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Number 5 Needs Input

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Josh Conley, May 17, 2014.

  1. Josh Conley

    Josh Conley Active Member

    been having a blast recording my buddies band, i need more preamp-age.
    i went to vintage king to see what they had in the 2000$ range... there are so many!

    what i have:
    -the 2 pres on my audio interface, which i refuse to use on anything outside of tracking ideas.
    -2 gyratec g9 channels (made by me)

    in the works:
    -2 channels of great river mp2 clone. its wired, but giving funny voltages, so i cant rely on this for awhile, but will sit in my rack eventually.

    what i want:
    -two to four channels i can use for drums with my 57's or beta 52 so i dont think i need alot of gain here.

    the vintec dual 72 seems like it could be a winner?
  2. Josh Conley

    Josh Conley Active Member


    anyone use one of these yet?
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Is the Vintech Dual 72 still available? If you are looking for alternatives, don't rule out the Focusrite ISA pre-amps - they are surprising for the money. OK, so you don't need a lot of gain, but what you do need for drum tracking is good headroom. What converters are you feeding these pre-amps into?

    If you took your problems with the Great River clone over to the DIY Pro Audio forum, we could discuss it there and see if we can get you further forward with it.
  4. Josh Conley

    Josh Conley Active Member

    echo audiofire 8 is my interface. converters sound just as good as the motu 828 i switched from. motu did not get along with my ua cards at the time :) it was a difficult process indeed fraught with unknowns.

    i plan to post in the thread over at prodigypro as soon as i go pick it up from my buddy up the road who helped me hook up the output trannys and some other misc power items i wasnt understanding symbols on. when he went to set r46 for a near zero mv drift, it wouldnt settle, it kept... drifting, lol. once i have it ill see you over there ;) maybe ill get lucky and dan will just have me send it to him like that feller who full on mauled his board unsoldering backward transistors. lol ive been dickering with that thing since we first setup the group buy back in 07' lol
    im gonna sell my 1073 pcbs and edge connectors to help fund this purchase.

    i wouldnt rule out the isas of course. ive heard good things about them over the years.
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    For four channels with tranformered outputs, variable HPF's , clean with some attitude sound and tons of clear gain ...for the money the ISA 428 cannot be beat. I use mine on a huge variety of inputs and it never fails to deliver quality tracks. I have several other choices and the ISA gets used on every session. They are very musical. The Vintech is a nice unit and tends towards the Neve sound.
  6. Josh Conley

    Josh Conley Active Member

    I saw a 428 on ebay last week for 750, dunno what it sold for though. That could work out.
    I have it in my head that there is an older and a newer version of this preamp. Any concerns there?
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The older version is subject to making more heat during operation. Both run warm and need a bit of space top and bottom. I have the MkII and haven't had even a small peep of trouble. It sounds very very good. I use it for everything. As a drum overhead pre its superb.
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    That's interesting about the isa. I've only heard it one when the Isa solo came out, and the recording was well done at guitar center w a 57.

    The 828 is on my hitlist for drums, as there are very few 8ch pres out there. I have heard criticisms of the isa pres as being kinda plain, or nothing special. So I'm really wondering if the eq and compression on the Isa stuff kinda gave it it's character more than the actual pre amp unit itself.

    Currently of the two places I work, one is very limited OB gear wise and one has a lot of very expensive toys, mainly in the preamp/mic department. So the 828 would replace an octopus which is the main pre for kicks and snares, w a Manley for the OHs. At about 2 grand it's very relatively affordable, but I'm wondering if the improvement would be quite significant, and in what way. Or if it's a wiser move to grab some 500 series stuff. But that gets expensive pretty quickly. As far as my tastes go I like character, and my favorite pre amp I've used is a called p18 which is basically a neve.

    So I'm really wondering where the I place to start is, my mind tells me start w the pre then get some eqs and compressors, so I start w something better. But I also wonder if the Octopre would be "good enough" w some eqs and compressors making a bigger subjective difference in quality. My overall opinion on the drums sound is good, but kinda plain. I get some clear and clean recordings, but that's not really what I am shooting for, I do a lot of rock and metAl so I'm more interested in edgy thickness and weight. Basically full, and rich, even if it's at the expense of clarity, which drummagog does well.

    But the isa series seems to be all around a decent compromise, I just wonder if it is a compromise. At this point in my carreer I have no real need to own more stuff, to be able to do the job, so it's all pet pieces, and things that I just like, which usually means expensive.

    I've also been thinking maybe. 4ch neve/API. But the focusrite stuff is about half the price per channel. Dave anything more you can offer about yr experince w them would be welcomed.

    My first step is to get a better setup for drums, w more OB eqs and compressors, which is a combo of the Octopre, and some eurekas, and Manley. Then after that, is a mix console, which I'm really liking the price put of an amek. So I'm gonna be ITB a few more years. I'm very curious as to how they sound compared to the toft console pres, as there is a trident 24 series at the other plAce, which is basically like a transformers 80 series as far as I know.
  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Lets see if I can describe the ISA and its sound. Its a lot more soundscape than the octopre......the variable filter is your friend in any recording situation....I like the stepped main out combined the the variable output, it means you can get the pre opened up and back off the gain to the recorder to keep the levels manageable......the four 'impedance selections are an interesting feature, especially with dynamic mics....Its a great DI...I would put the overall sound at the modern side of classic......One thing, it never pinches your source. What I mean is, it doesn't detract and what it adds is noticable just not dramatic. I use it a lot on acoustic instruments and on occasion drum overheads. The last sessions, it was two channels of electronic piano and two channels overheads with Audix SCX-25's.

    When I was planning my last upgrade, which included the Toft, my thinking was towards an API 3124 to go with the ISA 428 I already had as a dedicated drum setup for eight channels. But the EQ on the Toft sold me and it is now the drum 8 with anything else I might need for a kit (I typically take 12 channels in here) in the rack. I'm using a Phoenix Audio DRS-Q4 for overhead duties too. Its EQ is quite good, Phoenix's take on an inductor style Q...I can really dial in the kit with this piece. They make an 8 channel at a reasonable price. Something to think about.
    kmetal likes this.
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    "I have heard criticisms of the isa pres as being kinda plain, or nothing special."

    I've had some experience with the ISA Series... Recenly, at a client's project studio, I had a chance to use the ISA One FF, - that's the model that looks like a cross between a lunch box and a Geiger counter LOL - and while I wouldn't go as far as to call it "plain" sounding, I don't think that any of the Focusrite Pre's - or at least any that I have used, sound at all bad - but they aren't gonna really give you the coloration that the other higher end preamps you've had experience with will, Dave.

    If you are used to the sonic signatures of models like Manleys's or Avalon's, then yeah, I could see where you could describe the Focusrite as being "plain", but that's in comparison to some very nice gear that also costs quite a bit more. I guess it's all relative and in context to what else you have, and have used, and what you can afford.

    There are some who claim that these days, "all pre amps pretty much sound the same", from the budget M-Boxes and Behrringers, to the mid level Focusites, to the Apogees and up into the land of the boutique, with models by Manley, API and Neve, and that they are all pretty much the same, that it's all simply about getting signal from point A to point B.

    I couldn't disagree more. I think that those who claim that, haven't had a chance to use the nicer models, or, can't hear the difference because they don't have the ears, or, they don't know what they are doing with them to begin with. Pre-amps can be colored or transparent, depending on what you prefer. But, I've found that the cheap ones are generally not only be noisy and lack gain, but also have a nasty, brittle edginess to them, particularly when pushed.... as opposed to the warmth, richness and silk that a nicer model has, and that tends to get even nicer sounding the more you push it.

    My opinion is that many equate the "look" of some Focusrite models to the "sound", and are disappointed when the model they are using - like the Geiger Counter - looking ISA One, doesn't sound like it "looks" like it should sound. They look at that model and think "vintage" - and their brain and past experience equates that to a certain expectation of sound, and when they find that they are pretty transparent, they get a little disappointed... LOL "It doesn't look like it should be transparent!"

    I have found all the Focusrite pre's I've used to be very clean, good sounding and reliable...although, as you mentioned, no real in-your-face sonic signature. But, still, they make a very nice pre all the same. I've worked with many different Focusrite models over the years and have found that they all sound very good, they are all built well .... and most importantly, consistently so.
    Put it this way... To my knowledge and personal experience using them, Focusrite has never had a period where they suffered from low quality... like Harley Davidson did in the 70's with their AMF Series. ;)

    Focusrite is probably my number one recommendation to those who are seeking an upgrade in their preamp I/O, but who can't spend the money that the higher end models command. For the money, I don't think they can be beat.

    IMHO of course. ;)

  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I checked out those phenix pres Dave has, a couple weeks ago on sound pure. mmmm me likey! Not cheap, but in the direction I'm looking to go, and a serious consideration when the time comes. As far as focusrite goes, that octo pre has been quiet, reliable, and has plenty of headroom, it smokes the presonus digimax.
  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I like Presonus but it is too smooth sounding with their, supposedly Class A preamps. They don't have much edge to them. They're not exciting sounding. No Zippy? No liky.

    But then all of those modern day, technologically improved, Rupert Neve designed stuff, today, I think also lacks that Zippy quality sound they were known for, in the earlier products? I remember when engineers would discuss who had the more aggressive zippy sound? API or Neve? Because that's all we wanted to know about. We didn't give a damn about any other brands, back in the day.

    People frequently ruin things with improvements. I mean rarely does a change in the grill of your car last year to the new grill design this year have anything to do with the cars improved performance? It usually doesn't. It's usually BS. It's wrapping paper. With a fake rubber dog $*^t, in a nice little box.

    I like real dog $*^t in a nice little box. It smells more real that way. I think they make a spray, for that, for your car?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
    kmetal likes this.
  13. Josh Conley

    Josh Conley Active Member

    va-poo-rize is what youre looking for ;)

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