Two Preamps compared - please comment

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
User avatar
rojarosguitar
Posts: 4178
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:24 pm
Location: near Freiburg, Germany

Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by rojarosguitar » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:18 pm

Dear fellows,

Plase listen to the two recordings and tell me what you think about them (in terms of sound quality). Both takes are recorded at the same time through two microphones (AKG C460B Jim Williams mode done by our forum member Gabasa) being put as close together as it goes. They go through different preamps to a Busman Moded Tascam DR680. Normalized to -0.9dB and nothing more. No processing whatsoever.

I'll be happy to hear all your comments how you perceive the sound of the recording (liking, not liking, differences, similarities, whatever).

Here's the link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/i6penprwzi24 ... QyTua?dl=0

BTW the guitar used is my 7 string flamenca negra built for me by our forum member Alexandru Marian in Bucuresti/Romania.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

User avatar
otirroz
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:20 am
Location: Vina del Mar, Chile

Re: Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by otirroz » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:15 pm

Hello rojarosguitar,

Without having heard the actual guitar live evaluations are a bit tricky, especially when both sound so good. However, I will give it a try. To me, the first one sounded more transparent, accurate, with clearer attacks, but slightly light on the bass (again, that may be the way the guitar sounds since it is a flamenca). The second sounded a bit veiled, making the guitar appear slightly distant, the attacks were a bit muddier, but the bass was rounder and fuller. When you have gathered sufficient feedback, please let us know which preamps you used, and which one you feel more truly captures the sound of the guitar.

Thanks for posting,

P de V

Kurt Penner
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:27 am

Re: Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by Kurt Penner » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:04 pm

Usually I don't hear subtle differences in gear - I don't have golden ears as the recording engineers say. But I preferred #1 as it seemed to have a little more bass content. Plus it had a quality that I find hard to describe but I call "in your face" meaning immediate presence.

Both are marvelously detailed, clean recordings. I wish my raw tracks sounded as perfect as these do. My gear upgrade path includes adding a second SDC mic and then upgrading the preamp in front of my recording device.

KP

User avatar
guitarrista
Posts: 967
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:00 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by guitarrista » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:11 pm

To be clear, when you say "both takes are recorded at the same time", you mean it is a single take, right? You just had two pathways for the live sound to be recorded as you did it?

My initial impression was that the first one sounded slightly muddy. Then I listened to the second one and it sounded 'flatter'. So I went back to the first and it sounded better to my ears (richer) than the first. Then after a few listens I am not sure anymore if they are any different. Is this a test and it is actually the same exact recording? :-D (I listened to only the first 30sec for the impressions I describe).
Konstantin
--
1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

User avatar
rojarosguitar
Posts: 4178
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:24 pm
Location: near Freiburg, Germany

Re: Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by rojarosguitar » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:14 am

Yes, one take and two pathways ...
one may need a good pair of loudspeakers or headphones to hear the differences...
Thanks for listening.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

konstantine
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:08 pm
Location: Berlin

Re: Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by konstantine » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:57 am

I haven't heard your guitar in person but to me the second one sounds less detailed and somehow clouded-muddied, the first sample is more clear, transparent and alive.

User avatar
Stephen Kenyon
Teacher
Posts: 2119
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:26 am
Location: Dorchester, Dorset, England

Re: Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:01 am

01 has more hiss - quite noticeable - and a brighter, slightly sibilant quality. 02 has no hiss I could detect and seems warmer, though it is also very fractionally quieter. In Logic the two waveforms are noticeably different, and the peaks (loudest moment) come in different places.

I too only listened to the first 30 secs for comparative purposes.

I'd probably prefer 02.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

User avatar
bear
Posts: 3625
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:55 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by bear » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:41 am

I thought the trebles better on the 1st and the bass better on the 2nd. I'd look for a 3rd option, I don't like giving up one to get the other. Beautiful playing nice sound.
2013 Jeff Medlin '37 Hauser 640mm sp
2006 Michele Della Giustina Concert 10 string 650mm ce
2005 Jose Ramirez 4E 650mm ce
2005 Manuel Rodriguez Model C3F 650mm sp
2003 Manuel Rodriguez Model D 650mm ce

User avatar
rojarosguitar
Posts: 4178
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:24 pm
Location: near Freiburg, Germany

Re: Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by rojarosguitar » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:26 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:01 am
01 has more hiss - quite noticeable - and a brighter, slightly sibilant quality. 02 has no hiss I could detect and seems warmer, though it is also very fractionally quieter. In Logic the two waveforms are noticeably different, and the peaks (loudest moment) come in different places.

I too only listened to the first 30 secs for comparative purposes.

I'd probably prefer 02.
That's really interesting, I have too look at that closer in ProTools. Both waveforms were normalized to -0.9dB so at least the peak values should be same. Of course I wouldn't expect identical wave forms because two microphones were used (I don't have an active splitter, and passive Y-cables don't work well with microphones). But the microphone's diaphragms were as close to each other as it goes, so I wouldn't expect big runtime differences. Also different shapes is a bit weird ... One possibility is to invert the phase of one and pan them both dead center ... identical waveforms would cancel out completely.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

User avatar
rojarosguitar
Posts: 4178
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:24 pm
Location: near Freiburg, Germany

Re: Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by rojarosguitar » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:29 pm

bear wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:41 am
I thought the trebles better on the 1st and the bass better on the 2nd. I'd look for a 3rd option, I don't like giving up one to get the other. Beautiful playing nice sound.
I agree ... of course it's not an easy thing to try all possible preamps to get that golden synthesis ...
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

User avatar
Stephen Kenyon
Teacher
Posts: 2119
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:26 am
Location: Dorchester, Dorset, England

Re: Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:20 am

When is the big reveal?
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

Aaron Powell
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:16 am

Re: Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by Aaron Powell » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:38 am

Wonderful playing. Number 2 was my preference for the warmth. I listened to number 2 first.

User avatar
Stephen Kenyon
Teacher
Posts: 2119
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:26 am
Location: Dorchester, Dorset, England

Re: Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:52 am

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:01 am
...In Logic the two waveforms are noticeably different, and the peaks (loudest moment) come in different places....
Further to the above, here is a screen shot of the two tracks from Logic. I can't guarantee how scientific this is visually, but it does seem in keeping with the aural impression; the size and shape of 01 is consistently bigger, almost as though the unit was applying a little compression.

Screen shot 2017-07-15 at 12.48.26.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

User avatar
rojarosguitar
Posts: 4178
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:24 pm
Location: near Freiburg, Germany

Re: Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by rojarosguitar » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:38 pm

The only idea I can have is that maybe the phantom power of the first preamp was weaker than that of the second. That would sometimes function as a kind of compressor (by reduction of the dynamics)... I would have to measure ...
Interesting!
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

User avatar
rojarosguitar
Posts: 4178
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:24 pm
Location: near Freiburg, Germany

Re: New Files: Two Preamps compared - please comment

Post by rojarosguitar » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:32 pm

Something had gone wrong with my previously uploaded files, thanks to Stephen for bringig it to my attention. I have repeated the process, I hope this time correctly.
At least the phase inversion test was passed this time (not at all with the old files!).

Hope we'll get some new comments!
Sorry for the extra work...
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

Return to “Classical guitar recording and amplification”