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Can't decide: BLA B12a or SCA A12
Old 18th August 2011
  #1
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Can't decide: BLA B12a or SCA A12

Gonna have about $650 set aside in the next couple of weeks. I've wanted to buy and build out an SCA rack ever since I got into recording. I have quite a few clean pre's already, so I want something with some mojo.

$650 for a single channel of SCA A12 (until I can add more cards)
$600 for two channels of BLA B12a

Sound quality appears to be around the same on both units from what I can gather. BLA uses wall-warts, which isn't a HUGE deal, but is something to consider. SCA is a little more expensive to get into initially, but afterwards I can get into the Neve thing for $329 a channel, not to mention their new compressor coming out soon.

Would love to hear some opinions, especially if you have or use either or both of these units.
Old 18th August 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Do you need two channels of API flavor at the moment?

Another thing to consider is the assembly of the SCA stuff. Even if you buy the unassembled A12 you'll still be paying a little more for it than the BLA, and then you have to take the time to put it together and test it. Same goes for the N72. I haven't heard either of the API clones so I don't know which one sounds better and if the SCA is worth the price/effort over the BLA. That said, I do love the SCA pres I have.
Old 18th August 2011 | Show parent
  #3
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revson ➑️
Do you need two channels of API flavor at the moment?

Another thing to consider is the assembly of the SCA stuff. Even if you buy the unassembled A12 you'll still be paying a little more for it than the BLA, and then you have to take the time to put it together and test it. Same goes for the N72. I haven't heard either of the API clones so I don't know which one sounds better and if the SCA is worth the price/effort over the BLA. That said, I do love the SCA pres I have.
I don't NEED them at all right now, actually. I've got some decent pres and have made some great sounding recordings with them. My end-goal is to have at least 2 neve style pres and 2 API style pres. I'm also going to build a passive summing box, so I will want two channels of pres for different flavors for my summed mixes.

Anyways, the short term value win goes to the BLA. Long term expandability goes to SCA.

Glad to hear you're happy with your SCA pres. What modules do you have?
Old 18th August 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
If that's all you need then you might want to get two of the BLA's and two GAP pre73's. That'll cover all your bases at an affordable cost. Again, I haven't used the GAP but I consistently hear good things.

I have the SCA N72, T15s, and C84s in pairs. The N72 is my go-to pre for everything and the T15's get some use in drum micing. I never really use my C84's though. They just seem to have a really hot output or I messed up the build on both of them in the exact same way. But they do sound like you're recording through diamonds.
Old 18th August 2011 | Show parent
  #5
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revson ➑️
But they do sound like you're recording through diamonds.
Love it!!! I've read lots of good about the GAP, but if you take the chassis/powersupply out of the equation, the bang for your buck factor of the N72 can't be beat. Glad to hear you like them so much.

How do the T15's compare to the N72's? Obviously there's a flavor difference, but as far as gain, quality, noise, etc...How are they? Maybe I'll get into it with two T15's first, then add N72's and A12's down the road....???
Old 18th August 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
The t15s are very clean, but seem to have what I would describe as a caramel glaze on them. It's very subtle though and really it's the most neutral preamp of the bunch. Easy to build too. I would imagine they're similar in sound to an ssl preamp, though I can't say for certain.

The n72s are aggressive. I typically record metal and these get used on everything I can put them on. A long time ago I A/B'd the three I have and the n72 is very colored compared to the others.

The c84, as I said earlier, is like playing through diamonds, but again the output is so hot I never really use them.

The feature I like best about the t15 and n72 is the full fader trim pot. All other pres have a 6dB trim pot which makes it more difficult to drive he input hard with clipping the converters.

If you can afford it I would emphatically recommend the SCA stuff. I would have a chassis of n72s and one of the a12s if I could. You can't go wron with the t15s though, especially if you don't have much experience soldering.
Old 18th August 2011 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
hasbeen's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I can jump in and vouch for the N72s as well. I love them.

I also have an A12 and compare it to my API 512c and BAE 312a. As far as API style goes, the A12 is similar enough to the API and BAE to include it as a bona fide API in a recording situation. I have switched op amps (2520, Avedis, SC25) between the 3 and am very pleased with the SCA version.

If I were building another SCA I would go for N72s and A12s first, getting the API and Neve clones covered.
Old 19th August 2011
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 20 years
Would a cost-reduced, no-options, preassembled version of the A12 (let's call it the A12b) for, say, $279 sway your decision? It will sound exactly like the current A12 and will retain the Grayhill, Bourns, and E-Switch controls, Cinemag transformers, and Neutrik XLR connectors. Add our bomb-proof, made in the USA chassis, 80W power supply (nearly twice the power per "slot" as a standard 500 series rack), and wiring harness for a total of $599 before shipping.
Old 19th August 2011 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhCircle ➑️
Would a cost-reduced, no-options, preassembled version of the A12 (let's call it the A12b) for, say, $279 sway your decision? It will sound exactly like the current A12 and will retain the Grayhill, Bourns, and E-Switch controls, Cinemag transformers, and Neutrik XLR connectors. Add our bomb-proof, made in the USA chassis, 80W power supply (nearly twice the power per "slot" as a standard 500 series rack), and wiring harness for a total of $599 before shipping.
I would take two of those today to fill out my rack. Could you clarify the "no-options" aspect though?
Old 19th August 2011 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Could you clarify the "no-options" aspect though?
No socketed op-amp, fixed voltage regulators, steel output transformer only, no header for isolated output. It will have a jumper-selectable on-board 18dB pad on the output, though.
Old 19th August 2011 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhCircle ➑️
No socketed op-amp, fixed voltage regulators, steel output transformer only, no header for isolated output. It will have a jumper-selectable on-board 18dB pad on the output, though.
PM coming your way.
Old 19th August 2011 | Show parent
  #12
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Is this a returned module or something I can order in a couple weeks? (won't have the money for a couple weeks; waiting on the sale of a piece of gear to a fellow slut).
Old 19th August 2011 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Is this a returned module or something I can order in a couple weeks?
No, this is a new module in the works that will be available around the end of September. We're going to do a similar version of the J99 after that.
Old 19th August 2011 | Show parent
  #14
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhCircle ➑️
No, this is a new module in the works that will be available around the end of September. We're going to do a similar version of the J99 after that.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have no idea how much this excites me! I would love to DIY, but having a preassembled module would be great for me since I have no experience soldering on PCB (I'm a quick learner, but would rather not take a gamble on a $329 module).

Yes, I'm extremely interested. I'm also intrigued by your compressor modules! My long-term plan is to have 2 N72's, 2 A12's, 2 T15's and 2 compressors. I'll be ordering in a couple weeks. Thanks!
Old 19th August 2011 | Show parent
  #15
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhCircle ➑️
Would a cost-reduced, no-options, preassembled version of the A12 (let's call it the A12b) for, say, $279 sway your decision? It will sound exactly like the current A12 and will retain the Grayhill, Bourns, and E-Switch controls, Cinemag transformers, and Neutrik XLR connectors. Add our bomb-proof, made in the USA chassis, 80W power supply (nearly twice the power per "slot" as a standard 500 series rack), and wiring harness for a total of $599 before shipping.
If you pull this off at that price you're going to sell a boat load of these things. It sounds like this is some kind of package deal, after a person buys the initial package will additional preamps still be available for $279?
Old 19th August 2011 | Show parent
  #16
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
@seventhcircle

Oh, and if you offer this deal for the N72 you would probably make some serious waves at least here on gearslutz. The pre73 destroyer!
Old 19th August 2011 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dysenterygary ➑️
@seventhcircle

Oh, and if you offer this deal for the N72 you would probably make some serious waves at least here on gearslutz. The pre73 destroyer!
Yes, please.
Old 20th August 2011 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Oh, and if you offer this deal for the N72 you would probably make some serious waves at least here on gearslutz. The pre73 destroyer!
Extremely unlikely. As long as the N72 includes Carnhill transformers the price is only going to go up.
Old 20th August 2011 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
@SeventhCircle

this is in addition to your current offerings? i'm hoping the original A12s and 8-slot chassis aren't going anywhere...i'm a big fan.
Old 20th August 2011 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 20 years
Quote:
this is in addition to your current offerings?
Right. The current modules will be around for a long time.
Old 20th August 2011 | Show parent
  #21
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhCircle ➑️
Would a cost-reduced, no-options, preassembled version of the A12 (let's call it the A12b) for, say, $279 sway your decision? It will sound exactly like the current A12 and will retain the Grayhill, Bourns, and E-Switch controls, Cinemag transformers, and Neutrik XLR connectors. Add our bomb-proof, made in the USA chassis, 80W power supply (nearly twice the power per "slot" as a standard 500 series rack), and wiring harness for a total of $599 before shipping.
YES PLEASE!!! And if we can also have the preassembled N72 for about the same price = jizzzzzzzz
Old 21st August 2011 | Show parent
  #22
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhCircle ➑️
Extremely unlikely. As long as the N72 includes Carnhill transformers the price is only going to go up.
Tonnu - I wish, but....
Old 21st August 2011 | Show parent
  #23
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hossman777 ➑️
Tonnu - I wish, but....
well still, if we can have the N72 at somewhere around $350 it would still be a steal

also, is the chasis price going to be reduced? as right now i cannot do the maths to get the chassis + A12 + powersupply to be at $600 ... ?
Old 8th September 2011 | Show parent
  #24
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhCircle ➑️
No socketed op-amp, fixed voltage regulators, steel output transformer only, no header for isolated output. It will have a jumper-selectable on-board 18dB pad on the output, though.
Sorry, I'm not very tech savvy, but how will this effect the performance? As opposed to the regular unit?

Does the no socketed op-amp mean you dont include one for that price? Or you can't switch them out? Or none at all?
Old 8th September 2011 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 20 years
Performance will be absolutely identical, but all options for swapping op-amps, etc., will be eliminated. The module will be ready to go out of the box with no assembly or testing required.
Old 8th September 2011 | Show parent
  #26
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhCircle ➑️
Would a cost-reduced, no-options, preassembled version of the A12 (let's call it the A12b) for, say, $279 sway your decision? It will sound exactly like the current A12 and will retain the Grayhill, Bourns, and E-Switch controls, Cinemag transformers, and Neutrik XLR connectors. Add our bomb-proof, made in the USA chassis, 80W power supply (nearly twice the power per "slot" as a standard 500 series rack), and wiring harness for a total of $599 before shipping.
Hi there can u please explain how did u get to a $599 figure? The price list on the side doesn't add up!
Old 9th September 2011 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 20 years
When the module is actually for sale, the price will add up. The shopping cart will calculate the package discount automatically, just as it does not for the current A12/SC25.
Old 9th September 2011
  #28
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Wow that sounds great!!
I may start with the package and an N72!!
Old 1st October 2011 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
hasbeen's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhCircle ➑️
No, this is a new module in the works that will be available around the end of September. We're going to do a similar version of the J99 after that.
Okay, the time has arrived, how close (realistically) are you to the release? I am anxious to fill some gaps in my SCA chassis? Thanks!
Old 1st October 2011 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Addict
 
gregovertone's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hasbeen ➑️
Okay, the time has arrived, how close (realistically) are you to the release? I am anxious to fill some gaps in my SCA chassis? Thanks!
AGREED!
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