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random pre-amp questions

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by jimbo_baby84, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    hi guys, i have a few totally unrelated pre-amp questions:

    1. does anyone know a good website/document/old post where can i read up about the differences between the sounds of the various neve pre's, eg. 1073 vs 1081, v72 vs v72a vs v672 etc etc. are the v72's anything like a 1073 (minus the eq, obviously)

    2. how does the groove tubes vipre fit into the food chain as far as tube pre's go? i'm in the market for a tube pre that excels particularly on male and female vocals, and while versatility is a good thing, i'm not really looking for a jack of all trades, i'd much rather something that just absolutely nails a sound. would i be better off with a dw fearn or a redd 47 reissue...or something else i may not have heard of?

    3. i pretty much had my heart set on an api 3124+, until i read that it has "dodgy gain staging", with the pad located before the input transformer, meaning whenever it's in, the sound is dulled considerably. as it was going to be my drum pre, the pad is certainly going to be used, so i'm wondering if any 3124+ users can comment on whether what i've read is true, and if there's a way around it.

    any help here would be grrrrrreat!

    thanks!
     
  2. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    not sure if this link helps re Neve

    but ,,,

    http://www.marquetteaudiolabs.com/telefunk.html

    SI
     
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I own a couple of API 512 mic pre's, and I have had only wonderful results with them, mainly on drums. I don't know how they get the rep for "dodgey gain staging". Maybe the "H-pad" circuit ahead of the tranny causes the mic connected to it to react to it differently.I never have had an issue with that (mainly SM57, 421,D112, and RE20). As I'm sure you are aware, that pad circuit is placed ahead of the can to prevent it from being saturated, especially with low-freq material. I think that you owe it to yourself to at least try the API's out on drums. If you are in the States, there are dealers who will give you a trial period to do that. I have a friend in Atlanta with a "lunchbox" of API pre's and EQ's, and they are awesome on the skins!
    You mentioned the DW Fearn and REDD stuff. How about a Millennia Media STT-1? It gives you pretty much any combination of tube/SS,active/iron combination you can think of, with all of the processing firepower you are likely to ever need. Same price range. Very cool.
     
  4. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    thanks for the replies. i was considering the STT-1, but i've heard some people say it lacks character, and doesn't actually sound that different between the various operating modes. i guess i'm leaning towards the api and building up from there with a gordon model 5 and a nice tube pre...hopefully stereo...dunno which though. but that should cover me for some very different tones. i'll be using it with a pair of DPA 4000 series, the usual dynamic suspects and maybe an AEA R88. still having a hell of a time picking a LDC tho. guess i'll go to a well equipt studio and try out a few with my girlfrind singing (as my 1st priority at the moment is her album)
     
  5. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member


    You may want to take a gander at http://www.oldschoolaudio.com

    They've taken the basic 70's API design to a new level of evolution, and have changed it around into something far more flexible and different in many aspects. There are 4 models to pick from, some sound more appropriate on guitars, some sound better on overheads, etc, etc. Regarding specifically your question, OSA has added a 10 db variable output pad/attenuator to address this very problem. That way you can keep the input open (for mainly tonal reasons) and bring the output down to a more reasonable level.
     
  6. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    they look good. can you offer a less "web site marketing" evaluation on how the different models sound from each other?
     
  7. Digger

    Digger Guest

    I have a 3124+ and if you are using these mic pres on drums you will absolutely need to use the pads. I have not experienced the 'dulling' effect that you have heard about. They are excellant, full sounding mic pre's, you won't be dissappointed. On the other hand 'unity gain' means virtually nothing on API mic pres. I have had signals clip with the gain cranked completely to the left and the -20db pad in. My tech guy mentioned this problem to me when he saw that I was introducing these mic pres into my setup. He had to create an additional -20db pad to the XLR chord inputs for another customer who needed more control.

    I also own a Vipre and I can tell you that it is my favorite mic pre (I own quite a few). The only time that you wouldn't want to use it is for high gain situations on music peices with a lot of quiet spots and space (in my opinion). It's just a tad too noisy for those types of situations. A Vipre can make an SM58 sound great. It can also makes for an excellant bass mic pre, a tip I got from Audiogaff. I have also heard of people using the instrument input for keys to warm them up a bit. I doubt you would be dissapointed with a Vipre and just because it offers flexibility doesen't make it a lesser mic pre. I would consider it a bonus and it will definitely do the job on vocals. As good as the Vipre is I do think they are a tad overpriced, especially if you want to buy them new. If you are patient you can find them on ebay for about the $1800 to $1900 range.

    Hope that helps, BTW if you are looking for a good deal on API contact jon@altomusic.com - great pricing - tell him Rob from Canada sent you - and no, I don't get kickbacks, just like to pass on good deals. Cheers!
     
  8. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    thanks digger, but i already picked up a revolution redd 47 on ebay. can't wait to get my hands on it. quite interested in the osa stuff tho. especially if it nails the api sound with the extra flexibility.
     
  9. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    MP1-A - clear, neutral, airy

    MP1-C - Early API'ish. Midrange punch. Focused. Quite a bit of color/crunch.

    MP1-L - Silky, airy, extended lows-but not bumped in the lows. Very 'wide' sounding in mono

    MP1-L3 - same brand of transformer (Lundahl) as the MP1-L, but transformer itself is about twice as large. L3 has softer more subdued highs than the L (is not dark though), fatter lows, and slightly softer more colored mids as compared to the L.

    The L and L3 are kind of Neve 1081-ish (Class A/B). They are faster and a bit more hi-fi than a Neve of course, sort of if you took a 312 and a 1081 pre and split it down the middle. It's kind of like they are a half way point between that and an older API. Punch, but with more softness and varied wider frequency curves than your traditional API sound.


    Here is what I personally like them on, it might give you an idea too:

    On vocals: L or L3.
    Acoustic guitar: they all work.
    Overheads, C or L
    Bass & Synth: (all DI's are the same signal path when installed)
    Electric guitars : C
    Snare: L or A
    Kick: L, L3
    Toms: L, L3
    Horns: A or C (A for lower range, C for higher range)
    Violin: L3 or C
    Piano: L3 (this is what Lanois is using), or A
     
  10. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    thanks mr. atlas, i guess a mixed bag with of about 6 of them and the 11 slot power rack would be good. i could fill up the rest with some 550 eqs. i'll have a think about it.
     
  11. MistaG

    MistaG Guest

    Try here for preamp comparisons and discussion.

    http://www.auroraaudio.net/ - Geoff Tanner here worked at Neve and has a whole section on the history of their preamps.

    Dan Alexander has a lot of details on the various Neve models

    http://danalexanderaudio.com/Indexer.htm - Check under N for Neve in the index.

    Here is a UK site which is very useful.

    http://www.audio-toyshop.co.uk/Tech_Archive/tech_archive.html

    Other stuff:

    (dead link removed)

    Finally, this one started it all off for me years ago and is a good starting place

    (dead link removed)
     
  12. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    wow thanks for all that mistaG! lotsa good stuff!
     

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