Do you like apples or steak?minorleagues wrote:Kind of a weird comparison, but would rather have a Focusrite Red 1 (four channel preamp) or one Chandler Germanium? The other preamps I have are a Sytek MPX-4Aii and a Universal Audio M610. The reason I ask is there is a Focusrite Red 1 for a good price, but I would have to sell my Germanium to get.
Use your Sytek like it's the Red of your studio and be done with it. It essentially fills the same sonic role but at a dramatically more attractive price point. If the Sytek isn't filling it's specialized role well enough for you, or if you need more channels to serve the same function, you can think about replacing it or adding to it. Millenia and Earthworks are really good sounding options. I think I like the Earthworks a little more, but it's hard to say. I've never heard them back-to-back.
The last thing I would recommend would be the Focusrite Red, unless you're getting a deal that would be stupid to pass up. I've used it quite a bit and keep scratching my head and asking "What else do you have?". My distaste for it isn't as a passionate and personal as Joel's, but I can see where he's coming from.
So, you also already have something fairly colored and "tubey", and something fairly fast and neutral. The Sytek and the UA are on different ends of the spectrum in many ways (but remember, it's not a two-dimensional spectrum!)
So, check out the stuff that's in-between... the things I would consider Meat and Potatoes. If you refuse to consider any other pres, I'd recommend the Germanium. If you're still looking around, you'd be better served to compare it against devices that serve a similar function.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. There are 4 major foodgroups when it comes to preamps:
Fast n' Clean (Sytek, Millenia, Earthworks etc.,)
API/Lean n' Muscular (API, OSA, Buzz, etc.,)
Neve-a-Like (Neve, Aurora, Vintech, GR, etc.,)
Fat n' Colored (TAB V72, UA 610 Tubetech, etc.,)
You have two food groups covered. I'd recommend pursuing a third foodgroup before going back over the same ground for a slightly different flavor.