Skip to main content

Pre amp comparison/decision

Hi everyone,
I just wanted to toss this decision out to more knowledgeable minds than mine to see what everyone thinks. I am in the proceess of upgrading the front end of my recodring setup, which as of now consists of a PreSonus digimax lightpiped into 001. I am planning on purchasing a set of 4 preamps, which will be my main go to's for all my recording purposes. I am currently eyeing two untis, the sebatron v4000 and the sytek 4 channel unit. The Sytek unit I am eyeing currently has the burr/brown mod on all 4 channels, and could be had for the price of the unmodded unit bought new. This very appealing, but I am thinking that the Sebatron seems to be more flexible as far as options, with the fat and air switches, and was also impressedon how it faired on the acousticsamples Kurt posted. Either unit would have to excel on acoustic guitar, drums, and vocals. Any suggestions? All input and feedback is greatly appreciated.


Davedog Tue, 07/08/2003 - 07:14
REALLY!...I gotta agree with the littledog jr.s request to moderate a "Silly Room".Anybody who thinks that they are 'The Shite' has to reside there for a day doing penance while littledog smites them mightily with an assortment of yummy cream-topped goodies.I have SPOKEN.LET IT NOW BE SO......oh shite, now I gotta go there....

And Bobby Loux had a great point...relax....someone will come to the table and give it shot.

As for second hand knowledge and opinion....I personally would recommend an RNP or an RNC without hearing them because people whos opinions I know I can trust have them and rave about them.I cannot comment on their sound but if asked about their value,I could give it a thumbs up.In fact, If I had the cash right now, I would have at least one of each.

As we all know, recording people are some of the most opinionated folks in the world.Everybody's way is better than everybody elses.Even the 'nice' guys and gals have strong feelings about their laboratory,as well they should.Its quite an investment of time ,energy,and cash flow, to build something that sounds good.AND they all seem willing to defend their choices to the death....The sharing of info does not have to include the sharing of the pain and agony it took to reach these heighths of sonic perfection.And while some folks communicate much easier than others, there has to be a Point Of Civility towards others that permeates these threads.So lets all be nice and say what we think in a kind and cooperative way.Ya never know where your next inspirational idea is going to come from.So seek it in everything and everyone around you.The payoff is incredible.

Can I come out of the Silly Room now?? :s: :s:
Attached files

Member Tue, 07/08/2003 - 08:31
Hey, I'm convinced! Any man with so many loyal friends can't really be a bad guy. :c:

By the way, i apologize for using the word "ignore" previously. More accurate would have been "a bit unresponsive". Thanks to Rod for setting me straight.

Davedog - if you leave the silly room that leaves me here all by myself! How about if we start a "Dog" room too. You, Doc, me... anyone else?

Kurt Foster Tue, 07/08/2003 - 11:28
Ok here’s how I see it. It is being said that I have come off as wrong. I don’t see it that way at all. I have been ganged up on by a couple of knowledgeable guys and a group of ditto heads reinforcing them that have twisted my words to say things I never said, who have now arrived at the conclusion that I have been proved wrong. That is like the prosecutor at a trial being the one to arrive at and pronounce the verdict. Many things have been read into my remarks, which is why I have repeated them so many times (seeming to go in circles) in an effort to get people to just take them for what was said. I do not concede that I was wrong in any of my statements. I may not express some of the science exactly correctly and for that I apologize, I will try to be more exact in the future. In light of the responses of a few parties, it might seem as if I have been wrong. But I see that as far from the reality of the situation.

My credibility has been attacked by those who are vested in the success of FMR.. (The RNP) and now I am being asked to simply step aside, with my reputation damaged, accept said damage and do nothing to restore my credibility. I can’t and won’t do that.

Ferd Berfel is obviously (to me at least) someone who has been sent over by FMR to spout off a lot of scientific and mathematical info, in an attempt blind us all with science and to get me to stop saying that the RNP isn’t the end all, you will never have to make your bed, put gas in your car and the girls will all like how you smell mic pre. If you look at the advertising by FMR for the RNP this is the approach they traditionally take. FMR is from Texas, so is Ferd Berfel. Ferds first post on RO was in response to a comment I made regarding the RNP in another thread. Ferd is not going to be here day in and day out answering your questions and addressing your comments! Harvey, bless his heart (and I truly like and respect Harvey and would do what ever I could for him, if he asked) is self-admittedly, a close friend who feels indebted to Mark McQuilken (the owner of FMR). I am sorry that Harvey got drug into this. But with this in mind, Harvey is hardly an unbiased judge. I am sure he tried to make his call on the up and up and that he really believes the hype surrounding the RNP. Biases can work in funny ways with even the unintending being swayed by other factors, despite their best efforts not to let that happen. His comment; “They're all hand assembled, and they don't use cheap parts.” is hard to swallow for me.. at that price point, it is hard to envision a person hand stuffing each and every single pcb on these things. This would mean the pcb are through the board and not surface mounted.. I’m sorry, but it’s just hard to see that being correct. But I may be wrong.

Edit; Harvey points out that he became friends with Mark McQuilken after he wrote the review, not before.

FMR has spent considerable time, money and energy fostering this myth that the RNP is a world class mic pre at a project studio price. As a close friend of mine put it,

…… “Manley can sell 40, 50 Slams and make some bucks. But, you can sell several hundred thousand RNC's/RNP's and make big bucks. In the new modern way of marketing, the RNC/RNP was a different kind of hype.” …….

Edit; Again, Harvey has pointed out that only 4000 or so RNP's have been produced

So you see, as was pointed out, when I come on a forum that reaches literally hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of readers and say I don’t think the RNP can compare to a world class mic pre like the Neves, APIs, Millennia, or even the Sebatron, the folks at FMR get a bit upset. But obviously not upset enough to send a pre out to be compared side by side with the other units I have been collecting for the ongoing mic pre comparisons. I now have units from Mackie, Speck, Studio Projects, Millennia Media, Sebatron and Amek/Neve with units from D. W. Fearn and JLM promised. I am also trying to get a unit from Dan at Great River. I want to get as many pres as I can and post the snips on the audio streaming board so you the reader/members can listen and make the choices yourself, sans anyone’s opinion! FMR may not be sending out a unit or answering my many inquiries for any number of reasons.. they may think I am a jerk, not worthy of a response, they may think that since Harvey has already reviewed the piece for RO that it is unnecessary or they may be afraid that when I post a comparison everyone will have a chance to hear that it sounds pretty much the same as a Mackie pre.. All I know is they don’t respond to my E Mails and I don’t have a unit to run in the comparisons. I have to assume that FMR doesn’t think it would be to their best interest to get me a review piece.

Many reviewers get paid for writing their product reviews. I was recently asked by one acoustics manufacturer “How much do you charge for this service?” You all want to know what I get out of writing these reviews? Nothing! Nada! Not a dime, I don’t get free gear either. I do get to play with some nice stuff for a while but often, I get stuck with the return shipping, so as you can see I actually pay out of pocket to do this. Why? I don’t know at this point, when I see all the thanks I get for my efforts.

So there you have it. I am here, doing what I have been doing for a year (and I will continue and not change my ways despite of the current attempts at my character assassination) not being paid and having no financial stake in any of this. On the other side is a company that stands to lose (perhaps considerably) if I am not discredited and shut up. You can all make your choice as to who you think truly has your best interest at heart and what their motivations are. I may not be 100% correct in everything I say, but I’m also not trying to sell you anything. Keep that in mind as you consider these points. Those of you who have stood by me in this storm, thank you.

Those of you who have served as detractors, there is nothing new in what you all have been saying about me. You all don’t like my message, you don’t like that I have served to make RO even stronger and better. Many of you seem to feel I had something to do with the ousting of a moderator who had an extensive list of “groupies” (not so, I had nothing to do with that). Many are bummed that I have brought more advertisers here to RO to make RO stronger, bigger and better.

Some are pissed at me for having the audacity to suggest that a type of product other than what they push, may be suitable for a purpose. So it is in their self interest to discredit me in any way possible. After all, if I am wrong about this, I could be wrong about other things also, couldn’t I? Yep! You can just take that piece of sh*t and buff it right out! Yep! It’s gonna shine like a diamond! Maybe I just have my head up my ass! I don’t think so. Once again folks, I am not the one selling something! I am here trying to protect your interests.

Some people are really concerned that I seem to be attracting some major talents here to talk with our members. My wife has been instrumental in helping me with this but it was my idea to have some hit makers come by and visit. I have seen this in threads on other forums.. “Why can’t we get them here”, types of things. There are more on the way. People who frequent and support other forums are very disturbed that they can’t seem to do this themselves. Some of you have come over from other forums where you all talked quite openly, it has been reported, about just such an assault on RO in an attempt to “take it back over" and to try to change the tone of civility and equal treatment of all members and turn it into a snobbish private boys club where outsiders are snubbed and made to feel stupid, until they simply stop posting and go away, like on so many of the other audio boards. Your agenda is painfully transparent.

So that’s it. I’m here to stay as long as Chris wants me. You won’t drive me away and you won’t attack my credibility with out a response from me. I will not lie down and simply be steamrolled over. If I have to stand on my own and say, “Buy quality gear, not rack garbage” I will. I still contend, class A, point to point wiring, transformers, all discreet construction and well implemented, over designed power supplies are the surest way to audio Nirvana.. If you feel better with a load of blinking lights and knobs that are really not much more than rack fillers, be my guest! But don’t expect me to validate your decision. Obviously, I am not the only person who feels this way. In the real world, if the rack garbage was as good as some seem to imply it is, these companies would have put all the other mic pre manufactures out of business. But there is still plenty of demand for new and better designs as well as reissued of the old classics. I don’t think I am alone in my thoughts and opinions. Sadly, dispite my best efforts, it seems that many of you still believe that somewhere out there, there is a free lunch!

Seeing as I am the one suffering the slings and arrows, I should be allowed to be the one who has the last word in this in order to defend myself and my positions. I am therefore, exercising my prerogative as moderator and locking this thread after this post. This is the last of this I hope. If any of you have something to say to me, my PM (unlike some others here) is open to all. I have no one on my ignore list and my PM is activated. Please drop me a line and we can continue in private.