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yet another preamp thread...

Discussion in 'Preamps & Processing' started by maintiger, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. maintiger

    maintiger Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Whittier, California, USA
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    Are Sytek preamps about the same as RNP preamps sound and quality wise? I noticed that you can get 4 ch of sytek mpx-aii for under $1000 which puts in in the same price class as RNP-
     
  2. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Hey X its me O,

    Can't comment on the RNP, but I use the sytek and like it for very traditional classical stuff- vocals/piano, and straight ahead jazz stuff/ vocal/piano/ some acoustic bass/ some OH drums- I've only used it a few times for anything other than voice/piano so all I can say is that it did the job on the others but hasn't been road tested to where I can make a resounding endorsement - yet.
    Very clean without color. I almost always use it with a mic that has a pad because there's not a lot of headroom for large dynamic contrasts.
    The model I have has the Burr Brown on 3 and 4 and I'm pleased with it using an AKG 414 and Crown PZMs.
    My understanding (never used) from reading is that the RNP is a more colored pre than the sytek.

    Phil
     
  3. B Callaway

    B Callaway Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Thanks for the comments, I am considering purchasing the Sytek unit with the Burr Brown chips on channels 3 & 4. Does anyone know if the Grace Design units would be a better purchase, even a single channel 101.

    I am after the cleanest preamp I can get for up to $1500.

    Tks
    Bruce
     
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2001
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Then I would skip either of those and get a single channel of John Hardy. Mabe even invest in the 4-ch frame and buy three more down the road. The single channel Grace is not the same in sound as the 2-ch rack version.
     
  5. B Callaway

    B Callaway Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Interesting, I have actually been considering the John Hardy preamp so your comment helps me a lot. The 2 channel Grace breaks my bank unless my fortunes change quickly.

    Therefore compared to the Grace 201, getting two channels of John Hardy would be a good option at a marginally lower cost. Just thinking aloud!

    Thanks
    Bruce
     
  6. Johnson Cabasa

    Johnson Cabasa Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2003
    i had a grace for a while but it sounded to hard even next to my rnp. i sold it and got two speck mic pres and ahve been very happy
     
  7. JBsound

    JBsound Guest

    for $1500 you could easily swing the Avalon M5 or save up and get the 2-channel ad2022. You won't get cleaner than that, and it still sounds very musical. It's a world class pre.
     
  8. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    You could also get a 9098 dual mic pre for $1600...I'm sure you could talk someone down $100. That's going to be more transparent than anything else listed above. Other than that you could get an Earthworks lab102 for $1300 or a 1022 for $1625. The Earthworks pre's are zero distortion and a freq response of 2Hz-100Khz +/- 0.1db. That's pretty flat if you ask me...
     
  9. B Callaway

    B Callaway Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Tks everyone for the advice, I will look into all of these.

    Randy, is the Neve as clean as the Earthworks etc or does it have a distinct "Neve" sound I keep hearing about. As a point of reference, I recorded many albums in a studio with an Amek Angella console that I really liked. Is possible to compare the 9098 to the Amek in sound quality or is this test really up to the individual.
     
  10. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2000
    **** no. The SYTEKS easily blow the RNP away. They are essential for drums. If you do a search here, I mentioned "testing mine" out on a singer in a boy band. That 'test' on that song got ME 2 grammy noms and a 3rd for the group.

    I own 2 of them and honestly feel that anyone that doesn't own at least one is missing out. They are worth at least double the cost. I suggest the BB mod on channels 3 & 4. It'll give you some added flexibilty. Mike Stocia is awesome.
     
  11. B Callaway

    B Callaway Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Hi e-cue,
    OK, so Syteks are still a good option for me, they are certainly in my price range however I wasn't sure if they has the best quailty for the dollar. Sounds like you believe they do.
     
  12. B Callaway

    B Callaway Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Hi e-cue,
    OK, so Syteks are still a good option for me, they are certainly in my price range however I wasn't sure if they has the best quailty for the dollar. Sounds like you believe they are in there.
     
  13. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Hi,

    I'll second the notion that Mike from Sytek is great. Quick response, believes in his product and backs it up. His posts on one of the RO forums sold me as I was searching for a multiple channel clean pre for classical recordings.
    The more I use it in different settings the more I like it. I'll echo e-cue's sentiment, I've used them on some light percussion as well now and I'm not at all disappointed.
    Phil
     
  14. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    Bruce,
    The 9098 pre's are from the Amek 9098i console designed by Rupert Neve (just incase you didn't know), and the quality of the 9098i is far superior to the older Angela.
    The 9098 pre's don't sound anything like the classic Neve pre's...they are extremely transparent and have a sound to them but I can't explain it. It's almost like using bleach when cleaning clothes...they just have this really clean smell to them that you'd have to smell to understand. The Earthworks are also incredibly transparent but again have that bleach clean to them...a tiny bit different than the 9098 pre's but not much...
    I love the 9098i console, it's my favorite board...and the rack pre's are a great buy if you want a transparent pre.
     
  15. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    Fredericksburg, VA
    I love it when someone asks which preamp they should buy, or which one is better. The responses that come in are the best part. It is a strong testiment to the professionalism on this board that these discussions do not inspire flame. (ie. I have X preamp, and your Y preamp sucks!)
    All of the preamps listed here are very good AND very different. Clean for "solo vocals" can be a huge difference from "clean for orchestra." For example, the Graces, Earthworks, Syteks (non BB), and to a degree, the FMR are not what most people are looking for for a "solo voice." They fall into the camp "straight wire with gain." The Neve's in general, Avalons, as well as high end Focusrites all have a signature sound. They are all, by definition, clean in that they are measurably free from distortion and noise. The difference between the 2 camps usually breaks down to "transformerless" or "transformer coupled."

    To suggest that someone "try" the preamp before they buy it is not always possible. However, I, and I'm sure plenty of others here, would be willing to let anybody sit in on a session so they could hear any pre in the closet.

    Enjoy!

    J... :c:
     
  16. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2000
    The 9098 rackmount unit also sounds nothing like the pre's in the 9098i Amek console which is FAR superior. I really, really wish they sounded the same because the pre's where the best thing the 9098i had going for it.
     
  17. tripnek

    tripnek Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    I owned a Sytek and was unimpressed. The preamps in my Allen & Heath sound just as good with more head room. Unless you are recording a pro quality drummer (very consistant dynamics) I would not suggest the Sytek for drums. They are very clean, but I would go with the John Hardy pres, Sebatron, API, or Langevin. They are well worth the extra cash.
     
  18. beauarts

    beauarts Active Member

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    Feb 18, 2001
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pa
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    I own the sytek, rnp, john hardy as well as a phoenix audio, calrec 1161 and telefunken v76. I find the John Hardy 1st class and use it or the v76 first. The sytek i use after the other pres but i never feel like I'm sacrificing my sound when I use it. It's a great bang for the buck. The RNP hasn't really done much for me and I'll be selling it soon. I'd go for the Hardy AND the Sytek. But then you're probably over budet at that point.
     
  19. maintiger

    maintiger Distinguished Member

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    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Whittier, California, USA
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    when I started this thread on 3/1/4 I hadn't bough my sytek yet and I got it soon afterwards. I am getting good results with it, happy so far. Its clean, lean and with the burr brown option channels I find it good for vocals, especially using a tube mic. I haven't tried the john hardy or the RNP yet but since I am happy with the sytek you could say that this might be really a case of "ignorance is bliss...." but then again I am happy with the results am getting, what can I say!
     
  20. Which Neve?

    I was wondering if the 9098 pre had anything (musically) in common with a 1073. I've never had the chance to hear either but everyone gawks about how "warm" the 1073 is and how all neves sound so good but when I listen to 311 covering the cure's "love song" on their new 9098i console, warm is the last thing that comes to mind, not that is doesn't sound great but if you could only have one pre would it make sense to use something real flat or something very colored? I suppose what I'm getting at is that I can spend up to $2,000 on a 2 channel pre and I've been looking at the Great River MP-2NV / vintech X73 designs as well as the 9098DMA and even a Trident S20 / S80 and MTA but my friend at the local studio (with neve 12 sometings) keeps telling me that the API 512b's are the way to go for rock music. Point is that I'm going to make an entire low-budget independent album (very drum and guitar heavy, but not metal, more ambient; something like tool meets radiohead) but I'm going to do it with just 2 nice pres and 2 AT4060's and a laptop using a tc finalizer as a converter. I want it to sound clean but I'm afraid that the 9098 might be better suited for orchestral type sounds and I don't know anything about the APIs but I don't want it to be muddy or alter the attack of the singnal (too much). The last post was talking about two catagories, one being transformer coupled and the other being transformerless. I'm pretty sure I want that "iron" sound over the super accurate transformerless sound but I'm stuck in a town that doesn't have any way for me to get access to good equipment and decide for myself. I would appreciate anyone's input especially if you have made an album with just one pre.

    Thanks,
    Ryan
     

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