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Gordon vs. Pueblo (vs. Forssell, Pendulum, NPNG, Audio Upgrades...)
Old 9th April 2018 | Show parent
  #391
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swing ➡️
I had thought RME would come out with something like a ADC/Dante interface; maybe they still will.
Agreed. I hope they do that, as well...and keep the price reasonable!
Old 9th April 2018 | Show parent
  #392
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Rumi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippoorwill ➡️
Thanks Rumi, I cleaned up the reaper file included to work with my setup and bounced back between the NPNG and ADT. Strangely in isolation I preferred the NPNG tracks, but in a mix, the ADT sounded more finished. This was late last night, so I want to check it again today.. How similar is this to the ADT TM101?
Thanks again for an interesting comparison, both are excellent preamps.
Yes, both are excellent preamps!

By the way, the 5MT signal was taken from the direct outs.

If you use the Reaper file, there is also an SWS snapshot list included, to switch between channels, solo instruments, and to have the instruments on ADT and vocals on NPNG, or the other way round.

There is silence at the beginning of the vocal tracks because they line up with the music, and start after an instrumental. It is much better to listen to it all in context. If all tracks start at zero, you will get yet another render of "I am a pilgrim".

"More finished" fits the ADT well. The NPNG has this clean clear detached presentation of all the details, while the ADT sounds a bit more "like mixed".

I don't know how similar the 5MT is to the TM101. You might ask Gerd Jüngling himself, he is very approachable.
Old 9th April 2018 | Show parent
  #393
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Rumi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swing ➡️
Thanks again Rumi. Incidentally, there is a stretch of silence at the beginning of the vocal tracks.

EDIT: In hearing the ADT I started to wonder whether the Daking might sit between the NPNG and ADT. So I checked your samples in the other thread and, sure enough, there were the Daking and NPNG! Bravo.
I experienced the Daking as rather unimposing sounding, but in a positive way. It somehow presented the overtone spectrum of an acoustic guitar really nicely.

In the long run, I most often used the EQ for mastering, though (go figure). And eventually sold my pair.
Maybe the Electrodyne pre has some similarities in sound to the Daking pre?

I would be interested in your findings.
Old 9th April 2018 | Show parent
  #394
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Rumi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher ➡️
Thank you for posting those samples. I also noticed the NPNG vs Lake People F355 class A samples on your site. Both comparisons made me very happy with the ADT and Lake People preamps in the roles that I use them in. I should note that the ADT TM101 is known for sounding slightly more precise in the highs than the model of the same preamp in the ADT consoles, according to a test by Dieter Kahlen. I'll attach it below. According to how I know my own TM101's I can confirm that impression when listening to your samples. My TM101's are a bit more agile/energetic sounding, somewhere in between your ADT and NPNG samples. Since mine have Elma switches for the gain at my own preference points and the NPNG cannot be made with Elma switches I am happy to stay with what I have, especially since I do not record rock, but only acoustic/classical.

The F355 class A sounds especially good in conjunction with Lake People's own AD-converter F444: more subtle in the transients and not as "hard" as it can sound with others. The two seem to be "tuned" to each other, although I find the F444 to be an excellent converter with many other preamps.
Very interesting, thank you for sharing!

Are you sure that Karl Diehl couldn't make you a custom NPNG with Elma switches? As far as I know, it's at least possible to have a custom built unit with stepped switches.

Edit: By the way, I wouldn't call the NPNG a "Rock" preamp. The ADT 5MT reminds me more of Rock than the more relaxed and open sounding NPNG.
Old 10th April 2018 | Show parent
  #395
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Adebar's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher ➡️
.... according to a test by Dieter Kahlen. I'll attach it below. According to how I know my own TM101's I can confirm that impression when listening to your samples. My TM101's are a bit more agile/energetic sounding, somewhere in between your ADT and NPNG samples. Since mine have Elma switches for the gain at my own preference points and the NPNG cannot be made with Elma switches I am happy to stay with what I have, especially since I do not record rock, but only acoustic/classical.
There is also a review from Studio Magazin about the Gordon Model 5 (attached). It has stepped gain settings via a seperate gain control (remote). What you describe with "more energetic" sounding could also fit to the Gordon.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Gordon Model 5.pdf (733.9 KB, 95 views)
Old 11th April 2018 | Show parent
  #396
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Earcatcher's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumi ➡️
Are you sure that Karl Diehl couldn't make you a custom NPNG with Elma switches?
I already checked this with Karl years ago and he said it was not possible.
Old 11th April 2018 | Show parent
  #397
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Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumi ➡️
Edit: By the way, I wouldn't call the NPNG a "Rock" preamp.
That is sorta silly, because I use mine for "Rock" AND "Roll"...all the time. But not because I am looking for it to add that...Whatever "that" is...I tend to use mine for louder sources like Drums and Bass, due to the passive trim before the 7-transistor front end, which lets me use the hot mics I like on loud sources.
Old 11th April 2018 | Show parent
  #398
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar ➡️
There is also a review from Studio Magazin about the Gordon Model 5 (attached). It has stepped gain settings via a seperate gain control (remote). What you describe with "more energetic" sounding could also fit to the Gordon.
I am aware of the Gordon. A very interesting preamp that I have actually tested. Maybe you should have a look at the comments I wrote in this thread in 2014: Holy grail preamp: most versatile? Those comments were even reason for Grant Carpenter to give one of his very rare comments on GS: Holy grail preamp: most versatile?
Old 16th November 2020
  #399
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Rumi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Hello all!

It's been a while!

I have made some more tests, and uploaded more files.

Acousence (for which I am a distributor) is in the process of releasing a new converter, the arfi-adda191, which is a one rack space ADDA 2 channel converter with "included mic pres". These mic pres are not additional components, but instead, the ADC is modified in a way so it can act as a mic pre. This results in a very minimalistic design.

The Acousence to me sounds more "carved out" than the Pueblo, a bit more lively, but they sound very similar. The Pueblo is rounder, more forgiving, a bit more colored (!). I guess the Acousence is now the most transparent mic pre I know.
Given that you get a 2 channel ADC of the highest quality AND 2 mic pres of the highest quality (along with 2 channels of highest grade DAC in the arfi-adda191), the price is also very good.

The NPNG is, as expected, a bit harder sounding than the Acousence, less relaxed, more edgy. This is also due to the Sennheiser MKH40 mics I used, though.

All preamps are of the highest quality.


I have also tested the Buzz MA2.2. I am disappointed by that one. I don't like how it sounds in the upper mids at all. I was surprised by that result.

The Acousence files can be found here:
http://www.pilgrimstudio.ch/comparis..._vs_Pueblo.zip
http://www.pilgrimstudio.ch/comparis...ce_vs_NPNG.zip

As usual, these are first takes, musicality is secondary. The distance from the MKH40s was a bit more than a meter, a bit closer for vocals. The distance was that big in order to minimize differences in sound due to mic placement in relation to the source. Mic placement was not optimized for the different sources, but was kept constant. I sang on my knees...

Last edited by Rumi; 8th December 2020 at 12:29 AM..
Old 16th November 2020 | Show parent
  #400
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumi ➡️
Hello all!

It's been a while!

I have made some more tests, and uploaded more files.

Acousence has just released a new converter, the arfi-adda191, which is a one rack space ADDA 2 channel converter with "included mic pres". These mic pres are not additional components, but instead, the ADC is modified in a way so it can act as a mic pre. This results in a very minimalistic design.

The Acousence to me sounds more "carved out" than the Pueblo, a bit more lively, but they sound very similar. The Pueblo is rounder, more forgiving, a bit more colored (!). I guess the Acousence is now the most transparent mic pre I know.
Given that you get a 2 channel ADC of the highest quality AND 2 mic pres of the highest quality (along with 2 channels of highest grade DAC in the arfi-adda191), the price is also very good.

The NPNG is, as expected, a bit harder sounding than the Acousence, less relaxed, more edgy. This is also due to the Sennheiser MKH40 mics I used, though.

All preamps are of the highest quality.


I have also tested the Buzz MA2.2. I am disappointed by that one. I don't like how it sounds in the upper mids at all. I was surprised by that result.

The Acousence files can be found here:
http://www.pilgrimstudio.ch/comparis..._vs_Pueblo.zip
http://www.pilgrimstudio.ch/comparis...ce_vs_NPNG.zip

As usual, these are first takes, musicality is secondary. The distance from the MKH40s was a bit more than a meter, a bit closer for vocals. The distance was that big in order to minimize differences in sound due to mic placement in relation to the source. Mic placement was not optimized for the different sources, but was kept constant. I sang on my knees...
Thank you so much for doing this very revealing test! Very much appreciate it!
The Acousence does sound very nice. Very....open and smooth. I liked it on Acoustic Guitar. Has a very...real sound.
On Guitar I felt the Pueblo lost some of the intimate openness of the strings when compared to Acousence. However On Voice, the Pueblo seemed a bit rounder and thus added some musicality to the voice. But the Acousence was still great and once again open. Might stand out more in mix?
The NPNG was the least desirable sounding to my ears by far. Your description fits perfectly.
Old 18th November 2020
  #401
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Rumi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I have to add that in all the files, Acousence was the ADC, which like the mic pre is extremely transparent and "musical sounding" - which in most cases I would find an inappropriate marketing phrase, but in this case, it fits well.
The Acousence was clocked by my Euphonix MADI hub.

And by "more carved out" compared to the Pueblo, I meant that the Acousence is more vivid dynamically, sounds more lively. The Pueblo to me sounds rounder and thus "warmer".

It's always interesting to listen to different things: what frequencies or frequency regions stand out; how do the instruments interact with each other; how do they "gel"; how are they separated or combined etc.; how is it dynamically; what impact does the sound have on me; am I being "drawn into" the music, or am I looking at it through a window? etc.

Last edited by Rumi; 18th November 2020 at 08:16 PM..
Old 19th November 2020
  #402
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Rumi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Another point I have to explore more is how the Acousence recordings behave in a mix. It seems very promising in that regard.

It seems to me that while Pueblo might sound a bit too "tamed" for Rock etc. (which was the reason I used NPNG in such cases), the Acousence's clarity yields to more punch, and can thus be used for Rock etc. with great results. Its dynamics are even more lively and thus have more impact than those of the NPNG, which might well translate to "punch". Any color can then come from microphones or other components in the chain. But you have a signal with the utmost clarity and detail and impact to start with, which allows you to go into any direction you like. And of course, it already sounds great on its own, no question...

Last edited by Rumi; 8th December 2020 at 12:31 AM..
Old 6th December 2020 | Show parent
  #403
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I enthusiastically run 16 channels of Pueblo as my clean preamps, could immediately hear differences in the Acousense files. Thank you very much for attention to detail in your samples, it is a pleasure to have 96k and a variety of samples.

My Pueblos aren't going anywhere but I would likely enjoy having Acousense as an option.

That said, key Pueblo features that are often missed in other preamps should, IMO, be part of every preamp as it makes every recording session better; 1) absolute level matching of every preamp and 2) a second output.

Does the Acousense which takes mic signals have both an analog and digital output? Is there a Thunderbolt option?

What are the costs of these units in the US?
Old 8th December 2020 | Show parent
  #404
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Rumi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenLMorgan ➡️
I enthusiastically run 16 channels of Pueblo as my clean preamps, could immediately hear differences in the Acousense files. Thank you very much for attention to detail in your samples, it is a pleasure to have 96k and a variety of samples.

My Pueblos aren't going anywhere but I would likely enjoy having Acousense as an option.

That said, key Pueblo features that are often missed in other preamps should, IMO, be part of every preamp as it makes every recording session better; 1) absolute level matching of every preamp and 2) a second output.

Does the Acousense which takes mic signals have both an analog and digital output? Is there a Thunderbolt option?

What are the costs of these units in the US?
Hi Steven,

There is no Thunderbolt option, but you can have AES, MADI or Dante. SPdif should also be no problem. I have to ask if this is also so for the 19" 1HU unit (the arfi-adda191), but it is certainly the case for the modular system 193.

I will personally vote for a second output! I like that very much on the Pueblo. (I have been involved in some of the decisions for the non-technical aspects of the Acousence units, and will talk with the designer about that.)

And yes, level matching between channels should be a given. I know how much Ralf, the designer, is focused on the most minute details!

Please send me a PM for more info.
Old 10th December 2020
  #405
Gear Addict
 
___GLM___'s Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Thank you for the audio files
I really like the acouscense. How would you describe the differences compared to Gordon preamp?
Old 10th December 2020 | Show parent
  #406
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Love Acousence but I have made a strong move to a new Forssell converter. This because of the weak dollar vs. the Euro and the Swiss Franc. Also because Acousence boosted the price of their 191 converter Euro 1000 over the former also high quality
ARFI ADC-2.

Made in USA.
Old 16th December 2020 | Show parent
  #407
Lives for gear
 
Rumi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ___GLM___ ➡️
Thank you for the audio files
I really like the acouscense. How would you describe the differences compared to Gordon preamp?
I haven't directly compared the Gordon to Acousence. I would describe the Gordon sound as more colored, like having a dusty patina. The Acousence is lively, clear and real. But again, this is not a direct comparison.
Old 16th December 2020 | Show parent
  #408
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumi ➡️
I would describe the Gordon sound as more colored, like having a dusty patina.

Old 16th December 2020 | Show parent
  #409
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Rumi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by legato ➡️
Have you compared it to the Acousence? You might be surprised.

It's a noble patina, but it's a patina.
Old 24th February 2021 | Show parent
  #410
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Gordon Model 5 --> wow factor for me

All,
I'm in danger of highjacking this thread since I'm not able to compare to Pueblo, etc., but after many many years of holding back I finally pulled the trigger on a Gordon Model 5. Full disclosure, I am an electrical engineer involved in audio circuits for a living (consumer audio) but not a studio professional, met designer Grant Carpenter years ago at AES (2011), heard from him about his (unique) design philosophy and always wanted one for myself, to judge in my own recording environment but no option to rent where I live.

Since purchasing a Coles 4038 pair sometime back, I felt that my preamps were somehow degrading what I should be hearing, if nothing else the need for excessively high gain resulted in some annoying hiss. Decided it was time to just take the dive --> with the Gordon I found essentially no audible hiss even at the highest gain setting and a hyper realistic result.

I don't want to oversell it but in case it helps people who are on the fence: I'm very happy with the purchase, was exactly what I was looking for.
-Chris
Old 24th February 2021 | Show parent
  #411
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
You could not have done better.

Congrats!
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