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Old 23rd January 2020 | Show parent
 
So I have received the tube preamp Sonicfarm XCalibur (that has an identical tube preamp section as Creamer Plus that I was originally thinking about) https://sonicfarm.com/xcalibur-saturation-preamp/

They had it for review in S.O.S so it was easy and quick to get. Based on all the descriptions etc. I looked forward very much to it and was anticipating beautiful big and sweet sound for some acoustic instruments and vocals.

I was trying it the whole afternoon today and comparing to my Forssell SMP-2 (with Schoeps MK2 and Josephson C700S) and BAE 1073 (on vocals - with U47). It has quite complicated interface with many settings (I did not use saturation), but in the end the sound is quite similar ...

I tried it on melodic percussions, violin, classical guitar and flute (compared to Forssell) and then on vocals and spoken word (compared to BAE 1073).

Well, my enthusiasm decreased quite quickly and unexpectedly ... On all the instruments (comparing to Forssell) the sound was rather 2D, less airy and detailed and often with slightly "edgy" touch (on violin etc.) and it was quite consistent on anything and in any settings ...

On vocals with U47, BAE was bigger and sweeter ...

There was not much left to test ....

Since before I already tried Pendulum, LaChapell, DW Fearn and Thermionic Earlybird and always found Forssell SMP-2 unsurpassable on acoustic instruments, my hopefully final conclusion is that a tube preamp is not needed for my purpose (recording delicate solo acoustic instruments).

And since over the years it is my maybe 150th attempt to compare something to Schoeps (MK2) and Forssell and to find something yet better - with the same result (returning to what I already have), I promised the Universe and the Goddess of Music that I will stop testing and trying whatever else and will concentrate only on creatíng new music

Let us see how long this vow will last