Skip to main content

Preamps : do we need them ? Cheap vs High-end

Member for

8 years 9 months
In this video, I compared all my preamps with 2 different mics (Shure SM57 and Microphone-parts.com T47 DIY kit) What many want to know is if an external preamp even the cheapest is better than those included in an interface. And how will they compare to highend preamps.

So here it is, let me know what you think !

Comments

Member for

12 years 4 months

kmetal Sun, 05/03/2020 - 13:20
Nice. Seems to me like the condenser mic was more sensitive to changes in the pre. I was surprised how good the scarelett and rme pres were considering the price diff.

I bet my phone is masking much of the detail.

Its funny how much the ultragain resembles the art tube pre. Lol its nearly identical if memory serves me correctly.

Member for

8 years 9 months

pcrecord Mon, 05/04/2020 - 04:57
The first thing I did, I tested the behringer with an sm58 and talking very closed to it, I was surprised how similar it sounded to a UA LA-610.
I was like Dawm !! But as soon as I went for more gain it started to confirm the price/quality difference.
Less HF, more noise..

Of course I bought it to drive my talkback mic.. for that, it works !! ;)

Member for

8 years 9 months

pcrecord Mon, 05/04/2020 - 05:35
Makzimia, post: 464057, member: 48344 wrote: I’m going to be that guy again. We the music makers are really only going to be the ones who might know the difference. And yes, when the going gets tough the cheap get going :).
I agree, having a little less HF isn't something everybody will notice or care.
But for the noise.. I think some could notice.. Having a big SSSHHHHHH at the end of a song while trying to enjoy an acoustic or classical guitar sustain.
Nah, not very appealing to me.

I know the argument well, people won't notice. They listen on earbuds anyway..
Actually they are exposed to so many bedroom/iphone recording these days, with the covid..
I'm afraid it will propulse the lowfi trend to sky high...

But I have a theory.. what if people, while having no clue why, are liking better sounding recordings.
I mean, they enjoy so much classical rock from when hifi was important, it must mean something.
In the same way people will dance less when the band isn't so tight on time.

Also, the sells of expensive headphones aren't going down at all.. it must mean something no ?
Or am I just a dreamer.. ;)

Member for

12 years 4 months

kmetal Mon, 05/04/2020 - 06:55
The other thing about the noise and other deficiencies, is when you stack it. Its so common for a home recordist to stack track after track, with a limited selection of pres and mics. This is where lower quality gears faults really get exposed.

I don't think you have to be a well trained listener to know something sounds good. Back when i was a kid it was fairly obvious when a cassette a dubbed from a copy wasn't very clear, or the bargain bin blank tapes were super noisy, or that led zepplin 4 seemed to jump out of our home stereo.

I think what it really is, is the everday listener just takes the song/recording for what it is. They don't think that noise "shouldn't be there", or that vocal distortion was an accident. They have an innocence when it comes to audio. They accept the art for what it is. There's been plenty of times where people will comment on how much a songs bass bangs.

Member for

8 years 9 months

pcrecord Mon, 05/04/2020 - 08:06
kmetal, post: 464060, member: 37533 wrote: The other thing about the noise and other deficiencies, is when you stack it. Its so common for a home recordist to stack track after track, with a limited selection of pres and mics. This is where lower quality gears faults really get exposed.
Good point !

Member for

7 years 3 months

Tony Carpenter Mon, 05/04/2020 - 10:21
No matter how many times you flog this old gem you’re not going to convince me I’m wrong. I hear people with over driven bass going in cars. Etc etc etc. It’s like when as a tewenty something in the 80s we got the Walkman style cassette players. I don’t disagree with your premise, but, you’re preaching here to the choir :).

Tony

Member for

19 years 5 months

Kurt Foster Mon, 05/04/2020 - 11:28
i look back at some things i thought (and said) years ago and shudder. i encourage people to continue educating themselves as to what the different types and are and what the individual designs bring to the table. only then will they begin to discern the differences in performance and why they are occurring. then they can decide if a pre amp or mic is really what they need and if it's worth the price.

there are things we may not hear happening that affect audio. these things can impact end results. different types of amplifiers with different balancing schemes, op amps, discreet components and power supplies may all exhibit similar specs for frequency response, gain and self noise on paper but still impart different qualities to audio. i call this transfer function.

i still think what's being recorded is much more important than what it's recorded with. also important is how it's recorded. would the Beatles sound different if Geoff Emerik recorded them with an ADAT, SM 57's and a Mackie? of course they would. would the records sell as well? who can guess?

Member for

12 years 4 months

kmetal Mon, 05/04/2020 - 15:02
Makzimia, post: 464065, member: 48344 wrote: No matter how many times you flog this old gem you’re not going to convince me I’m wrong. I hear people with over driven bass going in cars. Etc etc etc. It’s like when as a tewenty something in the 80s we got the Walkman style cassette players. I don’t disagree with your premise, but, you’re preaching here to the choir :).

Tony

Lol, if you have ever done live sound, you'll discover suddenly everyone is an engineer! Drunk Joe comes over and suggests the guitars come up a bit... Bass is never too loud for the dancefloor... ad infinitum

Kurt Foster, post: 464066, member: 7836 wrote: no one knows everything. i look back at some things i thought (and said) years ago and shudder. so i encourage people to continue educating themselves as to what the different types and are and what the individual designs bring to the table. only then will they begin to discern the differences in performance and why they are occurring. then they can decide if a pre amp or mic is really what they need and if it's worth the price.

there are things we don't hear happening that affect audio. while we don't hear these things they still impact end results. 4 different types of amplifiers with different balancing schemes op amps or discreet components and different types of power supplies may all exhibit similar specs for frequency response, gain and self noise on paper but still impart a different quality to our audio. i call this transfer function.

i still think what's being recorded is much more important than what it's recorded with. also important is how it's recorded. would the Beatles sound different if Geoff Emerik recorded them with an ADAT, SM 57's and a Mackie? of course they would. would the records sell as well? who can guess?

I think the things we don't hear can be "felt" and even subconsciously contribute to the experience.

What amazes me is that "primitive" gear is often more desired than modern gear. Its like they got it "right" 1950-1985. That's a rare notion in feilds that are technology driven. Floppy disks anyone!?

One thing i notice is if i discover a song i like that's YouTube or mp3 compressed, then get the .wav, i sometimes actually feel like the mp3 sounds more "right". Not sure if this happens to others or not.

Lol i cringe many times when i see old forum posts.
x