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I have seen that the Summit 2BA-221 has been recomended to a couple of people on RO. I'm looking for a good pre for vocals, acoustic instruments, etc. I guess to be my one better, go to preamp for my home recording setup.
Has anyone actually had any experience with this unit?
I would like to know how it compares with RNP, Grace, Eureka and yup maybe even Sebatron . :p:


anonymous Thu, 02/05/2004 - 15:29

I have one of these, and it's quite good. I've heard it's fairly close to the performance of the Grace 101, but since I don't own a Grace I can't say if that's true or not. The advantage over the Grace would be the tube. You can dial in as much or as little tube as you want and even the variable input impedence will give some tonal coloration.

With the tube signal cranked it sounds really good on bass guitar. Actually, I prefer the sound of the unit with the tube stage emphasized over the solid state stage. It gives a nice warmth and breadth to the sound, the lows are a little bolder. The clean solid state sound is good but to my ears lacking just a little in the sparkle/sheen I want when running totally clean. Actually, writing about this has got me thinking I should go back and experiment a little more with the variable impedence knob when running clean. See if I can find a sweet spot for the clean sound. But of course that depends on the microphone. Your mics are probably different. I have a Rode NT 1000 and 2 NT 3's.

With the routing options it's great for instruments too as all the imputs can be used at the same time. I bought it over the Grace for the routing and the tube sound.

I did some guitars through a Presonus Blue Tube that sounded rather brittle. (recently sold that unit) After buying the Summit, I redid the guitars with one line going direct into the Hi Z input and with an NT 3 in front of the amp running into the mic input. I balanced the levels and added some of the tube sound and got a great recording. Very cool unit.

I'm currently looking for a nice really clean pre (was thinking of the Avalon M5) but for some tube warmth on vocals and for instruments the Summit is great.


dudge Fri, 02/06/2004 - 07:26

Thanks for the insight doctorfish.
I emailed Summit for more info since there is not a lot to be found.
I Asked-

I was just wondering if you had any specs on it?
Is the design similar to your more expensive pre's? Jensen? 990 op amp?
It seems to me that the tube stage is on the input end of some of your other pre's and on the output end of the 2BA-221?

I got a reply the next day!
I was told that there is no Jensen transformer and no 990 op amp. The input is all solid state, the output is the tube stage designed by Summit, a discrete output buffered by a burr-brown chip. There is an EM review of it
[[url=http://[/URL]="…"]here[/]="…"]here[/] where it is compared favorably to a Focusrite Red using a ribbon mic.

anonymous Fri, 02/06/2004 - 16:13


I agree pretty much with the review. On one female voice I often work with the combination of the NT 1000 and the Summit created some harshness in the mids, but treated with EQ it was totally workable and her voice always sounded great in the final mix. The same combination on the male talent I normally work with was fairly solid in the low end without the harshness of the female voice in the mids.

As I said in my previous post, I haven't experiemented much lately with the impedence control, but as I have some sessions coming up next week, I'll experiement more with it as well as the clean sound and post back here afterwards.