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api 3124+ or sebatron vmp-4000e????

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by jimbo_baby84, Aug 31, 2005.

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  1. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    i'll be using these for drums on varying styles of music, mostly rock and trip-hop. any thoughts? thinking drums only, mind you!

    BROKENBONES Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Home Page:
    i find my sebatron very flexibal for drums. with the -15db pad or -30db pad the sound is clean and tight . sometimes i'll use the air on overheads or 'deep ' on the kick . sometimes lo-cut and air on snares is good too. I've used api preamps on drums they are tight as well but seem to lack the flexibility i get from the seb.
    another trick is to put a full drums mix into the DI and run it through again to tidy up some transient hits.
  3. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2004
    for just over the cost of api you could get the seb4000e and JLM TMP8. now ive not used the TMP8 (though its on my wish list) kurt has said that it sound almost just like the api's only you get 8 pres not 4.
  4. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    Maybe it's just me, but I don't prefer to use the same preamps for overheads, as I do for kick and snare. If you like the 'quick' sound of the API, you may want to look into the Old School Audio preamps. There are 4 different flavors that won't lock you into exactly the same thing (which won't work on everything as well as it potentially could IMO). I recommend the OSA MP1-L3 on kick and snare as they have a more expansive and present midrange, and the OSA MP1-C's for overheads as they are more focused and sound very powerful for that application.

    If you ever wanted to add Purple, BAE, or API they are all compatible in the 500 series system that OSA uses also, so you will have an almost infinite variety of sounds. OSA is also coming out with a versatile VCA compressor that fits into the 500 series format, and Purple Audio is coming out with a compressor soon also that will fit into that format...this means more veratility for the system. I have also been pushing Tim Farrant from Buzz Audio to also put his MA2.2TX into a 500 series compatible format. Realistically it could be available as soon as 3-4 months from now.
  5. Pre Amp

    Pre Amp Guest

    I use an API 3124+ on drums. It's real nice.
  6. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    thanks guys. i thought about the osa stuff but did my sums and realised that as i'm just starting and don't have much to spend and am currently confined to 4 channels, the 3124 works out better in my situation. the vmp4000 would be even cheaper (i live in australia) and have eq, but i havent heard what it sounds like. but i think if it's more flexible but can do a good api impression, it's probably the way to go.
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    As Frob mentioned, the vmp-4000e and a JLM TMP8 would cost about as much as the API. Both JLM and Sebatron are manufactured in Australia (what is it about you Ausies that you make such great mic pres?) so they will cost you even less due to lower shipping and no import duties.

    At the JLM site there are some links to my audio recordings of the JLMs in action on drums. http://www.jlmaudio.com

    I just recorded a punk rock CD for some local kids using primarily the JLMs and the vmp 4000e as well as a THORAX and I was very happy with the sonic results. I have also posted a new updated review of the newest version of the TMP8 here in the RO E Mag ...

    (Dead Link Removed)

    ... and in the new Reviews & Features section found in the Recording Org Site Map in the sidebar to the left. Hopefully it and the audio clips will give you a better idea of what the TMP8 is about.

    In my view, the TMP8 and the Sebatron vmp-4000e represent a best value "bang" for a 12 channel "front end", with which you can track live dates, dial up almost any texture or sonic signature you can dream up while still be able to make the mortgage payments.
  8. davemc

    davemc Guest

    Personally I would take the API's I have 8 channels.
    Although being Australia you will be stuffed unless you buy s/h.
    I got my second API for a bargian for AUD$2k local. First one around AUD$3300 local both second hand. New I think its around AUD$5-6k.

    See if you can get both the JLM and Sebatron to try and see for yourself.
    If your around Melb based give me a call if you want to shoot out the API.
    The couple of plays I had with a Sebatron. Personally they were to colored for me even with the pad in. Then again I did not like the UA 2-610 I had(so I sold it) and I am thinking of selling my Drawmer 1969 soon.

    Point is everyones ears are different.
    You have to try things yourself.
  9. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    The Seb is good stuff from what I can tell but in most cases, I would prefer the 4-ch API over just about any other 4-ch mic pre. Skip that Old School clone and wanabe stuff and get the real thing. API is one of the few pieces of kit that really makes you go WOW when you hear it.
  10. adamcal

    adamcal Guest

    I have 8 channels of VMP4000e and I use them on drums quite a lot.

    one of the desirable aspects of 2" tape for drums is the transient squashing for fatter drum sounds, the sebatrons with the pad out do this, its to a much lesser extent than actual tape but it does it a little bit all the same. its obviously driving the tube

    but if you prefer a faster transient with a cleaner tone then you can put the pads in.

    It also depends on how hot the mic is, like a beta57 outputs a lot more level then a standard 57 for example, this affects the tone or color you get from the sebatrons and the pads in/out situation. An AEA R84 outputs bugger all level, and will need to set with the pads out.

    the bright/air switch is great on hh and cymbals if you have darker mics or dull cymbals to deal with, and I also don't mind it on toms too.

    the low setting I have liked on smaller toms to get them fat sounding as the bigger toms. for me I find it a bit too big for kicks but that's because I'm using specific big kick mics, thinner mics might benefit. Basically anything too thin may benefit from the instant boost the low switch provides.

    and lastly if you are an Australian, you should support the local product, its a world class product and competes with everything mentioned in the thread so far, with the added advantage that it is cheaper and Australian made.

    PS I went wow when I first heard the sebs.
  11. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:

    If you will notice, OSA has 4 different models of preamps: MP1-A aka "The Original", MP1-C aka "The Vintage", MP1-L aka "The Mutant", MP1-L3 aka "The Big Daddy". Last time I checked API had only **1** 500 series model (the current 512 and 312 sound the same). Because OSA has 4 totally different sounding preamps, I think most everyone realizes they aren't a clone of the single 1 type of API preamp.

    API had probably 10 or more variations on their preamp in the last 35 years. To the point where you could find two preamps that sounded significantly different from each other, this I can attest to. It's pretty apparent that API feels their current version of the 500 series pre is the culmination of 35 years of R&D. Which is all good, it has it's own very specific sound characteristics. SO, what are you talking about, what you are saying doesn't make any sense. If you are talking about the MP1-C, it sounds like one particular version (out of many) vintage API pres that were in the console 30+ years ago, very different from any modern API.

    So, go ahead an call it a clone if that makes you feel better, but they are not. If you put any OSA preamp up against a modern API, there will be significant differences. And, yes OSA make people go "Wow" and then some. We've made something that has evolved past the traditional API sound and feature, in a 500 series format, that IS NOT a wannabe situation. That is innovative, and on top of all that, they are more affordable than API with no sacrifice in quality.

    The way I see your comment is pure unconditional brand loyalty. We can appreciate all things for what they are, and I too own API, but I wouldn't bash something else blindly. Frankly, having a 500 series rack full of all the exact same preamp is extremely redundant and unpractical, not to mention boring for the engineer. I couldn't imagine having less than 20 different preamps at my disposal. As always YEMV.
  12. drewtimfan

    drewtimfan Guest

    plain and simple you are not gonna go wrong either way. My sebatron is my workhorse preamp.

    In the big studio we have avalon, ua, joe meek, hardy. All good stuff. At home I use the sebatron. I find myself more and more tracking at home with my sebatron. I record everything with it. I personally love it for drums.

    I don't see what the big debate is over preamps for drums? I think the bigger debate for drums is mic choice not preamp choice. I'd rather buy the sebatron and spend the excess on km184s or another good matched pair. Thats just me.
  13. Clive Banks

    Clive Banks Guest

    when i first read that post I thought wow this guy knows his styuff.
    then i looked up his website and realized he was a dealer!
    and he even sells osa.

    it really is a pity when you see this kind of thng going on.
  14. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    So being the dealer for OSA automatically makes him an ignoramous on the subject asked? C'mon.

    Nathan's answers were accurate without any sales pitch. API has indeed made several versions of pres, just has Neve, whoever...The OSA line is a fine line that I have tapped into not because Nathan says so, but what many other users and my own ears tell me...I've dealt with Nathan directly, and he is a stand up guy that on more than one occassion directed me to products he doesn't sell if they suited my needs better at the time...

    But his being a dealer is irrelavent. Would you be this critical if Massenberg posted a historical perspective of the GML line, or Rupert Neve lowered himself to be just another internet 'expert' on a certain product line?
  15. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:

    You must be the only person in the whole world who doesn't know that Nathan Eldred is synonomous with OSA. You didn't have to go to go all the way to my website to know I was involved in the company, all you have to do was actually read what I said "We've made something that has evolved past the traditional API sound and feature, in a 500 series format, that IS NOT a wannabe situation. " I think that's pretty obvious. Why do you think I care about someone talking about OSA in a negative light? I believed in the product so much that I resurrected the company from the dead. It's existance is because of our belief in the company, if it wasn't for us and our involvment it literally wouldn't be here today. But I didn't start the company, I don't make the gear, it just happened that way. I don't know why this thread has to be turned into a witchhunt about me. What did you post on here that added merit to the subject? What do you know about API or OSA? Can you tell me why how you think what I said wasn't true? I invite you to prove me wrong. Since when is innuendo or implied slander a substitute for cold hard facts ?

    Let me give you a little history lesson. The reason I became a dealer for anything was because I knew enough as a studio owner and engineer that other people in my area were coming to me for advice. So demand of my time for consultation dictated that I fill a need and become a dealer. Otherwise I'd be on the phone 40 hours a week helping 'friends and colleagues' for no pay, by helping them figure out which gear fits the requirements of what they are asking from me. Not everyone has access to a commerical studio with a $17,000 monitoring system and 90% of everything that is made to A/B against each other in a real 'in the trenches' session. And what I can tell you that after 5 years of specializing in consultation and sales for other people, I know a hell of a lot more now than I did back then. You don't get this kind of insight and knowledge overnight, it's been 15 years of engineering and counting.

    You can look up my studio, you can look up my history, you can come talk to me and hear the albums I've been doing for many years. I'm not hiding who I am or trying to pretend I'm not a dealer. Don't blame the world around you or even me personally just because you are not aware of something. MidlandMorgan came on here in my defense because he knows me.

    Things have been this way for many years, and you're going to judge me because it's a surprise to you? Posts like this are the ones that make me want to stop helping people on the forums. You get rid of me, and the small amount of boutique dealers...and you know what's left? The Guitar Marts of "Pro Audio" gear and service, and the 'he said she said' rhetoric that puts one piece over another in a 'flavor of the week' competition. This is all a popularity contest. To many it doesn't matter what the best piece of gear is, all that matters is a name, or that it looks cool. Or worst of all, people are listening to others who, for all we know, could be a 15 year old kid in his bedroom.

    You are putting the backlash of the stereotypical 'bad dealer' on to me. Why is it that your first impression was that what I said had value and that I knew what I was talking about? It's because that's the truth. What I say has merit and value. I'm not trying to inflate my own ego here. I'm not like that (but of course it goes back to the fact that you don't know me). I'm here to try and wipe out some of the marketing BS and hype in the industry, much of which has been propagated by the forums themselves. And then I get accused of creating just that, c'mon. Just because someone gets one or two pro pieces of gear doesn't automatically make them an expert, and now all of the sudden there are a million experts all over the place.

    I give a lot of my personal time to people on the forums and phone to people who I know 100% sure they aren't going to buy anything. I get personal satisfaction out of helping people and knowing that they are furthering themselves and the truth is coming to the light, and they aren't getting swindled. I am filling a void in an industry that so badly needs honest and experienced engineers who are much more than just box pushing sales guys. But you don't see it that way, you see me as a 2nd class citizen because I'm a 'dealer'...what you are doing is pretty much synonomous with bigotry on your part. Because you are stereotyping me with whatever bad idea of a dealer you have. You're wrong, don't judge a book by it's cover.
  16. Whoa, Nathan!

    First of all, I had already decided to post a response to Clive's statement. IBut what I wanted to say had already been said more or less by Midlandmorgan, so I decided not to add my two cents.

    But now I have to.

    1. Clive: Someone's being a dealer does not *always* mean he's trying to sell you something. As you said in your last post, you're a dealer in the first place because you're *knowledgable* about gear. There's a difference between you and, say...some long-haired metal-headed 20 year old pimple-miester at Guitar Center.

    (DISCLAIMER: If you have long hair, are a metal-head, are 20 years old, or have pimples, that wasn't a knock against you. Certainly you *know* about the Guitar Center burnouts I'm talking about)


    2. Nathan: No matter what your definition of bigotry is, I hardly think it applies here. You have a right to have had your feelings hurt, but for someone to make an (improper, in this case) assumption that a dealer is putting in his opinion simply to sell someone something is not entirely unjustified.

    Yes, most of us know that is not the case with you. Yes, Clive could have just looked at other posts of yours to realize that you're not one of *those* dealers...

    ...but bringing "bigotry" into it lessens its validty to those who have *actually* been victims of it.
  17. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    Of course, there are many people who have been victimized through ignorance and malice. My case is nothing compared to that, my point is that there is a seed here, which I have seen the fruits of. I have been threatened (with physical violence), slandered, and insulted more than once because of the fact, and only because of the fact that I am a dealer or issues involving my job as a dealer. It's beyond just stereotyping someone.

    The definition of a bigot: "One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ."

    The "two groups" here being two segments of the population, the "us" against "them"....that being the "consumer" and the "retailer".

    Although this isn't convential it isn't about race religion or politics, coming down on someone for their job description applies. And for lack of a better word I can't come up with another word to aptly describe it.

    If someone said "I thought your ideas were great until I found out you were a ___________"

    Fill in the blank with whatever group you want, the concept is still bigotry. You may see it differently, although I do believe that the definition covers this. BUT People need to be given the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise, and I think my track record speaks for itself as you said. Sometimes some of the statements on the forums are so insulting or off the wall, I feel the need to refute their false claims.
  18. Nathan,

    You have every right to tell Clive to go to hell, that he doesn't know you, and that he has no idea what he's talking about. That's fine.


    1. By your definition (a very rigid definition), bigotry is anyone who dislikes anyone else for any reason (ie: I won't date her because I don't happen to like redheads, or I don't like people who smell therefore I'm bigoted against hippies). In my opinion, "bigotry" is such a powerful word with a *very* powerful connotation that it's good to use it only when it's absolutely applicable. Again, just my opinion.

    2. I honestly believe that Clive wasn't being bigoted against you as someone who sells pro gear. He *incorrectly* assumed that since you sell gear, you're trying to connive him. That's not bigotry, that's just being a jerk.

    Although I readily admit that I could be wrong... :D
  19. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Thank Gawd we have pro-audio dealers. Really! My records would not sound nearly as good if I didnt have a great working relationship with Pro-Audio Dealers.

    There are hacks and shills in any business. It doesnt take long for their true natures to come out and be evident to anyone who is paying even a modicum of attention to it.

    On this forum and several others, Nathan has never been 'one of those'... I dont know him from Adam, Judas, or any of the prophets, but I do read his posts. I look at his studio site. I get a sense of where he's coming from. I have some experience with high-end gear. When I read about his impressions of things I have heard, I know hes not about the sale, but about the sound.

    Audio is an unusually infinate thing. By this I mean it can be all things to all people. And the method of defining its parameters is a very taxing one at best. How do you accurately describe a sound? Hearing is completely subjective. Being 'there' and mutually experiencing a sound will still illicit a different response from different people.

    I have never seen a post where Nathan has encouraged someone to buy something from him . Never. As a Mod here at R.O. it would be a problem if he did and things would have to change from this. As I stated before, on ANY forum or BB I have never seen him do this.

    So as a consumer, I want to hear opinions from those who have experienced these pieces of kit in person. From someone who has a knowledge of the historical aspects of a company I'm about to spend some of the kids' college fund on. And if that person happens to also be a Pro Audio Dealer, its so much better. It certainly doesnt mean I'm going to buy squat from any particular dealer, but its good to hear opinion from folks who I know for SURE are spending time with these pieces in a working situation.

    So whats the grief? Find the problem with this situation and complain about it to R.O. if there is a problem. But until there is a problem....and spamming ones wares within the confines of the Q and A forums is a problem...until this happens, feel free to enjoy lucid and helpful posts by those who have daily access to your equipment dreams and leave personal qualms and supposition out of it. It makes for a much cleaner and less noisy forum.

    and you might learn something.
  20. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    What you are referring to regarding the definition is the issue of connotation vs. denotation. The connotation regarding the word bigotry is very strong; the connotation is the set of associations implied by the word in addition to it's literal meaning, yet the denotation is the most specific or literal meaning which is usually more simple. But at this point we're agreed, with a difference in semantics.
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