GT Brick

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by John Stafford, May 31, 2005.

  1. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Hi all,
    I find everything I've been hearing about this preamp over on Pro Audio very interesting. I'd love to know what is thought of it on this part of the site. It's so ridiculously cheap.

  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I've heard it used on a few things only - mainly rock vocals, acoustic guitar and as a DI. In all things, it excelled. For the price, I find it very hard to beat.

  3. foldedpath

    foldedpath Guest

    I've had a Brick for about six months now. I don't know a lot about preamps... haven't heard all the classics, but I've heard a few, and my main preamp is a Great River MP-2NV as a quality reference. So with that disclaimer...

    I think it's a great little preamp and DI. I actually bought it more as a DI, since it has a higher input impedance than their earlier Ditto DI design, and I have some guitars with passive pickups that like to see a really high impedance. For just a little more money over the cost of the Ditto, I figured it wouldn't hurt to have the extra gain and mic preamp feature.

    It's quiet and clean-sounding. Not completely transparent, but definitely not trying too hard for a "toob sound." It will thicken up if you push the input hard enough and use high gain, but at normal mic or DI levels it's just a nice clean sound. It's also built like a tank, and heavy (big transformer inside). It can easily handle normal stage abuse and transport.

    Not too many downsides, considering the price. It only does 55db gain, so it's a bit weak for ribbon mics unless the source is pretty loud. There is only one gain knob and no output trim, so it's less flexible than preamps like the Pendulum MP-1 or GR MP-2NV that include additional gain stages for setting how much "drive" you want. I don't like the way the power switch is on the back, but that's a minor complaint.

    It's probably a good platform for fooling around with NOS tube mods (I haven't gotten around to that yet). Anyway, try one. It's hard to go wrong at this price.

    Mike Barrs
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    We have been talking a lot about The Brick in the other forums here at RO ... do a search .. there's pages of stuff.

    I have a couple here they sent to me to review... Keep an eye out for that. My first impressions are favorable.

    :?: BTW ... my impression is The Brick is very chunky and colored sounding and not what I would think you folks here in the Acoustic Music forum would like. The Sebatron pres are much more neutral sounding, even when pushed hard.
  5. foldedpath

    foldedpath Guest

    Regarding chunky and colored vs. transparent... I record mostly acoustic music, but it's more folk and blues oriented, not orchestral. So maybe this fits better with what I'm doing. I prefer the MP-2NV to the original Great River for similar reasons.

    Mike Barrs
  6. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    My complaint: No pad! :evil:
    But I got one of those Shure in-line pads now so it's all good with the snaring.
    You know how some people say you don't really need a variety of preamps to record good sound, just several channels of a really good preamp? I kind of think you could record an album using only Brick preamps and still turn out a great result as long as everything else is in place.

    Chunky is a pretty good word. Kind of brings things to the front with the chunkiness, which may or may not be ideal for more subdued music. But I ain't mad at it! :D
  7. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    I'm sure there are many on this forum who in moments of weakness can't resist the sinful lure of the tube. And as for transformers.... I think it's time for a cold shower :wink:

    BTW Kurt, I'm looking forward to the review.

  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I don't usually post here because it's a bit out of my area of expertise as a producer of pop recordings. But I did want to say something in regards to The Brick. So now that I'm here I will say this also ...

    I have heard a lot of very good acoustic recordings made in the 40's 50's with tube pres and mics ... stuff like the Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks recordings and IMO they sound much better that those made with more "transparent" gear these days.

    The drive towards transparent began back then ... but I suspect that if those old timers had heard where it was all going to end up, they would have said, "Ohhhh, .... never mind".

    You guys really owe it to yourselves to at least isten or use some Sebatron pres ... I think you'd really love them.
  9. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    File in the FWIW dept.

    I would second the notion on the Seb pres. I can't comment on the Brick, but I too have been reading good things. I use the Seb on orchestral stuff in a bad room and it really helped. I used it in a church on choirs and orchestra and was extremely pleased. I used 2 414s in omni and it was the best recreation of the room I've been able to achieve.

    My disclaimer, I'm not a pro engineer, but I have a trained ears as a choral director and trained singer, director and musician. Although I direct high school, to at least give my opinion some credence, my groups have performed with the Milwaukee Symphony under Lukas Foss and Zdeneck Macal, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and just returned from a performance in Lincoln Center with some of the top high school groups from all over the country. My program doesn't do schlock.

    If I had to put the sebs sound into words, its kind of like being able to accomplish some of the classic Philadelphia stuff without reorchestration. So,... not the best if you're a purist, but.... you can get a great sound with a little color or more if you so choose.
  10. bap

    bap Member

    John, you might be interested in the DAV BG1 if you don't need DI's. It's probably all been mentioned here before, but I love mine. Clean but still a big flattering sound.

    That being said, I wouldn't mind having a Sebatron...... you know, as in Johann 'Sebatron' Bach!
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

  12. foldedpath

    foldedpath Guest

    That Sebatron looks very interesting. On the sliding scale of quality between low and high end, how does it compare to tube preamps like the Pendulum MDP-1, Forssell Fetcode, and DW Fearn? I suppose I should throw a Manley in there, but I don't know the Manley line very well. Does the Sebatron do the "transparent and detailed but also euphonic" thing as well as gear in this range, or almost as well?

    I don't know if that's a fair question or not, considing the very reasonable pricing... but I thought I'd ask anyway. :)

    Mike Barrs
  13. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Hi Bap
    Thanks for the recommendation. I have one on my future acquisitions list! This is one of those products that nobody says anything bad about. I would love a Sebatron (especially as it is reported to work very well with a couple of the mics that I have), although at the moment, portability is the most important consideration -another reason to look at the DAV.

  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I haven't had the pleasure of hearing the ones you mentioned, but in comparison to my Millennia ORIGIN ... in either the solid state or tube modes, with or without the transformer kicked in, the answer is an unequivocal yes!

    Keeping in mind that ~Sebatron~ has a "30 day, no questions asked return policy", I don't see how it would hurt to try it! I don't think anyone has ever returned one though.

    BTW ... the last thing ~Sebatron~ sent to me, the THORAX, arrived within one week of the shipping date. I had the same expierence with the new version of the JLM TMP8 that Joe Malone just sent for review ... It shipped last Friday and arrived today (Weds)!

    I guess both companies have figured out how to get their stuff to clear customs faster .... thanks guys! :cool:
  15. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Regarding valves and such, I'm listening to one of my favourite recordings that was made the year my parents got married! It was recorded using a Decca Tree using Neumann M50s and the sound is downright amazing. There's a plate reverb used as a sort of special effect. Funny thing is that these recordings are cheaper than the more recent and often inferior sounding modern versions.

    I'd love to try the M-150, but of course it's a very different mic.

    I'd like a Sebatron just for my U87 and AT4047, but I'm sure that it would have many other uses. I think I'd end up with the most lush settings I could get away with on every source. If it worked in 1962, I think the good old tube will always have a place in the acoustic recording world. That's not to say I wouldn't kill for a GML :wink:


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