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Chandler Germanium Preamp - best application?
Old 12th December 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
901's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Chandler Germanium Preamp - best application?

I got myself a Germanium Preamp a few months ago. I was mainly attracted to it because of people talking about it as being kind of a holy grail. Besides I thought it would be a good idea to have something that is considered to be a character piece. My other pres are the Buzz Audio MA2.2 (which I love!), the Fireface´ pres and an API 512c.

I have the feeling, that I´m not getting it, so to speak.

Sure it sounds different from my other devices. But even with low settings on the Feedback knob I have the feeling that it makes things kind of "smeary" or undefined sounding. Without the Thick switch the sound is lacking in the lower range. I suspect that´s why this switch was added?

With higher Feedback settings the sound improves but is kind of "loose" and unfocused in the low register. Maybe it´s just because of my taste and I have learned the hard way that this thing is just not my cup of tea.

I tried it on electric guitars, acoustic steel string, bass drum, snare, electric bass DI. The only applications where I found it had something to offer was to tame a Telecaster and smooth out a C451B on a hihat.

On what do you guys use it and think it really shines? What to listen for to appreciate the Germs qualities?
Old 12th December 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
tapehiss's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 901 ➡️
Sure it sounds different from my other devices. But even with low settings on the Feedback knob I have the feeling that it makes things kind of "smeary" or undefined sounding. Without the Thick switch the sound is lacking in the lower range. I suspect that´s why this switch was added?

With higher Feedback settings the sound improves but is kind of "loose" and unfocused in the low register. Maybe it´s just because of my taste and I have learned the hard way that this thing is just not my cup of tea.

i think what you are describing are what some people really love, while some don't... it's hit or miss, but i love that and its a favorite pre of mine!!!!!!
Old 12th December 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
well...you learned a valuable lesson. never buy anything thats hyped around this forum....just because some people dig it doesn't mean that it will fit your sense of aesthetics. if id be you...i'd sell it and get something else.
Old 12th December 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
BOWIE's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I found it to be fantastic on certain baritone vox and as bass DI . The 414 was a really great pairing with that pre. The feedback knob was worthless to me though. I always kept it as low as possible to keep things from getting muddy. "Thick" button was absurd. Never liked the Germ on electric guitar the way many others do.

As far as what you should be listening for, I thought that the low-mids had a nice texture/growl to them and the upper-mids had a little bite that helped cut in a mix while retaining that low-mid warmth.

The Germ isn't for everyone but definitely give it a little time because it does some things that nothing else will. It's easy to be impressed by something with airy, dazzling highs but finding colorful gear that captures the mids just right usually takes a lot of experimentation IMO.
Old 13th December 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Silver Sonya's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It sounds like your prefer linearity and clarity in your work. There's nothing wrong with that.

Don't believe the internet so much.

- c
Old 13th December 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Definitely not transparent so if that's what you need this is not it.

This pre made me actually like a 57 on guitar again. I think of the Germ on a miced amp sort of in the same respect I would think of an OD or fuzz into the amp. It's more about the combination than actually just trying to capture the amps sound.

I also love it on bass DI although I use the mic inputs with a Sans Amp bass driver rather than the actual DI. I'm not sure why, but I like other mic pre DI's better than most of Chandlers DI's.

I also have used it on a mono drum kit mic with pretty cool results. Great color pre.
Old 13th December 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Addict
 
amanitas's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
They sound great on brass IMHO. Love mine for trumpet, trombone, euphonium, etc.
Old 13th December 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Great DI for bass, Rhodes, Wurli, any kind of keyboard. I really like it on ac. guitar too with a 414. It's a great pre but not fool proof like say the TG2.
There's so many combination because of the interaction of the drive, feedback and thick that it's easy to get carried away. But that's more an issue to do with the user than with the pre. Because of the inherent "focused" and "electric" qualities of this pre, it might be difficult at first to get a sense of space and depth while recording acoustic sources. I've found out that you must move your mic further from the source than you will do with something like the TG2 (my other main preamp)
Anyway...It's all good stuff but I can see how this preamp, like the TG2 or other colored might not be everyone's cup of tea
Old 13th December 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Distorted DI bass!
Old 13th December 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by baikonour ➡️
Great DI for bass, Rhodes, Wurli, any kind of keyboard. I really like it on ac. guitar too with a 414. It's a great pre but not fool proof like say the TG2.
There's so many combination because of the interaction of the drive, feedback and thick that it's easy to get carried away. But that's more an issue to do with the user than with the pre. Because of the inherent "focused" and "electric" qualities of this pre, it might be difficult at first to get a sense of space and depth while recording acoustic sources. I've found out that you must move your mic further from the source than you will do with something like the TG2 (my other main preamp)
Anyway...It's all good stuff but I can see how this preamp, like the TG2 or other colored might not be everyone's cup of tea

Bass, keys and ac. guitar are also my 3 uses...
Old 13th December 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
I like it on bass , hi hats,brass,e guitar.to me it sounds like a universal audio 610 but
not as wide and a little more focused.
Old 13th December 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 
drew's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
I find it to be extremely sensitive to the mic pairing. Try it with a Mojave 201FET mic and you'll think something must be broken. But with a 57? Completely different story. No matter what, it's definitely got a sound and you better like it!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 901 ➡️
I got myself a Germanium Preamp a few months ago. I was mainly attracted to it because of people talking about it as being kind of a holy grail. Besides I thought it would be a good idea to have something that is considered to be a character piece. My other pres are the Buzz Audio MA2.2 (which I love!), the Fireface´ pres and an API 512c.

I have the feeling, that I´m not getting it, so to speak.

Sure it sounds different from my other devices. But even with low settings on the Feedback knob I have the feeling that it makes things kind of "smeary" or undefined sounding. Without the Thick switch the sound is lacking in the lower range. I suspect that´s why this switch was added?

With higher Feedback settings the sound improves but is kind of "loose" and unfocused in the low register. Maybe it´s just because of my taste and I have learned the hard way that this thing is just not my cup of tea.

I tried it on electric guitars, acoustic steel string, bass drum, snare, electric bass DI. The only applications where I found it had something to offer was to tame a Telecaster and smooth out a C451B on a hihat.

On what do you guys use it and think it really shines? What to listen for to appreciate the Germs qualities?
Old 13th December 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
901's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Ok, I will give it some more time and try to better learn this thing.

Do you guys set the Gain first and then adjust Feedback to taste or do you start with the Feedback and adjust Gain to match the level? How do you approach it?
Old 13th December 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
BOWIE's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 901 ➡️
Ok, I will give it some more time and try to better learn this thing.

Do you guys set the Gain first and then adjust Feedback to taste or do you start with the Feedback and adjust Gain to match the level? How do you approach it?
Since the feedback dictates the personality of the unit, I set that according to how much color I want and turn the gain upor down from there.
Old 13th December 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Nrt
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
IMO, Germanium pre and comp are absolutely a holy grail, because they do have many different vintage color palette. It may take some time to learn them, though. I love them. I own Neve, API, Germanium, Millenia, etc.
Old 14th December 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 901 ➡️
Ok, I will give it some more time and try to better learn this thing.

Do you guys set the Gain first and then adjust Feedback to taste or do you start with the Feedback and adjust Gain to match the level? How do you approach it?
Hard to say because all the controls are interactive, but as a general rule: less (in actual electronic term it actually means more feedback!) feedback= cleaner, leaner sound.
I think the settings exemples in the user's manual are pretty good starting points.
If you don't have it you can download it from the Chandler website.
Old 14th December 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
dannycurtean@yah's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klauth ➡️
Hey 901,

I got my pair just for drum rooms because, I wanted something that could make things more, "congealed" but, I understand your description as, "smeary".... in other applications... LoL. I find it to be, the perfect color, and vibe for my particular use in room mics. However, If I need a clean sound, they do that pretty well, as well. I consider it more of a, "savant" type, mic pre ... and, I would recommend it be treated as such. ~ The klauth.
I dont mean to be a prick but isnt "congealed" the exact opposite of what the Germ Pre actually does? Congealed, last time I checked, mant to make more rigid or to sharped in up and when comparing to the subjective adjectives used to describe the sound of the Germ Pre, the word means completely the opposite. From my understanding the Germ Pre softens and smooths things out, making elements more vibey with more characted while adding dimmension. I may be mistaken, but did you mean to gel or glue instad of congeal? Either way, the Germ line is wounderful if you are into real "sound" as opposed to no "sound".
Old 14th December 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by skip bitmin ➡️
I like it on bass , hi hats,brass,e guitar.to me it sounds like a universal audio 610 but
not as wide and a little more focused.
Good analogy, it does have a similar vibe although I prefer the germ much more than the 610.
Old 14th December 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Watersound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
unflippin' believable on bass- the DI is great for anything really. I love it for acoustic guitars when you're looking for that super smooth, saturated vibe.
Old 14th December 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
tapehiss's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klauth ➡️
Hey Danny,

No worries... LoL. Congealed is quite an ambiguous word it seems. the particular usage, definition I was referring to was, (as taken from, Miriam Webster)

congealed - jellied: to become thickened, or gelatinous.

Hope that clears it up for ya ~ The klauth.
i understand what you mean, thats the hard part about describing sounds..
is that two people could be saying completely different adjectives while meaning the same thing.
Old 14th December 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
GYang's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Germ is rare specie, not just next pre.
I think it is wonderful with classic analogue synths, miked tube clean guitar amps, organs and some crunched guitars.
I find it exceptional.
Old 15th December 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
ProducerBoy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I like the pre, but not enough to own one. It's funny though... I love color. I love thick, smooth sound. I just don't want a Germ. The LTD-1 OTOH...
Old 15th December 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
GYang's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProducerBoy ➡️
I love color. I love thick, smooth sound. I just don't want a Germ. ..
Something like split personality disorder.
Not so rare on Gearslutz forum.
Old 15th December 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang ➡️
Something like split personality disorder.
Not so rare on Gearslutz forum.
Exactly. If you aren't hitting tape, your best bet is to use the Chandler Germanium. Instantly sounds like a record, depending on the source.
Old 15th December 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
+1 for Bass.

I also like it on fuzz guitars.

I'm glad I have the germ. There are too many identical or very-similar sounding preamps out there. The germ is its own beast, completely. Great for some stuff, Ok for some stuff, horrible for some stuff. That's how it should be. Anything that's just mediocre or 'good' on everything is too... vanilla.
Old 15th December 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
ProducerBoy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang ➡️
Something like split personality disorder.
Not so rare on Gearslutz forum.
Haha. I know! I can't figure out what my deal is... For all accounts and purposes, I should be married to that pre. Oh well... It definitely adds something very special to distorted guitars.
Old 15th December 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
andychamp's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
So far, I've liked best it on
- mic'd rock bass 15" (with an RE20)
- some kicks & snares. Especially with the feedback turned up, there's a kind of compression with percussive sounds
- DI for analog synths, e-pianos and such.
- some vocals

Amazingly, it hasn't impressed me that much on full-on distorted guitars. I'd like to try it on a GREAT slightly crunchy tube amp though, with a great mic.

Generally, I like hitting it with a LOUD signal. It's amazing what you can get out of a TLM103/Germ combo.
Old 15th December 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Moderator
 
Trev@Circle's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
outside kick; occasionally bass, very occasionally heavy guitars.
Old 15th December 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
fifthflaw's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by baikonour ➡️
Great DI for bass, Rhodes, Wurli, any kind of keyboard. I really like it on ac. guitar too with a 414. It's a great pre but not fool proof like say the TG2.
There's so many combination because of the interaction of the drive, feedback and thick that it's easy to get carried away. But that's more an issue to do with the user than with the pre. Because of the inherent "focused" and "electric" qualities of this pre, it might be difficult at first to get a sense of space and depth while recording acoustic sources. I've found out that you must move your mic further from the source than you will do with something like the TG2 (my other main preamp)
Anyway...It's all good stuff but I can see how this preamp, like the TG2 or other colored might not be everyone's cup of tea
Glad your enjoying it mate I still havent replaced it (although a ditressor has appeared in its place)
Old 8th January 2010 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Head
 
thoughtcriminal's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
What about for vocals??

I'm planning to get the germ pre as use for ONLY vocals and occasional bass DI, will it serve me right? The mics I'm using are AT 4050 and Shure SM7b for edgy/melodic rock.... I'm also getting a distressor as my main compressor. After doing some research here Im thinking this setup will rock. Anyone had good results with those mics into a germ?
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