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Mic Pre Decision Time- CL 7602 or Speck MicPre 5.0
Old 4th February 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Mic Pre Decision Time- CL 7602 or Speck MicPre 5.0

Hey Slutz

I do hip hop and pop rock vocal recording. I have a modest setup (check the sig). I am looking to upgrade my Vocal Chain. I am not made of money so i am look for bang for the buck...That also means versatile. So that means, I am looking for that Top 40 Sound (lily alan, coldplay, Justin) but i would also need the edgy sound (Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Beck)

I have narrowed it down to

1: Speck MicPre 5.0
2: Chameleon Labs 7602

This will be my first high end pre. I just want a pre that is good. I could care less if it sounds like a neve or whatever. I am in the camp of "get a good pre, use it, and make music" But i do want that "expensive" sound for lack of a better word. I also don't want "fake" so i must admit i am a bit timid about the 7602.

For the grimy stuff, i still have my Joemeek but that beast is very unpredictable. Sometimes its great and sometimes it has terrible days.

Can someone point me the right direction?

PS i am on this board almost 50% of the day and have used the search function thoroughly. Thanks!
Old 4th February 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Haven't heard the CL. The Speck 5.0 is a really nice sounding pre. Don't think you can go wrong there..! Good luck..
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
thanks for the reply... i think so too... i am leaning toward that the Speck to be honest... i just wanted to hear some opinions about the CL in comparison to the Speck. Maybe i fell prey to the "neve" tag.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
AdamJay's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
hate to distract you as you've obviously narrowed it down to 2... but if you want an "edgy" sound at that price point then the Daking Mic Pre One is worth consideration.
(but if its just CL vs. Speck i'd choose the Speck)
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Never tried the Speck, but I have the CL7602:

Excellent very responsive EQ - Nice "shiny" top end when you boost 16K...
Sounds
lovely with acoustic gtrs

-

Quite a round smooth sound, but detailed, when EQ set flat

-

Characterful when you push the preamp gain - Thick low mids and harmonics (cut the top end a bit to smooth it out if you're hammering the pre gain all the way up stike

Definitely "edgy" if you want that sound but fat and "buttery" overdrive if you fiddle with the EQ

Loads of preamp gain but very quiet - great for soft acoustic gtrs or quiet female vocalists.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I just checked out the Daking... Looks really cool also so i guess now i am considering the two.

So the CL is capable of fat edgy tones as well as recording something as soft as a female vocal? Is it that versatile of a pre? if so that sounds good to me!

thanks for the opinions... keep em coming
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well between a Daking/CL and your Meek and A & H you have a good palatte.

Perhaps the A & H is doing the Speck thing already?
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
So the Mix Wiz is as good as a Speck?! Well if that is true hallelujah haha. jk. I use the pres on the Mix Wiz everyday for my Radio Show and I truly think they are perfect for the application. But for discrete vocals on music i am not so certain. Maybe I should just use what i have?!
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I didn't mean that per se... but the Miz Wizard has a reputation for being on the clean/neutral side, as does Spec stuff, although the output xformer may add some beneficial "colour" options.

The Spec also has the "straight wire with gain" option for a shorter more direct sig path, and it has a very wide freq response thumbsup
Old 4th February 2009
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hate to pop up with a sideline here, but couldn't resist......just to say that the 'edgy Chillis sound' and the 'TOP 40 sound' may well be the same pre, as the difference is likely mostly in the us of it and even more so, in the mixing.....just a thought.

Still, pursuing a good pre is definitely the way foward! Good luck! Haven't tried any of the mentioned, so can't comment....
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah i feel you on the AH being really clean. I like it for that application. It definitely is a quality sound. Not tinny like many budget mixers i have used ahem behringer.

I understand much of the sound is because of the mix. i have the utmost respect for all mix engineers and tracking engineers. i just want to be able to deliver a product that the mix engineer can work with and make a hit cd with. thanks
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkung ➑️
Yeah i feel you on the AH being really clean. I like it for that application. It definitely is a quality sound. Not tinny like many budget mixers i have used ahem behringer.

I understand much of the sound is because of the mix. i have the utmost respect for all mix engineers and tracking engineers. i just want to be able to deliver a product that the mix engineer can work with and make a hit cd with. thanks
Point being, any of the three could do that, if used right I suspect.....
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkung ➑️
thanks for the reply... i think so too... i am leaning toward that the Speck to be honest... i just wanted to hear some opinions about the CL in comparison to the Speck. Maybe i fell prey to the "neve" tag.
Speck product is hand built in the USA with pride. "And that's what I have to say bout that"
I would suggest the Speck is a very strong contender for versatility.

These preamps work when you need them to. A couple of racks with 4 Speck Mic pre's for basics can be a HANDY bunch of preamps to have around that are DIFFERENT from everything else in the rack, and because they sound cleaner and fuller than most at this price range, I'd say they are worth a shot to try.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You appear to be on the verge of your preamp channels outnumbering your mics available...yikes!

In this case I would say mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic, mic.

Oh, and mic.

War

The Speck is a nice clean preamp that when you engage the output transformer has more of a "sheen" to it, it's vibey and subtle but I dig it, but nothing about that preamp is edge-y.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Hey War,

So new mic instead of pre huh? i just thought my pres were weaker than my mics. any suggestions then? you think my pres are good enough?

back to the pre decision. I am thinking my Meek could handle edgy... i guess i just want that nice sheen everyone is talking about. Looks like the Speck will be the right way to go. Funny thing is, I am in China. I think that there are some goods made here that sound good (tubes are awesome here). The speck seems highly recommended by some smart people so i think i will go that route... gotta wait a few weeks before i head back to the states so the discussion is still open! thanks guys
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Just another thought: I purchased a 7602 Mkll from Front End Audio. (Warren, please let me know if you as well will be offering this) They do a "Premium Upgrade" which upgrades the transformers, but as well changes the caps to the tatalum caps and also puts the correct output driver in the unit. These three things are supposed to send the unit in a direction that is close to Neve than the stock unit. The price is really quite resonable. I haven't received the unit yet, but if it delivers on what it promises, it will be a good deal.

Kirt Shearer
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
The Chameleon is very good. I'm a happy Speck 5.0 user: it works phenomenally with any mic (so far!), and as War suggests, you could use some more mics. It's really outstanding with dynamics too, since it's clean, quiet, and has a 4.6k ohms input impedance. It's clean, but not wimpy...so it lets your mic and your processing get on with their work without messing up the sound - in fact, it makes their jobs easier! A Speck driven pop-vocal will find its proper place in the mix with no muss and no fuss. I also use mine for voice over and it works great. The switchable output transformer is subtle on a raw soloed track, but it gives you a nice extra vibe when you're done.

How about get a Speck and a nice dynamic mic?
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
oh maybe its not in my signature because i forgot to add. for my radio show, i also have a bunch of dynamics

sm57
beta 57 x2
beta 58

i need an sm7 tho!
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbshearer ➑️
(Warren, please let me know if you as well will be offering this)
This upgrade is performed by one of my best friends, the owner of SoundLab Studio in Lexington SC.

War thumbsup
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
jkung, I am also wondering if that "edge" you hear might be compression artifacts. An 1176 or LA3A can certainly bring the edge and forward sound out of a vocal for sure.

War
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
larry b's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'd go for the 7602 over the Speck if you want something with a bit of sass to it.

Also, the EQ on it is worth the price of admission alone...
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Yes that edge to the vocal most certainly has some hard compression to it. so maybe either of these pres will be perfectly ok? sounds like everyone on this thread suggests both. the CL is appealing because it has an eq section that i could definitely use in a vox chain. probably much better than my AH anyhow. I have waves ren eq that i use for rough mix.

which would pair better with my oktava mod? do you think any of these boxes would take the shrill out of my NT-2?
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The Chameleon with EQ will certainly net you more options, and I like that high shelf too.

War
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hello again - CL7602 and KEL HM-2D clips (one with distorted vox

KEL HM-2D with Chameleon Labs CL7602
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkung ➑️
... bang for the buck ...
Speck


Quote:
... i do want that "expensive" sound for lack of a better word. I also don't want "fake" so i must admit i am a bit timid about the 7602 ...
Speck


Quote:
... the Mix Wiz is as good as a Speck?! ...
I've owned 3 A&H mixers over the years, and still use one daily. They are reliable and solid. Their preamps are nowhere near as good as a Speck MicPre 5.0. That thing is musical and powerful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell ➑️
Speck product is hand built in the USA with pride. "And that's what I have to say bout that"
Amen. Call up the 7602 designer sometime to ask questions about the product, if you can find him? Then call Vince Poulos at Speck...


I've not used the 7602. You won't regret buying Speck products of any kind, can use them for the rest of your music career if you want. Then when you want EQs get the ASC-T!

Steve
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
wow, you want a pro sounding preamp and run a NT2 through it ? I'm with warhead.....mic, mic mic etc, the best preamp out there would still sound like crap using NT2. wow brittle and thin.
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Steve that is quite the endorsement. I think I am going with the Speck.

I agree the NT-2 is terrible. So i upgraded to the oktavamod which i like very much. i was also looking at the some other mics to upgrade as well. The AT 4050 was never very flattering to my voice so i ruled out AT's. I just thought the oktavamod and a Speck might go well together...

Blast- great songs... very natural and organic... anyone have clips of the SPECK?
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
asagaai's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegybug ➑️
Speck


I've not used the 7602. You won't regret buying Speck products of any kind, can use them for the rest of your music career if you want. Then when you want EQs get the ASC-T!

Steve

Well-not using the 7602- bit of a problem to compare units.

I have the ASC-T eq's and 7602. My tip would be go for 7602 but with the Carnhills transformers and the Tantalum capacitor upgrades-I am thinking rolling for one of these myself. As a pre the 7602 was a little hairy on the edges up high-and I think the Carnhills would round that off.

Speck ASC-T eq's are great- I tend to use over final mix for very minor adjustments- very clean/precise fine edged shaping. Great for bell shaped cuts. Like creating a shape outa concrete using a hammer and a chisel.

But for colour-whoo boy- if I want to mash a kick or a tom or (to lesser effect a snare) the 7602 can do shaping like using a 25Kg jackhammer on the concrete. Also- I have had good results using as a line in vocal eq to take out upper edge harshness
when mike powered by another pre amp.

I suspect the 7602 with the Carnhill and tantalum options will be a very good unit-War- you going to sell this option?

GJ
Newcastle/OZ
T
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
it seems that gearslutz is as torn as i am about the subject. seems like both camps have their supporters. decisions decisions...

I am going to base my decision on vocals and guitar. I wish i had a drum set to mic up but i don't (might change soon). Still tough to decide. Often times when i hear a mic is "clean, clinical, detailed" i think that might not be as full as a pre with "character". Would you say the Speck is a full sounding clear preamp?
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegybug ➑️
...call Vince Poulos at Speck...
Just a thumbsup to Vince, a very open guy and honest about what he and his products can do, one of the nicest gear makers I ever get the pleasure of speaking with by phone or at the trade shows.

War
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