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preamp upgrade, should I worry about ADC?
Old 27th January 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
preamp upgrade, should I worry about ADC?

I have an RME Fireface UC.
I currently just use the stock pres.
I would like to stay around $1k and want to make one great channel.

First thought:
Lindel preamp and compressor racked in a 3U 500 series rack.

Second thought:
RND Portico 5017

Third thought:
Something with built in ADC like an API a2d. Overbudget, but maybe worth it? Or is the ADC on a fireface UC good enough to not worry about such things?

What are your thoughts?
Old 27th January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
You can't go wrong with Lindell but do yourself a favour and go on
Warm Audio Microphone Pre-Amps

I have 2 wa12's and it imparts a nice tone to vox, keys and drums.

Bryce from WA was at NAMM and released the tone beast onto those awaiting a new preamp.

Check it out..

I have Lynx Hilo and EMU 1616m so two nice convertor systems. Adding a good preamp to your Fireface will give the missing link by adding the proper front end to your system.

Cheers
Old 27th January 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
The Elf's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I made a similar decision a few years ago to front my Fireface 800. My choices were a pair of Focusrite Liquid Channels and a pair of SSL Superanalogue Channel Strips (with ADC).

For flexibility the Liquid Channels were definitely the smart choice for me. Try one out if you can and make your own mind up.
Old 27th January 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
The api a2d has a DA dynamic range of 120db and the your rme uc has a D/A dynamic range of 113db. While their is a improvement in conversion I think your preamp choice is much more important. Quite frankly your rme has very good conversion and looking for combo d/a preamp will limit your bang for buck choices.

I highly recommend the Neve portico pre's. They are highly versatile with the silk switch and seem to transform any mic to sound better. If you have the budget for a 5017 I would find a 5012 used. For a couple hundred more($1200 used) you could find a neve 5012 portico which has two preamps.
Old 27th January 2013
  #5
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'd definitely think about getting a couple of solid preamps before I would consider upgrading from RME conversion. The RMD pre's are just fine, but if you're looking for that little bit of extra sparkle or presence, you'll get more out of a high end preamp than you will out of conversion.
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribedescribe ➑️
The api a2d has a DA dynamic range of 120db and the your rme uc has a D/A dynamic range of 113db. While their is a improvement in conversion I think your preamp choice is much more important. Quite frankly your rme has very good conversion and looking for combo d/a preamp will limit your bang for buck choices.

I highly recommend the Neve portico pre's. They are highly versatile with the silk switch and seem to transform any mic to sound better. If you have the budget for a 5017 I would find a 5012 used. For a couple hundred more($1200 used) you could find a neve 5012 portico which has two preamps.
Is there a difference between a new one and this used one?


or is it just a different face plate?
Old 28th January 2013
  #7
Lives for gear
Funny you ask, I have owned 3 different "red" faceplate portico devices over the years and had the same thought.

They are indeed identical to the "white" plate newer versions. Just purely cosmetic.
Old 28th January 2013
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
So pretend you have no preamps and are a songwriter and one channel would enough, but more channels wouldn't hurt either. which would you choose out of these options and why?

- lindell 6X-500 and 7X-500 racked in a 3U (leaving one extra slot)
- Universal Audio 4710d
- Neve 512
Old 28th January 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixeltarian ➑️
So pretend you have no preamps and are a songwriter and one channel would enough, but more channels wouldn't hurt either. which would you choose out of these options and why?

- lindell 6X-500 and 7X-500 racked in a 3U (leaving one extra slot)
- Universal Audio 4710d
- Neve 512
If I were strictly doing work with singer songwriters, I would still want more than one channel- stereo miked acoustic guitar, guitar and vocal mics, a room mic, piano miking, etc.

That being said, you could always get one of these options and then grab a Sytek or other decent 4 channel pre when you have a few hundred extra dollars sitting around.

As it is though, I think I'd go for at least two channels for stereo work and guitar/vocal work. The Neve's a great option. You could also get two of the Lindell pres, rather than a pre and a compressor.

Out of you listed options though, the Neve seems to be the best option.
Old 29th January 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
You could still get a decent preamp and an adat interface to go with your fire face if it has one.

Cheers
Old 30th January 2013 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickknack ➑️
You could still get a decent preamp and an adat interface to go with your fire face if it has one.

Cheers
thats a good idea
would you mind throwing out a few options for pres with a a/d section?
all I know about are the api a2d and the 4710d
Old 30th January 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
BradLyons's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixeltarian ➑️
I have an RME Fireface UC.
I currently just use the stock pres.
I would like to stay around $1k and want to make one great channel.

First thought:
Lindel preamp and compressor racked in a 3U 500 series rack.

Second thought:
RND Portico 5017

Third thought:
Something with built in ADC like an API a2d. Overbudget, but maybe worth it? Or is the ADC on a fireface UC good enough to not worry about such things?

What are your thoughts?
There's a BIG myth out there that digital is better than analog-----well the reality is that nothing is digital until it's converted FROM analog to digital. Somewhere there HAS to be a converter, right? So just because something has a digital output doesn't mean it's better because of the digital out. When looking at a pre that has an A/D converter option, it comes down to how good that converter is. There are some products out there that are very good, and many that are not. Understand that when you're purchasing a pre with an A/D converter, you're now paying for TWO products instead of the money going into one aspect of it. This typically means that the better stuff will have a higher cost, that's to be expected.

Okay that said what you have certainly isn't high-end, but it's FAR from bad. You'd be surprised what a really good pre can do through that interface. As to what is best for you has many factors.....what mic(s) you're using, what sound you want, features you need, etc.
Old 30th January 2013 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradLyons ➑️
There's a BIG myth out there that digital is better than analog-----well the reality is that nothing is digital until it's converted FROM analog to digital. Somewhere there HAS to be a converter, right? So just because something has a digital output doesn't mean it's better because of the digital out. When looking at a pre that has an A/D converter option, it comes down to how good that converter is. There are some products out there that are very good, and many that are not. Understand that when you're purchasing a pre with an A/D converter, you're now paying for TWO products instead of the money going into one aspect of it. This typically means that the better stuff will have a higher cost, that's to be expected.

Okay that said what you have certainly isn't high-end, but it's FAR from bad. You'd be surprised what a really good pre can do through that interface. As to what is best for you has many factors.....what mic(s) you're using, what sound you want, features you need, etc.
I am aware of converters being of different quality. I've always been under the impression that analog is better than digital. I am wondering what pres have a better A/D section than the RME and what that margin is like (IE: is it worth the extra dough or should I dump it all into a preamp and worry about ADC when I've got money coming out of my ears). I have an AT4040, SM58 beta, and am pondering the purchase of an avantone CV12 tube mic.
Old 31st January 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
Digital converter are the last thing you should be worried about. Get your mics and preamps first. Once you get into higher end converters past the Rme, you are talking about some serious dough that you could spend elsewhere. Remember your sound quality is only as strong as your weakest link. Your Rme interface has good quality conversion and it sounds like your money would be better spent elsewhere. 98% of the quality pre's do not have d/a conversion, why limit your choices when you have good conversion with the Rme?

Your priorities should be in this order:

1. Acoustics (panels bass traps)
2. Mic collection!!!! (often overlooked)
3. interface
4. Preamps
5. speakers playback
6. converters
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