro 40 with a higher-quality converter or interface sometime in the future.

    In order to retain the Saffire Pro 40 and have it not change the sound on the way through, you would have to go up to a pre-amp that has built-in converters and an ADAT or S/PDIF output. The high-end gear here are units like the API A2D or Neve 1073 DPD, but get back to us if you feel you would like to investigate this route further, and we can make more suggestions.
  4. prsnut

    prsnut Active Member

    Thanks for the input soap and bos. What both of you say makes complete sense. Guess I need to do some more research. If I decide to go the route you mention Boswell, I will definitely drop a line and ask for input.

  5. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    If you were using an SM7B I might say get a preamp.
    But for a couple of SM57's the Saffire 2 mic pre's are fine,
    You'll get a really good sound directly into the interface that way!
    Save your money!

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