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Looking for REAL-WORLD experience on these two mic preamps (specs are specs). I'm looking to get a pre with "character" in the next little bit, as I already have John Hardys. Specifically:
a) I have a Royer R-121 I love using on all kinds of stuff... vocals, acoustic or electric instruments, so no specific "niche". I am intrigued by the Summit's variable impedance and the flavours I might be able to get out of the Royer with the impedance knob (then there's the "tube" blend, which is whatever it may be). The Germanium, I hear, may not have enough clean gain to get good levels out of the Royer if you're recording anything that's not loud. Anyone have any experience using the Royer with either of these two?
b) I will be looking to at an Audio-Technica 40xx to my locker, 4033 or 4050. I have experience with the 4033 and Neves/Angela board pres/Focusrite ISA110's. Anyone have experience with something in this A-T series (not the 4060, which is a different animal) and the Summit or Chandler?


Cucco Fri, 06/02/2006 - 13:42

I've got extensive experience with the 2BA-221 and royers and AT mics.

On most sources with most mics, I simply love the summit. it's one of my go-to pres. I've had mixed results with ribbons on it though. for vocals (using the sf12), I was very pleased. On orchestra and acoustic guitar I had far better results with buzz, grace, dav and millennia.

for the ATs, it's a great match.

As for the impedence adjustment, I don't find it to be a tone-shifter. I firmly believe that each mic sounds good at a particular setting. the royers sound better between 5 and 8 k, the ATs sound better at around 2k.

the variable tube output just rocks! the pre can go from very clean and open to downright grungy and awesome. it's also one of the most versatile pres I've ever used. all inputs and outputs are active at all times. that's 1 balanced +4 and 1 balanced -10 output post tube gain and one unbalaced pre-tube gain and inserts with one mic, one line (high z) and one line (low z) all at the same time.

a pair of these can be the most versatile weapons in your studio. oh, and they're damned cheap.

good luck.


anonymous Sun, 06/04/2006 - 11:33

Unfortunately, that's sort of the idea I understand of the Summit, so it doesn't much make my decision any easier, ha ha. I can only fit one or the other into my budget/rack (only 1U left for now). Thank you very much for your experience though.
If anyone has any experience with the Royers or A-T's with the Germanium, I would appreciate your opinions, good or bad. Even if you haven't A/B'd the different chains, any experience with any of the combinations I've listed would be appreciated.