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JLM Baby Animal
Old 28th January 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
JLM Baby Animal

Hi all,

I have been looking for a DIY project for a long time, and stumbled across the JLM site the other day. I really like the look of the baby animal pre coupled with either DI. While I have been talking to Joe about config I would still like to call on public opinion.

Firstly I'll provide some background info:
Using Mbox 2, will be using this DI/preamp combo for vocals, DI'd guitar and bass, as my only option at the moment is using sim software. I play heavy rock with a bit of melodic thrash incorporated. I plan to run this DI/preamp unit balanced into my Mbox2 line input, which I've found offers the least adultered sound.

Without bringing up my specific style with Joe he has recommended the JLM99v and JLM14 transformers in the Baby Animal kit, and I'll also order one of the DI's (Fet or Opamp I still need to talk to him more about), and the 48volt PSU.

I've read great reviews for all JLM gear, however I have struggled to find specific facts on the baby animals sound. Will this preamp/DI unit be much/a lot/throttle my mbox pres, and how does it compared to low/mid priced items like the Joe Meek OneQ etc, I know the price is right if it's decent but I want to ensure it's going to improve my sound before buying it.
Old 28th January 2009
  #2
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
The Jlm pres while I v'e never heard'em would probably "throttle" your mbox pres...but lets not forget the problem with mboxes are that the disgustingly designed mbox analog stages have no headroom. Even The Line amps start to introduce a muffled sound at unity gain. I feel like if you were to record good pres through an mbox is like drinking single malt through a dirty straw.

I think your best bet is at least to hit pt through the line stages of an 002 or 003 or better yet a modded 002 or 003.

...

OTOH, get the baby animal now and realize that down the road you will never realize a huge improvement until you up your interface a notch.

I've spent a bit of time time hitting an mbox with api pre's and I call tell you is it still sounded like ****. I was much happier hitting radar with budget live console pre's.

Now that I have a bit of a budget I can kind actually get the most out my api pre's hitting a lynx aurora. I got my pre's before the aurora.. but I feel like they collected dust for a while.

The bottom line is that a JLM pre would probably be fun to build, educational, and at least be a worthy investment for years to come.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
TornadoTed's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've built 16 channels of JLM Baby Animals now.

8x JLM14, JLM99v, JLM111DC

8x Cinemag CMI-8PCA, API 2520, JLM111DC

They are fantastic, a friend and I blind tested the API style Baby Animal against an API 3124+ and it was very, very close. The JLM was a touch less agressive but I think that is because of the 8:1 input transformer where I'm pretty sure API use a 10:1

The Baby Animals with all JLM parts are my favourite preamps, they are big and warm and easily on par with the JLM API and A-Designs Pacifica preamps I own and smoke the Focusrite RED that I sold when I got the JLM's.

Incidently this was my first ever DIY project and 15 out of the 16 preamps worked straight away and the other just had a tiny solder bridge that was easily picked up with a magnifying glass.

Biggest bargain in pro audio at the moment IMHO.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1979 ➑️
The Jlm pres while I v'e never heard'em would probably "throttle" your mbox pres...but lets not forget the problem with mboxes are that the disgustingly designed mbox analog stages have no headroom. Even The Line amps start to introduce a muffled sound at unity gain. I feel like if you were to record good pres through an mbox is like drinking single malt through a dirty straw.

I think your best bet is at least to hit pt through the line stages of an 002 or 003 or better yet a modded 002 or 003.

...

OTOH, get the baby animal now and realize that down the road you will never realize a huge improvement until you up your interface a notch.

I've spent a bit of time time hitting an mbox with api pre's and I call tell you is it still sounded like ****. I was much happier hitting radar with budget live console pre's.

Now that I have a bit of a budget I can kind actually get the most out my api pre's hitting a lynx aurora. I got my pre's before the aurora.. but I feel like they collected dust for a while.

The bottom line is that a JLM pre would probably be fun to build, educational, and at least be a worthy investment for years to come.

I know what you mean, the mbox will never reflect the true difference of any higher quality piece of equipment in the chain before it. However I had been interested in doing a DIY project for a while, and I had originally intended just to make the DI, with aspirations of making the preamp shortly afterwards depending on how the DI build went. Joe suggested doing the two at once, which while he is selling his product, does make sense to me.

In a nutshell I wanted a DIY project, but figured if I could make something highly usuable it would be far better than a throw away DIY item.

Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
mdmitch2's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
You might consider the seventh circle audio DIY preamps too. DIY Mic Preamp Kits - Seventh Circle Audio . I just built a T15 (similar to DAV BG1), and it sounds awesome, and was a fun and easy build.

The advantage of the 7th circle stuff is that their preamps mount in a modular chassis which can house up to 8 different preamps. It's also a little cheaper to get your foot in the door -- $399 for the chassis, power supply, and 1st T15 preamp.

They also have neve 1272, api 512, millenia, and jensen clones -- all of which receive nothing but rave reviews.

On the other hand, I'm really interested in the JLM diy MAC compressor that will supposedly be released in full kit form sooner or later.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
lpkyer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm planning to build a baby animal pre but it's so easy to get lost on their website....

Which kit should I buy if I want to build two neve inspired of those pres?
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a couple 99v with Lundahl transformers...Killer
Old 17th February 2019
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
You can replace the DI with an output volume knob if you talk with Joe. Or get a compressor before going into your M-box. Does the M-box have a pad?
Old 18th February 2019 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuntdrummer ➑️
You can replace the DI with an output volume knob if you talk with Joe. Or get a compressor before going into your M-box. Does the M-box have a pad?
Dude... this thread is ten years old.
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