A preamp for all seasons...

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Jon Nolan
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A preamp for all seasons...

Post by Jon Nolan » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:57 am

So, for a coupla years now, everytime I could, I borrowed my pal's Hamptone tube pre. Everytime I have to give it back I think "Damn, I've gotta get me one of those." Of course, many times when I've had the dough, I didn't always make the wise purchase.
I just bought a Hamptone, and I'm psyched. Maybe there will come a time when I'll sell it, but damn, I don't know why.
Everything I put thru that thing comes out the other side sounding fan-effing-tastic. The Great River's and Buzz audio pres my partner has in the rack sound purty damn good too, but for instance, my AT4050 just didn't sound as awesome on vox thru the GR right outta the gate. It sounds damn good, but not *as* good (says I).

I can't think of a mic that didnt love the Hamp'.

I'd love for my next purchase to be more of a bang for my buck thing like the API 3124, or the Sebatron 4 channel jobbie. I'm gonna try some stuff out before I buy the next piece. My new philosophy is to try and be disciplined enough to only buy the stuff that I'll always wanna keep (as best I can).

Anybody else have strong opinions about another pre that's like this? What's your most versatile preamp?

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Post by mjau » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:12 am

I've been in love with four channels of JLM pre's, especially the pair of 99v's (Neve-esque), but in terms of something that just seems to work on everything, the Purple Audio Biz is pretty sexy.

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Post by dsw » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:19 am

I loves me some True.
BUT, the next thing I'm going to get is a Langevin Dual Vocal Combo.





Or maybe the True.
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Post by Recycled_Brains » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:23 am

I feel the same way about my Hamptone. It always sounds great, regardless of mic choice, or the source being recorded. Have you tried daisy chaining the channels yet? Sick.

I'd like to get the JFET model at some point, but like you, I'm going to try and get a 4-of-the-same preamp thing. I'm leaning towards getting into the 7th Circle A12's.

My TAB V78 is pretty awesome too. A bit harder to setup and find the sweet spot, but when it works, it works damn well.
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Post by losthighway » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:26 am

Recycled_Brains wrote: I'm leaning towards getting into the 7th Circle A12's.
I've been told these are an easy replacement for API's.

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Post by Recycled_Brains » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:49 pm

losthighway wrote:
Recycled_Brains wrote: I'm leaning towards getting into the 7th Circle A12's.
I've been told these are an easy replacement for API's.
That's what I'm hoping for.... some "do-it-all" type pres for when I don't want to think about what I'm plugging my mics into.
Ryan Slowey
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Post by joninc » Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:47 pm

how much do you wanna spend? i have a bunch of choices and if i could keep only 1 it would be the great river.

or do you want a mid range multi channel unit? the RNP is clean and functional - not terribly fun but it'll work. also the focusrite isa 428 has a little more color and a few good options (impedance switching and adjustable HPFs). the sytek is also decent.
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Post by Jeff White » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:16 pm

There's a new kid in town that may end up being THE MAN: http://www.blacklionaudio.com/auteur.html

$325, two channels. Simple.

The preamp mods that they did to my MOTU 828mk2 back in 2006 stand up to my Sytek. Seriously. I am still in shock. I'm sure that this preamp, within 3-6 months, will be buzzing all over the internet as the perfect preamp.

That said, I love my Sytek. I love my PM-1000 and want another 4 channels. I also really like my modded Presonus MP20. They can be had for a song now and the BB mod costs approx $80 and takes 10mins to do. I've owned mine since 2003, modded it in 2006.

Jeff
I record, mix, and master in my home studio, Ch?teau Blanco, and in various spaces in the Philly area. http://jeffwhiteaudio.com/

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Jon Nolan
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Post by Jon Nolan » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:43 pm

i guess what i'm wondering is.... what preamp would you probably never go without, even if every preamp under the sun was available to you.

or something like that. that make sense?

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Post by cgarges » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:58 pm

API.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC

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Post by Jon Nolan » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:02 pm

cgarges wrote:API.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
the 312 is slightly softer sounding than the 512, yes? guess i'm gonna have to just try 'em out me own self! :)

also, is the 212 basically the same as a 512 in a smaller size, or...?

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Post by joninc » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:07 pm

really? there is a lot of talk about API... i bought a brent averill lunchbox this
year and finally got a 512 pre after years of hearing the talk about em and i got to say - it's solid but it's not wowing me yet.

it may take some time for me to really learn how it works best but i have tried it on nearly everything - guitars - kick/snare - vocals - keys - acoustic - mando - (except maybe bass) and it's always been good - but never WOW.

not like my chandler tg2s - or my great river 1mv - or the chandler germ. or even my vintech 1272s (they rule on guitars/kick/snare). those have given my lots of WOW moments.

but people i admire (like tchad blake and daniel lanois) are known fans of the apis (i do love the eqs) so i am trying to figure out where they might excel in the context of my work.

i am curious - what do you love the API on? any tips?

and do you use external input pads on it? (some people swear you gotta use a pad OTHER than the one on the it. I have some shure inline pads which i have been using)
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Post by cgarges » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:09 pm

Jon Nolan wrote:the 312 is slightly softer sounding than the 512, yes? guess i'm gonna have to just try 'em out me own self! :)
Yes, but marginally. I bought my 512Cs based on the fact that they were new, had a warranty, and had decent metering. Now, I regularly use 512Cs right next to 312s and 99% of the time, I'll go to the 512s first. If I buy any more, I'll be buying 512s and not 312s.
Jon Nolan wrote:also, is the 212 basically the same as a 512 in a smaller size, or...?
As far as I know. If I remember correctly, the 212s lack a few of the 512C's features, like a polarity reverse switch. I've used the 212s in a Legacy Plus console and without putting them directly next to my 512s, they sounded the same to me a the time. Again, if I were buying, I'd go with the 512C, if for no other reason than the ubiquitous nature of the 500 series format right now.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC

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Post by cgarges » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:18 pm

joninc wrote:it's always been good - but never WOW.
Well, to each his own.
joninc wrote:i am curious - what do you love the API on? any tips?
Everything. It's the only preamp I can really say that about. Do I use other stuff? Certainly and there are times when I will choose other stuff over the APIs, but the APIs will always sound "good" on anything and usually great on most things.

For a period of a few years, the APIs were the only decent preamps I really had around to use, so the majority of the overdubs that I did were cut through them. I was never really dissatisfied with the sound of them on any one source and to this day, if I'm sort of lost about what preamp to use on something, I'll plug in the APIs. I've done sessions on API consoles where I didn't bother to bring any preamps because I knew the consoles would sound great. I almost never leave all the preamps at home when I'm tracking on other consoles.
joninc wrote:and do you use external input pads on it? (some people swear you gotta use a pad OTHER than the one on the it. I have some shure inline pads which i have been using)
Sure, I use the built-in pads all the time. Sometimes I use external pads, too. It depends on how quickly I'm working and what I'm trying to accomplish. I almost always need them on any type of loud rock instrument and often vocals, depending on the vocalist and the mic. Can I hear the difference in sound? Of course I can, but I'd rather hear that difference in sound than a bunch of distortion from not using them. I hear a much bigger detriment to sound in inexpensive A/D converters and low-quality cables.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC

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Post by joninc » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:27 pm

i hear what you are saying and i agree - the API will probably never sound bad on any source. it will always sound good.

BUT that's not the same as saying it sounds GREAT / AMAZING either right?

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