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Hi guys,

I am using Soundcraft Ghost as my main preamp for recording of acoustic instruments. I want to improve my the sound quality. I need a very high end preamp for most of my acoustic work. For this I short list AMEK 9098 Eq, Focusrite ISA 220, Langevin DVC. Please suggest me the best one for the highest quality.

thanks and regard



AudioGaff Fri, 07/16/2004 - 22:54

It is never that easy. First off, quality when it comes to sound is very subjective. The best choice one day may very well not be the best choice the next day. All three you mention have their strengths and merits. I like the eq on the 9098 better than the other two but I like the mic pre on the focusrite 220 better than the mic pre in the 9098. The Langevin DVC has minimal eq but has the optical compressor and a very good mic pre yet is a little shy in high gain.

KurtFoster Sat, 07/17/2004 - 14:56

The Amek 9098 is a transformerless design and in spite of the designers insistence that the inputs are a "transformer like amplifier" hence the term "TLA", I can say it behaves nothing like a transformer loaded input ... The 9098 is very uncolored and transparent ... I too, love the EQ in this box ... wonderful on kick and snare, but the pre could be better ...

The Focusrite and the Langvin are both transformer based and will exhibit a little more "oomph" when handling mic inputs.

iznogood Sun, 07/18/2004 - 07:25

the 9098 eq is gritty and only sounds good for bass or destroying drums!!!

the focusrite sounds tranparent but cold as ......

if you want a hi-end pre-amp for anything acoustic you should buy an avalon 737 or a fairman trc (just as transparent but warmer)

by the way..... mackie 1202 vlz sounds pretty close to focusrite and you get 4 channels!!

anonymous Sun, 07/18/2004 - 22:03

Thanks for replying friends. My current setup is Soundcraft Ghost, Neumann TLM 193 or AKG 414 & Focusrite compounder. I record mostly indian instruments like tabla, dholak,dhol (all skin instruments), flute, sitar & voices. Is that replacing ghost with Amek 9098 can improve my sound quality.I have a good deal on AMEK 9098 eq. Avalon or fairman are out of my budget.wat do u think about universal audio's M-610 as compare to amek 9098eq. Please excuse me for my mistakes.
Thanks & warm regard. :)

KurtFoster Mon, 07/19/2004 - 10:53

The UA 2-610 is a completely different animal from the 9098 ... in fact the two are almost at the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to mic pre design philosophy...

The 2-610, is a design from renowned producer, engineer and electronics designer Bill Putnam, from the 50's. It's transformer balanced and absolutely huge and fat sounding, ... did I say huge?

Some people get worried that using the 2-610 on all tracks of a recording might be too much but all I know is there are a sh*tload of great records that Putnam (and others) recorded using only 610 pres ...

Bill Putnam was a real innovator and a driving force in the recording industry of the 50's and the 60's, having pioneered many of the methods that we use to record these days. His designs live on in the 2-610, the 1176 / 1178 limiters, LA3a and LA4 compressors just to mention a few, even years after his passing.

The 9098 is a modern design by a designer of time tested classics, Rupert Neve ...the 9098 is an approach that takes advantage of new technologies that were not available in the past. The pres are very neutral but useable, your clients will not complain that they are cheap sounding for sure, however the real treasure is the eq section of the 9098 ... If you can get a deal on one or more of them, I would snatch them up in a heartbeat!

Farview Sun, 07/25/2004 - 21:46

I have a cheaper solution for you. There is a place that will rechip your ghost with burr-browns for less than $200 per channel. I did it on my ghost and it maks a HUGE difference. Much more depth, clarity and low end. I think the place is called creation audio labs and its down in tennesee in the old soundcraft plant.