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Earthworks mics and preamp

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by John Stafford, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Hi all,
    I'm curious about these mics. I don't think I've ever seen one mentioned here regarding a mic strategy. As a previous inhabitant of the outside world, I was initially surprised not to see them mentioned more often -although I had since forgotten that they existed -I really should get out more often! I'm especially curious about the preamp.

    Thanks
    John
     
  2. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    By far some of my favorite gear. I think the Earthworks mic pre's are the sleeper of the decade. They have the best wire-to-tape (errr.. hardrive) sound around. Anything tracked properly with them ,shoots out of the mix in a good way.

    For the Earthwork mics. thier omni's, assuming you have nice acoustics, are as real as it gets.

    The thing about using the eErthworks mics with the pre's is, if you like the sound of your source, you're gonna love the sound of the recording. But, if somethings wrong with the source, you'll be the first to know about it.

    Very little sugar with Earthworks. Hi in protein though.

    Chris
     
  3. hughesmr

    hughesmr Guest

    Hi all,

    I concur completely. I've worked extensively with Earthworks QTC1's and the LAB102 preamp for about 4 years now. They are about as transparent as I've ever heard, and if you are recording a complex source such as pipe organ (as I often do), they are hard to top.

    I haven't tried the QTC1s through other preamps, but would be interested to hear the resulting differences.

    Mike
     
  4. hughesmr

    hughesmr Guest

    Hi all,

    I concur completely. I've worked extensively with Earthworks QTC1's and the LAB102 preamp for about 4 years now. They are about as transparent as I've ever heard, and if you are recording a complex source such as pipe organ (as I often do), they are hard to top.

    I haven't tried the QTC1s through other preamps, but would be interested to hear the resulting differences.

    Mike
     
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey John,

    I'm gonna go against the grain here and say, in general, I don't like Earthworks stuff. I think their preamps are severely over-priced. You can get Grace or Millennia for the same $$ and get better gear. Their mics are relatively noisy until you get to the QTC, and in my very humble opinion, they seem to favor the high register - they simply don't have the low end accuracy and impact that Schoeps do. (Of course, they are about 1/2 the price of Schoeps, but I think there are better values to be found elsewhere.)

    Are you looking at omni's or cardioids in the Earthworks line?

    J...
     
  6. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I've always wondered about the Earthworks, as well. Still haven't had a chance to try 'em out. I figured I'd try out the hi-end ones someday, when my budget could cover it. (I've had the B&k's for so long, I just never thought much about anything else.)

    There's a guy near me who sells 'em and that's all he uses when he records. I've heard a few of his CDs, and they're not bad at all.

    From what I"ve been reading here, though, I'm planning on getting a pair of Schoeps first and then perhaps even a few Oktava's, just for the fun of it. My other wish-list mics include the Studio projects Stereo mic (one BIG-ass mic!) and another AT or two.
     
  7. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    From what I have heard, I agree that the Earthworks mics are dissappointing. When compared to great omnis like DPA, Schoeps, and Neumann, they don't measure up, and they are noisy, which is unnacceptable in this day and age.
     
  8. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I don't know first hand, but I believe there are three versions/levels of these mics, the most expensive being the most quiet, (of course!)

    I've heard some CDs done with them - one in particular was a single-point, stereo pair, no other mics used. Aside from the limitations that can occur with just too many musicians & singers doing too many things all at once to make that kind of a recording realy work, the detail and focus was very very good. I've heard them at AES in NYC in a private room (not out on the show floor) and I was almost going to get a pair to try out. The only holdback for me is that the best of them - the top of the line models, dunno the model #- are almost as much (or equal to?) a pair of DPA 4006's anyway.... [[[[[shrug]]]]]]

    At that point, I'd rather spring for a new pair of DPA's. Still, if they work for you....go for it, I say.
     
  9. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I don't know first hand, but I believe there are three versions/levels of these mics, the most expensive being the most quiet, (of course!)

    I've heard some CDs done with them - one in particular was a single-point, stereo pair, no other mics used. Aside from the limitations that can occur with just too many musicians & singers doing too many things all at once to make that kind of a recording realy work, the detail and focus was very very good. I've heard them at AES in NYC in a private room (not out on the show floor) and I was almost going to get a pair to try out. The only holdback for me is that the best of them - the top of the line models, dunno the model #- are almost as much (or equal to?) a pair of DPA 4006's anyway.... [[[[[shrug]]]]]]

    At that point, I'd rather spring for a new pair of DPA's. Still, if they work for you....go for it, I say.
     
  10. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    So it looks like we are split down the middle.

    A true democracy.

    I have a pair of B&K 4006's and Earthworks QTC-1's. They both have thier respective places in the studio.

    I prefer the B&K's on grand piano but the EW's work better on acoustic guitar and upright bass, at least for me they do.

    My .02

    Chris
     
  11. ptr

    ptr Active Member

    I'm not sure if I belong in the pro or con camp, anyway a pair of original QTC's where my first serious pro-audio purchase. Used them a lot on Harpsichord and Clavicord with very good results but when my work rooster turned mor towards pipe organ and grand pianos I ultimatly sold the pair in because of the way to slender bottom end mentioned here by others.

    As for using them with other pre's then the E-works own, I'd say that I noticed no problems what so ever using them with either the DACS Clarity MicAmp or the D.A.V Broadhurst Gardens No 1 that I have in my bag of equipment. Originally when I bought the QTC's I was lent a EW LAB102 as well as the DACS unit, settling for the latter because it is a tinzy winzy bit more musical and sligtly better built. I could easily have lived with any of, but the fact that the DACS was purple with red knob ends was quite a turn on for me. :wink:

    /ptr
     
  12. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    ptr wrote:

    <<could easily have lived with any of, but the fact that the DACS was purple with red knob ends was quite a turn on for me. >>

    AHA!!! The truth comes out. Finally, someone is REALLY 'fessing up to why we each like certain things over others.

    And as for that "work rooster" you mention; we're not allowed to have them here in the states; PETA would be all over us for animal cruelty..... :twisted: (sorry, couldn't resist.)
     
  13. Sonarerec

    Sonarerec Guest

    For me the Earthworks are noisey and bright. Price-wise one should first compare them to DPA4061s without the gtids-- you might be VERY surpirsed. And then save some $$.

    Rich
     
  14. Crane

    Crane Guest

    I have the Eartworks SROs and record pipe organ and childrens choir with these and have had nothing but great results. I have never noticed alot of noise with these. They do pick up everything around them and that can be an issue but fo far for me it hasn't been. I have used these now for about four years and for me want use anything else.
     
  15. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Wow, what a response! It's nice to see such differing opinions without the customary bitch-fights elsewhere on the site!

    We wouldn't have it any other way :wink:

    I'm really just curious. I'll probably get Audix TR-40s first of all, because I'm interested in very small diaphragms, but Schoeps and Sennheiser won't get out of my head, so I suppose I'll have to buy them -hey it's cheaper than psychiatry!!!

    ptr
    I'm VERY curious about the D.A.V. BG1. How does it compare with the other transparent preamps? I've heard so many wonderful things about it, and as I can get it from the factory in the United Kingdom I won't be so paranoid about the cost of having to send it back after I blow it up -I get a lot of gear from the United States. I've heard it's great for rock vocals as well.

    Cheers everyone!
    John
     
  16. ptr

    ptr Active Member

    I love it, ever more so then the DACS unit, I have had very little to compare it with besides the DACS. To my humble ears its neutral with auth the sometimes chily analytical sound of the Millennia HV 3 I sometimes have as a loaner, its warm sounding with out the quirks of an overheated Crockwood paint bucket I once used. I'm also saying this being a Neumann user, the the BG1 partners the KM 130 and Tlm 50 I have as my main set up perfectly. I have never had any problem with the unit I have so I have not thought much about having to ship it back to the UK, but then, cross my fingers, I'm one of those that very seldom have problem with my gear.. :D

    D.A.V. electroinics is owned by an ex Decca staff and I've heard that many ex Decca engineers use their stuff. Thats esentially why I tryed the BG 1, beeing a sucker for that ole' Decca sound..

    As for vocals, I do very little rock'n'roll, but I used it on a folksy type solo voice (I meen "solo" as in unaccompanied) wich turned out wonderful, I've also used it on piano, strings and organ with great success!

    I'd say its well worth any serious RE's attention!

    /ptr
     
  17. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    That sounds like a great recommendation! I've heard nothing but good stuff about it.

    That whole Decca thing is intriguing. A rather endearing thing about the company is that when I e-mailed them for a price, the reply came from Mick Hinton, the DAV creator. I think they're a little surprised by how quickly their gear has taken off.

    BTW how do you find your TLM-50 sounds compared with your KM 130? Just curious as the TLM-50 is WAY out of my budget, but I'm hoping some client insists on hiring one for me at some stage!

    I'd imagine this is the best time to buy a BG1, as they're reportedly going to significantly ramp up their production as they've signed some huge distribution deal.

    Thanks
    John
     
  18. ptr

    ptr Active Member

    I bought mine second hand from a guy who upscaled to M150's, pay'd abut £3000, wich was abut half of what a new pair would have costed on the local inflated market.

    The main diffrences is that the KM130 has a little more low end, like it digs deeper, whilst the TLM 50 this superb resolution of transients that gives a great lustre on strings and grand piano. The resolution of mid and trebble transients is something that "largely" go amiss with the KM 130. I did a few sessions with solo percussion and the way they pick up a "Grand Cassa" is just like having someone whack you in the face with a cricket bat!! :? :D

    /ptr
     

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