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Which of these preamp/converter combos will sound better?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by michaeltk, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. michaeltk

    michaeltk Guest

    I only need two channels, and am trying to decide between the following combos:

    (1) Mackie 1202 VLZ-Pro preamps + Lavry Blue converters

    -- OR --

    (2) API a2d (has built-in mic pre and converters)


    Which one of these is going to sound the best? I normally just record vocals and guitar.
     
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Well, I like API pre's better than Mackie VLZ pres. I don't know what their converters sound like, but I would imagine that they are pretty good.

    I've read that the Lavry stuff is great but I've never really spent any time with it.

    If I had to pick, I'd pick the API.
     
  3. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Trick question right? You could choose just about any preamp and converter, and I would still likely pick the API. If you need minor mixer functions, then get the API 4-ch mixer/preamp and converters.
     
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I would go as far as to say "Dumb" question...(even though my mommy always told me there was no such thing...)

    I guess you could say..."it depends."

    "On what" you might ask....

    How about -

    What's the rest of your chain
    What are you recording
    What's the room like
    How humid is it
    How warm or cold is it

    While I love the Mackie pres for what they are, doesn't it seem quite silly to do VLZs into a Lavry? That's like putting a Chevy 4 cylinder into a Ferrari?!

    And the API sure is nice, but that's like driving a Ferrari in the streets of Kenosha WI! (It's a one trick pony for a lot of money.)

    Provide us a little more info...
     
  5. fourone3

    fourone3 Active Member

    Chevy 4 banger in a Ferrari. Love the analogy!
     
  6. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    I sure don't agree with that. API is a specific flavor no doubt, but I hae never found it to a one trick pony. More like a wild male stud IMO! There are very few times or very few sources that the API is not at least very good at, and more often than not, a great or perfect choice.
     
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I think you may have misunderstood me Gaff.

    I'm not saying that the API sound is not desirable or flexible. In fact, I'd be glad (VERY glad) to mix entire albums on nothing BUT the APIs. However, combining the API pre into a package with an AD converter leaves no room for expansion.

    A good ole fashion API pre from 25 years ago can be used forever and ever. And...likely this one can too. However, I'm certain that some of the features of this unit will eventually be outdated.

    In my mind, it's a one trick pony because you'll always have the sound of that preamp married to that converter.

    I've never been a fan of "integrated" products. Not only is there not enough flexibility but if one part of the equation takes a dump, you're out of both parts until you can get it fixed. It's the same whether it's TV/DVD combos, Washer/Dryer combos, Phone/Answering Machine combos and Preamp/Converter combos.

    I'd say, if you're going to go API...go 500 series format and get a nice 2 channel or 8 channel converter. If PCM goes away...you sell the converter (or junk it) and move to the next technology with your nice rack of 500 series pres. Now that's a HUGE multi-trick pony!!
     
  8. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Ok, understood. You make a good and valid points, and I agree with most of them. And although I would not likely buy the API with A/D unit, if I did get one, I would not worry to much about it being dated anytime soon. The converters in it are still above average and have many years of useable life in them.

    But with all the 3rd party current and planned modules for the 500 series in addition to those made by API, the 500 series card cage is clearly the best way to go. There, I said it. BEST! One of the few time when the word BEST easily qualifies and applies...
     
  9. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Ok, understood. You make a good and valid points, and I agree with most of them. And although I would not likely buy the API with A/D unit, if I did get one, I would not worry to much about it being dated anytime soon. The converters in it are still above average and have many years of useable life in them.

    But with all the 3rd party current and planned modules for the 500 series in addition to those made by API, the 500 series card cage is clearly the best way to go. There, I said it. BEST! One of the few time when the word BEST easily qualifies and applies...
     

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