Royer SF-24 + Millennia or Paintpot

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by aracu, Oct 3, 2005.

  • Royer ribbon microphones - Why?

    Simply put, when you put a quality ribbon mic on an instrument, voice, or other sound source, what you hear on playback is closer to real sound in nature than with any other kind of microphone.

  1. aracu

    aracu Active Member

    Sep 27, 2005
    Any opinions on best preamp match for Royer24 ribbon mic,
    for recording classical ensembles in a wide variety of situations.
    I've been thinking Millennia HV3D or Crookwood Paintpot.
    Also curious as to hear Ben's comparison of the Pacifica preamp
    to these ones.
  2. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    Different strokes... The SF-24 actually works very well with a pretty darned wide variety of preamps (much more so than the SF-12). I've used the Spirit328, Vac Rac, Millennia, the Pacifica, etc... I had some issues with my Boulder Twin Servo pres, but few other problems. The mic sounds fantastic through both the Millennia and the Pacifica. When putting it through the Vac Rac, it sounds awesome, but it is borderline on the amount of gain it requires (I usually come close to opening it up all the way).

    I can't comment on the Crookwood as I've never used it...

    Back to Millennia vs Pacifica- by that point it really is a question of which flavor you prefer. The Millennia is definitely more transparent, but I feel that the Pacifica is a bit more musical IMO. The Pacifica also has a !@#!$ load of gain (72 dB which is never a bad thing when it comes to ribbons).

  3. Angus

    Angus Active Member

    Apr 8, 2005
    For what it's worth, I generally find the standard 60.5dB gain from the Millennia is sufficient for the SF24. Keep in mind, however, that Millennia can boost that to, I believe, up to 78dB on a per channel basis. I had that done on 2 channels of mine for when I use SF-1s. The mod effects only the last few gain steps so that your modded channels have normal gain increments until the last few steps and then they go up by big increments. That's useful since those channels function normally over the first 45-50dB for when you're using standard condensors on them.
  4. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Home Page:
    I have found heaps of really quiet gain to be a non-issue and irrelevant with the SF24. It was required for the SF12, but not the 24. Recorded the Australian String Quartet last night with a single SF24 close to the edge of the reverb radius, and the gain required on the GoldChannel was 32dB.
  5. 0VU

    0VU Active Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    I've got both the Millennia HV3D and Crookwood Paintpot/Rackpots (not the current Mk2 version though). I'd say that both are superb preamps which share the same kind of clean, neutral, transparency. Either would work well with the SF24; it doesn't need the kind of gain that the SF12 needs so you shouldn't need a high gain mod to make it work.

    Of the two preamps, I use the Crookwood more frequently. The differences in sound are not night and day stuff; with both, the dominant character is a lack of any real character of their own. They're very good at passing the sound of the mic without changing it. Where the Crookwood wins for me is when the signal gets hot. The HV3D seems to develop a subtle hardness that doesn't occur with the Crookwood which retains a sort of liquid quality that I like.

    For me, the icing on the Crookwood's cake is the remote control option. I find this particularly useful on live recordings where getting the pres close to the mics help reduce the problems of long cable runs; even with the shorter runs used in most session situations, it helps to get the mics up to a healthy level before hitting the main cable runs.

    If I had to choose one or the other it'd be the Crookwood. On the other hand, if I only had a Millennia, I wouldn't exactly be heartbroken. :wink:

    On a slightly different but related topic - a little while back, a colleague and I tried out 8 channels of the new Crookwood iGloo/iPre multichannel preamp system. If you haven't checked this out yet, it's well worth taking the time. The preamps at least equal Crookwood's established Paintpot standards but the new format makes them more compact and much cheaper than the old system, without sacrificing sound quality. My colleague's reaction was that the iPre's make his Grace 801R redundant and I'm in the process of disposing of some equipment to raise funds for a 16 channel analog system and an 8 channel system with built in 24/192 ADCs to get a parallel digital output I can use as a direct feed into Sequoia on jobs which don't need the full rig.
  6. aracu

    aracu Active Member

    Sep 27, 2005
    Ovu, thanks for such a detailed comparison of the sound
    characteristics of the two preamps. Yes, it's definately a plus to
    have a remote built in. Tell me, which do you think would be a better set up for audio quality with a new Paintpot, to have it use the converters of a Sound Device recorder, to use it's own optional converters, or to run it through separate Mytek converters (would that entail wordclock connections, it would be nice to avoid them if possible).
  7. alexaudio

    alexaudio Active Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    This is an interesting conversation. I just purchased a SF24 last week. I have the True Systems and Millennia Media microphone preamps. For the most part, I prefer the Millennia - very transparent sound. I have not had the opportunity to try the Crookwood, though it does look promising.

    The descriptions of the Mic Pre's from Ovu are quite good. I have noticed the hard sound when things get hot when the power supply coil slipped out of place from a lot of shipping/travelling, etc. Thus, I would recommend taking a look at that to ensure that your noise and CMRR is at the lowest point depending exactly where the coil in the power supply is situated. Hope that communicates.

    Overall - for your choice of microphone pre, ADC, might want to wait a few weeks. At the AES this upcoming weekend, Millennia will announce their new 2 channel pre with ADC. Also, I know that John LaGrou has been working a remote control pre. I have no idea where he is at with that or if that will be announced at the AES as well. None-the-less, it is AES time, and new products will be revealed.

    If you are attending the AES, I will be presenting twice during the convention. Once during the surround sound for digital radio on Saturday, and live recording in surround on Monday. If you'd like to do a meet and greet - please email me directly via my contacts page on my website (I don't have email on this site).
  8. aracu

    aracu Active Member

    Sep 27, 2005
    The new Paintpot also has optional converters. I guess the
    dilema for me is whether to keep the chain as simple as
    possible (mic + preamp with built in ADC converter + portable
    recorder) as opposed to (mic + preamp + Mytek ADC + portable
    recorder). The problem with the Mytek solution is that it
    introduces a third device into the chain so that wordclock
    connections have to be made, which I would like to avoid if
    possible. According to RME "word clock is based on a fraction
    of the really needed clock...this signal then replaces the one from the quartz crystal...because of the high multiplication factor the reconstructed clock will have..deviations...the jitter of a word clock is typically 15 times higher as when using a quartz based clock".
  9. alexaudio

    alexaudio Active Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    I would love to know the evidence to RME's claim of 15X higher along with what scenario they are speaking of. There is a key reason why many of us have a master clock in our digital facilities and plenty of evidence that would contradict RME's claim.

    However, I do not see the need to use an external reference clock if you just have an ADC feeding a recorder (and nothing else). Most higher end/modern ADCs do have stable clocks with lower amounts of jitter. If you are not incorporating other things in the digital chain (such as a digital mixer, effects, etc) - you should be just fine.
  10. aracu

    aracu Active Member

    Sep 27, 2005
    Thanks, I hadn't quite figured out that the preamp + independent
    converter counts as one device, wheras word clocking is only nescessary with more than two devices, if that is what you are implying. Forgive me, because anything to do with clocking technology I find confusing. About the RME statement, I think they are trying to explain how word clocking works, with a critical
    analysis of it, but taking for granted that it is nescessary
    and the best way of synchronising more than two devices in the recording chain.
  11. o2x

    o2x Active Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    One to try with the Royer:

    DACS MicPre
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