CRane Song Flamingo vs. Avalon AD2022 vs. Drawmer 1960
I'm currently in the market for a 2 ch. mic pre. I'm interested in the CRane Song Flamingo and the Avalon AD2022. I'm also looking to get a few channels of compression as well, so I thought I'd throw in the Drawmer 1969 as an option and potentially kill two birds with one stone. I currently have all three on order for evaluation, but in the meantime I'm looking for extremely biased, completely opinionated, impressions/descriptions of how each of these boxes sounds, what each of them excels at, and for anyone who's used all three how they compare! :)
I'll be using the mic pres in my project studio, through a Lucid AD9624, into my Mac for tracking any and all instruments and vocals. I'm looking for versatility and relative "transparency", but I don't mind a little color at all. Style-wise, I work on mainly on pop/rock (a la Counting Crows/Train) or pop/R&B (usually described as "Old soul tunes with a new groove"). Here's a little more info - I worked briefly with an Avalon 747 and didn't like it that much. It was a nice sounding piece, but not the right "flavor" for me. I own a Drawmer 1960. Love the compressor, hate, let me rephrase that, HATE the pres! I read all the time about how great the CRane Song Trakker is, but never hear anything about the Flamingo. Is anyone using it?
While I'm open to suggestions of other mic pres, I need to buy this stuff from my local dealer here in Toronto (because they have amazing financing and they'll give me great terms - I can't pay cash for this stuff) and they don't deal everything. So, as much as I'm dying to lay my hands on a Great River MP-2NV, or a GML 8300, alas, my dealer can't get them. Gotta save up and buy those from you Fletcher!
Thanks a lot in advance to anyone with an opinion!
can I ask you a stupid question? What are you recording to / on?
I mentioned up above that I'll be recording through a Lucid AD9624 into my Mac using various "native" software.
I'm currently in the market for a 2 ch. mic pre. I'm interested in the Crane Song Flamingo and the Avalon AD2022. I'm also looking to get a few channels of compression as well, so I thought I'd throw in the Drawmer 1969 as an option and potentially kill two birds with one stone.
Whew. The 'Flamingo' is one of my absolute favorite pieces of equipment. Besides having the 'fat' and 'iron' switches available, you can run it as clean, or not clean as you'd like by either opening up, or closing down the output level, and driving the input hard or soft. When driving it hard it "distorts" in a rather pleasant manner.
The AD 2022, while not quite as flexible in the 'tonal variation' range, does have a wonderful open, airy, large, opulent quality to it. It's kinda like trying to compare a Van Gogh to a Rembrandt...one isn't necessarily better than the other, though at any given moment you may prefer one over the other.
As for the pre's in the '69, well, they don't suck, but they ain't in the same leauge as the Flamingo or the AD2022. The compressor on the other hand kicks some serious booty. It has a little less than nothing in common with the original 1960 other than the "DI', the meters, the power transformer and the chassis. I have never liked the 1960, but there is damn little I don't like on the 1969 (of course, if there were something I didn't like about the '69 it wouldn't be on the market...so take all of this with a big bag of salt).
Best of luck with your search...if you're getting all 3 to play with in your studio, I think you'll find which one(s) work best for you relatively quickly.