I've been tickled pink by the Focusrite ISA, I've even been impressed by the Preamps in the Apogee...neither of those is priced above $600...
the ISA is a 'based on' lol, a world class, no expense spared console, it better be good. the isa is a really nice piece. the pre amps in the apoggee are probably $50 pre's when you consider all the other components in the unit. apogee makes very usable pres.
Would a real 73 up my game that much? Would it be that noticeable in the final product? Or would it just be an indulgence, allowing me to honestly say to clients ( and to myself) that "I use Neve gear" ...?
maybe not, but a pair of BAE's just might for the same price. if you were doing alot of live drums and guitars, you and your clients would probably get more use out of a 1073. with a punchy pre, and the eq section, i say it would make a noticeable difference in your product. a 36month finance on the the purchase could make it make sense pennywise.
And... if I was able to do a blind test, using various 73 style pres, let's say a BAE, an HA, a Vintech, and compare those to a real Neve 73, with all things being equal in terms of the mic, signal, level, and in the same acoustic environment thru the same monitors...would I be able to pick out the Neve? At my age, with the typical loss of frequencies that will likely affect us all at some point? I'm dubious about my own ability to tell the difference. Could you, K?
without a doubt i could tell the difference among them, but i've only worked with calrec, i've never used a real neve. even the online ewwtube comparisons from places like soundpure clearly demonstrate the difference. sometimes the old sound of the neve is better, sometimes the modern sound of the BAE/ect, is preferable. its not just in the high frequencies, where the sonic footprint is, so i dont think hearing loss would make them indistinguishable. top end isnt the neve strong point anyway imho, its the punch, and the way the mid range sits. I have little doubt that any of us here couldnt tell the difference, and could probably guess the real neve a fair amount of time. i mean than in no way eletist.
But at that point, you still need to consider the price, and take into consideration the other things we could invest in to improve our studio situations...3 Grand buys a LOT of acoustic treatment; it buys some very nice conversion, it could buy us some pretty sweet monitors, too, or could provide us with a pretty bad ass powerful computer to work on.
exactly. this is why i hate 'pre amp fever', which runs rampant in ads, and engineers minds. i've always said compressors and eqs can make a far more dramatic improvement to recordings, than a million pre amps. for 3 K you can get a BAE pre, an apogee rosetta, and a mojave tube mic. its not that pres arent important sonically, they are just oversaturating the market. remember those consoles often had eqs, hpfs, comps, auxes, summing, huge PSU's, ect. so theres alot to it beyond just the sonics of the pre amp. given mics, eqs, pre's, and comps, i feel like pres have the least sonic footprint, but they do determine whats feed further on down the chain.
Honestly, I'm considering it. But it would be a channel strip with compression which should offer a different sound compared to the preamps I already have.
You may have guessed, the Millennia Origin STT1 would be my first choice. Why didn't I already bought it? For me 3k is 4k in Canada and I currently don't have that money...
channel strips really add a ton of verstility to your whole gear collection, particularly if you can patch into sections separately. im a fan of channel strips.
That none of the channels sounded exactly the same, and that further, some sounded nothing like others did, even though it had the same preamp stage in each, model wise. The console had some built in sonic "drift" to various inputs. He said he could only wager a guess as to why that was...that perhaps it was age, or frequency of use, or heat, or even that some inputs had been driven harder than the others over time. He mentioned that they had certain channels on the desk that they liked best for vocals, or kick drum, or guitars, etc., and that this "drift" between channels lent to the vibe of the desk.
theres a company who modeled every channel of an ssl for their pluggin, for this very reason. maybe it was softube? you also have to account for the maintenance, or lack of, over time. its not like the console got a complete overhaul each time something blew. its like changing your car tires out one at a time, instead of in sets. The reality of a commercial studio, and the pictures in the promos, often tell two very different sides of the story.
in general to me, the question of 'worth it' for gear of this build quality is usually justified by the 50+ year life span of a well designed piece of gear, and the otherwise unattainable qualities it offers. they often hold or appreciate in value, while paying for themselves during use. most of my personal gear regrets with gear lie in buying sub par stuff, wasting money, and using good gear that wasnt properly kept up due to laziness. you live with these recordings for a long time, and considering where else thousands of dollars go each year, high quality gear is perfectly justifiable creatively and financially, for any serious hobbyist and beyond. i wouldn't want to underplay the role of good gear just because its out of my budget, and since the designs are quite old by now, much of the cost is sourcing parts and testing tolerances. theres millions of people around the world who would be capable of assembling one of these 'inspired by' units diy style, and have an excellent unit for 30% of the commercial cost. where there is will, there is a way. you rarely see clones referencing anything about their psu sections, which always makes me wonder. not that its enjoyable to see the additional cost for it on BAE stuff, but its comforting to know its been thoroughly considered by the company, as important.