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Guess which pre
Old 22nd January 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Sharkus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Guess which pre

A little game here.

Guess which pre cost more than 500 bucks.

Both tracks were recorded at the same time thru identical Studio Projects C1s set up as close to each other as possible, then into a pre then into an RME adi-8 pro into cubase.
Saved as MP3 with no processing.
Guitar and vocal at the same time to one track.

I'll wait a bit for the reveal.
I always like these kind of threads so this is my contribution.

I'll wait a bit and then reveal the brands.

pre1.mp3

pre2.mp3
Old 22nd January 2009
  #2
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkus ➑️
A little game here.

Guess which pre cost more than 500 bucks.

Both tracks were recorded at the same time thru identical Studio Projects C1s set up as close to each other as possible, then into a pre then into an RME adi-8 pro into cubase.
Saved as MP3 with no processing.
Guitar and vocal at the same time to one track.

I'll wait a bit for the reveal.
I always like these kind of threads so this is my contribution.

I'll wait a bit and then reveal the brands.

Attachment 107640

Attachment 107641
Pre 1 is the expensive one? Rounder sound?
Old 22nd January 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
GordZilla's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
They both sound pretty good to me... but I would have to say that the big money hole is file number 2. It seems to have a thicker, meatier bottom end and more detail in the upper-mids.

Listened with my AKG K271 cans, and also my Mackie HR624 monitors. Great voice btw
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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usefullidiot's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
pre 2 sounds better, dont know if its the expensive one though
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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DeepSpace's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The sound is what matters, clearly, not the price. But there certainly is a difference in sound.

Like the previous couple of posters, I marginally preferred pre2 on this voice and with this mic - though with a different source, in a mix with other tracks, in a different room or with a different mic it might well turn out the other way around.

If pre2 is the cheaper one, then it's not all that bad. And you're lucky to have choices, perhaps, since in a different context pre1 might well prove itself the better choice.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Sharkus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
All good choices so far.
Hey, you got a 50/50 chance of getting it right and if you don't, you don't lose a thing.
I never knew how to define the difference in quality, but this test has me A/Bing the two tracks and I can hear a huge difference.
I will say that clicking on the files and waiting for the download etc... definately ruins most of these "which one" threads.
I find I have to bring the files into an environment where I can quickly switch between tracks. Thats when I start to hear the real difference.

This thread is more for my learning than anything so thanks for participating.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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moon_unit's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Unless you're dealing with two mics that are perfectly matched ... then it's very likely the difference between the two mics might be significant enough to throw the test off. Just a thought.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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zacheus83's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Listened through my DT770's and also through my HS80M's (with HS10's)....


#1 - Vocals sound more distinct, and also the high mids sound a little more "irritating"

#2 - Sounds more meaty beefy and fuller.

The pre used in #1 sounds unnatural because it sounds like there is a 100hz (or maybe higher) rolloff. I feel like I can hear the harmonics of the guitar better in #1.

My ears automatically focus on the mid's in #2. Lows and mids add "energy" to a track and so I think that's why so many people have said #2 sounds better.

Finally, if you are recording acoustic guitar with this type of mellow sounding voice, Pre 2 is the choice for you. For Bassier and more aggressive low end source material, Pre 1 actually might balance your recording and make mixing easier.

Happy Trails!
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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usefullidiot's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit ➑️
Unless you're dealing with two mics that are perfectly matched ... then it's very likely the difference between the two mics might be significant enough to throw the test off. Just a thought.

probably but its just for fun!!!
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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jaz49's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Pre 1 sounds like you eq'd out some of the lows and low mids...pretty thin sounding. I prefer 2, but that doesn't mean it's 'better'.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Head
 
Dreamchaos's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Pre2 is louder than pre1, need to match volumes for a fair
test, try pre1 louder in the next test. Louder sounds better.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Heartfelt's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
#1 is definitely thinner and #2 is beefier. But I need to hear more Vox to pick quality.

However, I wish it was one track, vocals only. The vocals aren't loud enough in my opinion and THAT is what I would listen to. I can hear the above generalizations on the acoustic but I can't really hear the top end on the vocal. Having previously had a C1, this seems to be missing the C1 top end(or again the vox isn't loud enough to hear it well).

just my .02 on my desktop bose.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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DeepSpace's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamchaos ➑️
Pre2 is louder than pre1, need to match volumes for a fair
test, try pre1 louder in the next test. Louder sounds better.
Try listening at different levels, then. Even when you listen to pre2 a couple of db quieter, it still sounds better than pre1.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Sharkus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
OK,

One pre is a Behringer xenyx from a 2442fx board ($350 with 10 mic pres)
the other is a Purple Audio Biz

That means one is a $35 pre and the other is about $700

Any more opinions??
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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Heartfelt's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I haven't heard a purple biz but I will guess it is the latter.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkus ➑️
OK,

One pre is a Behringer xenyx from a 2442fx board ($350 with 10 mic pres)
the other is a Purple Audio Biz

That means one is a $35 pre and the other is about $700

Any more opinions??
Not to be picky but your math is a little off, since it is a mixer with Eq and aux sends ect I would say more like $5.00 (max) per pre only.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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🎧 10 years
I am assuming on the behringer the eq on that channel is "flat" and you made sure to match the gain settings on both recordings.

Neither recording sounded like it exhibited much noise (which is why I stopped using behringer, too much noise), so both recordings are useful and not too bad sounding.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Sharkus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
5 bucks for the behringer pre is fine,
Yes the eq was flat, and I did match gain and output.
I made good and sure the levels were exact.
They seem quiet because I added nothing. No compression, no nothing.
If the volumes seem different, I don't know what to tell you. This isn't scientific, it's just an interesting observation.
They are real close though, trust me, I was very careful and I have no motive but fun. dfegad
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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GordZilla's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm stickin' with my original choice of #2... so that would make it the Purple
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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jaz49's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio ➑️
Not to be picky but your math is a little off, since it is a mixer with Eq and aux sends ect I would say more like $5.00 (max) per pre only.
Hmmmm...that means the Purple audio pre should be 140 times better then...if you get what you pay for.heh Pretty interesting test...demonstrates the law of diminishing returns pretty well, I think. Not meaning to jump to conclusions but judging from this test alone it looks like you could spend maybe %1000 more money on a high end pre and get only a minor improvement in sound quality. This seems to confirm what a lot of folks on this forum have been saying...though others I'm sure will disagree.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
The better pre can bring out the character of the mic, so since I think the C1 is a bit thin anyway...the "thin" track #1 could be the Purple...it is "clearer".

As for the "beefier" #2 track, that can very well be the Bear Ear Ringer. I've noticed similar gear from them providing a beefy but muddier sound. Doesn't sound bad, but more tracks through it might start to get to be messy.

Today I was listening to a well known VO talent who runs a C1 through an ART Dual MP...didn't sound like a C1 at all: kinda full and muddy, which suited his voice. Not bad.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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scrubs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
#2 sounds a little muffled, but is overall better sounding on this track. My guess is that it's the better pre with a decent transformer.

#1 sounds thin and harsh.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
Sharkus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Annnnnnnnnd The Winner is. . .

pre1 = Purple
pre2 = Behringer

toxostoma rufum pretty much nailed it two threads back with "Good pre brings out the character of the mic".

I was surprised how many dug the behr better, but in the context of a one mic recording, a little smear doesn't matter, actually helps maybe.
For the record, I wouldn't trade the Purple for 1,000 Behringers. I don't think the tracks are even close in clarity. The purp is crystal clear and shows more flaws. When you start stacking tracks you can really appreciate it. Plus when you go to adjust eq, comp etc... the Purple track is a joy to work with, the Behringer has way less sweet spot.
Thanks for all who participated, as it takes some guts to chime in on these games. Also thanks GordZilla for the voice compliment.

I did get decent results using the pres on the Behringer for songwriting before I owned the 500 series stuff, but I never used it since.
They are night and day apart. It seems so close though.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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🎧 15 years
I don't think the differences are attributable at all to the pre.

If you were to run the same test, but switch the pre you plug each mic in to ... I think you'd find a lot more variance based on the mics themselves, along with the placement. The C1 is a big mic. You're not going to get them positioned close enough to one another for an even remotely useful test. Not even a fun or unscientific one.

This wasn't as much of a mic pre test as it was a mic test, and the truly revealing thing to me is how widely the SP mics can vary from unit to unit ... and/or how much an inch worth of difference in placement can make.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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GordZilla's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit ➑️
I don't think the differences are attributable at all to the pre.

If you were to run the same test, but switch the pre you plug each mic in to ... I think you'd find a lot more variance based on the mics themselves, along with the placement. The C1 is a big mic. You're not going to get them positioned close enough to one another for an even remotely useful test. Not even a fun or unscientific one.

This wasn't as much of a mic pre test as it was a mic test, and the truly revealing thing to me is how widely the SP mics can vary from unit to unit ... and/or how much an inch worth of difference in placement can make.
So you guessed wrong too huh Moon...LOL heh
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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GordZilla's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordZilla ➑️
I'm stickin' with my original choice of #2... so that would make it the Purple
I guess I better go buy a Behringer.. hahahahaha
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #27
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moon_unit's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordZilla ➑️
So you guessed wrong too huh Moon...LOL heh

If it's not scientific, then what's the point of even doing it?

It's like comparing how sunny it is on Wednesday in Memphis with how sunny it is on Friday in Tuscon.

It's all well and good, but what's the point?
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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bcgood's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have to agree with moon unit, this test is fatally flawed. What people need to understand is that you need to capture the same performance with one mic and then use a splitter to send the mic signal to each pre amp. That is the only fair way to do something like this. Mic position, even a few inches can be a very big deal. Performance variance also has a real impact on the sonic qualities of the recording.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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John Suitcase's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm just listening on an iBook's speakers, but it almost sounds like #2 is a little clipped/distorted, which I think may have made it sound a little 'better' in a certain sense. Clearly #2 doesn't have the same headroom, and any eq or processing that you add will cause it to degrade very rapidly. It's interesting, in these little shootouts, the cheaper gear almost always wins, or at least performs well in terms of votes. Often, though, it's because of non-linearities that sound kind of hyped or excited. But those little distortions are something that can add up in a bad way on many tracks.

I agree that splitting the mic signal would be a little bit fairer, as would giving the Behrry enough headroom (if that's possible, maybe a 10 db pad before the preamp?) The Behrry will still sound worse, I bet, in fact, it may sound dramatically worse once the distortion is eliminated!

It's like a chinese condenser. They often sound so bright and clear at first, then you realize you're hearing some high freq distortion and it turns into nasty sibilance as soon as you compress or eq it.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
Sharkus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit ➑️
If it's not scientific, then what's the point of even doing it?

It's like comparing how sunny it is on Wednesday in Memphis with how sunny it is on Friday in Tuscon.

It's all well and good, but what's the point?

The point? I had fun.

It's like comparing what two different brands of preamp do with two of the same brand mics about two inches apart. No need to get any deeper. You either guessed right, wrong or didn't guess.

I knew as soon as I saw people were choosing the cheap one this would get interesting. I wasn't expecting that at all. The Purple track is so much clearer.
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